FR. DOMINIC MUTHEDATH, S.J. (85/63)

Died at St. Stephen’s Church, Danapur, Patna, on 20 March 2020

Born : 26.12.1934
Ordained : 30.03.1968
Entered the SJ : 14.08.1956
Final Vows : 15.08.1977
Formation & Studies:
Secondary Education: St. Mary’s H. S., Alwaye; 1954
PUC (Cambridge Sch): S. H. College, Ernakulam; 1954-56
Graduation: St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi;1965
Novitiate: St. Stanislaus College, Sitagarha; 1956-58
Juniorate: St. Stanislaus College, Sitagarha;1958-60
Philosophy: Sacred Heart College, Shembaganur; 1960-63
Regency: K. R. School, Bettiah; 1963-65
Theology: St. Mary’s College, Kurseong; 1965-69
Tertianship: Vinayalaya, Mumbai; 1973
Diaconate: Kurseong; 22.12.1967, Bishop: E. Benjamin
Ordination: Cherpunkal; 30.03.1968, Bishop: S.Vayalil
Final Vows: Sasaram; 15.08.1977
Apostolic Assignments as a Priest:
Co-Pastor: Catholic Church,Sasaram/Gulni; 1969-71
Co-Pastor: Catholic Church, Barh; 1971-72
Parish Priest: Catholic Church, Chenari; 1972-80
Minister: XTTI, DighaGhat, Patna; 1980-82
Parish Priest: Chuhari; 1982-85
Teacher: St. Michael’s High School, Patna; 1985-92
Spiritual Father: Mission Home, Palai; 1992-94
Spiritual Father: Xavier Hall, Bangalore; 1994-95
Minister: Atmadarshan; Dec., 1995-96
Teacher & Co-Pastor: Barbigha; 1996-99
Teacher & Minister: Catholic H.S., Ara; 1999-2004
Administrator: BSI, Patna; 2004-05
Co-pastor & Socius to NM: Itarhi; 2005-06
Sabbatical: (6 months) 2006
Co-Pastor: St. Stephen’s Church, Danapur, 2007-08
Parish Priest: St. Stephen’s, Church, Danapur, 2008-10
Administrator: Jeevan Sangham, Bodhgaya; 2010-19
Co-Pastor: St. Stephen’s Church, Danapur, 2019-2020

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him,
“Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile” (Jn 1:47)

Like Nathanael, Fr. Dominic was indeed a person ‘in whom there was no guile’; he was a faithful disciple of Jesus and a dedicated Jesuit priest. For anyone who came into contact with Fr. Dominic, it was amply clear that his life was centered on Jesus, nourished by the daily Eucharist and other spiritual practices; his personal and apostolic life flowed from this source. The ever-present child-like smile on his face and his zeal for apostolic works was contagious - inspiring, energizing and challenging everyone to live similarly. His ability to express himself clearly without hurting others and his simplicity of life, devoid of any taint of glamour, endeared him to all sections of people - young and old, rich and poor, healthy and sick, Christians and non-Christians, and, people of all languages and cultural backgrounds.

Fr. Dominic is the tenth of the eleven children of his loving and devout parents - of his four brothers, one is a Capuchin priest and of his six sisters, five are religious. So, he brought depth of faith and bond of affection among family members as a heritage, which were amplified by the Jesuit formation and found fruition in the form of abundant apostolic zeal to draw people close to Jesus and enabled him to be in solidarity with everyone, especially the socio-economically weak, the aged and sick. Even the health set-back which he suffered at the age of sixty, when he had to have a by-pass surgery, did not dampen or hinder the spirit of joyous service that was the hallmark of his entire life.

He died as unassumingly as he lived: on 19 March 2020, Fr. Dominic spent the day as usual and in the evening called up the many ‘Josephs’ of the Province, including his companion and Pastor of Danapur - Fr. Joseph Dungdung, SJ, who was out of station for vocation promotion work - to wish them on their feast day. He had his supper and typical pleasant conversation with his cook. After making a few phone calls to some of his relatives, he retired for the day; and, while he was fast asleep, the Lord called him unto Himself. Next morning, when the cook went to call him for the daily Mass and breakfast, he found that Fr. Dominic had already returned to his Master for Eternal Rest.

Because of the news of outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, there was palpable fear among the people and large gatherings were being discouraged / avoided. Even so, a moderate gathering of fellow Jesuits and other priests, religious and laity bid a fitting farewell to Fr. Dominic on 21 March, on the eve of ‘जनता कर्फ्यू’ (People’s curfew), called by the Prime Minister for the next day.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Mt 5:8). Your priest-servant Fr. Dominic, as you know better than us, was a person of pure heart. As you grant him the bliss of seeing your glorious face forever, through his intercession, grant us a share in the graces with which you blessed him while he was with us on this earth. Amen.

- Fr. Susai Raj, SJ
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