SHILLONG, Oct 23: Meghalaya on Wednesday bid a tearful farewell to Archbishop Dominic Jala, of the Shillong Archdiocese.
It is estimated that around one lakh faithful attended the final journey of Archbishop Jala.
The family members of the Archbishop who attended the funeral service were seen crying during the final journey.
Thousands of faithful gathered at for the nearly four hour long funeral service held at the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christian, Laitumkhrah, Shillong.
Archbishop Jala, 68, died in a car accident in California on October 11 (October 10 local time). His mortal remains arrived here on Sunday.
The funeral service was led by Archbishop of Guwahati diocese, Rev John Moolachira.
Bishops from the all over country and the region numbering around 16 attended the funeral of Archbishop Jala. Also around 250 priests attended the funeral service.
Adhering to the appeal from the Church and the East Khasi Hills police, the faithful staying in and around the city were seen walking to the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, the venue for the funeral.
Condolences from the Vatican, and other parishes and archdioceses across the country were also read.
The brother of the Archbishop, Dr Louise Jala also spoke at the funeral service. The state Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and leader of opposition Dr Mukul Sangma also spoke at the funeral service.
The mortal remain of Archbishop Jala was buried within the Cathedral compound which is a departure from the past tradition of mortal remains of Archbishops and Bishops being buried inside.
Inside the Cathedral here, Archbishop Jala’s predecessors – Archbishops Hubert D’Rosario and T. Resto Phanrang – were laid to rest.
All Catholic run institutions in the Shillong and Jowai diocese had declared a holiday for the funeral of the Archbishop.