Fourth Catholic priest dies of Covid-19 in India

By Jessy Joseph |

New Delhi: Covid-19 on July 10 claimed the second priest in the archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore.

Father B K Francis Xavier, parish priest of Holy Trinity Church Mogappair East, died at Chennai’s St Thomas Hospital. He was 59.

He is the fourth priest to die of Covid-19 in India.

On July 10 itself, Father Anthony Swamy, a former chancellor of the archdiocese of Bangalore, died of Covid-19. He was 61.

The first Catholic priest to die of Covid-19 in India too was Father Pascal Petrus of the Madras-Mylapore archdiocese.

The disease claimed Jesuit Father Joseph L Pragasam on July 3. He was 83 and a Jesuit for 64 years.

Father Xavier was admitted to Madras Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (MIOT) Hospital in Chennai with pneumonia related complication but recovered from it.

Ten days ago, he was shifted to St Thomas Hospital as directed by the doctors, Father Varghese Rosario, archdiocesan chancellor, told Matters India.

“He became critical three days ago, but we never expected that he would die,” Father Rosario said.

“He received the all the final Sacraments even though he was in sedation,” the chancellor added.

Father Xavier’s body was buried in Luz cemetery for priests. The burial took place in the presence of government officials and police as per the directions from the government, Father Rosario explained.

“We gave him a solemn burial and the archbishop was present at the burial place,” Father Rosario said and recalled that Father Xavier was “very spiritual, simple and loving priest.”

“It is very sad that the archdiocese has lost two priests within 40 days and it is great loss for us,” Father Rosario added.

Father Xavier is survived by his mother and sister, but they could not attend the funeral.

He was a priest for 33 years. Earlier he had served as parish priest at Annai Velankanni Shrine, Besantnagar, and St Joseph’s Church at Porur.

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About Cholo Brooks 12906 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.