Earlier, to welcome Fr Tom, landing from Rome at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Airport, were Fr Mathew Thonikuzhiyil, Salesian Provincial of Bangalore - the Province of Fr Tom - and Fr Jose Mathew Koorappallil, Provincial of New Delhi, along with a number of governmental authorities.
From the airport, Fr Tom was escorted to the Provincial house of New Delhi and then, after a short rest, he met with Premier Modi and Minister Swaraj, as well as new Minister of Tourism, the Christian Alphons Kannanthanam, and other Indian parliamentarians.
Fr Tom's busy day then continued with a visit to the Apostolic Nunciature to meet with the Nuncio in India, Msgr. Giambattista Diquattro, after which he met with the press and media at the headquarters of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI).
Finally, late in the afternoon, Fr Tom presided over the Mass of thanksgiving for his release at New Delhi's Sacred Heart Cathedral, not far from the CBCI headquarters.
Today, Friday, September 29, Fr Tom returns to Bangalore, where he is to meet with CBCI's leading members at St. John's Medical College.
While in his hometown, Ramapuram, preparations are underway for the festive welcome, CBCI officials have publicly expressed their gratitude to Minister Swaraj for her contribution to Fr Tom's release from captivity.