India – Sad Demise of Father James Poonthuruthil SDB

23 January 2018

(ANS – Shillong) – Father James Poonthuruthil SDB, Rector and Professor at Sacred Heart Theological College Shillong and former Provincial of Dimapur Province, passed away on January 21 at NEIGRIHMS (North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences) in Shillong, Meghalaya, after being seriously hurt in a road accident on 14 January while travelling from Shillong to Guwahati in Assam. He would have turned 63 on January 27.

By Father George Maliekal, SDB

The Tata Nano car he was travelling in rammed into a stationery truck on NH-6 at Umsawnongkharai near Nongpoh in the Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya. The police, along with sisters and fathers of Nongpoh parish, rushed the injured first to Nongpoh Civil Hospital and later to NEIGRIHMS.

The team of doctors at NEIGRIHMS conducted surgery on him to stop the swelling and brain hemorrhage.  On Friday, 19 January, a tracheostomy was also performed. But he responded little to the round the clock medical attention that was given him. He passed away at 7:55 PM, 21 January.

Father Ponthuruthil's body was taken to the Sacred Heart Theological College and placed in the Shrine of the Sacred Heart. The requiem Mass was held at 5.00 PM on 22 January, after which the body was taken to Salesian College Dimapur in Nagaland for burial at 2.00 PM, 23 January.

Father  Poonthuruthil, the former Provincial Superior of Dimapur Province, with a doctoral degree in Moral Theology from Alfonsiana, Rome, with the thesis ''Towards Responsibility: A Study of Erik H Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development and Viktor E Frankl's theory of Logotherapy'' served the Church in Northeast India in various capacities.

He was registrar of the Sacred Heart College from 1988 to 1992; and from 1994 to 1995. He was rector of the Salesian College of Higher Education, Dimapur, during 1995-2001. He became the president of the Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, in 2003, a post he held for three years. He was then appointed as Provincial Superior of the Salesian Province of Dimapur, Nagaland, from 2006 to 2012. A year later, he was appointed director of Integrated Training for Laity and Religious and as Rector of the Mathias Institute, Mawlai. Last May, he had also become Rector of the Sacred Heart Theological College Shillong.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".