Diocese of Oakland mourns death of Father Mathew Vellankal, visiting archbishop

COLUSA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Catholic Diocese of Oakland is mourning the death of one of its pastors.

Father Mathew Vellankal, was killed in an automobile crash on Thursday, in Colusa County.

"Father Vellankal's joyous spirit and faith will be deeply missed," Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, said. "May his soul and the soul of Archbishop Jala rest in the peace of Christ."

Father Vellankal was Pastor at St. Bonaventure in Concord.

The accident also claimed the life of Archbishop Dominic Jala of the Archdiocese of Shillong, India.

A third Pastor, Father Parekkatt of St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek, was injured.

He is reported in stable condition at Santa Rosa Hospital.

Here is more on the life of Father Vellankal, from the Diocese of Oakland:

Father Vellankal was born in Ayavana, Kerala, India and ordained a priest on Jan. 5, 1987 in Randar, India as a member of the religious order Salesians of Don Bosco. He worked in parishes and schools in India before coming to the Diocese of Oakland in 2001. His assignments included Queen of All Saints, Concord; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fremont; Holy Spirit, Fremont; and St. Bonaventure, Concord.

Father Vellankal was also known for his skills as a magician, which he used in parish fundraising. He is the author of "From Humor to Inspiration: Jokes, Reflections, and Quotes to Enliven Your Day," published in 2005.
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