SHILLONG, Oct 23 - Thousands of mourners attended the funeral service of Archbishop Dominic Jala at the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians here today and bade a tearful adieu to the departed soul.
The mortal remains of Rev Jala, who was killed in a car accident in the United States recently, were laid to rest after the Requiem Holy Mass was held at the Laitumkhrah Cathedral.
Several priests and speakers at the funeral service eulogised Rev Jala as one of the intellectuals of the Catholic church, who knew Greek, Latin, French, Italian and German. He learnt all these languages while he was studying in Rome. Rev Jala was also known as an apostle of Catholic faith, simplicity and concern for the poor and downtrodden.
Offering his condolences, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that the �untimely demise of the Archbishop� came as a huge shock to the entire State.
�Our State has lost a man who was not only a religious figure but also someone who contributed immensely to the State,� Sangma said.
Recalling Rev Jala�s contributions to the State, the Chief Minister said that he had served the State for almost two decades and his leadership was one of humility, love and compassion.
�He was a friend, a confidant and a noble counsellor and in times of our happiness, he took great pride and rejoiced with us in our accomplishments,� Sangma said. He also shared the close association his family had with the Archbishop.
On behalf of the people and the Government of Meghalaya, the Chief Minister conveyed his condolences to all members of the bereaved Shillong Archdiocese family and Rev Jala�s friends and close associates.
The Leader of Opposition in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Mukul Sangma, said the untimely demise of Rev Jala is a big loss to the people of the North East and Meghalaya. He lauded him for his dedicated service in bringing development to the State.
During the day, Catholic-run and other educational institutions remained closed, especially in the Laitumkhrah area.
Faithful from different parts of the State came to pay their homage at Rev Jala�s funeral service, for which elaborate arrangements were made by the district authorities.