SHILLONG, Oct 20 - The body of Archbishop Dominic Jala, who died in an accident in the US, arrived at the LGBI Airport in Guwahati on Sunday afternoon and was received by several dignitaries, including Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and senior Church leaders.
The body was flown in from the US, where the Archbishop died following a road accident on October 11 in Colussa County. In the accident, another priest of Indian origin, apart from the Archbishop, died on the spot while a third occupant of the car sustained injuries.
Jala was born on 1951 at Mawlai in the Archdiocese of Shillong. He was appointed the Archbishop of the same diocese in December 1999.
It took some time for the body to be flown in to India as due procedures in the US were followed and thereafter embalming took some time.
Apart from the Chief Minister, Home Minister James Sangma, former Union Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons, Congress MLAs Ampareen Lyngdoh and Himalaya Shangpliang were at the airport.
From the Guwahati airport, the body was taken to the Guwahati Provincial House. Priests carried the body from the Provincial House to the St Joseph�s Co-Cathedral Church and the Requiem Mass was held. The body was taken to the Provincial House as the Archbishop had earlier served as the Provincial of Salesian of Don Bosco, Guwahati.
Later, the cortege moved towards Shillong and stopped at the Byrnihat parish. People lined up on the street with candles to pay tributes.
The body would be kept at Archbishop Jala�s parental home at Mawlai, Phudmuri. The funeral is scheduled to be held on October 23 at 1 pm. From Monday, the mortal remains would be kept at the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Laitumkhrah for people to pay their homage till the day of the funeral. The Archbishop would be buried in a grave close to the Cathedral as per his wish, church officials said.