Former Twin Cities pastor, hospital chaplain Father Thoomkuzhy dies in native India

| September 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

Father George Thoomkuzhy

A priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and longtime hospital chaplain died Aug. 26 in southwestern India, his home country. Father George Thoomkuzhy was 77. He ministered in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1996 to his retirement in August 2014.

Born in 1943 in Chemmalamattam, India, Father Thoomkuzhy was ordained for the Syro-Malabar Eparchy, or diocese, of Palai in 1972 and later incardinated to the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Ujjain. (The Syro-Malabar church is an Eastern rite of the Catholic Church based in the Indian state of Kerala.) He was incardinated to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2005. He ministered at St. Peter, North St. Paul (February to September 1996); St. Mary, Waverly (September 1996 to April 1997); St. Bernard, Cologne (April 1997 to June 2005); as chaplain for United Hospital in St. Paul and Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis (June 2005 to October 2007); and as chaplain for St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Paul (October 2007 to August 2014).

Following his retirement, Father Thoomkuzhy returned to India, where he ministered in two parishes in the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Faridabad in the Delhi region.

Franciscan Clarist Sister Jancy Nedumkallel got to know Father Thoomkuzhy from 2002 to 2005, when he served his last three years as pastor at St. Bernard and she started working as principal at the parish school. “I thoroughly enjoyed working with him, his personality, his prayerful life,” she said. Sister Nedumkallel said Father Thoomkuzhy spent a great deal of time in prayer.

Father Thoomkuzhy had a great mission spirit, Sister Jancy said. “I would say evangelization was his main goal.”

“The sacraments were really important to him, too,” she said. He cared about the elderly, and regularly visited the homes of elderly parishioners, bringing them Communion and hearing confessions.

“He was a good man,” she said, “and we miss him. We need priests like him to be compassionate of other people. That’s why he went back to India, where he cared for the poor and the lonely and depressed.”

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Category: Obituaries