East Bay Pastor, India Archbishop killed in Colusa County car crash


CHP – Williams

COLUSA COUNTY (KRON) – A pastor and visiting archbishop were killed in a car accident on Thursday in Colusa County, according to the Diocese of Oakland. 

The community is mourning the loss of Father Mathew Vellankal and Archbishop Dominic Jala of the Archdiocese of Shillong, India and the apostolic administrator of Nongstoin, India. 

“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 had been a pastor of St. Bonaventure in Concord.

Father Joseph Parekkatt from St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek was taken to Santa Rosa Hospital to be treated for injuries. 

Parekkatt remains in stable condition. 

Funeral arrangements for the pastor have not been decided at this time. 

The Diocese of Oakland says that Vellankal had been ordained as a priest in 1987 and came to the Diocese in 2001 after working at parishes and schools in India. 

The Prime Minister of India posted on Twitter mourning the loss of Archbishop Jala who became a priest in 1977 and became archbishop in 2000.

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