Eminent Salesian historian, Fr. Joseph Thekkedath SDB, passed away on Tuesday, 15th January 2019 at the age of 91. Following a fall he had sustained a few days earlier he was confined to his room and the end came quite unexpectedly yet serenely at 21.15 hrs. The funeral services were conducted at Kristu Jyoti College, the Salesian studentate of theology, Bangalore, at 14.00 hrs. on Thursday, 17th January and his mortal remains laid to rest in the cemetery adjacent to the College Chapel.
Fr. Joseph Thekkedath, a former President of the Church History Association of India (CHAI) and indisputably the pre-eminent Church historian in the country was also a member of the Associazione Cultori Storia Salesiana (ACSSA). His contribution to the history of the Church in India is History of Christianity in India, Vol.II – From the Middle of the Sixteenth Century to the End of the Seventeenth Century (Theological Publications of India, Bangalore 1982). His monumental two-volume work, A History of the Salesians of Don Bosco in India from the Beginning up to 1951-52 (Kristu Jyoti Publications, Bangalore 2005) is arguably the only scientifically pursued historical writitng of any region/country in the entire Congregation.
Besides being a scholar of great merit Fr. Thekkedath served also as the Rector of Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee, Chennai (1970-’74) founded in 1936 by Archbishop Louis Mathias sdb; Rector of Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore (1981-’85) and Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province of Bangalore (1985-1991). After his term as Provincial, Fr. Thekkedath returned to Kristu Jyoti College as Professor of Church History and Patrology and remained on there till his death.
The Istituto Storico Salesiano (ISS) and the Associazione Cultori Storia Salesiana (ACSSA) deeply mourn his death and pray for the eternal repose of his soul.
Fr. Thomas Anchukandam sdb
Direttore – ISS