The body of the 62-year-old priest, K J Thomas, who was found murdered in a Bangalore church on Monday, was kept outside the St Mary’s Church here for public homage.
Bishops of the Ooty, Salem and Coimbatore dioceses on Wednesday attended a special prayer for the sexagenarian priest.
A large number of townsmen participated in the prayer for the rector, who belonged to the Ooty Roman Catholic diocese.
Father Thomas, a native of Kottayam in Kerala, was the former vice principal of Ooty’s Rex School.
After the prayer and public homage, his body was taken to his native place at Kottayam in neighbouring Kerala for the funeral.
Ooty Bishop Reve A Amalraj in his condolence message asked every one to pray for repose of the rector’s soul.
The message read: “It was a great shock for me when I received the sad news about the cruel death of Fr K J Thomas, rector of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary at Bangalore, on April 1. It is impossible to imagine how a simple and soft spoken person like Thomas can be brutally murdered. This inhuman dastardly act has saddened the entire diocese of Ootacamund and the Christian community at large. He was originally from Ettumanoor in Kottayam. He opted to serve as a priest in Ootacamund diocese and was ordained in 1980. He had been working in Bangalore from 1988.”
“As the Bangalore police are investigating the murder, I hope the persons behind the death of Fr Thomas will be brought to book shortly. On behalf of the Ootacamund Diocese, I express my sincere condolences to the bereaved family members and friends of Fr Thomas. Let us all pray for the repose of his soul,” he said.