Fr. Pottukalam Mathew died SDB at 11 pm on14 June 2022, after a prolonged illness and medical treatment in Shristi Hospital, Dibrugarh, Assam. He was 66 years of age. He was a diabetic patient on dialysis for around three years, had some heart problems and post – Covid complications. On 31 May his health deteriorated and he was put on ventilator for some time. He was given absolution, anointing of the sick and blessing of Mary Help of Christians.
Pottukalam Mathew was born at Changanachery, Kerala on 24 may 1956. He leaves behind three brothers and six sisters.
He had his novitiate formation in Yercaud where he professed on 24 May 1976. He studied theology in Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong. He was ordained priest on 27 December 1984.
As a Salesian priest he worked in many places: Asst. Headmaster and Administrator in Don Bosco Dibrugarh; Asst. Parish Priest of Mao (Manipur); Asst. Parish Priest and Vice Rector in Doom Dooma; Warden of Ravalico Hostel in Chingmeirong-Imphal; Asst. Headmaster in Don Bosco School, Chingmeirong-Imphal; Head Master, Counselor and Asst. Parish Priest of Harmutty; Headmaster, Counselor and Asst. Parish Priest of Senapati (Manipur); Headmaster and Asst. Parish Priest of Senapati; Headmaster and Asst. Parish Priest in Margherita; Headmaster, Counselor of Don Bosco Kheti; Asst. Parish Priest and Administrator of Mon; Asst. Headmaster and later Headmaster of Tuli; Administrator and Vice Principal of Don Bosco School Kohima; Director of Youth Centre Kohima; Administrator and Vice Rector of Salesian College Dimapur; Asst. Parish Priest and In-charge of Junior School in Tinsukia; from 2020 till death he was in Don Bosco Dibrugarh for medical treatment and rest.
He had the unique distinction of being good in martial arts (Karate), trained specially under Geeta Raj as a student of theology in Shillong. When asked why, he used to say he wanted to train youth in martial arts. Perhaps he was inspired by John Paul II who used to say that God creates billions of people none of whom are carbon copies of others (cfr. the late Pope’s book The Acting Person). He appreciated and zealously cultivated God’s special gift to him. The Province of Dimapur has lost a precious member in the person of Fr. Pottukalam Mathew, already third Salesian in 2022. May his soul enjoy eternal rest in heaven.