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Archbishop Arulappa passes away

By Our Staff Reporter



File photo of Archbishop Arulappa with Mother Teresa and M.G. Ramachandran.

HYDERABAD, FEB. 13. Archbishop emeritus of Hyderabad, Samineni Arulappa, passed away at a private hospital here on Sunday. He was 81 and had been ailing for sometime. Incidentally, Pope Paul VI ordained him the Archbishop of Hyderabad on the same day 33 years ago in 1972 in Rome.

Hundreds made a beeline to the Archbishop's house in Secunderabad to pay their last respects today. His funeral mass would be conducted at the St. Mary's Church, Secunderabad, at 3.30 p.m. on Monday. Archbishop Marampudi Joji and several bishops and priests from all over Andhra Pradesh would preside.

Widely respected

As a mark of respect to one of the most respected religious leaders of the twin cities, cutting across all religions, all Catholic educational institutions would remain closed on Monday. Christened affectionately as the "Bishop of the poor," Arulappa had established the Archdiocese of Hyderabad as a leader in the fields of education, social work and religious work. Under his able leadership, several institutions were born and grew into centres of excellence over the years. Some of these were Loyola College, St. Ann's College, St. Joseph's College besides a string of schools, hospitals and social service centres to name a few, according to his grandson and State general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, P.L. Arul Raj.

He also founded the Hyderabad Archdiocese Social Service Society, which is involved in various welfare activities, including organising women's groups and farmers, extending student scholarships and housing programmes.

Highly accomplished

Born on August 28, 1924, in a Telugu-speaking village, Kilachery, near Chennai in Tamil Nadu, he was educated at the Loyola College, Chennai, and pursued religious studies at Kandy in Sri Lanka. He also acquired a doctorate in public administration from Oxford University, London. He was ordained a priest on May 6, 1950.

Mr. Raj said that his grandfather had a great rapport with political leaders of the State and national level like L.K. Advani, Kotla Vijaybhakara Reddy, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and N. Chandrababu Naidu. His interaction with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is also well known, he maintained. "By birth I am an Indian, by culture a Hindu and by faith, I am a Christian," the Archbishop had stated once. Indeed, a man of great tolerance and goodness who leaves behind a multitude of followers from all faiths.

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