Mortal remains of bishop Kerketta laid to rest

TEZPUR, Dec 29: The mortal remains of bishop emeritus Robert Kerketta, the first native Catholic bishop of Northeast India, was laid to rest at the priests’ cemetery in Bishop’s House here in Assam on 27 December.
Bishop Kerketta (86), who was battling old-age related illness since the past two weeks, had passed away at the Baptist Mission hospital on 22 December.
Around 3000 people, including all the bishops and 150 priests from across the Northeast, attended the funeral service at the Tezpur cathedral church.
Officiating at the funeral service, John Moolachira, the metropolitan archbishop of Guwahati, remembered fondly the gentle and humble nature of the first native bishop of Northeast India.
A Salesian prelate, bishop Kerketta was made bishop on 21 May, 1970, at the age of 38, while he was serving as the rector of the Krishnanagar seminary in West Bengal.
Having served as the bishop of Dibrugarh for 11 years, he was appointed bishop of the Tezpur diocese on 31 January, 1981, where he served for 26 years and retired on 3 March, 2007.
As the bishop of Dibrugarh, Kerketta was also in-charge of the churches in most parts of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.