SHILLONG, (C.M. Paul) — A legendary theologian in northeast India, died 20 July Sunday evening, 4.50 pm, at Woodland Hospital Shillong. Salesian Fr. (Dr) Sebastian Karotemprel succumbed to a fall he suffered three weeks ago on Sunday 29 June. He was 83 years old.
The burial is on 23rd Wednesday 2014 at 1.pm at Mary Help of Christians Cathedral Church, Laitumkhrah, Shillong presided over by his younger Brother, Bishop Emeritus Gregory Karotemprel, CMI of Rajkot.
Eucharistic celebrations are scheduled for the departed at Sacred Heart College 21st Monday – 6.00pm Mass presided over by his nephew Fr. Sebastian Karotemprel, Director of Vianny Home, Jhabua 22nd Tuesday – 5.00pm – Mass presided over by Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil, Sdb, D.D., Archbishop Emeritus & Apostolic Administrator Jowai.
Author of several books and keynote speaker at national and international conferences, “Dr Karotemprel has left behind a legacy of theological authenticity, academic rigour and indefatigable labour,” says Salesian archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong, after paying homage to his diseased confrere in the hospital.
Fr. George Malekal sdb, Provincial Superior of the Salesian Province of Silchar to which Fr Karotemprel belonged, says, “Fr Sebastian has left his own indelible mark on the Church and society.”
The national president of the Conference of Religious India (CRI) and the Salesian Provincial of Guwahati Fr V.M. Thomas Vattathara describes Fr Karotemprel, “a legend of our times, a loyal and committed Salesian, an erudite professor, an institution builder, and an active collaborator in the major missionary works in Northeast India.”
A member of the Salesian provinces of Guwahati and now of Shillong, Dr. Karotemprel was was closely associated with some of the major projects of the Salesians in Assam like the Don Bosco Institute Kharguli and the Assam Don Bosco University Guwahati.
Dr Sebastian Karotemprel was the first Dean of the Sacred Heart Theological College Shillong which was re-opened in 1976 and professor of Theology of Mission at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome, and served two terms as member of the International Theological Commission.
He was also member of the Theological-historical Commission for the Great Jubilee Year 2000.
In 2009, Dr Karotemprel’s former student professors at Sacred Heart Theological College published a 300-page book of essays in homage to the outstanding theologian entitled: Be my witnesses: essays in honour of Dr. Sebastian Karotemprel, SDB.”
Fr Karotemprel was also former President of Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong where he taught for some 40 years. He was instrumental in building up the state of the art modern library at the college and was responsible for the infrastructure expansion of the college.
Besides setting up the seven storey Don Bosco anthropological museum in Mawlai Shillong show casing cultural artifacts of the seven states of northeast India, Dr Karotemprel was the founder editor of the first Indian Missiological Review which he started in 1978 and continues under the name “Mission Today”.
Retired Bishop Gregory Karotemprel of Rajkot is his younger brother and his only sister is Adoration Sister Maria Karotemprel, Provincial of SBAS, Ujjain Province.