A Province of Society of Jesus in South Asia Assistancy
Fr Joachim Dungdung, SJ laid to eternal rest
Posted on: 22 Oct, 2020|Modified on: 22 Oct, 2020
By Francis David Kullu
Ranchi:It is almost three days now but still it is unbelievable that Fr Joachim Dungdung is no more. How difficult is was for Ranchi Jesuit Curia to announce with great sadness and grief that Fr Joachim Dungdung, SJ expired on October 19, 2020 at 11.00 am at Constant Lievens Hospital and Research Centre, Mandar. He was 73 years of age and spent 48 years his life in the society of Jesus rendering 36 years of his priestly life and services in the society and in the church.
His sudden and untimely death has shocked everyone who knew him. He was a well renowned Hindi and Kharia scholar. He was the editor of Hindi Monthly Magazine called “Nishkalanka”- a magazine that has completed a century now. He was very much active till October 17, 2020 – having meetings and planning as how to mark the centenary year of the magazine and to take it forward in the changed scenario. Next day as he was not feeling well, he underwent the covid-19 test and tested positive went into house quarantine. By Monday when situation started worsening, he was rushed to Mandar Hospital. While undergoing the process of admission into the Hospital with all due covid-19 precautions, he suffered a massive stroke. The attending doctors tried to revive him but couldn’t succeed. He has given his spirit to the Lord!
He was laid to eternal rest on the next day October 20, 2020 at Agricultural Training Center, Namkum, Ranchi observing strictly all the Covid-19 protocols issued by district administration. Prior to the burial, the requiem holy mass was held in the ATC hall in which only a select few Jesuits, religious, relatives and well wishers were present. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr Benjamine Dungdung, his cousin brother, concelebrated by his brother Fr John Berchmans Dungdung, SJ and Fr Gabriel Dungdung. During the requiem Mass his brief life events and works was nicely presented by Fr Clement Kullu, SJ, who was one of his close friends right from the high school days.
Mr Benjamin Lakra, one of his classmates, remarked in whatsapp how shocking it was for him to learn that Fr. Joachim Dungdung S.J. is no more. He said, “It is a great loss to the Jesuits in general and the Jesuit Province of Ranchi in particular.”
Remembering him, he narrates, “Apart from being a star hockey player, he was an excellent athlete grabbing gold medals in 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, hop step and jump and 100×4 relay race year after year, breaking his on record during the initial years of "Chakraviyu" sports meet. He could have won more gold medals but nobody was allowed to compete in more than five events. He was the permanent drill master and a very good scout who lead the scout team from the school to the scout and guide jamboree at Kalyan. He was a elected the president of Maria Marg with record votes.
There was nobody, who could compete with him in tribal music, all three segments; singing, dancing and drumming. He was one of the favorites of great Fr. Van Nuffel and played the lead role in " Utha toofan jaga insan" more popularly known as "Kharo ka bhoot" later, his contribution to the development of Khariya language, its literature, customs and culture is second to none. His service to Nishkalanka, my favourite magazine till his death will be remembered long, particularly as it is going to complete 100 years of its publication early next year. He will be missed a lot.”
We offer Fr Joachim Dungdung, SJ in the hands of God the Abba Father in his eternal abode and pray for God’s courage, solace and peace to all those who mourn over his death – especially his own brother Fr John Berchmans Dungdung, cousin brothers, sisters, relatives, near and dear ones!