3 May 2015, Ludhiana: Symphorian Keeprath Bishop Emeritus of Jalandhar diocese passed away on Sunday 3 May 2015 at 10.05pm at Christian Medical College Hospital Ludhiana after prolonged illness. He was 84. The mortal remains of Bishop Symphorian will be kept for homage at the Sacred Heart Church, Jalandhar City on Friday 8 May 2015 and will be carried to St. Mary’s Cathedral, Jalandhar Cantonment on Saturday 9 May 2015 and the last rites will take place at the Cathedral at 9am.
Symphorian Keeprath was ordained Bishop on 22 March 1972 and retired from his episcopal ministry in 2007. He was the first bishop of Jalandhar as the prefecture at Jalandhar was upgraded as a Diocese in 1972. The 35-year-long hard labour of Bishop Symphorian Keeprath brought more and more people closer to the diocese.
Bishop Symphorian Keeprath was born on 22 April 1931 to Cheriyan and Mariyam Keeprath at Kadaplamattom, Palai, in Kerala. After his preliminary education at St. Antony’s School, Kadaplamattom he continued his studies at Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa, at St. Anotny’s Apostolic School of the Friars Minor Capuchins. On completion of his schooling he joined the Capuchins at Monte Mariano, Goa and made his First Profession as Religious on 22 May 1952. He was ordained a Capuchin Priest on 22 March1958. He arrived at Dhariwal as Superior of the Capuchin Missions in July 1970 and was nominated Bishop of Jullundur on 06 December 1971. His Episcopal ordination took place on 18 March1972 at Amritsar Cantonment at the hands of Archbishop Gordon, Apostolic Nuncio to India. He was installed as the first Bishop of Jullundur on 23 March1972 at Jalandhar. After long years of apostolic service as the Bishop of Jullundur he retired on 15 April 2007 and was succeeded by Bishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto.
Bishop Symphorian was staying at Domus Mariae, Salem Tabri, Ludhiana, ever since his retirement. He frequented CMC Hospital for his health problems which kept on increasing as he advanced in age. His last visit to the CMC Hospital was on 6 April 2015 where he remained in the ICCU till he went home to his Heavenly Father.