Father Paul L. Sankoorikal, at the age of 80 and a priest for 55 years, died on Friday, December 19, 2014, at Gundersen Medical Center in La Crosse.
Father Sankoorikal was born on July 22, 1934, in India, to Lonappan C. and Chinnamma (Kanjooparambil) Sankoorikal.Â He attended the Papal Athenaeum in Poona, India, for his theological studies; the University of Kerala in Kerala State, India; and St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.Â He was ordained on September 28, 1959, as a priest of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS).
Prior to beginning his service in the Diocese of La Crosse, Father Sankoorikal served as a Chaplain to the Adoration Convent in Changanacherry, India (1960); a Hostel Rector at St. John Berchmans College in Changanacherry, India (1961); a teacher and Hostel Rector at St. Aloysius High School in Visakhapatnam, India (1963); Assistant Pastor at St. Augustine Parish in St. Louis, Missouri (1964); Assistant Pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in St. Louis, Missouri (1965); Chaplain at Mount Providence in St. Louis, Missouri (1967); Associate Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in St. Louis, Missouri (1971); Associate Pastor and Chaplain at St. Lawrence Parish and Visitation Monastery in Snellville, Georgia (1974); Regional Superior of the Missionary Society of St. Francis de Sales, Pastor of Mission Center, Principal of Don Bosco High School and Director of the Mission Dispensary in Silapathar, Assam, India (1976-1980); Assistant Pastor of St. Luke Parish in St. Louis, Missouri (1980); Associate Pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Alton, Illinois (1981); Administrator of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Ste. Marie, Illinois (1981); and Associate Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Taylorville, Illinois (1981).
Father Sankoorikal began his service as Chaplain at the former St. Francis Medical Center in La Crosse on September 14, 1982.Â He was granted an Indult of Secularization from the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales on May 18, 1992, and was incardinated into the Diocese of La Crosse on August 5, 1992.Â He continued in his role as Chaplain until 2006.
Father Sankoorikal is survived by one brother, Varghese (Leela) who resides in Mobile, Alabama; and several nieces and nephews.Â He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers S.L. Jacob, Thomas, Jose and Father Anthony; and his sisters, Cherian and Mary.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Christ the King Chapel in Holy Cross Diocesan Center, 3710 East Ave. S., La Crosse, on Tuesday afternoon, December 23, at 3:00.Â Bishop William P. Callahan, Bishop of La Crosse, will be the main celebrant.Â Burial will be held in the Catholic Cemetery on Wednesday morning, December 24, at 10:00.
Visitation will be held in Christ the King Chapel on Tuesday from 11:30 AM until the time of the Mass.