KLUANG, MALAYSIA – Fr Phillip Kolandaisamy, a Malaysian priest who could speak eight languages, passed away on July 29 at the Miriam Home for the Aged in Kluang, Johor.
He was 74.
Bishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor diocese, main celebrant at the July 31 funeral Mass, said, “Let us thank God for Fr Kolandaisamy and be reminded by him that we too must dedicate ourselves totally to Christ our Lord by loving and serving people as Christ did”.
Concelebrating the Mass, held at the Church of St. Louis in Kluang, were Archbishop Murphy Pakiam and Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez of Kuala Lumpur, Bishop-elect Sebastian Francis of Penang, and some 40 priests from Singapore and Malaysia.
Archbishop Nicholas Chia of Singapore, who was at the wake a day earlier, noted that the late clergyman was greatly devoted to God and His people.
“We were together in the minor seminary in Singapore for three years, six years in the major seminary in Penang, and then three years in Rome where we studied for our degree in Moral Theology at the Gregorian University,” Archbishop Chia said.
Fr Kolandaisamy was born in 1937 in Kluang, and ordained at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in Singapore in 1964.
A linguist, he could speak French, German, Italian, Latin, Malay, Tamil, Malayalam and English.
He taught English and Music in the Minor Seminary in Singapore and later served in Malacca and Johor Bahru.
In 1969 he left for Rome to pursue a degree in Moral Theology and a Diploma in Canon Law which he completed in 1972.
He returned to Melaka-Johor diocese where he was made the vicar for Indian Catholics. He was Diocesan Consultor from 1976-1970 and later secretary to Bishop James Chan from 1981-1983.
Fr Kolandaisamy later served in various parishes.
Prior to his death he was chaplain to the Miriam Home for the Aged, Kluang while serving as parish priest of St Peter’s Church in Mersing.
Among other posts he held were spiritual director of the Johor Bahru Curia of Legion of Mary, Diocesan Representative to the Malaysian Catholic Education Council and Diocesan Director of the Charismatic Renewal.
By Vincent D’Silva