Father James Orumpakatt dies at 73, funeral in India

CHARLESTON — Carmelite Father James Orumpakatt, a retired priest of the Diocese of Charleston, died Jan. 19 in India. The funeral was held Jan. 20.

Father Orumpakatt served in the diocese as administrator of Transfiguration Church in Blythewood, pastor of St. Theresa in Winnsboro, and administrator of Our Lady of Good Counsel on Folly Beach.  

He was born in India on Sept. 1, 1936. He attended St. Ephraim’s School in Kerala, India, where he completed his high school education. From there, Father Orumpakatt proceeded to Dharmaram College in Bangalore, India, for his undergraduate studies. He also obtained a Master of Arts degree from Fordham University in New York.

He was ordained on Dec. 1, 1964, in Bombay, India, as a priest of the Carmelite of Mary Immaculate.

Before joining the Diocese of Charleston in October 2005, Father Orumpakatt worked in dioceses in New York; Belleville, Ill.; and St. Augustine, Fla.

He came to the Diocese of Charles ton in October 2005 and was assigned to Transfiguration and St. Theresa churches. Father Orumpakatt served there until April 27, 2008, when he was assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel.

Prior to coming to South Carolina, Father Orumpakatt underwent surgery for prostate cancer. He enjoyed relatively good health in his early days in the diocese but suffered a relapse in 2008.

Father Orumpakatt returned to India for treatment and to enjoy the warmth and comfort of his family members and his Carmelite brothers.

Notes of condolence or donations in Father Orumpakatt’s memory may be sent to his provincial:

Father Sebastian Elangickal, CMI
CMI Provincial House
P.O. Box 648
Kottayam, 686 001
Kerala, INDIA