New Curia Bishop for the Syro-Malabar Church

Fr. Tony Neelamkavil and Fr. Joseph Pamblany

Auxiliary Bishops in Trichur and Tellicherry

Fr. Sebastian Vaniyapurackal, Curia Bishop

 

Fr. Tony Neelamkavil is elected Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Trichur and Fr. Joseph Pamplany, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Tellicherry.  Fr. Sebastian Vaniyapurackal is elected Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Curia Bishop. They were elected by the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church assembled at Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad from 21 August – 1 September 2017.  The announcement of the elections were made public at 12.00 pm (Italian Time) today, Friday, 1 September 2017 in Vatican and simultaneously at 3.30 pm IST at Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad, the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Curia.  The appointment orders of the Bishops-Elect given by the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, His Beatitude George Cardinal Alencherry, were read out by Rev. Fr. Antony Kollannur, Major Archiepiscopal Chancellor. The Major Archbishop and Mar Andrews Thazhath, Archbishop of Trichur, Mar George Njharalakatt, Archbishop of Tellicherry and Mar Mathew Arackal, Bishop of Kanjirapally, presented the bishops-elect with the insignia of Episcopacy.  Archbishop Mathew Moolakkatt OSB felicitated the bishops-elect. All the Bishops attending the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church were present on the occasion.

Fr. Tony Neelankavil, the Auxiliary Bishop-elect of Trichur, was born on 23 July 1967 as the eldest son among the five children of Chevalier N.A Ouseph and Mrs. T.J Mary.  He belongs to Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral Church, Trichur. The bishop-elect had his school education at St. Raphael’s Lower Primary School, Ollur and Latin Convent U.P. School, Trichur and Model High School, Trichur. After having completed his Pre-Degree Course at St. Thomas College, Trichur, he joined St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Trichur in 1984.  He completed his philosophical and theological studies at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor and was ordained priest on 27 December 1993 by Archbishop Mar Joseph Kundukulam.  After his ordination he was appointed Assistant Parish Priest at St. Antony's Forane Church, Ollur and St. Thomas Forane Church, Palayoor.  In the year 1995, the bishop-elect was sent to Leuven for Higher Studies in Catholic University, Leuven and obtained a licentiate and doctorate in Theology. After the completion of his studies, in the year 2002, he was appointed Animator of Theology Students, Spiritual Father, Lecturer and Dean of Studies at Marymatha Major Seminary, Trichur.  In March 2017, he was appointed Rector of the same Seminary.  While serving in the Major Seminary, Bishop-elect Fr. Tony was Pro- Vicar of St. Thomas Church, Manjakunnu, and Spiritual Director of St. Martha Sisters, Sisters of Charity and Sisters of Nirmala Dasikal.  He also served as chaplain of Jesus Fraternity (Prison ministry) at Special Sub-Jail, Trichur.  The Bishop-elect is a well-known orator, writer and theologian.  He is proficient in Malayalam, English, German.

Fr. Joseph Pamplany, the Auxilairy Bishop-elect of Tellicherry, was born on 3 December 1969 as the fifth son among the seven children of Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Mary Pamplany.  He belongs to St. Sebastian’s Church, Charal. The bishop-elect had his lower primary school education at St. Sebastian’s School, Charal and upper primary, high school education at St. Thomas’ School, Kilianthara. After having completed his Pre-Degree Course at Nirmalagiri College and graduation from Kerala University, he joined St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary, Tellicherry.  He completed his philosophical and theological studies at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye and was ordained priest on 30 December 1997 by Archbishop George Valiamattam.  After ordination he was appointed Assistant Parish Priest at Peravoor, and Parish priest  at Deepagiri Parish.  In the year 2001, the bishop-elect was sent to Leuven for Higher Studies in Catholic University, Leuven and obtained a licentiate and doctorate in Biblical Theology. After the completion of his studies, in the year 2006, he was appointed director of the Bible Apostolate of the Archeparchy of Tellicherry.  Bishop-elect Fr. Joseph, Founder of Alfa Institute, is also visiting professor at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye, Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kunnoth and St. Peter’s, Bangalore.   The bishop-elect is a well-known theologian, retreat preacher and author of a number of books.  At present, he is Syncellus of the Archeparchy of Tellicherry.  He is proficient in Malayalam, English, German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.

Fr. Sebastian Vaniyapurackal, the Curia Bishop-elect, was born as the eighth child of Vaniyapurackal V.M. Thomas and Late Mrs. Eliamma on 29 March 1967.  He belongs to Nirmalagiri Parish of the Eparchy of Kanjirapally.  Having completed his school education from St. Louis L.P. School, Mundakayam and St. Joseph High School, Peruvanthanam, Fr. Sebastian joined Mary Matha Minor Seminary, Podimattam in 1982 for his priestly formation. He did his philosophical and theological studies at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor.  He was ordained priest on 30 December 1992 by Bishop Mathew Vattakuzhy. After ordination, he served as Assistant Parish Priest at St. George’s Forane Church, Kattappana. In 1995 he was appointed Director, Yuvadeepti, Kanjhirapally. He was sent for Higher Studies in Rome in 2000 and obtained Doctorate in Canon Law from Holy Cross University, Rome. After his return, Fr. Sebastian served as the Judicial Vicar of the Eparchy, Parish Priest of Koratty, Poomattam, Chennakkunnu and Mulamkunnu and as the Defender of the Bond at the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Tribunal, Kakkanad. He was also teaching in the Benedictine Ashram, Kappad, Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kunnoth and Nirmala Theological College, Podimattam. He was elected Curia Bishop while serving as Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Vice Chancellor at Mount St. Thomas.  Besides Malayalam, Fr. Sebastian is proficient in English, Italian and German.

Fr Vaniyapurackal is the second curia bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church. The See was vacant from the year 2014 onwards, when Bishop Bosco Puthur, the first Curia Bishop, was transferred to the newly erected St Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Melbourne in Australia.

The Titular Sees of the Bishop-elects are: 1. Fr. Sebastian Vaniyapurackal (Troina), Fr. Tony Neelankavial ( MASUCCABA) and Fr. Joseph Pamplany (NUMLULI). The dates of the Episcopal ordinations of the Bishops-elect will be decided later. 

With the appointment of the Bishops-elect, the total number of the bishops of Syro-Malabar Church becomes 61, out of which 16 are bishops emeriti (retired bishops) and 10 are auxiliary bishops.  There are 32 Syro-Malabar Eparchies all over the world. 29 are in India and 3 are abroad (Chicago, Melbourne, Great Britain). Besides, there is an Exarchate in Canada and three Apostolic Visitations in India, New Zealand and Europe.  

 

Kakkanad                                                                                Fr. Antony Kollannur

01 September 2017                                                                 Major Archiepiscopal Chancellor 

Copyright 2012-2015 @ SMCIM