Mar Raphael Thattil - Major ArchbishopToggle

His Beatitude Mar Raphael Thattil was born to Ouseph and Thresia on 21 April 1956 and was baptized on 30 April 1956 in Thrissur. He belongs to the Parish of Our Lady of Dolours Basilica, Thrissur. Lazar (late), Thomas, Baby (late) Francis, Sosannam, Joy and John, are his brothers and sisters. After his primary education at St. Thomas College HS, Thrissur, he joined St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Thope on 04 July 1971. He completed his study of Philosophy and Theology in St. Thomas Ap. Seminary Kottayam in 1980. He was ordained by Mar Joseph Kundukulam in Thrissur Dolours Basilica on 21 December 1980. He did his higher studies in Rome and took doctorate in Oriental Canon Law. His thesis was on “Clerical Formation in the Syro Malabar Church: A Historico-Juridical Study”.

After his ordination he served as Asst. Vicar, Aranattukara (1981-82), Fr. Prefect & Asst. Procurator, St. Mary’s Minor Seminary (1982-83), Acting Vicar, Koonammoochy (1983), Acting Vicar, Cherumkuzhy (1983). On returning back from Rome, he served in the Archbishop’s house as Vice Chancellor, Chancellor, Adj. Judicial Vicar, Judge and later as Syncellus and Proto-Syncellus. He was the director of DBCLC & Catechism (1992-1995). On 20 January1998, he was appointed as the project officer of the new Mary Matha Major Seminary, after a few months appointed as the first Rector of the Mary Matha Seminary (1998-2006). He also worked as president and member of many a committees and commissions.

He was ordained as Bishop on 10 April 2010 and appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Trichur and Titular Bishop of Bruni. In 2014, he was appointed as Apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malabar faithful residing outside the territorium proprium. Pope Francis named him the first Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Shamshabad on 10 October 2017 and he was installed on 7 January 2018.

The Holy Father Pope Francis granted the confirmation, requested in accordance with canon 153 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches by Mar Raphael Thattil (67), Bishop of Shamashabad who was canonically elected Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church in the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, meeting held at Mount Saint Thomas, Kakkanad, Kochi, Kerala, India. The installation of the Major Archbishop held at 2.30 pm on Thursday, 11 January 2024, at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia of the Syro-Malabar Church, Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad.

Mar George Cardinal Alencherry

Mar George Cardinal Alencherry (Mar Geevarghese Bava), is the current Major archbishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamali. He was created a Cardinal of the Catholic Church and the titular Archpriest of San Bernardo alle Terme in Rome on 18 February 2012 in Rome. Elected by the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Holy Synod, and ratified by Pope Benedict XVI, Mar George Allencherry is the current Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church succeeding Mar Varkey Vithayathil.

Mar George Cardinal Alencherry (Mar Geevarghese Bava) was born on 19 April 1945 in the parish of Thuruthy in the from archdiocese of Changancherry as the sixth child of the ten children of Mr. Philipose and Mary Alencherry of whom two others are priests (Fr. Jose Alencherry and Fr. Francis Alencherry, SDB) and one, a religious sister Sr.Cherupushpam, S.A.B.S.). Geevarghese is his baptismal name. Mar Alencherry had his primary schooling at St Mary's School, Thuruthy and secondary education at St Berchman’s High School, Changanacherry. He began his priestly formation in 1961 at the archdiocesan minor seminary at Parel, Changanacherry. While he pursued his studies in the minor seminary, he obtained his BA in economics with second rank from St Berchman's College. After the minor seminary studies he was sent to St Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Aluva where he completed his philosophical and theological studies.

On 18 December 1972 Cardinal Mar Antony Padiyara, the then archbishop of Chanagancherry, ordained him priest at Marthu Mariyam Church, Thuruthy, for the archdiocese of Changanacherry. Later he continued his higher studies at the Pontifical Institute of Theology and Philosophy from where he obtained his master’s degree in first rank. While Mar Alencherry was pursuing higher studies at Aluva he served also as vicar of the filial church at Periyarmugham in the archdiocese of Ernakulam‐Angamaly. After completion of studies at Aluva, Alencherry was appointed as assistant vicar at the Cathedral church of Changanacherry and Director of the Archdiocesan Faith Formation department. Thereafter he served three years as secretary of the Commission for Catechism of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC). After his tenure in KCBC he was sent to Paris for higher studies. There he pursued his studies at Sorbonne University and the Catholic Institute from where he obtained his doctorate in biblical theology. On returning to India in 1986, Alencherry was appointed director of the pastoral Oriental Centre (POC) at Palarivattom and deputy secretary of KCBC. He served the Church in Kerala in that capacity until 1993. Simultaneously he had served also as professor at St Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor. He continued to teach at Vadavathoor until 1997. From 1994 to 1996 he was the protosyncellus of the metropolitan of Changanacherry.