Pope Francis to the Bishops: Be in the Midst of Your Flock

Pope Francis to the Bishops: Be in the Midst of Your Flock

Mar Jose Puthenveettil, Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Ankamaly Archdiocese

Bishop Mar Jose Puthenveettil

Appointment Order

Mar Jose Puthenveettil

In the light of the Communication received from the Apostolic Nunciature, I wish to inform you that the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church, gathered at Mount St. Thomas, Kerala, having received prior Papal Assent according to CCEO can. 184, canonically elected to the office of Auxiliary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly Rev. Fr. Jose Puthenveettil, till now Syncellus of the same Archeparchy. The newly elected Auxiliary Bishop succeeds Right Rev. Thomas Chakiath, whose resignation from the same office was accepted by the Synod according to CCEO 210 § 1. The Holy Father Pope Francis has assigned to the Auxiliary Bishop-Elect the Titular See of Rusubbicari.

This Ecclesiastical Provision was made public in Rome on Friday, 23rd August, 2013, at noon local time, corresponding to 15:30 hours, Indian Standard Time.

Episcopal Ordination on 21-09-2013

Mar Jose Puthenveettil Episcopal Orination

Mgr. Jose Puthenveettil was ordained bishop by His Beatitude George Cardinal Alencherry with Archbishop George Valiamattam of Tellicherry and Bishop Sebastian Adaynathrath, Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly as co-consecrators during the ceremony today that started at 2.30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica, Ernakulam. More than 20 Bishops participated in the ceremony. The ceremony began with the reading of the Major ARchiepiscopal Letter of Canonical Provision in Englishn by Fr. Antony Kollannur, the Major Archiepiscopal Chancellor and in Malayalam by Fr. Varghese Pottackal, the Chancellor of the Arch Eparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly. Archbishop Andrews Thazhath preached the homily. After the homily, His Excellency Salvatore Pennacchio, the Apostolic Nuncio felicitated the Mgr. Jose Puthenveettil on behalf of the Holy Father and presented a gift to him. There were a large number of priests, sisters and lay faithful participating. After the Episcopal Ordination, the new Bishop concelebrated the Holy Qurbana. At the conclusion of the Qurbana, the new Bishop assumed his office as the Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly. This was followed by a public meeting to felicitate the new Bishop in which Mr. K.V. Thomas, Honourable Union Minister for food, Mr. Oommen Chandy, honorable Chief Minsiter of Kerala and number of civil and ecclesiastical dignitaries participated.

Mar Jose Puthenveetil Episcopal OrinationBishop Mar Jose Puthenveetil

Reception to Mar Puthenveettil

Mar Puthenveettil with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy

Mar Puthenveettil

Episcopal Ordination of Mar George Madathikandathil, Bishop of Kothamangalam

Episcopal Ordination of Mar George Madathikandathil, Bishop of Kothamangalam

Moto: “സ്നേഹം ഒരിക്കലും അവസാനിക്കുന്നില്ല”  “Love Never Ends” (I Cor 13, 08)

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More on Diocese / Eparchy of Kothamangalam

Mar George Madathikandathil, Bishop of Kothamangalam മാര്‍ ജോര്‍ജ്ജ് മഠത്തിക്കണ്ടത്തില്‍

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Mar George Madathikandathil, Bishop of Kothamangalam

അഭിവന്ദ്യ മാര്‍ ജോര്‍ജ്ജ് മഠത്തിക്കണ്ടത്തില്‍ പിതാവ്, കോതമംഗലം രൂപതയുടെ പുതിയ അമരക്കാരന്‍  

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News: Fr George Madathikandathil is new Bishop of Kothamangalam Diocese

Fr George Madathikandathil has been appointed the new Bishop of the Diocese of Kothamangalam. He succeeds Mar George Punnakkottil, who is retiring from administrative responsibilities after 36 years of service.

The new bishop was elected at the Bishops’ Synod being held at Mount St Thomas, the head headquarters of the Syro-Malabar Church. The order appointing Fr Madathikandathil was read out by Cardinal Mar George Alancherry at a small function, which was attended by bishops, priests, nuns and leaders of Laity organisations. The appointment order was simultaneously read out at Vatican. Election  of the new Bishop has been endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI.

Fr Madathikandathil, 57, is presently serving at the St Mary’s Forane Church, Arakuzha. He had earlier served as a Rector of Major Seminary, Vadavathoor.

Born to Madathikandathil Mathew and Eliyamma, of Purapuzha, near Thodupuzha, on May 9, 1957, he joined the seminary in 1971. He was ordained by Mar George Punnakkottil in 1980.

He left for Rome for higher studies in 1984. After securing a doctorate from Oriental Institute, Rome, he returned to Kerala in 1990. Back home, after higher studies, he served as priest at Bethel parishes and a Judge at the Ecclesiastical Court of the Diocese of Kothamangalam.

He had been the parish priest at Njarakkal, teacher and Vice-Rector of the Vadavathoor seminary. He was appointed the parish priest of St Mary’s Forane Church, Arakuzha, in 2010.


Kothamangalam Diocese , New Bishop , Fr. George Madathikandathil

The Syro-Malabar Church has named Father George Madathikandathil as the new bishop of the Kothamangalam diocese in Kerala with papal approval.

The appointment was made public in Rome on Thursday 4:30 (IST) and in Mount St. Thomas, the Sryo-Malabar Church headquarters, in Kochi.

The Synod of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church selected the new bishop from a panel of names approved by the Vatican for the post.

Fr. Madathikandathil succeeds Bishop George Punnakottil, who resigned after serving the diocese for 36 years. The new bishop is the third leader of the diocese.

The consecration of the new bishop is scheduled for Feb.9.

The diocese has total Catholic population of 226,900 people. It was bifurcated to form Idukki diocese.

Kerala Conference of Major Superiors (KCMS)

KCMS (Kerala Conference of Major Superiors)

Kerala Conference of Major Superiors (KCMS) is the Kerala Regional body of CRI (Conference of Religious India). KCMS intends not only the unity among the Catholic Religious Congregations and Institutions of Kerala but also stands for the cooperation and coordination between the Local Hierarchs and the Diocesan Clergy. It has been constituted for this purpose on 15th September 1971.

There are 355 Religious Congregations and 470 Major Superiors in Kerala: 267 women Religious Congregations, 71 Priestly Religious Congregations and 17 Brothers Congregations. Altogether there are 1,17,000 religious in Kerala. 40,000 religious work in Kerala. 60,000 work in other Indian states and 26,000 work abroad. Although Kerala accounts for only 1% of the total area of India and contains about 3% of the country’s population, it provides more than 75% of Indian religious, clergy and missionaries. Though this statistics may give us a sense of joy, due to the erosion of spiritual and religious values in religious communities and due to the penetration of materialism, secularism and individualism in our society, at present, there is an alarming decrease in religious vocations in Kerala. The situation is so drastic that many of the postulant, aspirant and novitiate houses of women religious are empty. At this juncture, we the Kerala Conference of Major Superiors (KCMS) have taken a firm resolution to revitalize KCMS and to strengthen the bond between KCBC and KCMS to renew the face of the Church.

KCMS Expreses its immense gratitude towards all  Bishops in Kerala, who always guide and inspire us. KCMS is also grateful to all  Major Superiors in Kerala who actively participate in all its meetings and cooperate well with all its activities.



PB No. 2251


Cochin – 682 025

Kerala, India

Mobile: 09446520519

Email: kcmscrip@yahoo.com , crikcms@live.in, crikcms@gmail.com

Blog site: http://crikcms.wordpress.com

Fishers of Men: Priestly Life and Vocations Summit

Fishers of Men: Priestly Life and Vocations Summit


Letter from Bishop Blase J. Cupich

Priests: Men of Word, Sacrament and Initiation”

“Fishers of Men” Trailer
RealPlayer | Windows Media Player

Table of Contents
.pdf | .doc

Introduction and Overview
.pdf | .doc



Appendix A: PowerPoint I for Presbyteral Council
.pdf | .ppt

Appendix B: Timeline for Priestly Life and Vocations Summit
.pdf | .doc

Appendix C: Sample Letter I: From Bishop to Priests
.pdf | .doc

Appendix D: Sample Letter II: To Priests to be Interviewed
.pdf | .doc

Appendix E: Interview Questions
.pdf | .doc

Appendix F: PowerPoint II: Sample of Preist Responses
.pdf | .ppt

Appendix G: PowerPoint III: Priestly Life and Vocations Summit Presentation
.pdf | .ppt

Appendix H: PowerPoint IV: Diocesan Sample
.pdf | .ppt

Appendix I: Schedule
.pdf | .doc

Appendix J: Schedule & Notes
.pdf | .doc

Appendix K: Qualities and Characteristics of a Prospective Priesthood Candidate
.pdf | .doc

Appendix L: Follow-up Responses & Sign-up Sheet
.pdf | .doc

Appendix M: Evaluation Form
.pdf | .doc



Resource A: Articles Regarding Priestly Vocation Efforts
.pdf | .doc

Resource B: Words of Pope John Paul II Inviting Young Men
.pdf | .doc

Resource C: Letter of Invitation to High School Students
.pdf | .doc

Resource D: Discernment Information
.pdf | .doc





CBCI Centre, 1, Ashok Place, Near Goledakkhana, New Delhi-110001, India

Tel: 011-29961058(O),  09868618613(M); Email:  comwomencbci@gmail.com

    Chairman:    Most Rev. Dominic Lumon, Archbishop of Imphal,                     Members: Most Rev. Mathew Anikuzhikattil, Bishop of Idukki

Secretary:    Sr. Helen Saldanha, SSpS                                                 Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Bishop of Pathamthitta


Date: 7th August 2012

Subject: Prayer and Reflection for the commemoration of Girl Child Day -8th September 2012

Your Eminence, Your Grace, Your Excellency, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters

Greetings from CBCI Office for Women!

On the 8th September, as we commemorate the birthday of Mother Mary the Church invites us to celebrate the Girl Child Day. I am happy to forward a ‘Prayer and Reflection’ to you, prepared by CBCI Office For Women, with the hope that it will help us in our celebration of the event.

Every child is a precious gift. In celebrating the Girl Child Day the Church is calling us once again to commit ourselves to the dignity of the Girl children. Though there are differences from place to place and culture to culture we all know that girl children are less welcome in Indian society. It is a challenge for all of us as we face the death-promoting forces in our society that wish to eliminate human lives specially that of girl children.

On this Girl Child Day, let us pray and make plans to change this situation and promote the acceptance of girl children as a gift of God to the family and humanity.

In Christ Jesus,

+Archbishop Dominic Lumon

Archbishop of Imphal

Chairman CBCI office for Women


Prayer and Reflection



Today, the birthday of our Beloved Mother Mary! The Church in India dedicates this day to the Girl Child.  Where would we be without Mother Mary! Where would we be if our mother was not allowed to be born? Every girl is a precious gift. She is born in the image and likeness of God, equal in dignity as much as a boy.  However we live in a culture where sons are preferred over daughters. The elimination, discrimination and atrocities meted out to girl children must be condemned as such crimes disfigure the image and likeness of God in human persons.  Empowering girls recognizing their potentials bring changes in the world. During this prayer, we remember all those millions of missing girls who were murdered before and after their birth. We thank God for every girl child in our family, neighbourhood, parishes, institutions and society.


Prayer for forgiveness:

Jesus, forgive us for our indifference in the face of imbalanced sex ratio caused by brutal murders of girl children

Response: LORD, heal us of our indifference and challenge us to be your messengers of justice

Jesus, forgive us for our insensitivity towards the increasing crimes against children and women that we witness daily.

Response: LORD, heal us of our insensitivity and challenge us to be your messengers of hope.

Jesus, forgive us for our lack of courage to stand for the dignity and rights of children.

Response: LORD, heal us of our fears and challenge us to be your messengers of life.

Readings for reflection: 

Prayers of the Faithful:

Leader: Brothers and Sisters we are called to fill our world with God’s love and justice. Let us pray for our Church and society through the powerful intercession of Mary our Mother.

Our response will be: God of Life, hear our prayer

. 1.   For our Church and its leaders, that they may achieve the desired results envisaged in the Gender Policy of the Catholic Church in India through every parish cells. Let us pray.

2.   For the young girls that they may recognize their innate power to empower themselves and others. Let us pray.

3.   For all the faithful that we help create a country where both girls and boys can live and grow with equal opportunities through education and empowerment. Let us pray.

4.   For the governments that it may take strong steps to put an end to the growing violence and atrocities against the girl child through proper enactments and implementation of laws. Let us pray.

5.   For all the families in this parish that they may be homes of love, sharing, mutual respect and equality. Let us pray.

6. For the children of our world, the sick, disabled or ostracized due to sickness like HIV/AIDS that they may feel your healing touch in the environment they live in. Let us pray.

7.   For the children on the street and those, forced into child labour in houses, institutions and factories that their rights and wellbeing be protected through proper implementation of laws. Let us pray.

8.   For children who are victims of abuse or human trafficking, that they may be helped to rebuild their lives again. Let us pray.

9.   For our parish community that we may have the courage to address the issue of missing girls in various forums and work towards the change of mindset. Let us pray. 

(Pause for personal intentions)

Leader: God of Life and Compassion, hear our prayers and strengthen us your people to celebrate the gift of every child. Help us to bring a healing touch to children who are afraid and take a step forward towards protecting them. We make this prayer through Mary, and her son Jesus, who showed us just how precious a girl child can be, Amen.

Thoughts for shared reflection:

The Olympics is the most watched multi sporting event in the world. What is noteworthy is the rise of Indian women in the field of sports, in particular the rise of Saina Nehwal, a Haryanvi girl, where the sex ratio is the lowest; and Mary Kom from Manipur, one of the 7 States of the Northeast India, that is deprived of the nation’s attention it deserves. Both these women have made India proud winning Bronze medals in Olympics 2012.

Behind the stories of both these women, lies a story of grit, determination and discipline that very few in the country can boast of. It also reflects the struggles they would have encountered fighting despite the system and society at large.  This is what Saina has to say:  “I was really surprised when I was told that my grandmother did not come to see me till a month after my birth. I was born seven years after my only sister and my birth was a big disappointment for her. In it there is a message that I understand very well now about the discrimination against the girl child. My uncles and other relatives are against encouraging girls in every aspect and that includes sports. I hardly interact with them. My parents are more open. They back me all the way.”  (Saina Nehwal in her interview to The Times of India in 2010)

Yes, it is the family support they received that made their success possible. Behind Saina were her parents who supported her to pursue her goal. And in the case of Mary Kom, a mother of two young children, it was her husband who has been the pillar of strength in helping her pursue her dreams. He takes care of the children, the house and is also a supporting partner for the 5-time world champion.

Connecting Girls and Empowering Futures was the theme of International Women’s Day 2012. To bring out the best in girls one needs to go beyond the cultural bias that is deeply rooted in our society. Discrimination against girls begins in the womb itself and is motivated by socially accepted devaluation of females. The problem of a declining sex ratio is located at the complex interface of the status of women in Indian society, patriarchal social mores and prejudice, spread and misuse of medical technology, the changing aspirations of urban and rural society, the unprecedented rise of a consumer culture, changes in family structure and reproductive decision-making, as well as other factors, and requires a complex but coherent and holistic national response at multiple levels by multiple stakeholders. India’s current responses, consisting in the main of implementation of the Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (prohibition of sex selection) Act, 1994, a range of ad-hoc media messages on the girl child, and conditional cash transfer schemes, fall short of such a holistic vision for action.

A recent study by UN says, ‘India is the worst place for women among G20 countries’. The abnormal sex ratio is alarming and it has led to imbalance in the society. Studies show that women and girls from the northeast are trafficked to northern India as sex slaves. The sex ratio is 940 women for 1000 men according to 2011census of India. Still worse is the falling sex ratio among 0-6 years which dropped from 927 in 2001 to 914 girls for 1000 boys in 2011. United Nations Children’s Fund estimated that up to 50 million girls are missing from India’s population because of sex selection abortions. Female feticide, killing of the female infants for want of a son, dowry related harassments and murders, rape, sexual abuse, witch-hunting, increasing domestic violence, desertion, honour killings, and other forms of violence against women show that India has a sound patriarchal society, strengthened by the pillars of caste and class. India ranks 129 out of 146 countries on Gender Inequality Index. Afghanistan is the only country that is ranked below India in South Asia (UN Report on Gender Inequality Index 2011).

What can we do?

We can take pride that the Catholic community has a favourable sex ratio. The educational status among females is also better. The Catholic Church in India has contributed towards the humanization of the society through its educational, health-care outreach and socio-economic interventions.

As followers of Christ and as citizens of our country, we must spread the message of equality between girls and boys concretely by sensitization and awareness programmes. India’s young population be specifically targeted through tools of mass media, event based advocacy, and reaching out to them through schools, colleges, and similar networks. Holding of competitions and participation in campaigns for promoting the rights and dignity of the girl children, analyzing with the young the personal experiences, events and occurrences reported in the media, and enhancing their ability to stand for their rights with self confidence are some of the ways by which we can make a difference.  In the context of great social change taking place in India, Advocacy strategy would need to identify fault lines where devaluation of women and conformity to traditional roles.

The Gender Policy of the Catholic Church of India 2010 prioritizes the dignity and survival of the girl child as one of the special areas of concern. It clearly shows us the way to address this problem:


The Church’s love for children stems from Christ’s teachings and example. Children hold the hope for the future and must be nurtured. They form one of the largest vulnerable groups in society and hence the Constitution of India has laid special emphasis on their well being and protection.


Among children, the girl child is particularly vulnerable. In recognition of this, international and national communities have special provisions for the development of the girl child and adolescent girls, particularly with regard to their survival, health, nutrition, education, protection and participation in family and society. The Church supports and commits herself to these ideals.



  • All forms of discrimination and violation of the rights of the girl child needs to be eliminated, within and outside the family.
  • Strictly enforce laws against prenatal sex selection, female foeticide, female infanticide, child marriage, child abuse, child prostitution, child trafficking and child labour.
  • Promote girl child’s right to life, education, nutrition, health and development.
  • Protect the girl child from discriminatory neglect and all forms of abuse including sexual abuse.
  • Project a positive image of the girl child among girls themselves, boys, parents, teachers and society at large
  • Church institution should avoid gender stereotyping in extra-curricular activities, and provide training in skills, use of playgrounds, choice of optional subjects, handling of sexual harassment/abuse issues, gender profile of decision-making bodies including parent-teacher associations.
  • Promote awareness about the government schemes for the girl child through homilies, dispensaries, hospitals, health centers, grass-root social and educational institutions and catechism classes.

Let us be the instruments of change to give each girl the dignity she deserves specially the Right to Live.                         


Every Child is Precious!

St Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor

Vadavathoor Seminary
Vadavathoor Seminary

The St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary was formally established by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches through its letter dated April 26, l962 and it was formally inaugurated and began functioning on July 3, l962. It is primarily intended for the education and formation of the seminarians of the Syro-Malabar dioceses. It is also open to the students of Syro-Malankara and Latin dioceses and of religious congregations. The Seminary is subject to the authority and control of the Syro-Malabar Bishops’ Synod, which exercises its authority through a Synodal Commission of Bishops.


The seminary aims at training priests primarily of the Syro-Malabar Church in the patrimony of Mar Thoma, the Apostle and Founder of the Church keeping up with the spirit of the time.  It fosters the human, spiritual, academic and pastoral formation of its seminarians.

Seminary Chapel, Vadavathoor

Spiritual Life

Celebration of the Divine Praises, the Holy Qurbana and the recitation of the Rosary forms part of the daily time table.  Special attention is given to the daily meditation of the Word of God and the the lectio divina in common. Students draw adequate spiritual benefit from regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and from the earnest participation in recollections and retreats, observance of fast and abstinence. Spiritual instructions and conferences, particularly individual conferences and guidance are help in their spiritual journey during the formative years. Seminary has four resident spiritual directors. Seminarians are encouraged to find time for personal prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament at the Adoration Chapel.  The monthly recollections and the Annual retreats provide for their spiritual growth.

Paurastya Vidyapitham

Paurastya Vidyapitham is the local name given to the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Religious Studies which is an autonomous faculty of Theology  erected at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, Kottayam. This  Seminary has been established by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches through the letter No. 260 / 59, dated April 26, 1962. It is primarily intended for the education and formation of the seminarians of  all the Syro – Malabar Eparchies and also of the Syro- Malankara Eparchies. It is also open to all the Eparchies of the other Churches and in particular of the Latin Church of Kerala for sending their seminarians. The Seminary is subject to the authority and control of the Syro – Malabar Bishop’s Synod, which exercises its authority through a specially elected Synodal Commission.

By a decree of the Congregation for the Catholic Education Prot. No. 674/72/13, the Theological Department of the Seminary was affiliated to the Faculty of Oriental Ecclesiastical Sciences at the Pontifical Oriental Institute Rome on the 21st of February 1973. After an experimental period of 4 years, the affiliation was renewed and extended by the letter of the Congregation for the Catholic Education, dated April 10, 1977. Then realizing the important role of this seminary in the life of the Oriental Churches of India and taking into account its steady growth in the past years the Congregation for Catholic Education erected its academic section into an independent Theological Faculty with right to confer the degrees of B. Th. (Bachelor of Theology), M. Th. (Master of Theology) and D. Th. (Doctor of Theology) through the decree “Perinisigne Fidei Christianae Testimonium” on July 3, 1982 on the Feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle of India.

On August 15, 1985 the Department of Philosophy at this Faculty was given the power to confer the degree of B. Ph. (B.A. in Philosophy). The Institute was authorized officially to commence the Doctoral Course by the letter of the Congregation for the Catholic Education dated November 28, 1986.

General Orientation of the Institute

The programme of formation at this Institute aims at the development of fully integrated priestly personality, and therefore takes into account the human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral and missionary dimensions of priestly formation. With this end in view the programme of studies co-ordinates the fields of Humanities, Philosophy, Theology, Bible and Eastern Christian Studies in such a way as to present the Mystery of Christ harmoniously to the students.

The specific aims of the Institute are the following:

  •  To cultivate and promote through scientific research the patrimony of Christian wisdom of both East and West with special emphasis on Biblical, Patristic, Oriental, Syrian and Indian traditions.
  •  To enunciate systematically the truths contained in the Biblical, Patristic, Liturgical and Spiritual traditions of Eastern Ecclesiastical heritage and to present them to the people of the present day in a manner adapted to the local cultural context.
  •  To impart a Theological and Pastoral formation to the candidates for priesthood.
  • To train its students to a level of high qualification in the Sacred Sciences and allied subjects according to Catholic doctrine, to prepare them properly to face their tasks in the various fields of apostolate and to promote the continuing permanent education of the Ministers of the Church as well as other sections of the people of God.
  •  To Promote the study and investigation of the writings of the Oriental Fathers and writers and of the Theological, Spiritual, Liturgical and Disciplinary heritage of the Oriental Churches of India.
  •  To promote ecumenical studies and investigate traditions of the various Christian Churches with special reference to the actual situation of India.

Click here for the Official Site of the Seminary