Pala Diocese  

 

The Syrian Christians of Pala owe their faith to St. Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ who came down to Kerala. Though the diocese is only half a century old (July 25, 1950), some of the Churches trace its origin to the earlier centuries. Pala diocese comprises of Meenachil Taluk, and a few villages of Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam districts. Pala had contacts with other continents from time immemorial. In 1663, an Armenian is said to have influenced the construction of the Lalam (old ) church. Before Pala church was built in 1002, Aruvithura used to be the Parish. It is believed that St. Thomas traveled through the then navigable Meenachil river and reached Aruvithura and Cherpunkal.

Rev. Mar. Sebastian Vayalil

The first Bishop of Pala Diocese took charge on Jan 4, 1951. Mar Sebastian was born as the 6th child of Devasia and Thresiamma Vayalil. The family's roots in Vayalilkombil - one of the few families that were instrumental in establishing the Pala church. He had his primary education in Parappally. Later, studied in St. Thomas High School Pala, St. Joseph College, Trichur, S.B. College Changanacherry, Training College Thiruvananthapuram and Government College Thiruvananthapuram.

He joined the seminary in 1928 after completing B.A. and was ordained on 21 Dec. 1935. His first assignment, prior to becoming Bishop, was that of Assistant Manager and a teacher of St. Thomas School. Later, he was appointed Head master of the Pala St. Thomas Training School. He served as the chairman of the civil committee formed for establishing St. Thomas College.  Mar Sebastian was honoured with LLD degree by Depaul University Chicago for his outstanding performance in education. He retired from active life on 25 March 1981 handing over the mantle to the Auxiliary Bishop.

Mar Joseph Pallickaparambil

Mar Joseph Pallickaparambil was appointed Auxiliary Bishop on 15 August 1973. Born in Mutholapuram on 10th  April 1927, he studied at Mutholapuram, Elanji, Vazhakulam and Mannanam High Schools, S. B. college, St. Joseph Trichur (B.A Economics) Layola Madras (M.A.) and joined seminary in 1949. He was ordained at Rome on 23 Nov. 1958. He took his Ph.D. later.  He served as vice Rector of Malabar College, Rome and later was appointed professor of Philosophy at Vadavathoor Seminary in 1962. In 1965 he was appointed the Vice Rector of the Progagantha College, Rome. He came back to India to assume charge as Rector of the Vadavathoor Seminary.

  

 Mar Joseph Kallarangatt
The present Bishop of Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt was born on 27 January 1956 at Kayyoor. After his school studies, he joined the Good Shepherd Minor Seminary, Karoor for the ecclesiastical studies. He was ordained priest on 2 January 1982. After having served as the assistant parish priest at Aruvithura and Ramapuram, he was sent to Rome for higher studies in 1984. He secured his doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University, Rome. Then he started teaching at the St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary Vadavathoor. Following the resignation of His Excellency Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil, he was appointed as the third Bishop of Palai on 18th March 2004, while serving as the president of the Paurastya Vidyapitam. He was ordained Bishop by His Grace Mar Joseph Powathil and was enthroned by His Beatitude Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil on 2 May 2004 at the St. Thomas College grounds, Palai.

 



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