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Diocese of Kannur Gets a New Bishop
Update on:01-Feb-2014

Vatican City: Pope Francis on Saturday appointed Father Alex Joseph Vadakumthala, vicar general of Verapoly archdiocese, as the new bishop of Kannur, Kerala, southern India.

The northernmost diocese in Kerala has been without a bishop since May 15, 2012, following the transfer of Bishop Varghese Chakkalakal to Calicut, Vatican Radio reported.

Father Alex was born on June 14, 1959, at Maradu- Panangad in Kerala’s Ernakulam district.

He began his studies in Panangad then continued to St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary in Ernakulam. He completed Philosophy and Theology at Papal Seminary Pune. He was ordained a priest in1984 at the cathedral of Verapoly.

The bishop-elect served as the secretary of the Commission for Health under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) for ten years starting 1999.

Before his appointment as the vicar general, he assisted the Chancellor of Verapoly archdiocese and directed Communications Arts Cochin. He was also the project director for the CBCI Society of Medical Education in North India, based at Ranchi, Jharkhand.

He started his priestly life as the assistant priest in Verapoly cathedral. He was parish priest of St. Philomena’s Church, Koonamavu, and studied doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical Urban University during 1988-1992.

He also served as the official of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care for six year from 1993.

Bishop-elect Vadakumthala also worked as lecturer and attorney at St. Joseph ‘s Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye

He was also the president of the Canon Law Society of India during 2009-2013.

Kannur diocese was created in 1998 as a suffragan of Verapoly archdiocese.

It covers 4,988 square kilometers where some 2.772 million people live, including 50,768 are Catholics. Its 59 parishes are served by 122 priests (46 diocesan and 76 religious), 112 religious brothers, 580 sisters and 16 major seminarians.

Source: Matters India


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