Appointment of Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil as Archbishop of Verapoly (31-10-2016)

His Holiness Pope Francis on Monday 31 October 2016 appointed Bishop Joseph (Joy) Kalathiparambil (64) the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants as the Archbishop of Verapoly, Kerala, India. This provision was made public in Rome on Monday, 31 October 2016, at noon local time, corresponding to 15:30 hours, Indian Standard Time.

Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil was born on 6 October 1952 in Vaduthala, in Verapoly Archdiocese. He was ordained priest on 13 March 1978 by Archbishop Joseph Kelanthara. He is specialized in Canon Law from Rome and was appointed Vice Rector of Collegio San Paolo in Rome from 1984 to 1989. Later he moved back to Kerala and was appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Verapoly on 15 August 1989. He served as the Chancellor for the Archdiocese from 1989 to 1996.

He was granted the title of Chaplain of His Holiness, Monsignor, in 1989 by Pope St. John Paul II. On 6 November 1996, he was appointed the Vicar General of Archdiocese. He was advanced to the papal Prelacy of Honour on 31 January 2001. He served as the Vicar-General of the Archdiocese from 1996 to 2002. He was nominated Bishop of Calicut on 19 April 2002 and was ordained bishop on 19 May 2002. He served as the Bishop of Calicut for 9 years and was then appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants on 22 February 2011. On 5 March 2011 he was also appointed as a Member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Most Rev. Joseph Kalathiparambil is the 9th Archbishop of Verapoly. He is a priest for 38 years and Bishop for 14 years.

The Archdiocese of Verapoly has its origin in 1657, Pope Alexander VII eructed the Malabar Vicariate and appointed Joseph Sebastiani as Vicar Apostolic. On 13 March 1709 by a Brief of Pope Clement XI Malabar Vicariate was suppressed and the Vicariate of Verapoly took its place with Bishop Angelo Francisco as its first Vicar Apostolic. When by the famous Apostolic Letter “Humanae Salutis Auctor” of Leo XIII dated 1 September 1886, the Hierarchy of India was established, the Vicariate of Verapoly was raised to the status of an Archdiocese with the Most Rev. Dr. Leonard Mellano of St. Louis O.C.D. as its first Archbishop who was the 17th in the line of the Vicars Apostolic.

Archdiocese of Verapoly has an area of 1500 square kilometers in Ernakulam district, Kerala, India. It has 3, 26, 376 Catholic faithful, 181 diocesan priests, 155 religious priests and 907 women religious.