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Bishop Francis Kallarakal, the new Archbishop of Verapoly






20 February 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rt. Rev. Dr. Francis Kallarakal Bishop of Kottapuram, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Verapoly Archdiocese, Kerala, India. The Papal decree was made public in the Metropolitan Latin Archbishop’s House Kochi on 20th February 2010 at 4.30pm by the Archdiocesan Administrator Ret. Rev. Dr. Joseph Karikkassery the Auxiliary bishop of Verapoly before specially invited delegates and presbyteral as well as pastoral council members of the Archdiocese. Simultaneously the declaration was also made in the Kottapuram Bishop’s House at Kodungalloor in Trichur district of Kerala by Rev. Dr. Nixon Kattassery the chancellor of the diocese and the Bishop Kallarakal was present at the declaration meeting at Kottapuram Bishop’s House.

Bishop Kallarakal was born to late Mr. Joseph and Brijith Kallarakal on 10 October 1941 at Kottapuram. He was ordained priest on 29th June 1968 for the Archdiocese of Verapoly. Bishop Francis served from 1968 - 1970 the assistant vicar at Pius X Church, Fairfield, USA, 1970 - 1971 assistant vicar at Cruz Milagris Church Kurisinkal of the Verapoly Archdiocese, 1971 - 1978 Secretary to Archbishop of Verapoly, 1978 - 1986 Director of Social Service of Archdiocese of Verapoly, 1986 - 1987 One of the Directors of St. John's Hospital, Bangalore and Chairman - Kerala Social Service Forum (KSSF) of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council.

When the diocese of Kottapuram was eructed by the Holy Father John Paul II, through the Papal Bull "Quo Aptius" dated July 3, 1987, Bishop Francis Kallarakal was appointed the first Bishop of the new diocese by the Apostolic Letter "Romaniet Pontificis" dated July 3, 1987. Together with the Episcopal ordination of the Bishop elect Dr. Francis Kallarakal, on the feast day of St. Francis Assisi, the Diocese of Kottapuram was officially inaugurated on October 4, 1987. Presently bishop Kallarakal is the Chairman of the KCBC Health Commission, Vice Chairman of the KCBC Media Commission, Chairman of the KRLCBC Media Commission, Chairman Jeevandum Trust and Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary Carmelgiri, Aluva, Kerala.

Archbishop Dr. Kallarakal is the 24th Ecclesiastical Leader of the Verapoly, which is the mother diocese of all other dioceses in Kerala, irrespective of Rite from 1659 December 3rd onwards. He is the 8th Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese, which was eructed on September 1st 1886 by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII through his apostolic letter “Humanae Salutis Auctor” and the 5th indigenous Archbishop of the Archdiocese.

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