Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rev. Father joseph vithayathil

Joseph , the second son of John and Anna of Vithayathil family was born on 23 July 1865 at Puthenpally
Young Joseph had one year’s religious training under the vicar Rev. Fr. Scaria Naganoolil.

Seminary life (1881-1894)

1894 March 11: ordained priest
1894 March 26: First Holy Mass
1894 April 23: First appointment as assistant Vicar

He woke up at early dawn and directed his steps towards the chapel with a lantern in his hand and spent long hours on his knees in front of the Eucharistic Lord. He was a loving ‘Pithavu’ to all people of society irrespective of caste or creed. Realizing that the formation of persons is inevitable to the growth and welfare of society he took care to open many schools

As Mariam Thresia’s spiritual guide

Fr. Joseph Vithayathil played a unique role in the life of Blessed Mariam Thresia. He was convinced of God’s mysterious plan in this humble rustic woman and suffered a lot for helping our mother in times of struggle.

Fr. Joseph Vithayathil was called to heaven on 8 June 1964 in his 100th year, the same date on which Blessed Mariam Thresia, his spiritual daughter died.

Chronological Chart

1865 July 23 Birth of the Servant of God Fr. Joseph Vithayathil

1894 March 11

He was ordained priest at St. Antony’s Church, Ollur by Bp. Adolf Medleycott

1894 March 26

Celebrated the first Holy Mass at St. Antony’s Church, Ollur.

1902 April 30

Appointed Vicar of Puthenchira.

1902 May 30

Mother Mariam Thresia chose him as her spiritual director.

1914 May 14

Canonical erection of the Congregation of the Holy Family. Appointment of Fr. Joseph Vithayathil as Chaplain of the congregation.

1915 May 30

Consecration of the new church of Puthenchira.


His Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee.

1922 January 15

He was relieved from Puthenchira church and came to Kuzhikkattussery as the Chaplain of the convent and lived in the bungalow at Kuzhikkattussery.

1944 May 16

His Sacerdotal Golden Jubilee.

1964 April 12-15

His birth-centenary was celebrated at Kuzhikkattussery and celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Congregation of the Holy Family.

1964 June 8

Death of the Servant of God Fr. Joseph Vithayathil.

1964 June 9

Funeral and burial at Kuzhikkattussery.


General Synaxis proclaimed him as the Co-founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family.

2003 September 4

Institution of the Historical Commission.

2004 May 18

Proclamation as the Servant of God.

2004 September 1

Institution of the Tribunal.

2005 September 6

Exhumation, identification and replacement of the mortal remains of the Servant of God.

for more details and pictures

Friday, September 26, 2008

Major Arch Bishop MAR Varkey Vithayathil

Varkey Vithayathil (born 29 May 1927) is a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, serving as the Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars in India. He is also a member of The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Born in Parur, India, he became a member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), a religious order in the Roman Catholic Church, founded by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri in 1732. Vithayathil was ordained as a priest in 1954. He holds a doctorate in Canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome and taught for 25 years at the Redemptorist seminary in Bangalore.

From 1978 to 1984 he was Provincial of the Redemptorist provinces in India and Sri Lanka, from 1984 to 1985 he was President of the India Conference of Religious, and from 1990 to 1996 he was Apostolic Administrator of the Asirvanam Benedictine Monastery in Bangalore.

He was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly on 11 November 1996 and was ordained bishop on 6 January 1997, taking the archiepiscopal titular see of Ohrid. A year later his titular see was transferred to Ckeikh-Abadeh, but he remained the administrator of the vacant Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese. Pope John Paul II finally appointed Vithayathil the Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly for Syro-Malabars on 18 December 1999, and Cardinal Priest of Titulus S. Bernardi ad Thermas on February 21, 2001. As Major Archbishop, he also serves as the President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church.

Vithayathil was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. In February 2008 he was elected head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.[1]