Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry expired on June 14, 2017 at 4.45 pm at Caritas hospital Thellakom. His funeral service will be held at 2 pm on 17th June 2017 in Christ the King Cathedral Kottayam. May his soul rest in peace.
Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry was born on the 11th of September,1928 at Kaduthuruthy in Kottayam District. He was ordained priest after completing his theological studies at Collegio Urbano de Propoganda Fide on the 21st of December,1955 in Rome. He received doctorate in Civil and Canon Laws from the University of Lateran in Rome and Master’s degree in Politics from USA. He was nominated bishop of Kepha and appointed Co-Adjutor Bishop of Kottayam on 9th December 1967. On February 24,1968 he received Episcopal Ordination at Sacred Heart Mount, Kottayam from His Eminence Cardinal Maximillian de Furstenberg, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. At the retirement of Mar Thomas Tharayil, he took charge of the Diocese of Kottayam on the 5th of May,1974. In addition to Malayalam and English he knows Italian, Latin, French, German and Syriac. He has served the regional, national and Universal Church in various capacities. He was a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Codification of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches and a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter- religious Dialogue. He served as the Chairman of the Ecumenical and Inter-religious Dialogue Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India several times.
He was the Chairman of the St Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye and was also the Chairman of the St Thomas Apostolic Seminary,Vadavathoor and Vice Chancellor of the Paurastya Vidya-pitham, Vadavathoor. He has held offices in the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council and the Syro-Malabar Bishops’ Conference. He was a member of permanent synod of the Syro-Malabar Archiepiscopal Church and member of commission for Ecumenism and Particular law.
By the decree “God our loving father” dated May 9, 2005, the Major Archbishop Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil appointed Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry as the first Metropolitan of the newly erected Metropolitan see of Kottayam. On June 3, 2005 Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil ordained and enthroned Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry as the Metropolitan of Kottayam at a liturgical service in Christ the King Cathedral, Kottayam. The Syro Malabar Synod has accepted his resignation on January 14, 2006. The golden Jubilee of his Episcopal ordination was solemnly inaugurated on 24th February 2017.
He was a man of long range vision and ecclesial mission. He has been dedicated to well thought out plans. He is a man of prayer with profound faith in the providence of God and this fact is the basis for the success of his ministry. God’s hand has always been with him and hence he could realize the great projects like Thuvanisa Prayer house, Chaithanya Pastoral Centre and Caritas Cancer Institute. Mar Kunnacherry has always kept a soft corner of his heart for the priests in anguish and in need. His appreciation and affection for the laity are well manifested, among other things in the establishment of a college in the name of a great layman Prof. Joseph Kandoth. His great encouragement for the youth is well known. He is a great pastoral Bishop who visited all families of the Diocese. His loyalty to the church and her doctrines together with dedication of the well being of his community are the jewels on the crown of his great personality.