Pope Francis has named Msgr. Kurian Vayalunkal as his new Ambassador (Apostolic Nuncio) to Papua New Guinea. Msgr. Vayalunkal, a 49 year old Vatican diplomat, appointed as titular Archbishop of Ratiaria, will receive his Episcopal ordination later. Msgr. Vayalunkal has been in the Vatican diplomatic service since 1998. He served in Guinea Conakry, Korea, Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, Hungary and in Egypt. In 2010, after the terrible earthquake in haiti, he was sent there for few months to assist the humanitarian support of the Holy See.
Msgr. Vayalunkal, the first borne of M.C. Mathai and Annamma Mathai, has three brothers and eight nephews and nieces. He grew up at Vadavathoor and attended Puthussery elementary School and M.T. Seminary High school, Kottayam. After spending three years at St. Stanislaus Minor Seminary, did his Philosophy and Theology studies at St. Joseph’s pontifical Seminary, Aluva.
On 27th December 1991 he was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Kottayam (Kerala, India) by Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry at Christ the King Cathedral and celebrated his first Holy Mass at St. George Forane Church, Edacat, his then parish. He served as associate parish priest at Holy Family Parish at Rajapuram and later as parish priest of St. Thomas Church, Kallar. Before moving to Rome in 1994 for his higher studies, he served as parish priest of St. Mary’s Church at N.R. City and St. Polycarp church at Senapathy. Even though at present, he belongs to St. Michael’s Church, Neendoor, he was a member of Lourde Matha Church, Neericad for few years.
He obtained a doctrate in Canon Law in 1998 from the “Santa Croce” University, Rome. At the same time he completed his diplomatic studies from “Pontificia Accademia Ecclesiastica”, rome. He was named a Chaplain to His Holiness which carries the title of Monsignor in 2001 by pope John Paul II and later named a Prelate of Honor in 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI. For the last four years Msgr. Vayalunkal has been working as the First Counsellor of the Vatican Embassy and Additional delegate to the Arab League in Egypt.