Joseph Mar Thoma, head of Kerala's Malankara Mar Thoma Church, passes away at 89

 newindianexpress.com  10/18/2020 04:12:00 

TIRUVALLA (PATHANAMTHITTA): Joseph Mar Thoma, the head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Church, passed away here on Sunday early morning.  He was 89. He has been undergoing treatment at Believers church hospital here for the last two weeks for pancreatic cancer.

Consecrated as the Supreme Head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on October 2, 2007, Joseph Mar Thoma is known for his compassion and vision.

In his condolence message, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Joseph Mar Thoma fought against social evils throughout his life. "All through his life, Joseph Mar Thoma charted a different path for the upliftment and empowerment of the backward sections of the society. The work he has done to rehabilitate the children of Mumbai’s red street and the steps he has taken to bring the transgender community to the mainstream will be remembered," the Chief Minister said.

Born on June 27, 1931, as the son of Puthoor Mariamma and Lukochen, Joseph Mar Thoma's official name was PT Joseph and parents called him Baby. He was born in in the Maramon Palakunnath family which was the ancestral home of Abraham Malpan, the father of the reformation of the Malankara Church and the first four Metropolitans of the Mar Thoma Church.

His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan was a remarkable personality who served humanity and worked hard to improve the lives the poor and downtrodden. He was blessed with abundance of empathy and humility. His noble ideals will always be remembered. RIP.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 18, 2020

After school education in Kozhencherry St. Thomas High School he graduated from Union Christian College, Aluva. Having dedicated himself to serving the Church, he passed Bachelor of Divinity degree from United Theological College, Bangalore.

He served as Vicar of Ranni, Kozhikode, Kundara, Madras and Thiruvananthapuram parishes. As the Church deputed him, he served as the travelling secretary of the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association for a few years during a crisis in the organization. He got Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees after higher education in Virginia Seminary, Oxford and Canterbury St. Augustin colleges.

The Sabha Prathinidhi Mandalam in its meeting in November 1974 selected him as Episcopa. Joseph Ramban was ordained Joseph Mar Iraneus Episcopa on February 8, 1975.  He was given charge of Kollam - Kottarakara Diocese.

Later he was appointed as the head of the Thiruvananthapuram – Kollam Diocese. In 1988 he took charge of Thiruvananthapuram – Kollam Diocese again. He organized the starting of Ayoor Mar Thoma College of Science and Technology after procuring land near MC Road for the Diocese.

He had served as the vice-president and president of the National Council of Churches. In connection with the 80th Birthday of Metropolitan, Church inaugurated a project for the critically ill cancer/kidney and heart patients irrespective of their caste and religion. Every year the church is disbursing about Rs 50 lakhs for the same. 

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