Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, the Shepherd who lives the Gospel to its fullness

Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, the Shepherd who lives the Gospel to its fullness

January 2nd, 2022 marks the Fortieth anniversary, the Ruby Jubilee year, of the priesthood of Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Palai diocese. An extraordinary personality who is not concerned about celebrating priestly jubilees and anniversaries.

For the Syro-Malabar Church, however, Bishop Kallarangatt is a person who always makes his presence among the faithful in a quite remarkable manner.

The foundation of all the religious endeavours of Bishop Kallarangatt is the realization that the faithful should have access to ecclesiastical and spiritual knowledge. The growth of a diocese is certainly based on the spiritual thoughts of the diocesan bishop and Bishop Kallarangatt stands true to this fact.

Bishop Kallarangatt is best known for his courage in convincing the Catholic community on social matters. His skill to express with clarity on a wide range of social and public issues are well known. He stands for the propagation of faith by incorporating a personality that combines the theological truths and Magisterium of the Catholic Church. He is accepted as an eminent theologian in the Catholic Church. Bishop Kallarangatt is considered to be the last word and expert in theological matters within the Syro Malabar catholic Church.

On January 2, 1982, Joseph Kallarangatt was ordained a priest by his predecessor, Mar Joseph Pallikkaparambil. Mar Kallarangatt is the one who brought about revolutionary changes in the laity ministry of the Syro-Malabar Church. He emphasizes the need for a spirituality of encouragement, comfort and care in families.

Under the leadership of the Syro-Malabar Church's Prolife Apostolate, Bishop Kallarangatt, who is the source of Commission for Family, Laity and Life, believes that "today's society needs exceptional motherhood and strong families”.

Bishop Kallarangat, a world-renowned biblical scholar, and a known theologian was a member of the three - member tribunal appointed by the Pope to resolve theological issues during one of the important synods in Vatican. It was the first time a bishop had been part of a group of experienced Cardinals, especially a relatively young bishop like him.

Bishop Kallarangatt is well known in the Vatican circles as a man known for his authoritative understanding of theological matters, and a bishop well versed in Roman law and procedures.

The ability to extract any passage from the Holy Scriptures from his memory, pages of church history, Jewish stories, or profiles from the lives of Christian leaders is the result of extensive reading and in-depth study.

With his uncompromising convictions, deep insight, hard work, extraordinary thought, generosity, tenderness, simplicity of life, clarity of outlook and antiquity, he leads the Church to be culturally diverse.

Under his patronage and leadership, the 31st Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) was held from February 5 to 12, 2014 at the Alphonsian Pastoral Institute, Arunapuram, Pala. On April 18, 2018, Bishop Kallarangatt visited Pope Francis and presented him with the book "Windows to Heaven, Contours of an Ecclesial and Oriental Way of Life”. It is a theological treatise that has been praised by even Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna.

He presented a keynote address at the Symposium on Theology at the Holy Spirit University, Lebanon, from May 2 to 4, 2019, entitled "Christological and Trinitarian Syrian Hymns and the Specialty of Eastern Syrian Hymns in the Context of Syro-Malabar Worship."

Bishop Kallarangatt is considered an authoritative scholar in theology and Eastern theology in the global Catholic Church. He has authored 40 books on Theology and Oriental Liturgy. The bishop had participated and presented papers in different theological conferences in and outside the country. Ever since the beginning of his teaching ministry as a prolific writer he has been writing on various theological and secular topics in different international, national and local journals. He speaks Malayalam, English, German and Italian. He is well versed in the ancient Eastern Syriac language.

He is currently the Laity Chairman of the Syro-Malabar Synodal Commission and a member of the Syro-Malabar Synodal Commission for Seminarians. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Labor Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council. He is also a major influence on the theological doctrine of the global Catholic Church.

Mar Sleeva Medicity Hospital, the pride of Palai, established with the aim of providing the best treatment at the lowest cost, is enough for the public to remember Bishop Kallarangatt for the rest of their lives. The activities carried out by Medicity during the pandemic, recognized by the Government of Kerala, remains a model for today's hospitals.

He is known as the” ‘Father of Families" owing to his emphasis on the pro-life movement and the protection of life. Many people call him a hero, because of the acceptance and support he received for his recent stern viewpoints. Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt is the hero of the poor in the society.

This humble shepherd remains with the people in times of any calamity be it floods or landslides. The diocese of Pala is being transformed into a land of holy lives under the spiritual leadership of Bishop Kallarangatt, who continues to seek the will of God without being too zealous for the achievements of this world. His relentless efforts to rescue people during the recent landslides without caring to sleep or eat has bewildered even the critics. Yes, he is the shepherd who lives the Gospel to its fullness.

We extend our Ruby Jubilee Prayers to Beloved Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt. The words of Saint Paul in Romans 8: 38 aptly describes the charisma of this humble Shepherd of the Church, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord".

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