Mar Joseph Powathil - an alumnus of Loyola (college), Madras, De Nobili College, Pune (Theology) – was a part of the Jesuit founded SB College, Changanacherry. Jesuit education stands for higher education and research with a purpose. Mar Powathil carried this trait into his life of ‘high thinking and simple living’. He was a man with a mission and vision.
He requested the celebrations of his ordination & installation as a bishop to be kept on a low key which the organizers obliged to.
He was a voracious reader, disciplined, reflected and vigilant and discerned about his socio-politico- religio and educational climate of his times. He responded and countered various issues on a timely and aptly manner through his writings. The article on Udayamperur, and ‘saashreya college’ issue are notable. He worked with other Christian denominations and religious communities. He had the support of Kerala’s two prominent political groups to agree and pass the private college educational law.
Mar Powathil knew the pulse of the Syro Malabar Church. As UCAN representative, while interviewing him on the eve of Bishop J Angadiath’s installation, Archbishop Powathil was asked, “Why do we need to belong to Syro Malabar Church?”. He was clear sighted in his answer. He said, ‘If you are born to Syro-Malabar parents, organically, you belong to the Church wherever you are.’
He leaves an indelible mark in the Kerala Church history.