HH Baselios Marthoma Didymus I (The previous Catholicos, Valiya Bava)
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymos I, seventh Catholicos of the East in Malankara
His Holiness was consecrated as Bishop on August 24, 1966 and has been serving as Metropolitan of the Malabar Diocese of the church. He is the seventh Catholicos since the Catholicate of the East was relocated to India and 90th in the lineage of Catholicoi of the East in the Apostolic throne of St. Thomas. He is also the 19th Malankara Metropolitan of the Church.
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didimos I was born on 29 October 1921 to Ittyavira Thomas of Mulamootil House in Nedumbram near Thiruvalla and Sosamma of Chiramel House in Mavelikara. He joined the Tabor Dayara in Pathanapuram in 1939 and completed his high school education. He passed his Intermediate from C.M.S College, Kottayam in 1945, his B.A from National College, Tiruchirapalli in 1951, his B.T from Maston Training College, Madras in 1954, and his M.A from Christ Church College, Kanpur in 1961. He completed his training for priesthood under the disciplined guidance of Thoma Mar Dionysius and His Holiness Baselios Oughen, Catholicos of the East. He received from His Holiness Geevarghese II Catholicos of the East the order of Korooyo on 11 March 1942, full deaconship on 22 May 1947 and priesthood on 25 January 1950. He Has served as headmaster of Ponnayya High School, Thiruchirapalli and St. Stephen's High School, Pathanapuram, as Professor of English in St. Stephens College Pathanapuram and President of the Orthodox Youth Movement.
On 16 May 1965 His Holiness Baselios Oughen made him Ramban. The Malankara Syrian Christian Association, which met on 28 December 1965 at M.D Seminary, Kottayam, elected him to the high offer of Metropolitan. On 24 August 1966 at Kolencherry His Holiness Baselios Oughen Bava consecrated him as Metropolitan Thomas Mar Timotheos..
He became the Metropolitan of Malabar on 11 November 1966. He continues to serve as the General Superior of Mount Tabor Dayara and Convent in Pathanapuram. On 10 September 1992, the Malankara Association, which met at Parumala, elected him as successor- designate to the Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicos of the East.
His Holiness started his service to the Church as a monk when he was a teenager. He was called to the monastic life by the late Metropolitan Mar Dionysius of Niranam. He went through a rigorous monastic life that tuned up his body through hard work and his mind through intense discipline and his spirit through spiritual exercise. This writer believes Mor Baselios Didimos I is an exemplification of eastern monastic life. Our tradition of selecting bishops from the monastic ranks has a long history. Unfortunately due to discontinued monastic communities, we could not always select our bishops from thorough-bred ascetics period. Mor Didimos is an exemption to our recently fabricated monasticism as a preparation to receive the episcopate. He has been deeply rooted in his monastic practices and exercises long before he became a priest and a bishop. He has witnessed many late nights during which our new Shepherd kept vigil in the chapel of Mount Tabor Monastery. Yes, indeed the church of Malankara is blessed to be shepherded by a monk of prayer.
Mar Didimos is not just a monk, who is enamored of some primitive practices of monasticism. He is endowed with erudition which he derived from his long career as a student of theology, mathematics and English literature. Prior to his consecration to the episcopate he had been a professional educator holding various positions in the academia. He was a mathematics instructor for many years, and was a high school headmaster for more than a decade. After receiving his post graduate degree in English literature he held his lectureship in English literature when St. Stephen's college of Pathanapuram came into existence. His Holiness is also rightly credited with his musical skills; his divine liturgies are musically mellifluous to the ears of the participants.
H.H. Baselius MarThoma Paulose II (The present Catholicos)
Three score years ago in a small village called Mangad near Kunnamkulam was born Paul on 30th Aug 1946 in the ancient Syrian Christian family of Kollannur to K. I. Ipe and Kunjeetty. Paul's mother hails from the famous family of Pulikkottil and Paul was baptized at St. mary's orthodox church, pazhanj. Groomed by his parents and grand parents, Paul had his LP and UP education at Mangad schools.
He had his secondary education at Govt. H. S, Pazhanji, Paul moved to the city of Trissur for his pre-university and undergraduate studies at St. Thomas college, Trissur from where Paul passed in flying colours. He had his postgraduate studies in sociology at CMS College, Kottayam.
From his childhood Paul showed keen interest in spiritual matters. His parish church, St. Marys Orthodox church was the nerve centre of his spiritual growth. At the age of 13, he was selected by his parish priest to be vast in the 'washing of feat' service celebrated by H G Paulose Mar Severios Metropolitan. This marked a turning point in the life of young Paul when the metropolitan invited him to the priesthood. The influence of his parents especially that of his mother who hails from the famous Pulikkottil family played a great role in moulding his early life. Even from his childhood, he use to learn Syriac chants and prayers and was very keen in attending the church service. Young Paul joined the Orthodox Theological Seminary from where he secured GST and took BD from the Serampore University.
H G the late Yuhanon Mar Severios, Metropolitan of Kochi diocese ordained him as sub deacon at Parumala seminary on 8th April 1972 and as deacon at Sion seminary, Koratty on 31st May 1973. He was ordained as priest by H G the late Yuhanon Mar Severios at Sion Seminary, Koratty on 2nd June 1973. Fr K I Paul celebrated his fist Holy Qurbana at Mar Gregorius Orthodox Chapel Mangad.
Fr Paul served as a model shepherd of St. Marys Orthodox Church Ernakulam, Moolepat Orthodox church Pazhanji, St. Marys Magdalene Convent Adappotty, Kummanmkulam and Medical College Chapel Kottayam. The malankara Syrian Christian association held at MGM Thiruvalla on December 28th 1982 elected Fr Paul as metropolitan. H G the late Mathews Mar Coorilos (later H H Moran Mar Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II) professed him Ramban on 14 May 1983 at Parumala Seminary. On 15th May 1985 H H Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews I consecrated Paul ramban as Episcopa with the name Paulose Mar Milithios.
H G Paulose Mar Milithios had the privileged of becoming the first bishop of newly formed Kunnamkulam diociese on 1st August 1985. His Grace was elevated as Metropolitan on 25th Oct 1991. besides shepherding the kunnamkulam dioceses His Grace serves as the president of orthodox Syrian Sunday school association of the east (OSSAE), MBCH Mannapra Vadavucode, Pulikottil Mar Divannasius Bhavan Kottapady. His Grace is the vice president of Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement of India, MMM hospital, Kunnamkulam and manager of M. D. college Pazhanji. His grace has also served as the president of the Orthodox Youth Movement.
The Holy Episcopal synod and the Managing committee nominated His Grace as the successor to the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan on 27 Sep 2006. Elevated to the throne of The Catholicos of The East and Malankara Metropolitan on 1 Nov 2010.
H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros Metropolitan (Our Diocesan Bishop)
H.G. Dr. Youhanon Mar Dioscoros was born in Kallarackal Kaleelil family on 28 May 1964 as the son of Mr. P. T. Mathunny Panicker & Late Mrs. Kunjamma Panicker. He is a member of St. Thomas Orthodox Valiyapally, Kundara. He obtained his B.Sc degree from Kerala University(1984), theological diploma (GST) from Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam, Bachelor of Divinity (B.D) from Serampore University (1988), Master of Theology (1991) and Doctor of Theology (1995) from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. He also holds a certificate in Pastoral Counselling from Glasgow University, Scotland (1997).
He was ordained as Sub-deacon on 13 June 1987 and Deacon on 15 May 1989 and on 3 June 1989 he was ordained to the Holy priesthood by the late H.G. Geevarghese Mar Dioscorus, Metropolitan of Trivandrum Diocese. He was the director of Holy Trinity Centre for Disabled Children, Trivandrum(1990-91), Professor and Registrar of the Holy Trinity Theological College, Addis Ababa of the Ethiopean Orthodox Church (1994-1997), and the Programme Secretary, Sophia Centre, Kottayam (1997-2006).
He served as the vicar of Sreekaryam Mar Baselios Gregorios, TVM (1989-90), Makkulam St. George, TVM (1997-2000), Narickal St. Mary's, TVM (2000-03), Valakam Mar Gregorios, TVM (2003-06), Koorthamala St. Mary's, Chengannoor (Asst. Vicar, 1998-02), Kurichimuttom St. Stephen's, Chengannoor (Vicar, 2002-04) Pullad St. George, Chengannoor (2004-06) and now serving a the Chaplain of Old Seminary, Kottayam and the Vicar of Kundara Kadeestha, TVM, from 2006 onwards.He is currently the Professor and Dean of Studies of Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, Registrar of Divyabodhanam-the laity theological training programme of the Church, Joint Secretary of St. Thomas Orthodox Vaidika Sanghom, Chief Editor of Malankara Sabha Monthly, Publisher of Purohithan Quarterly, Editorial Board Member of Bethel Pathrika, Editorial Board Member of St. Ephrem Theological Journal, (Satna), Executive Committee Member of TLC, Thiruvalla, Member of the Joint International Dialogue between Roman Catholic Church and Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.He has authored five books and numerous articles and a good preacher, teacher and a retreat father.
The Malankara Syrian Christian Association met on 11 Sep 2008 at Pampakuda elected him as the bsihop along with six others. On 4 Dec 2008 His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Didymus I professed him as Ramban. On 19 feb 2009 he was ordained as bishop by H.H.Baselius Marthoma Didymus I, at St. George Orthodox Church, Puthupally.