WelCom February 2023
Fr John Panamthottathil cmi has been appointed Bishop of the St Thomas the Apostle Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Melbourne, which covers Australia and Oceania including Aotearoa New Zealand.
He replaces Bishop Bosco Puthur, who has served in the role since Pope Francis established the eparchy in 2014. Bishop Puthur will be Apostolic Administrator of the eparchy until Bishop Panamthottathil arrives.
Pope Francis announced the appointment at midnight New Zealand time, or 12 noon on 14 January, Rome time.
‘I take up this appointment with a deep desire to serve the People of God in Australia and Oceania, entrusted to the task with the support of the Syro-Malabar community,’ Bishop Panamthottathil says.
In the last year, Bishop Panamthottathil has been the superior and parish priest of St Elias Parish, Niravilpuzha, Kerala, in India. From 2015 to 2021 he was an assistant priest or parish priest at several parishes in Brisbane.
Bishop Panamthottathil was born in Peravoor, Kerala, India in 1966 and completed his Final Religious Profession with the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) in 1994.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church based in Kerala, India. It is an autonomous (sui iuris) particular church in full communion with the pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, including the Latin Church and the 22 other Eastern Catholic Churches, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.
It has a growing number of followers in New Zealand, especially in Auckland and Wellington, in ordinary diocesan parishes where a Mass is celebrated by bi-ritual parish priests.
The Melbourne-based bishop is Apostolic Visitor to New Zealand and oversees the New Zealand Syro-Malabar communities, with the local New Zealand diocesan bishop providing for their pastoral care.
Bishop John Panamthottam cmi
1966 Born in Peravoor, Kerala, India.
1986 First Religious Profession with Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.
1994 Final Religious Profession with the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. Undertook Philosophy and Theology studies at Dharamaram College Bangalore.
1997 Presbyteral Ordination at St Joseph’s Monastery Devagiri, Calicut, Kerala.
1998 to 2000 Assistant priest at Koodaranji, Calicut, Kerala.
2000 to 2008 Taught at schools, Tamil Nadu, and Devagiri, Calicut.
2008 to 2014 Provincial of CMI Calicut Province.
2014 Brief service in Tennessee, USA; returned to Peruvayal, Kerala.
2015 to 2021 Assistant priest or parish priest at several parishes in Brisbane.
2022 Superior and parish priest at St Elias Parish, Niravilpuzha, Kerala; lecturer at Benedictine philosophers at St Benedict Ashram, Makkiyad, Kerala.
14 January 2023 Appointed as Bishop of the of St Thomas the Apostle Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Melbourne, which covers Australia and Oceania.