In the light of the Communication received from the Apostolic Nunciature, I wish to inform you that having been accepted by the Holy See the resignation presented by His Lordship Anthony Chirayath, Bishop of the Eparchy of Sagar upon completing the age of 75, His Holiness Pope Francis, receiving the request of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church, has appointed Rev. Fr. James Athikalam, MST, as the new Bishop of the Eparchy of Sagar. He is until now Director of Nirmal Jyoti Mental Health Programme, Bhopal.
This ecclesiastical provision was made public in Rome on Friday, 12th January, 2018, at noon local time, corresponding to 16:30 hours, Indian Standard Time.
Rev. Fr. James Athikalam, MST, was born on 5th July, 1958, at Pulincunnoo, Changanacherry. He was ordained priest on 22nd March, 1984, for the Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle (MST). He holds a Master’s Degree from Mysore University. He has obtained a licentiate in Biblical Theology and Doctorate in Patrology from Rome. As a priest he worked at Barnagar in the Diocese of Ujjain, and later was appointed professor and procurator of the Diocesan Minor Seminary of Ujjain and professor at the MST Minor Seminary. In 1991, he was appointed Director of the Missionary Orientation Course at Jeevan Jyothi, Mandya, professor of Patrology in Ruhalaya Major Seminary, Ujjain, of which he was later appointed Rector. He became the Director General of the Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle and was serving in that office till last year. At present he is the Director of Nirmal Jyoti Mental Health Programme, Bhopal. He knows Malayalam, English and Hindi very well. Besides, he knows Latin, Greek, Syriac, Italian, French and German.
We send our prayerful greetings and best wishes to Bishop-elect James Athikalam, welcome him to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and assure him of our prayers.
Yours Sincerely in Our Lord,
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX
Secretary General, CBCI