Mar Joseph Powathil


  • Born on – August 14, 1930
  • Ordained Priest – October 3, 1962
  • Appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Changanacherry – January 29, 1972
  • Appointed as Bishop of Kanjirappally – February 26,1977
  • Appointed as Archbishop of Changanacherry – November 05, 1985

Born on August 14, 1930 P.J. Joseph had his primary education in Holy Family L.P. School and St. Peter’s U.P. School, Kurumpanadom and High School education in St. Berchman’s High School Changanacherry. He had his higher studies in S.B. College Changanacherry and Loyola College, Madras, from where he took his M.A degree in Economics. He did his seminary studies in St. Thomas petit seminary, Parel and Papal Seminary Pune. After Ordination on 3rd October 1962 at Pune he was appointed lecturer in Economics and Warden of St. Joseph’s Hostel, St. Berchmans’ College, Changanacherry. He was on the campus ministry for one decade (1962-1972). In 1969, he had the advantage of taking a one year course in Developmental Economics at the prestigious Oxford University. He took keen interest also in the study of the ancient patrimony of the Syro-Malabar Church and for its restoration in accordance with the directives of Vatican II, as a member of the Central Liturgical Committee of the Church. He was actively involved in the various apostolate of the Archdiocese and was secretary of the Pastoral Council for a short period.On January 29, 1972 he was nominated Auxiliary Bishop of Changanacherry and was ordained bishop by Pope Paul VI on Feb.13, 1972 in Rome. During the five years of his service as Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General (ex officio) introduced many reforms in The Archdiocese in close collaboration with Archbishop Mar Antony Padiyara he took the initiative in establishing a Diocesan Youth Movement called ‘Yuvadeepti’. In course of time its spirit and inspiration spread to all the Dioceses in Kerala leading to the formation of Kerala Catholic Youth Movement (KCYM). He was at the forefront in the struggle for educational freedom. He helped the Archbishop in establishing several institutions for the under privileged such as homes for the mentally and physically challenged. During the next 9 years he was entrusted with the task of nurturing the new born diocese of Kanjirappally to which he was appointed bishop on February 26,1977 and assumed charge on May 12, 1977. Bishop Powathil was appointed Archbishop of Changanacherry on November 05, 1985 and he assumed charge on January 17 the next year.

Motto: “Truth and Charity”