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New bishop named for U.S. Syro-Malabar eparchy

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On Sunday Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the bishop of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Chicago, and appointed his auxiliary, Bishop Joy Alappatt, as his successor.

The resignation of Bishop Jacob Angadiath, 76, was accepted July 3.

The eparchy serves the faithful of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in the U.S. The Church is an India-based Eastern Catholic Church. It is of the East Syrian rite, and most closely related to the Chaldean Catholic Church.

Alappatt, 65, was born in Parappukara, in the Indian state of Kerala, in 1956. He attended St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary in Vadavathoor and was ordained a priest of the Syro-Malabar Diocese of Irinjalakuda in 1981.

He undertook graduate studies at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Institute in Aluva and at Adheva University in Wattair. He then did pastoral work in Chalkudy, Mala and at the Irinjalakuda cathedral.

He was a chaplain in Chennai before he was transferred to the U.S. in 1993.

Alappatt served as a chaplain at  Georgetown University Medical Center from 1999-2002, where he completed the university’s clinical pastoral education program. He served in several parishes in the U.S., and was vicar of Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral in Bellwood, Illinois.

Alappatt was appointed auxiliary bishop of the St. Thomas eparchy in 2014, and was consecrated a bishop Sept. 27 of that year.

The bishop knows English, Malayalam, Hindi, and Tamil.

There are some 4 million Syro-Malabar Catholics in the world, mainly in India, making it the second largest Eastern Catholic Church.

According to the U.S. bishops’ conference, the St. Thomas eparchy ministers to 49,000 persons.

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New bishop named for U.S. Syro-Malabar eparchy