The Most Rev. Dr. Francis Kallarackal - The New Archbishop of Verapoly
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Most Rev. Dr. Francis Kallarackal the new Archbishop of Verapoly. The appointment was made known on February 20, 2010 at 4. 30 pm. Dr. Francis Kallarackal is the first bishop of Kottapuram and has been heading the diocese since 1987.
Born to Kallarackal Ouso and Brigitte of Kottapuram on October 10, 1941, he joined the St. Joseph's Minor Seminary in 1956. After completing pre-degree course from St. Albert's College, Ernakulam, he joined St. Joseph's Pontifical Seminary, Carmelgiri, Aluva, for pursuing studies in philosophy. He completed his theology course from Propaganda College, Rome and was ordained priest on June 29, 1968. He holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome and post graduation from Fairfiled University, USA. When he returned from abroad in 1970, he was appointed secretary to the then Archbishop Joseph Kelanthara.
From 1978 to 1986, he served as the social action director of the Archdiocese. He was then appointed the adminstrator of St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, which is established and managed by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. In 1987, as the Diocese of Kottapuram was created through the bifurcation of the Archdiocese of Verapoly, he became the first bishop of Kottapuram.
Archbishop-elect Dr. Kallarackal is presently serving as vice-chairman of the Media Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council, chairman of the Carmelgiri Pontifical Seminary Episcopal Commission and the Church's publication "Jeevanadam".