On 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 has received the request of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church, Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr. James Athikalam, MST, as the new Bishop of the Eparchy of Sagar, who was until now Director of Nirmal Jyoti Mental Health Programme, Bhopal.
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 until 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.
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.