A Glimpse Into The History

By the Papal Bull “Que Aptius” dated 3rd July 1987, the Archdiocese of Verapoly was bifurcated and erected the new Diocese, the Diocese of Kottapuram and the solemn declaration of the same was made on 1st August 1987. It has its headquarters at Kottapuram near the ancient city of Cranganore (Muziris).

During the reign of Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Kelanthara, Archbishop of Verapoly the process of bifurcation of the Archdiocese was first started. On the demise of the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Kelanthara, Protonotary Apostolic Rt. Rev. Msgr. Emmanuel Lopez was elected Administrator on October 19, 1986.

The Most Rev. Dr. Cornelius Elanjikal, was nominated the Archbishop of Verapoly and took charge of the office on March 19, 1987. As the first prominent fruit of his reign, with the permission from the Most Holy Father,  His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Francis Kallarakal was appointed the First Bishop of the New Born Babe by the Apostolic Letter “Romani et Pontificis” dated 3rd July 1987. Together with the Episcopal Ordination of the Bishop elect Rev.Dr.Francis Kallarakal, on the feast day of St. Francis Assisi, the Diocese of Kottapuram was officially inaugurated on October 4, 1987. Later Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Karikkassery Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Verapoly, the bishop of Kottapuram diocese on 18 December 2010. He took charge of the office on 13th April 2011.

Even after the bifurcation of the Archdiocese, the seminarians belonging to the Diocese of Kottapuram were studying in the Archdiocesan Minor Seminary at Kalamassery together with the Archdiocesan seminarians. In 1993, by modifying an existing building, Dr. Francis Kallarakal founded St. Francis Assisi Minor seminary at Manalikkad with a view of sending the seminarians for Pre- degree course to St. Peter’s parallel college, Thuruthipuram run by the Diocese, after one year of seminary Initiation course. Rev. Fr. Joseph Thattakath was appointed the first rector of the seminary. The building had a capacity to contain at the maximum 19 students.

Realizing the insufficiency of the space, owing to the increase of the students, a new seminary building with better accommodation was built at Manalikkad in the place of the old one. On the 1st day of January 2001, Bishop Francis Kallarakal blessed and inaugurated the new seminary, when Very Rev. Fr. Francisco Padamadan was the rector.

As there were to be six batches of students under one roof, Initiation and Higher secondary students were accommodated at a new house, Kuttikad since 2005, when Very Rev. Fr. Joshy Kallarakkal was the Rector. After six months of staying in this home, the new seminary building in the name St. Antony was blessed by Bishop Francis Kallarakal on 5th January 2006. At present, Very Rev. Biju Thengapurackal and Very Rev. Fr. Jibin Kunjeliparambu serve as the rectors of the houses.

  • Rectors, St. Francis Assisi Minor Seminary, Manalikkad
  • Rev. Fr. Joseph Thattakath (1993-’97, 2003-’04)
  • Rev. Fr. Jerome Manakkil (1997-’98)
  • Rev. Dr. Francisco Padamadan (1998-’03)
  • Rev. Fr. Joshy Kallarakal (2004-’11)
  • Rev. Fr. Joy Kallarakal (2011-’16)
  • Rev. Fr. Sebastian Joby Kattassery (2016-’21)
  • Vice Rectors, St. Francis Assisi Minor Seminary, Manalikkad
  • Rev. Fr. Dominic Pinheiro (1996-’97)
  • Rev. Fr. Shaijan Kalathil (1997-’98)
  • Rev. Fr. Ambrose Puthenveettil (1998-’01)
  • Rev. Fr. Shibu Pullayil (2001)
  • Rev. Fr. Johnson Rocha (2001)
  • Rev. Fr. Joshy Muttickal (2001-’03)
  • Rev. Fr. Edwin Figarez(2003-’05)
  • Rev. Fr. Rockey Roby Kalathil (2005)
  • Rev. Fr. Sibin Kallarackal(2019-’20)
  • Rectors, St. Antony’s Minor Seminary, Kuttikad
  • Rev. Fr. Rockey Roby Kalathil (2005-’07)
  • Rev. Fr. Dias Antony Valiamarathungal (2007-’08)
  • Rev. Fr. Jamlal Sebastian Kuriapilly (2008-’11)
  • Rev. Fr. Paulose Shabu Kunnathur (2011-’13)
  • Rev. Fr. Frnson Kurisingal (13-’14)
  • Rev. Fr. Gilbert Antony Thachery (2014-’15)
  • Rev. Fr. Sebastian Joby Kattassery (2015-’16)
  • Rev. Fr. Helvest Rozario (2016-’17)
  • Rev. Dr. Ambrose Puthenveettil (2017-’19)
  • Rev. Fr. Biju Thengapurakkal (2019 –’20)