KOTTAYAM: The senior Metropolitan of the Holy Episcopal synod of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Metropolitan emeritus of North-East American Diocese Mathews Mar Barnabas (88) passed away at Pushpagiri Hospital, Thiruvalla.
Metropolitan accepted the call from his Lord at 3.15am IST on Sunday December 9, 2012. The metropolitan was suffering under ailing advanced age and was leading retired life at Pothanpuram Dayara, Pampady-Kottayam.
The mortal remains will be taken to Pampady Dayara today (Sunday) at 10am
Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II reached the Pushpagiri Hospital at the reception of the news and offered special prayers for Metropolitan Mar Barnabas. The Catholicos also exhorted all the priests of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church to offer special prayers for the Metropolitan Mar Barnabas during Holy Qurbana on Sunday.
His body will be kept at the Potthenpura Dayara Chapel, in Pambady till Tuesday for the public to pay homage. On Tuesday mortal remauns will be taken to old seminary at 2 pm after which it will be brought to the Medical Mission Hospital in Kolenchery at 5pm. Thereafter the body will be taken to his home parish at St Peter’s and St Paul’s church, Valayanchirangara. The funeral will be held on Wednesday morning 10am. The mortal remains will be interred at a specially constructed crypt at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church on Wednesday after morning prayers.
Malankara Sabha will be observing mourning till Wednesday. All education institutions, including professional institutions, under its managementwill remain closed on Wednesday.
The metropolitan has been leading a retired life at the Mar Kuriakose Dayara, Pampady, after retiring as head of the North American diocese.
Mathews Mar Barnabas was born as one of a set of twins to Kuruvilla and Mariamma, a couple of the Kidangethu Thompra family in Kallarackaparampil house at Vengola, he had his higher education at Madras Christian College, Osmania University, and Serampore University. He was ordained as deacon in 1943 and priest in 1951.
Malankara Association held in 1977 elected Rev. Fr. K. K. Mathews as a metropolitan of the church. On May 15, 1978, H.H. Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I consecrated him as bishop at Pazhanji Church, with the ecclesiastical title Mathews Mar Barnabas and appointed as assistant bishop of the Ankamali and Kottayam Dioceses.
He had served as auxiliary bishop of the Angamaly and the Kottayam dioceses before taking charge as the first metropolitan of the Idukki diocese.
In addition to his long stint as head of the American diocese, Mar Barnabas had functioned as manager of the Orthodox Corporate Management, among other responsibilities.
He did his intermediate studies at C.M.S. College, Kottayam, B.Sc. Degree course from Christian College Madras and M.Sc. degree from Osmania University.
He began Theological studies under the guidance of his uncle Rev. Fr. K. P. Paulose. In 1949 he joined the Orthodox Theological Seminary as a special student and studied Syriac for two years. While he was the vicar of the Calcutta parish, he studied in the Bishop’s College, Calcutta and earned his B. D. degree from the Serampore University, as an external student.
His Holiness Catholicos Baselios Geevarghese II ordained him as a deacon in 1943, at his home parish, St. Thomas Cheriapally, Thuruthipaly, Vengola. In 1951 Metropolitan Augen Mar Thimotheos (His Holiness Catholicos Baselios Augen I), ordained him to the holy priesthood.
In 1982 he was appointed as the metropolitan of the newly formed Idikki Diocese. In 1993, H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas was appointed as the diocesan metropolitan of American Diocese.
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