Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Vatican declares Kerala priest as 'Servant of God'

The Catholic church on Tuesday declared Father Antony Thachuparambil, popularly known as 'Missionary of Chelakkara', as 'Servant of God'.

The declaration was made by Thrissur Archbishop Mar Andrews Thazhath at St Mary's Forane Church in Chelakkara near Thrissur on Tuesday morning.

Father Francis Aloor, spokesman for the Archdiocese, said the Pope's 'bull' (document from Vatican) was read out by the Senior Vicar General Father Raphael Thattil during a high con-celebrated mass led by Thazhath, Archbishop Emeritus, Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy amid a large gathering of faithful and laymen.

Declaration of a faithful as 'Servant of God' is the first step for canonisation under the Roman Catholic Church.

Other steps towards the sainthood, are declarations of Venerable, Blessed and Canonisation, Aloor said.

Following order of 'No-objection' in this regard, the work of the Tribunal for the canonisation of Thachuparambil would be initiated by the Postulator Father Paul Pulicken, he said.

Born in 1894 at Chalakudy, Thachuparambil had served about three decades since 1930 in Chelakkara, an extremely backward forest area.

He had made immense contribution for the overall development of Chelakkara, serving all sections of the society irrespective of caste, creed, colour and religion.

Thachuparambil has established a school, Balabhavan for orphans and a church in the 1930s. He died on June 9, 1963.





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