Mar George Punnakottil - Bishop Emeritus

BISHOP EMERITUS: Mar George Punnakottil. M.A.,S.T.D.,L.S.S.

Bp Punnakottil

Born at Thazhuvamkunnu on

13 - 09 - 1936

Ordained Presbyter in Rome on

18 - 10 - 1961

Appointed Bishop on

26 - 02 - 1977

Ordained Bishop at Kothamangalam on

24 - 04 - 1977

Installed on

24 - 04 - 1977

Retired on

09 - 02 - 2013

His Excellency, Bishop Mar George Punnakottil was born on 13th September, 1936 at Thazhuvankunnu near Thodupuzha. After his early studies in Vazhakulam, he joined the Minor Seminary at Ernakulam. He had his philosophical studies at St. Josephs Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye and theological studies at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. He was ordained a priest in Rome on 18th October, 1961 through the imposition of hands of Mar Mathew Kavukatt, the then Metropolitan of Changancherry. He took Licentiate in Sacred Scriptures from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome and obtained Doctorate in Biblical Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He returned to India in 1968 and joined the St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, Kottayam as Professor of Sacred Scriptures and Theology. 

In 1974 he left for U.S.A. and secured a Masters degree in International relations from the Vanderbilt University of Nashville in Tennessee State.

Back to India in 1976, he resumed his office as Professor at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary Vadavathoor. He served the seminary also as the Vice Rector and as Editor of the periodical Bible Bhaashyam. On 16th February, 1977 he was appointed Bishop of the diocese of Kothamangalam and was consecrated Bishop on 24th April, 1977.

His Excellency, Bishop George Punnakottil has vigorously carried on the over-all development measures, initiated by his able predecessor, His Excellency, Bishop Mathew Pothanamuzhy. The diocese of Kothamangalam, bifurcated from the Archdiocese of Ernakulam, was established on 29th July, 1956 and was mainly composed of high ranges and hill-stations. The growth and development of the diocese of Kothamangalam under the leadership of Bishop George Punnakottil for the last 35 years are phenomenal and all-pervading. Large number of parish churches, as well as educational, medical and charitable institutions were started in the last three decades. But Bishop George Punnakottils primary concern was to deepen the faith of his flock and carried out many a scheme to popularize the study and meditation of the Holy Scriptures throughout his diocese. 

Bishop George Punnakottil was the founder-Chairman of the KCBC Bible Commission and Kerala Catholic Bible Society and was instrumental in the translation of the Bible into Malayalam. He was Chairman of the Synodal Commission for Liturgy, and Member of the Pontifical Council for the Culture, Vatican, Rome. Bishop George Punnakottils most memorable contribution to the Church in Kerala will be his initiative to introduce the Logos Quiz, which has won the recognition and appreciation of the Universal Church itself.

Bishop George Punnakottil was also Vice-President II of Catholic Bishops Conference of India for two years and Chairman for the CBCI Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue for 4 years.

While we thank the Almighty God for the gentle personality, affable nature and manifold services of Bishop George Punnakottil to the Church and to the society, we wish him Gods countless blessings and many more years of fruitful service as Bishop Emeritus.

Postal Address : NESTT, Pastoral Centre, Muvattupuzha, Kerala, India. 686 671.