Mar Rafael ThattilMajor Archbishop

Mar Rafael Thattil was born to Ouseph and Thresia on 21 April 1956 and was baptized on 30 April 1956 in Thrissur. Lazar (late), Thomas, Baby (late) Francis, Sosannam, Joy and John, are his brothers and sisters. After his primary education at St. Thomas College HS, Thrissur, he joined St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Thope on 04 July 1971. He completed his study of Philosophy and Theology in St. Thomas Ap. Seminary Kottayam in 1980. He was ordained by Mar Joseph Kundukulam in Thrissur Doloures Basilica. on 21 December 1980. He did his higher studies in Rome and took doctorate in Oriental Canon Law. His thesis was on “Clerical Formation in the Syro Malabar Church: A Historico-Juridical Study”.

After his ordination he served as Asst. Vicar, Aranattukara (1981-82), Fr. Prefect & Asst. Procurator, St Mary’s Minor Seminary (1982-83), Acting Vicar, Koonammoochy (1983), Acting Vicar, Cherumkuzhy (1983). On returning back from Rome, he served in the Archbishop’s house as Vice Chancellor, Chancellor, Adj. Judicial Vicar, Judge and later as Syncellus and Proto-Syncellus. He was the director of DBCLC & Catechism (1992-1995). On 20 January1998, he was appointed as the project officer of the new Marymatha Major Seminary, after a few months appointed as the first Rector of the Marymatha Seminary (1998-2006). He also worked as president and member of many a committees and commissions.

He was ordained as Bishop on 10 April 2010 and appointed as Auxiliary bishop of Trichur and Titular Bishop of Bruni. In 2014, he was appointed as Apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malabar faithful residing outside the territorium proprium. Pope Francis named him the first Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Shamshabad on 10 October 2017 and he was installed on 7 January 2018.