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Thomas Mar Themotheos, Metropolitan (Arch-Bishop) of Kottayam Diocese was ordained as the Metropolitan of the Outside Kerala Diocese on 3rd January 1991. Thomas was born on 2nd May 1950 in the Muriyankal family of the Lakkattoor village (Kottayam District, Kerala, India) to Mr. Kurian Kuruvilla and Mrs. Annamma Kuruvilla, as the sixth of their eight children.
Thomas had his initial primary education in the village CMS (Church Missionary Society School) originally the Anglican Church Missionary Society). Middle School and High School education were completed at the Amayannoor High School. IN 1964, while in the ninth grade, Thomas was ordained as sub-deacon (Korooyo) by Mar Philexinos Paulose (later Catholicos Baselius Paulose II ),who was then Metropolitan of the Kottayam Diocese. His parish priest, Cor Episcopo V. Rev. Thomas Mattathil, imparted early instruction in Syriac and liturgical rites. Having completed the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination in 1965, Dn. Thomas joined the Baselius College, Kottayam for Pre-Degree course. Subsequently, he joined the CMS College, Kottayam, where he continued till 1972, graduating with a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in English literature.
In 1973, Dn. Thomas joined the Old Seminary, Kottayam for theological studies. He could study there only for a year due to the then erupting volatile situation in the Malankara Church, which had its echoes on the Seminary too. Finding it difficult to continue, Dn. Thomas joined the Manjinikkara Dayra for Syriac Studies and priestly formation. Under the spiritual guidance of V. Rev. Jacob Madapattu Remban (later Metropolitan H.G. Mar Julius Yakoub), he completed liturgical studies. During the one year’s stay at the monastery, he completed Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed) at the NSS Training College, Pandalam. While at the Seminary, late Metropolitan of Kottayam Diocese, H.G. Mor Gregorius Gheevarghese (Perumpilly Thirumeni) ordained him shamshono (full deacon).
In 1975, H.G. Mor Philexinos Paulose (later Catholicos) ordained him as priest on. There upon, Fr. Thomas began to assist the vicar of his parish. Later he began to teach at the T.M. High School, Akkikavu, close to Perumpilavu near Kunnamkulam. While teaching there, he assisted Rev. Fr. K.V. Kuriakose (the late H.G. Mar Julius Kuriakose), at the Simhasana Church, Kunnamkulam. When late Mor Philexinos Paulose was consecrated as Catholicose of the East, His Beatitude invited Fr. Thomas to assist him at the Muvattupuzha Aramana. After few months, Fr. Thomas was appointed as vicar of the St. Mary’s Church, Bangalore. This became a turning point in his life. He served congregation in that capacity for eight years until 1984. During this period, along with his pastoral duties, Fr. Thomas completed Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology Degrees. The St. Mary’s Church in Bangalore was built during this period.
In 1984, Fr. Thomas became the vicar of St. Peter’s Church, New Delhi. He served there for two years organizing the parish. In 1986, he left for Germany for higher studies and joined the Erlangen-Nuremburg University. After completing studies in German language, he moved to the Goettingen University in 1987, to pursue Syriac patristic studies. He returned to India in 1990, after being elected to the bishopric of the Outside Kerala Diocese.
On 3rd January, 1991, Fr. Thomas was consecrated bishop by late H.B. Catholicos Baselius Paulose II, giving the name Themotheos, and was appointed to assist the then Metropolitan of the Outside Kerala Diocese, H.G. Mar Theophilus Thomas who was advanced in age. When HG passed away on 12th January 1992, Mar Themotheos was given full responsibility of the Diocese.
The Metropolitan established his administrative office at Mulund, Bombay. A new publication, “The Vision” was started thereafter, and continued to be published as a bilingual monthly, till 2009.
In 1993, when a severe earthquake occurred in the Latur District of Maharashtra, His Grace launched a rehabilitation program with the support of the entire Church. Gram Jyothi Social Welfare Centre was established at the Harangul village in Latur which served three villages with health clinics and educational programmes. Ten acres of Land was purchased in 1996 at Anagalpura near Bangalore city and a mission centre was organized there, and the Centre started the St. George’s School, which is now a full-fledged high School with 750 children studying.
In 1998, when the late Metropolitan of Kottayam Diocese, H.G. Gregorius Gheevarghese fell ill, Mar Themotheos Thomas assumed responsibility of the Kottayam Diocese as Assistant Metroploitan in 1998. After the demise of Mor Gregorious (Prumpally Thirumeni) on February 22nd, 1999, full responsibility of the Diocese was entrusted to Mor Themotheos. Couple of years later His Grace was given responsibilities as Assistant Metropolitan of the South Kerala Dioceses of Thumpamon, Niranam and Quilon and continued this responsibility for the next three years.
His Grace served as the President of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary at Udayagiri, near Mulanthuruthy for nine years from 1992 onwards. For three years His Grace was the President of the Youth Association of the Malankara Church.
His Grace participated in the Vienna Consultations–the dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. H.G. represented the Syrian Orthodox Church in the eighth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, held at Harrare in Zimbabwe in 1998, and the WCC Assembly of 2005, held in Brazil. H.G. is a regular participant in forums of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI). From 2002 to 2006 he was the Vice-President of the NCCI. Mar Themotheos has also been a key participant in the dialogue between the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church which produced breakthrough agreement on controversial issues, such as inter-confessional marriages.
As Metropolitan of the Outside Kerala Diocese (later Syrian Orthodox Arch-Diocese of Greater India), His Grace was able to establish more than 50 parish churches throughout the length and breadth of the Indian union. The Hosur Mission Centre and the Bhiman Kuppa Centre at Hosur Road in Mysore were developed under the leadership of Metropolitan Thomas Themotheos. The Nest India Foundation in Bombay for the destitute children (for girls) was organized in 1998. It is functioning quite well with its own building to accommodate 28 girl children. A team of co-workers struggle hard for taking care of the children and their education. It is a commendable charity work initiated by His Grace.
In the Kottayam Diocese Snehitha, a charitable home for the orphaned or semi-orphaned girl children, was started in April 24, 2007. It is functioning well with 16 girl children.
The Asraya Guidance and Counseling Centre is actually an offshoot of the Anagalpura Mission Centre in Bangalore. The Centre is providing lunch to a large number of patients and their bystanders at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kottayam. This was begun in March 15, 2007.
Throughout his spiritual life he has given much importance for education and providing education to the younger generation who will be the stearing wheel of next generation. In 1983 he started St. Mary’s School at Queen’s Road, which has grown as a High School with one thousand children now.
Preparations for the beginning of the Holy Cross College of Mnagement and Technology (HCC MAT) was begun in 2002. Holy Cross Educational Trust was formed (incorporated) in 2000. In 2001 Bombay Estate was purchased. In 2002 application was submitted for permission, to start a Management College and it was granted in the same year. In June 2003 the College was begun. The first building of the College was completed in September 2003, and classes were moved from the parish hall of St. Mary’s Jacobite Church, Puttady, to the completed building. In 2005, construction of the main Block of the HCCMAT, began. Over a period eight years, the impressive main building was completed and on 24 May 2013, the same was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Shri. Oommen Chandy. It is a First Grade Management College with five undergraduate and two Post- graduate courses. It's a full-fledged Centre of the Indhira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Delhi.
The construction of the Syrian Christian Centre at Kanjikuzhy began in March 2010. It is expected to complete by end of 2014. This is going to be a land mark structure in that area. He established the Aardra Charitable Trust in February, 2013 with several activities. A team of dedicated men and women look after the Aardra Clinic and the allied activities at Illickal, Kottayam.His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Iwas The Prince Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, Supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, awarded the title, 'NAHEERO' to Thirumeni at St. Joseph's Cathedral in 2013 during the inaugural program of paurohitya jubilee and 65th birthday celebrations.