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Fr. Joseph was born November 12, 1953 and is originally from the state of Kerala in southern India. He comes to St. Thomas from serving for the past five years at parishes in Poplar Bluff, El Dorado Springs, and Stockton, Missouri. Fr. Joseph is a religious order priest, belonging to the community of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. The Order was founded in 1831 for men in the Syro-Malabar Church and is the first Catholic religious congregation founded in India. The Church of Malabar Syrian Catholics is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. So Fr. Joseph celebrates Mass in both the Eastern Syro-Malabar rite and the Western rite (Roman Catholic). Malabar Syrian Catholics are also known as St. Thomas Christians. It is believed that St. Thomas the Apostle (our very own parish patron saint) came to India in 52 A.D. and established Christian communities in different parts of India and died at Mylapur in 72 A.D. According to tradition, St. Thomas founded seven churches or communities in the state of Kerala.
Fr. Joseph was ordained in 1986. He has four brothers and four sisters. He is the third oldest. One of his sisters is a nun in the Salasian Order. For 28 years, Fr. Joseph was a teacher and principal in colleges and has a PhD in Botany. He loves speaking Latin, but that means identifying plants according to their scientific names! Fr. Joseph likes change, and eagerly embraces new places and meeting people from the community. He looks forward to engaging pastoral activities, combining religious life with priestly life.
Fr. Joseph used to play basketball, he enjoys travel, is an avid reader, and enjoys walking.