Election of bishop of the eparchy of Gorakhpur, India
The Holy Father Francis has given his assent to the election by the Syro-Malabar Major Archepiscopal Church of the Reverend Father Mathew Nellikunnel, C.S.T., as bishop of Gorakhpur, India, after having accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy presented by Bishop Thomas Thuruthimattam.
Msgr. Mathew Nellikunnel was born on 13 November 1970 in Mariapuram, in the eparchy of Idukki. In 1986 he entered the Congregation of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (Little Flower Congregation) of the Syro-Malabar Church, and carried out his initial formation at Gorakhpur, giving his vows on 17 May 1990 as a member of the Khrist Jyoti Punjab-Rajasthan Province.
He returned to Kerala to attend the institutional courses in philosophy at the Little Flower Seminary and in theology at the Saint Joseph Pontifical Seminary in Aluva, and gave his perpetual vows on 12 May 1996. He was ordained a priest on 30 December 1998.
Following priestly ordination, he served in his religious congregation as a formator in the minor seminary, superior of the Community and parish priest in Rajasthan. From 2005 to 2010 he studied philosophy in Rome, and was awarded a doctorate from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Upon returning to his home country, from 2010 he taught at the Little Flower Seminary. From 2012 to 2015 he exercised his pastoral ministry in Germany, in the diocese of Regensburg. From 2015 to 2018 he was provincial superior of the Khrist Jyoti Province. Since 2018 he has held the office of rector of the Little Flower Seminary.
He speaks Malayalam, English, Hindi, Italian and German.