Born on May 30, 1945 as the first child to his loving parents John and Thresiakutty Kandathikudy of Kanhirapuzha, Muthukurisi, Palakkad District of Kerala State, young Jos showed promise in his early life. He completed his High School studies at KTMH School, Mannarkad and entered St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary at Tellicherry in 1961 and St. Thomas Major Seminary, at Kottayam in 1963 answering the Lord’s call. In the second year of Theology itself in 1965 he was sent to Rome for higher studies. He completed his Masters Degrees in Philosophy and Theology with distinction “Summa cum Laude” from The Urban University in Rome before receiving his priestly ordination on March 27, 1971 from His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Rossi. His first assignment was as Asst. parish priest at Christ the King Church, Manimooly of Tellicherry diocese. During the period 1972-1995, before coming to the Syro-Malabar Mission in Chicago, he founded several parishes and served as vicars there and was the Chancellor of Mananthavady diocese, Secretary to Bishop Jacob Thoomkuzhy, and the Diocesan Director for Family Apostolate. The list of parishes he founded include Parathottam, Kalpetta, Edapetty, Charity, Olivumala, in the Wynad district of Kerala, and Coonoor, Burliar and Aruvankad in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. He also worked overseas during this period in several parishes in northern Italy, New York and West Germany. He is proficient in six languages: English, Italian, German, Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi.
In 1995, as per the decision of the Syro Malabar Bishops’ Synod, His Eminence Mar Anthony Cardinal Padiyara took him from the diocese of Mananthavady and sent him to the Archdiocese of Chicago to be appointed as the Director of the Syro Malabar Catholic Mission in Bellwood, Chicago. During his 4 years’ tenure he gave vigor and glamour to the Mission and made it a very vibrant community. First of all he visited all the families of the Mission and studied the geography and divided the Mission into 12 wards and started bible studies and monthly prayer meetings in each ward. He started Evening Mass on all Sundays at St.Timothy Church in 1996.
He mobilized his people to send petitions to Rome requesting the Holy Father to erect a Syro Malabar diocese in the United States. He started yearly pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Rome and several Mission-members were blessed to have him as the real guide in the Holy Land. He started the observance of Bible Month with Bible procession and Bible enthronement in the Church. Bible Quiz, and competitions were conducted and concluded with the preferred Bible Quotation Banner procession. He started also the observance of one week’s intensive Malayalam Language programs. He trained and encouraged lay people to lead prayer meetings and adorations and even to give reflections during the way of the cross on all Fridays during lent. He started several pious Associations in the Mission: St. Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Mothers Association and Cherupushpa Mission League.
His wonderful homilies and sermons attracted many faithful to the Sunday services. His weekly short talks on the local Radio program were also a joy to listen to. All parishioners appreciated his wonderful leadership abilities and the lucid Gospel preaching ability. In the final analysis, he is a priest par-excellence and his tenure as the Director was a golden period in the history of the Syro Malabar Catholic Mission in Bellwood, Chicago.
In 1999 he was transferred from Chicago to New Jersey and New York to start new Missions. Within 3 years he established several Missions in these States. He found out St.Valentine’s Church in the Bronx and the Archdiocese of New York agreed to allot this church for the Syro Malabar Community. It was blessed by Mar Jacob Angadiath, the first Bishop of the newly erected diocese of Chicago and he renamed it St.Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Church and made it a Parish and appointed Fr.Jos it’s Founding Vicar and Pastor on March 24,2002. On July 3rd 2002,the rectory was blessed by His Grace Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy, the archbishop of Thrissur and Fr.Jos moved into it on the same day. Now this has become a real model parish in all aspects.
The Sunday school for the Religious Education was inaugurated on September 6th, 2002 by Mar Jacob Manathodath, the Bishop of Palakkad. Fr.Jos has elected a parish council and instituted 17 committees and sub committees for the smooth running of the parish. He has established St.Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Mothers’ Association, Catholic Youth Congress, Mission League, and Franciscan Third Order. He has also divided the parish into several geographical wards, established prayer groups and started monthly Bible Study classes in every ward. Hence the parish is daily growing into a very vibrant and practicing Catholic Community.
Bio-Data of Fr. Jos Kandathikudy
Birth : May 30th 1945 at Thottakara in Ekm District.Kerala, INDIA
Parents: John Kandathikudy and Thresiakutty Purackal.
Kalloorkad,(1951-52) Thottakara(1953) and Mundakunnu(1954-55)
St.Mary’s, Arakkuzha(1956-1957) and K.T.M, Mannarkad(1958-61)
Minor Seminary: St.Joiseph’s Tellicherry (1962-64)
St. Thomas Vadavathoor, Kottayam (1964-65)
Propaganda College,Torre Rossa, Rome (1965-67)
Propaganda College, Gianiculo, Rome (1968-72)
University : Urban University, Rome (1965-72)
Degrees : PhL;LD.(Masters in philosophy and Theology) (1967,72)
Ordination: Collegio Urbaniano Vatican on 27th March, 1971
Asst.Vicar at: Christ the King, Manimooly, Thalassery 1973
St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Mananthavady 1974
Founder of St. Mary’s Parathodu 1974-75
Manager of: St.Joseph’s Press, Mananthavady 1974-76
Chancellor of: Diocese of Mananthavady 1974-78
Secretary to: Bishop Jacob Thoomkuzhy 1974-78
Director of: Catechism. Diocese of Mananthavady. 1976-77
Social Work. Diocese of Mananthavady. 1977-78
Family Apostolate.Dioc of Manantha . 1974-79
Liturgy and Bible Apostolate ‘’ 1974-88
St.Joseph’s Hospital, Mananthavady 1994-95 Secretary of: CLC (Central Liturgical Committee)
(for the whole Syro Malabar Church) 1974-95
Vicar and Founder: Kalpetta, Charity, Olivumala, Edapetty, 1978-87
Vicar Chundakkara, Paralikkunnu, 1987-88
Vicar and Founder Coonoor(TN),Burliar(TN),Aruvankad(TN)1988-94
Director: Syro Malabar Catholic Mission Chicago.
(Mar Thoma Sleeha Church, Bellwood) 1995-99
Founder: (St.Thimothy Church, Chicago) 1995-99
Founder & Director: Syro Malabar Catholic Mission New York 1999-02
Founder and Director: Syro Malabar Cath. Mission New Jersey 1999-02
Director: Catechism. St.Thomas Diocese of Chicago 2001-?
Vicar& Founder: St.Thom. Syro Malab. Cath. Ch,Bronx N.Y.2002-?
St.Mary’s W. Heampsted was bifurcated in 2004
Rev. Fr. Jos Kandathikudy