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(from ONE magazine July 2011)

New Head of Syro–Malabar Church
Posted: 27 Jul 2011

On 24 May, the Syro–Malabar Catholic synod of bishops elected Bishop George Alencherry of Thuckalay, Tamil Nadu, as major archbishop of Ernakulam–Angamaly. Pope Benedict XVI confirmed the election the following day.

Chief among the archbishop’s priorities are “evangelization, greater unity and communion with other churches,” he said. “My aim is to serve with love through dialogue.”

The sixth of 10 children, Archbishop George grew up on a family farm in the village of Thuruthy, Kerala. He has a sister who is a nun and two brothers who are priests.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1972, the archbishop later earned a doctorate in theology from the Catholic Institute in Paris. Prior to his ordination as bishop of Thuckalay in 1997, he served as director of the Pastoral Orientation Center in Cochin, Kerala, which is sponsored by Kerala’s Syro–Malabar, Syro–Malankara and Latin Catholic bishops.

Archbishop George will also serve as a member of CNEWA India’s board of trustees, along with Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis, major archbishop of Trivandrum and head of the Syro–Malankara Catholic Church.