John Kuzhinapurath, OIC, (1904–1994) was among the first priests who united with the Catholic Church along with Archbishop Mar Ivanios on September 20, 1930 in the process of the formation of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.
Kuzhinapurath was born in 1904 near Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India. He was the youngest child of Pakalomattom Kuzhinapurath Eapen and Kocheetha. He had his primary education in Government Middle School at Pathanamthitta. He was ordained deacon by the Orthodox Catholicos Mar Baselios in 1919. Then he studied for priesthood at M.D. Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala. Kuzhinapurath continued his secular studies at St. Thomas High School, Pala, Kerala. He completed his intermediate education at C.M.S College, Kottayam.
Kuzhinapurath joined the Bethany Ashram, the monastic order founded by Archbishop Mar Ivanios. He made his first monastic profession and Mar Ivanios ordained him priest in 1929. Kuzhinapurath followed Mar Ivanios and reunited with the Catholic Church on September 20, 1930.
He had a monastic formation of one year in the Carmelite Monastery at Trivandrum. He served the Bethany Ashram as novice master and Superior General. He worked in several mission centers at Thiruvalla and Trivandrum. He cycled several kilometers every day to do missionary and charitable work. He started the prayer centre at the T. B. Sanitorium at Pulayanarkotta, Trivandrum.
He wrote the book Sahana Yanjgam (Sacrificial Suffering).
Kuzhinapurath died on January 28, 1994.
The Bethany Ashram published a special issue of Bethany Sabdam, a compilation of memories about Kuzhinapurath in 1995.
The death anniversary and commemoration of Fr. John Kuzhinapurath OIC was celebrated on January 30, 2010. Thomas Kuzhinapurath and seven other priests from Kuzhinapurath family concelebrated Holy Qurbono at Bethany Ashram, Nalanchira, Trivandrum, where Kuzhinapurath is buried, followed by a commemoration meeting presided at by Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis. Cleemis gave the first copy of the book Preshita Deepam, the biography of Kuzhinapurath, written by Peter C. Abraham, to George Onakkur. Baselios Cleemis said Fr. John was truly a refuge to the poor and the destitute.
Fr. Thomas Inchaykkalodi, Archbishop Mar Ivanios, Vol. 1, Bethany Publications, Kottayam, 2006.
Peter C. Abraham, Peshita Deepam: Fr. John Kuzhinapurath OIC, Malankara Catholic Publications, Trivandrum, 2010.