|Ordination||December 21, 1980 at Christ the King Cathedral Kottayam, Kerala, India.|
Abraham Mutholath was the first Knanaya Catholic Vicar General and first director of Knanaya Region in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas of Chicago. He took initiative in starting Knanaya Catholic missions and parishes in the United States. He was the first director of some of those missions and the first pastor of some of the Knanaya Catholic parishes in the United States.
As a priest ordained and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Kottayam, Mutholath served in the parishes and institutions of the Archdiocese of Kottayam. Mutholath authored four books in Malayalam on leadership and has been a youth trainer. He authored many articles in English and Malayalam and was editor of souvenir books of Archdiocese of Kottayam and of parishes. Mutholath is a public speaker and prepares homilies based on Sunday Bible Readings and on the feasts of saints that he makes available to priests, preachers and Bible students through his website.
While in the United States, Mutholath served as hospital chaplain and parish priest. As social worker, he personally donated land and building for Agape Bhavan for physically and mentally challenged (differently abled), Good Samaritan Resource Centre for the Blind and Deaf, and Mutholath Auditorium to financially support the projects for the Agape and Good Samaritan centers at Cherpunkal. He has also been supporting missionary dioceses in Northeast India.
Mutholath was born in October 1954 to traditional Catholic parents in the Mutholath family in the state of Kerala in India. He has one brother and five sisters. He is US citizen and lives in Chicago.
Mutholath’s primary education was at Puliyannnoor New Government Lower Primary School and at Holy Cross Upper Primary School in Cherpunkal. From sixth grade to tenth grade he studied in English Medium section of St. Mary’s High School Kidangoor.
After high school, he joined St. Stanislaus Minor Seminary at Sacred Heart Mount Kottayam. During his three years of training there, he attended CMS College Kottayam for pre-degree courses. Then he was admitted to Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Theology at Alwaye in Kerala state. The course included three years of philosophy and four years of theology courses.
After seven years of pastoral experience, Mutholath went to Los Angeles, California, USA, in November 1987 for studies in Communication and Fine Arts. While staying at St. Jerome Parish in Los Angeles he studied at California State University, Dominguez Hills, for a certificate program in Journalism and TV Production. Then he studied at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and secured an M.A. degree in TV Production in 1992.
Mutholath studied Clinical Pastoral Education at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles in 2001–200. Later he studied at DePaul University in Chicago for MPS (Master of Science in Public Services) in 2004.
Mutholath was ordained as a priest by Archbishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry on December 21, 1980, at Christ the King Cathedral Kottayam. He was then appointed as assistant vicar (associate pastor) at St. Stephen’s Forane Church, Uzhavoor, for 15 months. Then he was vicar (pastor) of St. Michael’s Church, Veliyanad, for three years from 1982 to 1985. From there he was transferred as pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Pachira, for another three years before he went for his higher studies in Los Angeles.
After his return from the United States, Mutholath was chaplain of Knanaya Catholic Youth League (KCYL), the youth ministry of the Archdiocese of Kottayam, from 1992 to 1999. He also served as the director of Chaithanya Pastoral Centre of the Kottayam Archdiocese at Thellakom near Kottayam from 1994 to 2000.
Mutholath went to Los Angeles in December 2000 to serve as chaplain at Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center in Hawthorne, Los Angeles. He served the Kerala Catholics in Los Angeles by offering Mass for them. Later he initiated Knanaya Catholic Mission in Los Angeles and served as its first mission director.
Mutholath has been the director of Knanaya Catholic Mission in Chicago since July 1, 2004. He founded Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Parish in Maywood and St. Mary's Knanaya Catholic Parish in Morton Grove. Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath appointed him as the first pastor of Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Church in Maywood in September 2006 and as the first pastor of the St. Mary's Knanaya Catholic Church in Morton Grove in July 2010.
He took the initiative of establishing Visitation Convent by bringing four sisters from Visitation Congregation at Kottayam in India to serve at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital in Inglewood, Los Angeles. He also helped in the establishment of St. Joseph’s Convent in West Covina, Los Angeles, by bringing five sisters of St. Joseph's Congregation from Kottayam in India to serve at a hospital in West Covina. Later he helped to start Visitation Convent in Chicago in July 2010.
Mar Jacob Angadiath, the bishop of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago, appointed him on October 3, 2001, as the Syncellus (Vicar General) of the Eparchy. At the request of the bishop he moved from Los Angeles to Chicago in February 2003.
Mutholath founded new Knanaya Catholic Missions and parishes in the USA. He was the first mission director of Los Angeles from 2002 to 2003. Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath established Knanaya Catholic Region in his diocese on April 30, 2006. Mutholath, as Vicar General of the diocese, was appointed also as the director of this region. Mutholath with the support of the lay people started the Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Forane Parish at Maywood, Illinois, in September 2006 and St. Mary’s Knanaya Catholic Parish at Morton Grove, Illinois, on July 18, 2010. Bishop Angadiath appointed him as the first pastor in both parishes. Mutholath was the motivating force behind establishing many of the Knanaya Catholic Missions and parishes when he continued to be vicar general until February 8, 2014. As of March 2017 Fr. Mutholath continued to minister at Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Forane Parish at Maywood, Illinois,
Mutholath has published four books in Malayalam that went into many editions:
- You Too Can be a Leader (Malayalam: നിങ്ങൾക്കും നേതാവാകാം) published first by Janatha Books, Thevara, Kochi and later two editions by Current Books, Kottayam.
- Leadership Training (Malayalam: നേതൃത്വ പരിശീലനം) Two editions, Published by DC Books, Kottayam.
- Bible Games (Malayalam: ബൈബിൾ ഗെയിംസ്) Two editions, by Janatha Books, Thevara
- Priestly Leadership Today, Tomorrow (Malayalam: വൈദിക നേതൃത്വം ഇന്ന് നാളെ) by Deepika Booka House, Kottayam.
Mutholath was the chief editor of the following Souvenir publications:
- Platinum Jubilee Souvenir of the Diocese of Kottayam published in 1986 by Jyothi Book House Kottayam.
- Jubilee Smruthi, Episcopal Silver Jubilee Souvenir of Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry, published in 1993 by KCYL and distributed by Jyothi Book House, Kottayam.
- Managing editor of Silver Jubilee Souvenir – 2008 published by Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Parish Chicago.
- Managing editor of Dasavarsha Smruthi, Tenth Anniversary Souvenir of the Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Parish Chicago published in 2016.
Besides authoring four books and editing the above mentioned souvenir publications, Mutholath authored the two booklets with the history of St. Mary’s Church Pachira and Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Cherpunkal.
He authored articles in various periodicals and professional publications. A few examples are the following:
- “Church and Social Work”, Religion and Thought (Malayalam: “സഭയും സാമുഹ്യ പ്രവർത്തനവും”, മതവും ചിന്തയും), A Philosophico-Theological Bimonthly in Malayalam, March–April 1978, Pontifical Institute, Aluva. Pages 156-175.
- “Priestly Ministry in the Church History”, Religion and Thought (Malayalam: “പൗരോഹിത്യ ശുശ്രൂഷ സഭാചരിത്രത്തിൽ” , മതവും ചിന്തയും), A Philosophico-Theological Bimonthly in Malayalam, January–February 1981, Pontifical Institute, Aluva.
- “Preservation of the Ecclesial Nature of Knanaya Community in North America”, Centenary Symposia, Archdiocese of Kottayam, 2014, pp. 497–505.
Mutholath was chief editor of Apna Des, a Malayalam fortnightly of the Archdiocese of Kottayam. While he was serving in that capacity from 1985–1987, he professionalized the periodical and made it popular with a high volume of subscribers.
He was also the editor of Sacred Heart Monthly, the official periodical of the Archdiocese of Kottayam from 1985–1987.
During the same period he served as the manager of Catholic Mission Press and Jyothi Book House owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Kottayam
Mutholath served as the director of Communication Media in the Archdiocese of Kottayam from 1992 to 2000. He started Kottayam Communications to train young artists for TV and Film industry. He also produced and directed videos on social issues with artists from Malayalam Film industry along with young artists as talents.
Mutholath wrote a screenplay in 1993 for a Malayalam film titled Dollar directed by Raju Joseph Pralel. The film was released in the theaters in India and was exhibited in some theaters of the United States for people from India. The movie deals with the issues of Indian immigrants in the United States.
Mutholath was the director of Social Services of the Archdiocese of Kottayam and secretary of Kottayam Social Service Society (KSSS) from 1994 to 2000. He transformed KSSS from a charitable and welfare approach to developmental approach. He organized 565 self-help groups of the weaker sections of the community. At that time he had seven office staff and 109 field staff as well as hundreds of volunteers.
He also introduced Community Based Rehabilitation Programs in Kerala through KSSS. Mutholath also started Chaithanya Karshika Mela at Chaithanya along with Self-help Group Festivals that are still held towards the end of every year. He also was the founding director of Caritas Ayurvedic Hospital at Thellakom, Kottayam. KSSS gradually became a model social service society in India.
Returning to the United States in 2000, he started Agape Movement in 2001, a non-profit corporation in the United States. Through his corporation, he and many others help charitable and Christian missionary efforts in India and in the United States.
Mutholath purchased land at Cherpunkal and built a building called Agape Bhavan (home) that functions primarily as a center for the physically and mentally challenged or differently abled. This was his gift to Kottayam Social Service Society when he celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination in 2005. Agape Bhavan also has a notebook-making unit and paper bag-making unit that give employment for the differently abled and local self-help group members. Notebooks and paper bags are supplied from the center to the local educational institutions and hospitals. KSSS is running this institution.
Mutholath helped the mission Diocese of Miao in Arunachal Pradesh in India personally and encouraged others. Through Agape Movement, he and others support formation of seminarians and the construction of churches, dispensaries and educational institutions.
Mutholath also donated 1.7 acres of his family property that he inherited for social service purposes. This property is adjacent to a highway and the Meenachil river. He personally donated from his earnings a major portion of money to construct Good Samaritan Centre at the land he donated at Cherpunkal. Later he personally donated money to construct Mutholath Auditorium near Good Samaritan Centre to financially support the on-going programs for the blind at Good Samaritan Centre, as well as an acre for more parking space. The Archdiocese of Kottayam named the camps as Mutholath Nagar.
- First Knanaya Vicar General of the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago
- First Director of the Knanaya Catholic Region in the United States
- First pastor of Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Forane Parish, Chicago.
- First pastor of St. Mary’s Knanaya Catholic Parish, Chicago.
- First Director of St. Pius X Knanaya Catholic Mission in Los Angeles.
- Motivating force behind starting various Knanaya Catholic missions and parishes in the main cities of the United States.
- Took leadership to start convents of Visitation and St. Joseph Congregations in Los Angeles and Chicago.
- Started Knanaya Catholic Parish Cemetery sections for Sacred Heart and St. Mary's Knanaya Catholic parishes of Chicago.
- Started Agape Movement, a non-profit corporation in the United States for charitable and pastoral support.
- Donated land and building of Agape Bhavan at Cherpunkal for the physically and mentally challenged to Kottayam Social Service Society as the Silver Jubilee gift of his ordination.
- Donated land and building of Good Samaritan Resource Centre to Kottayam Social Service Society to train the Blind-deaf.
- Donated Mutholath Auditorium to Kottayam Social Service Society to financially support the CBR projects at Good Samaritan Resource Centre.
- Sponsored Churches in the Mission Diocese of Miao in India.
- First Director of Chaithanya Pastoral Centre at Thellakom, Kottayam
- Started Chaithanya Karshika Mela (Agricultural Festival) at Thellakom, Kottayam
- Introduced Developmental Approach with self-help groups and Community Based Rehabilitation program at Kottayam Social Service Society (KSSS).
- First Director of Caritas Ayurvedic Hospital
- Screenplay writer of Malayalam feature film, “Dollar.”
- Author of four Books.
- Popularized Apna Des, the fortnightly of the Archdiocese of Kottayam
- Chief Editor of Platinum Jubilee Souvenir of the Archdiocese of Kottayam
- Chief Editor of the Silver Jubilee Souvenir of Archbishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry.
- Started the Lower Primary School at Veliyand Church in Kuttanad, Kerala.
- Publishes homily resources for priests, preachers and Bible students on website.
- Webmaster of various websites.
- "HISTORY OF KNANAYA REGION". knanayaregion.us.
- "Christian Homily HOME". www.homily.info.
- "AGAPE MOVEMENT: AGAPE BHAVAN AT CHERPUNKAL IN INDIA". agapemovement.org.
- "AGAPE MOVEMENT: AGAPE BHAVAN AT CHERPUNKAL IN INDIA". agapemovement.org.
- "MUTHOLATH AUDITORIUM HOME PAGE". mutholathauditorium.com.
- "Mutholath Family". www.mutholath.com. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- "Chaithanya Home". chaithanya.in. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- Muttathil, Johny, "A Look Back to the History of St. Pius X Knanaya Church," Souvenir 2011, St. Pius X Knanaya Catholic Church, Los Angeles, Published January 2012, pp.20-22
- St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocesan Bulletin, p. 31.
- Thottapuram, George, "Chronology of Events in the Knanaya Catholic Parish in Chicago," Silver Jubilee Souvenir – 2008, Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Parish Chicago, pp. 61-68.
- "KNANAYA REGION: CHICAGO SACRED HEART FORANE PARISH". knanayaregion.us.
- Kizhakkekuttu Francis, സെന്റ് മേരീസ് ക്നാനായ ദൈവാലയ ചരിത്രത്തിലേക്ക് ഒരു തിരിഞ്ഞുനോട്ടം (A Reminisce to the history of St. Mary's Knanaya Church), മാതൃസ്മൃതി, Souvenir of St. Mary's Knanaya Catholic Parish, Chicago, 2010, pp. 42-49.
- "KNANAYA REGION: CHICAGO ST. MARY'S PARISH". knanayaregion.us.
- "CHRONOLOGY: 2014-16". shkcparish.us. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
- Pachira St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Malayalam), a Brief History, Published in 1986.
- Consecration Souvenir of Cherpunkal New Church (Malayalam), February 14, 1993.
- "Official online daily of Knanaya Catholic Archdiocese of Kottayam". Official online daily of Knanaya Catholic Archdiocese of Kottayam.
- "THE ARCHEPARCHY OF KOTTAYAM | Leading the Knanaya Community".
- Vettikkatt, Fr. Michael, "‘അഗാപ്പെ ഭവൻ’ - ഉദ്ഘാടനം ജനുവരി രണ്ടിന്" ("'Agape Bhavan' – Inauguration on January 2"), Apna Des, December 25, 2005, p. 19.
- Patheeplakkil, P.J. John, ചരിത്രത്താളുകളിലൂടെ (Through Historical Pages), Ss. Peter & Paul Kalloor-Cherpunkal Parish Directory 2007, p. 5
- Mutholath, Fr. Abraham, "Why I am so Passionate about the Miao Diocese", On His Wings – Five Years of Maio Diocese, pp. 40-41.
- Thottappuram, George, “മുത്തോലത്തച്ചൻ സംഭാവന നൽകിയ സമിരിറ്റൻ സെന്റർ ഉദ്ഘാടനം ഓഗസ്റ്റ് 21ന്”, Kerala Express, August 19, 2011, p. 21
- "KNANAYA REGION: LOS ANGELES PARISH". knanayaregion.us.
- Consecration Souvenir of Cherpunkal New Church (Malayalam), February 14, 1993. Print.
- Mathrusmruthi (മാതൃസ്മൃതി), Church establishment Souvenir, St. Mary's Knanaya Catholic Parish, Chicago, 2010. Print.
- Silver Jubilee Souvenir – 2008, Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Parish, Chicago. Print.
- Souvenir 2011, St. Pius X Knanaya Catholic Church, Los Angeles, January 2012. Print.
- Karakkatt, Bijo (Executive Editor), Tenth Anniversary Souvenir of Chicago Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Forane Parish, 2016.