Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Palghat
The Eparchy of Palghat is a diocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, centred on the town of Palakkad in the state of Kerala, in South India. It is a suffragan bishopric of the Archdiocese of Trichur. It was established in 1974 from part of the former Eparchy of Trichur, and in 2010 lost territory to the newly formed Eparchy of Ramanathapuram. The current bishop is Jacob Manathodath, who succeeded Joseph Irimpen in 1997.
History of Diocese of Palghat (Palakkad)
The Eparchy of Palghat was erected on June 20, 1974, through the Decree "Apostolico Requirente" by Pope Paul VI, bifurcating the eparchy of Trichur and adding into the territory of the new eparchy a few parishes of the eparchy of Tellichery, which were in the district of Palakkad. It was a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam. The eparchy was inaugurated on September 8, 1974. The episcopal ordination of Msgr. Joseph Irimpen and his assumption of office as the first bishop of the eparchy took place on the same day. It is now a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Trichur. The eparchy covers an area of 28515 km2 and it comprises the civil district of Palakkad in Kerala and the districts of Coimbatore, Erode, Karur and Tirupur in Tamil Nadu. At the time of the inauguration of the Eparchy it had a total of 16 parishes and 8 stations. The number of diocesan priests was 14 and that of the adherents was 20810. It has now 69057 adherents, 127 priests incarnated to it and 99 parishes and 45 stations. Bishop Irimpen retired from his office on December 6, 1994 and died on August 23, 1997. Msgr. Joseph Veliyathil served the Eparchy as its Administrator from December 6, 1994 to February 1, 1997. Pope John Paul II nominated Bishop Jacob Manathodath, then the Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly as the Bishop of Palghat on November 11, 1996. Bishop Manathodath took canonical possession of the eparchy on February 1, 1997.
The diocese of Palghat was bifurcated and a new diocese, named Ramanathapuram, was erected on 18 January 2010.
Mar Joseph Irimpen (1974–1996) was born at Poovathussery in the eparchy of Irinjalakuda on 25 February 1919. After completing his High School studies at St. Aloysius High School, Elthuruth, he had his college education at St. Thomas College, Thrissur and graduated in 1943 from the Madras University. He had his eccelesiastical studies in the Papal Seminary, Kandy and was ordained priest on 6 May 1950. While he was the Vicar General of the eparchy of Trichur, he was appointed Bishop on 27 June 1974 of the newly erected eparchy of Palghat and was ordained bishop on 8 September 1974 by Joseph Cardinal Parecattil, assisted by Bishop of Trichur Mar Joseph Kundukulam and Bishop of Tellicherry Mar Sebastian Vallopilly. He took charge of the eparchy on 8 September 1974. He retired from the office on 6 December 1994. Mar Joseph Irimpen died on 23 August 1997 and was buried in St. Raphael's Cathedral, Palakkad.
Diocese of Palghat - Geographical Area, 4,480 km2 (Palakkad Dt)
- Catholic Families: 12,521
- Catholics: 56,668
- Diocesan 121
- Working 8
- Religious Men 59
- Religious Women 1,051
- Diocesan Seminarians :
- Theologians 15
- Regents 11
- Philosophers 25
- Minor Seminarians 34
- Foranes 8
- Parishes 74
- Stations 43
- Mar Jacob Manathodath, Diocese of Palghat