RIP Jacob Mar Barnabas - Syro-Malankara Catholic Bishop Dies after Contracting COVID at Age 60


Bangalore 26 August 2021 (CCBI): Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas (60) Bishop of Gurgaon Syro Malankara Eparchy passed away on Thursday 26 August, 2021 at 1.30pm at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi. He was undergoing post Covid treatment. Funeral details are awaited.

Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas was born on 3 December 1960 at Karikulam, Ranni, Pathanamthitta in central Kerala. He was the eldest among the eight with three brothers and five sisters. Three of his sisters are nuns in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Imitation of Christ.

He joined the Order of the Imitation of Christ in 1975 after his schooling at Ranni and completed his Pre-Degree Course from Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum; took his First Profession in 1979 after his novitiate at Thapovanam Bethany Ashram, Aluva; did his Pre-philosophy at Papal Seminary, Pune and completed his Philosophy and Theology at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeetham (JDV), Pune. His Final Profession was on 15 May, 1985. He was one among the first batch of theologians at Bethany Vedavijnana Peeth (BVP), Pune.

He was ordained Priest on 2 October, 1986 by His Grace Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios at Mount Bethany, Mylapra. The new priest was given the charge of religious formation for pre-novices; later he was sent to Academia Alfonsiana, Rome for pursuing higher studies in Moral Theology. During his priestly ministry, Fr. Chacko Aerath OIC held various positions of great responsibility, viz. Superior, Bethany Ashram, Pune; Rector, BVP, Pune; Professor and Head of the Department of Pastoral and Moral Theology at JDV, Pune; Visiting Professor to various seminaries including Malankara Major Seminary. He was elected as the first Provincial Superior of Bethany Navajyothi Province in 2000.

On 7 February, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as the Apostolic Visitator with an Episcopal Character for the Malankara Community in the Extra Territorial Regions in India and the Titular Bishop of Bapara. The Bishop designate Msgr. Aerath OIC was ordained Ramban on 7 March, 2007 at St. Marys School, Ranni, Pathanamthitta.

He was ordained as Bishop by His Beatitude Major Archbishop Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos on 10 March 2007 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram. He was installed in his new office at New Delhi on 22 March, 2007. Later, His Holiness Pope Francis erected a new diocese for Syro Malankara faithful which comprises of 22 states, and Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas was appointed as the first bishop of the diocese of Gurgaon. The inauguration of the diocese was held on 1st May 2015 at St. Mary’s Cathedral Church. He is a priest 34 year years and a Bishop for 14 years.

Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara

Deputy Secretary General, CCBI

FULL TEXT Release: - Catholic Bishops Conference of India