It will be headquartered in Palakkad
A new diocese of the Roman Catholic (Latin rite) church has come into existence with its headquarters in Palakkad.
The ecclesiastical provision from Pope Francis announcing the formation of the Sulthanpet diocese was formally read out by Chancellor of Calicut Diocese Fr. A.D. Mathew in the presence of Bishop Varghese Chakkalakkal at a ceremony here on Saturday.
Monsignor Peter Abir Antony Samy will be installed the first bishop of the new diocese, which was carved out from territories coming under the Calicut and Coimbatore dioceses. It will be the 31st Roman Catholic diocese in Kerala and the 12th one under the control of the Latin Catholic church.Constituents
Bishop Chakkalakkal said the new bishopric would have 21 parishes and 30, 975 families. “Twenty-one educational institutions and 12 charity institutions will come under the patronage of the new diocese,” he added.
With the formation of the new diocese, a major portion of Palakkad district, comprising Shoranur, Ottappalam, Mannarkkad and Attappady, will be separated from the Calicut diocese. The new diocese will follow the Kerala hierarchy of the church and will directly come under the Verapoly Archdiocese. “The new diocese will offer spiritual services in three languages — Malayalam, Tamil, and English,” he said.
Fr. Vincent Pulickal, procurator of the diocese, introduced the new bishop to the gathering. Monsignor Peter Abir, who was born on April 7, 1952, at Sathipattu in Tamil Nadu, was ordained priest on May 1, 1979. The Bishop-designate has taught in several institutes and seminaries in the country and abroad. He has authored 31 books and several articles in Tamil and English on biblical themes.