Pope Francis has appointed former YCS chaplain Fr Thomass Thennatt SAC as the new bishop for the Indian diocese of Gwalior. He is also the world’s first Pallotine bishop, Matters India reports.
A press note from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India headquarters in New Delhi said the Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Kaithathara of Gwalior and appointed Father Thomas Thennatt as his successor.
Fr Thomas Thennatt is the first prelate from the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, popularly known as Pallotines, to become a bishop in the world, said Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur while announcing the appointment.
“It is recognition for the Pallottines as they contribute much to the Church through laity formation, Small Christian Communities, formation of seminarian, and pastoral council,” Archbishop Viruthakulangara told Matters India.
Bishop-elect Thennat has served as pastor in states such as the undivided Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
He has served as the parish priest of St. Pius X Church Mankapur in Nagpur diocese since 2012. He is also the president for the pastoral commission of the Prabhu Prakash province of the Pallotines at Nagpur.
He has also served as director of family apostolate, youth ministry, small Christian Communities, as well as member of many commissions of his congregation.
Pallotine provincial Father Thomas Pullan says the bishop-elect is known for simplicity, humility and detachment from worldly things. Father Thennatt’s unassuming nature will help his duty as a bishop in Gwalior, the provincial told a function at the provincial house in Nagpur to vest the bishop-elect.
Father Thennatt was born in a family of six on November 26, 1953, at Koodallor in the Archdiocese of Kottayam in Kerala.