A PROFILE OF MOST REV. DR. JAMES THOPPIL, THE BISHOP OF KOHIMA

 

Most Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, the bishop of Kohima, was born in Neezhoor, Kerala, on March 02, 1959. His father, Uthuppan Charalel, died 1962 in an accident. His mother, Anna, who is still alive and in good health, brought him up with other five of his siblings (one brother and four sisters). He completed his elementary education in his native place, completing his Matric in 1974.

The Bishop began his priestly formation in 1974 at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dibrugarh. He did his Philosophical Studies at Christ King College, Shillong while at the same time doing B.A at St. Antony’s College, Shillong. He did Regency at St. Joseph’s Church, Tseminyu from 1980 to 1982. He completed the Theological studies (B. Th) at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, under the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, from 1982 to 1986. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kohima on Jan. 12, 1986 at St. Joseph's Church, Arunoottimangalam, Kerala. He did his licentiate in the Field of Dogmatic Theology under Pontifical Urban University, Rome, from 1994 to 1996 and completed his Doctorate in the same field and under the same university from 1996 to 1998. His doctoral dissertation is entitled “Towards an Asian Ecclesiology”.

In his life as a priest spanning  over twenty five years, the Bishop had been assigned to various responsibilities: Dean of Studies, Good Shepherd Seminary, Dimapur, Nagaland (1986 – 1990); Editor, Sharing: The News Bulletin of the Diocese of Kohima (1986 – 1990); Parish Priest and Principal, Holy Cross Church and School, Dimapur (1990 – 1994); Secretary, Nagaland Association of Catholic Schools (1990 – 1994);  Dean of Studies, Registrar, Prefect of Discipline and Professor, Oriens  Theological College, Shillong (1999 – 2005);  Secretary, Northeast Diocesan Priests' Forum for Theological Reflection (NEDPFTR) (1999 – 2004); Parochial Vicar, St. Felicitas Church, San Leandro, CA, USA (2006-2007); Rector, Oriens Theological College, Shillong (2008 – 2011); and  Managing Editor, Oriens Journal for Contextual Theology (2010 – 2011). He has authored and edited six books related to theology and mission and has published numerous scholarly articles in various Theological Journals. Besides Malayalam, his mother tongue, and English Fr. James knows Hindi, Nagamese and two foreign languages –Italian and German. He who holds master degree in plotilical science, philosophy, religion and sociology.

Bishop James Thoppil has served the diocese of Kohima with missionary zeal and enthusiasm for the past twenty five years. As a priest he has contributed significantly to all aspects of Church life particularly in formation, pastoral work, education and administration. His expertise and experience will help the Church “to do everything for the sake of the Gospel” (cf. 1 Cor 9:23, his Episcopal motto), as well as to strengthen the Catholic Faith that has been planted and nourished for over six decades, under the special protection and intercession of May Help of Christians, the Patroness of the diocese of Kohima.

 

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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