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Bishop Geevarghese Mar Athanasius of Mar Thoma Church passes away

Geevarghese Mar Athanasius
Geevarghese Mar Athanasius
Rt. Rev. Geevarghese Mar Athanasius, the Suffragan Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, passed away at  a private hospital here in the early hours of today, the church annnounced.
 
Bishop Athanasisus, who had been ailing for a long time and had been in and out of hospital for the past many months, was admitted again to the P V S Memorial Hospital here yesterday and was put on a ventilator. He breathed his last at 4.40 am today, the announcement from the Thiruvalla, Kerala-headquartered church said.
 
He would have turned 74 on April 26.
 
The announcement said the Bishop, who headed the Ranni-Nilackal Diocese of the church, was "fondly remembered for his soul-stirring oration, marked with Christian maturity and vast knowledge in human relations".
 
It said he had initiated several humanitarian projects for the upliftment of the poor and needy.
 
Born as C. I. George on April 26 to C I Idicula and Achiyamma of Nedumpram,  he did his schooling at Neerattupuram and obtained his B. Sc. degree from the Mar Thoma College, Thiruvalla and a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree from the Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur in 1969.
 
He was ordained as a deacon on May 3, 1969 and as a priest on June 14 that year and served in various parishes of the church, including Mumbai Dadar, Kottayam, Madras Chetpet and Toronto, Canada.
 
While in Canada he did higher studies in Wycliffe College, Toronto (1975-76). He was selected as Bishop while serving in Edayaranmula parish. He was consecrated on December 9, 1989 with the name Geevarghese Mar Athanasius.
 
He was assigned to be the head of Mumbai – Delhi Diocese. Later, he served as head of Kottayam-Kochi Diocese from November, 1993 to September, 2001 before coming head of the Ranni Nilackal Diocese in October, 2001.
 
He was installed as Suffragan Metropolitan of the church  on October 2, 2015, making him the second in the official hierarchy after the Metropolitan, the Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thoma, the head of the church.
 
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