KOCHI: The Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church, which is going on at the St Thomas Mount, Kakkanad, has approved the process of canonisation of Mgr Joseph Kandathil, the founder of Assisi Sisters of Mary Immaculate (ASMI), and Fr Varkey Kattarath, the founder of the Vincentian Congregation.
Mgr Kandathil was known for his work among leprosy patients, which earned him the name ‘Kerala Damien’. Mgr Kandathil, born in 1904 in Chembu near Vaikom, received the priesthood in 1933. He established a leprosy hospital in Cherthala in 1942, and ASMI in 1949. He passed away in December 1991.
Fr Varkey Kattarath, born in 1851 in Punjaar near Pala, received priesthood at the age of 22. He founded the Vincentian Congregation on 20 November 1904 on the model of the Congregation of the Mission (C.M.), founded by St. Vincent de Paul in France with three diocesan priests, with the approval and encouragement of Louis Pazheparampil, the first Vicar Apostolic of Ernakulam.