By Felix Anthony

Longding, Apr 16 : The Vincentian Congregation (VC) elected Father John Kandathinkara, a missionary priest working in Longding District of Arunachal Pradesh as their new Superior General during a general chapter gathering in Edappally, Kochi on 14 April 2021.

Father John Kandanthinkara, working as the Rector of the De Paul Mission in Tissa, Miao Diocese, will succeed Father Sebastian Thundathikunnel as the new head of the 100 years old Vincentian Congregation.

Father Kandathinkara came to Arunachal Pradesh in 2017 after the completion of his term as the Provincial Superior of St. Thomas Province Delhi for eight years. He has been serving in Tissa, one of the last centres of Miao Diocese since then.

Congratulating Father Kandanthinkara, Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese said, “Father John is a humble and able leader. With his academic excellence in pastoral counselling and with his years of working in a humble mission in Arunachal Pradesh, I am sure he is the right person to lead the VC’s across the world. I wish God’s blessing upon him and his congregation”.

Father Kandanthinkara, born on 25 November 1954 and ordained Priest on 9 April 1984, has a doctorate in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University, Baltimore, USA. He has served as a professor and spiritual director at the De Paul Institute of Religion and Philosophy, Bangalore and as Rector of St. Ephrem’s Theological College, Satna before his election as a provincial superior of Delhi, one the three provinces of Vincentian Congregation.

“We are very happy to hear the news of his election as our new Superior General. Having worked under his spiritual leadership in the Tissa mission, we can say that he is the right person to lead our congregation. We thank God together with our people for his election”, said Father Paul Thekkanath VC, the Parish Priest of Tissa mission that caters to the Wancho and Nocte tribes of Longding district.

Started in Kerala in the year 1904, the Vincentian Congregation, based on the rules of St. Vincent De Paul and on the model of the Congregation of Mission founded by him in 1625, has spread across the country in 19 States and is serving in more than 15 countries across the world, including Australia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and USA.

We have been praying for the right superior general to take our congregation further on the right direction and God has heard our prayer - Father John Kandathinkara is the right person in the present day context, said Father Shaji Joseph VC, the Rector of Divine Renewal Retreat Centre, Margherita, Assam.

Preaching the Word of God as main charism, the VC has 51 Retreat Centres across the world. The famous Divine Retreat Centre in Muringoor, Kerala is manned by the VC. The North East India has six, with Arunachal, Assam and Manipur having two each.

As Superior General, Fr. Kandathinkara will be heading the strong body of 564 Priests and 197 professed members. He will discharge his duties from the Vincentian Generalate, De Paul Nagar, Edappally, Kochi, Kerala.

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