New Delhi 22 December 2014: The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed Fr. Jerome Dhas Varuvel SDB, 63 years, the first bishop of the newly erected diocese of Kuzhithurai. At the time of his appointment, Bishop-elect Jeromedhas was the Master of Novices of the Chennai Province of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The bishop-elect was born on 21 October 1951 at Kallutharai, in Kanyakumari district, in the diocese of Kottar. He completed his High School from Carmel School, Nagercoil in 1965 and therafter did his Pre-University Course at the Scott Christian College in Nagercoil, before joining the St. Aloysius Minor Seminary (1968-1970) at Nagercoil, as a candidate for the diocese of Kottar. He did his philosophical studies at the Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee, Chennai (1970-73. Thereafter, he did his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Arulanadar College, Karumathur (1973-76) before joining the Salesian Novitiate at Yercaud in 1977. He made his first profession on 24 May 1978.
His theological studies were done at the Salesian Pontifical University (1981-85). He was ordained a priest on 2 June 1985 by St. John Paul II at the Vatican. After his priestly ordination, the bishop elect completed his Masters degree in Pedagogy from the Salesina Pontifical University before returning to India. As a priest he held the following responsibilities in the Province of Chennai: Vice-Rector of the Salesian Novitiate at Vellakinar, Coimbatore (1986-1990); Rector of the Pre-novitiate at Tirupattur (1990-1992), and Rector of the Pre-Novitiate at Pallithammam; Dean of the Salesina Studentate at Tiruchy (1994-1996); and Rector and Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Co-Cathedral, Chennai; Provincial Councillor (2001-2002); Director of the Educational Ministry of the Province ofChennai (2003-2010); Director of Don Bosco Mission at Thalavadi (2010) and Master of Novices (2010-).