Bangalore 18 October 2016: Pope Francis on Tuesday 18 October 2016 appointed Fr. Thomas Thennatt (63) of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, the new Bishop to the Diocese of Gwalior in India. The Bishop elect is now Parish Priest of St. Pius Church, Mankapur, Nagpur. Fr. Thomas Thennatt SAC was born on 26 November 1953 in Koodalloor, in the Diocese of Kottayam, Kerala. In 1969 he joined the Minor Seminary of Pallottigiri in Trivandrum, Kerala. Having completed his Novitiate in the Society of the Catholic Apostolate he made his solemn profession on 31 May 1975 and was ordained a priest on 21 October 1978.
After ordination he held the following positions: 1978-1980: chaplain in the Diocese of Amravati; 1980-1981: chaplain in the diocese of Eluru; 1981-1983: Studied for a licentiate in theology in Poona Seminary; 1984-1987: parish priest of St. Anthony’s parish in Mudfort, Archdiocese of Hyderabad; 1987-1991: Director of the Commission on Youth and Young Catholic Student / Young Students’ Movement (YCS / YSM), families and the laity of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad; 1991-1993: Pastor of Pushpanagar parish, Diocese of Indore; 1993-1998: Regional Director for the laity and families, and for the Small Christian Communities (S.C.C.) in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; 1998-2008: Rector of Khrist Premalaya Theologate, Ashta, and Director of the Regional Formation Commission; 2002-2008: Councilor in the Province of Nagpur of his Congregation; 2008-2012: Pastor in Ishgar parish in the Diocese of Jhabua, President of the Conference of Religious in India (C.R.I.), Director of the Commission for the Laity, families and Small Christian Communities (S.C.C.); Since 2012: parish priest at Mankapur in the Archdiocese of Nagpur and President of the Pastoral Commission of the Province.
The Diocese of Gwalior (1999), suffragan of the Archdiocese of Bhopal, has an area of33,500 square kilometers and a population of 6,500,000 inhabitants, of whom 4,900 are Catholics. There are 13 parishes, served by 33 priests (23 diocesan and 10 religious), 68 nuns and 11 seminarians.