Thomas Corepiscopa (Our Valiyachen)
Capt. Abraham Kuruvilla
We wish you a very happy 75th
What bright and beautiful
created in your life!
May this be the dawn of
Have a happy and healthy
From All members of St.Stephen's
About V.Rev. Dr.Abraham Thomas
& his co-brother Capt. Abraham Kuruvilla
The Very Rev. Dr. Abraham Thomas Corepiscopa was born along with his twin
brother Capt. Abraham Kuruvilla, on October 1, 1934, as the 4th son of the late Mr. T. Abraham and the late Mrs. Chachikutty
Abraham, Vazhayil,Veliyanadu, Kerala, India. After their early education in Veliyanadu, the identical twin brothers, Thomaskutty
and Kuruvillachen attended
St. Berchman’s College, Changanachery.
In 1953, when he was doing his Intermediate at S.B. College, Thomaskutty was ordained
as a Deacon by His Grace Abraham Mar Clemis, the new Metropolitan of the Syrian Knanaya Church. Dn. Thomas received his priesthood
training from Mar Ephraim Seminary and Manjanikara Seminary. The new deacon successfully completed his B.A. (Honors) in English
literature from Madras Christian College and started his teaching career at Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta
Through contacts made by his twin brother Capt. Abraham Kuruvilla
while visiting Sydney as a cadet in the Merchant Marine,
the new Deacon received scholarship to study theology and joined the Moore Theological College, Sydney Australia in 1957. After receiving the Th.L. degree from Australia, he came to the United States of America in
1961 and studied at the Union Theological Seminary, New York and received S. T .M. (Master
of Sacred Theology) degree and PARS Certificate (Program of Advanced Religious Studies). In 1962 he moved to Boston and enrolled
at Boston University School of Theology and pursued further studies in Social Ethics. After completing his course work and
qualifying exams, Dn. Thomas went
to Bangalore to work on his dissertation, with the guidance of the late Dr. M.M. Thomas.
Regarding his visit to India one of his close friends
said that Dn. Thomas went to Bangalore for "research and search" and as a result of the “search”, he
got married in 1967. His lovely wife Santhamma is the fifth daughter of the late Mr. M.I. Punnoose and the late Mrs. Mariamma
Punnoose, Manimalethu, Ranny. Vazhayil Chemmachen, once thought to be the future Metropolitan of the Syrian Knanaya Church,
loving, caring and affectionate husband. After the marriage,
the newlyweds returned to Boston. Dn. Thomas received his Th.D. (Doctor of Theology) from Boston University in 1969. He is
the author of CHRISTIANS IN SECULAR INDIA (1974) and contributed a chapter to POLITICS AFTER NEHRU. He has also published
He was ordained as a priest in New Jersey on June 19,
1971, by the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, His Holiness Ignatius Yacoub III. He was elevated as a Corepiscopa in
New York in 1986, and in 1989 was appointed as the Administrator of the North American Knanaya Diocese by His Eminence Abraham Mar Clemis, Metropolitan of the Syrian Knanaya Samudhayam
and served in that capacity for ten years (till 1999). The appointment of Vazhayil Achen as the Administrator was indeed the
recognition of his dedication to service, administrative skills, ecumenical outlook, scholastic ability and piety. He has
been serving as the vicar of St. Stephen's Knanaya Church, Maynard, Massachusetts since its inception in 1992. Just recently
he has resigned from his vicar-ship
During his stewardship, The
North American Knanaya Community saw significant progress. In 1995, it had 8 established churches, 1 congregation, 10 priests,
5 deacons and a nun The Diocese had more than 400 families as its members and already owned churches in New York, Houston
During his administration, Vazhayil Achen implemented
a Constitution for the Diocese and established the North American Knanaya Association and the North American Knanaya Committee.
The leadership he has provided for the construction of the beautiful St. Stephen's Knanaya church, Maynard, Massachusetts,
is also admirable. Vazhayil Achen with his pleasant personality and conciliatory mentality deserves a lot of credit for uniting
the North American Knanaya community.
Dr. Thomas started his career as
a college professor at Bridgewater State College where he taught till May 2003 when he retired from full-time service. During
his long career at the College, he served as Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology for nine years and was
the recipient of three “Distinguished Service” Awards. He also served as President of the Massachusetts Sociological
Association. He is very actively involved in the Kerala Community. He was one of the “Founding Fathers” of the
Malayalee Samajam in Boston and was elected as President of the Kerala Association of New England during the year 1971- 72 and 1983-84.
Vazhayil Achen is a true Christian disciple, very much
involved in the ecumenical activities of the Kerala community in New England. Even though he is settled
down in Raynham, Massachusetts with his wife, Santhamma they are hardly there. They go for long visits to India and when in
the US mostly out of station,visiting with their children and grand children in Long Island and Philadelphia or traveling
All three of his children are married now. Anil who is married to Waikuen and they have
two daughters named Raina and Micael and a son named Dilan , Paul is married to Tara and they have a daughter named Anika
and Priya is married to Benjamin.
Capt. Kuruvilla & Vazhayil Achen
a.k.a Kuruvillachan) was born October 1, 1934 as the 3rd son
of T Abraham & Chachykutty Vazhayil of Veliyanadu, Kuttanad, Kerala.
After schooling in Kallissary &
at S.B. College, he joined the Indian merchant marine corps. He was selected to train at India’s then premier marine
training center, the Training Ship Dufferin. After completing training with distinction, he worked many years as officer and
Captain with Scindia Steam Navigation Company. Later, to help raise a growing family, he took a shore job with the Cochin
Port. Here he served in increasingly responsible positions as Harbor Pilot, Harbor Master and Head of the Marine Department,
responsible for overseeing all maritime activity with the port area. During this time, after a competitive selection process,
he took up position as Chairman-cum-Managing Director of a public company, The Dredging Corporation of India (DCI).
After successfully leading DCI to a period of revenue growth and profit, he continues to remain active as advisor and
consultant in dredging and maritime areas.
Kuruvillachan is also passionate about practicing his faith within and outside
his religious community. Over the past 40 years, he has actively contributed his ideas, time and effort to various organizations
including the Rotary International, and to the Company of Master Mariners. As a faithful member of the Knanaya Syrian Community,
he is active in both church and community affairs. Areas where he tries to be active include Education (Mor Sevarios Trust),
Charity( Mor Clemis Fund), and Knanaya Center ( in Ernakulam). He remains active as member of the current Knanaya Association
and Managing Committee. One of his present goals is to establish a master plan and initial development funding for the Veliyanadu
Knanaya Center, and Kulpumala Estate in Malabar.
As recognition of his efforts, he was conferred the Indira Gandhi award
for the “Best Chief Executive in Public Sector”. Both he and the DCI are also mentioned in a Kouzes and Pozner’s
book on Leadership Challenges.
Capt. Kuruvilla is married since 1964 to Saramma ( a.ka. Kunjumollykutty)
of Thamarapallil House, Muzukheer. They are proud parents to three sons, Arun(Kansas City), Dn. Anup(Boston), and Joseph(San
Knanaya.us has great pride and pleasure in congratulating
Vazhayil Achen and Capt Abraham Kuruvilla on their 75th birthday. May God shower His abundant blessings on his anointed and
his twin brother to continue their services for God and humanity May God give them both a healthy and productive long life.