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Very Rev.Dr.Abraham Thomas Corepiscopa (Our Valiyachen)
Capt. Abraham Kuruvilla

We wish you a very happy 75th birthday (10/01/2009)


What bright and beautiful
memories you have
created in your life!

May this be the dawn of
many more!

Have a happy and healthy
75 year!

From All members of St.Stephen's Knanaya Church
 Maynard (Boston)

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, became a

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 several articles.

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 and Boston.

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 places 

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 Jose).


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.


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