Rev Dr Sabu K Cherian has been consecrated as the Thirteenth Bishop of the Madhya Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India. The consecration ceremony was held at the CSI Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kottayam on Monday morning. The Most. Rev. A. Dharmaraj Rasalam, the Moderator and supreme head of the CSI, led the consecration ceremony. Rt Rev. Dr Cherian belongs to the Punnakadu Malayil family in Kozhencherry. He was the vicar of the St Thomas Church at Thukalassery in Thiruvalla until he was named as the bishop.
Rt. Rev. Dr Sabu K. Cherian has been elevated to this high office after a long and effective ministry in the diocese in various capacities. Bishop Dr. Sabu K. Cherian, who is 59 years old, started his ministry as a missionary in the Andhra Mission (currently Telangana Mission) where his wife Dr Mrs Jessy Sara Koshy joined him in the mission work as a missionary doctor. He served as the Treasurer of the Diocese of Madhya Kerala in 2014 for three years. He was ordained as a deacon of the CSI in 1988 and a presbyter in 1989. He has been serving as the vicar of the St. Thomas CSI Church in Tholassery, Thiruvalla.
In his thanksgiving speech, Rt. Rev. Dr Sabu K. Cherian stated that he will continue to serve the diocese with his missionary zeal. Bishop committed himself to address the issues faced by the Dalit Christians in the diocese and work for their betterment. He highlighted the need for giving more emphasis on the education ministry of the diocese, which started the first-ever girls’ school in South India. Bishop envisions programs to prepare youngsters in the diocese for civil service and other competitive exams and thus make them part of the nation-building.
The consecration service was officiated by Most Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam; the Moderator of the Church of South India. Rt. Rev. Dr Reuben Mark; the Deputy Moderator, Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina Raja; the General Secretary, Rt. Rev. Dr Oommen George (Moderator’s Commissary of Madhya Kerala Diocese and Bishop in Kollam Kottarakkara Diocese), Rt. Rev. Dr M. Joseph, (Bishop in Madurai Diocese), Rt. Rev. Sharma Nithyanandam (Bishop, Vellore Diocese), Rt. Rev. A. C. Soloman (Bishop, Medak Diocese), Rt. Rev. Royce Manoj Victor (Bishop, Malabar Diocese), Rt. Rev. B. N. Fenn (Bishop, Cochin Diocese), Rt. Rev. Timothi Revinder (Bishop, Coimbatore Diocese), Rt. Rev. Dr A. R. Chelliah (Kanyakumari Diocese), Rt. Rev. George Cornelious (Bishop, Krishna Godavari Diocese), Rt. Rev. Dr D. Chandrasekaran (Bishop, Trichy-Tanjore Diocese), Rt. Rev. V. S. Francis (Bishop, East Kerala), and Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan; representing the Mar Thoma Church, a sister church of the CSI. Bishops emeritus Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen (former Moderator, CSI), Rt. Rev. Thomas Samuel and Rt. Rev. K. G. Daniel participated in the consecration service.
Rt. Rev. B. N. Fenn gave the consecration sermon. Prof. Dr Vimal Sukumar, the Hon. Treasurer of the Church of South India and the leaders of the administrative committee also gave the leadership for the consecration service. People from various walks of life, presbyters, sisters, missionaries, heads of institutions, representatives from theological colleges, members of the neighbouring dioceses, and leaders and members of other denominations witnessed the consecration service. The service was held complying to the COVID 19 protocols.
During the installation, Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina Raja, the General Secretary of the CSI, read the instrument of election and selection. The congregation gave its assent. The Moderator then led the consecration and installation of the Bishop-elect. There was a solemn examination of the Bishop-elect, followed by the congregational hymn inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Moderator and the officiating Bishops laid their hands on the head of the Bishop-elect and prayed. The Moderator then presented the newly consecrated Bishop with the Bible and the Pastoral Staff, the symbol of the good shepherd, while the Bishop was adorned with the Saffron Stole. The Deputy Moderator placed the Episcopal Ring on his finger, a token of pledge and fidelity. The Bishops then welcomed the new Bishop to the council of the Bishops by giving the right hand of fellowship. The Moderator then declared Rt. Rev. Dr Sabu K. Cherian as Bishop in the Church of God, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The congregation responded with a loud ‘Amen’ and sang the doxology.
Then the newly consecrated Bishop was led to his Episcopal chair. The lay leaders of the Diocese, representatives of the laity and representatives of the Deacons and Presbyters and women workers promised all due obedience to the new Bishop.
Rev. Dr Sabu is blessed with two sons; Mr Sibu Cherian Koshy who is married to Ms Roopa Esther Philip and settled in Ireland and Dr Sam John Koshy who is currently pursuing his post-graduation in Chennai.