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Most Rev. Anthony Chirayath

Bishop Anthony Chirayath was born on July 30, 1941 at Aranattukara in the Archdiocese of Trichur. His parents were Mathew and Anna. He was the fifth of six children. On August 5, 1941 he was baptised at St. Mary’s Church, Aranattukara. As a young boy he was active in the parish activities. He was an altar server, member of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. He did his primary and seconday schooling at Tharakan’s High School, Aranattukara. On July 8, 1951 he received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop George Alappat of Trichur at St. Mary’s Monastery chapel, Elthuruth. In 1958 he completed his high school from St. Aloysius High School, Elthuruth. The next two years were spent in St. Augustine's Minor Seminary, Jabalpur. In 1961 he passed Intermediate Exams from Jabalpur University. In 1964 he graduated with first rank in political science from Nagpur University. It was at St. Charles Seminary, Nagpur that he did his philosophy and theology studies. In 1969 he represented the seminary at the Post-Conciliar Assembly held in Bangalore in 1969.

On January 2, 1970 he was ordained priest for Sagar Diocese, together with his brother Fr. Jose Chirayath, CMI at Devmatha Provincial House Chapel at Trichur by Bishop George Alappat. In the same year he obtained B.Th. The next two years he was active in Sagar as Secretary of Bishop Clemens Thottungal, CMI, Chancellor of the Diocese, Parish Priest of the Cathedral, Sagar University Chaplain and Diocesan Director of Social Services. In 1972, he was selected to serve in the Roman Curia. From 1972 he was an Official of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. In 1978 he was given the title of Papal Chamberlain. In 1994 he was made a Prelate of Honour. In 2003 Pope John Paul II elevated him as Office Head. In the same year he was honoured with the title of Apostolic Proto-notary. On February 2, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI elected him third Bishop of Sagar. On March 25, 2006 he was ordained Bishop by His Eminence Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church. Archbishop Jacob Thoomkuzhy of Trichur and Bishop Joseph Pastor Neelankavil, CMI, Bishop Emeritus of Sagar, were co-consecrators. Bishop Chirayath speaks several Indian and European languages. He has travelled widely representing his Office and the Holy See at several international and national meetings.