Metropolitan Dr. Mar Barnabas Mathews retired bishop of the diocese of United States and Canada entered eternal rest on December 9th 2012 at the age of 88. The funeral was on December 12, 2012 at his home parish, Valayanchirangara St. Peter's and St. Paul's Orthodox Church, near Cochin airport.
He was born in Kerala, India on 9th Aug 1924. After his primary education he did both undergraduate and graduate degree in Science. He did his theological education at Serampore University.
He was ordained Qorooyo by His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Geevarghese II, Catholicose of the East in 1943. L.L. His Grace Augen Mar Timothios Metropolitan ordained him as Deacon at Moovattupuzha Cathedral and in 1951 he was ordained a Priest.
He served as a teacher in various schools and further in the Theological Seminary at Kottayam. He also served as chaplain of Medical Mission Hospital, Kolenchery run by the Church which he loved most.
He was elected as Bishop designate by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association of the Church held at Mavelikkara on 16th May 1977. A tumor in the back bone was diagnosed only after the election which was removed without any harm done to his health
In Aug 1977, he accepted the vows of monkhood. On 15th May 1978, he was consecrated as an Episcopo by L.L. H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, Catholicos with the name Mathews Mar Barnabas and in Feb 1981 His Grace was elevated to the position of Metropolitan.
He became the first Metropolitan of the newly formed Idukki Diocese on 1st June 1982. His Grace also served as the Metropolitan of Ankamaly and Kottayam dioceses. Further he served in United States and Canada diocese for 19 years. He established the diocese on strong grounds and organized it with a vision. He built a new diocesan headquarters in New York. The diocese was later divided in to two and he became the first Metropolitan of the diocese of North East America. There are several books and articles to his credit.
On 25th May 2011 he retired from his office and came back to Kerala and since then was in and out of hospitals due to his poor health. May his soul rest in peace and may his intercession be of benefit to us.
We lived together for a short period at Malankara Medical Mission Hospital, Kolenchery where he (then Fr. K.K. Mathews) worked as hospital chaplain and I was lodging at the outhouse of the hospital while doing my B.A at the near by St. Peter's College.
My Tribute: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_rPC8m3OJY