KOCHI: Pope Francis has bestowed the title of Monsignor on Fr Francis Kolenchery, vicar general of St Thomas Syro Malabar Diocese, Melbourne. The title was given in the division of ‘Chaplain of His Holiness’, considering his comprehensive services to the Church’.
The title was granted following the request of Melbourne Bishop Bosco Puthur, considering the service done by the priest for the Melbourne diocese and the Church. Fr Francis completed his theological studies from Thrikkakara Sacred Heart Minor Seminary and St Thomas Major Seminary, Vadavathur. He was ordained a priest on December 22, 1979, by Cardinal Joseph Parekattil.
He had served as the assistant vicar of Njarakkal Parish, vicar of Tiruhridayakunnu Parish, and director of the Social Services Division of the archdiocese. It was in 2010 the Syro-Malabar Synod appointed Fr Francis as the national coordinator of the Syro-Malabar Community in Australia. When the diocese of Melbourne was declared on December 23, 2013, he was appointed its first vicar general.