TORANTO: Fr. Dr. Parackel Kuriakose Mathew (Mathew Achen, age 78) passed away on October 29, 2015, in Mississauga, Toronto, Canada.
He is survived by his wife Ponnamma Mathew (retired teacher) from Venmony (Kandalore House) in Kerala and three daughters, Dr. Anu Mathew (w/o Varghese Abraham (Unni), Maryland, USA), Renu Mathew (w/o Bejoy Philip, Montreal, Canada) and Sneha Susan Mathew (w/o Sanjay Markose, Montreal, Canada).
Fr. Mathew is the son of the late Parackel Kuriakose Cor Episcopos and Annamma. He was born and brought up in Meenadom, near Kottayam, Kerala, India, as the eldest of six children. He came to Canada in 1972 and has been serving the communities in Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, and Montreal. He organized congregations and served as vicar in St. Thomas Orthodox Churches in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, and St. George’s Orthodox Church, Kingston. He was very dynamic in social, community and Church spheres in India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Canada. His last Holy Qurbana was on September 20th, 2015, at St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Toronto.
His decision to become a priest came about in his youth when he encountered H.G. Geevarghese Mar Philoxenos (Puthencavil Kochu Thirumeni). When passing through Pampady in front of his mother’s house, Thirumeni stopped and talked to the young Thankachen (Mathew Achen), urging him to get a priest like his father, Parackel Achen. He has been influenced in his lifetime by many pious and saintly men, key among them being H.H. Baselios Augen I, H.G. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, and H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas.
After finishing his B.A. from SB College, Changanassery, P.K. Mathew joined the first batch of students (1959) at the Kottayam seminary. He had completed his B.D. degree and served as the SCM Secretary in Trivandrum for one year. Subsequently, he also had completed his M.Th from Serampore University, Calcutta. Augen Bava sent Deacon Mathew to teach at Theological College of Holy Trinity, Haile Selassie I (present Addis Ababa) University, Ethiopia. Fr. Mathew was ordained as a priest by Augen Bava in 1968. He also had completed an S.T.M. (Master of Sacred Theology) degree from the Near East School of Theology, Beirut, and earned a Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal in New Testament studies. He taught at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. He was also visiting Professor of Biblical Languages at the Spiritan International School of Theology at Enugu, Nigeria and has published articles in books and international journals.
Fr. P.K. Mathew has been a very devout and faithful Orthodox priest, an excellent scholar, counselor, and defender of the Orthodox faith. He was a firm advocate of the ecumenical movement and counted priests and members from other denominations and faiths among his acquaintances. Above all he was a truly noble person who loved to recount tales from his life and wished for all his faithful and loved ones, unreservedly.