Meet Fr. Abraham Orapankal, Pastor of St. Matthias
Born Oct. 11, 1956 in the southernmost Indian state of Kerala, Father Abraham Orapankal, his parents’ firstborn, has four brothers and three sisters. At age 15 he entered the seminary in the northeastern state of Assam to become a missionary priest. He then graduated from Christ King College, Shillong, and completed his theological studies at Jnana Deepa-Vidyapeeth (Pontifical Institute) in Pune, both in India. He was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 17, 1983 for the missionary Diocese of Kohima in Nagaland, then earned his master’s degree in theology. He was appointed dean of the Minor Seminary in Nagaland, where he subsequently became rector. He was then made Pastor of Queen Mary’s Parish and Principal of Queen Mary’s High School with 2000 students in Mokokchung, Nagaland while serving as an adjunct professor in the Oriens Theological College in Shillong.
As a Ph.D was required to be a resident professor at Oriens, Father Abraham came to the United States in 1994 and began his doctoral studies at Fordham University, while serving as Parochial Vicar at St. Catharine’s Church, Blauvelt, NY. After earning a doctorate in the church leadership program from Fordham’s School of Education, he also completed a Certification program in Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Ecumenical Institute in Bethesda, Md. He returned to India in 2001 to teach theology and to serve as spiritual director at Oriens Theological Seminary in Shillong. But in 2004 he was allowed to return to the U.S. due to health reasons. Residing at Sacred Heart Church in South Plainfield, NJ, he did six years of ministry with RENEW International, as a national presenter and retreat director. RENEW is a 40-year-old international Catholic movement, following the principles of Vatican Council II, started in the Newark Archdiocese. Father Abraham also supervised RENEW’s “Theology on Tap” – a very effective outreach to young adults.
He joined the Diocese of Metuchen and Bishop Paul Bootkoski appointed him as Parochial Vicar at St. Bartholomew’s Church in East Brunswick in 2010. He was sent to St. John Neumann Church as Pastor in 2012. Bishop James Checchio transferred him as administrator of St. Matthias Church in October 2018. A year later he was appointed Pastor of St. Matthias Parish.
Letters from Fr. Abraham
- Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, We are excited to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage during our 5 pm Mass this weekend, on Saturday the 18th. […]
- A Beautiful TributeDear Friends, A couple of Sundays ago, our sanctuary was decorated with some exquisite flower arrangements. People loved to see such […]
- Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. Last year when our parishioners joined hands with the Firefighters and […]
- Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, The summer season is coming to an end. Most people, especially young families, have been busy with preparations for […]
- Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, The Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, leading a Spanish expedition, reached the Philippines on March 16, 1521 and planted Christianity […]
- The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryDear Friends, It was a joy to have our Confirmandi students present at the Sunday 10 am Mass on August 1st, […]
- Homily on Sunday, August 8, 2021About a month ago, a parishioner told me she found a host under the seat … she was very sad to […]
- Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 8, 2021Dear Friends, It is not easy for me to write about what we, as a parish community, are going through in […]
- Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, Today I am writing about a topic I don’t like to talk about: Sunday contributions! Yet, I am doing […]
- Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, You may have heard of or even attended the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), the Mass according to the Roman […]
- Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, In ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little children. He laughed […]
- “The best way to FIND yourself is to lose yourself in the SERVICE of others.”Dear Friends, Did you notice a huge pile of mulch – 20 yards to be exact – in front of the […]
- Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, Happy Fourth of July! This weekend is a time for us to express and celebrate our patriotism – not […]
- Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, The announcement last week that Msgr. Joseph Curry will be transferred was met with lots of sadness from all […]
- Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary TimeDear Friends, A few weeks ago we celebrated our moms and offered Mass to them. Celebrating Father’s Day today, we are […]
- Faith, Caring and ExcellenceDear Friends, We just went through the week of graduations. It was very heart-warming to see the graduation of the little […]
- Feast of Corpus Christi (Feast of the Body of Christ)Dear Friends, The Catholic Church has a rich heritage of traditions and practices many of which are enshrined as annual celebrations. […]
- Feast of the Holy TrinityDear Friends, The dramatic events of Holy Week and Easter came to a conclusion, liturgically speaking, with another dramatic event of […]