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Fr Paul Chackanikunnel CMI – Parish Priest

Fr Paul Chackanikunnel CMI, Parish Priest

Fr Paul is a religious priest belonging to the Order of ‘Carmelites of Mary Immaculate’ (CMI) founded by St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara as the first indigenous order of India. The order has over seventeen hundred priests working in more than 29 countries worldwide.

Fr Paul was born on 7th January 1971, as the eldest son of Mr John and Mrs Mary Chackānikunnel. He has two brothers and two sisters who all are settled in Kerala, India.

In 1986, at the age of 15, Fr Paul joined the Order and completed his Higher Secondary education, graduations and other necessary studies for priesthood. Fr Paul was ordained on 26 December 2000.


  • Bachelor of Philosophy – Bph. (Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Pontifical Athenaeum, Bangalore)
  • Bachelor of Economics – B.A. (Economics) (St. Joseph’s College, University of Calicut)
  • Bachelor of Theology – BTh. (Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Pontifical Athenaeum, Bangalore)
  • Bachelor of Education – B.Ed. (St. Joseph’s College, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam)
  • Certificate in Pastoral Ministry (Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Pontifical Athenaeum, Bangalore)
  • Currently completing a Bachelor of Psychology – B.A.(Psychology) (Swinburne University of Technology)

Work Experience:

  • Principal (2001 – 2005) – Christ CMI Public School, Kanhangad, India. Fr Paul is the Founding Principal of this Secondary School which had 700 students at the time of his departure. The school has now grown to a Higher Secondary School with 1200 students.
  • Parish Priest ( 2006-2008) – Bourke, Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese, NSW.
  • Parish Priest (2008-2011) – Wentworth, Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese, NSW.
  • Parish Priest (2011 – 2014) – Stanley River (Kilcoy &Woodford), Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Fr Paul writes……

Our faith is in Jesus, who is our Lord and God. If we are with God and if he is at our side we need not to be afraid of anybody or anything in this world. We are members of God’s Church by our Baptism. Since we are members of Catholic Church, it is our duty to follow what the Church teaches and instructs us to do. This is what I look forward to achieving with the community of Northgate and Hendra; to do what Jesus asks of us by our obedience to the Church, as Jesus was obedient to his Father.

I love so dearly my parish and the people where I am appointed because the Parish is my family. All of you take the role of my parents, brothers and sisters, and children. I am so definite that this is the plan of God bringing me here with you. Only as we go along will we understand more clearly about His ways and plans for us. If it is the plan of God, definitely, it is a plan to prosper, not to harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future. (Jer 29:11)

So let us commit ourselves to the work of God. We have to always remember that Jesus hasn’t got hands other than ours, a heart other than ours, or feet other than ours. He appoints us from time to time as angels with packets of gifts for others. That’s how he makes himself available to other people. So you and I are highly valuable before God with a mission to accomplish. Let us join together for his mission, to love the entire world and to make Himself available to everyone.

Fr Paul Chackanikunnel CMI
Parish Priest