Mar Thomas Elavanal was born to Zacharias and Thresia on 28thMarch, 1950 at Mutholy, near Palai, in Kerala. But his sojourn at Palai was to be very short as the family migrated to Chathankottunada, near Kuttiady in Kozhikode district, where he completed his High School Education. He then joined, or in a spiritual sense had his next ‘migration’ to, the MCBS Minor Seminary in June 1966 and had his first religious profession on 17th May, 1968 and priestly ordination by Mar Sebastian Mankuzhikkary on 22nd December, 1975.
After a brief period of 3 years of appointment at the MCBS Minor Seminary in Kottayam, he once again ‘migrated’ for his Higher Studies, first to Rome and then to the USA. He holds a Licentiate in Liturgy from Pontifical Oriental Institute and a Doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome. He completed his post-doctoral courses at the Catholic University of America, Washington. On his return, he was appointed Rector of the
MCBS Seminary, Aluva, and in 1989 the Asst. Superior General of the Congregation at the age of 39. During this period, he was also the visiting professor of Liturgy at the Pontifical Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Aluva and Paurastya Vidyapitham, Kottayam. In 1995, he was elected the Superior General, but as providence may have it, on 18th December, 1996, he was nominated Bishop of Kalyan. On 8th February, 1997, he was consecrated Bishop, the shepherd of over one hundred thousand migrants of the Syro-Malabar Catholics spread over the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and other 12 civil districts of Maharashtra. He has served as the Chairman of Western Regional Commission for Health and a member of Syro-Malabar Synodal Commission for Liturgy.