Fr. Jos Tharakan, Rector at St. James Episcopal Church, Springfield, MO, was born and brought up in a traditional and devout Roman Catholic Eastern Rite home in Kerala, India. His parents and four siblings grew up in a poor but religiously diverse and rich place, among Hindus and Muslims. After completing High School, at the age of 15, he joined the Religious Order of Friars Minor Capuchins, First Order Franciscans. He was ordained on December 30th in 1994, and served in the North Indian Missions of the Capuchins. While in Delhi, he served as priest and chaplain to the Missionaries of Charity of St. Mother Theresa and was blessed to know and work with her. Besides being the Assistant Director of the Media House Publication Center, he was an itinerant preacher, music composer, Spiritual Director, Theology Professor, and interim High School Principal for St. Paul’s and Holy Angels in Uttar Pradesh, India.
At the invitation of Bishop Andrew J McDonald, Fr. Jos came to the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, and he served as associate priest at the Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Smith and St. Leo’s, in Hartford, AR. Receiving a ‘call within a call’ he came out of the Roman church on the day of Pentecost in 2001 and moved into a small town of 98 people in Chester, AR. There he lived a simple life and worked on a cow farm, caring for 900 cows. After completing eight units of Clinical Pastoral Education in San Antonio and Pine Bluff from 2001 to 2003, he returned to Chester and started a successful business – USLinx – providing internet access to poor and rural communities. In 2006 Fr. Jos was accepted into the Episcopal Church and served Christ Church, a small mission in Mena, and All Saints’ in Russellville, AR.
During these years, he presented popular teleconferences on Pastoral Care and Complementary Healing through the University of Texas, taught the same in hospitals, and the CASA in Scottsdale, AZ. In 2004 he received a certificate of recognition for his innovative Healing Ministry presentation for Chaplains at the International Conference of the National Association of the Catholic Chaplains in Kansas City, MO. His workshops also were approved for Continuing Education Credits for Chaplains, and healthcare workers. His CAMPaM Network was officially approved through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. In 2015, five years before the projected date, he achieved his CREDO BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) when he founded the House Of Blessings Foundation, a non-profit renewal center for clergy and laity to grow spiritually. Being technology-savvy, Fr. Jos designed several websites and church apps, and currently publishes an online newspaper called the Episcopal Daily. Fr. Jos also is a nationally commissioned Centering Prayer Facilitator through Contemplative Outreach and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He now serves as the Dean of the Southern Deanery of the Diocese of West Missouri, besides being the rector at St. James.
Fr. Jos married Kimby, a preschool teacher and an excellent children’s minister. Combined, they have six children and three grandchildren. They also have a dog named Mia and Bunny FuFu, a cat. Together they serve a beautiful growing congregation in Springfield and are proud and humbled to be loved and cared for by the community of St. James.
Fr. Jos is a published author. His books can be found on Amazon. He enjoys writing music and producing them. They can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and other music distribution sites. Here are his podcasts. The Red Door and Fr. Jos+
His motto in ministry is “Passionate personal Love for Jesus and His people.”