AYUB MOR SILVANOS METROPOLITAN
ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICA, CANADA & EUROPE REGION OF
THE MALANKARA SYRIAC KNANAYA ARCHDIOCESE
Ayub Silvanos (formerly known as Joby Uthuppan or Job Thottathil) was born on April 18, 1972 as the son of Uthuppan Kandallur and Mariyamma Uthuppan and was brought up in a traditional Knanaya Syrian Orthodox family in Kerala, India. He had his schooling at the Government High School located at Thirumeni, in Kerala. He completed his pre-degree and graduate courses at Calicut University in Kerala, India. Early on from his childhood, church and altar had been his fascination. This influence could be attributed to his parents who where ardent Christians. They made it a practice to send him to Sunday school and for all other church related activities. From the tender age of 12, he began assisting in the parish in worship services. He had specific roles in the sanctuary. This definitely had its bearing on his thought and life style. He was drawn more and more to the mystery of Godhood and experienced the presence of God in the Sacraments.
When his preliminary education was drawing to an end, the question of what course to take for his future presented itself. There were lot of push and pull from many quarters to seek a job and become successful in life. But his desire was to be in the service of the kingdom of God. He realized that his call was to be in the vineyard of the Lord, serving people.
He felt his vocation was to be a priest for the people of God. He expressed his desire to his Diocesan Bishop, who recommended him for seminary education after his secular graduation. He went to study theology at Serampore College, Calcutta, India founded by William Carey. It was here that his call to ministry was strengthened beyond doubt. In the meantime, he got ordained as a deacon of the diocese. He received his first four orders of ordination on 11th November 1995, fifth order on 27th May 1997 and become a full deacon on 7th June 1999. He was ordained as priest on 6th August 1999 by the venerable Chief Metropolitan of the East and the diocesan Bishop Mor Clemis Abraham. Ever since then he was practicing as parish priest in Kerala. In 2000 he went to Damascus, Syria for his Syriac studies. He spent more than a year in St. Ephrem Theological Seminary, Damascus. Upon conclusion of his studies there, he returned to India and served in a parish there.
In the challenging ministry context of India, higher theological education is of paramount significance. To be able to witness Christ, understanding ministry is necessary. Hence his deepest desire to enrich and prepare himself for Christian ministry occurred. He came to Edinburgh University for his Post Graduation. During his scholastic endeavor he planted Knanaya parishes in different parts of United Kingdom. By the grace of God he successfully completed Master of Theology (M.Th) course in 2003. Furthermore, in order to enhance his knowledge and wisdom in Syriac language- (Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, which Christ himself spoke, and in which the Gospel was first preached) – he joined Oxford University and successfully completed his Master of Syriac Studies in 2005.
In March 2008, the Malankara Suriyani Knanaya Syrian Christian Association held at Mor Ephraim Seminary in Chingavanam, Kottayam choose Rev. Fr. Job Thottathil and Fr. Kuriakose Kolath as new auxiliary Metropolitans for the Archdiocese and accordingly both were raised to the order of Ramban in May 2008. Mor Silvanos Ayub was elevated to high priest-hood on June 11, 2008 by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and the supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. The consecration ceremony was held at the St. Ephraim Church at Ma`rrat Seydnaya, Damascus, Syria. Their Eminences Mor Severios Kuriakose (Archbishop of Knanaya Archdiocese), Mor Gregorios Kuriakose (Metropolitan of Kallissery region of the Knanaya Archdiocese), Mor Timotheos Aphrem Aboodi (former Patriarchal Vicar for Canada), Mor Theophilos George Saliba (Secretary to the Holy Synod) and Mor Clemis Daniel (Lebanon diocese) assisted His Holiness during this blessed consecration ceremony. The holy ceremony was attended by a large gathering of Rabans (Monks), Priests, Deacons, Nuns and many faithful from India.
On June 28, 2008 His Eminence was elected as the Secretary of the Knanaya Metropolitan Council. On February 1, 2009 H.E. took charge of America, Canada & Europe region of the Knanaya Archdiocese and on April 30th 2009, H.E. was elevated to Archbishop of America, Canada and Europe of the Knanaya Archdiocese by His Holiness Ignatius Zakka Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch.