Johni, the second son among the six children of Mary and Mathew Pichappilly was born March 5, 1951 at Eananalloor, Kerala, India.
Johni’s academic studies led him to a Masters Degree (MA) in Malayalam Literature from the University of Kerala. As well, his priestly formation studies in philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Oriental Institute at Kottayam, Kerala (1971-1978) led him to priesthood in the Catholic Church. Father John Pichappilly (Father Johni Mathew) was ordained priest at Saint Sebastian’s Church, Thokkupara, on March 6, 1978 for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kothamangalam, India, where he served as parish priest for 12 years. Together with his parish pastoral duties, Father Johni is a noted organizer, singer, actor, author, teacher, composer, counselor and community builder.
He was the director of ‘Sariga Sangeethalaya,’ a Music Band, Music School, Mimics Parade (Comedy Show) and Choir at Thodupuzha, Kerala. Sariga Band consisting of professional singers and musicians with full orchestra performed on hundreds of stages in India and abroad. ‘Sariga Music School’ was the first of this kind at Thodupuzha, and one of the best music schools in Kerala in the 1980s. It gave formation to hundreds of young musicians in both vocal and instrumental music. ‘Sariga Church Choir’ has been an integral part of church feasts, festivals and celebrations in Kerala and abroad.
Father Pichappilly broadcasted ‘Chinthamalarukal,’(1986-87), a weekly program inter-twined with songs, skits and inspirational talks through Vatican Radio, to promote spirituality and positive thinking. Through the years, he has written and published several articles, poem, short stories and essays. He led the choir at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Seminary) at Kottayam, Kerala between 1971 -1978 periods of his studies there. He taught Malayalam Literature at Lumen Institute, Kunchithanni, and Aquinas Institute, Muthalakodam, India. While in the school, university, seminary and later as a parish priest, he has been a stage actor as well as director of many stage plays (dramas) and cultural programs.
Father Pichappilly has broadcasted several religious as well as light songs on the All India Radio. His music programs have been telecasted by Indian Television, which later was released as a Music Album by the name “PRANAMAM.” Father Johni rendered his voice for “Vanamudham,” a radio program broadcasted by Christian Arts and Communications Service, Chennai. Also as a guest singer he sang on several stages in Kerala with the Christian Arts and Communications Service, Chennai.
In 1988 he developed a new stage show ‘Dance the Body Music.’ This was a combination of music, dance, skits and comics performed by professionals in the field.
In 1990, he joined the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax, Canada. Currently he is the parish priest (vicar/ pastor) of St. Andrew Parish, Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Fr. Johni has written over five hundred songs and has composed music for many of them and several of them are used in the sacred liturgies in India.
Fr. Johni also is a reputed public speaker.
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|Several other music companies also have included Fr. Johni’s lyrics for their albums.
Some of the prominent and latest being:
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Very Prominent singers like S.P. Balasubrahmaniam, P.Jayachandran, Vijay Yesudas, Swetha Mohan, Sarath, Kester, Madhubalakrisnan, Biju Narayanan, Sujatha, Sudheepkumar, Wilson Piravom, Vidhuprathap, Sithara, Cicily, Roopa, Subin Ignatius, Elizabeth Raju, Gayathri Ashokan, Midhila Michael.. also have sung his lyrics.
Father Pichappilly is the author of the following four English books internationally published by ST PAULS publications Mumbai.
He is the recipient of Malayalavedhi International’s award for his outstanding contribution to Malayalam Literature and Music.
He has been interviewed by Indian and Canadian Television channels, newspapers and magazines.
Fr. Johni’s life, service and ministry are influenced by many great people including his family, friends, teachers and well- wishers around the world. He is thankful to every one of them.