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The Rev. Dr. Jilson Panakkal began his work at Church of the Ascension July 1.

He was ordained in 1995, first serving his home diocese of Kannur in India in different capacities before coming to the United States in 2017.

He obtained his doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. He served as the judicial vicar for seven years before beginning work in the tribunal of the diocese of Phoenix as a judge.

Fr. Jilson also works as the director of social work in his home diocese. He is the author of “Impact of Alcohol on Marital Obligations,” published by Scholar’s Press.

Fr. John McDonough retired as pastor of Ascension June 30 after 18 years of service.