Fr. Avin Kunnekkaden has been reappointed the provincial of the Divine Word Society’s the Netherlands-Belgium Province (NEB). He was the first non-European to head the province when he was elected first time in 2016. His second term will last from May 1 this year to April 30, 2023.

Fr. Kunnekkaden was born in 1960 at Kalady, Kerala, and ordained a priest in 1992. He has a doctorate in Indian philosophy and religions from Madras University. He joined NEB province in 2005 and worked as university chaplain for the international students of various institutes in the Netherlands. He also serves the Good Shepherd Parish Schiedam Vlaardingen and Maasluis. As reported by, Fr. Kunnekkaden acknowledges that giving leadership to the Western secularized society in Europe is a real challenge. “A culture of dialogue in mission with collaborative leadership, being truly human in approach to the issues affecting society is the test of our time,” he says.

As a missionary in Europe, Fr. Kunnekkaden espouses the great Indian tradition in spirituality in the cultural milieu of the Western world where vocations are meagre and the congregation faces a unique cultural crisis against secularization and post-modern thoughts.