Bishop Mar Mathew Arackal was born on 10th December 1944 at Erumely. Completing his schooling at St. Thomas High School, Erumely, he joined St. Thomas Minor Seminary, Changanacherry. After his studies there, he was sent to St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor for Philosophical and theological Studies. On 13th March 1971 he was ordained priest by Mar Anthony Padiyara. He served as the assistant vicar at Amboori Church from 1971-1974, when he was also the Director of Samaritan Hospital, Amboori and estate manager of the Archeparchy of Changanassery. He is credited with the recognition for the establishment of the first Labour Co-Operative Society in Kerala. In 1974 he was appointed assistant procurator of the Archeparchy of Changanacherry. When the eparchy of Kanjirapally was erected in 1977, he was appointed vicar of Peerumedu and Murinjapuzha. In 1980 he started the Peerumed Development Society which has become one of the most outstanding NGO in the country, serving as its Founder and Executive Director till 2001. He was also the parish priest at Elappara from 1991- 2001 when he was elected bishop. Fr. Mathew Arackal took lead in the starting of the Kallivayalil Pappan Memorial Charitable Trust (KPMC Trust) with a view of gainful employment. Establishment of High Range Medical Centre (HRMC), Sahyadri Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), two major residential training centers for rural development with research wings having lab facilities in Bio Technology and Eco Farming are his other achievements. After the resignation of Mar Mathew Vattakuzhy he was appointed Bishop of Kanjirapally on 23rd December 2000. The official announcement was made on 19th January 2001. His Episcopal Consecration took place on 9th February 2001 at St. Dominicís Cathedral, Kanjirapally and on the same day he took charge of the office. Bishop Arackal hold several key positions in prestigious institutions. Some of these are: Chairman Kerala Social Services Forum (KSSF), Chairman KCBC Commission of Justice, Peace and Development, Co-Chairman Jeevan Telecasting Corporation Ltd., Bishop representative of functional Vocational Training Forum (FVTF), Member of CBCI commission for Scheduled Caste, Tribes and Backward Classes, Advisor of the Planning Commission, Govt. of India; Secretary to the Indian Red Cross Society of Idukki District Branch, Member of the Governing Body of Continuing Education Cell, Kerala State; Kerala State Farming Corporation, the Task Force for participatory Planning, State Council for Education, Research and Training, Watershed Development and Management Evaluation Team. He is the only Representative from Asia and Africa to the International Delegate Assembly of Naturland, Germany.