Bishop Joseph Karikkassery hails from Karthedom, one of the largest parishes in the island of Vypin. He was born on 13th February 1946. He joined the minor seminary at Ernakulam on May 31, 1960. After his philosophical studies at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Carmelgiri, Aluva, he started theological studies at Mangalapuzha Pontifical Seminary, and was ordained priest on December 19, 1973 by the then Archbishop of Verapoly Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Kelanthara.
He served as assistant parish priest at Kottapuram St. Micheal’s Church for three years and as vicar at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Elamkulam for five years. Then he was appointed Director of the Holy Angel Institute, Kalamassery. These five years he lived in the orphanage attached to it, with the orphans there. Later, he served as parish priest at Perumanoor, Palarivattom, Chathiyath, Cheranellor and Kuttikattukara. These are some of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese. He has also served as the Vice Rector of St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary, Carmelgiri. In March 2002 he was appointed Rector of the Minor Seminary Kalamassery. On February 1, 2006 he was made the Vicar General of Archdiocese of Verapoly.
Pope Benedict XVI on November 25, 2006, nominated him Auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Verapoly and titular bishop of Buxentum (Capo Della Foresta). His episcopal ordination took place at the National Shrine - Basilica of Our Lady of Vallarpadam on December 28, 2006.
Pope Benedict XVI on Dec. 10, 2010, appointed him as the boshop of Kottapuram diocese.