Rev. Jose Mathai

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The Reverend Jose Ancheril Mathai died on Thursday evening, January 11, 2024, at Memorial Hospital in Belleville, IL.

He was born on January 10, 1954, in Pothanicad, Kerala, India. He was ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ by The Most Eugene D’Souza on March 24, 1986, at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assis in Bhopal.  Fr. Jose was incardinated into the Diocese of Belleville on September 6, 1996.

Father Jose served the Diocese in many ways.  He served as Sacramental Minister at St. Liborius in St. Libory from September of 1992 to June of 1994.  He served as Parochial Vicar of St. Teresa in Belleville from 1993-1994.  His first pastorate was at St. Liborius from 1996-1999.  In addition, he was named administrator of St. Anthony in Lively Grove from 1997-1999. He was Pastor of St. Paul in Vienna and St. Francis de Sales in Stonefort from 1999 to 2001, when he was named Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Metropolis and St. Patrick Parish in Cairo.  He served there from 2001 to 2007.  He served as Parochial Vicar at St. Henry in Belleville from 2007 to 2009 and concluded his active ministry as Chaplain to Althoff Catholic High School in 2009.  Fr. Jose retired in 2010.

Father Jose was preceded in death by his parents, Mathai Mathai and Anna Mathai.

He is survived by six sisters, Mary, Leela, Chinna, Sr. Vincie, Sr. Rose and Molly; and one brother, Mathew. He is also survived by a nephew, Jaymon Jolly.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 19, 2024, at St. Liborius Catholic Church, St. Libory, IL.

Funeral:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 19, 2024, at St. Liborius Catholic Church, St. Libory, IL. Principal Celebrant will be the Most Reverend Michael McGovern and homilist will be Monsignor William McGhee.

Burial will be at St. Liborius Catholic Cemetery, St. Libory, IL.


9 Comments on Rev. Jose Mathai

Ron and Sandy Becherer said : Guest Report Jan 16, 2024 at 8:31 AM

We are sorry to learn of Father Jose’s passing. He was a wonderful, humble and holy priest. His Good Friday homily of Christ’s passion was an incredible and memorable gift to our St Therese of the Child Parish. Ronald and Sandra Becherer

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Joseph Daniel Stock said : Guest Report Jan 14, 2024 at 8:48 PM

My prayers are with you on your journey home. Many good memories we shared. Peace be upon you my good friend.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Fr.John Kizhakedan said : Guest Report Jan 14, 2024 at 5:59 PM

May his soul rest in peace. Condolences and prayers to Fr. Jose's family.

  • Waterloo
  • Illinois
Jaimon mathew said : Guest Report Jan 14, 2024 at 1:33 PM


  • Pothanicad
  • Kerala
Kathy Hupe said : Guest Report Jan 14, 2024 at 1:18 PM

So glad we talked with you. We will miss you. Steve and Kathy Vienna, Illinois

  • Vienna
  • Illinois
Nancy Worthen-Vaughn said : Guest Report Jan 14, 2024 at 12:06 PM

I am so sorry to hear of Father Jose passing. He helped me with my annulment and blessed my marriage to my husband. I have always been grateful to him for his encouragement to take that step-in reconciliation with the church.

  • Metropolis
  • IL
Sister Vandana CMC said : Guest Report Jan 14, 2024 at 8:59 AM

Dear Fr.Jose please pray us

  • Catonsville
  • MD
Fr. Sunny Sebastian said : Guest Report Jan 14, 2024 at 8:46 AM

May his soul Rest in Peace. Fr. Jose was a close friend of mine . I was fortunate to say last goodbye to my friend a few hours before he passed away . I sincerely thank Fr. John Kizhakkedan of Bellville diocese to let me know of his condition and I flew immediately from Toronto, Canada to say goodbye to him. In May 1998 when I went to see him . While we were going for Mass to his mission church we met with a car accident in which both of us were injured. A few years later it affected his health from which he didn’t recover. My condolences to his family members all of whom I know very personally over 40 years May God bless you all Father Sunny Sebastian Toronto, Canada

  • Toronto, Canada
  • ON
Msgr. John Myler said : Guest Report Jan 13, 2024 at 5:51 PM

May he rest in Christ’s peace.

  • Belleville
  • IL

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