Fr. Junesh Vakapadath Xavier was born in Cochin, a coastal commercial city of Kerala, India, on 30th April 1982. He was the youngest of two sons born to the late Mr. VK Xavier and Mrs. Laila Xavier. In 1997, having completed his 10th grade, he joined the Passionists. He knew the Passionists from his childhood because he lived in the same neighborhood. Since his childhood, he had acquaintances in the Passionist Community, and was inspired by the foreign Passionists who had come to work in the Passionist foundation in India.
He began his initial religious formation in Cochin. He completed his philosophical studies with a bachelor’s degree in Nagpur under Nagpur University. Following his novitiate and profession of temporary vows in 2005, he completed his graduation in theological studies in Bangalore under Pontifical Salesian University and a Master’s degree in Christian Studies in Bangalore under Madras University. This was followed by a mission experience in the diocese of Bhagalpur, which is a mission diocese in Jharkhand, one of the poorer states of India. He values that experience as truly inspiring and humbling.
He professed his final vows on the 17th of March, 2009, and was ordained a deacon on the 19th of March, 2009, by Rt. Rev. Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore. He carried on his diaconate ministry in the diocese of Neyyatinkara, which is a mission diocese in Kerala. He was ordained to the priesthood on the 27th of April, 2010, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Fort Cochin, by Rt. Rev. Sebastian Thekethecheril, Bishop of Vijayapuram.
His first assignment was as Associate Pastor and Vocation Promoter in the Passionist Church of Our Lady of Velankanny, Palliport. From the first year of his priesthood, he also was engaged in mission preaching, campus ministry workshops and seminars, and preaching retreats for religious and seminarians. Lately he was the Director of seminarians who are pursuing philosophical studies in Gyana Nilaya, Bhopal.