Alex Thomas Kaliyanil was born on 27th May 1960 in Vallamchira parish in the Archdiocese of Changanacherry in India in a very strong Catholic family with a tradition of priesthood and has a sister who is a nun with the Bethany Sisters.
He had his basic education in his home town before he joined the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) Minor Seminary in Changanacherry. He completed his Philosophy and Theological studies at Jnana Deepa Didyapeeth in Pune in India. He also obtained a Bachelors Degree in Economics from Mysore University.
Alex took his final vows in 1987, and was ordained a priest on 7 May 1988 at St. Mary’s Church, Vallamchira, India. Since 1989 he has been serving as an SVD missionary in the Archdiocese of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, young missionary Alex was first assigned as Assistant Priest at Holy Cross Parish in Tshabalala (1990-1992) before he was promoted as Parish Priest of the Embakwe Mission (1992–1997). Between 1997-2005 he was Parish Priest of St. Joseph Parish in Tsholotsho. During that period, he was elected Dean of Southern and Northern Deanery.
In March 2005 he was appointed Archdiocesan Financial Administrator before he was elected Superior of the SVD Region in Zimbabwe in June 2008.
Since 2001, Alex Thomas has been Ex-Officio Advisor to Catholic Development Commission. During that time he worked also as chaplain to the university students in Bulawayo.
On 20 June 2009, Alex Thomas Kaliyanil was appointed the third Archbishop of Bulawayo by Pope Benedict XVI.
On 12 September of the same year he was consecrated and installed as our Archbishop by Apostolic Nuncio to Zimbabwe - Archbishop George Kocherry, Archbishop of Harare - Robert Christopher Ndlovu, and Bishop of Gweru - Martin Munyanyi.