A Brief History

The roots of the Syro Malabar Christians in Delhi embedded to the tradition of St. Thomas the Apostle, who enkindled the faith of their forefathers in the very first century itself.  Since then, the St. Thomas Christians have been enthusiastic to preserve and proclaim their unique faith tradition through the generations.  For centuries they nourished the custom of keeping their faith and liturgical practices with them, wherever they go. It's obvious that this deep bonded faith tradition of the community, made her one of the greatest missionary church in the universal union of the Catholic Church gifting thousand of zealous missionaries to the vineyard of Jesus Christ across the globe. 

The community of St. Thomas Christians is also not an exception to the migratory nature of Keralites.   The voyage of Syro-Malabar Catholics to Delhi, the Capital City of India began from early fifties after the independence and was augmented by late seventies. 

The pastoral needs of the Syro-Malabar faithful in Delhi was taken care of by the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Delhi for a long time.By 1990, there were only three congregations for religious men and one for religious women from the Syro Malabar church to work for the faithful in diaspora in Delhi.  They were Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMIs), Vincentian Fathers, MST fathers and Sisters of the Destitute.  A priest belonging to the MST congregation was staying in a house at Faridabad owned by the Syro-Malabar Bishop's Conference and taking care of the pastoral needs of the faithful. Apart from the religious houses, there were occasional Syro-Malabar mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, St. Thomas Church at R.K.Puram, and Punjabi Bagh.

In 1991 the Syro-Malabar Episcopal Commission designated Rev. Dr. Sebastian Vadakumpadan for the Pastoral Care of the Syro-Malabar Catholics outside Kerala. He was appointed Chaplain of the Syro-Malabar Catholics in the Archdiocese of Delhi by His Grace Archbishop Alan de Lastic on June 01, 1991.Fr. Vadakumpadan began celebrating mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Delhi from 1991 onwards.

In consultation with the parish priests and with due permission from the Archbishop, Fr. Sebastian began organizing holy masses in Syro-Malabar rite in different centres also began Sunday-catechism classes. Later this practice culminated in the establishment of personal parishes within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Delhi. His more than a decade - long selfless service to the Syro Malabar faithful in Delhi, witnessed substantial growth and expansion of the mission.

Syro-Malabar pastoral care aims at bringing all these groups of faithful under the same umbrella according to the teachings of the Vatican Councils and the canon law of both the oriental and occidental churches.  Vatican Council II  document  on Catholic Eastern Churches that exhorts: "All the members of the Eastern Churches should be firmly convinced that they can and always ought topreserve their own legitimate liturgical rites and ways of life, and that changes are to be introduced to forward their own organic development. They are to aim always at a more perfect knowledge and practice of their rites and if they have fallen away due to circumstances of times or persons, they are to strive to return to their ancestral traditions".

The Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly was generous enough to supply sufficient number of priests along with other resource assistance each time as per need. The Delhi Syro Malabar Mission gratefully acknowledges the efforts and encouragement of Cardinals of happy memories His beatitude Antony Padiyara and his beatitude VarkeyVithayathil.  We are thankful to His beatitude George CadinalAlencherythe major archbishop, Mar Thomas Chakiathu and Mar Sebastian Edayanthrathu, the auxiliary bishops of the arch diocese of Ernakulam and Angamaly for their valuable support.

We cordially remember the good will and generosity of the arch diocese of Delhi especially of Archbishop Vincent Concessao in establishing 26 personal parishes from 2003 onwards within the jurisdiction of the archdiocese with better autonomy.

Rev. Fr. George Manimala was appointed by His Grace as the Episcopal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Delhi to facilitate the administration of the Oriental Churches within the territory of the Archdiocese.

The second phase of the mission is marked with the arrival of Rev. Fr. Jose Edassery as the coordinator of Delhi Sro Malabar Mission after Rev. Dr. Sebastian Vadakumpadanwent back to Kerala after 13 years of pastoral service in 2004.  There are 16 more personal parishes emerged during the tenure of Rev. Fr. Jose Edassery.  The central office was shifted to Karol Bagh from Rajendra Nagar.  He was keen to appoint individual resident priests to the personal parishes that ensured more effective pastoral care of the faithful. 

The presence and guidance of his Excellency Bishop Gratian Mundadan as the Apostolic Visitator for a span of three years accelerated the growth and activities of the mission and made the establishment of the new diocese imminent.

Now the diocese of Faridabad has become a reality for the Syro Malabar Catholics in the northern states of India having an extended jurisdiction comprises of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Hariyana, Punjab,  Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and two districts of Uttar Pradesh, Ghaziabad and GautamBuddh Nagar. Archbishop KuriakoseBharanikulangara is appointed as the first Bishop of the diocese.

Rev.F.JoshyVezhaparambil, Rev.Fr.KuruvilaMarottikal were the former catechism directors who led  the catechism department of the diocese in it's initial stages. Fr.JimmichanKarthanam took charge in the year 2011.


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