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The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

Another interesting example of religious life in this church is the Kurisumala Ashram. Founded by Frs Francis Mahieu and Bede Griffiths in 1958, the community worships according to the Syro-Malankara tradition, and combines a strict observance of the Cistercian Benedictine rule with Hindu ascetical practices. The ashram, which has about 20 monks, has become a spiritual center for Christians and Hindus alike. Since 1998 it has been a daughter house of the Cistercian community at Tarrawarra Abbey near Melbourne, Australia.

There are two Syro-Malankara female religious communities. The Bethany Sisters, also known as the Sisterhood of the Imitation of Christ, now have 842 members, and were founded in 1919 as the female counterpart to the Bethany Ashram. The Congregation of the Daughters of Mary was founded in 1938, and is primarily involved in mission work.

On February 10, 2005, Pope John Paul II raised the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church to the rank of Major Archepiscopal Church. A sixth Syro-Malankara diocese in India was created in 2007, and two more in 2010. The church is now served by about 600 priests, 230 male religious and 1,694 women religious.

Father Daniel Kulangara is special pastor and coordinator of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church in the United Kingdom (98 Manford Way, Hainult, Chigwell, IG7 4DF). Altogether there are 14 mission centers in the UK and Ireland.

In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI created an Apostolic Exarchate for Syro-Malankara Catholics in the United States and named Bishop Thomas Eusebius Naickamparambil as the first Exarch (1500 De Paul Street, Elmont, NY 11003). In January 2016 Pope Francis raised the status of the Apostolic Exarchate to an Eparchy with the name Saint Mary Queen of Peace, and extended it to include Canada. The eparchy has 16 parishes and a few missions, 17 priests, and about 11,500 faithful.

Location: Kerala State, India
Head: Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Cardinal Thottunkal (born 1959, elected 2007, cardinal 2012)
Title: Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars
Residence: Trivandrum, Kerala State, India
Membership: 445,000
Website: www.malankaracatholicchurch.net


Last Modified: 29 Sep 2016


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