To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and it soften dramatic characteristics (Gaudium et Spes).
ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT
The Eucharistic Congress in Munich at the beginning of 1960 was a pivotal event for the Syro- Malankara Catholic Church in Germany. There came across proactive thoughts made by the German Bishops in medical and nursing care for the aging generations of the Germans in the future. So at the first young ladies from India (Kerala) came through the intervention of our late Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios and Bishop Zacharias Mar Athanasios to Germany. In 1963, the Syro - Malankara Seminarians came to Königstein/Ts near Frankfurt for priestly formation. That was the beginning of the Syro- Malankara Catholics community in Germany. Later young women, Religious Sisters and Priests came to Germany. They were placed in different hospitals and parishes of Germany. They have been placed mainly in the cities of Wiesloch, Weinsberg, Bonn-Venusberg, Neuss, Krefeld, Ibbenbüren, Heidelberg, Tübingen, Aachern,Emmendingen,Königstein and Frankfurt.
The proper pastoral care for the Malankara Community was not regulated at that time.The people invited Priests who were in Rome for higher studies for getting Holy Mass and other pastoral help. Moreover, in 1996 Rev. Fr. John Varghese Easwarankudiyil was appointed by late Archbishop and Catholicos Most Rev. Dr. Cyril Mar Baselios to coordinate the pastoral care for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Community in Germany as a part-time ministry. At the same time, he worked as Parochial Vicar in a German Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese of Paderborn. Rev.Fr.John Varghese Easwarankudyil tried his best to coordinate the Malankara Community and have regular spiritual activities. His attempt was to bring together the different groups from different locations in Germany and that was successful.
APOSTOLIC VISITATOR AND ADMINISTRATOR
From the beginning of the growth, we are blessed with the Pastoral and Apostolic care from Bishops. Our late Catholicos Moran Mor Cyril Baselios blessed the community with his prayers and interventions. From 2001-2003 Most Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Cleemis was the first Apostolic Visitator and Administrator of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Community in North America and Europe. From 2005-2010 Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas and from 2010 to 2017 Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Eusebius respectively became the Apostolic Visitator and Administrator of North America and Europe with primary residence in New York, America. And from 2018 onwards we are blessed with Most Rev. Dr.Yoohanon Mar Theodosius as our Apostolic Visitator and Administrator.
As mentioned earlier, in 1996 Fr. John Varghese Easwarankudiyil has been appointed to coordinate the pastoral care for the Syro-Malankara community in Germany. He coordinated the faithful in different centers and offered pastoral care.
In 2006, Rev. Dr.Vijayanand OIC was appointed as the Coordinator in Germany. He also offered marvelous service for the pastoral care of the Malankarites.
In 2007, negotiations were made with the German Bishops’ Conference and accordingly with the great help and support, Syro-Malankara Catholic Priests were appointed for the pastoral care of the Syro-Malankara Community in Germany. In September 2007, the Diocese of Mainz granted (organized by the German Bishops’ Conference) a scholarship for a Malankara priest to study in Germany with a condition that the priest should continue the pastoral care for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Community in Germany. In April 2007 the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church appointed Rev. Fr. Santhosh Thomas Koickal (Eparchy of Pathanamthitta) as Ecclesiastical Coordinator for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Community in Germany. He is also working as a Co-operator Vicar in Taunusstein in the diocese of Limburg.
VICARS / CHAPLAINS
In April 2007 the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church appointed Rev. Fr. Santhosh Thomas Koickal (Eparchy of Pathanamthitta) as Ecclesiastical Coordinator for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Community in Germany. He is also working as a Cooperator Vicar in Taunusstein in the diocese of Limburg.
He is the vicar for the Syro Malankara Parish in Frankfurt-Mainz and Heidelberg-Stuttgart.
He is working 66 % in the diocese of Limburg and 34 % for the Malankara Church in the diocese of Limburg.
In October 2018 in consultation with the Apostolic visitator Bishop Yoohanon Mar Theodosius and the Eccleciastical Coordinator Fr.Santhosh Thomas, and with the eparchial Bishop of the Archdiocese of Köln Cardinal Maria Wölki, His Beatitude Basalios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos Appointed Rev.Fr. Joseph Chelamparambath as the vicar of the Syro Malankara Parish in Köln-Bonn.. He is working in the Archdiocese of Köln 50 % for the Syro Malankara Catholich church and doing his doctoral Studies in Theology in Valendar.
In 2018 in consultation with the Apostolic visitator Bishop Yoohanon Mar Theodosius and the Eccleciastical Coordinator Fr.Santhosh Thomas, and with the eparchial Bishop of the diocese of Munster and the Eparchial Bishop of the Archdiocese of Paderborn , His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos Appointed Rev.Fr.JacobVazhakunnathu as the vicar of the Syro Malankara Parish in Dortmund-Herne.. He is working in the diocese of Münster 100 % for the German Parish in Gescherr and he is the vicar for Syro Malankara Catholichchurch in the diocese of Münster and Paderborn.
In March 2022 he is relieved from the Pastoral care of the SyroMalankarites in the Archdiocese of Paderborn and Diocese Münster.
In March 2019 in consultation with the Apostolic visitator Bishop Yoohanon Mar Theodosius and the Eccleciastical Coordinator Fr.Santhosh Thomas, and with the eparchial Bishop of the diocese of Aachen , His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos Appointed Rev.Fr.Paul Mathew OIC as the vicar of the Syro Malankara Parish in Krefeld. He is working in the diocese of Aachen 100 % for the German Parish in Erkelenz and he is the vicar for Syro Malankara Catholic church in the diocese of Aachen.
In October 2021 in consultation with the Apostolic visitator Bishop Yoohanon Mar Theodosius and theEccleciastical Coordinator Fr.Santhosh Thomas, and with the eparchial Bishop of the Achrdiocese of Paderborn, His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos Appointed Rev.Fr. Samuel Paravila as the vicar of the Syro Malankara Parish in Dortmund- Herne. He is also appointed by the Archbishop of Paderborn as the Co-operatorVicar in the Parish St.KarlBorromäus Dortmund in the Archdiocese of Paderborn. He is working in the Archdiocese of Paderborn 50 % for the German Parish and 50 % for the Syro Malankara Catholich church.
MALANAKARA LITURGICAL SERVICE
From October 2007, onwards monthly Eucharistic Prayers & Holy Masses were started according to the Syro-Malankara Catholic liturgy in all five centers in Germany as well as the places where the Religious Sisters are located. There is Family Prayer gathering in every communities once in a month. There are retreats for the people during the Lenten seasons. Every year Pilgrim Tours are organized to different Pilgrim Centres. The Community celebrate the Reunion in the presence of our Malankara Bishops every year and all Malankarites gather in one centre during that time. From October 2007 onwards the regular liturgical services of the Syro-Malankara Catholic communities are held in the Sacred Heart Church in Frankfurt-Eckenheim, Holy Spirit Church in Bonn-Venusberg, University Clinic Chapel in Heidelberg,Alte KatholischeKirche in HeidlebergWieblingen,Liebfrauen Church in Mainz, St. Johannes Church in Krefeld, St. Laurentius Church in Wanne-Eickel, Sacred Heart Church in Herne and St. Elizabeth Church in Castrop-Rauxel near Dortmund.
With effect from 01 September 2009, His Eminence Joachim Cardinal Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, specially appointed Fr. Santhosh Thomas (Koickal) for the pastoral care of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Community in the Archdiocese of Cologne. That was according to the “Instructio de PastoralimigratorumCura” from 22 August1969 and in consultation with the German Bishops Conference and also the Head & Father of our Malankara Catholic Church. From 01. January 2012 Most Rev. Dr. Franz-Peter Tebartzvan Elst, the Bishop of Limburg, included and incorporated the SyroMalankara Community according to the ‘’missio sine curaanimarum’’ with the other native language speaking communities in the diocese of Limburg, in the newly constructed Pastoral region “Frankfurt-Nordost”.
On 1stJanuary 2022 H.B.MoranMor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis released the new edition of QurbonoTaksa and QurbonoKramam (Gotteslob) in German language. The first edition has been published in the year 2010.
PASTORAL COUNCIL & PARISH COMMITTEES
All the five centres are constituted with a Parish Council. Besides, they have a Pastoral Council for all Germany to support the Chaplain & Coordinator. The Pastoral Council consists of 32 members. They are: Secretary and Treasurer of each Parish Council, two delegates from each centre elected specially, represantives of all three Religious Congregations, represantives of MCA, MCYM, Mathrusangam, Auditor and finally the two Synodal Commission members.
With the great support of the German Bishops’ Conference and Local communities, five centers have been established in Germany for the Syro - Malankara Catholics. Each one is constituted with a Parish Council. There are about 315 Malankara families around 1500 members are living in Germany.
The five centers are:
1. Bonn / Cologne (St. Thomas Syro - Malankara Community)
Bonn / Cologne/ Mechernich / Leichlingen / Zweibruecken /Koblenz
2. Frankfurt / Mainz (St. Joseph Syro - Malankara Community)
Mainz/Wiesbaden / Limburg / Hanau / Offenbach / Fulda
3. Heidelberg / Stuttgart (St. Peter and Paul Syro - Malankara Community)
Mannheim / Stuttgart / Horb / Baden Baden / Karlsruhe / Eichstätt / Tübingen/ Augsburg / Rothenburg / Speyer
4. Herne / Dortmund (St. John Chrysostom Syro - Malankara Community)
Paderborn / Bochum / Essen / Münster / Recklinghausen / Berlin / Osnabrück / Berlin
5. Krefeld / Dusseldorf (St. Mary’s Syro - Malankara Community)
Aachen/ Mönchengladbach / Neuss / Viersen / Duisburg / Hilden
6. München (New Mission Unit)
Augsburg / München / Passau / Ingolstatt / Eichstätt / Regensburg (State Bayern)
About 20 Eparchial Priests and 12 Bethanian Priests from the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church are serving the German Church in different German dioceses.They are in the diocese of Muenster, Archdiocese of Cologne, diocese of Aachen, Limburg, Rottenburg, Augsburg, Regensburg and Passau. They support the Ecclesiastical Coordinator for the Pastoral care of the Malankarites in different centers.
RELIGIOUS SISTERS AND HOUSES
From the beginng itself Seminarians were sent for priestly formation to the famous seminary in Königstein near Frankfurt. Later from the year 2003 onwards Seminarians as well as Priests have been sent to Collegium Orientale in the Diocese of Eichstätt not only for priestly formation but for higher studies in philosophy and theology.
About hundred Religious Sisters of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church are serving in various charitable institutions of the German Church. They belong to the Bethany (SIC), the Daughters of Mary DM) and the Holy Spirit (OSS) Congregations.
The list of places where the Sisters are serving:
1. Stuttgart, 2. Mannheim, 3.Horb am Neckar, 4. Recklinghausen, 5. Neckarsulm, 6. Deggeingen, 7. Stadtlohn, 8. Duelmen - Rorup, 9. Muehlacker, 10. Zweibruecken, 11. Dortmund-Derne,
12. Peißenberg, 13. Nesselwang, 14. Neusaess, 15. Koenigstein Mammolshain, 16. Frankfurt am Main 17. Duesseldorf, 18. Augusburg, 19. Horbund 20. Ulm.21.Dortmund-Huckarde,22.Dormund-Ludgen, 23.Gescherr, 24.München, 25.Enigen, 26.Stuttgart-Rot, 27.Stuttgart-Möringen,28.Landstuhl, 29.Düsseldorf, 30.Königstein.
50 YEAR JUBILEE OF SYRO-MALANKARA COMMUNITY IN GERMANY
50th Year of the Migration of the Syro-Malankara Catholics in Germany was celebrated in the year 2014 in Krefeld in accordance with the celebration of the Reunion. Those who have been there for 50 years received certificates of honour signed by the Father & Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic church H.B.MoranMor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos.