The Mar Thoma Syrian Christian Community of Kerala was an autonomous Church in the unity of the Catholic Church, ever since its foundation in 52 A.D by St. Thomas, the Apostle. They remained one body and flourished in the course of years. But in the seventeenth century, due to the intervention of the Portuguese missionaries a schism occurred. A good section of the Syrians eventually became Jacobites under the Patriarch of Antioch.
Ever since the schism, attempts at reunion were made. On September 20, 1930 the Reunion Movement took shape with the reunion of two eminent Jacobite Prelates, the late Archbishop Mar Ivanios and late Bishop Jacob Mar Theophilos. It was a triumph of ecumenism as their reunion took place as a Church accepted with its liturgy, customs and jurisdiction. Thus, it prepared a way for a complete reunion of the Jacobite - Orthodox Church of Kerala.
As the Reunion Movement developed speedily, Pope Pius XI established the Malankara Catholic Hierarchy for the reunited people and established the Archieparchy of Trivandrum and the Eparchy of Tiruvalla by the Apostolic Constitution, Christo Pastorum Principi dated June 11, 1932.
Accordingly, the Eparchy of Tiruvalla was established on November 6, 1933 and Most Rev. Jacob Mar Theophilos was enthroned as its first Bishop. He was called for his eternal reward on 27th June 1956. His Excellency Most Rev. Thomas Mar Dioscoros Metropolitan reunited with the Malanakra Catholic Church and joined in the Eparchy of Tiruvalla from the Knanaya Jacobite Church on November 12, 1939 and led a private life at Thirumoolapuram. He passed away on 21st February 1943. His Grace Most Rev. Joseph Mar Severios, Metropolitan of the Niranam Diocese of the Orthodox Church reunited with the Malankara Catholic Chuch on November 29, 1937. Due to the ill-health of His Excellency Jacob Mar Theophilos, the Holy See appointed His Grace Joseph Mar Severios as the Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of Tiruvalla in 1938. He was appointed the Bishop of the Eparchy of Tiruvalla in 1951. He was given the honorary title ‘Archbishop - Bishop’ by the Holy See. He was called for his eternal rest on 18th January 1955. The Holy See appointed Reverend Father Cherian Polachirackal Auxiliary to the Bishop of Tiruvalla. His consecration was on 22nd April 1954 and he took the name Zacharias Mar Athanasios. The Holy See appointed Zacharias Mar Athanasios as Bishop of Tiruvalla on January 27, 1955. The Eparchy was extended from the river Pampa in the south to the river Ponnani in the north and from the Arabian Sea in the west to the Western Ghats in the east. The Eparchy was further extended to the north from the river Ponnani by the decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches, by Prot N. 534/43 dated February 14, 1958 and brought under it the whole of Malabar region of Kerala, the civil districts of Coimbatore and Nilgiris and Karoor Taluk in Thiruchirappally District of Tamil Nadu and the districts of Mysore, Mandya, Coorg, Hassan, Chickamangalore, Shimoga and South Kanara of Karnataka State. His Excellency Zacharias Mar Athanasios entered into eternal rest on 28th September 1977. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Mathew Nedungattu was elected the Administrator.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II by the Apostolic Constitution of October 28, 1978 separating the civil districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur of Kerala, Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu and Coorg, Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, South Kanara, Chickamangalore and Shimoga of Karnataka from the Eparchy of Tiruvalla, established the Eparchy of Bathery and appointed His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Cyril Mar Baselios as its first Bishop. The official inauguration of the Eparchy was on 2nd February 1979. Very Reverend Father Isaac Koottaplackal was appointed bishop of Tiruvalla to succeed His Excellency Most Rev. Zacharias Mar Athanasios. His consecration took place on 28th December 1978 at Mar Ivanios Nagar, Thirumoolapuram and he received the name Isaac Mar Yoohanon.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II sent His Eminence Cardinal Wadislaw Rubin, the Prefect of Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches as his delegate to the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Reunion Movement, held in December 1980 at Kottayam in the Eparchy of Tiruvalla. The Golden Jubilee of the establishment of the Eparchy was celebrated in January 1984 at St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla. Isaac Mar Yoohanon was called for eternal peace on 28th April 1987. Rev. Fr. George Chundevalel was elected the Administrator who later was appointed the bishop of the Eparchy with the name Geevarghese Mar Timotheos. His consecration took place on 6th August 1988 at St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla.
His Eminence Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches visited the Eparchy in February 1996. Rev. Fr. Mammen Chackalapadickal was appointed Auxiliary to the Bishop of Tiruvalla. He was consecrated Bishop on the 17th July 1997 at St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla with the name Thomas Mar Koorilos.
The septuagenial of the Reunion Movement was celebrated at Tiruvalla on 27th December 2000. The Patriarch Emeritus of the Syrian Catholics in Antioch and the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, His Eminence Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud was the Chief Guest.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II, bifurcated the Eparchy of Tiruvalla and established the Eparchy of Muvattupuzha, which includes the revenue Districts of Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad of Kerala. The new Eparchy was inaugurated on 6 February 2003 and His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Koorilos was appointed by the Holy Father as the first Bishop of Muvattupuzha. On 29 March 2003 the Holy See accepted the resignation of His Excellency Geevarghese Mar Timotheos from the eparchial administration due to super-annuation. Rev. Dr. Stephen Thottathil was elected as the Administrator. The Holy See appointed His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Cleemis as the sixth Bishop of the Catholic Eparchy of Tiruvalla on September 11th, 2003. His Excellency Isaac Mar Cleemis took charge of the Eparchy on 2nd October 2003 at St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla. The newly built St. John’s Cathedral was consecrated on 20th and 21st of September 2004 by His Grace Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church.
His Eminence Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud paid a visit to the Eparchy on 12th May 2005. The Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Catholic Church decided on 3rd December 2005 to elevate the Eparchy of Tiruvalla to the status of an Archieparchy with the Eparchies of Bathery and Muvattupuzha as its suffragans, and the Bishop of Tiruvalla as Metropolitan Archbishop. With the consent and blessings from the Holy See, His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios Catholicos, the Major Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church, announced the proclamation on 15th May 2006 at St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla. His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Cleemis was installed as the first Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archieparchy of Tiruvalla on 10th June 2006 at St. John’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Tiruvalla. His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos, was the main Celebrant and about thirty Bishops and a vast group of civil and social leaders and thousands of faithful participated in the Installation Ceremony.
After the demise of His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios Catholicos, the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church elected His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Cleemis, the then Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla, as the second Major Archbishop-Catholicos of our Church. Thus, the See of Tiruvalla fell vacant.
As per the decision of the Holy Episcopal Synod and in consultation with the Holy See, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos, Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, transferred His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Koorilos from the Eparchy of Muvattupuzha and appointed him as the Second Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archieparchy of Tiruvalla on 26th March 2007 and His Beatitude officiated the Installation Ceremony on 2nd May 2007 at St. John’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Tiruvalla. Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Catholicos was the principal celebrant of the installation service and was held amidst the Holy Eucharist celebrated by the Catholicos, assisted by Bishops Most Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, Most Rev. Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios, Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas, Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Most Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos and Most Rev. Dr. Jacob Mar Barnabas. Hundreds of faithful thronged the Cathedral premises to witness the installation ceremony on 2nd May 2007.
With the establishment of the Eparchy of Puttur, the Metropolitan Eparchy of Tiruvalla has three suffragan eparchies.
Having been elected by the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and with the assent of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos appointed Rev. Dr. Stephan Thottathil as the Auxiliary Bishop of Tiruvalla on 25th of January 2010 and was consecrated on 13th March 2010 at Mar Ivanios Vidhya Nagar Nalanchira, Trivandrum with the name Philipos Mar Stephanos. On 6th November 2010, the Idukki Region was inaugurated. His Excellency Philipos Mar Stephanos is given in-charge of the Pastoral Care of the Region and His Excellency resides in the Jyothis Pastoral Centre, Kattapana.
Considering the meritorious leadership and faith life, priests and laity were given honorary titles. The following priests were elevated as Corepiscopoi in the Archieparchy: Rev. Fr. Mathew Karimpil and Rev. Fr. Cherian Ramanalil. Among the Laity, Mr. Varghese Karippayil was awarded the Pontifical title Cheveliar on 21st September 2004. Mr. George Erumeda and Mr. Thomas Pulikathara were awarded Bar Itho Kashiro and Mrs. Aleyamma Varghese Madelil, was awarded Baz Itho Kasirtho on September 20th, 2008. Mr. Joy Thazhamon was also awarded the Archieparchial Mathabodhana Ratna for his long standing contribution to the faith formation ministry. The first Archiepiscopal Assembly was held on 7, 8, 9, July 2011. In June 2014, Rev. Fr. Abraham Chacko Narimattathil and Rev. Dr. Thomas Kodinattumkunnel were elevated as Corepiscopoi.
The Malankara Catholic Church celebrated 85th anniversary of Reunion at Thirumoolapuram-Tiruvalla from 19 to 21 of September in the Archieparchy of Tiruvalla in which Bishops, priests, nuns, elders, parents, youth and children from all over came and participated. In collaboration with Pushpagiri Medical College we have undertaken 85 Heart operations and free dialysis for 3000 poor patients. We also have given financial support for the wedding of 10 poor girls and gave partial support for building 10 houses. Moreover in collaboration with Rev. Fr. Davis Chiramel, we undertook a campaign of collecting signatures for organ donation. For the first time in the history, the entire bishops of a Church under the leadership of Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos have given their written consent to the Chief Minister for organ donation. Political and other religious and community leaders including the Chief Minister of Kerala and Deputy Speaker of Rajyasabha participated in the functions. The celebration was unique in its simplicity and profound and exemplary in its social commitment. The inauguration of Beth Abo d’Malankara (the Ancestral Home of Malankara) was another historic moment of the 85th reunion celebrations. It was the place where the Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios resided before and after his reunion to the Catholic Church, The first Aramana as a Catholic Prelate. The 18th Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Catholic Church was held at Archbishop’s House, Marygiri, Tiruvalla, on 21st & 22nd September 2015. The inauguration of Sahyajyothi Arts & Science College, Kumily took place on 24th August 2014. In 2015, Mar Ivanios College for Advanced Studies (MICFAST), Chengaroor was inaugurated. Both were moments of joy for the Archieparchy.
Mr. Geroge Erumeda, who was honoured with the title of Bar itho Kasiro, went for his heavenly abode. Prof. Jacob M. Abraham, Mundaplackal, Chengaroor, participated in the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome, from 05th - 24th October, 2015 as he was nominated by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church as the Auditor and special invitee of the Ordinary Synod.
The Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church elected and with the assent of His Holiness Pope Francis, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos appointed His Excellency Philipos Mar Stephanos as the second Bishop of the Eparchy of St. Mary, Queen of Peace of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Faithful in USA and Canada on 5th August 2017 and was installed on 28th October 2017 in New York, USA.
Marygiri, P. B. No. 4, Tiruvalla - 689 101, Kerala
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