The Church of Christ, founded in India by St. Thomas the Apostle, was in communion with the Universal Church, especially with the Churches of the Persian Empire where the Apostle had begun the preaching of the Word of God. However, with the loss of this universal communion in the seventeenth century, a part of this Church came into contact with the Jacobite Church of Antioch. It was the historic event of the Reunion Movement of the Malankara Church, under the leadership of the Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios, that opened up this portion of the Church of St. Thomas Christians again into the universal communion of Catholic Churches. Archbishop Mar Ivanios made the presence of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church felt in the various parts of the world. He visited Rome and some of the countries of Europe in 1932. His visit to the United States of America in 1947 marked a remarkable event in the history of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.
It was the visitation of the late Most Rev. Benedict Mar Gregorios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum, and the late Most Rev. Zacharias Mar Athanasius, Bishop of Tiruvalla, that inspired and initiated the scattered Malankarites in North America to form ecclesial communities. Malankara communities were formed in different cities of the United States, particularly in New York in 1980, Philadelphia in 1982, and Chicago in 1983. In the absence of a canonical provision, a legal entity became a necessity for the proper functioning and growth of the Malankara community. Hence the Malankara Catholic Mission of North America Inc. was registered in June 1984.
The first Syro-Malankara Catholic mission of North America was officially inaugurated by His Grace the Most Rev. Benedict Mar Gregorios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on August 25, 1984 at a meeting held at the Fordham University, New York. During this gathering, His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, delivered the keynote address. The Malankara Catholic missions in North America were guided by Reverend Fathers appointed by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum, who took a personal interest in the formation and growth of our Church here in this country. From 1984 to 2001, Rt. Rev. Melamparambil John Ramban, Rt. Rev. Kalloor John Corepiscopo (later Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom), Rt. Rev. Mannikarott Geevarghese Corepiscopo and Rev. Dr Peter Kochery served the Syro-Malankara Catholic Community in North America as Priests-in-charge and Coordinators.
Responding to the request of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Hierarchy to have an ecclesiastical provision for the ecclesial growth of the Syro-Malankara Catholics in the USA, Canada, and Europe, on June 18, 2001, the Holy Father Pope John Paul II appointed Msgr. Dr Isaac Thottunkal (later Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal CleemisCatholicos) of the Eparchy of Bathery, as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum and as the Apostolic Visitator for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Faithful in North America and Europe. Msgr. Isaac Thottunkal was ordained Bishop with the name Isaac Mar Cleemis on August 15, 2011, by His Grace the Most Rev. Dr Cyril Mar Baselios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church.On October 2, 2003, Most Rev. Isaac Mar Cleemis was transferred to the Eparchy of Tiruvalla as its Bishop. On January 5, 2005, Rev. Dr. Joseph Konnathu, a priest of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum was appointed as theAuxiliary Bishop of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum and the Apostolic Visitator for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Faithful in North America and Europe. Msgr. Joseph Konnathu was ordained Bishop with the name Joseph Mar Thomas on February 19, 2005, by His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios Catholicos, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church. On January 25, 2010, Most Rev. Dr Joseph Mar Thomas was transferred to the Eparchy of Bathery in India as its Bishop.
As per the request of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, on July 14, 2010, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI established an Apostolic Exarchate for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the United States of America. Rev. Dr. Thomas Naickamparambil of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum was appointed the first Bishop of the new Exarchate and Apostolic Visitator to Canada and Europe. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Naickamparambil was ordained Bishop with the name Thomas Mar Eusebius by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios CleemisCatholicos on September 21, 2010 at the St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum. The official inauguration of the Exarchate in the USA was held on October 3, 2010, at the Bishop Kellenberg Memorial High School, New York. During the function His Excellency Most Rev. Dr Thomas Mar Eusebius assumed the office as the first bishop of the Exarchate in the USA. His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios CleemisCatholicos, officiated the installation and inaugurated the Exarchate.
On June 2, 2013, the Exarchate Chancery and the Bishop’s Residence were shifted to the present location at 1500 De Paul Street, Elmont, NY 11003. On September 8, 2013 the Cathedral Parish of the Exarchate was established in Elmont, New York by His Excellency the Most Rev. Thomas Mar Eusebius during the celebration of the Holy Mass presided over by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios CleemisCatholicos. On October 30, 2013, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Apostolic Exarchate in the USA was legally registered as a Not-for-Profit Incorporation in the State of New York.
On December 18, 2015 His Holiness Pope Francis elevated the Exarchate to the status of an Eparchy and extended its territory to include the region of Canada also. His Excellency the Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Eusebius was appointed the first bishop of the Eparchy. The announcement regarding the establishment of the Eparchy of St. Mary, Queen of Peace of the Syro-Malankara Faithful in the USA and Canada and the appointment of His Excellency Mar Eusebius was made on January 4, 2016 simultaneously in the Vatican, at the Catholicate Center in Trivandrum and at the St. Vincent de Paul Syro-Malankara Catholic Cathedral in New York. On January 23, the new Eparchy was officially inaugurated and His Excellency the Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Eusebius was installed as the first Bishop of the Eparchy at the Cathedral of the Eparchy in Elmont, New York. His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church presided over the ceremony.
Besides the regular ecclesial activities, Syro-Malankara Catholic Conventions of North America,National Youth Conventions and Regional Family Conferences are held every three years which help the members of the Church not only to cherish the ecclesial and cultural heritage but also to further advance the ecclesial consolidation of our faithful. These conventions began in the year 1990 and are held in the different cities of North America. The Apostolates of MCA, MYCM, Fathers’ Forum, Mothers’ Forum, Sunday School, etc. greatly help in the growth of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the USA.
At present there are 16 parishes and a few mission stations for the Malankara Catholic Church in North America. Around 11,500 members are there in the Exarchate. There are 20 Malankara Catholic Priests working for the Exarchate. There are 30Malankara Catholic Religious Sisters rendering their ministry in the Eparchy. 2 Bethany convents and 4 Daughters of Mary convents are situated in the Eparchy.
Heavenly Patroness: St. Mary, the Queen of PeaceEparchial Chancery
1500 De Paul Street, Elmont, NY 11003, USA
Tel: 516-233-1656; Fax: 516-616-0727