The undivided Syro - Malankara Syrian Church founded by the Apostle St. Thomas regained full communion with the Catholic Church on 20 September 1930 through the untiring ecclesial reunion efforts of the Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios. The Holy Father, Pope Pius XI through the Apostolic Constitution Christo Pastorum Principi of 11 June 1932, established the Syro - Malankara Catholic Hierarchy and elevated it to the status of a Metropolitan Church. In 2005 Saint Pope John Paul II raised it to the status of a Major Archiepiscopal Church.
The mission of the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church outside its proper canonical territory gradually began with the efforts of individual missionaries; however a major landmark was the establishment of Bethany Ashram Pune on 24 October 1955. From Pune, the Bethany Fathers took care of the Malankara Catholic faithful in Mumbai-Pune regions. Soon the Malankara Catholics in other cities of India began to organize themselves as Malankara Catholic Associations. From the beginning of 1970s the Malankara Syrian Hierarchy directly took initiative and began sending priests from the Eparchies to these communities. From 1980 these communities began to be erected canonically as personal parishes in the dioceses where they were registered. The Hierarchy gave further support to them appointing Rev. Fr. John Berchmans OIC in 1997 as the Co - Ordinator of the Malankara Syrian Catholics outside the territorium proprium. Under his assiduous leadership the communities got organized strongly under the banner ˜The Malankara Catholic Church Extra Territorial Regions in India (MCC-ETRI).
On February 2007, Most Rev. Dr. Jacob Mar Barnabas was appointed Apostolic Visitator of the Extra-territorial Regions in India by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. Later, the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church officially entrusted Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas with the pastoral care of the Syro - Malankara Catholic faithful residing outside of its proper territory in India.
On 26 March 2015 at 4:30 pm His Holiness Pope Francis by the Decree N 7780/15 erected the St. John Chrysostom Eparchy of Gurgaon for the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church in India outside of her proper territory and Most Rev. Dr. Jacob Mar Barnabas, Apostolic Visitator of the undivided MCC-ETRI was appointed as its first Bishop. Bifurcating the MCC-ETRI, St. Ephrem Exarchate of Khadki-Pune was also erected on the same day and Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Anthonios was appointed as its first Exarch. Indeed, with the establishment of these two canonical provisions, the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church has received an ecclesiastical jurisdiction to preach the Good News to all over in India.
The Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios dreamed of and prayed for a Malankara Syrian Catholic Church that would be blessed with the charism of preaching the Word of God to the entire nation of India with full canonical autonomy. The long cherished prayer and dream of the Servant of God is now realized. And it also doubles the delight that the decision of the Holy See came during the Birth Centenary year of Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios of revered memory, who untiringly worked to bring the task of evangelisation to the extra-territorial regions both in India and abroad. The Church is also greatly indebted to Moran Mor Cyril Baselios, the first Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church for his deep theological and ecclesiastical vision and mission endeavors. Indeed, it is under the outstanding and efficient leadership of His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal Cleemis, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos, the father and head of the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church, that the Church became more vibrant in her evangelical perspective, and she is blessed with the new Eparchy of Gurgaon.
The Eparchy of Gurgaon has the territorial jurisdiction of NCT of Delhi and other 22 States in the Central, Northern and North-Eastern regions of India. This Eparchy has a huge territory, the southern border of the circumscription includes the four central States: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Besides in these States, the faithful are diffusely present especially in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
The Eparchy of Gurgaon is established under the name of St. John Chrysostom (the Greek name for Mar Ivanios). St. Mary's Church in Neb Sarai, Delhi is the Cathedral Church for the Eparchy of Gurgaon. New Delhi is the Centre of the Eparchy, as it is the metropolitan area with the most substantial concentration of the Malankara Syrian Catholic faithful, distributed in nine parishes. The Bishop's residence and chancery is at the Mar Ivanios Bhawan, Neb Sarai, IGNOU Road (Saket). Currently, there are eighteen institutions in the new Eparchy, including colleges, higher secondary schools and high schools.
The inauguration of the St. John Chrysostom Eparchy of Gurgaon and the installation (Sunthroneeso) of Most Rev. Dr. Jacob Mar Barnabas took place on May 1, 2015 at St. Mary's Malankara Catholic Cathedral Church, Neb Sarai, New Delhi. The liturgical ceremonies and public meeting were presided over by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos, the father and head of the Syro - Malankara Major Archiepiscopal Church. The presence of Archbishop Salvatore Pennachio, the Apostolic Nuncio to India, Hierarchs from the Latin Rite and the Syro-Malabar Rite and other sister churches, prominent political and social leaders of the country, priests, religious and number of faithful from all walks of life graced the occasion.
The Prachodana Social Service Society of the Eparchy is conducting three major social uplift programs (i) Non Formal Education Program, (ii) Food for the Hungry Program, and (iii) Home for the Destitute. The non-formal education program at Mansarover Park and Neb Sarai are being well attended by a good number of street children. Through the Food for Hungry Program, the Social wing of the Eparchy provides free luncheons to those who are living in the streets of Delhi. This program is supported by individuals, families, and institutions of all faith.
While distribution of food, seriously sick people found in the streets are taken to Shanti Ashram, the Prachodana destitute home at Jasola and are provided with adequate nursing care.
The Eparchy of Gurgaon is the first north-Indian mission eparchy of the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church which has the 23 states of North-India as its mission territory. Within the span of two years of its establishment the Eparchy of Gurgaon has established mission centers and SMCC communities in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Odisha, Punjab, Tripura, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Its mission approach based on the principles of Punaraikam model which envisages the harmony and peace (saino and slomo) of all is a unique approach in evangelisation in North -India. It is the vision of the Eparchy of Gurgaon that we make steady progress in the field of spreading the joy of the Gospel (evangelisation) as well as the integral development of the people, particularly in those regions entrusted to its pastoral care.
Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas, the shepherd of the Eparchy of Gurgaon is known as the ˜Missionary Bishop' of India. This loving appreciation gives witness to the truth of the Eparchial growth and the extension of the Malankara Church all over India. The Eparchy of Gurgaon takes pride in harmonizing our mission centers, having rich diversity of tribal, non-tribal, different religious backgrounds, different non-catholic backgrounds, into the esteemed SMCC family and nurturing them and transforming them into the unique identity of Syro - Malankara Catholic Church.
In the process of this harmonization we are collectively convinced and sincerely try to carry out the mission commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it is rooted in the rich and vibrant cultural traditions of the Catholic Church and follows the footsteps of the great leader and role model, Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios, the ˜Prophet of Ecclesial Communion. We draw strength and inspiration from his prophetic exhortation, œBe proud to be a Catholic.
Heavenly Patron: St. John Chrysostom
Syro-Malankara Catholic Bishop's House
Mar Ivanios Bhavan
J-Block 61- 62, Paryavaran Complex,
IGNOU Road, Neb Sarai, New Delhi-110 068
Tel : 011-29536525