Syro-Malankara Church erects diocese, appoints bishops

2017-08-07 Vatican Radio

The Synod of Bishops of the major archiepiscopal Syro-Malankara Church, after consulting the Apostolic See and receiving prior pontifical assent for the candidates to the episcopate, has made the following provisions:

  • erection of the new eparchy or diocese of Parassala and election of the first bishop, H.E. Msgr. Thomas Mar Eusebios Naickamparambil, transferring him from the eparchial see of Saint Mary Queen of Peace of the Syro-Malankara faithful in the United States and Canada;
  • election of the bishop of Puthur, Rev. Msgr. George Kalayil, currently protosyncellus of the same eparchy;
  • election of the bishop of the major archiepiscopal Curia, Rev. Msgr. John Kochuthundil, assigning him the titular see of Tuburbo Maggiore.

Unlike in the Latin-rite Church where the Pope directly appoints bishops, the synods of eastern-rite Catholic churches have the autonomy of appointing their own bishops, to which the Pope gives his assent.

H.E. Msgr. Thomas Mar Eusebios Naickamparambil
(Bishop of Parassala of the Syro-Malankara)

H.E. Msgr. Thomas Mar Eusebios Naickamparambil was born in Mylapra, in the archieparchy of Trivandrum, on 6 June 1961, and was ordained a priest on 29 December 1986. After his studies in philosophy and theology at Jnanadeepa in Poona, he obtained a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He speaks Malayalam, English, German, Italian and Hindi, and also knows Syriac, Greek and French.

Since ordination he has held the following offices: deputy priest and parish priest in various communities, professor and then dean of philosophy at the Saint Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary, secretary general of the major archbishopric of the Syro-Malankara Church, public relations officer, coordinator for interreligious dialogue and secretary of the permanent council, director of the Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, a school in Trivandrum, and bursar of the Mar Baselios Engineering College.

On 14 July 2010 Msgr. Naickamparambil was appointed as titular bishop of Lares and first esarch for Syro-Malankara faithful resident in the United States. At the same time he was entrusted with the role of apostolic visitator for the Syro-Malankara faithful resident in Canada and in Europe, a role that was terminated with his appointment as eparchial bishop of Saint Mary Queen of Peace.

H.E. Msgr. George Kalayil
(Bishop of Puthur of the Syro Malankara)

H.E. Msgr. George Kalayil was born on 16 July 1958 in Renjalady, in the state of Karnataka. After attending the minor seminary he studied philosophy at Saint Joseph’s; Mangalore, and theology at the Papal Seminary of Pune. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained a priest on 1 May 1986 and has exercised his pastoral ministry in more than ten dioceses. In addition he has served as secretary to the bishop; director of Saint Joseph’s School, Battery; and vice-rector and rector of Saint Mary’s Major Seminary. Since 2010 he has served as protosyncellus of the eparchy of Puthur.

H.E. Msgr. John Kochuthundil
(Bishop of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia of the Syro-Malankara Church)

H.E. Msgr. John Kochuthundil was born on 8 April 1959 in Puthusseribhagon, Kerala. After attending the minor seminary in Trivandrum, he completed his institutional studies in Saint Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Aluva, and was ordained a priest on 22 December 1985. He holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome.

He has held the following offices: secretary to the archbishop of Trivandrum, rector of the minor seminary, president of the Tribunal, official of the Episcopal Conference (C.B.C.I.), protosyncellus of the eparchy of Gurgaon and, currently, of the Archieparchy of Trivandum.

Statistical data on the eparchy of Parassala

The eparchy of Parassala is formed from the division of the southern part of the archieparchy of Trivandrum, in the south of Kerala, or rather the presbyteral districts of Parassala, Kattakada and a large part of Neyyatinkara. In the territory there are 30,750 Syro-Malankara faithful. There are another 220,000 Christians in the area, of a total population of 952,500 people.

The pastoral care of the Syro-Malankara faithful is entrusted to 22 eparchial priests in 95 parishes. They are served also by a number of men and women religious, especially priests of the Order of the Imitation of Christ, Franciscan Brothers, Daughters of Mary, Sisters of Imitation of Christ, and Sacred Heart Sisters. The Syro-Malankara Church manages more than fifty educational institutions, including a college and ten high schools.

(from Vatican Radio)