About the Eparchy


The Syro-Malankara Catholic Eparchy in the USA and Canada
Heavenly Patroness: St. Mary, Queen of Peace

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 communion 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 an ecclesial community. Malankara Catholic communities were formed in different cities of the United States, particularly in New York in 1981, 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 on 29 June 1984. The following were the officials elected at that time: Rev. John Mathew Elanjileth (President); Rev. John Melamparampil (Vice President); Dr. Babu George (Chairman); Mr. Benjamin Mathew (Secretary); Mr. Alex John Thangalathil (Treasurer); Mr John Panicker (Administrative Director); and Mr. James Alexander, Mr. C.M. Joseph, Mr. Kuriakose Kidarathil, Mr. Ninan Oommen Maret, Mr. John Mathai, and Mr. A.J. Varghese as directors.

The official inauguration of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Mission of North America was on August 25, 1984 in a meeting held at Fordham University, New York, led by His Grace the Most Rev. Benedict Mar Gregorios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, delivered the keynote address at this inaugural meeting. 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 Rt. Rev. Msgr. Dr. Isaac Thottunkal (later Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos), then-Vicar General of the Eparchy of Bathery, as Titular Bishop of Chayal and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum with the special mission as 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, 2001 by His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Cyril Mar Baselios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church.

The Hierarchy of our Church continued the dialogue with the Holy See for a stable canonical provision for the faithful in the USA and on May 15, 2002 Archbishop Cyril Mar Baselios officially submitted the application for the same to the Holy See.

On October 2, 2003 Most Rev. Isaac Mar Cleemis was transferred to the Eparchy of Tiruvalla as its Bishop. After an extended period, on January 5, 2005 Rev. Dr. Joseph Konnathu, then-Principal of Mar Theophilus College, Trivandrum, was appointed Titular Bishop of Sicilibbensis and Auxiliary Bishop of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum with the special mission as 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.

On July 14, 2010 the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI erected 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 Cleemis Catholicos on September 21, 2010 in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum. The official inauguration of the Exarchate in the USA was held on October 3, 2010 at 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.

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Conventions held at New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Dallas, New York and Virginia and the Youth Conferences held at Philadelphia, Houston, Toronto and New York and the Family Conferences held in held in different regions helped the Malankara Catholic Church in America to cherish its cultural heritage and liturgical patrimony. The Apostolates of MCA, MYCM, Fathers’ Forum, Mothers’ Forum, Sunday School, etc. greatly help in the growth of this Church in this continent.

On June 2, 2013 the Exarchate Chancery and the Bishop's Residence were shifted to the Rectory of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish, 1500 De Paul Street, Elmont, thanks to the generosity of His Excellency the Most Rev. William Murphy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Center. On September 8, 2013 the Cathedral Parish of the Exarchate was established by His Excellency the Most Rev. Thomas Mar Eusebius in the gracious presence of His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis, Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.

On July 6, 2013 the Exarchate got its first incardinated priest as His Excellency the Most Rev. Thomas Mar Eusebius ordained Deacon Michael Edathil as a priest for the Exarchate.

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.

At present there are 16 parishes and a few mission stations in the Eparchy. Around 11,500 members are there in the Eparchy. There are 18 Malankara Catholic priests working in the Eparchy and 16 other Malankara Catholic priests working in different Latin Catholic Dioceses in the USA. 34 Religious Sisters are rendering their ministry in this region. Three Bethany convents and seven Daughters of Mary convents are situated in the new Eparchy.