Pope erects Syro-Malankara eparchy for U.S., Canada - Catholic Courier

Pope erects Syro-Malankara eparchy for U.S., Canada

VATICANCITY (CNS) — Pope Francis erected a new Syro-Malankara eparchy for the UnitedStates and Canada. The pope also named Bishop Thomas Eusebios Naickamparambil,who served as the apostolic exarch for Syro-Malankaran Catholics in the UnitedStates, as its first bishop.

The newdiocese is called the Eparchy of St. Mary, Queen of Peace, and will be basedout of Elmont, New York, in the Latin-rite Diocese of Rockville Centre, at St.Vincent de Paul Malankara Catholic Cathedral.

In itsannouncement Jan. 4, the Vatican noted the presence of 11,500 Syro-MalankaranCatholics in the United States, particularly in Illinois, Texas, Michigan,Florida, New York and Washington, D.C. The eparchy includes 19 parishes andmissions as well as three women’s religious institutes situated in 10 conventsin the two countries. There are 17 priests assigned within the eparchy, andanother 16 Syro-Malankaran priests ministering in Latin-rite dioceses.

The U.S.communities were formally organized as missions in 1984, according to a 2014decree on governance issued by Bishop Naickamparambil. St. John Paul II appointedthe first apostolic visitator to U.S. Syro-Malankaran Catholics in 2001.

Born inMylapra, India, June 6, 1961, Bishop Naickamparambil was ordained in 1986. Heworked in several parishes in India as well as a professor and dean of philosophyat St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary in Kerala, India.

In2010, he was named titular bishop of Lares and the first apostolic exarch ofSyro-Malankaran Catholics in the United States. He also served as an apostolicvisitor for Syro-Malankaran Catholics in Canada and Europe prior to hiselevation.

Bishop Naickamparambilis a member of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children andYoung People and the Subcommittee for Asian and Pacific Island Affairs.

The Syro-Malankararite was established in India. Indian Catholics hold that St. Thomas journeyedto India to spread the Gospel, although no definitive evidence has been foundto verify that. It is one of 22 Eastern churches in communion with Rome. Itsheadquarters is in Thiruvananthapuram, India.

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Contributingto this story was Mark Pattison in Washington.

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