Roman Catholic Diocese of Alleppey
|Diocese of Alleppey
|Area||333 km2 (129 sq mi)|
|(as of 2012)
|Established||19 June 1952|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Alappuzha|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Maria Callist Soosa Pakiam|
|Website of the Diocese|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Alleppey (Latin: Alleppeyen(sis)) is a diocese centred on the city of Alleppey in the Ecclesiastical province of Trivandrum in India. It lies along the Arabian Sea between the dioceses of Cochin and Quilon, covering an area of 333 square kilometers.
The Diocese of Alleppey was erected by the Papal Bull “ Ea Redemptoris Verba” of Pope Pius XII, dated June 19, 1952 which divided the northern territory of the old Cochin Diocese at the Kuthiathodu Canal Line. The territory to the north of that line belongs to the Cochin Diocese and that to the south of it, to the Diocese of Alleppey. The executorial Decree of September 8, 1952 assigned to each of the Diocese of Alleppey and Cochin a supplementary personal jurisdiction over certain parishes in the territory of the other. This Decree was approved by the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith on September 24, 1952 and become effective on October 11, 1952.
The boundaries are: on the north, the Kuthiathodu CanalLine; on the south, a straight line from the curve of the Pampa River at Viyapuram to the Arabian Sea through Thottappally; on the east, a line along the middle of the Vembanadu Lake continued to the south by the Pallathuruthy Canal, one of the main branches of the Pampa River, to Viyapuram; on the west, the Arabian sea
The area assigned to the Diocsese comprises roughly the area of the Jesuit Mission of St. Andre of muteret. The Jesuit started mission work among the St Thomas Christian in this area about 1570. The greatest among the Jesuit missionaries who worked in this area was Fr. Giacomo Fenicio, an Italian, who was Vicar of St Andrew’s Church, Arthunkal, from 1584 to 1602 and again from 1619 till his death in 1632. He was a pioneer in Indology.
A century of intense mission work of the Jesuits, left the Christian community from Cochin to Purakad considerably increased and provided with several churches, the more important among them being St Andrew’s Aruthukal (1581). St Michael’s Kattor(1590), St Thomas Thumpoly (1600) and St George’s Manakodam (1640). A few other churches built during this period were destroyed either by wars or by sea erosion.
After the Schism of the Coonan Cross, the St Thomas Christians of the Mission of St Andre were reconciled to Rome by Msgr. Giuseppe Sebastiani during his second tour of Malabar in 1662.
Even after the capture of Cochin by the Dutch, the Jesuits continued to look after the Christians of this area till about the middle of the 18th century. Then the Mission was taken over by the Carmelite Missionaries and remained under the Vicariate of Verapoly till the restoration of the old cochin diocese in 1886.
In 1570 Jesuit missionaries started to work in the area. Five churches were built:
- Holy Cross Purakkad (1570)
- St. Andrew's church Arthunkal (1581)
- St. Michael's church Kattor (1590)
- Holy Cross Kadakkarappally (1620)
- St. George Manakodam (1640 - rebuilt).
On June 19, 1952 the Diocese of Alleppey was created by a division of the Diocese of Cochin. The "community of Five Hundreds" (Anjoottikkar) was a prominent group.
- Bishop Michael Arattukulam (1952 – 1984)
- Bishop Peter Michael Chenaparampil (1984 – 2001)
- Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil (2001 – present)