Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Palai

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Eparchy of Palai
St. Thomas Cathedral, Pala.jpg
Location
Country India
Ecclesiastical province Syro-Malabar Catholic Archeparchy of Changanassery
Metropolitan Syro-Malabar Catholic Archeparchy of Changanassery
Statistics
Area 2,017 km2 (779 sq mi)
Population
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2009)
695,000
326,747 (47%)
Information
Established 25 July 1950
Cathedral Cathedral of St Thomas in Palai
Patron saint Immaculate Conception
St Thomas
Current leadership
Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt
Website
Website of the Eparchy

The Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Palai is a Syro-Malabar Catholic eparchy with an area of 1166 km2[1] comprising the Meenachil Taluk and a few villages of the neighbouring Taluks in Kottayam, Ernakulam, and Idukki districts of Central Kerala in South India. The faithful of this eparchy, numbering 326,742, belong to the ancient St. Thomas Christian Community.

Introduction[edit]

Pope Pius XII, by the Bull "Quo Ecclesiarum", issued on 25 July 1950, bifurcated the eparchy of Changanacherry and out of the territory covered by the then Foranes of Palai, Muttuchira, Kuravilangad, Anakkallu and Ramapuram erected the eparchy of Palai as a suffragan of the Archeparchy of Ernakulam. Most Rev. Dr. Leo P. Kierkels, the Apostolic Internuncio in India, published the Bull in the St. Thomas Cathedral Palai on 4 January 1951 and installed Mar Sebastian Vayalil as the first Bishop of the new eparchy. On the 22 of August 1956 when the Holy See by the Ap.Const. ‘Regnum Coelorum’ raised the eparchy of Changanacherry to the status of an Archeparchy and constituted the new ecclesiastical province of Changanacherry, the eparchy of Palai became one of its suffragans. Mar Joseph Kallarangatt is the current Bishop of the eparchy.Mar Jacob Muricken was appointed as auxiliary bishop in 2012.

Heavenly Flowers from the Eparchy[edit]

St. Alphonsa[edit]

Saint Alphonsa

Venerable Sister Alphonsa was beatified along with Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara, T.O.C.D., at Kottayam, on 8 February 1986 by Pope John Paul II during his Apostolic Pilgrimage to India. During his speech at Nehru Stadium, the Pope said that: "From early in her life, Sister Alphonsa experienced great suffering. With the passing of the years, the heavenly Father gave her an ever fuller share in the Passion of his beloved Son. We recall how she experienced not only physical pain of great intensity, but also the spiritual suffering of being misunderstood and misjudged by others. But she constantly accepted all her sufferings with serenity and trust in God, … She wrote to her spiritual director: "Dear Father, as my good Lord Jesus loves me so very much, I sincerely desire to remain on this sick bed and suffer not only this, but anything else besides, even to the end of the world. I feel now that God has intended my life to be an oblation, a sacrifice of suffering" (20 November 1944). She came to love suffering because she loved the suffering Christ. She learned to love the Cross through her love of the crucified Lord.[2] On Sunday, 12 October 2008, Pope Benedict XVI announced her canonization at a ceremony at Saint Peter's Square. Indians from across the world, especially people from Kerala, gathered at the ceremony in Rome. Among them was a 10-year-old Kerala boy Jinil Joseph whose clubfoot – a birth defect – was, in the judgment of Vatican officials, miraculously healed after prayers to Alphonsa in 1999. In the homily, Pope Benedict XVI recalled Saint Alphonsa's life as one of "extreme physical and spiritual suffering." "This exceptional woman … was convinced that her cross was the very means of reaching the heavenly banquet prepared for her by the Father", the pope stated. "By accepting the invitation to the wedding feast, and by adorning herself with the garment of God's grace through prayer and penance, she conformed her life to Christ's and now delights in the 'rich fare and choice wines' of the heavenly kingdom." "(Her) heroic virtues of patience, fortitude and perseverance in the midst of deep suffering remind us that God always provides the strength we need to overcome every trial", the pope stated before the ceremony ended. The grave at St Mary's Forane Church in Bharananganam where the Franciscan Clarist Sister was buried had a chapel built there, which houses her mortal remains.

Blessed Thevarparampil Kunjachan[edit]


Blessed Thevarparambil Kunjachan (born Augustine) was a priest who dedicated himself to the spiritual and temporal welfare of a marginalized set of people who were poor and exploited for generations.Augustine was born on 1 April 1891, at Ramapuram in Travancore (present-day Kerala, India). He was the son of Itty Iype and Eliswa of the Thevarparambil clan, which was a branch of the Kuzhumpil lineage. Augustine received his primary education at a school sponsored by the government of Travancore. He advanced to St. Ephrem's School in Mannanam where his religious faith intensified, compelling him to pursue a career as a priest. After completing in secondary education at St Ephrem's School, Augustine embarked on a jounery on foot from Ramapuram to Changanacherry in order to enroll in St Thomas Minor Seminary. After receiving his major seminary formation at Puthenpally Seminary in Varapuzha, Augustine was ordained as a priest on July 16, 1915. In Ramapuram, Kunjachan witnessed an entire caste of people deprived of dignity, respect, and the basic necessities of life. He would devote his entire life towards the upheaval of the downtrodden. After a brief period of serious illness Kunjachan died on 16 October 1973 at the age of 82. At his death the children and others told that `a saint has passed away'. At his funeral the priest who preached the panegyric, spoke well of his holiness in life, apostolic zeal, kindness of heart, love for the poor and other outstanding virtues. And towards the end of the speech he said to the surprise of all, "we are participating in the funeral of a saint. We have one more mediator in heaven." Kunjachan had the reputation of a holy man even while he was alive. People irrespective of caste and religion, used to approach him in their manifold needs and they got favours through his prayers and blessings. Within a few days after his death his tomb at Ramapuram became a centre of pilgrimage for people from far and wide. The process of Beatification and Canonization started on 11 August 1987 at Ramapuram, bestowing upon him the title, `Servant of God'. The `Positio super vita et virtutibus' was completed after ten years and was submitted at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 12 February 1997. The `Positio' on the heroic practice of virtues of the saintly priest was approved by Pope John Paul II on 22 June 2004 and he was declared `Venerable'. Meanwhile, the process of the miraculous cure of the clubfoot of a boy was undertaken, and the findings were sent to Rome for consideration. After a thorough investigation of the miraculous nature of the cure, made by competent personnel in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI approved it, opening the way for Beatification. Venerable Kunjachan was beatified by Card. Varkey Vithayathil, Major Arch bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church on 30 April 2006 at the very same village Ramapuram where he was born, worked, died and buried. The Papal Nuncio to India Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), and other Bishops and priests participated in the ceremony. The Feast of Blessed Kunjachan is celebrated on 16 October every year. Kunjachan had his last times at family house Thervarparampil Ramapuram[3]

Venerable Fr. Mathew Kadalikkattil[edit]

Fr. Mathew Kadalikkattil, ardent devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a man of compassionate heart. He was born on 25 April 1872 as the second son of Cherian and Rosa of a Syrian Catholic family Kadalikkattil at Edappady belonging to the diocese of Pala. The family atmosphere of Fr. Mathew was so religious that it instilled in the boy the noblest qualities of compassion to the poor, selfless love, an inclination to prayer and other Christian virtues. Right from his younger days he had the opportunity to grow in the devotion to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. As he wanted to dedicate himself fully to the service of the Church, he joined the seminary conducted in the Syrian Carmelite monastery at Mannanam and was ordained priest on February 17, 1901. He was a true follower of the good shepherd in search of the lost sheep very much like 'Cure De Ars'. He spent long hours in the confessional and brought about changes in the lives of many sinners.To experience and share the compassionate love of the Sacred Heart to the poor and the destitute he started a new religious community on January I, 1911 in a small house with four members and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He had become an apostle of devotion to the Sacred Heart to the extent that he used to sign himself under the title 'The servant of Sacred Heart'. Many families were inspired by his devotion to the Sacred Heart to lead a fervent Christian life. Thirty four years of physical strain, continuous attention to difficult work, frequent rheumatic and diabetic complaints have been exhausting his energy. After a month of very painful illness he yielded his soul to the loving Heart of Jesus on May 23, 1935.The cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Fr. Mathew Kadalikkattil was started on January 24, 1989.After completing the process of study, Holy father Pope Benedict XVI signed the Decree promulgated by the Congregation for the cause of Saints concerning the Heroic Virtues of the Servant of God Fr. Mathew Kadalikkattil, raising him to the status of 'Venerable' on 27 June 2011[4]

Bishops[edit]

Mar Joseph Kallarangatt[edit]

Mar Joseph Kallarangatt celebrates Holy Qurbana

Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, the third Bishop of the Eparchy of Palai, was born on 27 January 1956 at Kayyoor. After his schooling, he joined the Good Shepherd Minor Seminary, Pala for ecclesiastical studies. He completed his Major Seminary studies at St.Thomas Apostolic Seminary Vadavathoor and was ordained priest on 2 January 1982 by His Excellency Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil. After having served as assistant parish priest at St.George Forane Church Aruvithura and St. Augustine's Forane Church Ramapuram, he was sent to Rome for higher studies in 1984. He studied at the Pontifical Greorgian University, Rome and took doctorate in theology. His doctoral thesis was "The Holy Spirit, Bond of Communion of Churches: A Complete Study of the Ecclesiology of Yves Congar and Nikkos Nissiotis". In 1990, he was appointed Professor of theology at Paurastya Vidyapitham and St.Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor. In 2001, he was appointed the President of the Paurastya Vidyapitham, Vadavathoor and continued in the office till his appointment as the Bishop of Palai on 18 March 2004, at the retirement of His Excellency Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil. The Episcopal Consecration of Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt was on 2 May 2004 by His Grace Mar Joseph Powathil and was enthroned by His Beatitude Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, the Major Archbishop at the solemn liturgical ceremonies held at Arunapuram, Pala. Mar Joseph Kallarangatt had published more than 35 scholarly books on theology and oriental liturgy. The Bishop had participated and presented papers in different theological conferences in and outside the country. Ever since the beginning of his teaching ministry as a prolific writer he has been writing on various theological and secular topics in different international, national and local journals. At present, he is also serving as the Chairman of CBCI Doctrinal Commission; Chairman Syro Malabar Commission for Doctrine. In 2007, His Excellency celebrated his Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee. In February 2012, he is appointed as a member of the Catholic delegation of the Joint Commission for Dialogue with the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and the Malankara Syrian Church. He attended XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the transmission of Christian Faith, held at Rome from 07-28 October 2012. Under his patronage and leadership, the 31st Plenary Assembly of Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI) was hosted by the Eparchy from 05 to 12 February 2014 at Alphonsian Pastoral Institute, Arunapuram, Pala. He, as the delegate of Syro Malabar Synod, attended XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Family held at Rome from 04-25 October 2015.[5]


Mar Jacob Muricken[edit]

Mar Jacob Muricken was born on 16 June 1963 at Muttuchira. After completing his M.A. degree in Economics, he joined Good Shepherd Minor Seminary, Palai. He completed his ecclesiastical studies at St.Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Kottayam. He was ordained priest by Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil on 27 December 1993 at his home parish Muttuchira. After a short period of service as Assistant Vicar at St.Mary's Forane Church Kuravilangad, he was appointed Rector of Savio Home Boarding House, attached to St.Joseph's EMHS, Neeloor. Later he served the diocese in various capacities as Professor at the diocesan minor seminary, Secretary of Corporate Educational Agency, Vicar at Chakkampuzha and Neeloor parishes. He was declared Auxiliary Bishop of Palai on 24 August 2012 while serving as the diocesan Pastoral Coordinator. His episcopal ordination was on 1 October 2012, Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux at St.Thomas Cathedral, Palai. On 19 September 2013 he, along with the other newly appointed bishops from around the world, was received in audience by Pope Francis at the Vatican. As the General Convenor, he was instrumental in the successful conduct of the 31st Plenary Assembly of Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI) which was hosted the Eparchy from 05 to 12 February 2014.[6]


Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil[edit]

Mar Joseph Pallickaparampil celebrates Holy Qurbana at St. Peters Tomb Vatican

Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil was born on 10 April 1927 at Mutholapuram. After his University studies in St.Berchman's College Changanacherry, St.Joseph's College Trichinapolly and Loyola College Madras from where he took his M.A. in Economics, he joined the St. Thomas Petit Seminary, Changanacherry. For his Major Seminary formation he was sent to St. Joseph's Major Seminary Mangalore and then to the Collegio Urbano de Propaganda Fide, Rome. He was ordained priest on 23 November 1958 in Rome. After the ordination, he began his research work for a doctoral thesis in Philosophy, related to the Marxian thought. While doing his doctoral studies, he was appointed the Vice-Rector of the Malabar College Rome, where Rev.Fr.Placid Podipara CMI was the Rector. After taking his Ph.D. from the Pontifical Urban University Rome, in 1962 he came back to the Diocese. He was appointed professor of Philosophy in the St.Thomas Apostolic Seminary Vadavathoor, Kottayam. While serving the seminary as its rector in 1973 he was nominated as Auxliary to H.E. Mar Sebastian Vayalil and was ordained Bishop on 15 August 1973 by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Parekattil. Following the resignation of H.E. Mar Sebastian Vayalil he was appointed as the Bishop of Palai on 6 February 1981. On 25 March 1981, he was installed at the St. Thomas Cathedral Palai. After serving the diocese for 23 years, he handed over the charge of the eparchy to his successor Mar Joseph Kallarangatt on 2 May 2004.[7]


Mar Sebastian Vayalil (First Bishop)[edit]

Mar Sebastian Vayalil was born on 28 January 1906 at Pala. He had his ecclesiastical studies in the St.Joseph's Seminary Mangalapuzha, Alwaye and was ordained priest on 21 December 1935. He was the Headmaster of St.Thomas Training School Pala, till he was appointed the Bishop of Palai, on 25 July 1950. He was consecrated Bishop by His Eminence Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, the then Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches, on 9 November 1950 at St.Theresa's Church Rome and was installed in Palai Cathedral by the Most Rev.Dr.Leo. P. Kierkels, the Apostolic Internuncio, on 4 January 1951. His Excellency attended all the four sessions second Vatican Council. Chicago's De Paul University conferred upon him in 1966 the honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) in recognition of his outstanding achievements as an educationist. His Excellency's Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee was celebrated on 21 December 1960. The Holy Year 1975 was of special significance to the diocese and to His Excellency as it coincided with its own Silver Jubilee and the Silver Jubilee of the Episcopal Consecration of the Bishop. After thirty years of strenuous service he handed over the charge of the diocese to his successor Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil on 25 March 1981. After a period of 5 years of active life of retirement, he was called to eternal reward on 21 November 1986. In addition to the various pastoral and missionary achievements, during his tenure the diocese stood first in the world with families having the highest rate of priestly, religious and missionary vocation. True to his motto, "The Lord is my light", he placed unbounded trust in divine providence and worked untiringly for the people of God committed to him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Diocesian Curia, Palai (2016). Directory. Palai: St. Thomas Press. 
  2. ^ www.alphonsa.com.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  3. ^ blessed, kunjachan. "http://www.blessedkunjachan.com/". Retrieved 2016-11-20.  External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ http://www.kadalikkattilachan.org/.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  5. ^ Diocesian Curia, Palai (2016). Directory. St. Thomas Press. 
  6. ^ Diocesian Curia, Palai (2016). Directory. St. Thomas Press Palai. 
  7. ^ Diocesian Curia, Palai (2016). Directory. Palai: St. Thomas Press. 

External links[edit]