A lot of people today have been enquiring after the Syro Malabar Eparchy Eastern Rite Catholic Church. It probably has much to do with the fact that the Archdiocese of Boston has sold one of its shuttered churches to them, but the communicants will not leave.
Well according to Wikipedia:
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an East Syrian Rite, Major Archiepiscopal Church in full communion with the Catholic Church. It is one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic Church. It is the largest of the Saint Thomas Christian denominations with more than 3.6 million believers. It is also the second largest Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome.
The church is headed by the Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Mar George Alencherry the Patriarch and Gate of All India. Saint Alphonsa is the first saint from within the Church. The members of the Church are locally known as Surianis or Syrian Catholics or Roman Catholic Syrian Christians (RCSC).
There is a lot more here on this Church believed to be founded by St Thomas. And it’s really, really interesting.
The Syro-Malabar identity is unique to the state of Kerala in India and its people. According to Fr. Placid Podipara “they are Hindu or Indian in culture, Christian in religion and Syro-Oriental in worship”…
The Church has some 29 Eparchies. 13 are outside Kerala including one in the United States of America.
The St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago is an Eastern Catholic eparchy for Syro-Malabar Catholics in the United States. The Diocese, established in 2001, is the only eparchy of the Syro-Malabar Church outside India, and it has jurisdiction over Syro-Malabar Catholics in the entire US. It is based in Chicago, Illinois.
Which brings us to the one receiving all the media attention: St Thomas Syro-Malabar Church, Boston.
The Syro-Malabar Church is one of the most flourishing and promising
Catholic Churches today. This is the second largest Eastern Catholic Church in the world, with a population of around three million. At present it is the major community of the ancient Thomas Christians in India. A vibrant and growing Catholic community, the SMC boasts 26 dioceses, which account for almost half of the 8,000 diocesan clergy in the 130 Dioceses of India; the Church also provides more than 60 percent of the 82,000 missionary workers among the 15 million Catholic community in India…
The establishment of the Syro-Malabar diocese is a historical landmark in the history of the Syro-Malabar church. Until the establishment of this diocese, the Syro-Malabar church was confined to India only. The establishment of the diocese helped the immigrant Syro-Malabar Catholics to practice their rite in the U.S.A.
There are more than 100,000 Indian Catholics following this rite in U.S.A and Canada and the number is increasing on account of the immigration of professionals…
Their parish website is here.
And they seem to be doing really well.
God’s work is clearly being done. So instead of doing this (holding round-the-clock vigils):
Why not simply worship togther? It that too much to ask for, Christians?