Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Mississauga
- Catholics (including non-members)
|Sui iuris church||Syro-Malabar Catholic Church|
|Cathedral||St. Alphonsa Cathedral|
|Patron saint||St.Thomas the Apostle|
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Mississauga is an eparchy for all Syro-Malabar Catholics in Canada. It comprises 16 churches and 39 missions. Most churches are found in the province of Ontario. It is currently the largest diocese in the world by area, stretching from the east coast of Canada all the way through the prairies and to the west coast, covering much of Canada.
The immigration of Syro-Malabars to Canada began in the 1960s. As the immigrant population grew, there began a need for pastoral care. The faithful then began to bring Syro-Malabar priests into Canada. The faithful attended Qurbana in various places such as churches or cafeterias/gymnasiums etc. Later, The Apostolic Exarchate for the Syro-Malabar faithful in Canada was formally erected by Pope Francis on August 06, 2015, the Transfiguration of the Lord, through the Apostolic Constitution "Spiritualem ubertatem" with its see in Mississauga. Until that time, Canadian Syro-Malabar faithful had been pastorally served by the neighbouring, US-based Syro-Malabar Diocese of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Chicago, in whose bishop, since its creation in 2001, was vested the office of Apostolic Visitor in Canada of the Syro-Malabars. Very Reverend Jose Kalluvelil was appointed the first Apostolic Exarch and the titular Bishop of Tabalta. The inauguration of the Exarchate and the Episcopal Ordination of Very Rev. Jose Kalluvelil took place on September 19, 2015, in the Church of Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius, at the Canadian Coptic Centre, 1245 Eglington Avenue, Mississauga, Ontario. His Beatitude Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, was the Principal Consecrator and Mar Jacob Manathodath, Eparchial Bishop of Palghat (India) and Mar Jacob Angadiath, Eparchial Bishop of Syro-Malabar Diocese of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Chicago (United States) were the Co-consecrators. The exarchate was erected into the status of Eparchy by Pope Francis on 22nd December 2018, and the installation ceremony was done on May 25th, 2019 at St. Alphonsa Cathedral.
With the growing Immigrant population, the Eparchy is growing as well. The Eparchy has grown significantly since its elevation in 2018.
Fr. Kalluvelil was born November 15, 1955, at Thottuva near Kuravilangad, a parish in Palai diocese, Kerala. Now his family is settled in Jellipara, in Palghat diocese. After his initial seminary formation at St. Mary's Minor Seminary, Trichur, he did his philosophical and theological studies at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, Kottayam. He was ordained a priest on December 18, 1984, for Palghat diocese. After his ordination, he served at Agali, Kuruvampadi, Puliyara, Panthalampadam, Olavakode, Doni, Ottapalam, Kottayi, Kallekad, Cathedral Church, Palakad, Kodunthirapully, Kanjirapuzha, and Mezhukumupara parishes and Boys Homes at Agali and Thavalam. He was also Director of the Eparchial Pastoral Centre, Catechetical Centre, besides being one of the diocesan consultors. He obtained his Doctorate in catechesis from the Salesian University, Rome. For the past two years, he was doing pastoral ministry to the Syro-Malabar faithful in Toronto. Then he was ordained the bishop of the Syro Malabar Catholic Exarchate of Canada in 2015 and became the Eparch in 2018 after the elevation of the exarchate to an eparchy.
The Cathedral for the Syro Malabars in Canada is the St Alphonsa Cathedral of Mississauga. The Cathedral was purchased in the 2010s; the Syro Malabars had previously been using a cafeteria as their gathering place. The first Church purchased was St Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Church Scarborough, which is currently the second-largest Syro Malabar Church in Canada. All of the parishes and Missions have significant and growing populations.