As of June 4, 2016

Updated by the 2016 Executive Committee





The Indian Knanaya Catholic Community of Greater New York, Inc.




Christianity started in India with St. Thomas, the Apostle. In A.D.345, Thomas of Cana, a leading navigator, merchant and intrepid world traveler of Cana in the Middle East lead a bold band of his people consisting of 72 families to Cranganore in the Kerala coast with a view to strengthening the church established by St. Thomas. This group of Christian pilgrims won the respect of the local king and became recipients of several honors and social distinctions. The descendants of this group maintained their separate identity and traditions, although they co-operated in all spiritual activities of the Indian Catholic hierarchy of which they formed an integral part.


The Knanaya Catholics were originally disbursed among different Diocese in Kerala State. The desire to keep their unique identity and heritage, led to a strong move for a separate Diocese for the Knanaya Catholics. Through the intercession and personal appeal of His Excellency Bishop Mathew Makil, His Holiness Pope Pius X, on August 29, 1911, by a special Decree "Universi Christiani" instituted a new Vicariate Apostolic of Kottayam for the suddhists (southists) and appointed Bishop Mathew Makil as the Vicar Apostolic by transfer from his former Diocese of Changanacherry. On December 21, 1923 the Vicaraite Apostolic of Kottayam was elevated to an Eparchy by Pope Pius XI. The diocese of Kottayam is a multi ritual diocese consisting of Syro Malabar and Malankara rites. Bishop Mathew Makil was succeeded by Mar Alexander Chulaparambil (July 16, 1914 - January 8,1951), Mar Thomas Tharayil (January 8, 1951-May 5, 1974), Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry (May 5, 1974-January 14, 2006). During Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry's tenure, on May 9, 2005 Eparchy of Kottayam was elevated to a Metropolitan See. On June 3, 2005, the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherrry was ordained and enthroned as the first Metropolitan Archbisop of Kottayam. Upon Mar Kunnacherry's retirement on January 14, 2006, Mar Mathew Moolakatt became the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kottayam. Mar Joseph Pandarasseril is the Auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Kottayam.

With the softening of immigration rules and the great need for hospital personnel in North America, thousands of Knanaya Catholics migrated to this part of the world and settled in different parts of USA and Canada, of which a good majority settled in the tri-state area. His Excellency, Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry, the Bishop of Kottayam formally inaugurated the Association on August 14, 1976. The association is a duly registered not-for-profit organization and the Archbishop of Kottayam Diocese is its patron.


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