St. Mary’s Malankara New Rochelle Church, History

A visitation by the late Most Rev. Benedict Mar Gregorios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum, and the late Most Rev. Zacharias Mar Athanasius, Bishop of Thiruvalla, was the source of inspiration for the formation of an ecclesial community of the Malankara Catholics residing in North America, especially in the New York area. The bi-monthly celebration of the Holy Qurbono and observation of holy days of obligation began in 1980, and later in 1982, Holy Qurbono began to be celebrated every Sunday. The Church of the Guardian Angel (193 Tenth Avenue at 21st Street, New York, NY-10011) was provided by the Archdiocese of New York for Sunday worship by the Malankara Catholic Community. In March 1992, the community moved their gathering to the chapel of St. Angela Merici School (266 E. 163rd Street, Bronx, NY 10451). January 1999 found the Mission relocating to the chapel at Salesian High School (148 East Main Street, New Rochelle, NY-10801), where the Holy Qurbono is still currently being celebrated.

For the convenience of our people residing in Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn, the Malankara Catholic Mission of Greater New York was bifurcated on November 7, 1993, giving birth to St. John Chrysostom Malankara Catholic Mission in Long Island. In 1994, another worship site was started for the Malankarites residing in the Staten Island area. By the approval and blessing of the late Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios, St. Thomas Malankara Catholic Mission of New Jersey was inaugurated on September 26th 1995 by His Grace, the Most Rev. Theodore E. McCarrick, the then Archbishop of Newark. These bifurcations definitely were a sign of growth in the Malankara Catholic Church in New York.

Chor-Bishop John Melamparambil was appointed as the first Vicar of the Mission in 1984. After his successful service, he was relieved and Rev. Fr. John Kalloor, the then coordinator of the Malankara Catholic Missions of North America, was appointed as the Vicar in 1986. In September 1987, Rev. Fr. Geevarghese Mannikarott took charge of the Mission. Rev. Fr. Saji M. George served the Mission as priest-in-charge in 1996. In September 1997, Rev. Fr. Koshy George Chirayath took charge as Vicar, and was later succeeded by Rev. Fr. Joseph Kurumpileth in 2003. From December 2003 to 2011, Rev. Fr. Augustine Abraham Mangalath served as Vicar of our church, succeeded by Rev. Dr. Sunny Mathew Kavuvila who served until October 2016. It was under the leadership of Fr. Sunny Mathew that the new church building and rectory were bought. Rev. Fr. Jerry Mathew took charge as acting pastor on November 13, 2016 and was appointed as the Pastor of the parish on July 2, 2017. On August 12, 2018, Fr. Jerry Mathew bid adieu to the parish for higher studies in Rome. Until Rev. Fr. Mathew Thundiyil took charge in October 2018, the parish was helped by Rev. Dr. Baby Madathikkunnath.

Today, our Mission consists of 60 families. Every Sunday, Holy Mass is celebrated, with the morning prayers recited in English on the second Sunday and Qurbono celebrated in English on the last Sunday of each month. After Holy Qurbono every week, Sunday School, as well as various organizational meetings such as the Malankara Catholic Youth Movement (MCYM), Malankara Catholic Association (MCA), Fathers’ Forum and Legion of Mary, are conducted. Family prayer meetings as well as youth prayer meetings, and our annual Lenten and Perunnal retreats are organized and conducted throughout the year to further enrich our spiritual needs. Various social activities, including but not limited to our annual family picnic, various community service projects such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Christmas caroling, are organized and very well participated in by all the members, young and old. With the participation of the tri-state area Malankara Catholic missions, Mar Ivanios Day has been appropriately celebrated at our mission from 2005 onwards. Important events, such as our Church Feast in September, Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day to name a few, are observed and celebrated.

First and most importantly, we are grateful to God Almighty for all His abundant blessings and help in the goals and achievements of our community. We are continuously blessed by the visitations of Bishops, priests and other religious dignitaries who have rendered their help. We are grateful to all our Pastors and priests who provide spiritual leadership. So also we are thankful to the DM Sisters of Yonkers and City Island for all their support. We also thank all the parish council committee members, past and present, for their wonderful service and dedication to the success of our Mission. Additionally, we cannot forget our parishioners, for they are very much also an integral factor in the growth and success of our Mission and we thank them for that. At this time, we also appreciate the love, concern and pastoral care of His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, Most. Rev. Thomas Eusebius and all the bishops of Our Church. May Mary, our Mother and patron, and Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios, the founder of the Malankara Catholic Reunion Movement, continue to guide and inspire us in all our endeavors.

In God's great providence, in April 2016, the parish community purchased the Most Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers from the Archdiocese of New York. On May 7, 2016, the first Holy Mass was celebrated in the newly bought church. The inaugural Holy Mass was presided over by His Excellency the Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Eusebius. Present on the occasion was also His Excellency the Most. Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom.