St. Mary's Toronto Church, History

In 1986, with the arrival of Rev. Dr. Peter Kochery, we started the Malankara Catholic movement in Toronto. At that time, there were only less than five Malankara families in Toronto. In 1991, the mission officially started its operation with a regular Malankara Qurbano once a month, and we began to have regular monthly prayer meetings. The Malankara liturgy had been celebrated at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, where Fr. Peter Kochery resided. Having established a strong foundation to the Malankara community in Toronto, he handed over the charge of the Mission to the new pastor, Fr. Antony Chethipuzha, in 1992.

Under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Antony Chethipuzha, our community continued to grow as a vibrant and enthusiastic group. We continued to celebrate the Holy Qurbano once a month and on special occasions, and continued our monthly prayer meetings. At that time, Malankara liturgy was celebrated at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Toronto, where Fr. Antony was an associate pastor.

With the appointment of Rev. Fr. Gigi Philip in 1997 as our vicar, our community achieved a new dimension in our growth. The parish had been moved back to St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, where we began to have our Holy Qurbano every week. Under his guidance, we started catechism classes for the young children, conducted lenten retreats, began a Christmas carol program, and continued our monthly prayer meetings. The MCYM was established in 2003.

In 2004, Rev. Fr. Cherian Mambrakuzhy was appointed as the new vicar of our Mission, and we moved to St. Eugene’s Chapel (which belongs to St. Margaret of Scotland Church). Rev. Fr. Cherian helped further to elevate our community to a renewed faith life. As a result, there emerged a greater enthusiasm in spiritual life, and our parish experienced a tremendous growth in faith. Fr. Cherian renamed our church as St.Mary’s Malankara Catholic Mission, and a Malankara Qurbano in English was introduced. Under his leadership, an MCYM-NA conference was conducted in Toronto in 2008.

In 2008, Rev. Fr. John Kuriakose took charge of our Mission. We briefly moved to St. Mary’s Polish Church in down town Toronto for six months, and returned back to St. Eugene’s Chapel, where we are currently worshiping. Today, the Toronto mission is a very vibrant faith community with various spiritual and other activities. We have monthly prayer meetings, women’s prayer meetings, Holy Mass in English once a month, weekly adoration, annual lenten retreat, Christmas carol and Christmas Parish Night. Our mission gives special attention for the faith formation of our children and for developing the proper Malankara Catholic identity in them. Sunday School is very active under a set of committed teachers. In July 2009, the MCYM Toronto also took the initiative to create a monthly bulletin, which is sent to the Malankarites across the world.

Presently, we have about 45 families in our church. It is remarkable that since the last few years, our mission has been receiving new immigrant families to the parish community, and many will be added in the years to come.

May the Lord bless all Malankara Missions across North America and abroad, and may we grow in faith and love.