Pope creates excharate for Syro-Malabar Catholics in Canada

Priests from India wait for the start of the canonization Mass of six new saints celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 23. The new saints included an Indian Carmelite sister and member of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church plus the Indian founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, a Syro-Malabar Catholic order. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Priests from India wait for the start of the canonization Mass of six new saints celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 23. The new saints included an Indian Carmelite sister and member of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church plus the Indian founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, a Syro-Malabar Catholic order. A growing Catholic presence of Syro-Malabar Catholics in Canada led to an apostolic exarchate, the prescursor to a diocese.  (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has established an apostolic exarchate, the precursor to a diocese, for Syro-Malabar Catholics in Canada and has named their current Toronto-based chaplain, Fr. Jose Kalluvelil, a bishop and head of the exarchate.

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About the Syro-Malabar Mission in Canada

Phoenix Indian community dedicates new church

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Announcing the appointment Aug. 6, the Vatican said about 9,000 faithful of the India-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church live in Canada. They are served by 15 priests, three of whom belong to religious orders.

The new exarchate will be based in Mississauga, Ontario, near Toronto.

When the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle was created in Chicago in 2001, St. John Paul II entrusted to the bishop also the pastoral care of the church’s members in Canada.

Bishop-designate Kalluvelil, 59, was born in Thottuva, India, and ordained to the priesthood in 1984. After working in parishes and schools in the Eparchy of Palghat, India, he became director of catechesis and earned a doctorate in catechetical theology from the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome. He has ministered in Canada since 2013.