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Syro-Malankara Parish with the Salesians Celebrates Golden Jubilee


By BIS
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Bangalore, Dec. 4. The Golden Jubilee of St. Mary's Malankara Catholic Church, Puthuppally, a Salesian Parish belonging to the Syro-Malankara Archdiocese of Thiruvalla, was celebrated on 29 November. The Chief Minister of Kerala Sri Oommen Chandy, the Archbishop of Thiruvalla Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Koorilos, and the Salesian Provincial Fr. Thomas Anchukandam graced the occasion.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Thiruvalla Rt. Rev. Philipose Mar Stephanos officiated the Malankara liturgy. During the celebrations the newly constructed school auditorium was blessed by Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, and inaugurated by Fr. Anchukandam. The Chief Minister of Kerala inaugurated the function and unveiled the memorial panel, thus marking a red-letter day in the annals of Don Bosco, Puthuppally.

It was on 31 May 1991 that this parish, then known as St. George Malankara Catholic Church, Puthuppally, and St. George L.P School (English Medium) were entrusted to the Salesians in perpetuity by Mar Geevarghese Timotheos, the then Bishop of Thiruvalla. The parish then had 23 Malankara Catholic families and 110 Catholics. Though the Malankara Parish Community is rather small in size it has a great significance and relevance since the locality is dominated by Orthodox and Jacobite Christians and the parish stands out as a Catholic spiritual oasis for all.

The history of the parish goes back to 1961 when Most Rev. Zacharias Mar Athanesius, the then Archbishop of Thiruvalla, bought a piece of land in front of Puthuppally bus stand from Chakkummoottil Ittiyavira. It was Fr. Zacharias Airttupadavil, helped by a few others, who initiated the process in procuring the land and in building the church.  On the first Sunday of March in 1964, the church was officially blessed and consecrated.

Although the official name of the church was St. John's Malanakara Catholic Church, Puthuppally, it was renamed as St. George Malankara Catholic Church after the renovation of the church. In 1997 a new church was constructed and the name was again changed into St. Mary's Malankara Catholic Church. The new church was blessed and consecrated on 15 March 1997 by his Grace Most. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Themothiyos.

Besides the parish, the Salesians now have an English Medium Higher Secondary School (Kerala State Board) and a High School (CBSE).  The Salesian Sisters, present from 1992, help out in the parish, run a hostel for women / girls and offer skill training.
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