Syro Malabar Church History
Diocese of Kalyan History
Forane Navi Mumbai
Establishment of Parish Community 1992
Date of the Consecration of the Church 12/04/2003
Official Erection as a Parish 17/03/2013
No. of Families 108
The Syro-Malabar Church is an Apostolic Church which traces its origin to the Apostolate of St. Thomas who, according to the tradition, landed at Cranganore in 52 AD and founded seven Christian communities at Palayur, Cranganore, Kokkamangalam, Kottakavu (Parur), Quilon, Niranam, and Chayal. It is one of the 22 sui iuris Oriental Churches in Catholic Communion with its own particular characteristics expressed in worship, spirituality, theology and disciplinary laws. The early Christian community in India was known as St. Thomas Christians. In the course of history this Church entered into life-relation with the Christian communities which came to be known as the East Syrian Church. This relationship made the Thomas Christians share the liturgical, spiritual and other ecclesiastical traditions with the East Syrian Church. At the same time St. Thomas Christians kept their distinctive character especially in Church administration and socio-cultural and ascetico-spiritual life. In the 16th Century with the arrival of the Portuguese, a new era began in the life of this Church, i.e., the latinization of its liturgy and the efforts of the St. Thomas Christians to free itself from this situation. In the Nineteenth Century this Church was designated as the Syro-Malabar Church in the documents from the Roman Curia under which name it is known today.

In 1887 the St. Thomas Christians were re-organized under two Vicariates, Kottayam and Trichur. In 1896, when the St. Thomas Christians obtained bishops of their own rite and nation, they were further reorganized into three Vicariates, Trichur, Ernakulam and Changanacherry. On December 21, 1923, the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy was established with Ernakulam as the Metropolitan See and Trichur and Changanacherry and Kottayam (established in 1911 for the Southists) as suffragans. In 1956 Changanacherry was raised to the status of a Metropolitan See. On December 16, 1992, Pope John Paul II raised the Syro-Malabar Church to the status of Major Archiepiscopal sui iuris Church with the title of Ernakulam-Angamaly. Mar Antony Paidyara, the then Metropolitan of Ernakulam was appointed its Major Archbishop with Mar Abraham Kattumana as the Pontifical Delegate who discharged the duties of the Major Archbishop. Archbishop Kattumana died unexpectedly during his visit to Rome in April 1995 and Mar Padiyara was given the powers of the Major Archbishop. In November 1996 Cardinal Padiyara resigned from his office as Major Archbishop. In his place Archbishop Varkey Vithayathil, C.Ss.R. was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator. In December 1998 he was appointed Major Archbishop by the Pope. In February 2001 Archbishop Vithayathil was created a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II.

At present there are five Archdioceses - Ernakulam-Angamaly, Changanacherry, Trichur, Tellicherry and Kottayam and 13 eparchies - Idukki, Kothamangalam, Kanjirappally, Palai, Thuckalay, Belthangady, Bhadravathi, Mananthavady, Mandya, Thamarassery, Irinjalakuda, Palghat, and Ramanathapuram within the proper territory of the Major Archiepiscopal Church and 11 eparchies outside - Bijnor, Gorakhpur, Sagar, Satna, Ujjain, Klyan, Rajkot, Adilabad, Chanda, Jagdalpur and Shamshabad; 6 eparchies outside jurisdictions - Faridabad, Hosur, Mississaugua, Melbourne, Chicago, and England. There are 41,89,349 faithful, with 7,252 priests (3,617 diocesan and 3,635 religious), and 34,769 women religious and 4729 men religious.

The history of the Diocese of Kalyan is very much intertwined with the history of the Syro - Malabar Church itself in India. Having its roots in the Apostolic Ministry of St. Thomas the Apostle himself who established seven communities of the Christian Church in Kerala in the first century itself. These Christians migrated to different parts of India. They concentrated mainly in the big cities of India. In Bombay, Pune and Nasik regions, they are found in large numbers. The spiritual care of these regions are assisted by lay association like Kerala Catholic Association (Bombay). St. Thomas Christians of India (Pune), etc.

On September 8, 1978 Pope John Paul II appointed His Eminence Antony Cardinal Padiyara, the then Archbishop of Changanacherry as the Apostolic Visitor to study the situation. The visit of Pope John Paul II to India in 1986 gave him a first hand experience of the living faith of the Syro - Malabar Christians of India. A Pontifical Commission was appointed and on the basis of its report came the all-important letter of the Pope to the Bishops of India observing that the present situation in Bombay - Pune region is mature for the Churches to take necessary steps in this regard. Finally on May 19th 1988, His Holiness Pope John Paul II made the announcement of the establishment of a new diocese for the Syro - Malabar Christians of Bombay - Pune - Nasik regions, the Diocese of Kalyan, and the designation of Mgr. Paul Chittilapilly as its first Bishop. The Bill, however, was signed by the Pope on April 30, 1988. Thus the birth of the diocese and the appointment of the first Bishop took effect from April 30,1988. The Episcopal Ordination and the official inauguration of the diocese took place on August 24, 1988 at the Don Bosco Grounds, Matunga, Mumbai.

After nine years of dedicated and pioneering work in the newly born diocese, Bishop Paul Chittilappilly was transferred to the diocese of Thamarassery in Kerala on December 18, 1996 and took charge on February 13, 1997. His successor and the second bishop of Kalyan Diocese was Mar Thomas Elavanal, whose consecration was on February 8, 1997 at Kannamwar Nagar, Vikhroli, Mumbai.

Church History Timeline

  • Early Days

  • 1990

    In 1990, after the birth of Kalyan Diocese, a chapel was made by purchasing and joining two rooms in sector 3. Hence, Airoli parish was formed with the name “St. Joseph Prarthanalayam” in this Greater Maharashtra. Airoli parish was one of the first parishes that constructed their own chapel for conducting the Qurbana in 1990.

  • 1992

    The parish submitted a request for a church to CIDCO and it was granted, hence we have the present Church.

  • 1993

    The Sunday Qurbana which was conducted in the chapel was shifted to Prem Dan in Sector 18. During(1993 - 1997) this time all the paper work of the plot was completed.

  • 1996

    From 1996, Friday Qurbana was started in the chapel in Sector 3. Rev. Fr. Paul Arakkal by his initiative, did many modifications. Mathrusangam, Youth and 12 Family units were formed in the parish and extended its works.

  • February 01, 1998

    Bishop Mar. Thomas Elavanal laid the foundation stone for the new church in Sector 10.

  • 2000 - 2003

    Rev. Fr. Joju Arackal was the 5th Parish Priest from 2000 to 2004. During this period a play school was started at sector 3 chapel. Many fund raising programmes were continued for the construction of church.

  • April 12, 2003

    The church was blessed on 12th April 2003 by Mar Thomas Elavanal.

  • 2005 - 2008

    Rev. Fr. Rajesh Mathew served as the 7th Parish Priest from 2005 to 2008 and he constructed a grotto and renovated the altar.

  • 2010 - 2020

  • March 17, 2013

    The parish celebrated 10th Year of construction of church along with declaration as a parish. Bishop Mar Thomas Elavanal was the chief guest. Holy Qurbana was celebrated followed by Public Meeting, Cultural Programs and Magic Show. All Former Parish Priests participated.

  • March 23, 2013

    The Minor Orders for 8 vocation students was held at our church.

  • April 21, 2013

    St. Thomas Relic was brought to our church and Holy Qurbana and Novena was celebrated and a Film on St Thomas was shown.

  • December 25, 2013

    As part of Christmas Celebrations, Christmas Carnival was organized where in 32 Santa Clauses rallied in the Parish Boundaries spreading the Christmas Message to Everyone.

  • December 25, 2014

    Ekta Shanti Milan was organized at our church and a Mega Christmas Crib was made by our parish.

  • January 15, 2016

    CIDCO transfer was completed.

  • July 17, 2017

    New parish logo design was selected from the winner of the Church Logo Design Competition and the logo was declared as the official logo of the parish.