Indian community in Cork celebrates their faith as bishops visit

Bishop Fintan Gavin made his first pastoral visit to the Syro Malabar Church Community in the Diocese of Cork and Ross over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 12th/13th March. 

Fr. Jilson Kokkandathail, Bishop Stephen Chirapannath, Bishop Fintan Gavin, Fr. Clement Padathiparambil.

The community is formed by people who have come to Cork from India and are working in the Cork area.

Bishop Fintan was warmly greeted on arrival in St. Joseph’s Church in Wilton where the Syro-Malabar Church Community meets each Sunday for Holy Mass in the Syro-Malabar Rite. 

The faith tradition of this community is traced back to the Apostle Thomas who preached the Christian message in India. The province of Kerala has a long tradition of Christianity.

Today the Syro-Malabar Church is the second largest Eastern Church in full communion with the Holy See and constitutes the largest group of St. Thomas Christians. The other two Catholic Churches in India are the Latin Church and the Syro-Malankara Church.

Bishop Stephen Chirapannath, Titular Bishop of Slebte and Apostolic Visitator for the Syro Malabar Faithful in Europe also participated in the visit along with Fr. Clement Padathiparambil, national co-ordinator of Syro Malabar chaplaincy in Ireland.

Fr. Jilson Kokkandathail, curate in the parishes of South Parish and St. Patrick’s/Holy Family is nominated by Bishop Fintan as chaplain to the Syro-Malabar Community in the Diocese.  

In his homily Bishop Fintan said the Syro-Malabar Church Community enriches the Diocese of Cork and Ross with their passion to share their faith with their children.  He also spoke of the importance of the Syro-Malabar Rite retaining its identity as one of the Eastern Rites within the Diocese of Cork and Ross. 

Bishop Fintan said it is encouraging to see so many young people present and also assured members of his prayers as many work in healthcare and residential settings.

The Syro-Malabar Church Community also has thriving Catechism classes for children and young people which take place in the SMA Parish Centre in Wilton each weekend.

Bishop Fintan’s visit concluded with refreshments and celebrations in the Parish Centre.

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