Friday, July 26, 2013

Poverty

Poverty is a creation
It's a situation
It's an attitude

All poor are rich in poverty
All rich are poor in riches

Who am I?
A rich poor?
A poor rich?

The power of poverty,
God of all poverty,
Grant me enough!

Make me rich in poverty,
God of all riches!

Amen

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Message to the Graduating Students of Christ University May 2013



Jesus after his resurrection delivered a convocation address. After training his disciples for three years, he addressed them saying, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15).  At this glorious moment, when you are brimming with joy and happiness, when your parents are in elated mood of fulfilment and when your dear and near ones are proud of you, we sent you the entire world. We sent you to the world with a mission. It is a mission to spread the good news you have heard from this alma mater.

You are chosen ones from various parts of the world. Several young ones of your age hoped to study in Christ University. Only a section of them could apply to the University. Among those who applied, all could not turn up for the selection procedure. From among them, only those like you could prove the credentials and potentials to become students of Christ University. Again, not all those who started with you could graduate today. This is a wonderful message to your future life. The process through which you passed through for the last couple of years is a blue print for your life. The lectures you listened to, the classes you attended, the tests you had taken, the assignments you submitted, the people with whom you interacted with and who interacted with you, have all prepared you to this glorious moment. But they are not just for this moment. It is for your life. Your dreams have come true today. But, you are only at the beginning of your bright future ahead. Your dreams are not over. You should have more and more dreams from today. Dreams for a successful life, for a peaceful world, for a united humanity and for a stable family life.

Christ University has given you ample of opportunities for your holistic development. The training given and opportunities you grabbed, made you to this august graduation ceremony. As you are graduates of Christ University, you will always bear the signs of this University. You have the potentials to be excellent. You must serve others with grace. The vision of the University, Excellence and Service and the tag “Christite” will help you to cast out sadness in others, to speak in golden tongue, to overcome difficult tasks, to mantle tough responsibilities and to work miracles in the lives of others.

The visionary of this institution had a great hope of combining secular and sacred education. Your professors have fulfilled that vision with a mission of training you with and to have faith in God. They trained you to be socially responsible and morally upright. You sometimes had gone through some struggles during your studies here. But it is the same struggle, diamond or gold has, before becoming an attractive jewel. You are precious stones. Same as precious stones make the owner rich, proud and happy, you make the people around you rich, proud and happy by involving in socially responsible tasks and morally upright ways.

Be other-oriented in this largely self-centred world. You can expect a corruption-free nation, only if you are also corruption-free. Corruption is the after effect of self-centredness. It is the outcome of selfishness. The practise of one of the core values of the University, love of fellow beings, should be motivation for you to be other-oriented. When you start loving others, when you have other-oriented life, this world will be a corruption-free world.

Your pursuit of excellence does not end with graduation. Your real journey begins here. A beautiful piece of advice given by St Paul to his disciples is very apt here. “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.”(Col 4:5-6). Have a great life ahead!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Religious Pope - Sign from the Heavens

The election of the Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is of great significance in this age. He is the 34th religious to become a pope and the first Jesuit. ‘Religious’ is a typical catholic terminology to denote a person who is a member of a religious order or congregation. Although Jesuits are famous for their singular ‘fourth vow’ which declares the unconditional obedience to pope’s directives, none of them was ever made a pope. Jesuits are one of the largest religious orders of the Catholic Church serving in 112 nations on six continents.  The Superior General of the Jesuits is nicknamed ‘Black Pope’ being the supreme commander of ‘God’s marines’ and as the Pope always wears white cassock. The election of the Jesuit Cardinal as the new pope is a fitting tribute to the great contributions of the Jesuits to the Roman Catholic Church and to the whole world.
The last religious pope was the Benedictine Gregory XVI (1831-1846). When he was elected, he was not even a bishop. Apart from Pope Francis, among the religious popes there were 17 Benedictines, 6 Augustinians, 4 each Dominicans and Franciscans and two Cistercians. Benedictine Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great, 590-604) was the first religious to adorn the papal throne.
The choice of the official name as ‘Francis’ is a tribute to the entire religious in the Catholic Church. Though there were four Franciscan popes, this is the first time the name Francis, the Second Jesus, the greatest of all saints who is known for his spirit of poverty, is chosen by a pope. As a cardinal, Pope Francis was famous for his simplicity and spirit of poverty. Like Friar Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis will be channel of love to rebuild the Church.
The election of the present Pope is without any doubt a clear sign from the heavens. The Jesuit wisdom and leadership and the Franciscan love and poverty are going to make a dual impact in the Church and in the whole world in the coming days.

Friday, March 08, 2013

The Moon and the Sun


The moon with the sun is a contradiction
The moon but is always with the sun
The moon at noon is a contradiction
The same is the light from the moon
But to us it’s not a contradiction
That’s the beauty of the moon

The moon is there at noon
The moon is there at night
The moon is there on all days

Is it the moon that is a contradiction?
Or are we who are in night
Thus fail to see the moon at noon
And for the rest of the fortnight?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Imprint of an Indian in the II Vatican Council



In the changing face of India after independence and the progress, transformation and spread of many ethnic and homogeneous local cultures and communities, there was a deep vacuum of direction in the field of theology, discipline, evangelization and human development. Having read the signs of the times, Fr Placid Podipara CMI, a profesor in the Sacred Heart Seminary, Chethipuzha, submitted a memorandum to the visiting Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Oriental Churches, Eugene Cardinal Tisserant on November 26, 1953. This seven-point memorandum was prophetic and monumental as the Vatican II convened within a decade stands as the greatest testimony for the communo-ecclesiology presented in it.

The issues he raised in the memorandum were:
1.      The Restoration of the Syro Malabar Rite
2.      Seminaries for the Syro Malabarians
3.      Extension of the Syro Malabar Territory and jurisdiction with special reference to the objection from Double Jurisdiction. The question of a Hierarch for all Syro Malabarians dispersed throughout India is hinted in this connection; this Hierarch may hearken back the ancient Syro Malabar Metropolitan known as the DOOR OF ALL INDIA.
4.      A Mission for the Syro Malabarians
5.      Syro Malabar Provinces of Latin Religious Institutes
6.      Religious Congregations and Institutes among Syro Malabarians and
7.      Educational Institutions

He explained each of the seven issues scholarly and systematically. In many of the documents of the II Vatican Council we could see the presence of his concerns in no uncertain terms. Most of these issues were solved sooner or later. Let us see his concerns and how they found a place in the teachings of the Vatican II.

  1. The Restoration of the Syro Malabar Rite
The Syro Malabar Rite should be restored as early as possible.
It is the mind of the Catholic Church that each individual Church or Rite should retain its traditions whole and entire and likewise that it should adapt its way of life to the different needs of time and place. (OE 2) All rites are consequently of equal dignity, so that none of them is superior to the others as regards rite and they enjoy the same rights and are under the same obligations (OE 3)

Preserve the structural unity and physiognomy of the Rite. For any rite, the structural unity and original physiognomy can no way be omitted.
All members of the Eastern Rite should know and be convinced that they can and should always preserve their legitimate liturgical rite and their established way of life, and that these may not be altered except to obtain for themselves an organic improvement. All these, then, must be observed by the members of the Eastern rites themselves. Besides, they should attain to an ever greater knowledge and a more exact use of them, and, if in their regard they have fallen short owing to contingencies of times and persons, they should take steps to return to their ancestral traditions. (OE 6)
Eastern clerics and Religious should celebrate in accordance with the prescriptions and traditions of their own established custom the Divine Office, which from ancient times has been held in high honor in all Eastern Churches. The faithful too should follow the example of their forebears and assist devoutly as occasion allows at the Divine Office. (OE 22)
That sound tradition may be retained, and yet the way remain open to legitimate progress careful investigation is always to be made into each part of the liturgy which is to be revised. This investigation should be theological, historical, and pastoral. Also the general laws governing the structure and meaning of the liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the indults conceded to various places. Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing. (SC 23)

Tendency of copying everything Latin is to be discouraged.
Lastly, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way. (SC 4)
Appeals made to Vatican II to justify certain changes in Oriental texts and usages are in not a few cases simply renewed attempts at Latinization.[1]
By restoring the Rite to its original physiognomy, it must be given scope for congenial growth in the different environments it may find itself in the various parts of India.
It is necessary that in each major socio - cultural area, such theological speculation should be encouraged, in the light of the universal Church's tradition, as may submit to a new scrutiny the words and deeds which God has revealed, and which have been set down in Sacred Scripture and explained by the Fathers and by the magisterium. (AG 22)
All in the Church must preserve unity in essentials. But let all, according to the gifts they have received enjoy a proper freedom, in their various forms of spiritual life and discipline, in their different liturgical rites, and even in their theological elaborations of revealed truth. (UR 4)
The very rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Eastern Churches should be known, venerated, preserved and cherished by all. They must recognize that this is of supreme importance for the faithful preservation of the fullness of Christian tradition, and for bringing about reconciliation between Eastern and Western Christians. (UR 15)

Already from the earliest times the Eastern Churches followed their own forms of ecclesiastical law and custom, which were sanctioned by the approval of the Fathers of the Church, of synods, and even of ecumenical councils. Far from being an obstacle to the Church's unity, a certain diversity of customs and observances only adds to her splendor, and is of great help in carrying out her mission, as has already been stated. To remove, then, all shadow of doubt, this holy Council solemnly declares that the Churches of the East, while remembering the necessary unity of the whole Church, have the power to govern themselves according to the disciplines proper to them, since these are better suited to the character of their faithful, and more for the good of their souls. The perfect observance of this traditional principle not always indeed carried out in practice, is one of the essential prerequisites for any restoration of unity. (UR 16)
Laymen exhibit a great desire to have parts of the Rite translated into Malayalam. This will certainly promote their spirituality.
But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. (SC 36.2)
But it is not advisable to introduce Malayalam into the Rite before the Rite has been restored. The background has to be prepared in seminaries. The introduction of Malayalam will be a nice occasion for restoration of the Rite.
It belongs to the patriarch with his synod or to the supreme authority of each church with the council of the hierarchs, to regulate the use of languages in the sacred liturgical functions and, after reference to the Apostolic See, of approving translations of texts into the vernacular. (OE 23)
There is need of creating in all, both clergy and laity, a true liturgical sense.
All clerics and those aspiring to sacred Orders should be instructed in the rites and especially in the practical norms that must be applied in interritual questions. The laity, too, should be taught as part of its catechetical education about rites and their rules. (OE 4)
...the liturgical life of the parish and its relationship to the bishop must be fostered theoretically and practically among the faithful and clergy; efforts also must be made to encourage a sense of community within the parish, above all in the common celebration of the Sunday Mass. (SC 42)
Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.
In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work. (SC 14)
The faithful are bound to take part on Sundays and feast days in the Divine Liturgy or, according to the regulations or custom of their own rite, in the celebration of the Divine Office. (OE 15)

Since the Syro Malabar Rite was known as Lex Thomae before 17th century it is suggested that it is called THOMAS CHRISTIAN RITE. This appellation will be more appealing to the educated Hindus for whom the particle SYRO may sound foreign. Of Course, the Rite will remain Chaldean in structure; but the Thomas Christian touches it still has will be given more importance.
Churches of the East, as much as those of the West, have a full right and are in duty bound to rule themselves, each in accordance with its own established disciplines, since all these are praiseworthy by reason of their venerable antiquity, more harmonious with the character of their faithful and more suited to the promotion of the good of souls. (OE 5)
The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church. This Sacred Ecumenical Council, therefore, in its care for the Eastern Churches which bear living witness to this tradition, in order that they may flourish and with new apostolic vigor execute the task entrusted to them, has determined to lay down a number of principles, in addition to those which refer to the universal Church; all else is remitted to the care of the Eastern synods and of the Holy See. (OE 1)

  1. Seminaries for the Syro Malabarians
There should be a separate central Major Seminary exclusively for the Orientals.
Since only general laws can be made where there exists a wide variety of nations and regions, a special "program of priestly training" is to be undertaken by each country or rite. It must be set up by the episcopal conferences, revised from time to time and approved by the Apostolic See. In this way will the universal laws be adapted to the particular circumstances of the times and localities so that the priestly training will always be in tune with the pastoral needs of those regions in which the ministry is to be exercised. (OT 1)

Orientals studying in other seminaries such as Kandy, Trichy, Mangalore etc should be given all facility to learn and practice things Oriental. There should be a more intense study of things oriental.
All clerics and those aspiring to sacred Orders should be instructed in the rites and especially in the practical norms that must be applied in interritual questions. The laity, too, should be taught as part of its catechetical education about rites and their rules. (OE 4)
Those who, by reason of their office or apostolic ministries, are in frequent communication with the Eastern Churches or their faithful should be instructed according as their office demands in the knowledge and veneration of the rites, discipline, doctrine, history and character of the members of the Eastern rites.(OE 6.2)
The study of sacred liturgy is to be ranked among the compulsory and major courses in seminaries and religious houses of studies; in theological faculties it is to rank among the principal courses. It is to be taught under its theological, historical, spiritual, pastoral, and juridical aspects. (SC 16)

It proclaims the extreme importance of priestly training and lays down certain basic principles by which those regulations may be strengthened which long use has shown to be sound and by which those new elements can be added which correspond to the constitutions and decrees of this sacred council and to the changed conditions of our times. Because of the very unity of the Catholic priesthood this priestly formation is necessary for all priests, diocesan and religious and of every rite. (OT 0)

It is high time to proceed with this reform which must include in a special manner the liturgical and historical formation of the alumni.
Since priestly training, because of the circumstances particularly of contemporary society, must be pursued and perfected even after the completion of the course of studies in seminaries, it will be the responsibility of Episcopal conferences in individual nations to employ suitable means to this end. Such would be pastoral institutes working together with suitably chosen parishes, meetings held at stated times, and appropriate projects whereby the younger clergy would be gradually introduced into the priestly life and apostolic activity, under its spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral aspects, and would be able, day by day, to renew and foster them more effectively. (OT 21)
The TOCD (CMI) Houses of Studies also have to become more oriental in outlook. There also the Oriental atmosphere is lacking and there is required a more intense study of things Oriental.
Wherefore, while these prescriptions directly concern the diocesan clergy, they are to be appropriately adapted to all. (OT 0)
The atmosphere in the Minor Seminary is not conducive (to formation) at present. There are professors whose very presence creates in the students an indifferent attitude towards things Oriental. This attitude in course of time makes them neglect or even hate everything Oriental.
The sacred synod commends first of all the traditional means of common effort, such as urgent prayer, Christian penance and a constantly more intensive training of the faithful by preaching, by catechetical instructions or by the many media of social communication that will show forth the need, the nature and the importance of the priestly vocation. (OT 2.4)
Since the training of students depends both on wise laws and, most of all, on qualified educators, the administrators and teachers of seminaries are to be selected from the best men, and are to be carefully prepared in sound doctrine, suitable pastoral experience and special spiritual and pedagogical training. (OT 5)

  1. Extension of the Syro Malabar Territory and jurisdiction with special reference to the objection from Double Jurisdiction. The question of a Hierarch for all Syro Malabarians dispersed throughout India is hinted in this connection; this Hierarch may hearken back the ancient Syro Malabar Metropolitan known as the DOOR OF ALL INDIA.
The present Syro Malabar territory may be extended to the north and to the south so as to cover at least the whole of Malayalam speaking areas of South India.

Means should be taken therefore in every part of the world for the protection and advancement of all the individual Churches and, to this end, there should be established parishes and a special hierarchy where the spiritual good of the faithful demands it. (OE 4)

They (individual Churches) are consequently of equal dignity, so that none of them is superior to the others as regards rite and they enjoy the same rights and are under the same obligations, also in respect of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Mark 16, 15) under the guidance of the Roman Pontiff. (OE 3)

Churches of the East, as much as those of the West, have a full right and are in duty bound to rule themselves, each in accordance with its own established disciplines, since all these are praiseworthy by reason of their venerable antiquity, more harmonious with the character of their faithful and more suited to the promotion of the good of souls. (OE 5)
Syro Malabarians dispersed throughout India outside the Malayalam speaking areas there be given a Hierarch who may see to their needs through Syro Malabar priests or otherwise. This will be a means also for promoting the reunion of Jacobites and Marthomite emigrants.

Seeing that the patriarchal office in the Eastern Church is a traditional form of government, the Sacred Ecumenical Council ardently desires that new patriarchates should be erected where there is need, to be established either by an ecumenical council or by the Roman Pontiff. (OE 11)

For this same purpose, where there are faithful of a different rite, the diocesan bishop should provide for their spiritual needs either through priests or parishes of that rite or through an Episcopal vicar endowed with the necessary faculties. Wherever it is fitting, the last named should also have Episcopal rank. Otherwise the Ordinary himself may perform the office of an Ordinary of different rites. If for certain reasons, these prescriptions are not applicable in the judgment of the Apostolic See, then a proper hierarchy for the different rites is to be established. (CD 23.3)
There was a strong opposition for multiple jurisdiction (CD 23.3) from Indian bishops. Fr Placid and Mar Sebastian Valloppilly prepared a statement in Latin which the latter presented in the Council in the name of the Syro Malabar and Syro Malankara hierarchies.[2] This intervention was vital and hence laid the foundation of multiple jurisdiction through the council decree Christus Dominus.

Orientals are Orientals everywhere. They will not prosper except under their Hierarchs.
All members of the Eastern Rite should know and be convinced that they can and should always preserve their legitimate liturgical rite and their established way of life, and that these may not be altered except to obtain for themselves an organic improvement. All these, then, must be observed by the members of the Eastern rites themselves. (OE 6)

  1. A Mission for the Syro Malabarians
They (Jacobites and Marthomites) may begin to doubt the equality of Rites in the Catholic Church which will certainly impede their reunion. Thus at least as a SYMBOL the Syro Malabarians may be given an outside mission in India in their Rite and under their own jurisdiction.
These individual Churches, whether of the East or the West, although they differ somewhat among themselves in rite (to use the current phrase), that is, in liturgy, ecclesiastical discipline, and spiritual heritage, are, nevertheless, each as much as the others, entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman Pontiff, the divinely appointed successor of St. Peter in primacy over the universal Church. They are consequently of equal dignity, so that none of them is superior to the others as regards rite and they enjoy the same rights and are under the same obligations, also in respect of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Mark 16, 15) under the guidance of the Roman Pontiff. (OE 3)
A day may come when all these missionaries could be formed into a Missionary Society to do intense mission work in their own Rite and under this Hierarch.
In order that this missionary work of the particular church may be performed, there is need of qualified ministers, who are to be prepared in due time in a way suited to the conditions of each church. Now since men are more and more banding together into associations, it is very fitting that episcopal conferences should form a common plan concerning the dialogue to be held with such associations. (AG 20)
The ecclesiastical head of the Syro Malabarians had the title of DOOR OF ALL INDIA. Even after the Portuguese Latin rule was imposed upon the Syro Malabarians, the Syro Malabarian prelates were occasionally making use of his title.
The patriarchate, as an institution, has existed in the Church from the earliest times and was recognized by the first ecumenical councils. (OE 7)
What has been said of patriarchs is valid also, in harmony with the canon law, in respect to major archbishops, who rule the whole of some individual church or rite. (OE 10)
Seeing that the patriarchal office in the Eastern Church is a traditional form of government, the Sacred Ecumenical Council ardently desires that new patriarchates should be erected where there is need, to be established either by an ecumenical council or by the Roman Pontiff. (OE 11)

  1. Syro Malabar Provinces of Latin Religious Institutes
Why could not bigger Latin Religious Institutions such as Salesians, Capuchins etc. form Syro Malabar provinces or houses?
Could not they be better organized so that in course of time at least Syro Malabar houses be opened for them? It is admitted that this requires much study and patient readjustments. But the good of the Syro Malabar Church may demand such a study and readjustment of things.
To enhance the efficacy of their apostolate, Religious and associations of the Latin Rite working in Eastern countries or among Eastern faithful are earnestly counseled to found houses or even provinces of the Eastern rite, as far as this can be done. (OE 6.2)

  1. Religious Congregations and Institutes among Syro Malabarians
All congregations or Institutes of men and women be brought along canonical lines, to be unified with special care for the formation.
Others who have practically identical constitutions and rules and a common spirit should unite, particularly when they have too few members. Finally, those who share the same or a very similar active apostolate should become associated, one to the other. (PC 22)
To take up the question of finance and formation there may be the need of retrenching vocations.
There may be communities and monasteries which the Holy See, after consulting the interested local Ordinaries, will judge not to possess reasonable hope for further development. These should be forbidden to receive novices in the future. If it is possible, these should be combined with other more flourishing communities and monasteries whose scope and spirit is similar. (PC 21)

  1. Educational Institutions
Divert money to social works such as erection of hospitals and technical institutions which were the need of the time.
Attention should be paid to the needs of today in establishing and directing Catholic schools. Therefore, though primary and secondary schools, the foundation of education, must still be fostered, great importance is to be attached to those which are required in a particular way by contemporary conditions, such as: professional and technical schools, centers for educating adults and promoting social welfare, or for the retarded in need of special care, and also schools for preparing teachers for religious instruction and other types of education. (GE 9)

In December 1953, Eugene Cardinal Tisserant appointed Fr Placid as his personal secretary during the second part of his India visit. Placid was called to Rome in January, 1954.

The Restoration of the Syro Malabar Rite:
On June 26, 1957, Pope Pius XII approved the Latin Text of the Holy Qurbana comprising Ordo Communis and the three Anaphoras. The Holy See promulgated the restored East Syriac Pontifical for the use of the Syro Malabar Church on 8 July 1958. Ordo Celebrationis Quddasa iuxta usum Ecclesiae Syro Malabarensis was promulgated by S.C.O.C on May 7, 1959. Supplementum Mysteriorum sive Proprium Missarum de Tempore et de Sanctis iuxta Ritum Ecclesiae Syro Malabarensis was published on January 5, 1960. In 1960, Fr Placid was appointed as a member of the Pontifical Commission for preparing the agenda of Vatican II and was later made a papal expert and consultor of the Synodal Commission for the Oriental Churches. On July 3, 1962, renovated Holy Qurbana was introduced in Malayalam.

Seminaries for the Syro Malabarians:
Dharmaram College was established in 1957 outside the then proper Syro Malabar Territory. St Thomas Apostolic Seminary for the Syro Malabar Church was founded on July 3, 1962 at Vadavathoor, Kottayam. On 1968, February 19, interritual Pastoral Orientation Centre (POC) was established for the training of the clergy and laity. Graduate and Postgraduate theological studies are organized by Mar Toma Vidya Nikethan, Changanaseri. Diplomas in Theological studies are conducted by POC; Mar Toma Vidya Niketan; Dharmaram Academy of Distance Education (DADE), Bangalore; Centre for Biblical and Theological Studies and Centre for Biblical Studies, Bangalore. In 1997, St Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha started to function as the Major Seminary of the Syro Malabar Church. The seminary is subject to the Holy See under the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and its direction and administration are entrusted with the Syro Malabar Archiepiscopal Synod.

Extension of the Syro Malabar Territory and jurisdiction:
On December 31, 1953, eparchy of Thalaseri was established. On 1955, April 29, by the Papal Decrees Multorum Fidelibus, Saepe Fidelium and Pro Fidelium, Syro Malabar Territory was extended to the South, East and North of Kerala and to some areas in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. On November 26, 1959, Changanaseri was made Archieparchy, thus preparing the grounds to make Syro Malabar Church a sui iuris Major Archiepischopal Church.  Mar Antony Padiyara was appointed Apostolic Visitor to all Syro Malabar migrants on September 8, 1978. Fr Placid passed away on April 27, 1985. On May 28, 1987, Pope John Paul II, wrote to the bishops in India on equal rights in mission and practice of Faith. Later on April 30, 1988, eparchy of Kalyan was established for the Syro Malabar migrants. Eparchies in Chicago and Faridabad were founded for the same reason in 2001 and 2012, respectively.  In 1993 on January 29, Syro Malabar Church was raised to a Major Archiepiscopal Church.

A Mission for the Syro Malabarians :
On March 31, 1962, Chanda was demarcated as a Syro Malabar Mission and was entrusted to the CMI Congregation. Later missions at Satna, Sagar, Ujjain, Bijnor, Jagdalpur, Rajkot and Gorakpur were given to the Syro Malabar Church. The Missionary Society of St Thomas the Apostle (MST) was formally inaugurated on 22 February 1968.

Syro Malabar Provinces of Latin Religious Institutes:
Major Latin religious congregations such as Capuchins, Salesians, Claretians, OCD, CssR etc. started Syro Malabar Provinces.

Religious Congregations and Institutes among Syro Malabarians:
Congregations which were eparchial were canonically integrated. Monastic communities were formed for men and women.

Educational Institutions:
Carmel Polytechnic College was established in 1958 at Alappuzha by the CMI congregation. Several technical institutes and NGO’s were founded by the Syro Malabar Church in the subsequent years.

Fr Placid could worthily be counted among the fathers of the Church. For his theological contributions to the Catholic Church and his prophetic insight, he is on par with any other Doctors of the Church.

Notes
a)      Citations from Placid’s Memorandum to His Eminence Eugene Cardinal Tisserant are from Pathikulangara, Varghese, ed. Placidachan. Kottayam: Denha Services, 1995. pp. 13-27.
b)      All documents of the II Vatican Council cited in this paper are accessed from the website http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/index.htm



1.       SC- Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium)

2.       GE- Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis)
3.       UR- Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratia)
4.       OE- Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches (Orientalium Ecclesiarum)
5.       CD- Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops (Christus Dominus)
6.       PC-  Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life (Perfectae Caritatis)
7.      OT- Decree on the Training of Priests (Optatam Totius)
 

[1] Letter of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches to Archbishop Mar Antony Padiyara, President of SMBC communicating the Final Decision of the Holy See (July 24, 1985).
[ 2 ] Valloppilly, Sebastian. “Father Placid: An Ecclesial Luminary” in Pathikulangara, Varghese, ed. Placidachan. Kottayam: Denha Services, 1995. p. 135.