Pope Francis has erected the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday, 11 January 2014. The Holy Father has appointed the first Bishop of the diocese in the person of Bishop Bosco Puthur. He is currently the titular bishop of Foraziana, and Curial Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly.
The Holy Father has also appointed Bishop Bosco Puthur to be the Apostolic Visitor for the Syro-Malabar faithful residing in New Zealand. The Bishop will have his residence in Melbourne, 201 Lady Nelson Way, Taylors Lake, VIC 3038, where the new cathedral is dedicated to "Holy Mary, Mother of God”.
The new Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Melbourne extends over the entire continent of Australia. An estimated number of 30, 000 faithful are living in almost twenty dioceses, but most of them are concentrated in Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Parramatta and Wollongong. Currently the coordination of pastoral care of these faithful is entrusted to Fr. Francis Kolencherry of the Vincentian Congregation. He is assisted by secular and religious priests. The latter belongs to the following institutes: Little Flower Congregation, Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Vincentian Congregation, Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle and the Discalced Carmelites.
Bishop Bosco Puthur was born on 28 May 1946 at Parappur in Trichur, Kerala. He studied at the Aluva Carmelgiri Philosophate, earning a Licentiate in Philosophy, and at the Pontifical College of Propaganda Fide in Rome, obtaining a Licentiate and Doctorate. He speaks English, Malayalam and Italian.
He has extensive parish and pastoral experience and has worked as Vicar General of the Archeparchy of Trichur.
Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has cordially recognised the establishment of the new Eparchy as a clear indication of the care of the Holy See for the thousands of Syro-Malabar Catholics who have settled in Australia.
He was born on 28-05-1946 at Parappur, Trichur. He was ordained priest on 27-03-1971. He has the educational qualifications of L.Ph; S.T.L; S.T.D. He had his seminary formation in Aluva Carmelgiri Philosophate and Propaganda College Rome. After his ordination he served as Asst. Vicar, Ollur (1976), Fr. Prefect, Minor Seminary (1976), Professor at St. Joseph’s Seminary Aluva (1977-1992), Rector, Minor Seminary (1992), Protosyncellus of the Archdiocese (1995-1999); Cathedral Vicar (1999), Executive Director of Liturgical Research Center, Mt. St. Thomas, Kakkanad (1999-2007). When he was nominated the first Curial Bishop of Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Curia, he was working as the Rector of Mangalapuzha Seminary (2007-2010). He was appointed Curial Bishop and Titular Bishop of Foraziana on 18 January 2010 and was ordained on 13 February 2010.