Welcome to Syro-Malabar Catholic Community, Parramatta
The Malayalee Catholic Community of Parramatta Diocese meets every 3rd Sunday of the month to celebrate Holy Mass in Malayalam at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Wentworthville. The La Salette fathers pastorally support the community and the community receives enormous support from the Malayalee Catholics in and around Parramatta.
During the early years, the community received pastoral support from different parishes. The first Malayalam Holy Mass was held at St Oliver Plunkett’s Parish, Harris Park (close to Parramatta) in 2007. The community is grateful to Fr. Joseph Thomas Karuplackal for his generosity to give his parish and time to celebrate Holy Mass in Malayalam. Malayalee Catholic Community in Parramatta had the privilege of getting various priests including the visiting bishops to celebrate monthly Holy Masses.
Fr Joseph Thomas got transferred from Harris Park church and the community had to find a new place to celebrate monthly Holy Mass. Around this time His Excellency Bishop Gregory Karotemprel – the then Chairman of Syro-Malabar Synodal commission for Evangelization and Pastoral Care of Migrants – entrusted Fr. Jaison Mulerikkal CMI to assist the Catholic Community of Parramatta and celebrate Masses for the community. Fr. Jaison Mulerikkal took special initiative and his constant meetings and discussions with O Carm congregation Provincial at Melbourne made it possible to get Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Parish at Wentworthville to conduct regular Holy Masses for the community. The community is delighted to have Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Parish, Wentworthville, as the venue for monthly gathering of the community for Holy Mass and other religious activities. With the help of His Excellency Bishop Gregory Karotemprel and Fr Jaison, the committee approached Parramatta diocese to get a Malayalee priest trained in Syro Malabar rite to lend pastoral support to the community. The Bishop of Parramatta diocese, as an interim arrangement have entrusted the responsibility of helping Syro Malabar Catholic Community in Parramatta to La Salette Fathers in the diocese. Fr. Joy Chukkananickal is currently entrusted with the responsibility of supporting the Syro Malabar Community in Paramatta Diocese. Under the leadership of Fr. Mathew Manjaly, Fr. Sunny Poovathumkudy and Fr. Joy Porathur also supported the Syro Malabar community in the past.
His Excellency Mar Sebastian Vadakkel, Bishop of Ujjain Diocese, India and Chairman of Commission for Evangelization & Pastoral Care of the Migrants celebrated Holy Mass for the community and officially launched the website of Syro Malabar Parramatta on 9th October 2010.
In July 2010, Bishop Mar Sebastian Vadakkel, the present Chairman of Syro-Malabar Synodal commission for Evangelization and Pastoral Care of Migrants, has announced the appointment of Fr Francise Kolencherry as the National Coordinator for Pastoral Care of the Syro-Malabar faithful in Australia. Fr Francise also helps the community to streamline the pastoral activities in association with the La Salette fathers.
In March 2012, The St Alphonsa Community warmly welcomed Mar Mathew Arackal, Bishop of Kanjirappally (Chairman of Syro Malabar Church Commission for Laity) and Advocate V. C. Sebastian (Secretary to the Commission for Laity). Their visit was the beginning of scheduled Laity Conferences of the Syro-Malabar Church to be held in various cities of Australia.
The community celebrates all major feasts - Easter, Christmas, Feast of St Alphonsa, St. Thomas Day and other regular liturgical celebrations. 15 children have successfully completed coaching for First Holy Communion in 2011. Currently about 70 children are attending regular catechism classes.