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Archdiocese of Tiruvalla

Archdiocese of Tiruvalla
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Tiruvalla archdiocese belongs to the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church with the eparchies of Bathery and Muvattupuzha as its suffragans. The diocesan headquarters is in Tiruvalla, in the district of Pathanamthitta. Tiruvalla is administered by a municipality.

The township is a medium sized in nature with high number of non-resident Indians spread over the Gulf countries, Europe Union and the US. It is located 158 kilometers northeast of Thiruvananthapuram, capital city of Kerala.

Language

Malayalam, Tamil, and English are in use.

History

On June 11, 1932, Pope Pius XI established the Syro-Malankara hierarchy for the reunited community and erected the archeparchy of Trivandrum with the eparchy of Thiruvalla as its suffragan.

The diocese of Tiruvalla was established on Nov. 6, 1933, and Father Jacob Mar Theophilos was enthroned as its first bishop. Due to the ill-health of Mar Theophilos, the Holy See appointed Joseph Mar Severios as the apostolic administrator of the diocese of Tiruvalla in 1938. He was appointed as the bishop of the diocese in 1951. He was given the honorary title of the archbishop- by the Holy See. He died on Jan. 18, 1955. The Holy See appointed Father Cherian Polachirackal as auxiliary to the bishop of Tiruvalla. His consecration was on April 22, 1954, and he took the name Zacharias Mar Athanasios.

The diocese starts from the river Pampa in the south to the Ponnani river in the north and from the Arabian Sea in the west to the Western Ghats in the east.

The Diocese was further extended to the north from the river Ponnani by the decree on Feb. 14, 1958, and brought under it the whole of Malabar region of Kerala, civil districts of Coimbatore and Nilgiris and Karoor taluk in Triuchirappally district of Tamil Nadu and the districts of Mysore, Mandya, Coorg, Hassan, Chickamangalore, Shimoga and South Kanara of Karnataka state.

Bishop Zacharias Mar Athanasios entered into eternal rest on Sept. 28, 1977 and Msgr. Mathew Nedungattu was elected the administrator.

Father Isaac Koottaplackal was appointed bishop of Tiruvalla to succeed Zacharias Mar Athanasios and he received the name Isaac Mar Yoohanon. Mar Yoohanon was called for eternal peace on April 28, 1987, and Father George Chundevalel was elected administrator who later was appointed the bishop of the diocese with the name Geevarghese Mar Timotheos. Father Mammen Chackalapadickal was appointed auxiliary to the bishop of Tiruvalla. He was consecrated Bishop on July 17, 1997 with the name Thomas Mar Koorilos. The Holy See appointed Father Thomas Mar Koorilos as the sixth bishop of Tiruvalla on Sept. 11, 2003.

The Malankara Catholic Church decided on Dec. 3, 2005 to elevate the diocese of Tiruvalla to the status of an archdiocese with the dioceses of Bathery and Muvattupuzha as its suffragans. Dr. Isaac Mar Cleemis was installed as the first metropolitan archbishop on June 10, 2006.. Later the archbishop was elected as the major archbishop-Catholicos of the Malankara Catholic church.

Bishop Thomas Mar Koorilos, the metropolitan of Muvattupuzha, was appointed the second metropolitan archbishop of Tiruvalla on March 26, 2007, and his installation ceremony was held on May 2, 2007.

Transportation

The territory is well connected with roads and railway. The nearest airport, Thiruvananthapuram, is about 158 kilometers away from the headquarters and nearest railway station is Thiruvalla.

Climate

The territory of Tiruvalla archdiocese has a tropical climate. The rainy season (southwest monsoon) begins in June and lasts up to September. The northwest monsoon brings light rainfall in October.

Economy

The economy of Thiruvalla Archdiocese is mainly based on non-resident population working abroad. Agriculture and small-scale industries are working in the area. The major crops grown are rice, tapioca, coconuts, rubber, plantains, sugarcane and a variety of vegetables.

Religion

Thiruvalla means the land of Thiruvallabha, Hindu God Vishnu. The city is famous for its various religious festivals. The city is believed to be the ancient commercial trade center. There existed a trade route from this place to Madurai, the capital of Ancient Pandia Dynasty.

Almost all major religions, including Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, are practiced here. The major religion is Hinduism.

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