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Brief history of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America

 
In the recent past, especially since the 1960’s, a considerable number of people from India migrated and settled down in North America and Canada.  Many of them were Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Christians. They followed the Syrian Orthodox faith, maintained their distinct identity and preserved the glorious traditions of the Syrian Orthodox Church. With the approval and spiritual guidance of the Late Lamented Archbishop His Eminence Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, the first Malankara Syrian Orthodox Parish in North America was formed in 1975 as Mor Gregorios Syrian Orthodox Church in Staten Island, New York. With the leadership of Rev. Fr. John Jacob (now known as His Grace Dr. Mor Yuhanon Philoxinos) more Syrian Orthodox parishes were established for the Malakareese faithful in different parts of United States. Subsequently, spiritual organizations such as the Sunday school for children, Youth Association for the young adults - MGSOSA, St. Mary’s Women’s League, St. Paul’s Prayer Fellowship were formed for the spiritual nourishment of the faithful during the last few decades.

For the smooth functioning of the malakareese parishes under the ecclesiastical leadership of Late Lamented Archbishop Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, a Malankara Council was constituted and became fully operational in 1987. From 1986 onwards the Malankara Parishes conducted annual conferences in different parts of North America. With the steady growth in the number of Syrian Orthodox faithful here in the United States, certain steps regarding the future needed to be taken. The Delegates’ Meeting held in 1992 in New York, presided over by the Late Lamented Archbishop Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, decided to request His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and the Supreme Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, for a Malayalee Bishop to assist His Eminence Mor Athanasius in administering to the needs of the Malankara Parishes. The Delegates’ Meeting held on December 5, 1992 at the St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, Hackensack, New Jersey, proposed the name of Fr. P.G. Cherian and requested His Holiness to consecrate him as Metropolitan to assist H.E. Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel. 

In 1993, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and the Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, established an independent Archdiocese for Indian immigrants directly under the jurisdiction of the Holy Apostolic See of Antioch which included all malayalee Syrian Orthodox Parishes in North America and named it ‘Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America’ to distinguish it from the other Syrian Archdioceses in North America. His Holiness consecrated Rev. Fr. P.G. Cherian as Mor Nicholovos Zachariah on August 15, 1993 and appointed him as Archbishop to administer the affairs of this new Archdiocese. 

Unfortunately, in December 2001, Nicholovos Zachariah rebelled against the Holy Church and the Holy See of Antioch and was excommunicated by our Patriarch His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. Subsequently their Graces Mor Julius Kuriakose and Mor Ivanios Mathews Metropolitans were appointed to this Archdiocese. The present Archbishop His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho was consecrated as the Archbishop and Patriarchal Vicar of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America on January 04, 2004.
 
From the moment His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho arrived in North America, this Archdiocese has experienced a new sense of unity and enlightenment through his ministry. The legacy of His Eminence can be seen in the rise of young men coming forward, through his example, to serve the Holy Church. His Eminence is a strong advocate for empowering the youth of this Archdiocese in coming forward to accept leadership responsibilities to help thrust the Holy Church into the next millennium. The current administrative set-up of the Archdiocese, the previous Archdiocesan headquarters at Pomona, New York and the present Archdiocesan Headquarters in Whippany, New Jersey, etc. are achievements among many others that procured during the immediate years of tenure of His Eminence.  By the Grace of God, a significant number of new parishes have also been initiated across the United States and Canada with the leadership of His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho.

 

 

Former Archbishops of the
Malankara Archdiocese
of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America

 


EXCOMMUNICATED 

Nicholovos Zachariah was excommunicated and stripped of all his Priestly authority and banished from the
Universal Church 
for rebelling against the the Holy Church, especially against the Holy See and the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America.

 

Late Lamented
H.E. Mor Athansius Yeshue Samuel
Until August 1993
 Nicholovos Zachariah
August 1993  -  December 2001


 
 
 
Late Lamented
H.G. Dr. Mor Julius Kuriakose
December 22, 2001  -  March 1, 2002
H.G. Mor Ivanios Mathews
March 2, 2002  -  December 31, 2003