Chronology: 1981 – 2006

Beginning of Knanaya Mission in Chicago to the Establishment of the Knanaya Region


1981 January
Knanaya Catholics who migrated to Chicago and nearby areas from the Diocese of Kottayam gathered and sent requests to the Bishop of Kottayam Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry for a priest from Kottayam diocese to serve the Knanaya Catholics here.

1981 March 18
Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry wrote to His Eminence John Cardinal Cody, Archbishop of Chicago, asking his help to make provisions for appointing a priest for the Knanaya Catholic Ministry in Chicago.

1981 April 2
Letter from the Very Rev. John R. Keating, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago to Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry asking for the name of a priest to be sent to Chicago.

1981 May 9
Letter from Bishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry proposing the name of Fr. Jacob Chollampel and requesting to appoint him as part-time associate pastor in a parish of the Archdiocese.


1982 February 16
Letter from the Chancellor Rev. John R. Keating that “it is our judgment that the creation of such a special ministry would not be appropriate at the present time.”

1982 (Date unknown)
Get together of the Knanaya Catholics in Chicago on fortnight on Saturdays after the 5:30 P.M. Mass at the parish hall of St. Alphonsus Church. Holy Mass in the Syro-Malabar Rite was arranged in the basement chapel of St. Alphonsus Church whenever a Syro-Malabar priest was available.

1982 November 3
Bishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry’s letter to the then new Archbishop of Chicago Most Rev. Joseph L. Bernardin to reconsider the request for starting a new Knanaya Catholic Ministry in Chicago.


1983 September 7
Rev. Richard J. Feller, the pastor of Church of St. Ita wrote to the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago expressing his willingness to provide residence for Fr. Jacob Chollampel in his parish.

1983 September 27
Rev. John C. Hergenrother, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago held a meeting with two representatives each from four associations: (1) Kerala Catholic Fellowship, (2) Knanaya Association of North America, (3) Knanaya Catholic Congress, and (4) Knanaya Association of Chicago. Agreement was reached to avail the service of Fr. Jacob Chollampel to serve all Kerala Catholics in Chicago.

1983 October 7
Rev. John C. Hergenrother, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago wrote to Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry welcoming the service of Fr. Jacob Chollampel.

1983 October 28
Fr. Jacob Chollampel reached Chicago and started his special ministry to the Kerala Catholics while living in Church of St. Ita.


1984 October
Non-Knanaya Catholics and Syro-Malabarians started writing to Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Conference and Syro-Malabar Bishop’s Conference asking for separate ministry for Non-Knanaya Catholics in Chicago.

1984 December 3 and 4
The Syro-Malabar Bishop’s Conference authorized His Excellency Mar Joseph Pallikaparambil to correspond with the Archbishop of Chicago “to get a priest for the Syro-Malabar Rite appointed for the special ministry to the non-Knanaya Syro-Malabarians in Chicago in addition to Rev. Fr. Jacob Chollampel who is already appointed for the ministry to the Knanaya Community.”


1985 April 15
Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry wrote to Joseph Cardinal Bernardin proposing to send Rev. Fr. Cyriac Manthuruthil to continue the special ministry of Knanaya Catholics in Chicago in the place of Rev. Fr. Jacob Chollampel who is asked to return to Kottayam.

1985 August 31
Rev. Robert L. Kealy, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago wrote to Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry that clarification is to be made on membership issue of Knanaya Ministry before Fr. Cyriac Manthuruthy could come and take over the ministry.

1985 September – December
Fr. Jacob Chollampel returned to India and the community kept waiting for the arrival of Fr. Cyriac Manthuruthil.

1985 December 3
Fr. Anthony Kurialacherry, Spiritual Director of Syro-Malabar Catholic Community of Chicago has agreed at the request of the Knanaya Community members to continue with the Syro-Malabar Mass at St. Benedict’s Church, Chicago on every Saturday evening. Fr. C.T. Vayalil from the Archdiocese of Changanacherry who serves as a chaplain in a hospital in Chicago also agreed to help with the ministry.


1987 January 23
Letter from Rev. Robert L. Kealy assigning Fr. Zacharias Elapunkal, the director of the Syro-Malabar Ministry to coordinate the services of all the Syro-Malabar priests who might celebrate the liturgy for the Knanaya Syro-Malabar Ministry.

1987 December 7
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin wrote to Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry expressing his willingness to accept the service of Fr. Cyriac Manthuruthil for the Knanaya Syro-Malabar Ministry in Chicago.


1988 May 24
Fr. Cyriac Manthuruthil left India to Chicago to serve the Knanaya Syro-Malabar Ministry.

1988 May 31
Archdiocese of Chicago appointed Fr. Cyriac Manthuruthil as director of Knanaya Catholic Mission while residing as St. Ferdinand’s Church in Chicago.

1988 July 23
Inauguration of a new “Knanaya Catholic Mission” at St. Henry’s at 6:30 P.M. Mass is offered at St. Henry’s Church every other Saturday night at 6:30 P.M. Chancellor Rev. Robert L. Kealy delivered a message during the mass.

Establishment of the Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago to the Establishment of Knanaya Region

2001 July 1
Inauguration of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago and consecration of its bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath at Hyatt Hotel in Chicago.


2002 February 16
Fr. Philip Thodukayil started an additional Saturday evening mass at 6:00 P.M. on every third Saturday of the month at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Darien.


2003 February 16
Vicar General Fr. Abraham Mutholath moved to Chicago and started living at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Chicago while working as chaplain at Our Lady of Resurrection Hospital at Addison and Central in Chicago.

2003 October 29
Mar Jacob Angadiath officially recognized the Knanaya Catholic Mission of Chicago, along with nine other Knanaya Catholic Missions in the USA, as a mission of the St. Thomas Diocese of Chicago. He also confirmed the appointment of Rev. Fr. Philip Thodukayil as the director of this mission. According to Mar Jacob Angadiath, “The Knanaya Catholic Mission of Chicago will consist of all the Knanaya Catholics living in the states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.”


2004 May 16
First Holy Communion of 20 students at St. John Breuf Church in Niles officiated by mission direction Fr. Philip Thodukayil.

2004 July 1
Mar Jacob Angadiath relieved Rev. Fr. Philip Thodukayil from his service as director of Knanaya Catholic Mission of Chicago and appointed Fr. Abraham Mutholath, the vicar general, also as the director of the mission.

2004 July 1
Fr. Abraham Mutholath selected Mathachan Chemmachel, John Elackatt, Johny Thekkeparambil, Kurian Nellamattam, and Anil Edukkuthara as the “trustees” and George Thottappuram as secretary and PRO of the mission.

2004 August 7
Last Mass at St. Isidore’s Church in Bloomingdale.

2004 August 8
First Solemn Feast Celebration of the mission at IHM Church in honor of Pope St. Pius X. Bishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry sent a particle of the scull cap worn by St. Pius X and personally gifted to Bishop Mar Mathew Makil and kept as relic of the saint. Bishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt was the main celebrant. Peter and Salykutty Kulanagara were the sponsors (prasudenties) of the feast.

2004 August 21
Last Mass at our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Darien.

2004 September 4
Mass started at St. Peter’s Church in North Lake on every Saturday at 5:00 P.M. followed by novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

2004 September 11
Starting of Religious Education School at North Lake. Classes are held from 3:45 P.M. to 4:45 P.M. every Saturday.

2004 September 12
Starting of Religious Education School at IHM School. Classes are held from 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. every Sunday.

2004 December 3 – 5
First marriage preparation course offered by Chicago Knanaya Catholic Mission under the leadership of Vicar General Fr. Abraham Mutholath and Family Commission headed by Tonny Pulllappally. Nineteen youth participated in the course.


2005 March 5
First Religious Education Festival at Thaft High School. Vicar General Fr. Abraham Mutholath inaugurated the festival.

2005 May 12 – 15

Feast of St. Michael sponsored by parishioners from Neendoor residing in Chicago area. Co-adjutor Bishop of the Archeparchy of Kottayam Mar Mathew Moolakkatt was the main celebrant.

2005 May 22
His Excellency Mar Mathew Moolakkatt requested the Knanaya Catholics in Chicago to establish our own church during his homily at IHM Church. The planning to have our own church started.

Confirmation of 24 students and First Holy Communion of 31 students at IHM Church by Bishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt.

2005 May 31
Agreement signed by Rev. Thomas H. Cargo, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Addison and Mission Director Rev. Abraham Mutholath for the use of St. Joseph School for Religious Education and hall for Mass on Saturdays with effect from June 18, 2005.

2005 June 18
Mass for Chicago Suburb is moved from St. Peter’s Church in North Lake to the hall of St. Joseph’s Church in Addison. Fr. Abraham Mutholath celebrated the first mass here for the mission.

2005 July 1
Saji Pootrhukayil, Sunny Thekkepparambil, James Manjankal, and Baby Karikkal took charge as kaikkararans (trustees) of the mission.

2005 August 18 – 21
Solemn Feast Celebration of St. Stephen sponsored by Mathew and Alphonsa Poothura and family. The feast was celebrated at Community Center, Thaft High School, and IHM Church.

2005 September 23
Mission started two-year Theology Course for lay people to learn more on the Church, Bible, and Spirituality. This helped for church awareness and development of dedicated volunteers.

2005 September 24
First Sal Solo Devotional Music Program for Knanaya youngsters held at OLV gymnasium.

2005 October 2
Started publishing Sunday Bulletin for the mission. It was made available on parish website and printed copies were distributed in the churches during weekend Masses.

Search committee formed to find a suitable building for our church. Members in alphabetical order are: Idiyalil Mathew, Kanjirathumkal Raju, Karikkal Baby, Kizhakkekuttu Biju, Knaiyaly Jose, Kulangara Jaibu, Manjankal James, Mutholam Sunny, Nediyakalayil Joy, Nedumchira Roy, Nellamattam Kurian, Njaravelil Jose, Pinarkayil Jose, and Poothura Binu.

2005 October 6 – 9
Annual Retreat by Fr. Joseph Puthenpura at KCS Community Center organized by Knanaya Catholic Mission.

2005 October 15
Beginning of Children Ministry (KG to 3rd graders) and Teens Ministry (4th – 8th graders in Addison.

2005 October 8
Youth Ministry Class started at Addison on the First Saturdays of every month from 2:45 P.M. to 4:45 P.M.

2005 December 4
Celebrated the Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee of our Mission Director Rev. Fr. Abraham Mutholath at OLV Church. Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath was the chief guest.

Mission members contributed a substantial amount ($44,337) to the church building fund during Jubilee Celebration meeting at OLV School Hall.

2005 December 24
Special Collection taken for Education Aid in India and was given as gift for the same purpose to Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt after his consecration elevating him as Archbishop of Kottayam on January 14, 2006.


2006 February 11
Starting of Legion of Mary unit in the mission.

2006 March 4
Second Religious Education Festival at Thaft High School inaugurated by Vicar General Fr. Abraham Mutholath. First presentation of Knanaya Kudiyetta Ballet with original songs published by the mission.

2006 March 18
Beginning of Senior Citizen’s Ministry in the mission.

2006 March 19
Confirmation of 57 students by Fr. Abraham Mutholath at St. Joseph’s Church in Addison for those who had not received it along with baptism.

2006 March 26
Confirmation of 114 students by Fr. Abraham Mutholath at OLV Church in Chicago for those who had not received it along with baptism.

2006 March 30 – April 2
Annual Lenten Retreat by Fr. Jacob Kuruppinakath organized by Knanaya Catholic Mission at KCS Community Center.

2006 April 18
First Meeting of Better Family Movement of the Knanaya Catholic Mission. The focus was on improvement of family life and prevention of alcohol abuse.

2006 April 28
Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath established seven regions in St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago. One of these regions is for all Knanaya Catholics in the diocese. “The formal Knanaya Catholic missions and the faithful of the Knanaya community living in other places where no formal missions are established will make one region.” Vicar General Rev. Fr. Abraham Mutholath is appointed as the director of this region.

2006 April 30
Mar Jacob Angadiath officially declared the establishment of Knanaya Catholic Region at OLV Church Chicago and appointed Vicar General Rev. Fr. Abraham Mutholath as Region Director.

  • Pastor / Vicar: Rev. Fr. Thomas Mulavanal
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