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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > E > Vicariate Apostolic of Ernakulam in India

Vicariate Apostolic of Ernakulam in India

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In May, 1887, the churches of Syrian Rite in Malabar were separated from those of the Latin Rite and formed into the Vicariates of Trichur and Kottayam under European prelates. In response, however, to the petitions of the Syrian Catholics desirous of obtaining bishops of their own race and rite, Leo XIII by his brief "Quae Rei Sacrae" (28 July, 1896) divided the territory anew into three vicariates: Trichur, Changanacherry, and Ernakulam. The last comprises all the churches of Syrian Rite between the Chalakudy River and Lake Vempanatu, excluding the Suddhist churches of Bramangalam, Caringoth, and Chumkam. The Suddhists are Syro-Malabar Christians, descended from the fourth-century Syrian immigrants; they were formed into a distinct ecclesiastical unit on 29 Aug., 1911, when the Vicariate Apostolic of Kottayam was revived for them. The Vicariate of Ernakulam contains about 814,000 inhabitants, of whom 101,400 are Catholics; the chief language spoken is Malayalam. Mgr. Aloysius Pareparambil, titular Bishop of Tio (b. on 1 Aug., 1848, named first vicar Apostolic on 11 Aug., 1896), was consecrated at Kandy, Ceylon, on 25 Oct., 1896, and resides at Ernakulam. On 29 Aug., 1911, Mgr. Augustine Kandathil was appointed coadjutor bishop. There are 81 parish churches, 20 chapels with resident pastors, 112 secular priests, 32 divinity students at Puthenpally and 11 at the Papal Seminary, Kandy, Ceylon; 6 convents, 116 native Carmelite Tertiary nuns and 28 postulants; 2 catechumenates; 1 orphanage with 25 orphans; 7 boarding-schools with 267 pupils, 201 primary and secondary school with 12,386 pupils; 412 converts in 1911; 39 Jacobite churches with 32,000 members; 1 industrial school. In the print-press attached to this school there are published the "Messenger of the Sacred Heart" (monthly) and "Sathianadam" (weekly), both in Malayalam; "Eucharist and Priest", an English monthly periodical of the Priests' Eucharistic League, and "Promptuarium Canonico- Liturgicum", a Latin monthly for the missionary clergy. There is a Lazarist community of 3 Fathers and 1 lay brother at Thotacam. The Syro-Chaldaic Carmelite Congregation of Malabar has 4 convents and 31 members in the vicariate; this institute, the first of its kind in India, was begun at Mannanam in 1831. The first priests were professed on 8 Dec., 1855, and on 1 Oct., 1860, the congregation was affiliated to the Discalced Carmelites. Its rules and constitutions were approved by the Holy See tentatively on 1 Jan., 1895, and definitively on 12 March, 1906.


Catholic Directory of India (Madras, 1913).

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APA citation. MacErlean, A. (1914). Vicariate Apostolic of Ernakulam in India. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: The Encyclopedia Press.

MLA citation. MacErlean, Andrew. "Vicariate Apostolic of Ernakulam in India." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 16 (Index). New York: The Encyclopedia Press, 1914. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Herman F. Holbrook. A solis ortu usque ad occasum laudabile nomen Domini.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1914. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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