Our History

Syro-Malabar Church: Origin & History

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an Eastern Rite Oriental Catholic Church which is in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and traces back its origin and faith to the missionary efforts of St. Thomas the Apostle who landed at Kodungallur in Kerala in AD 52. The term Syro-Malabar is a reference to the East Syrian (Chaldean) tradition the Church has followed and to the Malabar Coast where St Thomas the Apostle landed. Today, the Syro Malabar Church is a group of Christians whose firm devotion, deep-rooted spirituality, and rich traditions help translate the community into a special and very vibrant church worldwide. The Syro-Malabar identity is unique to the state of Kerala in India and its people. According to Fr. Placid Podipara “they are Indian in culture, Christian in religion and Syro-Oriental in worship”.

St. Jude Catholic community is a Syro Malabar Mission under St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago which was established in the United States of America by His Holiness Pope John Paul II on March 13, 2001. Mar Jacob Angadiath was appointed as its first bishop and his Episcopal Ordination was held in Chicago, together with the inauguration of the diocese, on July 1, 2001. More details about St. Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago can be found at St. Thomas Diocese website

St. Jude Syro Malabar Catholic Community of Northern Virginia

Recognizing the spiritual needs of a sizeable population of Syro Malabar Catholics in the Northern Virginia region, the St. Jude Syro Malabar Catholic Mission of Greater Washington was formed in April of 2010. It is now a vibrant and growing community that serves over 70 families of Catholic Malayalees in Northern Virginia.  The community gathers weekly for worship and for other activities on a routine basis. By organizing community events, the parishioners are given opportunities to reconnect with each other while strengthening their beliefs. There is something for everyone here be it Music ministry, Malayalam language classes, Ladies forum, Cultural committee etc. The community also reinforces faith formation as a critical aspect by providing a platform for the younger generation in the form of Catechism classes, youth groups and retreats for spiritual reflection and encouragement.


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