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 a municipality in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. The township is a medium sized in nature with high number of Non-resident Indians spread over gulf, Europe and US. The town is located 158 kilometers north east of Thiruvananthapuram, capital city of Kerala.

Language

Malayalam, Tamil, and English are in use.

History

Pope Pius XI through the Apostolic Constitution Christo Pastorum Principi of June 11, 1932, established the Syro-Malankara hierarchy for the reunited community and erected the Archeparchy of Trivandrum with the Eparchy of Thiruvalla as its suffragan.

Accordingly, 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 of Tiruvalla in 1951. He was given the honorary title Archbishop-bishop 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 was extended from the river Pampa in the south to the river Ponnani 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 of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches, on Feb. 14, 1958 and brought under it the whole of Malabar region of Kerala, the 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. Pope John Paul II by the Apostolic Constitution of October 1978 separating the civil districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannoor of Kerala, Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu and Coorg, Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, South Kanara, Chickamangalore and Shimoga of Karnataka from the diocese of Tiruvalla, established the new diocese of Bathery and appointed Cyril Mar Baselios as its first Bishop.

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 the 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 at St. John's Cathedral, Tiruvalla with the name Thomas Mar Koorilos. The Holy See appointed Father Thomas Mar Koorilos as the sixth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tiruvalla on Sept. 11, 2003.

The Holy Episcopal Synod of 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, and the Bishop of Tiruvalla as Metropolitan Archbishop. Dr. Isaac Mar Cleemis was installed as the first Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Tiruvalla on June 10, 2006 at St. John's Metropolitan Cathedral, Tiruvalla. Later 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 at St. John's Metropolitan Cathedral, Tiruvalla.

The website of Tiruvalla Archdiocese is available at: www.tiruvallaarchdiocese.org

Transportation

The territory is well connected with roads and rail. 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 with temperatures ranging from highs of 34.4 ?C in summer to a low of 18.5 ?C in winter with a healthy rainfall of 3040 milli meter annual. The rainy season (South West Monsoon) begins in June and lasts up to September. The North West Monsoon brings light rainfall in October-December.

Economy

The economy of Thiruvalla Archdiocese is mainly based on NRI population working abroad, agriculture and small scale industries. 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 located in the western area of Pathanamthitta district in the State of Kerala. The city is famous for its various religious festivals, schools etc. The city is believed to be the ancient Commercial trade centre. There existed a trade route from this place to Madurai the capital of Ancient Pandia Dynasty. They traded in pepper with Egypt before the Christian era. Thiruvalla is a multi-religious region. Almost all major religions including Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are practiced here. The major religion is Hinduism.

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