ST.MARY'S JACOBITE SYRIAN CATHEDRAL, KUNDARA
(A Tribe Parish established in 1871 under the Holy See of Antioch and all the East)
KUNDARA JACOBITE SYRIAN PUTHEN CHURCH was established in the year1871 (M E 1046 Karkkidakom 20), with the object to perpetuate under the holy throne of Antioch. Our ancestors, under the leadership of reverent priests, sacrificed their right on properties, left the association with the “Kundara Valiya Pally”. This was to keep the dissidents away and to protect faith on “His Holiness Patriarch of Antioch”. The administrative sanction for the church was granted by Maharaja of Travancore and the establishment of the sanctum sanctorum was ordered by Pulikkoottil Joseph Mor Divaniasiose Metroploitan; one of the bishops ordained from the ascendant on the holy throne of Saint Peter, Yakoob Second Patriarch of Antioch.
All the parish members are belonging to one main family known as “Vilayil Gothram”. It is one of the branches of ancient and eminent “Pakalomattom” family. Our ancestors were migrated to Kundara under the leadership of Rev. Alexandraose Kathanar in the second half of fifteenth century. The eminent priests led us were Padinjarevilayil Rev. Easo Kathanar, Kizhakkevilayil Rev. Mathai Kathanar, and Thenguvilayil Rev. Easo Kathanar. Their spiritual fellowships were commenced in the old Valiyappally. Subsequently in the second half of eighteenth centaury few peoples appeared with reformation in fundamental faith and our forefathers were unable to compromise with them. Ultimately vast majority under the leadership of the priests left the “Valiyapllay” and formed the new parish and established the church in the name of Saint Mary’s the Vsiudha Mathavu.
Since the formation of the parish, our vicars were Rev. Abraham Kathanar and after him, his son Rev. T. A. Thomas Kathanar. Immediately after the demise of “Thomasachan” in 1973, dispute among members on the issue of faith again become colossal. This polarization leads to litigation from court to court. Ours was the first church in “Malankara” closed by the order of court and unfortunately still kept so. There were two factions and the majority belonging to Anthiokian faith. Minority faction with the support of Kollam Bishop tried to encroach the church but resistance from our side caused for lathi charge, bullet firing and other atrocities in 1973. This was necessitated for keeping the church and its properties from alienation.
Our untiring sprit and endeavor to protect the holy faith and to prevail in it is exemplary. In the very same day of closure of the church, we had constructed a chapel in the property of late Thenguvila Thomasachan, as permitted by his offspring. We had continued our spiritual fellowship there, and were carrying out holy mass uninterruptedly, till we moved to a new premise in 1979. These were the challenging times in our history and we win it by the blessings of mighty God. Shelter of Saint Mary the Visudha Mathavu and prayers of our late forefathers always saved us from the worst.
Now we had a spacious and modern church, established in the holy name of Saint Mary, constructed in gothic style adjacent to the old church. The consecration ceremony was in 2005. We are around 3000 members comprising 550 families in the parish. On the last visit of His Holiness Moran mor Ignatheose Saka I Iwas Patriarch to Malankara, in October 23rd 2008, proclaimed our church as “Cathedral”. The feast of the parish is from September one to eight every year being the “ettunombu perunnal”. Sheltering under Visudha Marthavu we are leading a peaceful, prosperous, spiritual and social life. We are always grateful and committed to the Holy Trinity, Saint Mary, all other saints and our late lamented ancestors for favors received.
Aabu T Skaria.