Chronology: 1981 – 2001


1981 – 2001

Beginning of Knanaya Mission in Chicago to the Establishment of the Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago.



 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 Kunnassery 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.


1989 April 15
Final liturgy of the Knanaya Catholic Mission at St. Henry’s Church and the beginning of the liturgy at IHM Church.


1991 October 26
Agreement signed for the use of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church by Rev. Fr. Norbert Zawistanowicz, pastor of IHM Church and Rev. Fr. Cyriac Manthuruthil, Knanaya Mission Director.


1995 August 16
Archdiocese of Chicago appointed Fr. Simon Edathiparambil as the director of Knanaya Catholic Mission replacing Fr. Cyriac Manthuruthil. The residence of Fr. Edathiparambil is at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.

1995 December 30
Agreement renewed between Rev. James F. Blazek, pastor of IHM church and Mission Director Rev. Fr. Simon Edathiparambil for the use of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church for the Knanaya Community.


1996 October 19
Confirmation of 42 students by Bishop Mar Gregory Karottemprel. Fr. Simon Edathiparambil was mission director. Mathachan Chemmachel was sponsor of boys and Mary Karappallil were sponsor for girls.


1999 June 25
Archdiocese of Chicago appointed Fr. Philip Thodukayil as the director of Knanaya Catholic Mission with his residence at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.


2000 February 5
Fr. Philip Thodukayil started Saturday evening mass at 6:00 P.M. on every first Saturdays of the month at St. Isidore’s Church in Bloomingdale. This is in addition to the Sunday evening Mass at the IHM church every Sunday.

2000 August 20
Confirmation of 16 students by Bishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt at IHM Church. Fr. Philip Thodukayil was mission director.


2001 January 14
Fr. Philip Thodukayil started an additional Sunday morning mass at 10:00 A.M. at KCS Community Center followed by Religious Education Classes at the center.

2001 May 20
First Holy Communion of 14 students at IHM Church, Chicago.

Contact Information

Pastor / Vicar:
Rev. Fr. Siju Mudakkodil

Parish Secretary:
Sr. Silverius S.V.M.

Associate Pastor:
Rev. Fr. Lijo Kochuparambil

Trustee Coordinator:
Sabu Kattappuram

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