Dioceses of India
Total: 1

Archdiocese of Kottayam 

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Rite: Syro-Malabar
Region : Kerala
Patron: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Founded: 29 August 1911
Province: Kottayam
Status: Archdiocese
Total area: 5, 54665 Sq.Km
Total Population : 3,54,65,895
Catholics Total: 143260
Diocesan Priests: 190
Religious Priests: 91
Religious Sisters: 1253
Minor Seminarians: 147
Major Seminarians: 85

Archdiocese of Kottayam  at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 132Retreat Centres: 01
Major Seminaries : 0Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 04
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 0Religious Formation Houses : 0
Men Religious Houses: 15Women Religious Houses: 185

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 05Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 06
Orphanages : 06Homes for Aged & Destitute : 0
Schools for Physically Challenged: 11Homes for Physically Challenged : 0
Crèches: 0Boarding Houses : 0
Counselling Centres : 0De-addiction Centre: 0
Social Centres : 0HIV / AIDS Centre: 0

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 0Degree Colleges: 0
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 0
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 0High Schools : 37
Upper Primary Schools: 91Lower Primary Schools:0
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :86Presses & Media Centres : 0


Eparchy of Kottayam was erected exclusively for southist (Knanaya) Catholics in 1911. Knanaya Community tracks its origin to a group of Jewish-Christian emigrants from Southern Mesopotamia to the Southern India port of Cranganore in AD 345, who remains an endogamous community till date. They co-exited with the native St. Thomas Christians in India and embarked on a mission to re-invigorate the Church to St. Thomas. The first migrants consisted of about 400 people from 72 families of 7 steps headed by Thomas of Knayi. A bishop by name Uraha Mar Yousef, four priests and several deacons from part of the group.

Exactly as the Catholics of East had promised the emigrants, that he would send bishops to India, from time to time, Uraha Mar Yousef always had successors till the end of 16th century. Under the patronage of East Syrian Bishops, Knanaya Community had their own separate parishes and priest. This system continued even under Latin Rite European bishops, who governed the St. Thomas Christians later. When ritual Catholics, in 1887, all Knanaya Catholics, de facto, fell under the Apostolic Vicariate of Kottayam. Holy See asked Bishop Charles Lavige to appoint a separate Vicar General for Knanaya Community. As Vicariate Apostolic were re-organized into Trichur, Ernakulam and Changanassery and three indigenous bishops wre appointed for Syro- Malabarians in 1896, the bishop nominated for the Vicariate of Changanassery was Mar Mathew Makil, former Vicar General for Knanaya Community.

On August 29, 1911, a new Vicariate Apostolic of Kottayam was erected solely for Knanaya Community by the Apostolic letter “In Universi Christiani” by His Holiness Pope St. Pius X. On December 21, 1923, Vicariate Apostolic of Kottayam was raised to an Eparchy by Pope Pius XI. When territorial limits of Syro-Malabar Church was extended in 1955, jurisdiction of Eparchy of Kottayam was made co-extensive with the then extended territory of the Syro-Malabar Church. 

On December 23, 2003, His Holiness Pope John Paul II made a sovereign promulgation (Pro Gente Suddistica) that the Satus quo of Eparchy of Kottayam must be retained and he left it to the Bishops’ Synod of Syro-Malabar Church to decide on the desired enhancement of the juridical status of the Eparchy of Kottayam. I November 2004, the Synod gave consent to elevate Eparchy of Kottayam to the rank of a Metropolitan see without a Suffragan Eparchy. On March 21, 2005, Congregation for Oriental Churches issued a letter of no-objection to the decision of the Bishop’s Synod. Accordingly, on May 9, 2005, Major Archbishop Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil issued the decree “The Eparchy of Kottayam” elevating Eparchy of Kottayam to the rank of a Metropolitan See. Through another decree, “God our loving father”, he appointed Metropolitan see of Kottayam. On June 3, 2005, feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, at aliturgical service, Major Archbishop canonically erected the Metropolitan See of Kottayam, ordained and enthroned Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry, first Metropolitan of Kottayam. Mar Mathew Moolakkatt ascended as Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Kottayam on 14 January, 2006. 

Former Bishops

Most Rev. Mathew Moolakkatt ,OSBAuxiliary Bishop1997-2003
Most Rev. Thomas TharayilArchbishop1951-1974
Most Rev. Alexander ChoolaparambilBishop1914-1951
Most Rev. Mathew MakilBishop1896-1914
Most Rev. Charles LavigneVicar Apostolic 1887-1896