Australia's southern Indian faithful are celebrating the landmark appointment of their own bishop after Pope Francis announced he would establish a new Syro-Malabar Eparchy in Melbourne, reports The Catholic Weekly.
More than 35,000 Syro-Malabar Catholics who reside in Australia will fall under the new ecclesial structure. Indian-born Bishop Bosco Puthur is expected to be installed as Bishop of the new Eparchy, and Apostolic Visitor for the Syro-Malabar faithful in New Zealand, in Melbourne on March 25.
The Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, is expected to attend the installation Mass. Cardinal Alencherry asked the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in December 2012 to recommend the establishment of a local eparchy.
More than 700,000 of the four million Syro-Malabar faithful live outside India. In Australia, the community has been boosted by the migration of skilled workers, primarily from Kerala, said Fr Thomas Kuruthanam.
The Indian-born parish priest of St Peter Chanel and St Joseph, Berala, celebrates Mass for the Syro-Malabar community in Sydney each month. The Church has 'grown substantially' in Sydney and is still flourishing, he said. He hoped Bishop Puthur’s appointment would mean more priestly chaplains for the community in Sydney.
FULL STORY New Indian eparchy for Australia (The Catholic Weekly)