Australia’s newest Catholic church has been consecrated following the transformation of a Holden supplier warehouse into a place of worship for the Syro-Malabar parish of Adelaide North. Source: The Southern Cross.
More than 1000 people gathered in St Euphrasia Church in Elizabeth South on Sunday to celebrate its blessing and consecration by Bishop Bosco Puthur, Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas, Melbourne.
It is only the second dedicated Syro-Malabar church in Australia and the first to be purpose-built (the other was established in a former Methodist church in Queensland) and has been hailed as a significant achievement for the rapidly growing Eastern Rite Catholic Church which now has three parishes in Adelaide and 60,000 faithful across Australia.
St Euphrasia parish priest Fr Francis Pullukattu said a vision for a Syro-Malabar presence in the north of Adelaide began several years ago with a small group of Catholic immigrants from Kerala, India, who wanted to make a “touchable and lasting impact on our community; protecting our faith, traditions and heritage”.
The community is made up of about 80 families totalling 300 people. Fr Francis said community members had each donated one month’s salary to kick start the $1.25 million project which was funded through a loan from the Archdiocese’s Catholic Development Fund.
With plans to redevelop the outside of the modest warehouse in Wiley Street, parishioners also agreed to a regular contribution from their salary.
“By the grace of God the people are very cooperative,” Fr Francis said. “We don’t put a burden on them, they are happy to do it (contribute).”
The internal fit-out of the church incorporates traditional Syro-Malabar liturgical design and was completed within a year.
Two containers of religious artefacts, including a 350kg baptismal font, were shipped from southern India.
Mass is celebrated in Malayalam, the language of Kerala, and will be more frequent now that the parish has its own church.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is one of the 22 Eastern (oriental) Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome and is the second largest Eastern Catholic Church after the Ukrainian Church.
Church opening a milestone for Syro-Malabar Catholics (The Southern Cross)