The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is a Christian Catholic ritehich was founded in the southern state of India called Kerala. The church was formally established in 1923 and is in full communion with the Apostolic See of Rome. The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is known for its deeply rooted spirituality among its members and high rates of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The church is perhaps the most vibrant Catholic Church in the world, with over four million believers, including a rich and fascinating history. Their faith and origin can be traced back to as early as 52 AD, when St Thomas the Apostle landed at Kodungallur in Kerala. He carried out missionary efforts and brought the Good News to many parts of India. St Thomas established many Christian communities in India and was martyred at Mylapur, Chennai in 72 AD, but left behind a strong community of believers.
The Syro-Malabar church is one of the 23 sui iuris (autonomous) Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic communion and is the second largest Eastern Catholic Church. After its establishment in 1923, the Syro-Malabar faith spread outside Kerala and on 23rd December 2013, the Holy Father Pope Francis established The Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne for Australia, making it the second Eparchy outside of Kerala after Chicago, USA. Reverend Bishop Bosco Puthur was appointed by the Holy Father as the first Bishop/Eparch of the new Eparchy.
Here in Perth, the Syro-Malabar community are temporarily based at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Maddington. They have a dedicated and passionate youth group called the Syro-Malabar Youth Movement (SMYM) guided by Rev. Father Anish Ponneduthakallel. This movement is active in all states of Australia and worldwide.
On 7th of April, SMYM held its first major event, a youth day consisting of games, worship, activities and talks. A big aspect of the youth day titled ‘Arise’ was to inspire SMYM’s next generation of leaders to take up the mantle of SMYM. Sojin Sebastian (Director of Syro-Malabar Youth Apostolate) and Anita Parker (Director of Catholic Youth Ministry) gave very interesting and relevant talks on leadership and the struggle of our contemporary youths in living our Christian faith in our society. One of the key points made was that the Catholic youth of this world are not the future, but the ‘Present’ of the Church.
The SMYM logo portrays youths of Syro Malabar in the 5 continents uniting and finding solace under the St Thomas cross, a symbol of the Syro-Malabar Christians. The blue colour on the logo represents faith, the green stands for hope and red symbolises love and martyrdom. The mission of SMYM is to unite and gather under the shelter of the Holy Cross to spread faith, hope and love by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to work for the kingdom of God, to resist evil bondages in our society and at the same time uphold the unique Syro-Malabar traditions of our ancestors.
Whatever the future holds, it is an exciting time to be a Catholic youth in Perth and let us pray and support SMYM to flourish in faith, love and action in Perth.
To find out more or to get in touch with SMYM go to https://www.facebook.com/SMYMPERTH.