Cochin 6 August 2015: The Holy Father Pope Francis erected an Apostolic Exarchate (Vicariate) for the Syro-Malabar faithful in Canada with its See in Mississauga and Fr. Jose Kalluvelil, as its first Exarch, assigning him the titular see of “Tabalta”.
The announcement regarding these provisions was made by the Holy Father Pope Francis today, on Thursday, 6 August 2015 in the Vatican at 12.00 noon and simultaneously at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad and in Canada.
Fr. Jose Kalluvelil was born on 15 November 1955 at Thottuva near Kuravilangad in the Eparchy of Palai. Now his family is settled in St. Peter’s Parish, Jellipara, in the Eparchy of Palghat. Having completed his minor seminary formation in St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Trichur and Major Seminary formation in St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, Kottayam, he was ordained priest on 18 December 1984 for the Eparchy of Palghat. After his ordination he served at Agali, Kuruvampadi, Puliyara, Panthalampadam, Olavakode, Doni, Ottapalam, Kottayi, Kallekad, Cathedral Church, Palakad, Kodunthirapully, Kanjirapuzha, and Mezhukumupara parishes and Boys Homes at Agali and Thavalam.
He was also Director of the Eparchial Pastoral Centre, Catechetical Centre and Director of KCSL, besides being one of the Eparchial Consultors. He obtained his Doctorate in Catechesis from the Salesian University, Rome. For the past two years, he was doing pastoral ministry to the Syro-Malabar faithful in Toronto.
An Exarchy (Vicariate) is an ecclesiastical administrative set up which is not yet erected as an eparchy (Diocese), but very similar to it. It can be raised to the status of an eparchy when the number of faithful, parishes and other structures are sufficiently adequate for such a status. Many Syro-Malabar eparchies outside Kerala in India were in the beginning erected as exarchies. The Exarchy of Mississauga in Canada is the first exarchy for the Syro-Malabar faithful outside India.