About Us

The Canada Knanaya Catholic community traces its origin back to Jewish-Christian community. Knanaya community migrated from Southern Mesopotamia to the Malabar’s  (present Kerala state in India) coast of Cranganore ( Kodungalloor ) in AD 345 under the leadership of a well known merchant Thomas of Cana ( Knai Thomman ). This community consisted of about 400 persons belonging to 72 families of seven clans. A bishop by name Mar Yousef of Uraha, four priests and several deacons were among them. They formed themselves into an endogamous community by keeping their faith, tradition and culture but co-existed peacefully among the St.Thomas Christians in India. As a migrant community, it has got presence in 60+ countries. 

Knanaya Catholics in Canada have spiritual gatherings and the community is growing. A directorate was formed for the pastoral needs of all Knanaya Catholics in the Eparchy of Mississauga, on 18 February 2018 by HE. Mar Jose Kalluvelil. Two ecclesiastical units were formed in Toronto and London under the directorate. St. Mary’s Knanaya Catholic Mission was elevated to a parish on the same day and named as “St. Mary’s Knanaya Catholic Church, Toronto” which is the first parish for Knanaya Catholics in Canada.

This portal is intended to provide spiritual guidance and information about Canada Knanaya Catholic community.

Knanaya Catholics History

Knanaya Catholics immigrants residing in and around Toronto wanted to have a Knanaya Catholic spiritual get together in Canada. Rev. Fr. Mathew Meledath (pastor of Knanaya Catholic parish, Detroit) organized a koodarayogam in Toronto. As a result, a Knanaya prayer group was conducted occasionally in  Toronto. Eventually this prayer group members requested the Archbishop of Toronto, now Archbishop Emeritus Thomas Cardinal Collins for appointing a chaplain for the koodarayogam. Bishop Emeritus Mar Jacob Angadiath, the Apostolic Visitor for the Syro Malabar community in Canada also supported this request. Rev. Fr. Thomas Mulavanal, the vicar General of the Syro Malabar Diocese of Chicago contacted Rev. Msgr. Thomas Kalarathil, the Vicar for Clergy in the Archdiocese of Toronto for his intervention to establish a “Knanaya Catholic Mission” rather than a chaplain for the Knanaya community.

April 03, 2014 MAR Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto issued a decree of establishing St. Mary’s Syro Malabar Knanaya Catholic Mission for Knanaya Community in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Rev. Fr. George Parayil CFIC become the first mission director. His Excellency Mar Jacob Angadiath Bishop of the Syro Malabar Diocese of Chicago, His Grace Mar Mathew Moolakkatt Archbishop of Kottayam, Msgr. Thomas Mulavanal Msgr. Thomas Kalarathil, Fr. George Parayil and St. Mary’s  Koodarayogam Executive members were close instruments for the establishment of this mission.

St. Mary’s Knanaya Mission started its first Holy Qurbana on May 11, 2014. Rev Fr. George Parayil was the main celebrant. Rev. Msgr. Thomas Kalarathil, Fr. Jose Karikombil, Fr. Shibil Pariathpadavil and Fr. George Puramadam were concelebrants. The official inauguration of the Knanaya Catholic Mission was done by Rev. Msgr. Thomas Mulavanal on September 21, 2014 during the First Feast Day celebration of the Mission’s Patron Saint Mother Mary (Muthiamma) at St Joseph Secondary School, Mississauga.

The Apostolic Exarchate for the Syro-Malabar faithful in Canada was formally erected by His Holiness Pope Francis on August 06, 2015. Very Reverend Jose Kalluvelil was appointed as the first Apostolic Exarch. The inauguration of the Exarchate and the Episcopal Ordination of Very Rev. Jose Kalluvelil took place on September 19, 2015.

Bishop MAR Jose Kalluvelil relieved Fr. George Parayil from his office as chaplain of St. Mary’s Knanaya Catholic Mission of Toronto on July 2016 and appointed Rev. Fr. Pathrose Champakkara as the chaplain of this mission from July 1, 2016.

Early 2017, a directorate and two ecclesiastical units  were formed by HE. Mar Jose Kalluvelil. The St. Mary’s Knanaya Catholic church, Toronto became the first parish for Knananya catholic community in Canada. This parish comprises about 200 Knanaya families.

The Knanaya Catholic directorate in Toronto is functioning very well under the leadership of it’s director Rev. Fr. Pathros Champakara.