Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala India
The historic event of the reunion of His Grace Archbishop Geevarghese Mar Ivanios with the Catholic Church took place on 20 September 1930. Archbishop Mar Ivanios and Bishop Mar Theophilos along with Fr. John Kuzhinapurath OIC, Deacon Alexander OIC and Mr. Chacko Kilileth, who were members of the Malankara Orthodox Church, made their profession of faith on that day and entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. This event took place in the Chapel of the Latin Bishop’s House in Quilon (Kollam) before His Excellency Aloysius Maria Benziger OCD, Bishop of the Diocese of Quilon (Kollam), who was specially delegated by the Holy See for the same.
His Grace Mar Ivanios initiated the work of the Re-union Movement under the guidance of the Holy See, especially in the light of the Apostolic Decree Magnum Nobis of His Holiness Pope Pius XI. Mar Ivanios made his visit to Rome in 1932 and His Holiness Pope Pius XI invested him with the Sacred Pallium. The Holy Father, Pope Pius XI through the Apostolic Constitution Christo Pastorum Principi of 11 June 1932, established the Syro-Malankara Hierarchy and erected the Archieparchy of Trivandrum as the Metropolitan See with the suffragan Eparchy of Tiruvalla. The territorial boundary of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum was spread from Kanyakumari, the southern most part of India to the north up to river Pampa, to the western Ghats in the east and to the Arabian Sea in the west.
The Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum, with its headquarters in Trivandrum, was inaugurated on 11 May 1933 and His Grace Mar Ivanios was enthroned as its first Metropolitan-Archbishop at the provisional Cathedral, dedicated to the Mother of God, at Palayam, Trivandrum. Archbishop Mar Ivanios was enthroned as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Hierarchical Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and made the profession of faith before the assembly of the Bishops, priests and laymen amidst the acclamations of Oxios (a customary hymn for the occasion). The Apostolic Constitution was executed by His Excellency Aloysius Maria Benziger, the Bishop of Quilon. On the following day His Grace Mar Ivanios and Bishop Jacob Mar Theophilos celebrated the solemn Holy Qurbono in St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral at Palayam. His Grace Mar Augustine Kandathil, the Archbishop of Ernakulam, His Grace Mar James Kalassery, the Archbishop of Changanassery, His Excellency Mar Alexander Choolaparambil, the Bishop of Kottayam, Rt. Rev. Joseph Pulikottil Ramban and Rt. Rev. Philipose Cheppad Remban were present on the occasion.
As part of the evangelising ministry of the southern regions of Thiru-Kochi (including parts now bordering Tamil Nadu), Archbishop Mar Ivanios initiated evangelisation ministry at Marthandam, Tamil Nadu. Later, with the permission and blessings of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Kuzhinjalil founded the missionary Congregation of the Daughters of Mary in 1938 at Marthandam in Kanyakumari District. Through the great zeal of these missionaries, the mission work of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church spread to the southern regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.