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His Holiness Pope John Paul II established St. Thomas SyroMalabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago on March 13, 2001. Mar Jacob Angadiath was appointed as its first bishop and his Episcopal Ordination was held in Chicago, together with the inauguration of the diocese, on July 1, 2001. On July 24, 2014, Pope Francis appointed Mar Joy Alappatt, Chicago as the Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese.
The Syro-Malabar Church is the second largest Church among the Eastern Catholic Churches. St. Thomas the Apostle founded the Syro-Malabar Church, otherwise called the Church of St. Thomas Christians, in South India. The present Kerala State is the home of this Church. For centuries, St. Thomas Christians lived in the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin.
The first step of migration of our people was to the Malabar region to the north and High Ranges to the East. Since the faithful were mostly farmers, they were looking for farm land and wherever they settled, they built Churches and established their own faith communities. The first diocese established for the migrants was Tellicherry in 1953 with Bishop Mar Sebastian Valloppilly. Then in 1956, the diocese of Kothamangalam was established for those who were in High Ranges with Bishop Mar Mathew Pothanamuzhy. Tellicherry has become Archdiocese with four suffragan dioceses and Kothamangalam has been bifurcated to form Idukki diocese.