The Syrian Orthodox Church was established in A.D.37 in Antioch, where the followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). St. Peter, the Apostle, consecrated Mor Evdosios and Mor Ignatius Noorono as the first Patriarchs of the Church in Antioch. The present Patriarch, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, is the 122nd successor of St. Peter. The Church uses the Syriac liturgy in the Aramaic, the language spoken by Lord Jesus and the Apostles.

The Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America is a non-profit religious organization under the jurisdiction of His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church. The present Archbishop of this diocese is His Eminence Yeldo Mor Theethose. St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in the city of Chicago is one of the many parishes of the Malankara Archdiocese of Syrian Orthodox Church in North America, under the Holy Apostolic See of Antioch and All the East. The Malayalees started to immigrate to North America in the 1960s. Our Church building, though originally owned by Syrian Orthodox Church members from the Middle East, was the first place of worship for many Malayali Christians, including Jacobites, Roman Catholics, Marthomites, and CSI. Malayalee Hindus also used to come to this Church to see other Malayalees in the earlier years of our community in Chicago. Even though the Archdiocese was yet to be formed, the late H. G. Yesu Samuel Mor Athanasius was the prelate for all the Malankara Syrian Orthodox faithful in North America. The Holy Qurbono was celebrated in the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Order and Tradition. H. H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas has celebrated Holy Qurbono in this Church.

The present congregation was established in October 1988 with 20 families, but currently there are 44 families. In the beginning stages of our parish, Rev. Fr. Mathew Karuthalackal was the priest. Thereafter the late Very Rev. M. K. Thomas Corepiscopa known as ‘Thengelil Achen’ was appointed as the first vicar of the Church. During his time, Archbishop His Grace Yesu Mor Athanasius officially approved this Parish. In 1992 Rev. Fr. Mathew Karuthalackal again served as the Vicar of our Church. In 1995 Rev. Fr. Joy Kalapurayil was appointed as the vicar. In 1995, we purchased our current building located at 3748 N. Newland Ave., Chicago. From 1996 June to 1997 November, late Rev. Fr. Mathew Padinjarekudiyil was appointed as the assistant vicar. Renovation work of the building began in November of 1999 and completed in December of 2000. Immediately after the renovation we celebrated the first Holy Qurbono on 24th of December, 2000 and consecrated the Church building on May 18, 2001.

Very Rev. Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil served as the Vicar from the year 2002. In 2005, it was with great pride we published a ‘Festschrift’ in connection with the Silver Jubilee of the Patriarchal Enthronement H. H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. The copies of the Festschrift were distributed among Churches, universities, libraries, and were circulated all over the world. We are very glad that this book is considered as a major document of the history of our Church of the 25 years as H. H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas as the Patriarch. Since April 2008, Rev Fr.

Mathew Kavumkal is serving as the vicar of our parish. This parish is governed by the Board of Trustees. Every year we celebrate two festivals: St. George’s Day (Main Perunnal) and Yeldo Mor Basalius Day.

Sunday school is very successfully held in this parish with well over 40 students. Aside from Sunday school, the Vanitha Samajam, Youth Association, Basalius Paulose II Library, Charity wing, and Mor Athanasius prayer group are also very actively functioning. The main focus of the charity wing is to help the education of the deserving students in India. With our support, four students have completed nursing studies and presently we are helping five other students. We also provide support for medical treatments, renovations and building of homes for the poor. Two members of our Church, Dr. Roy P. Thomas and Mr. Jaimon K. Skaria have been decorated as Commander and Chevalier respectively by H. H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. With a grateful heart to the LORD, proclaiming His mercy over us, and requesting the intercessory prayers of our patron Saint George, we submit this brief history of our parish.

 

3748 N. Newland Ave, Chicago, IL 60634

www.stgeorgechurchchicago.us

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