In the late nineteen sixties and seventies there were large flows of immigrants to United States in search of better opportunities. They settled in major metropolitan cities and they brought their family members. Wherever our faithful settled they were eager to have Syro-Malabar liturgy whenever it was possible with the help of visiting priests or student priests from our Church. In 1985, the Chicago Archdiocese gave permission to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission to use St. Bernadine church in Forest Park for monthly Holy Mass. The Syro-Malabar community of Chicago under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Antony Kurialacherry, approached His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, the Archbishop of Chicago and requested for St. Chrysostom Church, 5000 St. Charles Road, Bellwood, for the use of our Syro-Malabar Community. In 1987 this Church was given to our community freely and formally the Syro-Malabar Mission was inaugurated at the new Church by Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil, Bishop of Palai. Rev. Antony Kurialacherry returned to Kerala and Rev. Fr. Zacharias Elappunkal was appointed to Chicago to serve the Mission. As the community was growing, Rev. Fr. Mathew Panthalany from the diocese of Palai was sent here to minister to the community in 1989.

The growth of the Syro-Malabar Community under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Mathew Panthalany was remarkable. Regular Holy Qurbana on Sundays and weekdays, Novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Holy Hour every Friday, Catechism for Children and Malayalam language school were started by him. Rev Fr. Jos Kandathikudy followed him as the next Director from 1994 to 1999. He initiated the ward prayer meetings on a monthly basis and started several pious organizations. In 1999, Fr. Jacob Angadiath from Dallas took over as the next Director of our Mission.

In 1996 His Excellency Mar Gregory Karotemprel, CMI, the chairman of the Commission for the pastoral care for the migrants and apostolic visitator to USA and Canada, came here to make a study of the spiritual care of the faithful and formulate a detailed report to be submitted to the Holy Father and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. In his report, he requested for the establishment of a diocese for the Syro-Malabar faithful in USA and Canada. The announcement of the establishment of the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago on March 13, 2001 was a surprise to everyone. Rev. Fr. Jacob Angadiath, the Director of Syro-Malabar Mission in Chicago was appointed as the first bishop of this newly formed diocese, comprising the whole USA and also as the Permanent Apostolic Visitator to Canada. The Episcopal consecration of Mar Jacob Angadiath and the inauguration of the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago took place here in Chicago on July 1, 2001 at Hyatt Regency Hotel, during the Second North American Syro-Malabar Convention.

The Cathedral has undergone tremendous changes since Rev. Fr. Antony Thundathil; MST took charge as the first Cathedral Vicar. The idea to build a new Cathedral took shape in 2004. The ground braking ceremony was held on October 28, 2006. Much of the materials like the stained glass, the front-doors, the altar and the Granite floor tiles were all imported from India. And, we were able to build a beautiful church, befitting a Cathedral augmenting the Syro-Malabar liturgy. The new Cathedral was blessed and inaugurated on July 5, 2008. The building won the “The Best of Brick” Award in the Midwest region of the United States. It can seat close to 1300 in the Main Assembly area and 250 in the balcony. The balcony also houses the Cathedral offices for the vicar, trustees and various organizations. The full basement can be used for social gatherings on special occasions. This stunningly beautiful cathedral is a dream come true for the parishioners who spent their time, energy, money and dedication under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Antony Thundathil.

Our parish hosted many of the Ecumenical gatherings in recent years and on this occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Ecumenical Council of Christian Churches, Hearty Compliments and Best Wishes are offered from the Syro-Malabar Catholic Community in Chicago!!


5000 St. Charles, Road, Bellwood, IL

Upcoming Events

  • Harmony Festival: Sep 12,
    at 9 AM at Syro Malabar

    5000 Saint Charles Rd,
    Bellwood, IL, 60104

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