The Diocese of
Tiruvalla was extended from the river Pampa to the south to the river
Ponnani in the north. It was on February 14, 1958 that the Holy See by
the Decree Prot. 534/43, further extended the jurisdiction of the
Diocese of Tiruvalla to the whole of Malabar Region of Kerala, the
Civil Districts of Coimbatore, Nilgiris and Karur Taluk in
Tiruchirapally Districts of Tamilnadu and the Districts of Mysore,
Mandya, Hassan, Coorg, Chickmangalore, Shimoga and South Kanara in
After the extension of the Dicoese, a few priests were sent to the new
regions by His Excellency late Zacharias Mar Athanasios, the third
Bishop of Tiruvalla. These pioneers of the Malabar Mission began to
work zealously among the Malankara faithful, concentrating on a few
centres like Bathery, Mananthavady, Nilambur, Edakkara, Karuvarakundu
and Maikavu. In 1963 Mar Athanasios sent two priests to South Kanara
(Karnataka) to work among the Malankara faithful who had migrted from
Kerala. Desiring to establish the identity of the Malankara Catholic
Church and to accelerate the Reunion Movement in the newly organized
territories, His Excllency Zacharias Mar Athanasios requested the Holy
See to bifurcate the Diocese of Tiruvalla and to erect a new Diocese
with Sulthan Bathery as its headquarters. His Holiness Pope John Paul
responded to the request and erected the new Diocese of Bathery on
October 28, 1978 at Mar Theophilos Nagar (St. Thomas Malankara
Catholic Church Campus, Thirumoolapuram) Tiruvalla, by His Grace
Benedict Mar Gregorios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Malankara
It was on February
2, 1979 that His Excellency Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios, the first
Bishop of Bathery, officially took charge of the Diocese. The
Enthronement (Sunthroniso) ceremony took place at the St. Thomas
Pro-Cathedral at Sulthan Bathery. The existing 8,500 Malankara
Catholics were organised in 43 Parishes and Mission Stations by
zealous and committed priests of whom 18 belonged to the Diocese of
Tiurvalla and 2 belonged to the Bethany Ashram. 13 Bethany Sisters and
17 Sisters of the Deena Sevana sabha also gave valuable services in
different parts of the Diocese. After serious thoughts and prayerful
reflection, it was concluded that the most urgent need in the Diocese
was nothing but proper community formation both in its ecclesial and
social sense. The Archdiocese of Trivandrum and the Diocese of
Tiruvalla had generously given the services of some of their zealous
and active priests. Thousands of families, besides some prominent
priests came into the full communion of the Catholic Church. Many
Parishes and Mission Stations were opened. Infact, many people from
the Sister Churches requested the Diocese to start the Malankara
Catholic Mission Stations in their locality.
instituted a few departments for the effective realization of the
goals set by the Diocese. There were the departments of Cahtechetics,
Youth, Family and Bible which were instituted in view of forming and
uniting the whole people, namely, children, Youth Men and women, of
the Diocese. The Diocese also gave due importance to its social
commitment, taking seriously the life situation of the people around.
The Diocese chalked out a social programme aimed at promoting the
integral growth of men and women. The Social Service Centre, named
Shreyas, which is the official organ of the Diocese of promoting
justice and fellowship, is instituted in view of creating a more human
and just society, based on Gospel values, through a scientific
programme of mass education, mass mobilization and mass action. The
Diocese also started few educational institutions under the Corporate
Educational Agency of the Dicese to impart a value based education to
the youth in the Diocese irrespective of caste and creed.
After 17 years of inspiring leadership in the Diocese, His Excellency
Mar Baselios left for Trivandrum on December 12, 1995 as he was
appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Head of the
Malankara Catholic Church. His Grace Cyril Mar Baselios took charge of
the Church and of the Archdiocese of Trivandrum on December 14, 1995.
From December 14,
1995 till February 5, 1997 the Diocese was led by Msgr. Thomas
Thannickakuzhy as its Aministrator. On December 18 1996 His Holiness
Pope John Paul II appointed Very Rev. Dr. Varghese Ottathengil, the
then Rector of St. Mary's Malankara Major Seminary, Trivandrum as the
new Bishop of Bathery. Msgr. Varghese Ottathengil was consecrated a
Bishop on February 5, 1996 at Mar Athanasios Nagar, Bathery (St.
Joseph's School Ground) by His Grace Mar Baselios, the Head of the
Malankara Catholic Church.
Nedungatt and Msgr. Thomas Thannickakuzhy served the Diocese as its
Vicar General from 1980-82 and 1984 to 1998 respectively. The Diamond
Jubilee of the Malankara Reunion Movement was celebrated in the
Diocese of Bathery on 20, 21st September 1990 at Sulthan Bathery.
Wladislao Cardinal Rubin, the former Prefect of the Congregation for
the Oriental Churches visited the Diocese on January 9, 1981 and
inaugurated the Pastoral Council and parish Senate in the Diocese.
The Diocese of
Bathery was blessed by the visit of His Eminence Simon D. Cardinal
Lourdusamy, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental
Churches on August 25, 1987.
At present the
Diocese of Bathery comprises the Civil Districts of Wayanad,
Malapppuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod of Kerala, Nilgiris of
Tamil Nadu and Mysore, Mandya, Coorg, Hassan, Chickmangalore, South
Kanara, Uduppi and Shimoga of the Karnataka State.
Districts of the Diocese at present are Bathery, Nilgiris, Nilambur,
Kozhikode, Kannur, South Kanara and Shimoga.
Catholic Bishop's House,
Wayanad Dt., Kerala - 673 592, Kerala, India.
Tel: +91 493 - 620207,
Fax: +91 493 - 62 12 87