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St. John’s Metropolitan Cathedral

A brief History

        The Marthoma Christians of Kerala divided themselves into the new (Puthenkoottukar) and old (Pazhayakoottukar) groups after a pledge which took place on 3rd January 1653. Many initiatives were taken for a reunion. But these attempts came to fruition only during 1930. The Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church decided to reunite with the Roman See. Archbishop Geevarghese Mar Ivanios who was called M. A. Achen was deputed for this mission. But a case was pending in the court and it so happened that the table turned in favour of the Methran group.
         Many persons took their steps back from a reconciliation attempt because of the unfavorable judgment. But Aboon Mar Ivanios and His Excellency Yakob Mar Theophilos stood on their grounds firmly and reunited with the Catholic Church. They gave up the churches and other institutions which were instituted by themselves. They faced many difficulties from their Orthodox authority in order to make the reunion possible. Thus the need for a chapel or at least the land for its constructions was in dive need.
         Rev. Fr. Dominic Thottassery of the Changanassery diocese had purchased a land near the Thiruvalla Govt. Hospital. Bishop Moony who later became the Cardinal laid the foundation stone for a church in this land on the 28th of October 1926. The South- East pillar of the old Cathedral was built upon this stone. Bethany Chackochen by his tireless efforts obtained a plot from a Nair family on lease for a period of 3 years on the 11th September 1930. These were times of trials, bottlenecks and challenges. It was a herculean job to obtain permission from the municipality. What followed was a history of disappointment experiences and restless labour.
        Finally there were silver lines in the dark sky, we should remember with gratitude, the unstinching labour offered by the Catholic students of the nearby Malayalam school and the young believers of places like Paippad and Laikkad. Rev. Fr. Abraham OIC offered the first Holy Mass on 12th of September 1930. On the 20th of the same month, to be precise, a milestone in the history of the Catholic Church was laid. It was the reunion of Archbishop Mar Ivanios Metropolitan, His Excellency Yakob Mar Theophilos, Rev. Fr. John OIC, Dn. Alexander and Mr. Kililethu Chackochen. This seemed to be a dream which turned into a reality with this reunion. On the same year a shrine in the name of St. George was constructed on the road side near the old Church. 

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