(Note: Our friend Chacko Kalarikal, in Detroit, a well-known author, writer and speaker on Matters Syro-Malabar Churh is organizing a teleconference on Aug.25th 9 p.m. For details pease read below. All interested are cordially welcome to join. Contact number for james kottoor is: 847 827 8072. We wish participants a very fruitfuil discussion. james kotoor, editor ccv)
A group of Syro-Malabar faithful is in the process of establishing an independent not-for-profit organization in the United States of America. The current resurgence of interest in independent lay organization suggests that the time is ripe to explore what has happened to Syro-Malabar Catholic immigrants in America.
For at least a thousand years, lay Catholics have organized themselves into associations, confraternities, guilds and prayer groups, with and without official blessing of the Church. It is clear that many lay Catholics are seeking a broader role in the life of the church. In 1943 Pope Pius XII embraced this theology in an encyclical, Mystici Corporis (The Mystical Body), where he wrote that laypeople "ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the church, but of being the church." Vatican II proclaimed that the concept of Church as the people of God. Therefore, the apostolate of the laity is indispensable to the life and mission of the Church to spread the kingdom of God. The right and duty of laypeople to be engaged in the apostolate flows from their union with Christ in baptism and confirmation.
In that spirit in mind, years back when there was no Syro-Malabar diocese for the Indian immigrants of Syro-Malabar Rite in the United States, the faithful themselves organized and established a lay organization called Syro-Malabar Catholic Congress (SMCC). The hard work of that organization was one of the reasons to erect a diocese in Chicago for the Syro-Malabarians. A few years after the establishment of the diocese and many parishes were erected with the imported Syro-Malabar priests from Kerala, SMCC became the rubber-stamp of the hierarchy. Now the vast majority of the Syro-Malabar faithful exhaust their energies arguing internal conflicts and issues. It is all the more difficult to find common ground. They are deserted. Now they are more inclined to give voice to their desires for and disappointments with the Syro-Malabar hierarchy in Chicago.
The new organization, Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Reform Movement (SMCCRM) will not be under the administration of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar diocese of Chicago. It will be an independent not-for-profit organization. We hope however, that the diocesan authorities will realize the importance of such a lay organization and will recognize by giving due respect and mutual understanding.
As an initial step to organize SMCCRM there will be a teleconference. The details are given below. All are welcome to attend the Teleconference.
August 25, Friday evening 9 PM (Eastern Standard Time – New York Time).
Moderator: Mr. A. C. George
Please call preferably from your home land phone to enter the teleconference number: 1-712-770-4160. On prompt enter access code 605988#
Please see your time zone and enter the teleconference accordingly.
Time: Evening- 9 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
9:00 PM Eastern time
8:00 PM Central time
7:00 PM Mountain time
6:00 PM Pacific time
For more information, please contact: Chacko Kalarickal (586-601-5195) and Jose Kalliduckil (773-943-0416)