VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has established an apostolic exarchate, the precursor to a diocese, for Syro-Malabar Catholics in Canada and has named their current Toronto-based chaplain, Father Jose Kalluvelil, a bishop and head of the exarchate.
Announcing the appointment Aug. 6, the Vatican said about 9,000 faithful of the India-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church live in Canada. They are served by 15 priests, three of whom belong to religious orders.
The new exarchate will be based in Mississauga, Ontario, near Toronto.
When the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle was created in Chicago in 2001, St. John Paul II entrusted to the bishop also the pastoral care of the church’s members in Canada.
Bishop-designate Kalluvelil, 59, was born in Thottuva, India, and ordained to the priesthood in 1984. After working in parishes and schools in the Eparchy of Palghat, India, he became director of catechesis and earned a doctorate in catechetical theology from the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome. He has ministered in Canada since 2013.