I know we all can’t wait for Fr. Varghese to arrive on June 24th! I thought I’d take a moment to introduce you to the part of the world he is from and the way they practice the Catholic Faith.

Fr. Varghese is originally from a town in the state of Kerala, India. Kerala is pronounced “KE-ruh-luh,” and to make the “KE” sound, think of the first sound in the word “kettle.” As a percentage of the population, Kerala has the highest number of Catholics – around 20% of the people who live in Kerala are Catholic. Most of these are not Roman Catholics. Rather, they are Syro-Malabar Catholics.

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church counts more than four million members and traces its roots back to the apostle St. Thomas. You can go to YouTube and search for “Syro-Malabar Qurbana” to see how they celebrate what we call the Mass. It looks and sounds very different from what we are used to!

Catholics in Kerala are very mission-oriented and driven to evangelize. Kerala is the home of the world’s largest seminaries by enrollment, and it would not be uncommon to find a regular diocesan seminary with 200 or 300 students. Additionally, there are many thousands of religious sisters who live in convents all throughout Kerala. Pope Francis recently canonized the first woman from Kerala – St. Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception. Fr. Varghese is likely to have a strong devotion to her, so be sure to look her up online!

Fr. Ryan

























































































































































































































































































































































































































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