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New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main
landmasses Ð that of the North Island, and the South Island, and numerous smaller islands.
The continuous search of Malayalees for better jobs and living standards, have brought them to New Zealand and the migration started
since the year 1999.
Many people have made sincere efforts to provide Syro Malabar migrants in this country with the celebration of the Syro Malabar Qurbana
and other liturgical and cultural activities with the view of their cultural and liturgical identity. Fr. Alex Kapyarumalayil and
Fr. Joseph Akkara CMI, made considerable efforts to bring together Syro Malabar faithful for liturgy and cultural activities.
In February 2006 some members of the Community met Bishop Patrick Dunn, the Bishop of Auckland diocese, and expressed their desire
for a Syro Malabar priest. Knowing the mind of the Church and the aspirations of the people, Bishop Patrick Dunn, the Bishop of
Auckland Diocese, approached the Regional Superior of the Redemptorists, Fr. Peter Brown C.Ss.R. to secure the assistance from the
Syro Malabar Province of the Congregation in India, in taking care of the Syro Malabar faithful in the Diocese of Auckland.
Accordingly, Fr. Alex Viruthkulngara C.Ss.R came in June 2007. He established his residence with the Redemptorists at Glendowie
and moved around making contact with the Syro-Malabar faithful scattered across the metropolitan area. He started regular
Sunday Qurbana and catechism classes and organised family units and also Syro Malabar Mission Council began to cater to the
needs of the Community.
After three years of service, Fr. Alex Viruthankulangara went back to India in June 2010 and Fr. Joy Thottamkara C.Ss.R came in his
place. He zealously continues to cater to the spiritual needs of the Community. Fr Jobin Vanniamparambil become the assistant
chaplain in May 2013.They serve as the parish priest and assistant in Immaculate Conception Parish, Ellerslie.
We have holy Qurbana on every Sunday at 5 pm and every Friday at 7 pm. We have a night vigil on first Fridays of the month from
7 pm to 11 pm. We also celebrate all major feasts of Syro Malabar church such as that of St. Thomas, St. Alphonsa, and feast of
the Assumption with holy Qurbana. We celebrate our parish day and feast in October with 10 days of Rosary and Novena to our
Mother of Perpetual Help. Also on Fridays of lent we have Way of the cross and holy Qurbana. In Holy week we have liturgical
service on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday and we also celebrate Easter. We also have 5 days annual retreat
Structure of SM Mission: There is a community council consisting of 12 members to help the chaplain in the administrative works.
There are around 300 families in Auckland who belong to the Syro Malabar Church. More than 200 of these families attend the holy
Qurbana regularly. These families are subdivided in to different family units (B C C) containing 20 to 30 families and they meet
once in a month in one of the houses for rosary, novena to mother Mary and prayers. Fr. Joy or Fr Jobin attend these prayer meetings
and share the word of the God.
Our Bulletin-Rainbow: The frequent Communication is important from many different angles.Ê It keeps the community in the front
of each member's mind and reminds them that there is value in the community. We have our own website and online bulletin "Rainbow"
for this purpose, which is published once in 3 months.
Participation in Diocesan activities: Our community members actively participate in all the major activities of the diocese
in their respective parishes.
Vincent De Paul society: We have started a unit of the Vincent De Paul Society to help the needy members in our Community
Youth Activities: We have formed a fellowship called Santhom Youth; for youth to develop personality, leadership and to
become role models for the juniors, and take responsibility for the community activities and to develop a positive sense of
About Sunday school: One major area of work of Syro Malabar mission in Auckland is our Sunday school faith formation classes.
We are very proud of our Sunday school which contains 165 children and 13 Volunteer teachers. We conduct classes separately for
every year level from 1 to 12 with proper text books and regular assessments. We conduct half yearly and annual exams and awards
are given for class toppers at the end of the year. Also we give prizes for full attendance. Last year 35 students had 100%
attendance by attending classes on all 40 Sundays. The major programmes of our Sunday school include annual Bible quiz
competition ( a preliminary round written exam and a final round oral exam based on Gospels),Talent fest (stage and literary
competitions based on Biblical themes), study about saints through the programme "To sainthood through Saints".
We start Sunday school on every Sunday at 3.45pm with an assembly and it is led by different classes on each Sunday.
The assembly with a Hymn to Holy Spirit, followed by prayers and Bible reading and end with catechetical pledge.
Also Sunday school children lead the mass on every second Sunday of the month. In October, Sunday school children
lead rosary on Sundays and during the lent Sunday school leads "Way of the cross" on a Friday. We also participate in the
Novena devotions for the feast of our Lady of Velankanny, at Avondale church and lead the mass and rosary.
Conclusion: We thank Bishop Patrick Dunn and the Priests and laity of the Diocese for the support we receive.
We thank the Parish of the Immaculate Conception Ellerslie for making the parish facilities available.
The Establishment of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle Melbourne and the appointment of Bishop Bosco Puthur as
Apostolic Visitator of the Syro Malabar faithful residing in New Zealand is added blessing. We thank Bishop Bosco Puthur for his
pastoral care towards us.
Thank you! God Bless you all!
Jesus proclaimed, "I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance" (Jn 10:10). In the life-giving process, Christ had to go through suffering and death but, which led to the joy of the resurrection. Seeing the risen Lord transformed the lives of the disciples; their grief turned into joy; they become courageous witnesses of the resurrection, ready to lay down their life for the Master. The resurrection experience filled their hearts with joy and hope.
This year we have had wonderful Easter experience. The retreat by Fr. Biju Kunnumpurathu C.Ss.R was a new experience to all and a touching experience. The huge attendance for all our Holy Week services surprised many. I thank the SM Mission council and all who worked hard to make Easter programmes a big success. I congratulate our year 12 Sunday school students who received diploma certificate on Easter Day. Let the risen Lord continue to inspire us. May our hearts be filled with the joy and hope of the Resurrection.
I wish you all Happy Easter.
May the Risen Christ bless you with His Peace and Joy.
Fr. Joy Thottamkara C.Ss.R.