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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Britain’s first Syro-Malabar bishop ordained in front of 12,000-strong crowd in Preston – CatholicHerald.co.uk (corrected)

Britain’s Syro-Malabar community has taken a major step forward with the ordination of its first bishop.
In a ceremony attended by over 12,000 people, Cardinal George Alencherry, the Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, ordained Mar Joseph Srampickal.

The ordination took place at at Preston North End’s stadium, Deepdale. The eparchy – an area under a bishop, equivalent to a diocese in the Latin church – has been given a cathedral in Preston, the historic Church of St Ignatius, which is now the Cathedral of St Alphonsa.

The Syro-Malabar rite Catholic community, one of the Eastern Catholic churches, originates in India. It traces its origins back to St Thomas the Apostle. Nearly 40,000 Syro-Malabar rite Catholics live in England, Scotland and Wales, served by 23 priests.

Bishop Srampickal, whose title is now Bishop of the Eparchy of Preston of Great Britain of the Syro-Malabar Church, was born in India and was previously vice-rector of Propaganda Fide College in Rome

The Lancashire Evening Post reported that some attendees came from as far as Australia. Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster was one of the co-consecrators. The Catholic Church of England & Wales was represented by the bishops, clergy and parishioners of nearby Latin Catholic dioceses, principally the Archbishop of Liverpool. Also present was the bishop of Britain's other eparchy for Eastern Catholics - the eparchy of the Holy Family of London for the Ukrainian Greek Catholics - Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, and Msgr Keith Newton Prot Ap, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Thus it was fitting that the Image of Our Lady of Walsingham, to whom the British Syro-Malabar faithful have a great pilgrimage devotion, had been brought by Mgr John Armitage, rector of the Basilica at Walsingham. Prior to his ordination, Bishop Joseph venerated this Image, as well as that of St Thomas and St Alphonsa, and also the relics which included those of Blessed John Henry Newman.

At the end of the Holy Qurbana, celebrated by Bishop Joseph in the presence of the Catholicos-Archbishop following his ordination, the new eparch was enthroned, receiving greetings from the Apostolic Nuntiature, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, the Mayor of the City of Preston and HM Deputy Lieutenant.

The above is a corrected version of the following Catholic Herald report: Britain’s first Syro-Malabar bishop ordained in front of 12,000-strong crowd in Preston – CatholicHerald.co.uk

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