The S.M.A. continues its association with India at Wilton Parish, Cork.

The Indian Community of the Syro-Malabar Rite

SMA Parish, Wilton, Cork 

The Indian Community of the Syro-Malabar Rite – Palm Sunday Procession 2017


Since 2006 the SMA Parish in Wilton has been host to the Indian community of the Syro-Malabar Rite. Every Sunday the community holds its liturgy under the leadership of Fr. Sebastian Arackal who recently arrived from India.

Fr Sebastian celebrates Palm Sunday Mass

Welcoming the Indian community to Wilton Parish, Cork, offered the Society of African Missions the opportunity to continue the journey of friendship which our founder, Bishop Melchior de Marion Brésillac, began on 24 July 1842 when he first arrived in Pondicherry, India.

During Easter week 2017 the community shared with us wonderful evidence of their vibrancy, youthfulness and strength as they turned out in force for their Easter program.  Their ceremonies were rich with symbolic rituals, music and reverence, drawn from a Christian tradition that is older than Ireland’s. 

Under the guidance of Fr. Sebastian and community

Fr Sebastian carries the Risen Christ, Easter Sunday Procession

leaders they have provided us with other dimensions to our spiritual world and the vibrant richness of the whole Christian family. Members co-operate with our parish fund raising program and the youth are prepared to share their musical talents at our regular Sunday services.

The accompanying pictures display something of the qualities and diversity of this vibrant community.  The community has its own website.  It can be accessed via our parish web site – and by clicking on the Syro-Malabar icon.

Fr. Michael O’Leary, SMA

Editors Note:

Eastern Icon of St. Thomas the Apostle

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Christianity was, according to tradition, introduced to India by St. Thomas the Apostle in AD 52, who founded seven Christian communities in southern India. From the early centuries of Christianity the Church of St. Thomas Christians came into communication with Christian communities of the Church of the East. From at least the 4th Century until the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 15th Century, the Bishops of the Church of Malabar were sent from the East Syrian Church, appointed by the Patriarch of the Church of the East.

For readers who might be interested in learning more about the Syro-Malabar Rite they may access a comprehensive Wikipedia essay, with several related links, by clicking here.


Previous articleThe Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, Nairobi, Kenya
Next articleProphesy or Prejudice? The plight of Nigeria’s Christians