The immigrants of the Knanaya Catholics to the United States have organized in different metropolitan cities for religious and cultural programs. To have Malayalam SyroMalabar liturgy, they contacted His Excellency Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry, the then Bishop of Kottayam to send priests to offer spiritual services for the Knanaya people. With his encouragement, the people contacted the Latin bishops of the place to start Knanaya Missions served by priests from the Diocese of Kottayam. Some of the Latin bishops were generous to honor the request for starting Knanaya missions. The pastoral arrangements in the Latin Dioceses continued until the establishment of the SyroMalabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago on July 1, 2001.
The following were the nine missions in existence before the formation of the St. Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago: Chicago (1983), Brooklyn, NY (1993), West Chester & Bronx, NY (1993), Houston (1994), Dallas (1996), Newark, New Jersey (1996), Rockland, NY (1996), Philadelphia (1999) and San Jose (2000).
With the establishment of the St. Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago, all the Knanaya Catholic Missions in the U.S. fall under this diocese. His Excellency Mar Jacob Angadiath appointed Rev. Fr. Abraham Mutholath on October 3, 2001 as the Syncellus (Vicar General) of the Eparchy. Bishop sent his official acceptance letter of missions on October 29, 2003 and asked the mission directors to continue their service in the missions.
Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath established Knanaya Catholic Region in the diocese on April 30, 2006. Fr. Abraham Mutholath, the Vicar General of the diocese was appointed as the director of this region. This region consists of all the Knanaya Catholic missions, parishes, and all Knanaya Catholic faithful living within the boundary of the St. Thomas SyroMalabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago. Hence, the Vicar General for the Knanaya Catholics shall be the proper pastor of all the Knanaya Catholics in the diocese and the knanaya people of those areas where there is no knanaya mission or parish. All the pastoral activities of the Knanaya Catholics in the diocese are coordinated through the vicar general assigned for the Knanaya Catholics. Mar Jacob Angadiath appointed Rev. Fr. Thomas Mulavanal as Syncellus (Vicar General) of the St. Thomas SyroMalabar Diocese of Chicago and the director of knanaya region of the Diocese with effect from February 08, 2014.
On February 28, 2015 Bishop Jacob Angadiath raised 5 parishes (S. H Church- Chicago, St. Mary’s church-Houston, S. H. Church-Tampa, St. Stephen’s Church-New York, St. Mary’s Church-San Jose) of the Knanaya Region as Forane Churches in the Syro Malabar Diocese of Chicago. At present, we have 9 missions and 12 parishes including five Forane parishes in the region served by 15 priests from the Archdiocese of Kottayam and two other Knanaya Catholic Priests providing pastoral care for more than 28,000 Knanaya Catholic people.