“In several meetings since the priests’ Sanctification day on June 28, 1984, the priests of the Archeparchy of Kottayam have prayerfully considered the signs of our times with regard to the pastoral and missionary needs of this Eparchy, of its emigrants and of the church Universal. The general opinion of these meetings was in favour of instituting a Missionary Society of Priests with the object of spreading God’s Kingdom through pastoral and missionary ministries in India and abroad, ever continuing the zeal of the Knanaya pioneers of the missionary expedition from Syria to Malankara in A.D.345,and fanning its flames to cope with the missionary exigencies of our times.” (Decree No. 4B/85, 06-01-1985)
The church in Kerala traces its origin from St. Thomas the Apostle of Christ in the 1st century itself. In AD 345 by the arrival of Thomas of Kynai with the immigrants from the Middle East, the church of Kerala received a religious leadership and a liturgical set up with Syrian liturgy. Ever since the Knanaya Kudiyettam, for the last 16 centuries the knanaya Community kept their endogamy and tried to keep their identity, and at the same time they were cooperating and supporting the other Christians of Kerala. In the historical growth of syro Malabar Church during the past years, the erection of Kottayam Vicariate for the suddistic Community was a landmark. By the bull of Pope Pius X “In universi christiani” the Bishop of Kottayam was entrusted with the personal jurisdiction over the suddistic community inside the Syro Malabar Church.
“Let them (Diocesan priests) show themselves ready, and when the occasion presents itself, let them with a willing heart offer the bishop their services forsaken areas of their own diocese or of other dioceses…In order that this missionary zeal may flourish among those in their own homeland. It is very fitting that the young churches should participate as soon as possible in the universal missionary work of the Church, and send their own missionaries to proclaim the Gospel all over the world, even though they themselves are suffering from a shortage of clergy. For their communion with the universal Church will be somehow brought to perfection when they themselves take an active part in missionary zeal toward other nations.”
As per this direction of Council II in the Decree Ad Gentes No. 20 Missionary Society aims at spreading of God’s kingdom through pastoral and missionary ministries in India and abroad:
The Society is keen on giving personal, spiritual, doctrinal and pastoral formation to the members. Students are admitted after an year of initiation, SSLC students will go for higher Secondary Classes. Before going to the Major Seminary they have to pass three year degree course. In the beginning of Major Seminary Course they have to make temporary promises. After philosophy there may be a year of regency and before theology courses they make the final promise. As far as possible the society will try to give missionary orientation to students, and on-going formation.
There are 63 priest members, 18 major seminarians, 11 degree students and 30 minor seminarians.
The members of society had offered their service in Rajkot Diocese in Gujarath, Kohima Diocese in Assam etc. for several years. At present priest members are working in Europe, America and in Australia. We are looking forward for further missionary openings in and out side India.
St. Pius X, the Second patron of the Archdiocese of Kottayam, is the patron of MSP society.
Archbishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry is the founder of MSP society