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Diocesan History

Alvares Mar Julius started the Brahmawar Mission at Karnataka in 1888. This mission was started in order to give spiritual leadership and to help them to learn liturgy and catechism of the Church for those people newly joined to the Orthodox Church from the surrounding regions. He was the shepherd of over 5000 faithfuls in Brahmawar who bestowed their allegiance to him.

After organizing the community under the able guidance of the Arch Bishop they started the Malankara Syrian Worship and Qurbana. While expanding the services and mission of the Brahmawar Mission, Mar Julius requested help and support to the then Malankara Metropolitan Pulikkottil Thirumeni for appointing a missionary to Brahmawar. Mar Dionysius selected a very dynamic and successful evangelist and orator Rev. Dn. K.J. Alexander Kanianthra to help Mar Julius in the mission work at Brahmawar. Because of his marriage at the age of 20 years to a very young girl of 11 years, the Deacon was also yearning for an out-of-home work. [This type of child marriage was standard prevailing custom in Kerala that time] So Dn. Alexander eagerly accepted the work and went to Brahmawar in 1903 to commence his mission work there. [The first lap of the journey of Dn. K.J. Alexander Kanianthra by all modes of travel including bullock cart was reported in the Malayala Manorama in 1903] Dn. Alexander was a matriculate from S.B. College, Changanacherry. According to the wishes of the community and his family, he was ordained as a Deacon by H.H. St. Gregorios of Parumala. Further, he joined old Seminary, Kottayam and started learning Syriac and Theology. Dn. Alexander started publishing a magazine on behalf of the Church called Suviseshakan. To increase circulation and to pursue evangelical work he used to visit and deliver sermons at almost all Parishes in Travancore. In 1902 Dn. Alexander married Achiamma, daughter of Shri Chandy Kunju Marett. [Quoted by Prof. Joseph K. Alexander & Achamma Ammini Joseph] It is this school that has eventually bloomed into a College. Currently there is one Degree College, one Junior College, two U.P School, one English Medium School functioning here. The liturgical services conducted here are in Malayalam, Konkani and Kannada.

As part of the Brahmavar Mission there are 5 Churches, which belong to the Madras diocese. Now Rev. Fr. Lazer of Pathanapuram Dayara is in charge of the Institutions at Brahmawar. As the Anglican Bishop of Bombay gave Dn. Alexander a scholarship to study theology at the Bishops College, Calcutta, the Deacon had proceeded to Calcutta for his theological studies. When the St. Johns Church at Mepral was re-opened and Vicar Kanianthra Vathapallil Achen was too old to do the ecclesiastical services, Dn. Alexander was recalled from Calcutta by the Parishners. Thus, the deacon had to return from Calcutta in 1911 without completing his studies. He came to Manglore and Archbishop Alvares Mar Julius ordained him as a priest in 1911. While at Brahmawar, one Fr. Noronha a Manglorian was his friend and a coworker in the mission field. Many years later Fr. Alexander revisited Brahmawar and God willed so, because that was the date on which his friend Fr. Naronha died. Fr. Norona went and established an out-post of his mission in Thiruchirappally. When this writer was a student there in St. Josephs College (1944-48), he visited this small community and their Church. The old priest of that time was another Fr. Norohna who knew this old Fr. Narona. One Mr. Ponniah owner of Ponniah School was a rich member of this community. Later Pathanapuram Dayara purchased the Ponniah School from him.

Archbishop Mar Alvares had ordained two priests and a deacon from Travancore-Cochin area for Malankara Church. Besides Rev. Fr. Kanianthra Joseph Alexander, Rev. Fr. Lukose of Kannamkottu and Rev.Dn. David Kunnamkulam were the ones ordained by Mar Alvares. Fr. Kanianthra Joseph later became a Cor-Episcopa and was the Vicar General [from 1949 till his death in 1955] of the Niranam Diocese of late Thoma Mar Dionysius of Malankara Orthodox Church. [In 1892, Archbishop Mar Alvares consecrated an American Priest, Joseph Rene Vilatte, a native from Paris, who was titled as Mar Timotheus, Archbishop for the Church of the Mother of God in Wisconsin of the Archdiocese in America, with consent of Jacobite Patriarch H.H. Peter III of Monastery of Sapran at Mardin of the border of Syria and Kurdistan.]

Bishop Mar Alvares was living in the Arch Bishop Palace in Brahmawar and serving the people till 1913. In 1913, he left Brahmawar and went back to Goa for the reason which is unknown. He had to suffer a lot of persecution at the hands of the Portuguese. He spent the rest of his life for collecting food for the poor people in Goa. His Grace Entered into eternal abode on 23rd September, 1923 at Ribandar, Panji, Goa and interred mortal remains in Goa. It is true that some research at the initiatives of late H.G. Philipose Mar Theophilus and H.H. Basalios Marthoma Mathews I prompted Rev. Fr. K.M. George and Rev. Fr. T.E. Issac, the then parish priest at Goa, to fish out the location of the burial. The tomb of Alvares Mar Julius was discovered on January 1, 1967 from St. Inex Municipal Cemetery, Panji, Goa by H.G. Mathews Mar Athanasios. The Holy Relics were translated from St.Inex Cemetery to St. Marys Orthodox Church, Panji by Philipos Mar Theophilus on October 5, 1979 .

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BRAHMAWAR DIOCESE

Office : Mount Horeb Bishop’s House
Door No. 3E9-746/3, Vivekananda IInd Cross Road,
Nanthoor, Mangalore - 575005
Ph: 0824 2210018 & 09483530018