The Southern Cross : November 2012
November 2012 Page 9 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross news | The Adelaide Archdiocese has appointed a temporary chaplain for the Syro-Malabar community in Adelaide -- the first appointment of its kind -- as the head of the Oriental (Eastern Rite) Catholic Church group makes Australian Church history with his inaugural visit later this month. His Beatitude Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, will commence a pastoral visit to Australia in Sydney on November 26 before reaching Adelaide on December 6. It is the first ever pastoral visit by the Head of the Syro-Malabar Church to Australia. Cardinal Alencherry will celebrate Mass at St Francis Xavier's Cathedral at 7pm on December 6 before returning to India. "I am very excited to visit with some of the 10,000 Syro-Malabar families spread across Australia," said Cardinal Alencherry in a statement last month. The Syro-Malabar Church is an Oriental (Eastern Rite) Catholic Church in full Communion with the Church of Rome. It is the second largest of the 22 Oriental Catholic Churches with over four million believers worldwide. In September, Adelaide Vicar General Father Philip Marshall appointed Fr Francis Perumaden OFM Cap, from Newton Parish, as temporary chaplain to the Adelaide Syro-Malabar community. Fr Perumaden (pictured) said the local Syro-Malabar community was growing as more Indians migrated to Australia. He said the Adelaide group consisted of about 400 families. Fr Perumaden celebrates Mass in Malayalam (the language of south India) three times a month at the parishes of Salisbury, Croydon Park and St Ann's (St Bernadette's Church, St Marys). In 2010, it was announced that the pastoral needs of the Syro-Malabar community in Australia would be served by the establishment of a National Pastoral Care process. Cardinal Alencherry was invited to visit Australia by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and the Syro-Malabar community, and during his time in Australia will meet with members of the ACBC and local communities. A permanent chaplain for the Adelaide diocese will be announced soon. Chaplain for growing Indian community A cairn using the original stone of the convent built by Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop was unveiled by the Mitcham Council last month to commemorate the canonisation of Australia's first saint. The unveiling on October 24 was attended by Lady Mary Downer, State Provincial Leader of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Sister Marion Gambin, Josephite nuns, Vicar Gerenal Father Philip Marshall, and State member for Waite Martin Hamilton-Smith. The stack of blue stone rocks, on Muggs Hill Rd, marks the historical relevance of the site to Mary MacKillop and her place in Mitcham's history books. St Mary MacKillop was able to build a convent and cemetery for her growing order on a property facing Muggs Hill Rd after Robert and Joanna Barr Smith transferred the land in 1881 to the sisters for five shillings. A second cairn has been built on nearby Maitland St -- the original site of Our Lady of Dolores Church St Joseph's School (now at Kingswood) and the Catholic women's refuge where many women were cared for by the sisters. Mitcham Mayor Michael Picton said: "The City of Mitcham is very proud of its history and heritage and we hope that the two cairns will reflect to the community the work of St Mary MacKillop and also her strong connection with Mitcham. With these cairns comes validation, recognition and acknowledgement of our place in a very special history and we trust that both the local and wider community will take the time to enjoy them." Mary MacKillop was canonised on October 17, 2010, at St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Mitcham marks Mary's presence IMMORTALISED: St Joseph's School students (L-R) Anais Elphick, Jack Cousins, Michael Morrow, Sonia Dahdah, Nick Cousins and Bernard Panozzo with the carin marking Mary MacKillop's prescence in Mitcham, and left, Lady Mary Downer, Mayor Picton and Sr Marion Gambin at the unveiling.