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The Two Founders of the CMI Congregation?

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AP 112 - The Two Founders of the CMI Congregation?
Call Number

AP 112

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title The Two Founders of the CMI Congregation?
Duration 10:47
Place of Recording Library of Sacred Heart Monastry, Chettipuzha, Kerala
Date of Recording 1 Aug , 2018
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)



The Two Founders of the CMI Congregation?

This conversation is a corrective to the current narrative about the origin of the CMI Congregation. We are lucky to have Rev. Dr. Thomas Kalayil, CMI, a retired professor at Dharmaram Vidya Kshethram. The conversation is based on historical documents that highlight the role of Palackal Thoma Malpan (circa 1780-1841) and Porukkara Thoma Malpan (1800-1846) in the founding of a new religious congregation in India. Both venerable priests were personal friends, yet had different ideas about the nature and goal of religious life. Because of their sanctity, they ironed out their differences and went to seek permission from the Bishop (Maurilius Stabilini, 1777-1857), who advised them to take a different route. The fact is that these two holy priests are the original founding fathers. That fact was well known and celebrated a hundred years during the centenary celebration of the Congregation, in 1931. In the 1950s, however, the narrative changed to expedite the canonization process of Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871), a protégé of Palackal Thoma Malpan. Fr. Kalayil, an intellectually honest scholar, was candid when he said that the CMI leaders “manipulated” historical facts to serve their goals. We thank Dr. Kalayil for his honest appraisal. We hope this will help future historians of the CMI Congregation. See also

Joseph J. Palackal CMI
New York
13 December 2018

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