The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an East Syrian Rite, Major Archiepiscopal Church in full communion with the Catholic Church and traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century.. The Syro- Malabar Church is the second largest in number among twenty two Eastern Churches with a total population of 40 lac faithful. It is a Major Archiepiscopal Church with a Synodal structure. The Synod is the supreme legislative and judicial authority in the Church. The Major Archbishop is the father and head of this Church. As the father and head of the Church, the Major Archbishop must be solicitous not only for the faithful of his Church in the proper territory, but also for the migrants scattered all over the world. He enjoys certain rights and duties towards the faithful who belong to his Church no matter wherever they stay . He exercises his pastoral authority in the Church with the help of various Commissions The Commissions are erected by the Major Archbishop, constituted of persons chosen by him and are governed by norms established by him

St. Thomas the Apostle landed at Kodungalloor (Muziris) in 52 A. D. and established Christian communities in different parts of India and died at Mylapur in 72 A. D. According to tradition, he founded seven churches or communities in Kerala; at Kodungalloor, Niranam, Kollam, Chayal, Kottakkavu (North Paravur), Kokkamangalam and Palayoor.

Metropolitan Archeparchies:

The believers of the church are organized under 5 Archdioceses.

1) Metropolitan Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly

2) Metropolitan Archeparchy Changanassery

3) Metropolitan Archeparchy of Kottayam

4) Metropolitan Archeparchy of Tellicherry

5) Metropolitan Archeparchy of Thrissur

There are 29 eparchies. Five of them are Archeparchies at present – Ernakulam-Angamaly, Changanacherry, Trichur, Tellicherry and Kottayam.

There are other 13 eparchies:

1) Bhadravathi

2) Belthangady

3) Irinjalakuda

4) Kanjirapally

5) Kothamangalam

6) Idukki

7) Mananthavady

8) Mandya

9) Palai

10) Palghat

11) Ramanathapuram

12) Thamarassery

13) Thuckalay

within the proper territory of the Major Archiepiscopal Church. There are 11 eparchies outside Kerala

1) Adilabad

2) Bijnor

3) Chanda

4) Gorakhpur

5) Jagdalpur

6) Kalyan

7) Rajkot

8) Sagar

9) Satna

10) Ujjain

11) St. Thomas Eparchy of Chicago in the United States of America In the very first meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, held from 20 to 25 May 1993 at the residence of Mar Antony Padiyara, the then Major Archbishop, at Ernakulam under the chairmanship of Archbishop Abraham Kattumana, the Pontifical Delegate to the Syro-Malabar Church, decision was taken to constitute the Major Archiepiscopal Commission for the Evangelization and Pastoral Care of the Migrants. This Commission was constituted to assist the Major Archbishop of the Church in carrying out his responsibilities towards the Syro-Malabar migrant faithful outside the proper territory of the Syro Malabar Church in India and aboard and to animate and co-ordinate the evangelizing mission of the Church. The same Synod elected Bishop Mar Gregory Karotemprel CMI as the Chairman and Bishops Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil (Pala) and Mar Paul Chittilapilly (Kalyan) as members of the Commission. (Synodal News, No. 1, August 1993, pp 6-7, Synodal News, No. 6, May 1995, p. 41).