• April 12, 2024

Parish History

The St. Thomas Forane Church: A Beacon of Faith and Community Service in Bangalore

In the heart of Bangalore, a story of faith, dialogue, and community service unfolds with the establishment of the St. Thomas Forane Church, a landmark that not only serves as a spiritual home for the Syro-Malabar Catholic community but also stands as a testament to perseverance, unity, and philanthropy.

The Genesis of a Sacred Space

The journey began in 1978, amidst conversations between Dharmaram Theology College and the Archdiocese of Bangalore. Initially hesitant, the Archdiocese later welcomed the idea, spurred by the pastoral needs of the Syro-Malabar Catholics. This dialog led to the establishment of a parish that would later become a cornerstone for the community in Bangalore.

After years of discussions and with support from ecclesiastical authorities, the dream materialized. In 1983, St. Thomas parish was inaugurated at Dharmaram College, marking the first Syro-Malabar church within the ecclesial territory of the Archdiocese of Bangalore. The early days saw the Holy Eucharist and other pastoral activities being held at the college chapel, laying the foundation for a vibrant parish life.

Building Community and Space

The narrative of St. Thomas Forane Church is one of growth and generosity. The Dharmaram community’s donation of land paved the way for the construction of not just a chapel and parish office but also a multi-purpose auditorium. This space, completed in 1990, became a hub for religious functions and community events, embodying the spirit of collaboration and support that defines the parish.

A Monument of Faith and Service

The latter part of the 1990s witnessed the construction of a monumental church, a project that saw wholehearted support from the community, trustees, and benefactors. Blessed in 1998, the church stands as a beacon of faith and a center for spiritual nourishment.

The elevation of St. Thomas Parish to a Forane Church in 1999 further cemented its role as a leading spiritual center, under the guidance of a succession of dedicated vicars. Today, the church not only serves as a place of worship but also as a community center, fostering socio-cultural and charitable initiatives.

A Hub of Charitable and Social Engagement

St. Thomas Forane Church is a testament to the power of community and faith in action. With over 1,300 registered families and numerous active laity organizations, the church is a vibrant center for social, cultural, and charitable works. Organizations such as the St. Vincent De Paul Society and the Cherupushpa Mission League are just a few examples of the parish’s commitment to service.

A notable initiative is ‘St. Chavara Krupalaya,’ a trust established to support the underprivileged, showcasing the church’s dedication to societal well-being. This institution, managed by the FDSHJ Sisters, provides care to those in need, embodying the church’s mission of service and compassion.

A Legacy of Growth and Faith

Over three decades, St. Thomas Forane Church has not only grown in numbers but also in its impact on the community and beyond. The church’s journey from a modest beginning to a beacon of faith and service in Bangalore is a testament to the strength of the Syro-Malabar Catholic community’s faith, resilience, and commitment to serving others.

As the church continues to thrive, it remains a symbol of hope, unity, and service, embodying the values of the Syro-Malabar Catholic tradition and its role in enriching the spiritual and social fabric of Bangalore.