Our Church History

With the approval and blessings of His Eminence Mor Athanasius Y. Samauel, (Late Lamented Archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada), Rev. Fr. John Jacob (H.E. Dr. Yuhanon Mor Philexinos) who at the time did not have other encumbrances to avail time, did the groundwork for the organization of this parish. His Emminence Archbishop Mor Athanasius Y. Samuel celebrated the first Holy Eucharist for this parish on January 14, 1979 with the assistance of Rev. Fr. George P. Kocheril (First Vicar), Rev. Fr. John P. Meno and Rev. Fr. John Jacob in the presence of a large gathering of the faithful at Fort George Presbyterian Church, St. Nicholas Avenue at 186th st. Manhattan, New York. In the meeting that followed, the Archbishop prayed for the bright future for the church and gave his paternal blessings. All the reverend priests and deacons present spoke and wished the best for the church.

Rev. Dr. George P. Kocheril in his address presented an analysis of the spiritual needs of the faithful of this country and carved out a plan for the structured growth of this Parish.In the first general body meeting of this infant Parish on March 25, 1979, Rev Dr. George P. Kocheril was unanimously elected vicar and President of the Parish. The services of Rev. Fathers John Jacob and P.M. Punnose were secured as associate vicars. These resolutions were subsequently approved by H.E. Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel. The Parish was fortunate in having services of three reverend deacons at the time. (Rev. Dn. Eapen Ezhamalil, Rev. Dn. David Cheruthotil and Rev. Dn. Paulose T. Peter.) The Late Very Rev. Dr. K.M. Simon generously supported the activities of the Parish.The formal dedication ceremony of the Parish was conducted on September 9, 1979 at the Interchurch Center- Riverside Drive, Manhattan, New York with Late H.B. Mor Baselius Paulose II as the Chief celebrant during his apostolic visit to the United States of America.For the first few months after the initiation, the Parish was holding twice-a-month services at the Ft. George Presbyterian Church. Later, as the faithful desired to have Holy Liturgy services every Sunday, the Parish made a move to the Holy Rood Church at Ft. Washington Avenue at 179th st. Manhattan, New York on November 11, 1979 for better covenience.

The church grew from 18 families to 64 families. In 1987, Rev. Fr. George P. Kocheril was elevated to Corepicsopos by Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel and the same day Mr. Mathew Thomas and Mr. N.K. Ittenpillai were ordained Korooyos. Dn. Mathew Thomas and Dn. N.K. Ittenpillai assisted Rev. Dr. George P. Kocheril with his pastoral duties. In 1988 Rev Fr. Mundackal I Varkey came to our parish and shouldered a good share of pastoral responsibilities. The number of church parishioners was growing quickly and it was time to find a church for convenience. On the basis of distance and convenience of the faithful, two service centers were opened, one in Rockland with pastoral services by Rev. Fr. Varkey Mundackal and the other in Queens with the pastoral services by Rev. Dr. George P. Kocheril. These two centers were inaugurated by H.G. Thomas Mor Dionysius (H.B. Baselios Thomas I). Rev. Fr. P.M. Gheevarghese joined the parish as an associate vicar and continued the services at the Holy Rood Church, Manhattan. Services at the Holy Rood Church continued until the end of February 1992. A major decision was taken to part membership to two groups at the end of February 1992 on a permanant basis for the convenience of location of service. Accordingly, services started in Rockland County at Tompkin’s Cove and parishioners from the Queens and Long Island area continued their services at the Zion Episcopal Church (Douglaston, New York).

On November 19, 1993, the day the we had dreamed had finally arrived. The parishioners acquired a church building in Lynbrook, New York from the Church of Christ Scientists, and started worship services on December 5, 1993 with the leadership of Very Rev. Dr. George P. Kocheril. The church went under major constructions and renovations and was finally completed in January of 1995. On January 14, 1995 the church had its formal consecration ceremony celebrated by H.E. Zachariah Mor Nicholovos (Former Archbishop of Malankara Archdiocese from 1993-2001). The church continued its services with the outstanding pastoral leadership of Very Rev. Dr. George P. Kocheril.On June 15, 1999 the church was hit with bad news of the sudden death of our beloved vicar Very Rev. Dr. George P. Kocheril. We thank God the Almighty for giving us the opportunity of having Very Rev. Dr. George P. Kocheril as our beloved VIcar.After the sudden death of our beloved vicar, the church unanimously elected Rev. Fr. Mathai Puthukunnath as the Vicar. Fr. Mathai continued pastoral services and his strong leadership till the end of September of 2002. In October of 2002, H.E. Mathew Mor Ivanios (Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America from 2002-2004) then appointed Rev. Fr. Rajan K. Peter as the new vicar of St. Mary’s. With Fr. Rajan’s devout leadership, the church continues to grow spiritually.Above all, God, the Almighty Father has protected us and blessed us all through the years and we pray for His continued blessings for the years to come……