St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church was established in 2006 as a result of the initiative of a small number of Keralites who had been living and working in Galway for some time. Fr. Paul Njaliath was the first chaplain to the Community. He was based in Dublin and travelled from Dublin to Galway to minister to the Galway Community. The Community gathered every third Wednesday of the month at the Sacred Heart Church, Westside Galway for the Eucharistic Celebration. The then Parish Priest Msgr. Malachy Hallinan was extremely supportive and generous to the Indian Community and the Community will be always eternally grateful for all he did for us as a group.
In the beginning, there were 100 to 150 families in the community, but later the numbers fell off considerably because the recession in the Irish economy resulted in the departure of many families to Australia. In 2012 Fr. Paul Njaliath completed his term of ministry in Ireland and returned home to India and Fr. Jaison Kuthanapillil O. Carm (a member of the Carmelite Community in Moate, Co. Westmeath) took over the position of chaplain of the Community. Fr. Jaison together with the Galway Community decided to change the monthly mass and catechism from the Wednesday to the third Sunday of the month. These changes eventually helped the Community to grow from strength to strength.
Today, the Galway Mass Centre is made up of roughly around 100 families from various parts of Galway. The Mass Centre is divided into five wards, each ward has its own administration committee and each ward has its own representatives on the Parish Council. The major highlight of the Centre is its catechism classes. Other activities and special occasions within the Community include Parish Day, Bible Kalolsavam, Bible Quiz, Retreats, Children’s Retreat, Youth Retreat, St. Sebastian’s Feast celebration, St. Thomas Feast celebration, Mathrudeepthi (Mathruvedi) group, Family prayer units, Choir Groups and charity collections to help the needy back home in India.
During 2016, the increase in children’s number for catechism classes compelled the Community to look for other options to accommodate the children. Eventually, in December with the help of the Galway diocesan administration we made the move from the Sacred Heart Church to St. Mary’s College. The new move is working very well for everyone and the children are reaping the rewards of the new facilities. We continue to pray to the Lord and to St. Thomas the apostle to guide us and lead us in our journey of faith.