St. Alphonsa Catholic Church, Austin
St. Alphonsa Catholic Church, Austin Texas is a Catholic parish (Syro-Malabar Rite) under the St. Thomas (Syro-Malabar) Catholic Diocese of Chicago. Initially formed as a Mission under the St. Thomas Catholic Diocese of Chicago back in 2008, the community had its root from a humble origin back in 2001 when a small group of Catholics belonging to the Syro-Malabar Rite ( one of the Eastern Catholic Churches founded by the Apostle St. Thomas in Southern India and in communion with the Roman Pontiff ) gathered at the residence of Mr. Joseph Varghese and his wife Lizamma Varghese for a Holy Mass. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Paul Pudussery, a Syro-Malabar priest who was working as an Associate Pastor at the Dolores Catholic Church, under the Diocese of Austin. The community was blessed to use the facility of Dolores Catholic Church, South Austin once a month, thanks to the whole hearted support of then Bishop of Austin – His Excellency Bishop Gregory Aymond (now ArchBishop of New Orleans) , Rev. Fr. John Korcsmar, the then Pastor of Dolores Catholic Church, and Rev. Paul Pudussery ( Associate Pastor). Since then, the community has grown over the years both spiritually and in numbers. The community gathered every month to have Holy Mass in Malayalam ( an Indian regional language) for several years until 2008 when the Mass frequency was increased to twice a month. In 2008, His Excellency Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago declared this community as a mission under the diocese. The Diocese of Austin and Dolores parish continued to support our community by allowing to use their facility for several years.
By the end of July 2012, the community moved to a new home closer to the central Austin area for worship and other prayer services – Our Lady of Maronite Catholic Church, Austin. The Pastor of the church, Msgr. Don Sawyer, graciously welcomed the community and supported our efforts to have Holy Mass on all Sundays along with Religious Education classes. It started with four RE classes and about fifty students initially, but very soon it had out grown the existing facility.
The community used the facility of St.Elizabeth Catholic Church in Pflugerville for a couple of months during the summer of 2014 before they identified a home for themselves on the East side of Austin in Manor, and bought the property from a group named Mercy of God Prayer group. On November 08, 2014, the mission was elevated to the status of a full Parish by His Excellency Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath and the Auxiliary Bishop Mar Joy Alappatt of St. Thomas Catholic Diocese of Chicago. The gracious occasion was attended by several representatives from the Diocese of Austin and St. Thomas Diocese of Chicago, including the Chancellors from both dioceses.
Rev. Fr. Dominic Perunilam currently serves as the Vicar of the parish.