In the providence of God, St. Marys Malankara Seminary was inaugurated on June 29, 1983. The desire to set up a Major Seminary had been voiced from several quarters in the Church and it gathered momentum at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Reunion Movement in December 1980. The Papal Legate to the celebrations, Wladyslaw Cardinal Rubin, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, encouraged the starting of a Major Seminary for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.
In fact, the establishment of a Major Seminary for the training of the Syro-Malankara Catholic clergy was clearly envisaged by the Holy See at the time of the Reunion of the late Archbishop Mar Ivanios and Bishop Mar Theophilos in 1930 (Letter of the Apostolic Delegation, no. 2035/130, Bangalore, August 20, 1930; Christo Pastorum Principi, June 11, 1932). Moreover, the Second Vatican Council advises: In each nation or particular Rite, a programme of priestly formation should be undertaken (Optatam Totius, 1).
In accordance with this directive, the Syro-Malankara Hierarchy decided to start a Major Seminary in 1983 and Trivandrum was chosen to be the seat of the Seminary. The Holy See granted formal recognition to the Seminary by its letter of September 8, 1984 (Prot. no. 87/83). As a temporary arrangement, the Seminary started functioning in the buildings of the St. Aloysius Seminary at Pattom, Trivandrum, offering only a three-year Philosophy Course.
The Seminary is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. The motto of the Seminary is to continue Jesus mission of love and service. The Seminary is primarily intended for the formation of candidates from all the Syro-Malankara eparchies and is open to the candidates of the religious institutes of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. It also welcomes students from eparchies and religious institutes of the other individual Churches.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II, on the occasion of his visit to Trivandrum, blessed the foundation stone for the new buildings of the Seminary on February 8, 1986. In his homily at Trivandrum, the Pope addressing the Malankara Catholic Church said: The establishment of the Major Seminary dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Church, is a sign of your vitality. It offers great hope of further strength and consolidation (LOsservatore Romano, Feb 17, 1986). His Eminence Simon Cardinal Lourdsamy, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches visited this Seminary on August 19, 1987 and that visit gave a new impetus to the development of the Seminary.
The construction of the first phase of the Seminary building was completed in May 1989. The clergy, religious congregations, institutions and the laity of the Malankara Catholic Church were all involved in this work. Most Rev. Benedict Mar Gregorios, the then Archbishop of Trivandrum together with the other bishops of the Syro-Malankara Church, blessed the newly constructed building on May 25, 1989. The Seminary started functioning in the new quarters from June 12, 1989. The second phase in the growth of the Seminary is marked by the inauguration of the Theology course on June 29, 1992. The seminary chapel was consecrated on February 9, 1996 and the staff quarters was inaugurated on June 22, 1998.
On April 4, 2005, the Congregation for Catholic Education granted the Seminary affiliation to the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome. The Theology Course of the Seminary is open also to the Religious and the Lay faithful with prescribed qualifications to obtain Bachelor's Degree in Theology. Further, the Seminary organizes a two year diploma course in Theology for the Religious and Laity.
The first batch of 19 students successfully completed their formation and were ordained priests in 1996. Since then, every year new batches of priests have passed out to carry on the mission of Jesus in various Dioceses and Religious Congregations. The Silver Jubilee of the establishment of the Seminary was celebrated from 29th June 2007 to 29th June 2008.
From 2002, Aikya Sameeksha (Vision of Unity), a bi-annual Philosophico-Theological journal intended to enhance the research potentials of both teachers and students, is being published from the Seminary. Vachanavirunnu (Banquet of the Word), a pastoral-homiletic monthly publication from the Seminary, helps the clergy and the people of God deepen their understanding of the Word of God.The Seminary also publishes an annual, Nuhro (Light), encasing the riches of meditation, study, dialogue and human encounter happening within its premises. The Seminary also publishes a liturgical diary every year.
To help the seminarians grow in direct contact with the challenges in the pastoral field, they are given various chances to encounter the People of God, especially by assisting in parishes during weekends. The Apostolate of Social Action (ASA) with its various wings of activity help them involve in active charity, giving a helping hand where it is needed most. The Seminary also hosts many ecumenical initiatives like FOST (Inter-Seminary Fellowship) and inter-religious dialogues.
The Seminary is in constant pursuit of imparting quality formation to the students for the mission of the Church and looks forward to explore new dimensions of a formative programme relevant to our times, in view of enabling the future priests of the Church to continue Jesus mission of unity, love and service for the glory of God.