SM Heritage & Research Centre

It must be acknowledged that many of the ancient and rare articles and things are lost forever due to the insufficiency of enough and adequate space and authentic centre for preservation. This situation still persists. This lacuna of the Church has been realized to an extent with the establishment of the St. Thomas Christian Museum by the Synod of Bishops. The spirit of this Museum has inspired and promoted many centers to start Museums for preserving historical and cultural patrimony.

The St Thomas Christian Museum which is at the headquarters of the Syro-Malabar Church and which is at the service of the society is functioning in an old house and it has become insufficient and saturated. It is difficult for the visitors to go through different small rooms and to climb up and down the floors for seeing the attractions. So it has become an inevitable necessity to create a new building with the purpose of developing it into a Cultural Heritage Centre of the St Thomas Christians.

The St Thomas Christian Museum keeps tight to the core of its orientations as all other Museums which are committed to public service and they have been historically centers of research, education and public outreach. However, its development into a Cultural Heritage Centre will provide a unique interactive experience of getting up close to things we usually only see in books, news papers or in television. In terms of education, going to a Centre like this can bring what is taught in school to life, by seeing artefacts or painting. This Centre will be instrumental to research programmes in the country. For many people undertaking research, this Centre will provide an unrivalled wealth of information and resources as well as access to archives, scholars and highly trained professional. This Centre will have importance for people who enjoy history or who are very interested in one particular subject.

So it is an ardent desire and noble wish of the Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Synod to develop St Thomas Christian Museum into a point of reference to the tangible and intangible evidences of the cultural heritage centre of the Thomas Christians in India. This Centre shall be thus erected, first of all, in view of experiencing the rich and ancient tradition of the Evangelization of the St Thomas the Apostle and of the mutual exchange of social, cultural, political, religious and ecclesiastical traditions of the Middle East and Europe, especially the apostolic Christian centres of Rome, Palestine and Edessa. In the Indian soil, the gift of Faith that Apostle Thomas gave us survived century after century and today forms the epitome of rich traditions and unflinching Christian faith witnessing earnestly to the Good News for the advancement of the humanity. This Cultural Heritage Centre will be relevant because it is not only more important for those who are interested in history and anthropology of a group of people called as Thomas Christians or Mar Thomas Nasranis but also in a special way for the Syro-Malabar Catholics who are residing in India as well as in abroad to recall and to relive the rich ancient cultural traditions of the St Thomas Christianity.

Further, the purpose of the Centre will also be focused on inspiring about the cultural patrimony, harmonious living between different religions and social richness of Kerala. As Kerala is a pluralistic society where no one ethnic community or religious group dominates the scene. They are all minorities and all minorities have their place. All are Keralites first; then only they are Brahmins, Nairs, Ezhavas, Muslims, Christians and Jews. So the Bishops want to use this Centre as a monument of diverse religions of Kerala. It will conserve the typical things which recall the heritage of all the religions. The Centre will become an attractive centre for promoting, preserving and exhibiting traditional, religious and cultural art and artifacts. It will provide with a sense of identity and continuity of this cultural patrimony. The Centre will serve as an open encyclopaedia for the future generation to study and appreciate all the religions especially the religious and social fabric of the Thomas Christians holding a rich legacy for the society at large. Above all, this Centre will be oriented towards on the catechetical purposes of visualizing the Catholic Faith in the contexts of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue as well as the anthropological and cultural heritage motivations.

Budget: Estimate for the New Building in Summary

The Syro-Malabar Synod of Bishops has already reserved a plot sufficient for the construction of the Centre which is adjacent to the office of the Liturgical research Centre and St. Thomas Christian Museum. The Museum will be in future merged into the Cultural Heritage Centre / Cultural Heritage Museum in order to suite to the local understanding.

Our first plan is to go for the construction of the building for the Centre. Then, each floor will be furnished for the purpose of keeping cultural and religious artefacts, designed for the creative works, for light-audio visual programmes, etc. For the latter items we are in consultation with famous cultural and museum painters, professional artists, interior decoration and techno park engineers, sculptures, etc. All these works have to be approved step by step by the Board of Directors of the LRC and St. Thomas Christian Museum and His Beatitude Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop.

OUR REQUEST

We earnestly appeal to you for your generous contribution towards the realization of this project.

We are looking for your positive reply towards any kind of sponsorship. We will imprint your name in front of this historical Cultural Heritage Centre at Mount St. Thomas, the central administrative place (Curia) of the Syro-Malabar Church. We assure you that this Centre will be a landmark with an international reputation in its attempt for the contribution to the future generation the Indian culture at large and in particular that of Kerala.

We place on record our gratitude in advance to your valuable support, inspiring guidance and financial assistance that will help really the Cultural Heritage Centre, to continue its goal to preserve history, educate the public and inspire a future generation. We request you to help us in our new endeavour with a substantial financial help for the accomplishment of the project proposal.

It is a project recommended and sponsored by the entire Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church.

Fr Peter Kannampuzha
Liturgical Research Centre,
Executive Director St. Thomas Christian Museum,
Director Legal Representative of the Cultural Heritage Centre

N.B.: Kindly mention or inform us when you forward a fund for the Centre so that we will be aware of it and we can give an immediate reply as soon as the fund is advanced to us. Our e-mail Id is: stthomaschristianmuseum@gmail.com