WASHINGTON, D.C. — The synod of bishops of the Syro-Malankara Church has erected the Eparchy of Parassala, India, and with the assent of Pope Francis, has elected as the first bishop of the eparchy Bishop Thomas Eusebius Naickamparampil, who is currently serving Syro-Malankara Catholics in the U.S. and Canada.

Naickamparampil heads the Syro-Malankara Eparchy of St. Mary Queen of Peace of the U.S. and Canada, which is based in Elmont, New York.

Pope Francis also has given his assent to the nomination of Auxiliary Bishop Philipose Stephanos Thattahil of Tiruvalla, India, to succeed Naickamparampil.

The appointments were announced in Washington Aug. 5 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

In July 2010, Pope Benedict XVI established the Elmont-based eparchy as an exarchate for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the United States. Naickamparampil was installed to head the exarchate in October 2010. In December 2015, Pope Francis elevated the exarchate to the status of an eparchy and extended its territory to include Canada.