Udupi: Orthodox Syrian Church Celebrates 100 Yrs with Grand Event
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi
Pics: Harick D’souza, Dazz Digital Studio
Catholicate Re-establishment Centenary Celebrations of Brahmavar diocese of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Syrian Church was held on Wednesday November 7 at St Mary's Orthodox Syrian Community Hall, Brahmavar.
Udupi, Nov 8:
A grand welcome was accorded to Thomas Mar Athanasius - Metropolitan, Chenganoor diocese, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos – Metropolitan, Bombay Diocese, Kuriakose Mar Clemis – Metropolitan, Thumpamon Diocese, and Yakob Mar Elias – Metropolitan, Brahmavar Diocese. They were taken in a vehicle procession which started from the Karavali junction, Udupi at 12.30 pm.
Nearly 200 vehicles and more than a thousand people participated in the vehicle rally.
The public meeting started with a prayer led by Thomas Mar Athanasius, Bishop and Metroploitan of Chengannur Diocese. Edna Lewis read a passage from the Bible. A prayer song was sung by the prayer group of St Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church, Brahmavar.
Thomas Mar Athanasius inaugurated the function by lighting the lamp.
Yakob Mar Elias read out the message from Baselios Paulose II, Supreme Head, Catholicos of the East and the Malankara Metroploitan. He said that this is the church that holds a 2000-year-old heritage in history. "The church has remained faithful to its Apostolic faith, delivered by St Thomas in 1st century," he added.
Thomas Mar Athanasius, in his inaugural address, said that the church is a National Church and is the only one that has adopted the Indian culture within its worship, life and customs. "It is headed by an Indian and not by a foreigner. It is democratic and episcopal," he said.
Kuriakose Mar Clemis said, "We are a part of the 1st century, with 1,960 years of existence. We are a part of the land where St Thomas' martyrdom was witnessed," he added.
Geevarghese Mar Coorilos wished that this diocese be one of the greatest diocese ever to exist. At the same time, he recalled the efforts of Bishop Alvares in shaping it.
Fr M O John, Church Historian (History and Significance of Catholicate), in his address highlighted that this was the most wonderful and colourful programme during their catholicate centenary Sandesh Yatra.
"Catholicate shows the existence of Apostolic succession and throne of St Thomas in this Church and land," he said.
He explained the history of the Catholicate in brief and said, "The title Catholicos is older than patriarchate or pope. Even the Syrian Patriarch, Patriarch Abdul Meshiha emphasized the fact that Catholicos of Indian (Malankara) Orthodox church is legitimate and the Catholicos throne is fully independent (Indian) from others (no foreign domination)", he said.
Yakob Mar Elias, in his presidential address said, "I have just a few words to thank you all to be able do organize such an event within such a short time."
K Raghupati Bhat, MLA, Udupi, said, "I feel proud to be part of this programme that has been organized by the most ancient Indian Church. Such a historic existence of Christians in India was never known to me before." He praised the contribution made by the SMS Educational Institutions to the society in sports as well as in academics form KG to PG.
Industrialist and KPCC member Pramod Madhwaraj said, "The democratic nature of this church really touched me. I can see the humbleness and kind gestures of the Indian culture very much rooted in these people."
Yakob Mar Elias presented the mementos to the guest of the programme.
Yakob Mar Elias, Thomas Mar Athanasius, Kuriakose Mar Clemis, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Fr M O John, Church historian, Fr Skaria, Fr Jessen, Fr Ashwin Fernandes, Fr Mathai, Delegates from Catholicate Centre, Devalokam, Fr T M Eldho - The Brahmavar Diocesan secretary, MLA Raghupathi Bhat, Industiralist Pramod Madhawaraj, S Narayan, president Varamaballi gram panchyath, Ivan Suares, Zaclaruash Mani, V C Manni, Johnson and Alex from the Manganing Committee members of Brahmavar diocese were present on the dais.
Fr Lawrence D’souza - vicar general, St Mary's Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar, welcomed the dignitaries and the gathering. Fr T M Eldho - The Brahmavar Diocesan secretary, rendered the vote of thanks. Fr Mathai and Vallerain Crasta compered the programme. More than 2000 people attended this historical event.
The programme concluded with the final blessings from Thomas Mar Athanasius. The choir group sang the Catholicate Anthem (Catholica Mangala Ganam), and at the end all the events, the National Anthem of India was sung.