MUSCAT: HH Baselios Marthoma Mathews III, Catholicos of the East, and Malankara Metropolitan, has concluded his maiden two-week apostolic visit to the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka (MGOME), Muscat.
Delivering the blessing address at a reception in his honour on Easter day, the Catholicos called upon all religions to come together for a common cause to remove injustice in the society and promote justice. His Holiness also called upon all religions to come under a wider ecumenism towards fulfilling these aims. He said the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church through its new ‘Sahoodaran’ charity project aims to project the message of ‘universal brotherhood’. “One day, we will be able to realise a golden future where all can live peacefully without any form of rivalry and injustice,” the Catholicos noted.
His Holiness was the chief celebrant for the Holy Week services at the Maha Edavaka during his visit to the Sultanate of Oman after his enthronement as the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India.
HE Amit Narang, Ambassador of India, Sultanate of Oman, who was the chief guest at a reception, hailed the contributions of the Indian Orthodox Church all over the world for its rich contributions and towards maintaining its identity. He recalled the Malankara Orthodox church which has its origins in the missions of St Thomas the Apostle in the first century.
The Ambassador was presented with a traditional memento by the Catholicos.
MGOME Vicar/President Fr Varughese Tiju Ipe in his presidential address hailed the philanthropic qualities of His Holiness as he considers ‘humanity as a universal brotherhood.’ His Holiness had launched 18 charitable projects in the 1990s which were still going strong by serving the society untiringly. He also mentioned the Muscat church which has reached a milestone in its Golden Jubilee year and is still continuing its journey of rendering help to many faithful in the desert land.
“An important task to be performed is the sanctification of the church and the land (koodosh) and let the Lord Almighty bless us in this venture,” the Vicar added.
Among those who addressed the audience included Rev Justin Meyers, Executive Director, Al Amana Centre, Ahmed Rayees, CEO, Al Dastoor and KMCC Oman Central Committee President, Diocesan Council member Dr Geevarghese Yohannan, Chairman, MGM Group of Educational institutions and chairperson of the golden jubilee celebrations, Kiran Asher, group managing director, Al Ansari Group of Companies and board member, management of Hindu temples.
Associate Vicar Fr Abey Chacko, read out the address of Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan, (in absentia) as the bishop led Passion Week services at St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Houston, Texas.
Earlier, Jabson Varghese, Hon Trustee, MGOME, delivered the welcome address. Senior choir of MGOME sang national anthems of both Sultanate of Oman and India before the programme began.
Among those present included Fr Dennies K Daniel, Vicar, St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Ghala, Fr Basil Thomas, Vicar, St Stephen’s Orthodox Church, Fr Baiju Johnson, Personal Secretary to His Holiness, Fr Sijin Mathew, Vicar, St George Orthodox Church, Sohar, Fr Anil Thomas, Vicar, CSI Church, Fr Sajan Varghese, Vicar, Marthoma Church in Oman, Fr Philip Nellivala, Fr Basil Varghese, Fr K G Thomas, Dr Chona Thomas, Diocesan Council member, Thomas Daniel, Sabha Managing Committee member, Abraham Mathew, Golden Jubilee General Convenor, Binu Joseph Kunchattil, Co-Trustee, Joseph Varghese, Hon Secretary, MGOME managing committee members and others.
Compering was carried out by John P Luke, Molly Mathew and Jessy Koshy. The function concluded with a vote of thanks and prayers.