MUSCAT : Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius, the new Metropolitan of Calcutta diocese successfully completed a 18-day visit to Muscat after his consecration as a bishop in February 2009. Metropolitan previously visited Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Muscat, as a priest 11 years back in 1998 which the learned Bishop graciously acknowledged in his speech.
A nostalgic visit coupled with a vision to help realise the last wish of his legendary predecessor the late Dr Stephanos Mar Theodosius (1924-2007).
It was the dream of late Mar Theodosius to build an Orthodox church in Kolkata. Presently, there exists a primary school with about 50 students that need to be upgraded. The land is now on a swampy outfield and needs huge loads of sand to help raise it to a higher level. An estimated Rs 15 lakh is needed for this purpose and the Bishop was confident that the many followers of Dr Theodosius in Oman will help realize the dream project.
As a primary step, professional courses like MBA, B Pharm have been planned to help raise the necessary funds. Mar Dionysius during his visit was able to channelise funds for the project and called upon the committed Orthodox church members to help contribute to the cause willingly. Metropolitan distributed a signed pamphlet having a smiling picture of Mar Theodosius after the New Year service and made a fervent call to help contribute to the project. Though Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church is presently placed under Ahmedabad Diocese, it was during its days under Calcutta Diocese, the church grew under the guidance and stewardship of Mar Theodosius.
Metropolitan Mar Dionysius’ Muscat visit also served many other important purposes. Metropolitan was the chief celebrant for the Christmas celebrations, carol service, (Yeldo, Teejwala Shishrusha), Ecumenical Xmas programme, OVBS for children and visits to the Orthodox parishes namely — St George Orthodox Church in Sohar and St Stephens Orthodox Church in Salalah. His messages for Christmas and New Year were short and inspiring.
Metropolitan’s writing abilities came to the fore when released a book on Holy Qurbana during his Muscat visit. The book was sponsored by Mr Geevarghese Yohanan and Mr Mathew Ninan, two senior members of the Muscat parish.
Metropolitan Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius, 53, hails from the Thekkil Kandathil family of Valanjavattom, Thiruvalla. Currently, the Metropolitan is the secretary, St Thomas Orthodox Clergy Association and Director, Zoology Research Centre, St Stephens College, Pathanapuram. Dr Dionysius is also director of St Thomas Mission, Kailash Nagar, Bhilai.