TAMPA: The first Diocesan Day celebrations of the year old Diocese of South West America were held at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Tampa at a special meeting organized after the Holy Qurbana on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of the Diocese of South West America, was the chief guest.
The Metropolitan lighted an oil lamp at the beginning of the meeting, symbolizing the ancient Indian practice and to remind the light, namely, the faith of the Holy Church, to mark the inauguration of the event.
“For a Christian, the home, in which he or she lives for thirty or forty years, is not the permanent abode, rather it is the Church, where a faithful is born and will be laid to rest until the second coming of our Lord”, said the Metropolitan in his inaugural speech. He also appreciated the love and concern of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church members towards him as well as to the diocese in organizing such a colorful event.
Being the first Metropolitan of the Diocese of South West America, Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius was first in many ways, said the vicar Fr. George Paulose in his presidential address. He also expressed the happiness and contentment of the whole parish community in Tampa, for the Metropolitan chose St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Tampa to count on the first anniversary celebrations of the diocese.
Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew, vicar, St. Paul’s Orthodox Church Orlando, pronounced a special prayer for the diocese.
A check for $2000.00 was handed down to the Metropolitan as the first installment of the diocesan share from St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Tampa. It was decided at the recently concluded diocesan assembly that every household of the diocese shall contribute $100.00 towards diocesan share.
Songs presented by Sunday School children, MGOCSM members, Adult Choir and parishioners have made the meeting more vivid.
There was also a festive luncheon at the end of the meeting.