BANGALORE : Dr Abraham Mar Ephiphanios, Assistant Metropolitan, Bangalore Diocese, has remarked that if he was asked which of the Diocese was performing better, he would point to the Bangalore Diocese as the best.
As Assistant Head of the Bangalore Diocese, Dr Ephiphanios Metropolitan was addressing the church gathering after the Holy Qurbana during his first-ever visit to the St Gregorios Orthodox Church in Mathikere Extension last week. Presently, Bangalore Diocese is under the direct control of the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan. He expressed confidence that he will be able to retain Bangalore Diocese or Sultan Batthery or wherever when the Holy Synod meets in August.
Metropolitan praised the faithful of the Bangalore Orthodox community and was confident that the diocese will outperform its target to the Catholicate Day collection for the current financial year. He expressed his happiness over the elevation of the Orthodox church in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) as a Gregorian pilgrim centre and the consecration of a new church in Sharjah soon. Both Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, two of the seven emirates which make for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fall under Bangalore Diocese at present.
The ‘Videshi Metropolitan’ which Dr Ephiphanios himself claims due to his NRI status, in his address praised the unity and sagacity of the Christians in Ichlamnpady, a tribal hamlet, on the Bangalore-Mangalore Highway. The Metropolitan gave a brief account of his life in Malaysia and how he dreamt of a monastic life right from his student days (standard V). Their residence in the province was frequented by bishops who resided during their visit and the young metropolitan was enamoured by the saffron coloured robes during his childhood days. That clamour for ‘saffron’ continued and Metropolitan made it as a companion in life getting closer to God.
Mar Ephiphanios who recently visited Ichlamnpady twice and took part in the Gregorios Festival held the faithful worshippers in high esteem for their dedication and unity despite odds. They had raised Rs 14 lakh during the festival and are in the process of building their own church on a plot donated by an old man. This old man, a good Samaritan, voluntarily donated his piece of land, when he saw a crying Metropolitan about the plight of the bad condition of the ‘so called church.’
Dr Abraham Mar Ephiphanios will soon visit the remaining two churches out of the 12 Orthodox churches in Bangalore.