Dr Mar Yulios in Muscat, lays stone for MGOC’s parsonage extension work

Written By: on Mar 16th, 2011 and filed under Features, Gulf, News.

MUSCAT : Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, has launched the work for the extension of Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church’s (MGOC) parsonage in Muscat.

The Metropolitan led the prayers and blessed the slab of stone at the ceremony on March 10, Thursday evening.

The simple ceremony was also attended among others by Fr James Geevarghese, Vicar, MGOC, P C Cherian (Trustee), John Thomas (Secretary), Diocesan Council Members Cherian P Thomas, Babu Varghese, Mathew Ninan and several other church members.

The extension work when completed will largely benefit the Sunday School students towards accommodating their classes.

Later, Dr Mar Yulios led the Thursday evening prayers and blessed the faithful.

On Friday morning, the Metropolitan led the Holy Eucharist, and urged the faithful to practicse ‘stringent vegetarian’ and fast uring the present Lenten season.

This is the Metropolitans second visit to the Sultanate, coming close on heels of the Bishop’s ‘Sunthronito’ or Enthronement ceremony in Ahmedabad. Dr Mar Yulios undertook his previous maiden visit during Oct-Nov 2010 after his consecration as a Bishop on May 12, 2010.

MGOC Muscat falls under the newly created Ahmedabad Diocese.

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1 Response for “Dr Mar Yulios in Muscat, lays stone for MGOC’s parsonage extension work”

  1. Tenny Thomas says:

    “On Friday morning, the Metropolitan led the Holy Eucharist, and urged the faithful to practice ‘stringent vegetarian’ and fast during the present Lenten season.”

    Vegetarianism can be a diet with or without dairy products or eggs. The emphasis must be on a strict vegan diet. A total abstinence from all food and drink is the norm of the Church. Fasting at least till noon prayer and if possible extending it to ninth hour (2:30pm) and if health permits just eating one meal a day is what must be encouraged. It also includes refraining from marital relations and limiting all forms of entertainment. These rules exist not as a Pharisaic “burden too hard to bear” (Luke 11:46), but as an ideal to strive for. Fasting is more than not eating food. Saint John Chrysostom teaches that it is more important to fast from sin.The other members of the body also need to fast: our eyes from seeing evil, our ears from hearing evil, our limbs from participating in anything that is not of God. Most important of all, we need to control our thoughts, for thoughts are the source of our actions, whether good or evil.

    Fasting is not an end in itself. Our goal is an inner change of heart. This annual season of repentance is a spiritual journey with our Savior. Personal factors such as one’s health and living situation need to be considered as well. For example, an isolated Or­thodox Christian required to eat meals at their place of employment, or school may not be able to avoid certain foods. The Church understands this and extends leniency. It is important to keep in mind that fasting is not a law for us—rather, a voluntary way of remembering to not sin and do evil, and to help keep our focus on prayer, repentance and doing acts of kindness, for we “are not under the law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

    With all this said, I am rather very very surprised to see several reception meetings arranged for His Holiness the Catholicos during the solemn Lenten season. Are we not aware that we are the Orthodox Church? Agreed we need to arrange the enthronement of bishops – they were ordained in May of 2010. They were given charge in August 2010, so some of them found just the Great Lent to organize their enthronement? Reception to the Catholicos is necessary and it is wonderful that there is an air of excitement with the new Catholicos and new Metropolitans. There is hope for change and growth.

    The real changes which have had an effect on history, are not mere administrative reorganizations: they are changes of heart, as Scripture tells us. If we do not expose our heart to the beneficial tempest of the Spirit, then generous and prophetic initiatives cannot be born from it. Humility and giving ourselves over to the guidance of the Holy Spirit is the best we can do. May God help us!

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