The Indian Orthodox Church founded by St. Thomas, the Disciple of Jesus Christ, is one of the most ancient Churches in the whole Christendom. The St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Sharjah, one among the old churches in the UAE established in the year 1978, named after the glorious Saint, The “St. Gregorios of Parumala” the first declared Saint of Indian orthodox Church. We are, indeed, very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qassimi, the magnanimous, generous and benevolent Ruler of Sharjah and Member of Supreme Council, for donating a plot to construct the first Church in Sharjah.
We, the Orthodox Community in India, are celebrating the year 2012 as the Centenary Year of Re-establishment of the Catholicate of the East in India. As part of the celebrations, a period of about one and a half (1½) yearlong celebrations will commence on 27th May 2011 and continue till 2nd November 2012. The celebrations will be marked with various humanitarian projects and spiritual as well as academic programmes. Exhibitions related to Church history, Counseling classes, Seminars, Debates, Moral classes for children, Art and literary programmes will conduct during the centenary year.
As part of the celebrations in our parish we have under-taken three Projects in Kerala.
1. The Parish intends to construct a Church at Northern Diocese of Malankara Orthodox Sabha in Kerala, costing about 20 Lakhs Rupees (2 Million Rupees), particularly for a community who are financially backward.
2. Planned to come up with minimum 10 dwelling units (homes), with the cooperation of Parish Charity committee to the poor & needy.
3. The most significant among all the humanitarian programmes, shall be the Commemorative Charity Project of 1 Crore Indian Rupees (10 Million Rupees) by sponsoring and extend financial assistance towards the construction of the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT Block at the St. Gregorios International Cancer Care Centre at Parumala in Kerala. St. Gregorios International Cancer Care Center coming up in Parumala, one of the largest community project undertaken by the Orthodox Church, and Asia’s largest cancer care centre costing 100 Crore Indian Rupees will be a boon to the poor and needy from all over India. In return, any Sharjah Orthodox Church member will get treatment worth Rupees 4 Lakhs per annum for a period of 20 years and will also provide maximum concession for the patients requisitions receiving from Kerala, through the Sharjah Charity
committee for the general ward category patients. Cancer is a non communicable disease which is thought to be the main cause of all deaths in the coming years and the lack of necessary treatment centers may even scale up this ratio. The same thing is affecting in Gulf countries also. In this situation St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Sharjah will take the initiative to provide maximum help and guidance to those affected people in UAE. It is our social commitment to give maximum support to the expatriates in United Arab Emirates. Church managing committee along with a 51-Member Centenary Committee is being formed to actively monitor and execute the plans as per centenary calendar. Mr. P. O. Philip (General Convener), Mr. John Mathai (Project Coordinator) along with following five sub committees are formed. Mr. P. M Jose (Finance), Mr. Thomas Tarakan M. O (Programme), Mr. James Daniel (Reception), Mr. Varghese George (Publicity), Mr. Alex Varghese (Souvenir).
The inauguration of Centenary celebrations and the project is planned at a public meeting to be held on Friday, 27th of May 2011 at 10:00 am at our Church premises. His Grace, Dr. Yuhannon Mar Dimitrios, Asst. Metropolitan, Delhi Diocese, shall be presiding over the inaugural formalities along with other special guests from Kerala and UAE. As a part of the inauguration agenda, an MOU will be authorized between our Parish and St. Gregorios International Cancer Care Center in presence of Rev. Fr. Alexander Koodarathil CEO of the project. Rev. Fr. Abraham John and Mr. K. Bala Krishnan, President, Sharjah Indian Association will felicitate the occasion.
For Centenary Celebrations Committee
Fr. George Abraham Philip P. O John Mathai
Vicar/President General Convener Project Coordinator
050-6360361 050-9552425 056-6260641
Jose Mathew Thomas K. George Varghese George
Parish Trustee Parish Jt. Secretary Publicity Convener