WASHINGTON DC: To reflect upon the nationality of the Holy Church, autonomy, and its autocephaly, and to rejuvenate, the members of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area came together and jointly celebrated the centenary of the establishment of Catholicate in India, on September 23 at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church of Greater Washington.
Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, the Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese was the Chief Guest on the occasion and inaugurated the Catholicate Centenary celebrations by lighting the lamp.
In his inaugural address, Metropolitan Mar Nicholovos reminded the majestic coming of St. Thomas into India for spreading the gospel, teachings of his Master, and converting many in to Christianity. His Grace reiterated the need to rise up to the occasion to support the Church and its establishments and gave a detailed history of the Catholicate in Malankara. He congratulated the faithful in the region on their continued commitment to upholding our Orthodox faith, the support for the Throne of the Catholicate, and the Diocese. He stated that this celebration shows the honor of our membership of a Church that is over 1960 years old; a historic event in the history of Christianity. The Metropolitan added that the establishment of the Catholicate of the East reflects international commitment of the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church, her autocephalous nature and proper insights on the mission of the Church.
Fr. Alexander Kurien, the former vicar of St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church of Greater Washington and a Senior Staff of the current President Obama Administration read the congratulatory felicitation from the Office of the President.
In his letter, the President recognized the leadership of the Metropolitan Mar Nicholovos and commended the faithful for the continued commitment to service and charities in the local communities.
Fr. K.P. Varghese read the official felicitation from His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, the eighth Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan since the establishment of the Catholicate in India in 1912.
Fr. M. K. Kuriakose, the Diocesan Secretary congratulated the members of all five churches and the committee members for coordinating this wonderful event.
State and local political representatives extended congratulations, citations, and felicitations for the event. The Choir under the lead by Laby George Panackamattom, vicar of St. Gregorios Church, added color to the event. Fr. George Mathew, the vicar of St. Mary’s Indian Orthodox Church of Virginia and Fr. Reji Chacko, the vicar of St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church participated in the celebrations. Prior to the public meeting, Holy Qurbana was celebrated.
A week-long celebration began with hoisting the Catholicate flag on Saturday September 15, 2012. More than 400 faithful members of the Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Syrian Churches in the region participated
Fr. K.P. Varghese, served as the President of the Catholicate Centenary Celebration Committee.