* Calls to reaffirm faith, allegiance to it
* Keep the Catholicate as the apple of the eye
* Muscat Maha Edavaka has set a model of helping others to flourish
MUSCAT: His Holiness Moran Mar Baselious Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East and Indian Orthodox (Malankara) Metropolitan, has said the catholicate centenary celebrations is not the celebration of the institution of an office but the celebration of the autocephalous nature of the Church. It is also the commemoration of the sense of greater freedom that our forefathers have anticipated through the life of the Church and the acknowledgement of the real freedom that we have in Christ.
His Holiness was delivering the inaugural address at the valedictory of the 40th anniversary of Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edavaka (1972-2012) and Catholicate centenary.
While heaping praises on the Muscat Maha Edavaka, the primate of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church said it shows the exemplary endeavour of its members and the uncompromising commitment to the life and tradition of the church.
At this juncture, the Chief Shepherd of the Church exhorted each one of them to keep the Catholicate as the apple of the eye and to re-affirm the faith and allegiance to it. As children of the church, the Catholicos urged them to come forward to strengthen hands. “Though feeble in human terms, we are strong with your valuable prayers and unwavering support. The Catholicate congratulated each of its members, specially the achens who gave dynamic leadership to the parish in the last 40 years and greatly value their endeavours to uphold our faith in this land.
His Holiness Moran Mar Baselious Marthoma Paulose II thanked the government and the rulers of the Sultanate for providing extreme care and concern to the people who are from different faiths and nationalities.
The supreme head further noted that the church was greatfull to Muscat Maha Edavaka for the dedication it has shown in the past and hailed its role towards extending a helping hand for different projects organized by the Church. “the church has set a model of relentlessly pursuing their aim while helping others to flourish,” and quotes St Paul – “Outdo one another in showing honour.”
His Holiness further noted that dedication to the service of a community certainly involves that Biblical sense of an absolute purge of selfish goals, but it is also the opening of a door into shared riches.
Earlier, Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, in his presidential address, said the Indian Orthodox church was one of the oldest and was in forefront of ecumenical movements since its inception and made impressive contributions in various interreligious movement, providing leadership and proven leaders of repute.
Dr Mar Yulios mentioned about the overwhelmingly large number of faithful (over 6,000) who attend the Holy Week celebrations at the Muscat Maha Edavaka from all wilayats (interior) areas of the Sultanate.
Mementos were also presented to HH Baselius Marthoma Paulose II, Dr Mar Yulios, HE J S Mukhul, Ambassador of India and Shaikh Ahmed al Bari, Director, Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs.
The meeting was also attended by Dr Barry P Dawson, Lead Pastor, PCO, Rev Mathew P Thomas, Marthoma Church in Oman, Fr Binu John Thomas, Associate Vicar, Rev Fr C S Mathews, Vicar, Sohar St George Orthodox Church,
About 40 senior parish members and previous executive committee members were honoured with a ponnada by the Catholicos.
Dr Chona Thomas, senior member a well-known plastic surgeon, made the reciprocal speech, recalling his earlier days when the church was formed in 1972.
Earlier, Fr Joji George, Vicar, MGOME, gave a welcome speech. E I Rajan, Hon Trustee, briefed about MGOME over the years. John Thomas (Santhosh) delivered a vote of thanks while the Catholicate Anthem sung by the senior choir.
The function ended with a benediction by HH Baselius Marthoma Paulose II and dinner served to all.