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Consecration: St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church, Tampa
Posted By Editor On October 25, 2012 @ 11:21 am In Columns,Features,Opinions | 1 Comment
In the land of the ever rising sun, Tampa, Florida, a group of believers of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (India) formed a congregation on the 4th of November, 1989 named after the Holy Saint of the Church, St. Gregorios of Parumala under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Samuel K Mathew.
On November 09, 1990, Rev. Fr. George Paulose, Valanadyil, Onakkoor, was appointed as the Vicar of this congregation and the Holy Qurbana was conducted regularly at the parish hall of the Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church in Temple Terrace. The small congregation started to grow slowly and one acre land with a building was purchased in May 1994 and the worship started in this building. On January 01, 1995, Rev. Fr. George Paulose, the Vicar, laid the foundation stone for a new church building and parish hall in the presence of Rev. Fr. P.M.Zacharia and all faith full believers of the congregation. By the hard work, continuous prayers, generous contributions from the faithful, well-wishers and friends, the new church and the parish hall came up very fast like a ‘lily of the valley’. The new church and parish hall were consecrated on the 15th and 16th of August 1997 by H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas, former Metropolitan of the American Diocese and late H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, Metropolitan of the Diocese of Canada and Europe in the presence of several priests, faith full members and well-wishers. Under the leadership of Fr. George Paulose, the parish continued to flourish in the upcoming years.
The spiritual organizations like Sunday School, MGOCSM, and Morth Marium Samajam, were functioning regularly as scheduled. As years passed by, the members felt that the space inside the church was insufficient. To accommodate more people, it became a compelling need to have a bigger church building. The Vicar, Rev. Fr. George Paulose, encouraged the members to have a new church building. By the Grace of God Almighty, with the intercessional prayers of St. Gregorios of Parumala and with the submissive prayers of the faithful members, the congregation hoped and firmly believed that their dreams will be fulfilled in the near future. In the month of April, 2004, the church was able to purchase five acres of land located on Jefferson Road near I 75 and the foundation stone was laid on the 5th of October by the former Metropolitan of the American Diocese. In 2010, the General body elected Manoj Max Palakkat (Treasurer), Binu Cheriyan (Secretary) and John Jacob as Convener and V.G.Koshy, Koshy Mammen, Babu Kunjummen, Dr. Sunoj Abraham, Sunny Jacob, Aji Mathews, Varghese Koshy and Asha Varghese as committee members. The ground breaking ceremony for the new church was conducted on the 27th of February, 2011.
It took more than a year to complete this new church building project. The new church towers like a lighthouse, surrounded by a scenic background. The icons on the dome in the middle of the church, and the Risen Christ on the east wall of the altar resemble a real orthodox look. The charm and the solemnity of this new church are not often seen in many other Malankara Orthodox churches. It’s like a “full bloom of rose of Sharon”. On the 12th of August 2012, Rev. Fr. George Paulose, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Cyril Davy, conducted the first Holy Qurbana in the new church.
The year 2012 is a mile stone in the history of the Malankara Orthodox Church of India because the centenary celebrations of the Catholicate throne of St. Thomas. This new church is a gift to the Indian Orthodox believers in Tampa of the Malankara Orthodox Church.
“True faith, canonical worship, and goodwill to help the poor & needy” is the main motto of the church. Rev. Fr. George Paulose has passionately encouraged the faithful members to contribute generously towards charity. The church has extended a helping hand to the Hurricane victims in Honduras & Haiti, earthquake victims in Gujarat, India & Japan, the handicapped children of Mulanthuruthy, rehabilitation of the Blind in Calcutta, build homes for the homeless, provide financial help for poor girls to pursue Nursing, and offer financial assistance for poor girls to get married.
God willing, the consecration ceremony of the church will be solemnized on Friday Oct 25, & Saturday Oct 26, 2012, by His Grace Alexious Mar Eusebious; Metropolitan of the Southwest American Diocese, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovas; Metropolitan of Northeast American Diocese, and His Grace Gabriel Mar Gregorios; Metropolitan of Trivandrum Diocese Of India. You are cordially invited to bless this occasion with your presence and prayers.
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