Holy Consecration and Inauguration of St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Church, Sastan, to be held on May 17-18

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Holy Consecration and Inauguration of St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Church, Sastan, to be held on May 17-18

Udupi: St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Church, renovated 100 years ago, is ready for consecration and inauguration on May 17-18, 2022.

The consecration will be led by His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews III Malankara Metropolitan And Catholicos of the East, the Supreme Head of the Syrian Orthodox Indian Church (malankara). His Holiness will be assisted by Dr. Yakob Mar Elias (Bishop, Diocese of Brahmavar), Dr. Yakob Mar Irenios (Bishop, Diocese of Kochi) and Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios (Diocese of Ahamadabad).

Program schedule:

On May 17, the main festivities will begin with a grand welcome procession for Catholicos to Brahmavara at 3:00 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. the dedicatory prayers will begin.

On May 18, the second part of the consecration prayers will begin at 06:30 a.m., followed by Holy Mass at 08:00 a.m.

Hore Kanike procession

A large ‘hore kanike’ procession took place from Govt Higher Primary Schoolgrounds, Mabukala-Hunagacutta to the church premises on 15th May. The ceremony of the procession began with a prayer. Alfred Banz welcomed the dignitaries and worshipers. The event was reported by Rev. Prof. MC Mathai, Vicar General, St Mary Brahmavar Syrian Orthodox Cathedral. Reverend Father Lawrence D’souza, Reverend Father Lawrence David Crasta, Reverend Father Abraham Kuriakose, Reverend Father Noel Lewis, Reverend Father Joseph Chacko, Reverend Father Nelson Machado and other dignitaries were present. Rev. MC Mathai spoke about the importance of “hore kanike”.

Addressing the congregation, he said that the land and all its fruits were given by God. It is our way of acknowledging him as the provider of all things. It is also a way to give thanks for all the blessings you receive. All of our income came from God. Thus, we can view offerings as a way of giving back in thanks for what we have received. He read the Old Testament scriptures (Genesis Ch 4) and explained that Abel brought the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock and Cain simply brought some of his ordinary crops. Abel’s offering pleased God and God was not pleased with Cain’s offering and was rejected because of his unclean heart. Therefore, he called on devotees to be pure in heart and make the best offerings to God.

Devotees from various churches and local organizations from different communities brought offerings in decorated vehicles. The procession was accompanied by candles, music, marching band, Kambala Kona and various folk troupes. When the procession reached the church premises, Vicar General Rev Fr MC Mathai, Curate Rev. FrNoel Lewis and all the priests formally received the ‘Hore Kanike’ from each side and blessed the offerings. St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Church, Sastan with parishioners belonging to over 230 families, is the second largest church of the Brahmavara Konkani Orthodox community under the Holy See of Indian Orthodox Church (Malankara) which was founded by Saint Thomas the Apostle in 52 AD.

The Patron Saint of the parish is Saint Thomas, the Apostle of India and all the East; the founder of the Indian Orthodox Church (Malankara), whose blessed intercession has been evidenced by many miracles that have happened here over a period of time. Over the years, the church has provided its parishioners with many opportunities to worship, strengthen their bonds and serve the community.

Origin:-

The BrahmavarKonkani Orthodox Christians are mainly descendants of migrants from the coastal region of Karnataka from Goa and Maharashtra. A significant proportion of ChristianKonkanis finds its origin in the apostolic tradition of Saint Thomas and Saint Bartholomew. There is a tradition that Christianity existed in and around Brahmavara, due to the apostolic activities of St. Bartholomew.

After the 16th century, the indigenous apostolic Christians of Goa and coastal Karnataka and elsewhere are said to have adopted the Christian denomination propagated by missionaries from the west. his leadership in this crisis.

Thus, nearly 5,000 families from Brahmavar and surrounding areas became part of an independent Catholic missionary founded by Fr. Alvares under the Syrian Orthodox Malankara Church.

The reason for specifically joining the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church was the fact that it was the only native apostolic church established in India in 52 AD by Saint Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. In 1887, Bro. Alvares, traveled from Cylon and arrived at Kallianpur, near Udupi, a village in South Kanara district. From there he moved to a nearby village, Brahmavar, and built a small temporary thatched-roof chapel dedicated to “Our Lady of Miracles”.

Orthodox devotees belonging to the Syrian Orthodox St. Mary’s Cathedral living in Sulkudru, Balkudru, Airody, Mabukal, Sastan, Kota and Karkada faced difficulties in crossing the Sita River to get to the Brahmavar Church. In view of this difficult situation, in 1920 land was purchased in Sastan during the time of Holy Father RZ Norohna And in 1925 a thatched-roof chapel was built by the Rev. Rev. Father PG Koshy, in order to provide these faithful with a place to offer Holy Mass and prayers. In 1938 Rev.Fr.KTVarghese became parish priest. The parish gradually grew and prospered, and in 1960, under the leadership of Rev. have worked hard to build up the Church. It is said that with the saving and storage of “Mutti-thaandhu” (a handful of rice) by each parishioner over time and with the sweat of their own labor, the church was built.

Over the following years, many other infrastructural developments were carried out. In 1986 Rev. Father TM Kuriakose took over as pastor.

In 1989, the then Diocesan Bishop, HG Zechariah Mar Dionysius (Metropolitan of Madras Diocese) visited the parish and blessed the new cemetery. A youth office and an ear stage were built during the decennial celebrations of the youth association in 1994. In 1999, Reverend TM Kuriakose established the association for women. On January 11 and 12, 2000, the Church celebrated its platinum jubilee on a grand scale. The then Diocesan Bishop HGYakob Mar Irenaios (Metropolitan of Madras Diocese) led the Jubilee celebrations. His Grace also inaugurated the Parsonage and Church office on January 12, 2000.

Rev.Fr.TMKuriakose, the parish priest with the very Rev.Ramban Fr.NJThomas, the vicar general and other assistants. Vicars at the time, Rev.Fr.PAJohnson and Rev.Ramban GMSkaria took the lead in hosting such a large-scale event for the first time in the parish. In 2000, Rev.Fr.PAJohnson took over as parish priest. The Church and all spiritual associations grew immensely, as Holy Mass was now offered every Sunday and a full-time parish priest for the Church of Sastan was now a reality. Between 2010 and 2011, for a period of six months, Reverend Father Bobby George served as parish priest.

On August 2, 2011, Dn. Noel Lewis was ordained a priest in this church. In September 2011, the Rev. Noel Lewis took over as parish priest. On December 8, 2013, a community hall for social gatherings was inaugurated by HGYakob Mar Elias (Metropolitan of Brahmavar Diocese). His Holiness was the first catholicos to visit the parish and was greeted with great grandeur.

The long-awaited foundation for the construction of the new church building was laid on December 10, 2017 by Diocesan Bishop HGYakob Mar Elias (Metropolitan of Brahmavar Diocese). Since then, all the parishioners have worked day and night and participated in the construction work of the church. The renovation is now complete during the term of the parish priest, Father Noel Lewis. The renovated church building features a blend of Portuguese, Kerala and modern Gothic architecture. Thus, elegance and determination are well maintained. The beautiful facade, with an elevation in the middle, recalls the Portuguese architectural influence on the Konkani Christians of Mangalore. The steel flag pole with golden mantel brings the feel of classical Indian/Kerala architecture, echoing the Indianness of Malankara Orthodox Church.

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