Udupi: The Catholicos (the Supreme Head, equivalent to the Pope for Roman Catholics) of Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Syrian Church, Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, is set to make his maiden visit to St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral Brahmavar and its chapels (also known as ‘Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community’) from 4 to 6 of December, said Fr Isac C A, Vicar General of St Mary’s Cathedral Brahmavar, at a press meet held at the Press Club here on Monday, November 9.
St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral and its 7 chapels is the only Konkani speaking orthodox community, within the jurisdiction of the Indian Orthodox Church and in the entire world. As such, this visit is of great pride and importance for the community and its churches.
The Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community and the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church share many things in common, especially their history. Both have fought foreign (Western) domination over the Indian Church and as such, they have fostered native or Indian leadership. Thus, promulgating ‘Swadeshi Ideology’ within the Christian Church. It was for this reason the founder of Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community, late Alvares Mar Julius Archbishop, brought the community under the communion of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church in 1889.
Catholicos Paulose II is the 91st successor to the apostolic throne of St Thomas in India. He was enthroned on November 1, 2010. His tenure has been greatly marked with building ecumenical relations between various Apostolic churches. He has met various Popes, Patriarchs, Catholicos of different Orthodox Churches around the globe. In September 2013, he had paid a fraternal visit to Pope Francis (Supreme Head of the Roman Catholic Church), soon after his coronation as the new pontiff of Rome.
He has taken interest in the affairs of the Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community from the beginning and had expressed keen interest in visiting the community. He will arrive in Udupi on the morning of 4 December, 2015. Catholicos Paulose II will be warmly welcomed with a procession from Udupi Karavali Junction to St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar at 9 am.
In the evening at 4 pm, a public meet will be held in the Church compound in view of the maiden visit of Catholicos Paulose II. Along with it, the inaugural ceremony of the Centennial Celebrations of the Cosmopolitan Higher Primary School Brahmavar (the first educational institution of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar) will also be held.
On 5 December, Catholicos Paulose II will set out to Hulikel, Shivamogga District to consecrate the newly built St Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church (a chapel of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar). Thereafter, His Holiness will be visiting all the Chapels, namely: Hosangady – St George Church, Kandlur – St Mary’s Church, Sastan – St Thomas Church, Kurady – St Peter and Paul’s Church and Kolalgiri – St Antony Church.
On 6 December, Catholicos Paulose II will be celebrating the holy mass at 8:30 am. During the mass, late Alvares Mar Juilus Archbishop (Founder of Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community) and late Fr R Z Noronha (First Vicar General of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral Brahmavar) will be declared as ‘Blessed Saints’. Thereafter, Paulose II will engage in talks with various spiritual organizations and management committees associated with St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar. In the morning of 7 December, Catholicos Paulose will bid adieu to Brahmavar.
Fr Abraham Kuriakose, Fr Noel Lewis, assistant priest of the cathedral Fr David Crasta, treasurer of the cathedral Anil Rodrigues and Joslin Almeida were present at the press meet.