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Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Embarks on Historic Visit to Singapore


In a landmark event that underscores the growing global footprint of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos, embarked on his inaugural visit to Singapore from January 27th. This visit marked a significant milestone in the church’s mission to foster a deeper sense of unity and brotherhood among the global Catholic community.

A Warm Reception and Celebratory Mass

Upon his arrival, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis was warmly welcomed by Cardinal William Goh, reflecting the camaraderie and mutual respect between the Catholic dioceses. The highlight of his visit was the celebration of the Latin Rite Mass at the Church of Saint Michael, a spiritual home for the Syro-Malankara Catholic community in Singapore. The Mass saw the participation of Parish Priest Father Terence Pereira and Assistant Parish Priest Fr Sam John, who has been serving the Singapore community since 2019.

A Diverse Gathering for the Syro-Malankara Rite

The following day on the 28th of January 2024, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis led the Holy Mass in the Syro-Malankara rite at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary auditorium, an event that drew over 200 members of both the Syro-Malankara and Malayalam Catholic communities. The celebration was notable for its inclusivity, attracting priests and followers from various ecumenical communities, including the Orthodox, Mar Thoma, Jacobite, and Church of South India, demonstrating the cardinal’s vision of unity within the Christian faith.

A Message of Faith and Unity

Addressing the Syro-Malankara faithful, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis emphasized the critical importance of transcending language barriers and instilling Catholic teachings within families to nurture faith across generations. His message affirmed the community in their faith and ecclesial life within the Archdiocese of Singapore, reinforcing the church’s commitment to spiritual growth and evangelization.

Celebrating Five Years of Mission in Singapore

The Syro-Malankara mission in Singapore, initiated by His Excellency Yoohanon Mar Theodosius, the Bishop of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia and Apostolic Visitator to Europe and Oceania, under the guidance of Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, celebrated its fifth anniversary. This milestone reflects the dynamic and evolving presence of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on the island, contributing to the vibrancy of Catholic life in Singapore.

Reflections on the Visit

Reflecting on his visit, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the passion, hospitality, and spirit of friendliness and Christian brotherhood exhibited by the Catholics in Singapore. “The warmth and love they have shown towards me is remarkable,” he remarked, highlighting the deep connections forged during his visit.

This historic visit by Cardinal Baselios Cleemis not only strengthens the bonds between the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the broader Catholic community in Singapore but also serves as a testament to the universal call to unity, love, and evangelization within the Catholic Church worldwide.

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