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Syro Malankara Community in Abu Dhabi Celebrates Silver Jubilee

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Abu Dhabi: The Syro Malankara Catholic Community in Abu Dhabi celebrated its Silver Jubilee with grandeur on the 25th of November, 2023, at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The event was graced by distinguished guests including Bishop Paolo Martinelli, the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, and Bishop Paul Hinder, along with John Thundiyath Corepiscopa, the Gulf Region Coordinator for the Syro Malankara Catholic Church.

The celebration commenced with a warm welcome to the esteemed guests and a Jubilee meeting, inaugurated by former Bishop Paul Hinder. The gathering was addressed by notable figures such as Vicar General Fr. P.M. Peter, Cathedral Vicar Fr. Chito Bunda Bartolo, Assistant Vicar Fr. Jobi Joseph, and Fr. Mathews Alumoottil. Shaju Baby, President of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church UAE Central Committee, along with Antony, President of the St. Joseph Cathedral Malayalam Community, also spoke at the event.

A special Jubilee Mass was conducted on Saturday evening, with John Thundiyath Corepiscopa leading as the chief celebrant. Bishop Paolo Martinelli delivered an inspiring homily, emphasizing the unique identity and contributions of the Syro Malankara community in the diverse religious landscape of the Gulf.

In his homily, Bishop Martinelli highlighted the unity in diversity that characterizes the multi-ritual Church in the Gulf, where different traditions, cultures, and rites converge under the commonality of baptism. He praised the Syro Malankara community for enriching the vicariate with its rich heritage and spiritual traditions. Bishop Martinelli emphasized the unique and valuable contribution of the community to the diverse Church of Migrants in the Gulf, highlighting their rich spiritual and cultural heritage. He applauded the community for being a living testament to the joy of the gospel and a witness to the dignity of being children of God.

The celebrations also paid homage to His Eminence Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, with whom Bishop Martinelli had worked during the Synod of Bishops. The bishop’s message stressed the significance of grace and responsibility in the life of a Christian, using the Annunciation and the Mother of God as exemplars of receiving and fruitfully nurturing the gift of God.

Concluding his homily, Bishop Martinelli reflected on the feast of Christ the King of the Universe, reminding the faithful that Jesus’ kingdom is not of worldly power but of love and sacrifice. He commended the Syro Malankara community for their Christian witness in Abu Dhabi over the past 25 years and blessed them for their continued journey in faith.

The Silver Jubilee celebrations also included a logo competition, in which Jobin Eno, a member of the Vakayar parish from the Pathanamthitta Diocese, won the first prize – a gold coin. The prize was presented by Very Rev. Fr. Varghese Kalayil Vadakethil in the Pathanamthitta Aramana. The event’s organizers, Babu K. Thomas, General Convener of the Jubilee Celebration Committee, Simon Kunjachan, MCYM’s former president and Vakayar parish member Mathew Varghese, were commended for their efforts.

Additionally, General Convener Babu K. Thomas and other key committee members warmly received His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos in Abu Dhabi a few days before the event. Although Cardinal Cleemis could not attend the jubilee on the 25th, his meeting with the organizers was a significant moment in the lead-up to the celebrations.

The Silver Jubilee celebrations marked a milestone for the Syro Malankara Catholic Community in Abu Dhabi, reflecting on 25 years of faith, unity, and service. The event not only commemorated the past achievements but also set a vision for the community’s future contributions to the Church and society in the Gulf region.

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