“Mar Walah, Syro-Malabar faithful resonate the faith of Saint Thomas”, Mar Jose Pulickal inaugurates Syro-Malabar Day 2023 in Dubai

“Mar Walah, Syro-Malabar faithful resonate the faith of Saint Thomas”, Mar Jose Pulickal inaugurates Syro-Malabar Day 2023 in Dubai

Dubai – ‘Mar Walah’, the proclamation of Saint Thomas the Apostle and the very heart of Christian faith, bearing the strength, the courage and tradition has been passed on by the Apostle to the Mar Thoma Nasrani’s which include the Syro-Malabar Community said His Excellency Mar Jose Pulickal, Bishop of the Eparchy of Kanjirapally, while inaugurating the Syro-Malabar Day 2023 on 26th November 2023.

The event was held at St Marys Catholic Church in Dubai and saw the attendance of more than 4000 faithful.

The Syro-Malabar Day 2023 began with Holy Qurbana at 4pm. Mar Jose Pulickal, the main celebrant, concelebrated the Holy Qurbana with Fr. Boby Alex Mannamplackal, Vicar General of the Eparchy of Kajirappaly; Fr. Lennie J.A. Connully, OFM Cap., the Parish Priest of St Marys Church and Fr. Varghese Kozhippadan, OFM Cap., the Spiritual Director of the Malayalam Community. Public meeting and musical drama and concert ‘Spe Salvi’, featuring Alphons Joseph, pursued the Holy Qurbana.

The Public Meeting began with a prayer song performed by the Syro-Malabar Catechism Choir.

The vibrance of the individual churches is quite evident here (in St Mary’s), admired Mar Jose Pulickal during his blazing inaugural address. As exhorted by the Second Vatican Council, each individual Rite (self-governing Church) is indebted to go back to its source, maintain its tradition and pass it on to the coming generation. Only then will the richness of that Church grow, and its diverse Apostolic tradition shine exhorts the Second Vatican Council.

His Excellency Jose Pulickal recalled the faith of our forefathers who courageously endeavoured into the unknown territory of the high ranges and Malabar regions in Kerala, putting their lives at stake against wild animals. The call to such a bold step was backed only by their firm Christian faith inherited from Saint Thomas the Apostle. The firm faith that the Emmanuel, God is with us. The Syro-Malabar community in Dubai, a migrant community bears the same faith enabling them to meet any hardships that they encounter.

Mar Jose Pulickal also thanked His Excellency Bishop Paolo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia for the opportunities provided to the Syro-Malabar Community to enrich their tradition. He also applauded Fr. Lennie J.A. Connully and Fr. Varghese Kozhippadan for extending all support and guidance to the Syro-Malabar Community.

The inaugural address instilled a sense of belonging in the minds of the Syro-Malabar Community and concreted in their minds the need to grow as a community all the while holding onto their Apostolic tradition and remaining in communion with the Universal Church.

Mar Jose Pulickal inaugurated the event by lighting the traditional lamp in the presence of the Parish priests and Syro-Malabar Executive Committee.

His Beatitude Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church addressed the migrant faithful through a video message. Mar Alencherry thanked Bishop Paolo Martinelli for the pastoral care offered to the Syro-Malabar Community in Dubai. He also urged the faithful as children of God to remain in Communion with the universal Church and thus contribute towards its mission.

H.E. Bishop Paolo Martinelli, in his felicitation video address congratulated the Syro-Malabar Community for their active participation in the Parish, Christian Commitment and upholding their rich and unique traditions.

Fr. Lennie J.A. Connully felicitated the Syro-Malabar Community on their prayerful presence and spiritual encouragement to all in the Parish.

Fr. Varghese Kozhippadan thanked the Parish priest for his active support and urged the faithful to praise God in communion with the Catholic Church.

Mr Manoj Thomas, serving President of Syro-Malabar Community Dubai, rendered the Presidential Address. He talked about the particularity and distinctiveness of the Syro-Malabar Church and unity with the Universal Church as well as the need for upholding and transmitting the Apostolic traditions inherited from Saint Thomas the Apostle and her unity with the Universal Church.

The report enlisting the yearly activities of the SM Community, Dubai was presented by the Secretary, Mr Dipu Sebastian. Syro-Malabar Catechism, Family Cells, Marriage Preparation Course, Toastmasters Club, Gavels Club are some of the major activities presented through the report.

Mr Vipin Varghese, Headmaster of Syro-Malabar Catechism, the core activity of the Community, briefed on the various events of the Catechetical wing in Dubai. A total of 1730 students currently studies Syro-Malabar Catechism, across two batches in St Marys Catholic Church, Dubai. The wing is supported by a six-member Admin team, 100 teachers and more than 50 volunteers.

Syro-Malabar Catechism Teachers with Mar Jose Pulickal during SM Day 2023

Syro-Malabar Catechism Volunteers with Mar Jose Pulickal during SM Day 2023

Almost 150 Catechism children and teachers participated in the musical drama, ‘Spe Salvi’ (in hoe we are saved). The visual drama conceptualised and directed by Shoby Antony and Steephen Joy, was based on the life of Saint Josephine Bakhita, a saint from the continent of Africa. Mrs Michele Floyd choreographed the musical drama. The program and rehearsal sessions of two months materialized under Regi Thomas, the Program Coordinator and Shaji George, the event Coordinator.

Alphons Joseph, acclaimed singer and music director led the musical concert. He was also the lead singer in the concert backed by around 50 gifted singers from the Syro-Malabar Community.

An array of prizes was distributed to the luck winners of the raffle draw.

Mr Shaji George, the joint secretary of SM Community, Dubai said the Vote of Thanks.

The public meeting and programs were hosted by Mrs Christine Andrin and Mr Benny Thomas. The MC’s maintained the energy and joyous levels throughout the event.

The evening ended with final blessing from Mar Jose Pulickal, followed by public dinner. The event was telecast live on YouTube.

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