St Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, Dhule
St. Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, Dhule is the first Parish of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, under Diocese of Bombay, in the northern region of Maharashtra and situated around 330 kms from Diocesan headquarters. In the early sixties a good number of Malayalees immigrated to Dhule for seeking better job opportunities and many Orthodox Christians found their jobs in State, Private and Public sectors and some of them found their own business opportunities also. That time, there were no organizations or fellowship of Malayalees here. The Malayalee Christians, according to their convenience, attended the worship of CNI, Catholic Churches. It was in the year 1984, our Late Lamented Metropolitan Dr.Philipose Mar Theophilus visited Dhule and established this Congregation. Rev.Fr.Jesudasan was the first Vicar of this Congregation and conducted worship in the St.Annes Catholic Church, with the permission of the Vicar, that time.
From the year 1991 onwards His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos visited Dhule, giving encouragement and motivation to the Orthodox Christians here. In the initial period the Priests from St.George Orthodox Church, Nasik (i.e. 155 kms away from Dhule) led the worship. In the year 2008, as part of reorganization of this congregation His Grace, instructed, Rev. Fr.ThomasMyalil, then Vicar of St. George Orthodox Church, Nasik, to visit Dhule and to reorganize the Orthodox Christian Community. With the initiative of Fr. Thomas Myalil, Holy Qurbana was being celebrated once a month. In the initial period Holy Qurbana was conducted in different houses, especially in the house of Mr.P.V.John and then the Holy Qurbana was being conducted in the nearby Syro Malabar Catholic Church, in the evening of the first Sunday of every month. After 4 months, Fr. Thomas Myalil was transferred to Doha. Then Fr. ShajiChacko from Nasik continued to visit Dhule for one year. In June 2009, H.G.Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, the Metropolitan of Diocese of Bombay appointed Fr.ThomasPhilipose as the Vicar of this Congregation. From August 2009 onwards Holy Qurbana was being celebrated every month regularly at Syro Malabar Catholic Church on every First Sunday morning at 11 a.m. More than 120 people attended Holy Qurbana regularly. Faithful are coming from Dhule and surrounding places like Nandurbar, Dondachah, Malegaon, Jalgaon, Challisgaon, Thaloda, and Sinkheda. Some of them are coming from 200 kms away. There are around 30 families scattered around 300 kilometer radius and at present the Parish is having 21 subscribing families.
Under the leadership of Vicar Rev. Fr.ThomasPhilipose the Church Members raised Rs. 15 lakhs and purchased a small property, admeasuring 2850 Sq.feet land (around 7 cents) with an old building, in the city on 15th February 2010. The old building is renovated to a chapel by the hard work of parishioners. With the permission of Diocesan Metropolitan, Vicar Rev.Fr. Thomas Philipose, temporally consecrated the new chapel and celebrated the first Holy Qurbana, on 13th June, 2010. His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos consecrated this Chapel on 12th and 13th of November, 2011 and declared as an official Parish and Church under Bombay Diocese. By the Grace of God, the Church purchased nearby admeasuring 1784 Sq.feet land on 19th November 2010 for Rs.50000, and at present the Church is having admeasuring 4631 Sq.feet land.
At present the Church is having 21 families and conducting 2 services in a month on every first Sunday morning at 9 a.m and on third Sunday evening. First Sunday service is approved by the Diocese and third Sunday service is conducted with the special interest of the Vicar, as per the parishioners’ request. Church is very blessed with the support and guidance of St.Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur. The Priests from Seminary is occasionally visiting, especially on third Sundays, and celebrating Holy Qurbana. On the other Sundays, in the absence of Holy Qurbana, the regular morning prayers are offering. On every Fridays, the faithful assemble in the Church and conduct regular intercessory prayer meeting from 10 a.m to 12.30 p.m. Faithful are receiving immense blessings and experiences from God through the intercessory prayers of St.Gregorios of Parumala.
For a congregation existing for the last 25 years, it was an ambition, an unfulfilled dream to have a Church building of its own. Dhule is situated in the northern region of Maharashtra and known as a Tribal district. The Orthodox Christians residing in this backward region are doing small scale business in national and state highways and some are working in small scale industries. Even though we are facing severe financial constrains we collected Rs 15 lakhs and purchased this small piece of land in the heart of the city. Lot of work is left. Let us hope and believe, the God Almighty will help and guide us to build a new traditional Orthodox Church in Dhule in true orthodox flavour.
Rev. Fr. N Rev.Fr.Jesudasan, Rev.Fr.Jiji K Thomas, Rev.Fr.ThomasMyalil, Rev.Fr.ShajiChacko, Rev. Fr.ThomasPhilipose, Rev.Fr.Dr.Bijesh Philip have served as vicars of Orthodox Congregation, Dhule for the previous years. At present Rev.Fr. Joshy P Jacob is the Vicar of our Parish. We the Managing Committee and Members of the Parish are grateful to all shepherds who strived hard for upbringing of our parish.
May the intersession of our Patron Saint St Gregorios of Parumala, be a strong fortress for us.