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St Mary's Orthodox Cathedral, Dadar

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Saint Mar Gregorios of Parumala stayed for a week in Bombay in February 1895 on His Grace’s way to Jerusalem. This was a significant event and a forerunner of the shape of things to come. At the turn of the century, lured by employment prospects and business opportunities, the members of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christians, began to migrate to Bombay.

 

As the members of the community increased, the necessity of a worshiping place and a priest to look after the spiritual needs of the community was very much felt. As a result of the initiative taken by some prominent members of the community, the Rev. Fr. Thomas Kottathuvilla, the then vicar of the Orthodox Syrian Church, Allepey, visited Bombay and celebrated Hoy Qurbana in St. Mary’s Church, Parel, on 23rd May 1943. A meeting was held on that day at which an adhoc committee with Mr. P.M Mathew and Mr. K.M. Thathunny as Joint Secretaries was set up to examine the possibility of a Parish in Bombay.

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On 27th February 1944, a General Body Meeting was held at Byculla YMCA under the Presidentship of His Grace Mar Thoma Dionysius at which the findings of the adhoc committee were presented and a new committee with Mr. K.M. Philip, President, Mr. P. M. Mathew, Secretary Mr. M.E. Cherian Joint. Secretary and Mr. V.K. Thomas, Treasurer was appointed. Upon the request to His Holiness Moran Mar BaseliusGeevarghese II, the Catholicos of the East, the late Rev. Fr. P. M. Philipose was appointed as the first Vicar of the newly formed Parish by His Grace Alexios Mar Therdosius, O.I.C, the first Metropolitan of the Parishes outside Kerala. Fr. Philipose arrived in Bombay on 26th May 1944 and celebrated Holy Qurbana from Sunday the 28th May 1944 onwards at the St. Peter’s Church, Mazagaon, by the generosity of the Bishop of Bombay and the Cowley Fathers. This arrangement continued till our Church was built and consecrated on 9th December 1951. Fr. P. M. Philipose served and organized the Parish on a token remuneration from 28th May 1944 to 1st April 1945. He was succeeded by the late Rev. Ft. T.I. Joseph in May 1945. Since 1945 keeping in view of the growth of the parish the General Body of the Parish at its meeting held on 7th January 1945 appointed a Church Building Committee for the Purpose with Late Mrs. Achamma John Mathai, as its Chairperson, Mr. M.E. Cherian as its convener. Late Mr. T. Mathew was appointed as convener in place of Mr. M. E. Cherian relinquishing his post on his transfer from Bombay. Mr. T. Mathew deserves a special mention for the work he rendered to the Parish in various capacities till he left for his eternal rest on 19th August 1979.

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Under the inspiring leadership of the Vicar, Rev. Fr. T. I. Joseph and Mrs. Achamma John Mathai, Chairperson a fund raising drive was launched in the month of July 1945. The Building committee then focused its attention to secure a suitable plot and through the efforts of Mrs. Achamma John Mathai, the Bombay Municipal Corporation, agreed to give on lease a plot of land at 171 Naigaum Estate, Dadar, Bombay. The Building Committee was registered under the Society’s Registration Act in the name of The Orthodox Syrian Church Building Society on 2nd April 1947 as the legal body.

 

The construction of a small parsonage was started in December 1949 and it was completed in February 1950.Fr. T. I. Joseph moved to the newly built parsonage. He was succeeded by Rev. Fr. T. G. Koshy, and under his inspiring leadership the construction of the church building was started in 3rd May 1951 and the building was completed in December 1951.The consecration of the St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church was solemnized on Sunday the 9th of December 1951 by the late His Holiness Moran Mar BaseliusGeevarghese II of the blessed memory, assisted by the late lamented His Grace Mar Thoma Dionysius and a host of clergy. Distinguished personalities like the Governor of Bombay, and a large gathering attended the holy ceremony. The event was a land mark in the history of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christians of Bombay.

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Since the old Church building had outlived its estimated life, the members of the Parish decided to rebuild the Church. The Foundation stone for the new Church building with adequate space for worship, Priest Quarters, A Free Charitable Dispensary and other social activities was laid on Sunday 22nd April 1984 by our beloved Diocesan Metropolitan His Grace TheophilusPhilipos, along with His Grace Geeverghese Mar Osthathios, Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese. The construction of the building was prayerfully started under the inspiring and mature leadership of Late Rev. Fr. C.C. Geevarghese, the Vicar and ably assisted by Rev. Fr. PauloseAdai. The project received the blessings of His Holiness the Catholicos, His Grace the Diocesan Metropolitan and the whole hearted support of all the Parish members, as one entity.

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The St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church is celebrated diamond jubilee in the year 2009. On 18 Jan 2009 His Holiness Moran Mar BaseliusMarthomaDidymos I, seventh Catholicos of the East in Malankara issued a kalpana elevating this historical first Church of the Malankara Orthodox Christians of Mumbai to a Cathedral. The BavaThirumeni’skalpana was read by H.G Geevarghese Mar Coorilos (Metropolitan, Bombay Diocese), in the presence of H. G Paulose Mar Pachomios (Metropolitan, Mavelikara Diocese), H. G. Zacharias Mar Theophilus ( Metropolitan, Malabar Diocese) during the Tri Mass celebrated on the same day.

CHURCH SERVICES HOLY QURBANA Sunday : 07.00 AM (1st service) 09.30 AM (2nd service) (4th Sunday of every month 1st service in English) Friday: 06.00 PM On Obligatory days: 07.00 AM INTERCESSORY PRAYER Tuesday: 06.30 PM Evening Prayer & Intercessory Prayer to St. Mary Friday: 05.30 PM Evening Prayer, Holy Qurbana and Intercessory Prayer to Parumala Mar Gregorios.

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At present Rev.Fr Thomas  Myalil serving as the Vicar and Rev.Fr.Sunil Baby serving as the Asst.Vicar.