The Diocese of Bombay receives His Holiness Abune Mathias, the Patriarch of Ethiopia
The Diocese of Bombay, organised a reception for HH Abune Mathias I, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, on November 24, 2016. The Patriarch and other Ethiopian delegates visited the Cathedral after the inauguration of St Gregorios International Cancer care centre in Parumala, Kerala, and Bicentenary memorial celebration of Sabha Jyothis Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan, the previous day.The Ethiopian students, some of them from Puṇe and different parts of Maharashtra, led the reception ceremony with prayers and hymns in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia and addresses by the dignitaries.
Rev Fr Koshy Alex, the Secretary of Diocese of Bombay welcomed the guests, followed by the presidential address by HG Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, who called the historic event ”a God- given opportunity to welcome the supreme head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Mumbai” and ” a blessing for the Indian Orthodox Church.”
Very Rev NS Verghese Cor-Episcopa, in his felicitation address called the event ” a moment of great joy.” “Whenever and wherever there is an Orthodox gathering, there is a sense of joy, love and fellowship which cannot be expressed in words. And greater is the joy when the Holy Patriarch of an Orthodox Church is in our midst,” said the Cor-Episcopa. He praised the presence of the Ethiopians in the parishes here and commended their “zeal, passion and devotion” to the Orthodox faith, further adding,” It is said, if you want to see a strong, orthodox person, then proceed to Ethiopia.”
HE Mesfin Gebremariam, the Consulate General of Ethiopian Consulate in Mumbai, graced the occasion with his wife. He praised the cordial relations between India and Ethiopia and called the visit of HH Abune Mathias I “a manifestation of growing relations” between the two countries. “Ethiopia values India in our socio-economic development, since the establishment of our bilateral and diplomatic relations,” he added, while lauding the Indian missions of United Nations in Ethiopia. He further added the historic commonness between the nations and the Orthodox churches is another reason to explore more ways to strength the relations. The audience erupted in applause when the diplomat ended his speech with “Jai Ethiopia, Jai Hind.”
The choir of the Cathedral sang a melodious hymn, followed by the felicitation address by the Director of the Sunday Schools in the Bombay Diocese Dr Sunny Pariyaram. The delegates and Ethiopian patriarch were presented with mementos on behalf of HG Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Bombay Diocese.
HH Abune Mathias I, in his Patriarchal address, expressed his gratitude to His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Paulose II, the Catholicos of the East, and to His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan, Priests, Deacons and the members of the Malankara Churc for the respect and hospitality given in his journey in India. “I am very happy to be among you, to meet you and see you this evening. I am glad to be visiting the churches under the Indian Orthodox Church and had the privilege of being received by HH Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II, the Catholicos and Metropolitan Mar Coorilos.” His Holiness commemorated the Holy Fathers, St Thomas the Apostle and St Geevarghese Mar Gregorios and remembered their contribution to the Indian Orthodox Church.
Rev Fr Thomas Myalil, Vicar of St Mary’s Cathedral, Dadar thanked the guests, followed by a hymn, performed by the Ethiopian friends. The traditional drum played by the students while performing their hymn spread such positive vibes among the members of the church that made them sway on the beats of their songs.Ethiopian dignitaries and students were equally overwhelmed by the warm welcome given to them by the members of the church.
Sherlin Mary Rajan
Edited by Fr.Thomas Philipose