With the launch of a number of charity programmes, the 20th anniversary of the ordination of H G Joseph Mor Gregorios Metropolitan of Kochi Diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and Secretary of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Church was celebrated at St George’s Jacobite Syrian Cathedral, Karingachira, on Sunday.
Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, inaugurated the celebrations by lighting a candle. H B Baselios Thomas I Catholicos delivered the presidential address. Joseph Mor Gregorios was felicitated by Kuriakose Matta Alghuri. ‘Mangalapathram’ was presented by H G Issac Mor Osthathios, the Metropolitan of Delhi and Mylapore Diocese.
As part of the celebrations, marriages of 20 financially underprivileged girls were conducted. “Out of hundreds of applications received, 20 most deserving girls were chosen, irrespective of religion, caste or creed. The weddings were held according to their respective religious customs at pre-planned venues. Each bride was given `2 lakh, including 40 grams of gold, the wedding attire and other gifts,” Joseph Mor Gregorios said.
“The couples were given pre-marital counselling and help to uplift them socially and economically. Such an event is unprecedented in the history of the Church,” he said.
Quoting Mother Teresa, he said that he wants to do little things with great love for the welfare of the people.
“All the charity programmes of the diocese will be expanded in the coming years,” he added.
Excise Minister K Babu inaugurated a dialysis unit. The unit will provide free dialysis to at least one needy patient in a day.
A housing scheme was inaugurated by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob. Jose K Mani MP inaugurated the scholarship programme for nursing students.
Under this scheme, deserving students will be provided `20,000 per year.
Mor Osthatheos Shreshta Seva Award, which has been instituted by the Youth Association of Kochi Diocese for honouring individuals or organisation undertaking selfless charitable service to the society, was awarded to the organisation ‘Thanal’.
District panchayat president Eldhose Kunnappilly and T U Kuruvilla MLA were also present at the function.