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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Indian Malankara Orthodox Liturgy Celebrated after a gap of 59 years at the Historic Mission field of Metropolitan Alvares Julius : Mission in Dindigul Revamped - News | Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE

Memorial Prayers
30 July 2014

Dindigul/Tamil Nadu/India: It was a golden moment in the history of the Indian Malankara Orthodox church as well as churches with the Apostolic Succession of MAR JULIUS I (Arch bishop of Goa, Ceylon and India excluding Malabar) when Orthodox Liturgy was served by the prelates of the Chennai Diocese of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church on 29th July 2014 at the historic Mission field in Dindigul after a gap of 59 year. (In 1889 July 29 Fr. AFX Alvares Ramban was consecrated as the Arch bishop and primate of Independent catholic mission (Latin rite of Church of Malabar) at old Seminary Kottayam by HE Mar Joseph Dynosious, HG Mar Paul Athanasious, HG George Ivanious and HG St.Gregorious)

The historic event of 125th anniversary was celebrated on a joint initiative by the Madras diocese of Indian Malankara Orthodox Church (IMOC) and Orthodoxy Cognate Page (OCP) society in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India on 29th July 2014.

IMOC & OCP have now officially revamped the Dindigul Orthodox Mission of Saintly Metroploitan Alvares Julius I after a gap 57 years by holding holy liturgy. The chief celebrant is Fr. Sam (Vicar Padi Church, Chennai) in the presence Metropolitan Diascoros (Primate of the Chennai Diocese of IMOC). The OCP Society was represented by Ajeh T Phillip (Chief Project Coordinator – MARP). It was Ajesh wo rediscovered the lost community of St Gregorious in Dindigul as well as the Independent Catholic Church in Sempatty.

Events at Dindigul and Sempatty

As the part of the of 125th anniversary of the consecration of Metropolitan Alvares, evening prayers were held on 28-07-2012, 6:00pm at St. James Mission Church Sempatty, by Rev. Fr. Pradeep Ponnachan (Principal Secretary to the Metropolitan of Chennai). On 29th July 2014 The Divine Liturgy was held in the temporary chapel (St Gregorious Chapel) at PARUMALA AYYA Nagar, Ambadurai, Tamil Nadu. The liturgy was served in Tamil language.

Special memorial prayers were held for of Metropolitan Alvaruz Julius I, Fr. J M D Alvares, Fr. J D Mello, Sri I. Savarimuthu Pillai, and former leaders of the Mission. More than 30 members from the Tamilain community in the area attendant the prayers and took part in the Liturgy. Nearly ten priest from various parts of Chennai diocese were present for the historic occasion. After the Liturgy breakfast was served and ended up with photo session. Metropolitan Yuhanon Diascorous of Chennai honored Mr. Xavier (St Gregorious community in Dindigul) and Mr. Anthonisami (Trustee of St James Church in Sempatty) Metropolitan also made house visits. All necessary steps are underway to start a mission center and chapel in Parumala Ayya Nagar. The Mission will be known by the title – St. Gregorious Mission – Dindigul. Two Mission coordinators are already appointed for the area.

Metropolitan Alvruz Julius I

Fr.António Francisco Xavier Alvares, also known as Padre António Francisco Xavier Alvares, who hailed from Goa, a state of the Indian Union located on the west coast, was an editor, writer, founder of educational and social institutions, patriot and, above all, a dedicated social worker who had proved by his actions that the church was “the community of Faith, hope and charity,” and aspired to make the civil and ecclesiastical administration of Portuguese Goa likewise. In the pursuit of this ideal, of bringing about the spiritual and socio-political uplift of his people, Padre Alvares was branded seditious by the colonial Government of Goa and ex-communicated by the Roman Catholic Church, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Unable to see eye to eye with the Archbishop of Goa, Padre Alvares left the Roman Catholic Church in which he had been ordained to join the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church(earlier known as Syrian Church of Malabar) which consecrated him Archbishop of Ceylon, Goa and India (excluding Malabar) with the title of Mar Julius I.


Dindigul was the one of the oldest center of Christianity, from the latter half of 1600s. In 1887 more than 6,000 people joined with the ‘Church of Malabar’ (Indian Malankara Orthodox Church) along with Padre AFX Alvarez. The Church of Our Lady of Seven Dolors, Begamboor Dindigul was under the jurisdiction of the Independent Catholic Mission of Goa, Ceylon and India, till 1910. A chapel was also there in Muthalagu Petty run by Fr. L M Soares until his death in 1903. Due to the influence of Madurai mission and the formation of Trichy diocese of Roman Catholic Church and scarcity of Orthodox priests, the church became under the jurisdiction of Roman Catholics. But a fraction of the church was shifted to Shempatty (a village near to Dindigul) and existed under the jurisdiction of Saintly Julius Alvarez and the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church till 1958. Again due to the lack of proper care from the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church, improper Implementation of Syriac liturgy, and due pressure from Roman Catholics most of the people returned to Roman Catholic Church. Now after a gap of several many years the Missionary community of Saintly Alvaruz Julius have been revamped jointly by the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church and the Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE Society.

For research articles visit MARP:

For the article on line and splendid photographs: Orthodox Liturgy Celebrated after a gap of 59 years at the Historic Mission field of Metropolitan Alvares Julius : Mission in Dindigul Revamped - News | Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE

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