The two-year-long centenary celebrations of the Catholicate of the East of the Malankara Orthodox Church had a ceremonial start at the historic St Mary’s Church founded by St Thomas the Apostle of Jesus Christ in AD 52 at Niranom near Thiruvalla on Monday.

A mega holy Eucharist led by the Catholicose-Designate of the Malankara Orthodox Church, Paulose Mar Milithios with 100 co-celebrants was a major event of the day in the forenoon.

Thomas Mar Athanasios Metropolitan of the Chengannur diocese and Youhanon Mar Chrysostomos Metropolitan of the Niranom diocese were the other bishops who have the attended the function.

The Catholicos-Designate released the logo of the centenary celebrations by handing over the same to Mar Athanasios, who is also the centenary celebrations committee chairman, at a meeting held at the church premises, later.

Mr. Jacob Benjamin Koshy, former Chief Justice of Patna High Court, delivered the keynote address.

Mar Chrysostomos, Dr. George Joseph, Malankara Association secretary and Fr Kurien Daniel, celebrations committee general convener, also addressed the meeting.

Fr Daniel said prayer day would be observed at all parishes attached to the Malankara Orthodox Church on January 3. He said preparatory retreat would be held during August 1 to 15.

Fr Daniel said the formal inauguration of the celebrations would be held in Delhi in November first week of 2010.

He said the Church was planning to donate houses to 100 homeless poor families, provide free treatment for 100 cardiac patients and 100 cancer patients, and to conduct marriages of girls belonging to poor families as part of the centenary celebrations.

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