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Syriac Orthodox Church established in Greater Sudbury

Indian Christian denomination begins serving Nickel City community
The Holy Syriac Orthodox Church of Greater Sudbury celebrated its first mass at the end of May.

The Holy Syriac Orthodox Church of Greater Sudbury celebrated its first mass at the end of May.

This new congregation, under the Holy See of Antioch all the East, drew 120 celebrants from Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie were on hand for the first mass, which was celebrated May 19 at St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, its temporary home in the Nickel City.

“The Archbishop of Malankara Syriac Orthodox church for North America, Bishop his Eminence Eldos Mor Titus, celebrated the holy mass, and Fr. Manu Mathew and Fr. Manu Paulose assisted the bishop in service,” the church told 

During the mass, the new Sudbury church congregation was given a name, St. Behnam and St. Sara Syriac Orthodox Congregation, Sudbury. 

“Saint Behnam, Sarah, and 40 martyrs were 4th Century Assyrian Christians who suffered martyrdom during the reign of Shapur 2,” the church said. “They are venerated as saints in the Assyrian Church of  East and Oriental Orthodox church.”

Fr. Manu Paulose has been chosen as president and vicar for the congregation. Rounding out the governing body are Binoy Joseph as vice president, Noby Abraham as secretary, Alan Hally as treasurer and Snehamol Varghese as auditor, with committee members Grace George, Alan Thomas, Gifin Saji and Neenu Mathai. 

The congregation plans to celebrate mass twice a month.

“Bishop Expressed his gratitude to parishioners of Ukrainian Orthodox community and dignitaries from Ukrainian Catholic church, Jesus Youth Sudbury, for all the support and love.”

Syric Christianity has a long history in India, the church said.

“According to tradition, Christianity in India was established by Apostle St. Thomas who arrived in Malankara (Kerala) from Edessa in A.D. 52,” the church said. “The close ties between the church in Malankara and the Near East go back to at least the 4th Century when Joseph of Edessa traveled to India and met Christians there. 

“The Church in Malankara today is an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church with the Patriarch of Antioch as its Supreme Spiritual Head. The local head of the church in Malankara is the Catholicos of India, consecrated by and accountable to the Patriarch of Antioch.”

The liturgy in the church is celebrated in the Syriac language, “an Aramaic dialect akin to the Aramaic spoken by Christ and the Apostles,” the church said. Describing the liturgy as one of the most ancient, the church said it “demonstrates the unity of the body of Christ by the multi-ethnic nature of its faith: A visit to your local Syriac Orthodox Church in Europe or the Americas would demonstrate, for example, the blend of Near Eastern and Indian cultures in the motifs and vestments of clergy.” 

Syriac Orthodox faithful live primarily in Middle Eastern countries, Europe, the Americas, Australia and the Indian State of Kerala, with many communities in the diaspora.

The Syriac Orthodox Church has been a member of the World Council of Churches since 1960 and is one of the founding members of the Middle East Council of Churches.


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