MUSCAT: During the recent two-week hectic visit to the Sultanate of Oman, Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, visited all the three Indian Orthodox (Malankara) churches located in Muscat, Sohar and Salalah.
The Metropolitan also visited several interior areas at congregations like Barka, Buraimi, Sur, Ibri, Rustaq and Nizwa leading Holy Eucharists and Catholicate Centenary (1912-2012) seminars.
During his interaction during visits to several people’s contact programmes, new families were brought into Orthodoxy and to follow its traditional beliefs. They were requested to keep in touch with their nearest mother Orthodox Church since they resided at far flung areas.
Nizwa congregation in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate, Dr Mar Yulios said, is all set to be installed as a church in the name of St Mary’s by next year. Presently there are 120 families and Holy Eucharist is being held there monthly twice by the Vicar of Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edavaka, Rev Fr Joji George Koickalethu.
Ibra in Al Sharqiyah North is the new addition as an Orthodox congregation under Ahmedabad Diocese, reveals the Metropolitan, which His Grace also visited.
At Sohar (200 kms north of Muscat) in Al Batinah North Governorate, steps have been identified for constructing a new church on a plot (3-storey building) inside the present PCO building complex. The foundation stone will be laid next year and the efforts of Sohar Church Vicar Rev Fr C S Mathews were recognised in this regard.
At Sur in Al Sharqiyah North Governorate, for the first time, 15 families were initiated into Orthodoxy and named as St Thomas Congregation.
In the Governorate of Dhofar, Salalah Church will soon join the World Wide Web with an on line edition. Rev Fr Isaac Thomas has been requested to initialize the matter. At Salalah, Dr Mar Yulios led prayer meetings in several camps and spread the word of God among industrial workers.
Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edavaka also obtained the green signal for the construction of new Sunday School extension on top of the existing building.
The Morth Mariyam Orthodox Congregation in Ghala, Muscat, will also see construction of a new church after suitable local government procedures are done with in due course.
Dr Mar Yulios also discussed ideas regarding the newly-formed Oman-Yemen Zone in the Gulf region.
The Metropolitan’s next visit due in March 2013 will further give boost to consolidate the Sultanate as the main focus area of Ahmedabad Diocese. The three-week visit will be mainly for Lenten retreats and will follow up on the present visit.
Dr Mar Yulios also kept abreast of various recent developments in the Arabian Gulf following the Arab spring.
It was also decided that future updates to the online site of Ahmedabad Diocese (www.moscad.info) will be from the office of the Diocesan Secretary at Ahmedabad. His Grace also acknowledged and appreciated the updates and documentation of Ahmedabad Diocese on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/