The Brahmavar Orthodox Church (Catholicate of the East)
By Our Gulf OCP Correspondent- OCP News Service- 25/7/16
BRAHMAVAR, Karnataka, India: Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan HG Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios of the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church led the feast of blessed Fr R Z Noronha (1850-1936) at Brahmavar St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral.
Religious fervor and gaiety marked the feast which was celebrated with a large number of faithful took part in the ceremony celebrated for two days on July 22, 23. Cold winds and incessant rains did not hamper the faithful from attending the celebrations in large numbers. There were also evening prayers, memorial speech and prayer of incenses at the tomb of Blessed Noronha culminating with a procession of proclamation.
Earlier, the Metropolitan upon arrival garlanded the bust of blessed Fr Noronha and paid a visit to different Institutions run by Brahmavar Christian Community as a guest of honor.
Later on July 24, Sunday, Mar Yulios also led feast of blessed Alveris Yulios, and Fr Noronah celebrated by Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Christians at St John’s Orthodox Church, Andheri, Mumbai.
Fr Noronha was a multifunctional personality and was a great educator, spiritual father, writer, and social reformer. The reunion with the Orthodox Church put Fr Noronha in great trouble. He was always threatened by the Roman Catholic Church. Fr Noronha was very much loved by the residents of Brahmavar. He was very particular and strict about the Orthodox faith, especially, Orthodox prayers and sacraments. He motivated many people to participate in prayers through house visits.
Rev Fr R Z Noronha belongs to the ‘Shenvi’ family (obtained from the word ‘Shenoy,’ meaning a teacher or scholar), and was a native of Cortalim, located on the left bank of Zuvari River, presently in Mormugao taluka of Goa. Fr Noronha was impressed by the lifestyle and teachings of late lamented Metropolitan Alvares Mar Julius. As the consecration of Bishop was invoked as Mar Julius, the responsibility of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral was handed over to Fr Noronha.
He started to follow in the footsteps of his role model in high spirits and accepted the ‘Orthodox Faith.’ This was primarily because he learned that St Thomas had established the ‘Orthodox Community’ about 2000 years ago in Kerala, South India.
OCP News Service