It was a grand occasion of abundant blessing and joy for Saint Jude Malankara Catholic Mission, San Jose as Most Rev. Dr. Philipos Mar Stephanos made his pastoral visit from January 22 – 28.
Saint Jude Malankara Catholic Mission belongs to one of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which follows the ancient Antiochean Liturgical tradition. The Bishop, Mar Stephanos, is the new Bishop of Saint Mary, the Queen of Peace, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Eparchy in the United States and Canada. This was his first pastoral visit to the mission, which was officially inaugurated on February 16, 2014 by his predecessor Most Rev. Thomas Mar Eusebius.
The enthusiasm of the faithful reached even San Francisco as many came up to the airport to welcome His Excellency. The humble shepherd was kind enough to visit with many families and bless them. Needless to say, the people of God were eager to welcome him.
The highlight of His Excellency’s pastoral visit was a solemn celebration of the most Holy Eucharist with the people of God on January 27. The celebration began with a solemn liturgical reception at the main vestibule of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Los Gatos. Secretary, Dr. Moni Mathew and treasurer, Liji Mathew of the Saint Jude Malankara Catholic Mission, welcomed him with a flower garland.
In his pastoral exhortation, His Excellency spoke about origin and uniqueness of the Malankara Catholic Liturgy, which traces back its heritage to Saint James the Apostle, the first bishop of Jerusalem. The celebration of the Holy Qurbono was a unique experience of the ancient Liturgy even to the parishioners of the Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church. During the Holy Qurbono two children received their First Holy Communion, symbolizing growth in the Church.
The Bishop, Mar Stephanos, was in awe with appreciation for the fellowship he witnessed among the people and with their pastor, Father Daniel Biju Varghese. Dr. Moni Mathew thanked everyone for the sacrifice, teamwork and enthusiasm, which enabled the successful completion of a week of parish life with the Bishop.
His Excellency Philipos Mar Stephanos was welcomed by the parish of Saint Mary Immaculate Church where he celebrated a Holy Mass in Latin Rite on January 28. He thanked Father Rick Rodoni, the Pastor of the Saint Mary of the Immaculate Parish and its parishioners for the gracious support they provide to the Malankara Catholic Mission.