Thiruvalla, India: The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church has consecrated three priests who were selected for the bishopric and raised to the episcopal rank at a solemn ceremony on 2 December 2023, at the headquarters of the church in Thiruvalla, Kerala, India.
His Beatitude Dr Theodosius Mar Thoma, the supreme head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church was the chief celebrant.
The three new bishops are His Grace Zacharias Mar Aprem Episcopa, His Grace Dr Joseph Mar Ivanios Episcopa, and His Grace Mathews Mar Seraphim Episcopa.
The consecration of the three new bishops took place this morning. The previous such consecration took place 12 years ago.
The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, with over one million members, is a founding member of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA).
In a congratulatory message, the General Secretary of the CCA Dr Mathews George Chunakara stated, “It is with profound thanks to God Almighty that the CCA extends greetings and congratulations to the newly consecrated bishops and all faithful of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on this blessed occasion.”
“The Asian ecumenical family spread across this vast continent rejoices with all members of the Mar Thoma Church, in all its numerous parishes all over India and across the globe, and the sister churches in India, as you have come today to witness the celebration of this divine occasion of the consecration of three new bishops for the church.”
The CCA General Secretary’s message also noted that it is a “matter of great joy” that each of the three bishops consecrated possesses “rich experiences in pastoral care, missional involvement at the grassroots, academic proficiency, theological acumen, and deep understanding of the rich liturgical and monastic traditions and practices, as well as deep ecumenical commitments”.
“As these three newly consecrated bishops take up their new roles, we pray that God’s empowering love, care, and blessings will continue to surround them in their episcopal ministry towards people and communities scattered in different congregations of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in various parts of the world,” said Dr Mathews George Chunakara.