As any striving Syro Malabar Catholic community in the UK we have had a fair share of success in organising some of the best retreats and many other religious functions that we could possibly think of, outside Kerala. The willingness of our community leaders and members alongside Fr Saji’s efforts has paved the way for many successful accomplishments for our community in Newcastle. While not resting on our past laurels, we continue to look up to pastures anew, where we can make a difference by bringing some of the most sought after names in religious education and preaching. At the same time we aim to keep abreast of the flavor and touch of God’s Own Country-Kerala. Listed below is a sample of some of our major accomplishments, over the past six years:
1. The visit of His Excellency Papal Nuncio of Zimbabwe Archbishop Mar George Kocherry.
2. The visit of Archbishop Emeritus of Thrissur Mar Joseph Thoomkuzhy.
3. The visit of Archbishop of Changanacherry Mar Joseph Perumthottam.
4. Bishop of Ujjain Mar Sebastian Vadakkel.
5. Bishop of Mandya Mar George Njaralakatt.
6. Bishop of Bhadravati Mar Joseph Arumachadath.
7. Auxillary Bishop of Kottayam Mar Joseph Pandarasseril.
Internationally renowned Retreat Priests:
Rev Fr Mathew Naickomparambil VC
Rev Fr. George Panackal,VC
Rev Fr Mathew Elavumkal VC
Rev Fr Augustine Mundecatt VC
Rev Fr Kurian Karickal
Participation and Cooperation:
1. In Many Culture One Church, diocesan annual event for all the international Catholic communities.
2. In Praise and worship of ST Therese of Lisieux’s Relics brought at St Andrews Church. As a community we were allocated one hour of prayer time during the Visitation of the Relics.
3. Regular participation in Retreats, discourses and seminars in various places across the diocese and beyond.
4. Members of our community serving as Catholic School Foundation Governors.
5. Members of our community serving as Eucharistic Ministers, Parish Council Members, Readers and Altar Servers in many English parishes where they live.
6. As a community we took part in Second Saturday Retreat in Nottingham led by renowned retreat giver Rev Fr Xavier Khan Vattayil of Sehion Attapady,Kerala.
A dedicated group of catechists are teaching catechism to the community children since 2011. We organised the first annual day of catechism on December 23rd 2012, which was applauded by all parents. The catechism classes are currently held on Second Sundays and Last Sundays of the Month.
St Thomas Day celebration:
This has become a popular annual event with many cultural programmes and traditional style celebration of Dukhrana Thirunaal, with huge number of Syro Malabar communities coming from across the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and beyond, taking part in it. We manage to get a Visiting Indian Bishop as chief guest and our Diocesan Bishop to preside the Cultural programmes every year.
Family Units/Wards- As is prevalent in Kerala, Malayalees in and around Newcastle upon Tyne have also formed family units/wards in their own respective areas. These Family Units assemble at a pre-determined family house at least once in a month and pray together and keep the tradition going on. As and when time permits Fr.Saji Thottathil makes a point to take part in these group prayers and encourage them with his words of wisdom.
We have launched a newly dedicated website for our thriving community. Keep it handy so that you are updated with what’s going on in the community especially Mass timings, Catechism class time and dates and other Church programmes. It signifies the unity, growth and progressive vision for the future of our community. The modern world thrives in digital age communication and media tools, so this website will hopefully act as a catalyst in promoting the Christian faith, family values and community spirit rooted in our cultural values.
The beneficiaries of this web initiative will be the young generation and children. It will provide them with a real understanding of the Syro Malabar community and it values, its traditions and also its vital contribution to the Church and society.
From time to time this website will provide its users with more educational and spiritually nourishing contents. It will be regularly updated with current affairs, ongoing events, news and relevant issues which give food for thought. We would welcome contributions regularly to this website with thought-provoking write-ups and reading materials from those who can make a positive difference. Let us all work together for the spiritual and material development of our future generations.