***HISTORIC BLESSING OF NEW ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST CONVENT IN INDIA***
On Sunday 19th February 2017, the Indian Archdiocese of the Assyrian Church of the East celebrated a momentous milestone in its history with the opening and blessing of the “H.H. Mar Dinkha IV Assyrian Convent” in Kalathode, Thrissur, Kerala.
The blessing was conducted by His Beatitude Dr Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of India, H.G. Mar Yohannan Yoseph and H.G. Mar Awgin Kuriakose, Bishops of India in the presence of many clergy and a large congregation of faithful.
During the ceremony, the Metropolitan of India noted that this is the first house for the sisters in India in recent centuries.
The current order of sisters was formed in 1998 with the blessings of the late Catholicos-Patriarch, His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV of blessed memory. The first sister who offered her life to the service of the church was Jincy Othottil on 15th August 1998. The dedication
ceremony was conducted by His Beatitude the late Mar Timotheus II, Patriarchal Delegate and His Beatitude Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of India. Sr Jincy’s permanent vow was taken in the presence of H.H. the late Mar Dinkha IV during his historic visit to India in January 2000. Sister Jincy holds the following tertiary qualifications and is currently the Principal of a school of the Assyrian Church of the East in India: M.Com., M.A.(Syriac) and Ph.D.(Syriac).
The second two sisters of the Order, Sr. Susy and Sr. Annie, came into the congregation in May 2003. They continue to serve the Mar Timotheus Orphanage in Kalathode. The Convent is constructed very close to the Orphanage.
Construction of the Convent commenced 4 years ago during the Patriarchate of His Holiness the late Mar Dinkha IV. After his repose, it was decided that the Convent would be blessed as the “HH Mar Dinkha IV Assyrian Convent” in his honour.
The total cost of the project to date is 5.6 million Indian rupees (equivalent to $90,000 USD) with the major contribution of the cost coming from the Archdiocese of Australia under the leadership of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. The total final cost of the project will be almost $100,000 USD. 3/4 of the project is now completed and the Church of the East in India hopes to complete the rest with the support of faithful members of the Church in India and abroad.
May this new house for the Sisters of the Church of the East in India be blessed by Almighty God and may it bring forth new pious women who wish to dedicate their lives to the service of the Lord and His Holy Church.
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