21 July 2016
Girls greet visitors at the Vimala Orphanage in Marthandam, run by the Daughters of Mary. Children at the orphanage are supported by CNEWA. (photo: John E. Kozar)
CNEWA’s chair, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, recently made a pastoral visit to India with CNEWA president Msgr. John E. Kozar, meeting with leaders of the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches and experiencing the richness and diversity of Christianity in India.
As Asia News reported:
CNEWA’s chair Cardinal Timothy Dolan shares a warm moment with Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, following the liturgy commemorating the death of Mar Ivanios, the founder of the Syro-Malankara Church.
The Syro-Malankara Church in India has commemorated the 63rd anniversary of the death of Aboon Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, the founder of the rite. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, was present at the event as guest of honor.
The U.S. prelate came on the personal invitation Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, head of the Syro-Malankara Church and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).
(photo: John E. Kozar)
Speaking to AsiaNews, Cardinal Cleemis expressed joy for Cardinal Dolan’s presence, noting the long-standing bonds between the Syro-Malankara Church and the Archdiocese of New York.
In 1948, he said, “Archbishop Mar Ivanios visited the diocese and since then we have always maintained a close bond of friendship.”
In his blog, Cardinal Dolan celebrated the dynamism and diversity of the Catholic Church:
Sisters from the Archeparchy of Ernakulam welcome Cardinal Dolan and Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. (photo: John E. Kozar)
As I am vividly reminded now, the Church is not constrained by race, blood, or maps. Here in India, I can find the same Catholic faith I savor in the Bronx, on Staten Island, or up in Ulster County.
Cardinal Dolan meets schoolchildren at the St. George Parish School in Ernakulam.
Here the Church, while ancient, seems so new, young, and alive. It is still a tiny part of the census of India — maybe only 1 percent of the teeming population — but, it is growing, and it is respected. The rest of India admires the tiny Catholic community for its unity in faith, its devotion to prayer, and its service to the community, especially in its splendid schools, hospitals and clinics, and works of charity.
(photo: John E. Kozar)
So much so that the little Church in India is itself missionary, as the world thanks God for the radiantly committed Catholic faithful, priests, and sisters who are serving splendidly in all parts of the Church universal, as we are gratefully aware here in the archdiocese.
Visiting my brother bishops, and priests, so many sisters and families here in this subcontinent, is a retreat for me, as I see the oneness, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity of His Church.
As you can see, Msgr. Kozar took some wonderful pictures during the trip. We look forward to sharing more of them with you online to celebrate and salute this corner of CNEWA’s world, where the church truly is “so new, young and alive.”
A welcoming band greets CNEWA’s president John E. Kozar at the St. George Shrine and School in Ernakulam. (photo: CNEWA)