70th Birthday(Sapthathi) Celebration of His Holiness Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan
The Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India
The year 2016 is a blessed year for the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, as it is the 70th birthday (Sapthathi)of His Holiness Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan, the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India. It is a very rare opportunity and blessing for the members of the St. George Malankara Orthodox Church of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania to organize the birthday celebration forthis blessed milestone in our beloved Bava Thirumeni’s life. More than 300 faithful members participated in the celebrationon Sunday August 28 that included the Holy Liturgy, followed by public meetingand a magnificent luncheon. His Holiness Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose IIand His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, the Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese co-celebrated the Sunday Holy Liturgy.Rev. Fr. Abu Varghese Peter,the vicar, welcomed His Holiness and participants. Rev. M. K. Kuriakose, the Diocesan Secretary congratulated the members for coordinating this wonderful celebration. Rev. Fr. Alexander Kurien, a Senior Policy Staff of the current President Obama Administration read and presented His Holiness the birthdaywishes from the Office of the President. In his letter, President, Barak Obama, sent the following message:
“Dear Holiness Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Paulos IIthe supreme head of the Indian Orthodox Church: Michelle and I send our warmest wishes for your 70th birthday. As you celebrate your birthday with your spiritual children in the United States of America, please know that I am grateful for inspiring your church for making a spiritual transformation in our communities to defend and respect human rights. I am inspired by your solemn devotion to caring for the oppressed and cultivating socio economic equality amongst women and girls. Your concern for improving the world inspires me with great hope for the future. I hope your birthday is filled with love and laughter, and I wish you all the best for good health and happiness in the year ahead. I wish you long life and success.”
In his reply, His Holiness appreciated the kindness of the President of the United States for the heartfelt welcome and best wishes, and the support for our churches across the United States. His Holiness requested our faithful to abide by the local rules and regulations of this nation that provides great opportunities and resources for our members and churches to prosper. His Holiness congratulated the faithful on their commitment to uphold the Orthodox faith, support for the Throne of the Catholicate, and the Northeast American Diocese. Area priests and Sabha Managing Committee members joined the celebration. The children sang happy birthday to His Holiness. The celebration ended with cutting of birthday cakes for His Holiness, the Diocesan Metropolitan, and the Secretary of His Holiness, Rev. Fr. Jiss Johnson.