Dr Mar Yulios appoints Fr Santu Skaria as new Vicar of St  Thomas Congregation, Bhuj


AHMEDABAD:  HG Pullikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan, has appointed Fr Santu Skaria as the new Vicar of St Thomas Orthodox Congregation, Bhuj, until further orders.
The congregation will for the time being officially function from St Xavier’s School Campus, Near RTO office, Bhuj, Kutch District, Gujarat.
In a Bull No 01/15 dated January 1, 2015 issued during the Metropolitan’s recent visit to St George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Dr Mar Yulios recalls the 25th year of Orthodox presence in the region as Orthodox Christians in modern history, and also pointed to the importance of the region in the historical map of the ministry of Father Apostle Thomas.
The new congregation will function under the Diocese of Ahmedabad of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
Fr Santu has been authorized to convene a meeting of all the members of the congregation and elect a Managing Committee for further functioning of the congregation and report at the earliest.
Dr Mar Yulios also states that the Kutch region of the north western part of India was one of the areas where St Thomas, the Apostle of our Lord is believed to have preached the Gospel. He is believed to have travelled up to Bhuj from the then Parthian Empire of King Gondaphorus and established the holy Church there at the very beginning of Christianity, even before his missionary journey to the southern parts of the country. However, the Church founded in these regions have later disappeared in to history.
In modern times, the first Holy Eucharist was conducted in Bhuj in May, 1990, at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Bhuj by Fr Idukula Daniel, who was deputed by the Late Glorified Metropolitan, HG Dr Philipose Mar Theophilus of blessed memory. Later, the Holy Eucharist was conducted in the region occasionally, mainly with the help of priests who served at Gandhidham St Stephen’s Orthodox Church.
It is also on record that during the devastating earthquake of 2001, a family of six members from three generations of Orthodox Church who departed from this world was buried in Bhuj Christian cemetery. “Though we did not get a chance so far to celebrate the Holy Qurbana, in this region, we had the privilege to visit those areas and also send our priests to provide necessary pastoral help to the believers scattered over there,” noted the Metropolitan Dr Mar Yulios.