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 Archbishop of Mount Lebanon Mor Theophilus George Sliba visits Kerala, India


SOLNews - Mor Theophilus George Sliba, the Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and the Patriarchal Representative for this year's Manjanikkara pilgrimage - the pilgrimage to the revered tomb of St. Elias III the former Patriarch who passed away in India - was here in the capital city of Kerala for a short visit for the foundation stone laying ceremony of MRC School and Hospital Guidance Centre at Pongamood, Thiruvananthapuram on 16.02.2004.

St. Peter's Charitable Society under  St. Peter's Jacobite Syrian Simhasana Church Thiruvananthapuram is planning to build a School for the Mentally Handicapped and also a Hospital Guidance Centre at Pongumood on land previously acquired by the Society. The School is already functioning at the church and because of lack of proper facilities the Society is planning to expand the School by shifting to a  new complex here at Pongumood. The St. Peters Parish already has a sub-church here at Pongumood, the consecration of which was conducted last year. The MRC School and Guidance Centre are going to be constructed near to this sub-church.

The Chief Guest, Mor Theophilus was given a grand reception on behalf of the parish and the Mentally Retarded School. HG was accompanied by Mor Koorilose Markose, the Metropolitan of Thiruvananthapuram and Mor Osthathiose Benjamin Joseph. The guests were received by Rev. Fr. Elias George, vicar and Rev. Fr. Sam G. Varghese, the asst.vicar. The foundation stone was laid down by Archbishop of Lebanon.  After this, public meeting was held with Metropolitan Mor Koorilose Markose as President. The meeting was attended by Prof. J. Chandra, the Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram, Mr. K. Mohan Kumar MLA of the constituency, Councillor Padmakumar, Mr. Vijayakumar ex-Speaker and Dr. D. Babu Paul, Retd. Addl. Chief Secretary. The meeting was attended by an august gathering.

After the meeting, Archbishop proceeded to St. Peters Simhasana church. HG chanted the 'Luthiniya' with burning incense infront of the altar. After the “luthiniya”, HG talked with the  correspondent reminiscing the last visit he made to the church.

HG was here with Patriarch HH Zakka I Iwas during the consecration of the church way back in 1982. This is his third visit, the second visit being in 1986. Currently HG is the Secretary to Holy Synod. Earlier HG was the Patriarchal Secretary. Also HG holds the charge of the diocese of Mount Lebanon. He is one among the four Syrian  Bishops in Lebanon. When enquired about the Patriarch, HG told that HH asked him to convey HH's special regards to all people in  Malankara. HG has very high opinion about Kerala and the faithful over here. HG said he loves Malankara like anything and that it is a statement deep down from his heart. When asked about his next visit, HG told that if God allows definitely he will come again.

Reports and Photos by Dr. Paul Samuel

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Updated: 17.02.2004
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