Feast of St. Jude celebrated by
Syro-Malabar Mission, San Bernardino

St. Jude Syro-Malabar Mission celebrated the Feast of their patron Saint St. Jude on 30 Sunday at Christ the Redeemer Church, Grand Terrace. It also marks the 5th anniversary of the mission.

St. Jude Syro-Malabar Mission celebrated the feast of St. Jude its patron saint on Sunday with Holy Qurbana (Mass), unveiling and publishing of a Souvenir, cultural programs and fellowship meal. Fr. Soney Sebastian, SVD, the former Director and founder of the mission was the main celebrant. Msgr. Gerald Lopez the Vicar General of the Diocese of San Bernardino was the homilist and Fr. Biju Thomas the Director of the Mission was the co-celebrant.

In his homily Msgr. Lopez said that the Syro-Malabar Mission is always welcome in the diocese and its presence and tradition adds to the multi-cultural scenario of the Diocese. The Mass was followed by solemn procession of the Blessed Sacrament around the church. The colorful special umbrellas, golden cross, the beautifully adorned statue of St. Jude, the rhythmic music of the traditional drums (chenda), all added color to the procession. The liturgical celebrations were followed by cultural program and dinner in the hall. Some of the noted playback singers from Indian films and local talents from the mission sang while others performed ‘bollywood’ style dances.

The main highlights of the program were the releasing/publishing of the Souvenir to mark the 5th anniversary as well as the accomplishment of the first project of St. Jude Charity. St. Jude Charity is a program begun by the members of the mission to assist in some philanthropic activities in Kerala, India. As part of its first program, it has completed building a simple two-bed room house for a needy family in Kerala. 

The celebrations were a culmination of nine days novena to St. Jude that conducted at individual families of the members of the mission. It surely was a beautiful evening of spiritual and communal celebration for St. Jude members.

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic church based in Kerala, India. The church traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. The Syro-Malabar Church uses a variant of the East Syriac Rite, today known as Syro-Malabar Rite, which dates back to 3rd century Edessa, Upper Mesopotamia. As such it is a part of Syriac Christianity by liturgy and heritage.

It is an autonomous church in full communion with the Pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, including the Latin Church and the 22 other Eastern Catholic churches, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The Church is headed by the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar, currently Cardinal George Alencherry. The Syro-Malabar Synod of Bishops canonically convoked and presided over by the Major Archbishop constitutes the supreme authority of this Church.

It is the largest of the Saint Thomas Christian communities with a population of 2.35 million in Kerala as per the 2011 Kerala state census and 4.25 million worldwide as estimated in the 2016 Annuario Pontificio. It is the third largest sui juris church in the Catholic Church communion and the second largest Eastern Catholic church after the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

It has provided thousands of priests and religious missionaries to the Church down the centuries to this day, who have gone to the nooks and corners of the world with the Good News of Christ.

– Soney Sebastian, SVD

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