The Assembly of the Exarchate in USA was held on 22 and 23 June 2011 at Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, New York. The two-days Assembly was inaugurated by His Excellency Most Rev. William Muruphy, the Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The inauguration meeting was presided over by Most. Rev. Thomas Mar Eusebius, the Bishop of the Exarchate. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Peter Kochery welcomed the participants and Rt. Rev. Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari, the Rector of the Seminary, welcomed the members to the Seminary. The Assembly Sessions began with an ice breaker, namely, all participants introduced themselves. A representative from each parish was asked to present a small report of their respective parish. During the noon session Rev. Fr. Mathew Charthakuzhiyil presented the main paper of the Assembly, “The Missionary Role of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.” This paper gave a theological framework for the subsequent discussion. Rev. Fr. Sunny Mathew (Parish priest), Mr. George James (lay person) and Dr. Jocelyn Edathil (Youth) presented their response to this paper.
During the morning session of the second day, Rev. Fr. George Oonnoonny presented a paper on “The Pastoral and Canonical Implications of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Exarchate.” This paper gave emphasis to the canonical and pastoral dimensions of the Church’s mission in the United States of America. All participants were divided into five groups namely, Mar Baselios, Mar Gregorios, Mar Theophilos, Mar Athanasios, and Mar Ephraem. Each group gathered together thrice and discussed the given questions. In addition, each group was also asked to chart a missionary plan for the Church for the next five years. The summary of the discussion was presented in the general discussion that was moderated by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Peter Kochery. Then Rev. Fr. Mathai Mannoorvadakkethil, Mr. Alex John, Mrs. Thresiamma Nadavallil and Mr. Aloysius John presented their evaluations of the Assembly. All of them shared their appreciation and proposed that the momentum created by the Assembly must be continued by designing follow-up programs and implementing the proposed plans. During the zero-hour there was active interaction from most of the participants.
During the concluding session Most Rev. Thomas Mar Eusebius offered his final comments, his deep sense of satisfaction about the fruitfulness of the Assembly and his gratitude to all the participants for their serious and committed participation in the Assembly. Besides the ex-officio members, Mr. George James, Mr. Gijo Georekutty (youth representative) and Mrs. Thresiamma Nadavallil (woman representative) and Mr. Mr. Francis Thazhamon (representing the region of Canada) were elected as the members to attend the Major Archiepiscopal Assembly which will be held from 21 to 23 September, 2011 at the Catholicate Centre, Trivandrum. Thomas Mar Eusebius and Rev. Fr. Saji Mukkootumannil, the general secretary expressed their gratitude to all who were instrumental in making this Assembly a success.
During the “Sending-out Rite” while playing, “Go Out and Tell the Good News,” Mar Eusebius handed lighted candles to each participant, who processed in two lines behind the Holy Bible carried by the Proto-Syncellus. When the procession reached the Chapel, the Bishop read out the Mission Command from the Gospel of Matthew. People requested the blessing of the Bishop by singing “Sloosok aman.” After the Bishop’s blessings, they kissed the hand-cross of the Bishop, singing “Krolohoon Moraan.” The participants left the Assembly venue with a renewed sense of being a Church and with a deepened conviction about their missionary call.
The arrangements were made by various committees headed by Fr. Mathew Perumbillikunnel & Mr. Mohan Varghese (Registration), Fr. Sunny Kavuvila (Logistics), Fr. Joseph Nedumankuzhiyil (Liturgy), Fr. MathaiMannoorvadakethil (Adoration), Fr. Joy Mankulam (Accommodation), Fr. Thomas Malayil (Food), Fr. Job Kalluvilayil (Social Time), Fr. Jacob John & Mr. Gheevarghese Thankachan (VIP Reception), Fr. Daiju Kuriakose (Time Keeper), Fr. Augustine Mangalath (Seminary Contact), Sr. Arpitha SIC & Sr. Agnes DM (Medical) and Mr. Varughese Zachariah (Transportation).