Birth Centenary Celebration of Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios
4th September 2015
Malankara Catholic Community, Kuwait
The Malankara Catholic Community under the leadership of Kuwait Malankara Rite Movement (KMRM) celebrated the Birth Centenary of Metropolitan Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios, on Friday, 4th September 2015, at Carmel School Auditorium, Khaitan, Kuwait. Three hundred invited persons belonging to various Christian churches, religions and associations took part in the Memorial lecture organized by KMRM. His Grace Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Bishop of Pathanmthitta, Kerala, inaugurated the function. During the inaugural speech, His Grace offered praises to Mar Gregorios and focused on his contribution to the Political, Social, Cultural, Agricultural and Economic field of the society of Kerala.
The Memorial Speech was delivered by honorable Hafiz P.H Abdul Gaffar Moulavi, Imam of Manakkad Valiya Pally, Trivandrum and former WAKF Board Chairman. He was a close associate of Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios in Trivandrum, a renowned scholar and an orator. During his speech on the topic “Secularism and the Secularist Political Situation of India", he presented Mar Gregorios as a role model of Secularism. He recalled pleasant memories of his association with Benedict Mar Gregorios. During the time of communal riot in Poonthura, Travandum, the “Shanthi Yathra” (Peace March) lead by Benedict Mar Gregorios, Sawmi Saswathikananda and himself regained peace and communal harmony in Trivandrum. He presented with tremendous emotion that during the event of the demolition of Babari Masjid, Benedict Mar Greorios visited Maulavi and hugged him and expressed his sorrow to him and the whole community. Indian Secularism should live long as a model for the whole world. Unfortunately, Indian Secularism is in a precarious situation, and he expressed his concern over the present situation in India.
Rev. Fr. Mathew Kunnelpurayidam, Vicar General of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, in his felicitation speech, recollected his memories of Archbishop Mar Gregorios. He highlighted Mar Gregorios' affection towards nature, as he has witnessed on several occasions, how the great Archbishop valued flowers and plants at the premises of the Carmel Monastery in Trivandrum. Rev. Dr. John Padipurackal, Spiritual Director, KMRM, recalled that Mar Gregorios could communicate with all, the educated and the uneducated and people of all walks in the society, and without any difficulty.
During the presidential address Mr. George Mathew, President of KMRM, emphasized that Kuwait Malankara Rite Movement got the privilege to host one of the Centenary Speeches in Kuwait, representing the entire Middle East and Northern Arabia.
The Centenary Song, "Sathasangeethi" by hundred singers and a short video presentation named "Glimpses of a Great Legend" brought the distinguished audience's attention to the life and vision of the Archbishop.
Mrs. Sajitha Skaria General Secretary, KMRM welcomed the invited guests and gathering. While delivering the felicitation, Program Convener Mr. Babuji Betheri, presented the value of Hindu Culture and pointed out how beliefs are connected with nature. Mr. Jomon Cherian Vazhathara, proposed the vote of thanks. Pranamam-2015, a memorial celebration of an extraordinary nature, concluded with a sumptuous lunch at 12.30 pm.