His Beatitude, Moran Mor Baselios Catholicos, pater et caput of the Malankara Catholic Church, who arrived in the International Airport, Kuwait on Monday 5th September 2011, was given a warm welcome by His Excellency Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Arabia, Rev. Dr. John Padipurackal, Mr Binu K John, President of the Kuwait Malankara Rite Movement (KMRM), Office Bearers and Celebration Committee of the KMRM, the Kerala Malayalee Catholic Association (KMCA), the Syro-Malabar Cultural Association (SMCA), and the Kuwait Knanaya Catholic Assoication (KKCA) and several Malankara faithful.
The visit of His Beatitude, which was in response to an invitation from His Excellency Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Arabia, was a time of blessing for the Malankara Catholic Faithful and other Catholics in Kuwait.
On 7th September His Beatitude made a visit to His Grace Petar Rajic, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, in the Vatican Embassy. His Beatitude had official discussions with the Excellency Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Arabia, on 6th and 8th September concerning the pastoral care of the Malankara Catholic Faithful in Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat and other places in the Gulf Region.
A lunch was hosted in honor of His Beatitude in the Bishop’s House on 8th September by His Excellency Camillo Ballin. His Grace Petar Rajic, the Apostolic Nuncio, Very Rev. Fr. Mathew Kunnepurayidom OCD, Vicar General, Kuwait, Msgr. Ionut Paul Strejac, Secretary, Apostolic Nunciature, Kuwait and all the priests serving in Kuwait took part in the Lunch.
During his stay in Kuwait office-bearers of various Catholic Associations such as Kerala Malayalee Catholic Association (KMCA), Syro-Malabar Cultural Association (SMCA), and Kuwait Knanaya Catholic Assoication (KKCA) visited His Beatitude and had discussions with him. The Kuwait forum of AMICOS also had a session with His Beatitude, who is the Patron of Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum.
Among those visited His Beatitude includes prominent persons like Mr. A Ramesh (Country Head, Gulf Mart Group of Super Market), Mr. Ajay Kumar (General Manager, Zenith International) Mr. E. D. Titus (General Manager, Baharain Exchange), Mr. Jose Thomas (Commercial Manager, Bahrain Exchange), Mr. Raghunathan Nair (General Manager, Al Aswar Technology Group) and Mr. Johnarts, Kalabhavan, who presented His Beatitude a caricature of him.
On 6th September there was a media conference at Abbassiya. Representatives of various media such as Malayala Manorama, Madhayamam Daily, Indians in Kuwait, Asianet, Amruta, Jai Hind and Kairali interviewed His Beatitude. Topics of the interview varied from Development issues in Kerala to the recent satyagraha of Anna Hazare.
His Beatitude visited and spent time with the seven Prayer Groups of the Malankara Catholic Community in the various parts of Kuwait from 5th to 7th of September. Prayer sessions were arranged in these Prayer Groups as part of Ettu Nombu. He found time among his busy schedule to visit a few sick persons and pray for them and their families. On 6th September His Beatitude offered Holy Qurbono in St. Daniel Camboni Parish, Abbassiya, one of the five parishes in Kuwait, for the faithful.
On 8th September, Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of God, solemn Holy Qurbono was offered in the Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City by His Beatitude. His Beatitude and His Excellency Camillo Ballin were received in to the Cathedral by Very Rev. Fr. Mathew Kunnepurayidom OCD, Vicar General, Rev. Fr. Gaspar, Parish Priest of the Cathedral and Rev. Dr. John Padipurackal after the solemn liturgical procession. Five boys were blessed and officially received to the sanctuary for service of the Holy Qurbono. After the Holy Qurobono, His Beatitude presented a memento His Excellency Camillo Ballin as a sign of appreciation for his generous care and concern for the faithful in Kuwait and other places. Nerchpayasam and Snacks were distributed after Holy Qurbono. Nearly 2000 faithful took part in the Holy Qurobono and Madhyastha Prarthana to Mary, Mother of God and received blessings.
The Thiruvonapulari, 9th September 2011, was a very significant day in the history of the Malankara Faithful in Kuwait. The 81st Anniversary of Reunion Day, 17th Anniversary of KMRM and Thiruvonam were celebrated in the Carmel School, Khaitan. The day began with a lively competition of Pookalam arrangement by the various Prayer Groups. Along with the dignitaries - His Grace Petar Rajic, the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Camillo Ballin, Very Rev. Fr. Mathew Kunnepurayidom OCD, Vicar General and Msgr. Ionut Paul Strejac and Office Bearers of the various Catholic Associations –His Beatitude was received with Chendamelam and flowers by the KMRM Office Bearers, KMRM Celebration Committee and the thousands of Faithful. The traditional Pulikali, Thiruvathira, Onappattu and Vallamkali and a Fusion Dance by the children added coulor to the celebration. His Grace Petar Rajic, the Apostolic Nuncio and His Excellency Camillo Ballin delivered the Benedictory Address and Key Note Address respectively. Both expressed their appreciation of the Malankara Community in Kuwait and wished God’s graces for the Reunion Movement and the Malankara Catholic Church. His Beatitude lighted the lamp to mark the inauguration of the meeting and delivered the Inaugural Address. His Beatitude exhorted the faithful of their responsibility to renew the spirit of unity in the context of evangelization. Mr Binu K John, President, KMRM, made the Presidential Address. Mr. Joseph K Daniel welcomed the gathering and Rev. Dr. John Padipurackal made the Introductory Speech and Binoy Varghese (Joint Convener, Celebration Committee) proposed the vote of thanks. Felicitation speeches were made by Rajan Thottathil (Advisory Board Chairman, KMRM), C. A. Joy (General Convener, KMRM Celebration Committee) and K. K. Babu (Vice President, KMRM). Mr Babuji Bathery, versatile Artist and Theatre Director, who was Awarded Pravasi Puraskar by Jeevan TV was honoured with Ponnada during the meeting as sign of the Community’s appreciation for his achievements. Mr Thomas Varghese and Mr Koshy M John, who were leaving shortly to India after their remarkable presence in Kuwait, were given mementos as sign of the Community’s gratitude. His Beatitude was presented a memento and Sneha Santhwana Fund by Mr. Isaac Kadakampally (Treasurer, KMRM) and K.O. John (Convener, Snehasanthwana) respectively.
Onasadya, the traditional lunch of Thiruvonam day, was served on banana leaves for all those who attended the program. In the interview to the various Indian Channels during the Thiruvonam day, His Beatitude explained the relevance of celebrations like Onam. They are but effective and practical means to create sense of unity and fraternity among people in a d
His Beatitude met and addressed the faithful in groups such as Yuvajyothi (MCYM of Kuwait), Liturgy Class Teachers (Catechism), Friends of Mary (Mathruvedi of Kuwait) and the Office bearers and former Office Bearers of KMRM after the celebration. He gave the paternal advise to carry on earnestly the mission of bringing together the faithful of the Church living in the various parts of the country. The full day extravaganza concluded with Ganamela led by Shyju Pallipuram, Neelima and Team.
His Beatitude was given a cordial fare well in the Kuwait International Airport by His Excellency Camillo Ballin, Rev. Dr. John Padipurackal, Office bearers and Celebration Committee Memmbers of KMRM and several Faithful.