History of the Diocese Of Madras
Madras City, hallowed and blessed by the martyrdom of St.Thomas the Apostle, has been the Headquarters of the Madras Diocese belonging to the Orthodox church of India for the last 33 years. From the very inception, this Diocese has made commendable strides in developmental and charitable activities for the welfare of the people in Tamil Nadu.
Parishes of the Madras Diocese were formerly consisted in the Calcutta Diocese and its first Bishop was late H.G Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius. In 1979, a separate Diocese of Madras was formed and late H.G Zachariah Mar Dionysius took charge as the Metropolitan. After the solemn demise of H.G Zachariah Mar Dionysius in 1997, the Diocese was handed over to H.G Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios. The Diocese celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 2004 and launched several charitable and social development programmes. During the last 25 years several new parishes, orphanages, educational institutions, student centres and mission projects were established. Territorial and institutional growth caused the Diocese to be divided into three Madras, Bangalore and Brahmavar Dioceses.
The New Madras Diocese is led by H.G. Geevarghese Mar Philaxenos Metropolitan and it consists of Tamil Nadu, Andaman Nicobar islands, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. Even though the Diocese celebrated its Silver Jubilee and received ample recognition for its development, the unexpected division has caused to term the Diocese an infant again. The infant Diocese of Madras needs to have strong vision and planning. Spiritual Leadership and lay support is essential to build up to its desirable stature.
There are several mission projects undertaken by the Diocese like: Home for the differently abled, a Community Centre at Vellore that offers accommodation and guidance for those who visit CMC Hospital for treatment, Mission Centre empowering women and children at Thoothukudi, Centre for Rehabilitating HIV (+ve) patients, a school catering to the needs of the poor and the needy; to name a few.
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