St. Gregorios Chapel – A Dream come true!!!
“Behold…build a house for the name of the Lord my God” – 2Chronicles 2:4
The long cherished dream of worshipping at our own new Chapel at Clayton was finally realized in November 2015 after many years in preparation. To add to our joy we were blessed with the unique fortune that the consecration of Chapel was officiated by the Supreme Head of our Church -the Catholicos – His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II during HH’s maiden visit to Australia. Adding momentum to this was that the consecration service along with His Holiness; was co-officiated by the Secretary to the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Church His Grace Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, as well as the former and present Metropolitans of our Diocese H.G. Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios and H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Diascoros respectively.
The grand finale was the celebration of Holy Mooninmel Qurbana (Tri Mass) by our revered Bishops, assisted by priests and altar assistants. A number of priests including former Vicars of the parish (Rev. Fr. M. K. Kurian and Rev. Fr. Charlesmon Philipose) as well as priests from different parts of Australia (Rev. Fr. Thomas Varghese & Rev. Fr. Benny David, Sydney; Rev. Fr. Vinod George, Perth) participated in the services. Visiting priests like Rev. Fr. Mathai OIC were also present. Rev. Fr Jiss Johnson, who ably supported His Holiness as personal assistant, also deserves special mention. The large crowd of our faithful were interspersed with priests and laity from the Coptic Orthodox Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Assyrian Church, Marthoma Church, Syro-Malabar Catholic, Church of South India, Syrian Orthodox Church, etc. as well. Our faithful from as far as Adelaide, Sydney, Wagga Wagga and Ballarat had also made it to the event! A public meeting to mark the occasion was held in the newly consecrated chapel in the afternoon. It included prominent religious and political leaders with addresses by the likes of the Hon. Inga Peulich (Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs), the Hon. Hong Lim MP (Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Asia Engagement), Mr. Ashok Jacob, (President, Victorian Council of Churches) and Rev. Vinod Victor (representing Anglican Church bishops). His Holiness Bava Thirumeni, in the Keynote address, highlighted that the consecration of the Chapel was an occasion to celebrate given that it served a long felt need of the faithful here and that HH had delayed his first apostolic visit as the Catholicos to Australia till the completion of the chapel! To mark the consecration, mementoes were given by HH to the builder, Mr Michael Finn of Kingdom Constructions Ltd. the architect, Mr. Robert Marshall, the Vicars and Development Committee members, former Vicars and guests of honour. A commemorative plaque was unveiled on the occasion and HH also planted an olive. A sumptuous lunch completed the celebrations. This event will serve as a milestone in the history of the Indian Orthodox Church in Australia.
As per the request of SMIOC GB, Diocesan Metropolitan His Grace Dr. Yuhanon Mar Diascoros, via a Kalpana (Order) with effect from July 1st 2019 declared the elevation of St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Chapel to St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church. It is with gratitude SGIOC will always cherish the blessings form St. Mary’s Indian Orthodox Cathedral and will ever remain in our hearts; our Mother Church. Thus the SGIOC journey continues, the Parish will always serve as a beautiful sanctuary to glorify God for generations to come!.