A recent pastoral visit was indeed an occasion of grace and abundant spiritual blessings for the Syro-Malabar Catholics in Aberdeen. On 23rd November at 6.00pm there was solemn Syro-Malabar liturgy at Holy family church, Mastrick with Cardinal Mar George Alencherry as the main celebrant and Bishop Hugh Gilbert (Bishop of RC diocese of Aberdeen) and Bishop Mar Joseph Srampickal (Bishop of the syro-malabar eparchy of Great Britain) along with many other priests, as concelebrants. During this mass Cardinal Mar George declared St.Mary’s as the Syro-Malabar Mission, Aberdeen. He met different Syro-Malabar catholic communities across the UK in the following days.
Quote from Bishop Hugh:
“It was a privilege for myself and Deacons Doug Duncan and Tony Schmitz to join our fervent Syro-Malabar community last Friday to welcome His Beatitude George Cardinal Alancherry to Aberdeen, Major Archbishop, to our diocese. He was there to visit his own people and to celebrate with them their raising to the status of a “mission”. He was joined by Mar Joseph Srampickal, Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain, Fr Joseph Pinakkattu, chaplain to the Syro-Malabar community of Aberdeen and Inverness, and other clergy of this Indian Catholic Church . The Liturgy was as colourful, prayerful and participative as one would expect. The church of the Holy Family, Mastrick was packed for the event and the rafters rang with joyful song. The diocese of Aberdeen is blessed to have such a community in its midst.”
Quote and info from Fr. Joseph Pinakkattu:
His Beatitude Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, the Head of the Syro-Malabar Church, is making his pastoral visit to the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain from 23rd November to 09th December 2018. During his visit he will be attending some important events of the diocese and will declare syro-malabar missions across the eparchy. He made his first visit in Aberdeen on Friday 23rd November, meeting the kerala catholic community.
The Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain (for the syro-malabar faithful in England, Scotland & Wales) was established on 28 July 2016 by Holy Father Pope Francis with its See in Preston, and is one of the 32 dioceses of the Syro-Malabar church. The Syro-Malabar Church is an Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church which has its headquarters in Kerala, India and is a sui iuris (of her own right) a particular church in full communion with the Holy See in Rome and the worldwide Catholic Church.
It is customary that every Eparchy officially invites the Head of the Church for occasional pastoral visits to confess its Ecclesial communion to its Mother Church and to show its filial alliance to its Head. In an administrative sense, these pastoral visits also help him as the Head of the Church to understand the Eparchy very well assessing both its strengths and weaknesses.