Columns Opinions

Consecration Of Los Angeles, St. Thomas Church

A remarkable and historic Consecration took place on Friday September 3 and Saturday September 4, 2010. The site was St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church at 14121 Coteau Dr., Whittier, CA 90604, and the chief celebrant was His Grace Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of South-West American Diocese. Assisting His Grace were Vicar of St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church Los Angeles Fr Yohannan Panicker, Fr. Slomo George, St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Phoenix; Fr. Mathai Alakott, San Jose and Fr. Sabu Thomas, St. Mary’s Jacobite Church, Whittier.

More than 450 guests from sister churches, other denominations and from various locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York attended the Consecration Ceremony over the two days.

On Friday September 3rd, His Grace, Alexios Mar Eusebius, was welcomed with the traditional Kerala Talipoli by parishioners in their traditional attire. Parish Vicar greeted the bishop at the gate before escorting him in a procession with other Priests to hoist traditional church flag marking the beginning of celebrations. His Grace dedicated the foundation stone, cut the ribbon to enter the church and lighted the nelavilakku before entering the Sanctuary for evening prayers and the Consecration Service parts one and two. After the Services, Martha Mariam Samajam served all the guests with refreshments.

On Saturday, September 4th, His Grace conducted the Consecration Service Part three followed by a Munninmel Qurbana. A Public meeting was held after a short break where representatives from the following organizations gave congratulatory speeches: Office of Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, 39th District; Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe; St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, San Fernando Valley; St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Bellflower; St. Mary’s Orthodox Congregation, Las Vegas; St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Phoenix; St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church, Whittier; Marthoma Church of Los Angeles; St. Pius IV Knanaya Catholic Church, Montebello; Indian Evangelical Mission, Lakewood. The current and previous church building committees were honored for the hard work in accomplishing this dream. The Sunday School Children and the MGOCSM groups sang melodious songs to captivate the crowd. A grand luncheon was provided by the Martha Mariam Samajam to all that attended.

After 35 years, St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church of Los Angeles has a bigger Church and adjoining facilities which includes a Parish hall, Church Parsonage and a School building all in an area spread over 1.4 acres.

The church building was acquired in August 2009, and has been extensively remodeled and updated by a small group of volunteers and a great architect Thiruvalla Baby. Parishioners had been working feverishly for months in remodeling and preparation for this great day.

Parishioners made every effort to come and support the dynamic parish along with their prayers, wishes and donations.