Our Prayer Timing

Thursday

7:30 PM at Ruwi PCO Hall

Sunday

7.30 PM at Ruwi Chapel

Marthasmooni Church, Ghala PCO Hall

Every Saturday 8:00 PM

Sohar

Friday - 8:00 PM at Sohar PCO Hall
Second Friday - 6:00 PM at Sohar ANNEXE Hall

History

OUR CHURCH IN OMAN – A BRIEF HISTORY

By the Grace of God Almighty and through the intercession of Virgin Mary mother of God, our parish has completed thirty one years of its existence. Thirty one years is not a long period for a congregation or parish within our Church, which has a history of 2000 years. However, being in another country with a few members down from Kerala, surely an important milestone.

Since 1970 His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said has given the Christian Community a place to worship in the heart of Oman’s capital. Each and every one of us within our Christian family is indebted to His majesty for his brave decision and religious tolerance without which we would have been where we are as far as our religious fellowship is concerned.

It all started with a spark within a few firm believers, who seem to be selected for this purpose by our Lord. Having own place to worship became the main topic of discussion whenever they met. It was for a good cause and prayerfully and jointly they went ahead with the idea of forming Jacobite Syrian (Orthodox) parish in this country. On 16th May 1980, a formal meeting was convened at the residence of Mr. A.K.Thomas. This meeting was attended by 18 people and St. Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Congregation was formed. Following office bearers were also selected during the course of this meeting.

Dr. T.M. Kuruvilla – President, Mr. P.V Georgekutty – Vice-President, Mr. Jacob Mangadan – Secretary, Mr. Ipe Mathew – Jt. Secretary & Mr. M.K. George – Treasurer.

In addition to this, the following members participated in the meeting:

Mr. E.I. Kunjumon, Mr. George P.Jacob, Mr. Abraham P.Jacob, Mr. Jacob Cherian, Mr. Jacob Kuruvilla, Mr. P.O Joseph, Mr. K.J Paulose, Mr. P.M. Thomas, Mr. T.K. Punnose, Mr. V.M Thomas, Mr. K.T Kuruvilla, Mr. Uthup Thomas, Mr. A.K.Thomas.

At this moment, we remember all these stalwarts with gratitude and admiration. They were well aware of the responsibilities on their shoulders and had a clear vision of what has to be done for the growth of the newborn St. Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Congregation. Around that time, The Metropolitian of the Knanaya Diocese, HG Abraham Mor Clemis, was on a spree of paying parish visits outside India and on contacting him, HG agreed to visit Muscat. On 18.07.1980 Friday, His Grace celebrated Holy Eucharist here and officially declared our Parish in Oman as ‘St.Mary’s Jacobyte Syrian Church’. This event, attended by 136 devoted members and was a milestone in our history.

The first general body meeting of the church was held on 15-08-1980 in which following committee was elected:

Office bearers : Dr. T.M. Kuruvilla – President, Mr. P.V Georgekutty – Vice-President, Mr. Jacob Mangadan – Secretary, Mr. Ipe Mathew – Jt. Secretary & Mr.M.K. George – Treasurer.

Committee Members: Mr. A.K Thomas, Mr. E.I Kunjumon, Mr. Jacob Kuruvilla, Mr. K.J. Paulose, Mr. K.Y Thomas, Mr. M.P.George, Mr. Nelson Abraham and Mr. Uthup Thomas.

Auditors: Mr. Benny M. George and Mr. Mathai Joy.

First Vicar

Yes, it was time to have a permanent Vicar and the need was felt for the formation of a Constitution for the Parish. Necessary decisions were taken by the Committee and His Beatitude Baselius Paulose II, Catholicos of the East was contacted with this purpose. HB vide in his Order No. 68/80, suggested the services of Rev:Fr. Kuriakose Moolayil (presently Very Rev. Kuriakose Corepiscopa) to us and His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and the Supreme Head of Universal Syrian Orthodox Church made the appointment formal. The first Holy Eucharist by our new Vicar was at the Christ Church, Muscat on 19th March 1981 and that was the beginning of an active Parish. Prior to the arrival of our new Vicar, Very Rev. Vargheses Puliyan Corepiscopa, the then Vicar of Dubai Church was with us to take part in our maiden Christmas service of 1980. His visit was based on an invitation by the Parish.

Constitution

The General Body formed a sub-committee on 30th January 1981, with Mr. A.K.Thomas as the convener and Messrs E.I.Raju, Jacob Cherian, M.M.Abraham and Mathew Varkey as the members for the formation of a permanent constitution. The constitution was formatted and sent to His Holiness Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. It was approved by HH on 17th November 1984.

Visit of HB Catholicos of the East

In April 1981, HB Mor Baselius Paulose II, Catholicos of the East kindly visited our Parish for the Passion Week services. We now recall the simplicity and humbleness of His Beatitude who is no more with us. During those initial days, in spite of our limited resources and facilities he humbly accommodated himself amongst us, became a part of us and blessed the Parish with his true love and affection. It is noteworthy that during his stay in Oman from 9th to 23rd April, His Beatitude participated in several prayer meetings held at various residences of our parishioners. There was also a Kalukazhukal Shushrusa (washing of the feet – this ministry is performed by our Metropolitans commemoration with what Jesus did to his disciples at the Passover Feast.

From Muscat to Ruwi

We had several constraints in attending Holy Qurbono at Muscat, being a far off place with limited transport facilities during those days. His Beatitude realized our problems and took initiative for arranging a meeting with the then Protestant Church Council of Oman in order to discuss the possibility of sharing their Church facility at Ruwi. We discussed the matter with Rev. Coopman, Rev. Richard Cirsa and Dr. Das of the PCO in detail and the Ruwi Main Hall was granted to us on every Thursday 8:30 PM onwards. As a result, on 21st July 1981, first Holy Eucharist was conducted in the new premises, yet another milestone. After our second anniversary in 1982, we were also able to purchase a car for our church. His Grace Kuriakose Mar Koorilose Metropolitan visited the parish for the Passion Week services during that year.

Parsonage Construction

We were growing spiritually and of course, steadily. Around this time, idea of building a Parsonage was mooted and a general body was convened on 22nd July 1982 to this effect. The proposal was unanimously agreed and the PCO was kind enough to give us the necessary plot. Many of our members worked untiringly, obtained all the necessary permission from the concerned Ministries and a lottery was set up for mobilizing funds. This lottery was well accepted by one and all.

Building Committee members were Vicar Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Moolayil, Dr. M.I Joy, Dr. T.M Kuruvilla and Messrs A.K Thomas, P.V. Georgekutty, K.T.Kuruvilla, Mathew Varkey, M.K. George, T.K Punnoose, Jacob Kuruvilla, K.T.Thomas, George Varghese, K.J. Paulose, P.M. Thomas, Mathekutty, V.T.Thomas, George Baby,, E.I. Kunjumonon, Jacob Mangadan, Jacob Korah, A.C. Jacob, Nelson Abraham, K.O. Joseph, M.M. Abraham, Thomas Mathew, George Mathews, Job Varghese and Uthuppu Thomas.

It must be noted here that with less than 50 members, this project went ahead as scheduled and by December 1983, same was ready for consecration. We that God for his blessings in abundance, without which it would not have been possible for us to complete this task well on time.

The tenure of Rev. Kuriakose Moolayil was completed and on 23rd September 1983, Rev. Fr. Thomas K.Itty took charge of the Parish as our second Vicar. It must also be noted that our Building Project, started during the tenure of Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Moolayil was completed during the tenure of Rev. Fr. Thomas K. Itty, who consecrated the Parsonage on the 2nd December 1983. Several people from other congregations participated in the function, in addition to our own members.

During 1984, His Grace Thomas Mar Dionysius, Metropolitan of Angamaly Diocese, paid a visit to our parish for the Passion Week services. Other important events of the year were the visits of two dignitaries, Mr.T.M.Jacob, the then Hon.Minister of Education of Kerala and Mr. Babu Paul, Education Secretary at that time. Yet another important event during the course of this year was the commencement of Sunday School Classes.

During 1986, Rev. Fr. Sleeba Kattumangattu (now very Rev. Corepiscopa) took charge from Rev. Fr. Thomas K. Itty as the third vicar of our Parish.

The first apostolic visit of His Holiness

His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church blessed our Parish bye a Holy visit accompanied by His Eminence Zakka Mar Severiose, the Archbishop of Iraq and Rev. Fr. Kuriakose, Secretary to His Holiness (presently His Grace Kuriakose Mar Julius).

On 6th March 1989, the distinguished guests were given a warm welcome at the Seeb International Airport by their Excellencies, the Ambassadors of India and Syria, along with our Vicar, Managing Committee and Parish members and various others. On their Holy arrival at our Church Complex, the cordial welcome given by the Coptic Church was remarkable and shows our true brotherly relation with them.

The welcome ceremony arranged by our Parish at Ruwi Catholic Church Hall witnessed the presence of several distinguished personalities from all walks of life. The Holy Eucharist had to be conducted at the Catholic Church due to space constraints for accommodation a large crowd. This was done under the auspices of His Holiness along with His Eminence Zakka Mor Severiose, Rev. Fr. K.V. Kuriakose, Vicar Rev. Fr. Sleeba Kattumangattu and the Vicar of the Coptic Church. As mentioned above this was attended by a multitude of believers irrespective of their denominational status.

During His stay here the Patriarch visited various dignitaries in Oman especially His Highness Sayyid Thuwaini Bin Shihab Al Said (Personal Representative of His Majesty), His Eminence Sheik Ahmed Bin Hamed Al Khalili (Grand Mufti of Oman), His Excellency Sayyid Hilal Bin Saud Bin Hared (Justice Awqaf and Islamic Affairs) etc. During these visits, they discussed issues of mutual interest.

The visit of His Holiness was a grand function and another milestone in our history. Press, both in Oman and UAE gave a wide coverage of the Holy visit. There was also a press meeting during his short stay here. His Holy visit was also instrumental in establishing better relationship between various Christian Churches and our Church here in Oman. His Apostolic visit has given glorious memories to our Church that will never be forgotten us. Our vicar Rev. Fr. Sleeba Kattumangattu was the force behind this Holy visit and he certainly deserves a special word of appreciation.

Very Re. Prof. Paulose Corepiscopa took charge as our fourth vicar, during the course of 1989. Another lottery, a sale and fete etc. were conducted in 1990. This lottery, as earlier, was also a great success with the co-operation and sincere efforts of several people.

Celebration of 10th Anniversary

Another important event of 1990 was the completion of 10 years and a grand celebration of this event. Kooberneeti Hackimoh Abraham Mar Clemis, Chief Metropolitan of the East was with us to be a part of our celebration. We felt it was appropriate to invite HG Abraham Mar Clemis on this occasion, as he was the founder of our Church.

There was a grand public meeting after the Holy Eucharist, which was attended by a large crowd. The hard work and sincere efforts of Youth Association and Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam of our Church in order to make the function a grand success are well appreciated. We also owe a great deal to other sister Churches for their co-operation on the occasion.

Our fifth Vicar was Rev. Fr. Geevarghese Konattu and he joined us during 1991 and after his tenure, Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Mayiyat took charge as our sixth Vicar in 1994. During the tenure of Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Maniyat took charge as our sixth Vicar in 1994. During the tenure of Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Maniyat, services at several interior places like Nizwa, Sur, and Rusthaq etc. were started. Mar Baselius Poor Relief Endowment fund was introduced in 1996.

In 1997, Rev. Fr. Mathews Kavunkal, who contributed much for the progress of this parish joined as the seventh Vicar. All these years, our Parish was looked after by His Grace Thomas MOR Themotheose based on a Holy Bull from His Holiness our Patriarch. It is a true confession that His Grace viewed our Parish with genuine interest and was very keen in our welfare and growth. In June 1998, HH appointed His Grace Joseph More Gregarious as our Diocesan Metropolitan.

Construction of Parish Hall

We were growing all these years, both in numbers and spiritual activities. Need to have our own place for conducting spiritual activities, Sunday School Classes, prayers etc. whenever the Main Hall was not available, was felt for quite some time. Ultimately, God answered our prayers. We unanimously decided to go fully into it and on 17th April 1998, the foundation stone was prayerfully laid by our then Diocesan Metropolitan His Grace Thomas Mar Themotheose.

By the mercy of God within 8 months, we achieved our goal. On 25th December 1998, His Grace Joseph Mare Gregarious, the then Diocesan Metropolitan consecrated the new Parish Hall and the first Holy Eucharist was celebrated therein. On the first floor, we have a Bishop Suite, Office Room, and Library etc. The new Parish Hall solved our space problems to a great extant. In connection with the consecration of the Parish Hall a souvenir was brought out. It was the result of a combined effort of all our members and well wishers and there is no doubt our Lord will reward the hard and tireless efforts behind this abundantly.

HG Mar Julius Kuriakose Metropolitan consecrated the St. Mary’s shrine of August 15, 1999. In the same year a monthly service was started on every third Friday at 8.00 pm at the Sohar PCO Hall.

In January 2000 HH Patriarch appointed HG Mar Julius Kuriakose Metropolitan as the third Metropolitan of the Church.

In September 2000, Rev. Fr. K.K. Mathews took charge as the eight vicar of the parish. First Church Directory and Holy Qurbana Kramam were published in the year 2001. A new car was also bought in that year.

In 2002, Mor Clemis Endowment fund for the Seminary students was introduced.

Reception to HB MOR Baselius Thomas I Catholicos

HH Patriarch consecrated HG Thomas Mar Dionysius Metropolitan as Catholicose of Jacobite Syrian Church by the name HB Mor Baselius Thomas I on 26th July 2002 at Damascus. The then vicar attended the ceremony on behalf of this parish. A grand reception was arranged for His Beatitude Catholicose in Muscat on 21st August 2003. Representatives of Oman’s Religious Ministry and Indian Embassy and many VIPs felicitated HB during the ceremony. It was also attended by the vicars and the members of our sister Churches in addition to our own members

Rev. Fr. Jose Mathew Thachethukudy took charge as the ninth vicar of the Parish in September 2003.

From January 2004 Holy Qurbono was started on every Sunday 7.30 pm in the Chapel. In August 2004, HH Patriarch appointed HG Mor Meletheose Yuhanon as the fourth Metropolitan of this parish.

Silver Jubilee Celebrations 2004-2005

The year-long Silver Jubilee Celebrations were inaugurated by His Grace Mar Saveriose Kuriakose Metropolitan of the Knanaya Diocese on 26.08.2004 at the Ruwi Church Main Hall in the presence of several distinguished guests from all walks of life, priests and members of sister Churches and members of our church. Various charitable and humanitarian activities were announced during the celebrations. These include but not limited to financial assistance for construction of houses to the needy and poor, distribution of sewing machines, financial assistance to the Seminary students, Blood Donation Camp, Bible Conventions, Medical Conferences etc. for the smooth running of the celebrations, funds were raised mainly by the contribution of members and well-wishers. Besides this a lottery was also conducted which was as in the past, a great success. We thank the untiring efforts and co-operation of several people.

The Second Apostolic visit of His Holiness (From 22.11.05-26.11.05)

His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Prince Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the Supreme Head of Universal Syrian Orthodox Church visited and blessed our Parish to mark the grand finale of our Silver Jubilee celebrations. Arch Bishop His Eminence Mar Athanasis Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Assistant and His Grace Gheevarghese Mar Athanasius, Patriarchal Vicar for Indian Affairs accompanied his Holiness. A grand reception was arranged in the VIP Longue of the Seeb International Airport and the guests were welcomed by Syrian Ambassador H.E.Ahmed Haj Ibrahim, HB Mar Baselius Thomas I Catholicos, HG Yuhanon Mar Meletheose Metropolitan, Vicar and many others. Apostolic visit of His Holiness, which was a grand occasion, was a blessing to our parish and yet another milestone in our history.

His Holiness the Patriarch visited the Grand Muft of Oman and the Religious Minister. HH Patriarch celebrated the Holy Qurbono at St. Peter’s & St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Ruwi on 25.11.05 in order to accommodate a large crowd. HB Catholicose celebrated the Holy Qurbono in the Chapel on 23.11.2005.

Our initial members who are still in Oman and senior members who completed 20 years or more were also honored by the church through the Holy hands of our Patriarch.

Our Silver Jubilee Celebrations ended with a grand finale at the ‘Le Grand Hall’ of Al-Falaj Hotel, Ruwi on 24.11.2005. His Holiness blessed the function with his presence along with our own Bishops, dignitaries and VIPs. This colorful and spiritual event was attended by a very large crowd, including guests and our own members.

During the course of this function, His Holiness presented St. Aphrem the Syrian decoration for Chevalier to Mr. Geevarghese John Tharakan, Dr. George Paul and Mr. George Paul Chettiyamkudy. The first copy of our Silver Jubilee Souvenir was also brought out with His Holy hands.

 
Priests who served in the church from 2006
Rev. Fr. Samson Varghese 2006-2008
Rev. Fr. Eliyas Iype 2008-2010
Rev. Fr. Joby Varghese 2010-2012
Rev. Fr. Ninan Thomas 2012-2014
Rev. Fr. Davis P Thankachan 2014-2015
Rev. Fr. C. George Elluvila 2015-2016

At present, Fr. Basil P Varghese is the vicar of our parish.