The St. Thomas Christians trace their origin from St. Thomas, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. India at the time of the Christ’s ministry was already famous for its ancient civilization, philosophy and culture. It also had trade relations with the west Asian countries. When St. Thomas landed in Cranganore one of the important trade centers in the South, he was received kindly by the enlightened rulers with whose patronage he formed the nucleus of an indigenous Church in the first century A.D.
HIS GRACE GEEVARGHESE MAR COORILOSE METROPOLITAN, BOMBAY DIOCESE
However this ancient Church remained isolated without expansion to the other parts of the country. It was recently that the people of the land of palms began their Gregorian pursuit to the various parts of India and abroad. Bombay, a cosmopolitan city described as the commercial capital of India, attracted many of the enterprising people who gradually came and settled down here. From humble beginning they grew into a community of high, social, cultural and economic standing.
For this the Diocese owes a great debt to the late, lamented His Grace Alexios Mar Theodosius of Bethany ashram, Metropolitan of Kollam. Even though the parishes were not yet organized, Mar Thedosius was instrumental in starting the outside Kerala mission through which he trained a group of educated priest, appointed them to important cities in India and outside. His grace Mar Athanasius succeeded him as Metropolitan of the outside Kerala Diocese. After His grace Mar Makarios was appointed as Bishop of Bombay Diocese which then included the Gulf countries and North America.
Late Lamented His Grace Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, First Diocesan Metropolitan of Bombay.
The orthodox Syrian service was held for the first time in Bombay, nearly a century ago by the late His Grace Mar Gregorios of Parumala the saint of the Malankara Church. The need for a place of their own to worship was felt as early as 1940. Bombay parish was formed in the year 1943 and it came to bear fruit in 1951, when the late Catholicose His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Geevarghese consecrated the St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church in Dadar. Subsequently parishes were formed and churches were built in many parts of Bombay.
The Diocese of Bombay was carved out of the outside Kerala Diocese of the Malankara orthodox Syrian Church in the year 1976. His grace Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios was the first Metropolitan with the headquarters as St. Mary’s Church , Dadar. The diocese made rapid strides during the tenure of His grace Late Lamented Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilus who took over from Mar Makarios who moved to the newly formed diocese in the year 1979. Mar Theophilus initially established his headquarters near St. Gregorios Church , Chembur, before moving out in the year 1988 to the present headquarters at the orthodox church centre, Vashi, Navi Mumbai
Late Lamented His Grace Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilos,Previous Diocesan Metropolitan of Bombay
The present Metropolitan His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos took over the reins of the Bombay diocese spread over the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, tail of Karnataka, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the year 2002. Mar Coorilos had the good fortune of serving along with Mar Theophilos as the assistant Metropolitan of the diocese from 1991 onwards. Today the Diocese had grown to be a giant among the rest of the dioceses in many ways and more than 70 churches, schools, clinics, hostels etc are efficiently managed by about 50 sincere and dedicated priests along with the lay representatives.
The pearl celebration:
Our Mumbai diocese celebrated its 30 years of existence in big way by having a series of activities throughout the year 2006-2007. Pilgrimage to Parumala by a chartered train and the grand reception accorded to His Holiness Moran Mar Baselos Marthoma Didimos – I, the Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan are some of the activities worth mentioning.
Bombay Diocesan Center
Spiritual awakening programs of Mumbai diocese included introduction of regional languages in church services, conventions to attract the younger generation, “Jeevandhara” services as extended Parish mission, Night vigil services etc.
The dream of His Grace Mar Coorilos Metropolitan is taking shape with the establishment of the Gregorian Community in Roha, about 120 kms from Mumbai. The vision is to create a caring, sharing and loving community of individuals rooted in the love of God and having a zest for serving its neighbors. The motto of the community is to worship, study and service. It is indeed a religious community to work under the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Patron being the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, the Supreme head of the Orthodox Syrian Church of India.
Orthodox Church Centre,
Sector X, Vashi,
Navi Mumbai – 400 703