Message from the Metropolitan February 2016Date : 22-03-2016

Dearly beloved in Christ,

 

Our Suffragan Metropolitan Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Thirumeni left for his heavenly abode on Sunday, 27th of December 2015 at 5:52 pm. Thirumeni has rendered exceptional leadership in the avenues of ecumenism, church unity initiatives, medical care and education. The services that Thirumeni has provided in forums like the World Council of Churches (WCC) and National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) will remain in the collective memory forever. The visionary leadership that Thirumeni rendered through Santhigiri Ashram in Aluva, Tharangam Mission Action Center in Arattupuzha, charity projects like Karuthal, Kaval are very much commendable. The shepherding ministry of Thirumeni, through the multi-dimensional care initiatives and the varied ministries of the Church, aimed to make medical care, compassion and the self-giving love of our Lord available to everyone in need. Thirumeni personified in his own self God’s directive through the Prophet Micah “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” He labored diligently in steadfast faith for the Lord among the people, and has attained rest from his labors. Thirumeni’s illustrious services to the Church will remain immortal.

 

Having celebrated Holy Qurbana during Christmas at the Oman Mar Thoma Parish, Thirumeni had left for Thiruvanathapuram on the 25th of December. During the flight Thirumeni had a cerebral hemorrhage, and on arrival was admitted in critical condition at a private hospital in the state capital. I had landed an hour earlier from Doha and was resting at our Aramana at Thiruvanathapuram when I was alerted about the situation. Timotheos Thirumeni and I rushed to the hospital and made arrangements for the best possible specialty medical care and support. An eminent team of doctors from Medical Colleges in and outside Kerala had special consultation meetings five times to review the medical condition and provided timely medical care and treatment. But there was an acute escalation in internal bleeding by noon of 27th December and as per my instruction, the sacrament of ‘anointing the sick’ was administered jointly by Dr. Euyakim Mar Coorilos Episcopa, Thomas Mar Timotheos Episcopa and Dr. Abraham Mar Paulos Episcopa at 1.30 pm. After leading Sunday morning worship services in various parishes, all Thirumenis assembled at the hospital. Reaching the hospital at 5.30 pm, I led prayers in the presence of our Thirumenis, then laid hands on Thirumeni and offered benediction. Within moments, at 5.52 pm, Thirumeni departed from us.

 

The body was laid in state for public viewing first at Thiruvanathapuram Pattoor Mar Thoma Church, and then on the way towards Thiruvalla at Thittamel Trinity Mar Thoma Church adjacent to the Chengannur Olivet Aramana where Thirumeni had been residing, and finally for the entire day on Monday, the 28th of December at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Thiruvalla. The prelates of various churches, the social, political and administrative leadership, community of faith and civil society shared their condolences and paid homage. The funeral service was conducted on Tuesday, the 29th of December. Following the service at the St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Thiruvalla, on 29th December, the body was laid to rest in the crypt alongside the crypts of the fathers, adjoining the church building.

 

Having heard the sweet voice of the Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 25:23 ESV), Thirumeni is hidden in Christ. With the abounding hope of meeting together again on the day of resurrection, the entire community of faith bid a befitting and hope-filled farewell to His Grace Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Suffragan Metropolitan. May the Lord of the Church bestow consolation and peace to the Church and the family members who are mourning the demise of Thirumeni. In and through all these, the love and indebtedness on behalf of the Church is hereby placed on record to everyone who has co-operated, according to their means and beyond their means, with discipline and obedience.

 

May the grace of God be with you all.

 

 

Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan