It was a pleasure to meet Rt. Rev. Dr. Gregorios Mar Stephanos Episcopa (Bishop) who is currently visiting Marthoma congregations in Australia. Bishop Gregorios Mar Stephanos is the inaugural Bishop of the new Marthoma Diocese of Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.
- Ordained as Deacon 27th June 1986
- Ordained as Kassessa (clergy priest) 30th July 1986
- Ordained as Ramban 7th May 2011. A Ramban is a priest of the Jacobite Church, who is unmarried and leads a monastic life in a place of prayer called a Dayara.
- Consecrated as Episcopa (Bishop) 13th August 2011
The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, often shortened to Mar Thoma Church, and known also as the Reformed Syrian Church and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, is an autonomous Reformed Oriental church based in Kerala, India. While continuing many of the Syriac high church practices, the church is reformed in its theology and doctrines. It employs a reformed variant of the West Syriac Rite Divine Liturgy of Saint James, translated to Malayalam, the language of Kerala.
The Mar Thoma Church sees itself as continuation of the Saint Thomas Christians, a community traditionally believed to have been founded in the first century by Thomas the Apostle, who is known as Mar Thoma (Saint Thomas) in Syriac, and describes itself as “Apostolic in origin, Universal in nature, Biblical in faith, Evangelical in principle, Ecumenical in outlook, Oriental in worship, Democratic in function, and Episcopal in character”.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, Mar Thoma Christians lived in a few districts in Kerala. Since that time they have spread with the Indian diaspora to many places around the world, including Australia.
The Marthoma church has two congregations in Victoria – Parkville and Immanuel Marthoma Church (website here), Hampton Park.
(More information on Wikipedia).