The Syro-Malabar Community in Auckland organized a week long faith formation programme for different groups of the Parish of the Immaculate Conception, Ellerslie, Auckland. There was a one-day programme specially organized for youth on July 9th, an evening session for the parents of the Sunday School on 10th, and a Faith Formation camp for the children from 11th to 14th of July. Sisters of NRC Retreat Centre, MSMI Congregation, Kulathuvayal were the animators for the entire event. During the programme counselling facilities were provided for the needy.
The spiritual centre of the Syro-Malabar Church, the second largest of the 21 Eastern Catholic Churches, remains in Kerala, Southern India. But Syro-Malabar folk have migrated in considerable numbers both to other parts of India and to such countries as the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
In order serve the Syro-Malabar community’s needs, the Redemptorists have taken responsibility for the Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Auckland. Two Redemptorists, Fr.Joy Thottamkara CSsR. and Fr. Jobin Joseph, CSsR, guide the parish with the celebration of Mass as well as participating in faith formation programs. Both are committed to helping members of the Syro-Malabar community come together as a united community and move forwards in consolidating its liturgical and cultural identity.
Biju Madathikunnel, CSSR