Rockland Parish celebrates Inaugural Qurbono at the new location
St. Peter’s Syro-Malankara Parish of Rockland, NY was blessed with the realization of their long-term dream of owning a facility for worship and community fellowship. The facility, consisting of a church building and a separate building housing an auditorium and classrooms, was purchased on January 5, 2018. The inaugural Holy Qurbono was offered on February 18th by His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Philipos Mar Stephanos. Vicar Fr. Augustine Mangalath, and Fr. George Oonnoonny were co-celebrants. At the conclusion of the ceremony, His Excellency congratulated the Parishioners for this achievement and thanked them for the significant sacrifices they made in labor, resources, and prayers. His Excellency also thanked Fr. Augustine Mangalath for his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in executing the purchase transaction.
Fr. Augustine Mangalath, the vicar, and Mr. Mathai P. John, the Joint Secretary of the parish, offered words of gratitude to Bishop Philipos Mar Stephanos, Fr. Oonnoonny, Rev. Sisters, and other guests who joined the community in this celebration. Fr. Augustine thanked Mr. Geevarghese Thankachen, who is a lawyer and fellow Malankarite from the Yonkers Parish, for his outstanding and voluntary legal service representing the church in the purchase transaction. He was presented with a plaque as a token of gratitude. They thanked the community members for their hard work in preparing the facility for conducting services. The outstanding leadership and services provided by the DM Sisters of our Parish in these efforts were acknowledged by both speakers.
St. Peter’s parish was established in Rockland County, NY on June 22, 2002, by the then Apostolic Visitator, Bishop Isaac Mar Cleemis our present Catholicos. The Parish held services initially at the Knanaya Catholic Center NY, and later on at the St. Joseph’s Church in Spring Valley, NY. Both facilities were used on lease basis which limited the community’s ability to conduct services and other activities outside of the lease agreements. Since the early days of the church, the community maintained a dream of owning a facility to overcome this limitation. This community, while relatively small in membership, demonstrated their strength in faith and fellowship in overcoming a significant financial hurdle for the acquisition of this facility. Their joy and sense of accomplishment were visible during the inauguration and, in the words of their Joint Secretary, they were proud to point to this facility and call it their own.
The Eparchy congratulates the Rockland parishioners and their eminent vicar, Rev. Fr. Augustine Mangalath, for their prayer-filled hard work and dedication that went into acquiring the new church and property.