A really spiritual and ecclesial experience, it was for me, the visit to your eparchy. The reception everywhere was filled with love and enthusiasm. The eparchy of Gorakhpur has many elements of its own that make it different from other eparchies of the Syro-Malabar Church. You are hundred percent a missionary Church, being the presence and action of Christ among the vast majority of people of other religions.
Evangelization in Gorakhpur is mainly through the apostolate of prayer and witness of charity. I was personally impressed with the mission of prayer that you are able to conduct in the schools and the other institutions of charity in which participants irrespective of religion praise God imbibing the inspirations of the Gospel of Christ. Your activities of charity and social welfare have risen to heights of esteem and excellence. The fact that the Poorvanchal Grameen Seva Samithi has been awarded the prize for being one of the best five social service agencies in North India by the Indo-Global Social Service Society and two times by the Caritas India for its remarkable service, is itself speaking volumes for the impact the eparchy of Gorakhpur has already made in social service apostolate. I place on record my appreciation for the good work you are doing and felicitate all those who are painstakingly cooperating in the different sections of the social service network. I am also appreciative of your enterprising involvement in the field of education and Gorakhpur has become almost a hub of Christian schools run by the eparchy and by the Congregation of St. Theresa. The formation that you give to the children and the youth will take the values of the Kingdom of God far and wide in the human society.
My meeting with the priests and the religious men and women has created a lasting impression in my mind. It is your commitment to Christ and the Church that is the impelling force for all your actions and I am hopeful that you are able to continue your selfless service in spite of the opposing forces and challenges that come in between. Whatever may be our achievements in the secular field, it is the spiritual and evangelical orientation of our activities that matter much as far as evangelization is concerned. The Emphasis that Bishop Thomas Thuruthimattam gives to this orientation is of great importance as far as the growth of the eparchy is concerned.
The vision and the mission of Bishop Dominic Kokkatt, your first Pastor, remains an enduring testimony of a unique missionary commitment. He laid the foundation of the Eparchy of Gorakhpur by services suitable to the context of the people of this citadel of Hinduism. He respected the values of other faiths and tried to perfect them by the power of the Gospel. The Little Way of St. Theresa of Lisieux inspired his way of the mission and made it a great success in the unique situation of Gorakhpur. The foundation of the Little Sisters of St. Theresa has become a great contribution to the growth of the Syro-Malabar Church. The fact that the present Bishop has continued the path of his predecessor and is leading the eparchy to still higher accomplishments is also a matter of great joy for the Church. The lay leaders, albeit they are few, are rendering commendable service in the parishes, institutions of service and in the fields of real missionary witness.
I thank you very much for all the arrangements that you did for my visit of the eparchy and for the conveniences you offered me and Fr. Antony Kollannur, the Chancellor, during the days we stayed and moved along with you.
With cordial blessings,
Yours sincerely in Christ,
+ George Cardinal Alencherry
Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church
Prot. No. 843/2012 16 April 2012