To Bishop Saju C. Papachen, to Bishop Joseph Daniel, and to Bishop Matthew C. Chandy, I offer you my felicitations and also my hopes that you will find, in your episcopal ministry, profound personal spiritual fulfilment through devoted service to the people of God in the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Malankara,” Pillay wrote. To the whole church, gathered to celebrate this wonderful day, I offer our gratitude for the witness and work of these three men of God dedicating themselves in their new role to the spiritual life and communal work of the church.”

Continuing the long, unbroken line from the churchs origins in early Christianity, the

consecrations also signal the continuing vitality and health of the Mar Thoma Syrian

Church in Malankara and of Indian Christianity itself, Pillay added. 

How do we measure the churchs health? How will you gauge the success of your

episcopal ministry? We know that it is not in numbers of souls nor growth of churches nor the size of budgets,” Pillay wrote. Your success, as you know, lies in facilitating an ever-deeper encounter with Christ in yourselves and your people, through prayer and liturgy and fellowship.

Success also grows through nurturing an ever-stronger discipleship, Pillay concluded. It shines most brightly in your generous service to those in need and measured in lives—and the whole society—transformed by love,” he said. Today we celebrate your consecrations as another step in our sacred journey as followers of Jesus, transforming ourselves and our world in his image.”

Read the full letter

Blending local and global ecumenism in Asia (WCC feature story, 2 November 2023)