Saint Thomas Feast Celebration 2021

Patron Saint of India


On the 2nd July, 2021 at 7pm, Father Philip Marshall and 12 concelebrating priests and four deacons, celebrated The Feast of St Thomas the Apostle, a very important Multicultural Mass for the Adelaide Archdiocese and the Indian Community of Adelaide.

This feast is significant as it commemorates the arrival of the Christian faith in India.  Accordingly, many 
different language groups, from across India, came together purely to give thanks and praise to God for bringing the eternal truth of Jesus Christ to His people, through Saint Thomas the Apostle, who journeyed to India in the early days of the church. 

The Mass was live-streamed from St Francis Xavier Cathedral, with the Church at full capacity, keeping in line with new government restrictions released two days earlier. 

The celebration started with a beautiful ceremony of “Maha Aarathi”. Three girls, dressed in Indian traditional costume, performed a prayful, cultural liturgical dance in front of the altar. Promoting the relevance of faith and culture complimenting each other in our multicultural celebrations. 

The Syro Malabar Choir and Cantor sounded angelic with the voices of the young people filing the church with sweet song, singing hymns in English and Malayalam. The First Reading was read in Malayalam and the Universal Prayers were prayed in several Indian languages, by the Syro-Malabar, Bengali, Tamil, Syro-Malankara, Konkani, and Marathi community groups.

This year Mass was offered to pray for the people of India, especially those who have died or been hit hard by the corona virus.  Father Philip recognised the pain endured by many families affected by the pandemic and gave an inspiring homily on the true meaning of peace. 

A very moving part of the celebration was the individual blessing of the children! This customary blessing highlighted the faithfulness of the young people of the Indian Catholic Community. Every young person in the Church aged zero to eighteen, filled the centre aisle; all with the intention to receive this beautiful gift from our Lord, through Father Philip, who valued and appreciated each young person as he blessed them with sincerity, respect and love.  

After receiving the blessed sacrament of Holy Communion, the whole congregation prayed together in unison, the Prayer in Honour of St Thomas, as one community united in Christ. 

This celebration is one of the many examples showing how a multicultural church can celebrate our Catholic faith and culture in a meaningful way to the people.