St Thomas the Apostle Feast 2023

with the Indian Community in Adelaide


On the 7th of July 2023 at 7pm, Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, and visiting Bishop John Panamthottathil, the newly ordained Eparch of the Syro-Malabar Community in Australia and Oceania, along with Deacon Remo Patroni and several concelebrating priests; celebrated the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle Holy Mass with the Indian Catholic Community of Adelaide.


Indian Christian Day, declared in 2021, intentionally concurs with the Feast of St Thomas (3rd July) -  a significant figure for all Indian Christians, since his presence there almost 2000 years ago. 


This year our universal prayers and intentions centred around recent events in Manipur, India, where Christians and other faiths are being victimised and persecuted.  Consequently, an Art Showcase of drawings by children was displayed based on the theme ‘current times’ - The children very thoughtfully and artistically pencilled many topics of our times, some also sharing heartfelt prayers.


The St Thomas Holy Mass is a time when all Indian communities in the Adelaide Archdiocese come together to celebrate Holy Mass worshipping as one.  Prayers, readings, and hymns from the Eastern Rite Churches of Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara (Malayalam), and the Latin Rite Churches (Konkani, Marathi, Tamil, Hindi, language groups), incorporated the different languages.


Three young girls from the Tamil Community, dressed in Indian traditional costume, performed the “Aarathi’ liturgical ceremonial, where faith and culture unite. There was also a special liturgical procession of gifts, where communities brought forward symbolic offerings of legumes, rice, cardamom and coconut in thanksgiving for all the produce and blessings God provides bountifully.


The beautiful singing during the Mass was led by the Tamil Choir, with choirs from Konkani, Syro Malankara, and Syro Malabar communities also contributing. Bishop John, our welcomed visitor, gave a very meaningful homily focusing on our much loved and revered, Saint Thomas, and how we can become more like him.


Something unique to this Mass is the individual blessing of the children! This customary blessing always highlights the faithfulness of the young people in the Indian Catholic Community, bringing hope to our Church.


After the Mass, light refreshments were provided by the Indian Community where everyone was welcome in the Cathedral Hall.  Filling the Hall to capacity, there was an atmosphere of’ joy’ and a spirit of ‘community’ as the catholic church of India in Adelaide celebrated together.