The St. Mother Teresa Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission in Nashville celebrated the feast day of its patron saint on Saturday, Sept. 11, at St. Pius X Church with a Mass, procession, luncheon and auction.
“Today is one of the most joyous days for the Syro-Malabar Community in Nashville,” said Father Regimon Augustine, M.S.F.S., the director of the mission and the pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Lewisburg.
The Syro-Malabar Church is the second largest among the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches and was founded by St. Thomas the Apostle in South India.
The Church grew in the United States with a large influx of immigrants from India beginning in the 1960s and 1970s. St. John Paul II founded the Syro-Malabar Diocese of St. Thomas of Chicago in 2001 to serve the spiritual needs of the Syro-Malabar Catholics in the United States. The Nashville mission is part of that diocese.
Father George Danavelil, chancellor of the Syro-Malabar Diocese, was the main celebrant for the Mass.
In his homily, he said in the Catholic Church there are three dimensions to the celebration of the feast day of a parish’s patron saint.
The first is formation, he said.
“It’s a transfer of faith from one generation to another generation.”
Second is a proclamation of the faith.
“In the midst of all these difficulties, we are ready to proclaim our faith publicly,” Father Danavelil said.
Third is community. In the celebration, the community comes together as one, he said.
Father Danavelil reminded the congregation of St. Mother Teresa’s prayer: “Fruit of silence is prayer. Fruit of prayer is love. Fruit of love is service. Fruit of service is peace.”
He noted that 1 percent of the day is 15 minutes. “If we are ready to spend 1 percent of our day with God, our God will transform our lives. “