New life for an old church in Blue Anchor

New life for an old church in Blue Anchor
Saint Lucy Church in Blue Anchor, which closed with the establishment of Christ the Redeemer Parish in Atco, now serves as a worship site for Syro-Malabar Catholics in South Jersey. Above, the exterior of the church. Bottom, left, Bishop Dennis Sullivan poses for a photo after the church dedication on June 18; right, the church altar. Photo above by Alan M. Dumoff

Saint Lucy Church in Blue Anchor, which closed with the establishment of Christ the Redeemer Parish in Atco, now serves as a worship site for Syro-Malabar Catholics in South Jersey. Above, the exterior of the church. Bottom, left, Bishop Dennis Sullivan poses for a photo after the church dedication on June 18; right, the church altar.
Photo above by Alan M. Dumoff

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Six years ago, Blue Anchor’s Saint Lucy Church closed its doors as part of the establishment of Christ the Redeemer Parish. Today, the building has new life, as a place of worship for the Syro-Malabar community in South Jersey. On the afternoon of Saturday, June 18, Bishop Dennis Sullivan attended the dedication of Saint Lucy Church to the Syro-Malabar Church, the second-largest in the world among the Eastern Catholic churches. Only the Ukrainian Catholic Church is larger.

In full communion with the Bishop of Rome, the church traces its origins to Saint Thomas the Apostle, who founded what is also known as the Saint Thomas Christians after visiting South India.

In 2001, Pope John Paul II established the Saint Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago. The Blue Anchor church, now Saint Jude Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission, is a part of that diocese.

Since 1999, the Syro-Malabar Catholics have been active in the Diocese of Camden. Today, almost 40 families, from Cherry Hill, Williamstown, Washington Township and other areas will come through the mission’s doors on Sundays for an afternoon Mass in their native Malayalam language, and religious education.

Joining Bishop Sullivan at the dedication was the Bishop of the Saint Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago, Mar Jacob Angadiath; and the Saint Jude mission’s director, Father John Melepuram.

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