At the entrance to church, women in traditional Indian dress gathered around Trivandrum Archbishop Mari Soosa Pakiam to ask his blessing and kiss his ring.
About 150 Indian Catholics braved rain and freezing temperatures to attend a Mass of thanksgiving with church leaders from their country at Jerusalem’s St. Saviour Church.
Trivandrum’s Latin-rite archbishop was part of an ecumenical delegation of church leaders that visited Israel.
About 4,000 Indian Christians work in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories; many of them are caretakers for the elderly or physically disabled. The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has an Indian priest who tends to the pastoral needs of the community in Jerusalem.