An ecumenical documentary book written by Father Anthoniraj Thumma was released in many places during the semi-Christmas celebrations in 2022.
Bishop Thelagthoti Joseph Raja Rao of Vijayawada and Chairman of the Federation of Telugu Churches, along with several Church-heads, bishops, and representatives from other denominations, released the book at the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC) United Christmas celebrations at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India, on December 14.
The title of the book is ‘Ecumenical Journey of Churches in the Telugu Region: Milestones in Two Decades (2001-2021).’
The book was published by the Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC).
President of Telugu Catholic Bishops’ Council (TCBC), Bishop Doraboina Prakasam of Nellore Diocese, along with Sri Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy, Member of Legislative Assembly, and Nellore Rural, released the book officially at Simhapuri United Christmas celebrations held on December 20.
Cardinal Poola Anthony of Hyderabad, President of the Telangana State Federation of Churches (TSFC), released the book at his official residence, Hyderabad, on December 21.
The cardinal presented copies of the Book to the Honorable Chief Minister Sri Kalvakuntla Chandra Shekar Rao of Telangana state, other ministers, several government officials, and heads of churches at the United Christmas celebrations organized by the Telangana Government at Lal Bahadur Stadium, Hyderabad, on the same day.
This book presents the origins, various phases of growth, activities, and achievements of the ecumenical movement in the Telugu Region covering the States of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana (TS) from which emerged the Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC).
FTC was previously known as the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC).
The FTC is a unique umbrella organization of various Churches and Christian Denominations in the twin Telugu States.
It is an ecumenical fellowship of the Archbishops, Bishops, and Heads of Churches AP and TS representing the Christian Community.
Notably, APFC / FTC is the first of its kind comprising exclusively of the Archbishops, Bishops, and Heads of mainline Churches and Major Christian Denominations.
“It is a sort of documentary, chronicle, journal, memories, an official record of APFC /FTC giving its historical account from its beginning 2001 to 2021,” said Father Anthoniraj.
This Book has valuable experiences of the unique ecumenical movement, which can serve as a guide to those interested and involved in ecumenical ministry and Ecumenical Studies.
The author, Father Anthoniraj Thumma is a Catholic Priest from the Diocese of Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Father Dr. Anthoniraj Thumma was born on July 18, 1954, in Thatchoor, Tamil Nadu and was ordained as a Priest of Nellore Diocese in 1981.
He is the founding Executive Secretary of the Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC), who continued in the post till September 2021 and was made its Advisor after that.
He has secured Master’s degrees in Sociology as well as Systematic Theology and a Doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of Madras.
He was a Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism at St John’s Regional Seminary, Hyderabad.
He was the former Deputy Secretary of the Telugu Catholic Bishops’ Council (TCBC) and Regional Director of the Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue.
He is a Member of the Indian Theological Association (ITA) and the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT).
Father Anthoniraj Thumma has authored many books in English and edited some in Telugu and his well-known series of books on People’s Theology is a valuable contribution to Contextual Theology. - By Pujitha Nagalli
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