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Manorama Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund

KOTTAYAM: Immediately after the unexpected ´TSunami´ disaster on Dec.26 Sunday morning, Malayala Manorama had instituted a relief fund as a reach out to the thousands of families of the victims and affected in India.

The supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Church His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Mathews II had entrusted ´Manorama´ a check for 5 lakh towards the ongoing TSunami relief work. His Holiness also apprised ´Manorama´ for the humanitarian task they had voluntarily taken and said that Manorama will be well appreciated for their such activities.

Orthodox Christian foundation, a joint venture of 8 Orthodox Parishes in an around Kochi had contributed Rupees 1 lakh to the Manorama relief fund

The most powerful earthquake in more than 40 years wrought widespread devastation across Southeast Asia on Dec 26, 2004, triggering huge tsunamis and killing more than 23,000 people. Over a million people throughout the region have been been displaced and left homeless as a result of the sudden catastrophe.

Manorama needs your help as it mobilizes to mount a lifesaving response to this tragic disaster. Sunday morning, an earthquake measuring 8.9 in magnitude struck near the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, unleashing waves up to 30 feet high. These deadly waves moved quickly inland, striking coastal cities throughout the region and burying entire communities under raging floodwaters.

While details are still coming in, it seems certain that the death toll will rise and that the destruction will be unthinkable. Families across India, stricken by disaster during this holiday season, need your help to recover and rebuild – many have lost everything.

Here´s what we know at this hour:
In India, more than 6,200 have been killed by tidal waves that ravaged the southern coast.

Those who want to participate from the readers of IOH in this may contribute their donations to “BMM Creations Inc´ P.O.Box 52301, Philadelphia, PA 19115. This amount will be handed over to Manorama and the contributions will be published in Indian Orthodox Herald.

Those want to send directly, may send the check in favor of “Malayala Manorama Charitable Trust” P.B.No.300, Malayala Manorama, Kottayam-686001.

Eye witness reports by BBC
“My wife and my eldest daughter were in our hotel room on the first floor in Mahabalipuram when a monster wave came in the window.
I could hear them screaming and two village men came running to help but the floor split into two, leaving cracks in between and my wife´s leg got stuck inside.

My wife was pulling my daughter´s skirt to keep her alive and away from the wave. We got out safely and went to Chennai, but it was a miraculous escape.”

Rahul Thiagarajan, Chennai, India
“I was shocked to see innumerable fishing boats flying on the shoulder of the waves, going back and forth into the sea, as if made of paper.

Many boats were upturned, but fishermen were still holding onto them. They also were pushed into the sea.

I had never imagined anything like this could happen.” P. Ramanamurthy, Andra Pradesh, India

“After the earthquake, when we were sitting at home, suddenly a big wave came. It was so big that people who were near the sea had no chance to survive.

“In some parts the sea was up to chest level”

It was with big force, many children who were playing at that time died.

A lot of old people have died. Around 10 children who were playing at the beach are missing.” Sounder Rajan, Madras, India

“It was early in the morning and I was sorting my catch from the fishing net when I saw the waves climbing alarmingly.

I rushed back and pulled my wife and two children out of our home, water had rushed into our hut by then.” Ravichandran, fisherman, Elliot´s Beach, Madras, India

“The water simply raised itself up and huge waves came ashore. It was moving very fast. The impact smashed the glass walls of a restaurant on the beach here and damaged hundreds of boats.

It was more than four feet high. But the water level went down very quickly, after about 15 minutes.” Peter Thomas, Kochi, India
“The scene I witnessed on the streets around the Marina Beach was heartrending.

People were running here and there on the roads with little bags and suitcases, some in their nighties, with tears in their eyes and taking shelter in the temples.” Rani Balaji, Chennai, India

“On Madras beach some were drenched up to their hips, some up to their chests, some all over and some of them were so drenched that they had already stopped breathing.

Men and women, old and young, all were running for lives. It was a horrible sight to see.
The relief workers could not attend to all the dead and all the alive.

The dead were dropped and the half-alive were carried to safety.

Old women had to be carried in chairs or transported by rickshaws.

People scrambled what they could from their homes.” Nanda Kishore, Chennai, India

Tsunami
A tsunami is a Japanese word, means “harbor wave”. A tsunami Is a series of huge waves traveling across the ocean with extremely long wavelengths up to hundreds of miles across the ocean. Often a tsunami is incorrectly described as a tidal wave. Tidal waves are created by the rise And fall of tides and the following movement of water produced by the sun And moon´s gravity. Tsunamis have nothing to do neither with weather nor with tides.

Tsunamis are seismic sea waves are created as a result of sudden Rise or fall of an earth´s crust under or near the ocean. The rise or fall In the sea level is the first formation of a tsunami wave.

Tsunami waves Can also be created by volcanic activity and landslides happening above or below the sea surface. The waves at the beach are caused by wind blowing over the surface of the Sea. The size of these waves are determined by the wind and the distance Over which it blows. Tsunami waves resulting from sudden rise or fall of Earth´s crust is much different than wind generated waves. The magnitude of The disturbance causing the tsunami is the main reason influencing the size And strength of the waves. Depending on how deep the water in which the Tsunami is traveling; it may pick up speed up to 500 miles per hour. As a Tsunami hits shallow waters, its height can reach to over 20 meters, or 66 Feet. All this can take a few minutes. Sometimes, waves can be over an hour Apart. Many have died after returning home in between tsunami waves, Believing that the waves have stopped. Tsunamis have happened in all major oceans of the world

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Fr. Saji Abraham Attacked on Christmas Eve

RAJASTHAN: A wanton and brutal attack was reported on a priest by a gang of mischievous anti social elements at 5.30 p. m on the eve of Xmas in Rajasthan .

Fr. Saji Abraham , the Priest in charge of St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Banswara, Rajasthan was entering the Church to conduct the Xmas Service in the evening of 24 Dec. It was reported that three strangers were following him to the church. Though strangers, they seemed eager to know about the church and as it was Xmas eve, Fr. Saji Abraham warmly welcomed them in .

While Priest entered the Holy of holies to keep the Holy Bread that he was carrying for the worship, on the Altar. The strangers followed him to holy of holies. On seeing this Fr. saji politely told them to stand outside for the place is holy .Immediately these strangers with some metal rods started attacking the Priest. Fr. Saji fell down in the holy of holies with heavy bleeding from his head. As the Priest fell down unconscious , the culprits felt that he was dead and they then left the Church by closing the doors.

After a little while, the Priest regained his conscious and contacted some of the church members through his mobile phone. They all ran immediately onto the spot and rescued him. 17 stitches were administered on him in a hospital nearby and is still there in critical condition. Fr. Saji Abraham is from Thonniamala, near Kozhencheri-Kerala

A case has been registered with the Banswara Kotwali police station and the additional superintendent of police asked to probe the incident.

No one has so far been arrested but the search is on for the assailants.

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Holy Relics of St. Thomas at Niranam Church

NIRANAM: The Holy Relics of the Apostle St. Thomas were consecrated at Niranam ´Valiya Palli´. In connection with this the memorial festival of the Apostle was held in the church from December 17-21. The flag hoisting took place on December 17. The memorial hall of the Saint Mar Gregorios of Parumala was sanctified on December 18th. This was followed by the public meeting. On 19th the Holy Relics of the Apostle was ceremoniously taken to the Niranam Church from Parumala.

On December 18th Public meeting held. Changanassery Archbishop Mar Pawathil delivered Marthoma Smrithi. His Holiness Baselius presided over the meeting. Kerala Chief Minister Sri. Oommen Chandy inaugurated the function. Mar Osthathios delivered keynote speech. Elected Bishop Dr. Yoohanon Ramban, Dr. O. Thomas, Dr. Alexander Karackal etc. felicitated. On December 19th the Gospel meditation meeting was held. There was also Raza from Parumala Church. The relics were consecrated on December 21st after ´anchinmel Qurbana´.

The Holy Relics had been brought from the tomb of the Apostle at Mylapur.

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Birth Centenary Of Mylapra Mathews Ramban

PATHANAMTHITTA:The well known embodiment of Orthodox Spirituality, Mylapra Mathews Ramban is remembered and honored by different functions in the birth centenary year.

The main public function was arranged at Mylapra Ashram on December 12. The Catholicos Baselius Marthoma Mathews II, Thomas Mar Themothios, the Catholicos-Elect and other Metropolitans blessed the occasion with their presence and message.

Fr. T. J. Joshua delivered the keynote address on the spiritual life of Mathews Ramban.

Mylapra Mathews Ramban was born on September 30, 1904 at Kumbazha the son of Velasseril Fr. Easo and Achamma. Ramban P. I. Mathews started Mar Kuriakose Ashram in Attachakkal in the year 1937. Since 1962 Mar Kuriakose Ashram and its activities were made extensive with Mylapra as the center. He spread the good news of love and care among the children of God. Many sensed the heavenly peace while in the presence of Mathews Ramban and still it continues.

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Birth Day Celebrations And Mission Society Silver Jubilee

MAVELIKARA: The Mission Society of the Malankara Orthodox Church has celebrated its silver jubilee on December 10 to 12 at St. Paul´s Mission Training Center, Mavelikara .

The Malankara Orthodox Church had started its attempts to release the downtrodden, irrespective of caste or creed, from social slavery during the life time of the Saint Parumala Mar Gregorios. Many programs had been carried out for this purpose by the church since then.

It was in 1979 the Malankara Orthodox Church Mission Society was constituted for the emancipation of the lower caste as the continuation of the work of Pathrose Mar Osthathios. His Holiness the Catholicos is the society president and Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios is the President of the Mission Board now. The Silver Jubilee of the Mission Society marks a new milestone in Malankara Church history. The Golden Jubilee of the Summer Vacation Class started in 1954 at St. Paul´s Gospel Center- Mavelikara Pulimoottil, was also celebrated along with this. St. Paul´s Mission Center was the starting point for many mission organizations and institutions in Malankara Orthodox Church. The concluding ceremony of the Jubilee was held from December 10-12 at St. Paul´s Mission Training Center.

From 10 am on December 10, a Seminar was conducted for those engaged in humanitarian activities. The topic was ´ long way to go- its´ already late´. In the meeting for the social workers conducted in the afternoon, animated a discussion on the topic, ´The messengers who sowed and watered´

On December 11 morning, there was family get-together of the member s of the St. Paul´s and St. Thomas Gospel Centers. The participants shared their experiences on ´The Mission work in the Malankara Church. In the afternoon, a ´Face to Face´ program with Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, the founder president of the Mission Board of Malankara Orthodox Church was also conducted. Those present in the Social, Cultural and literary event, discussed various topics related to the subject ´The human aspect of development´ with the Metropolitan.

Holy Qurbana was conducted on December 12 in connection with the 87th birth day celebration of Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios. His Holiness the Catholicos was the chief celebrant on the occasion and presided over meeting of felicitation that followed. The concluding function of the Jubilee was held in the afternoon of December 12, 2004. A Book was released as a souvenir of this event. It contains the articles presented in the regional seminars and also essays on the ´Principles of Safety´ devised by Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios.

Mar Pachomios, the diocesan Metropolitan of Mavelikara diocese inaugurated the function. Metropolitan Mathews Mar Epiphanios presided over the meeting. The noted Marxist Philosopher P. Govindapillai delivered Mar Osthathios Lecture

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Silver Jubilee Of Orthodox Mission Society

MAVELIKARA: The Silver Jubilee of Orthodox Mission Society and the Golden Jubilee of the Vacation Bible Class will be celebrated at St. Paul´s Mission Training Centre on 10th, 11the and 12th December. Seminars, Classes, M.T.C Alumni Meeting, Jubilee Meeting, Book Release, Assembly of social workers, Face to Face with Mar Osthathios and Other Programs are arranged at the Mission Center Mavelikara.

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P. Govindapillai To Deliver Mar Osthathios Lecture

MAVELIKARA: The 87th birth day of Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios will be celebrated on December 12 at St. Paul´s M.T.C., Mavelikara. The noted Marxist Philosopher P. Govindapillai will deliver Mar Osthathios Lecture in Connection with the birthday celebrations.

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Entries Invited For Competitions In Recitation and Lyrics

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Divine Singers, the musical wing of B.M.M Creations is conducting a competition for newcomers. B.M.M. Creations, Inc. is a non-profit organization functioning in America.

There are separate competitions for men and women bet, the ages of 18 to 35. The first prize is Rs. 10,001, memento and a certificate. The Participants should sent a Christian song recoded in audio cassette for the sound test.

The theme of the songs written should be related to Christianity. There will be no age-bar. The prizes are for Rs. 1000, 500, 250 Rs and certificates respectively for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in Malayalam.

Those who wish to participate should apply with Bio-data in the following address before December 16th 2004. B.M.M Creations, George Thazhakara, Mitranikethan, Mavelikara-2.

The competition for the selected participants will be held at Aswathi Gardens Auditorium, Kazhakootam, Thiruvananthapuram on December 29th. The award and prizes will be distributed by the Honorable Speaker of the Kerala Assembly Sri. Therampil Ramakrishanan. Famous playback singer K.G.Markose will be the special guest. B.M.M.Divine Singers Director Reji Jacob, Philadelphia, the program conveners Ani Varghese and Jacob Daniel Philadelphia are in charge of the competition.

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One Crore Sanctioned For Footbridge at Parumala

PARUMALA: The government has sanctioned one crore rupees to construct foot bridge on either side of the Parumala Bridge to solve the present traffic jam; Sobhana George MLA said.

The Parumala Seminary Manager Dr. Christophorus Ramban, John Jacob Vallakkalil, the Chairman of Handicrafts Development corporation and Eappen Arikupuram had submitted memorandum to the Chief Minister on this.

Ad. Elizabeth Mammen Mathai M.L.A, Advocate Cherian Athikara, the president of Kadapra Congress Mandalam Committee and Boban Kadavil had also requested for this.

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Mar Gregorios Award To Baba Amte

DELHI: The Mar Gregorios award of this year has declared to award to Baba Amte, the well known Social Worker and social activist in India. The award amount is Rs.200,000 and the Medal of appreciation. This will be awarded by the Vice President of India Mr. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat in the coming function. This award is instituted by the Sophia Society in association with the Delhi Diocese of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church under the leadership of H. G. Job Mar Philoxenos, the Diocesan Bishop.

Spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Dr. A. P. Kurien and Dr. P. K. Variyar were the former award winners in previous years.

The award is organized for the memory of Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios the late Bishop of Delhi Diocese and renowned theologian of Orthodox Churches. Mar Gregorios was a genius in many fields including theology and carried out many duties including the position of the Principal of the Theological Seminary, President of W.C.C., Secretary to Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie
Mar Gregorios was the person who lived the lives of many persons life within a lifetime.