Church News News

71st Memorial Festival Of Saint Vattasseril Mar Dionysius Commenced

KOTTAYAM: The 71st memorial festival of Saint Vattasseril Mar Dionysius will be celebrated at Old Seminary Chapel, Kottayam from Feb 23 to 26, 2005.

On Feb 23 Perunal flag was hoisted by His Holiness marking the commencement of 3 day festival. At 7pm after the evening prayer the memorial speech session was inaugurated by the Catholicos Elect H.B. Thomas Mar Themothios. Bishop Elect Very. Rev. Dr. M. C. Zachariah Ramban delivered the first day memorial speech.

On Feb 24 the Sabha Managing Committee will meet at ‘Smruthi’ Auditorium. Many important decisions are expected. At 7pm Bishop Elect Very. Rev. Dr. K .J. Gabriel Ramban will deliver the 2nd day memorial Speech.

On Feb 25 At Old Seminary Chapel His Holiness will lead the evening Prayer. At Cheriya Pally, H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, H.G. Paulose Mar Milithios and H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos will lead the evening prayer, from where the pilgrimage will proceed to old seminary Chapel. The pilgrims from all around the church will be received at Old Seminary by Rev. Dr. K. M. George (Principal, Orthodox Seminary) and Fr. K. V. Joseph (Manager, Old Seminary) at Old Seminary at 8pm. There after the incense prayer at the tomb of the saint will be conducted.

On Feb 28 at 8.30am the Perunal Qurbana will be celebrated. His Holiness and all the Metropolitans of the church will attend the Holy Qurbana. H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios will address the believers on Perunal day. A huge gathering of believers and priests are expected on this second anniversary of the elevation to sainthood of this blessed saint.

Church News News

Catholicos – Elect Asked To Assume Responsibilities


KOTTAYAM: Catholicos-Elect His Beatitude Thomas Mar Themothios, has been asked to assume the responsibilities of the day today administration of Malankara Orthodox Church by His Holiness the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan, His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Mathews II.

His Holiness continues to convalescence at Kolencherry Medical College Hospital. Although His Holiness was to leave the Hospital this Thursday, it may require some more days stay in the Hospital and continued rest for some more time to come, as per the Kolencherry Medical College authorities It was under these circumstances this immediate arrangement has been made. As a part of this procedure a special meeting has been convened at Devalokam Aramana on Monday the 17th , as Orthodox Herald understands.

As reported by the Orthodox Herald representative and the Catholicos Elect’s Secretary Dn. Moncy who is camping with His Beatitude at Puthupady, they are not very clear about everything going on and the meeting on Monday at 4 pm will reveal more details.

It was the expressed desire of His Holiness that His Holiness to follow the tradition of Malankara Metropolitans and the Catholicoses to entrust the responsibilities to their successors at the right and appropriate time. By doing this His Holiness has once again vindicated his magnanimity. Let us all pray and hope that His Holiness restore his full health and continue to be with us in all our difficult times.

Church News News

1.5 Crore For Tsunami Relief In Kerala From KCC & CASA


THIRUVALLA: The Kerala Council of Churches and CASA (Churches Auxiliary for Social Actions) officials met jointly on Monday Jan 10 2005 at Thiruvalla for Tsunami relief actions. The president of KCC Dr. Issac Mar Pheloxinos presided over the function.

In the meeting, it is finalized to have a three-stage rehabilitation program of Tsunami affected people in three districts.

As the first stage, with the joint effort of KCC and CASA, will distribute relief kits for 7500 families in three affected areas (Kochi, Kollam and Alappuzha). The kit includes blankets, bed sheets, dhoti, sari and 12 kitchen utensils. This will be distributed this week.

The second stage is marked by a 1.5 crore rupee aid in the form of nets, fiber glass boats and temporary shelters for individual families. This will be over against communities the way Government is providing them with. This will be distributed in 4 weeks time.

The final stage will be building houses for deserving. The details of this part will be decided at a later stage when the first two relief works are over and when KCC see what the government and other organizations are going to do. Particular emphasis will be given to the Dalits among the affected lot.

Fr. Abey Philip (of the OCYM, Kayamkulam Kadisa Orthodox Church) will look after the matter in Alappuzha district along with Rev. Mathew Ninan of CSI parish Puthuppally, Kayamkulam.

Dr.Joseph Mar Irenios suffergan Metropolitan (President CASA), Susanth Agarwall (Director, CASA), Yuhanon Mor Meletius , Jeseph V. John (Chief zonal officer), Rev.Dr.Cherian Thomas, Adv, V.C.Sabu, Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil, Adv. Joseph John, Jese Varghese, Lal Cherian, Rev.Mathew G. Ninan, Rev.Mathew P. George,Rajan Mathew, and George thazhakara (Resident Editor- IOH) had attended the meeting.

H.G. Yuhanon Mor Meletius is the vice president of KCC and and Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil of Orthodox Theological Seminary is the Asst. Secretary. They both represent Malankara Orthodox Church in KCC as officials.

Church News News

Padmashri Dr. K. M. Cherian To Receive Harvard Award


CHENNAI: Renowned cardio thoracic and vascular surgeon and the Chair-man of Frontier Life Line, Chennai Dr K M Cherian is selected to receive VOCK HEART award instituted by Harward Medical International. This ward is instituted to recognize excellence in the field of Medical , research and education. The Award will be given in a function at Mumbai on Feb 6, 2005.

Dr. Cherian began his medical career in 1975 and has held many remarkable positions during his tenure and authored more than 250 national and international publications. He performed the first successful coronary artery graft in India during the mid-’70s. Some of his other pioneering works include, the first heart transplant in India after the legislation of Brain Death, the first bilateral lung transplant, the first pediatric heart transplant, the first auto transplant and the first heart and lung transplant.

After his MBBS, Dr K. M. Cherian headed for Australia to become a FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons). He has the rare distinction of having performed the first successful heart transplant in India in 1975. He has many more firsts to his name, including the first pediatric heart transplant and more recently, the first heart and lung transplant.

He is the recipient of several honours including the Padmashri in 1991. He has authored several National and International publications. He was the founder Director of Madras Medical Mission Hospital, Chennai. He has performed more than 17,000 operations. He has also held numerous positions abroad, including Visiting Professor at University of Oregon, USA; Senior Registrar of Greenlane Hospital, Royal Alexandria Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia. He is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, Past President of the Indian Association of Thoracic and Cardio vascular Surgeons and a member of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation and the International Society of Cardio Thoracic Surgeons (ISCTS). He is also a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and a member of the Australian Society of Cardio Thoracic Surgeons.

Dr Cherian is the first and only Indian member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. He has also had the privilege of being the honorary surgeon to the president of India between 1990 and 1993.

Church News News

His Holiness the Catholicos In Kolencherry Medical College


KOLENCHERRY: His Holiness The Catholicos Baselius Marthoma Mathews II was admitted in Kolencherry Medical College Hospital on Friday at 7.30 PM in Room No.2 of M1 ward. His Holiness was admitted in Century Hospital Chengannur on Friday after a severe flue infection from where he was taken into Kangazha MGDM Hospital. His Holiness was under the personal care of Kangazha Hospital for a long time. After reaching Kangazha Hospital, His Holiness went into coma for acute diabetes increase.

On January 6 His Holiness had attended the consecration of the Piralassery Church and presided over the public meeting there. Late night his health conditions deteriorated, and then he was taken to the Century Hospital.

“His Holiness is in a stable and good condition” informed Dr. C. K. Eapen (Medical college Director ), Dr. Sojan Ipe (Superintendent) , Dr. Eapen Punnose (Cardiologist), and Dr. John P. John (Neurologist). Since His Holiness is an acute diabetic, now it seems to have a decrease in his eye sight and it concerns us all. Hearing that His Holiness has been admitted in Kolencherry Hospital, hundreds of faithful are crowded at the VIP Hall of Kolencherry Medical College in the evening.

Metropolitan Thomas Mar Athanasius, P.M. Pailipilla (Sabha Managing Committee member), Fr. Abraham Poovathum Veettil (Vicar, Kolencherry Church) are now with His Holiness. in the medical College Hospital.

After contacting Devalokam Aramana the Asst. Metropolitan of the American diocese H.G. Zachariahs Mar Nicholovos informed Indian Orthodox Herald that His Holiness has been recovered from coma and now his condition is stable.

Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, Dr. Abraham Mar Severios, Zachariahs Mar Anthonios and Dr. Alexander Karakkal had visited His Holiness in the Hospital.

Church News MGOCSM

Tsunami Relief Work At Kayamkulam By OCYM


KAYAMKULAM: The Orthodox Christian Youth Movement (OCYM) will observe Sunday the 2nd of January as a Tsunami Relief Sunday according to the Kalpana released from the President H. G. Yoohanon Mar Meletius. All the OCYM units are asked to send their donations to The General Secretary Fr. Varghese Varghese or to Rev. Fr. Abey Philip at Kayamkulam who is coordinating the relief work there. ” I am happy to see that the response has been so over whelming”, said Metropolitan Yoohanon Mar Meletius.

In the affected areas of Kerala, Mar Meletius made a personal visit shortly after the disaster. “The scene was heart breaking. Thousands of people have lost every thing they had at home either by the killer wave or by the antisocial miscreants who used the situation to steal things from vacant homes. Hundreds of homes were destroyed in full and some in part. Those damaged cannot be used for security reason”, continued Mar Meletius.

Until last Saturday, the voluntary organizations were permitted to distribute food and clothing to the victims in hospitals and in temporary relief camps. Now the government has asked the volunteer organizations to back off and the government machinery had taken over the relief work. More over piles of cloth are left without any one to collect them.

“When the rehabilitation work begins, the government will need us to support them with money to construct homes and to buy boats, nets and other equipments for their livelihood in the affected costal areas. So if any units has collected cloths, medicines of food materials do not send them to Kerala. It may be needed in Tamil Nadu or in Andamans” Mar Meletius added .

The collected money, may send to Fr. Varghese Varghese, General Secretary, OCYM, St. Thomas Bhavan, Seminary Road, Chungom, Kottayam, Tel. 0481 2583997 (Account # 16957 Federal Bank Kottayam). The collected money will be disbursed later on when the rehabilitation work starts.

“Earlier the authorities allowed OCYM to establish two camps one in Kayamkulam Taluk hospital and one in Karunagappally. Along with all other NGO’s OCYM was also asked to suspend that kind of work for a while. The Chief Minister Mr. Oommen Chandy has already said that the help will be needed in future for rehabilitation.

“We will do whatever we can when and where needed with the money collected” concluded Mar Meletius

Diocese News News Northeast America

American Diocese To Raise $2,50,000 As Tsunami Relief

tsunami“It was shocking to hear the Tsunami disaster and its aftermath in South Asian countries. The unexpected calamities of nature are always incomprehensible. As an initial contribution we are making a donation of $5000 from our personal resources”” said Mar Nicholovos.

Immediately after returning from the parishes they had their Christmas Services, the Metropolitans of the American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church, decided to announce the collection of a ‘Tsunami Relief fund’ by the diocese.

“All of us are aware of the devastating tidal wave that hit the coasts of many of the Asian and African nations killing more than one hundred thousand people. The reports point that many of these nations without proper infrastructure and financial resources are struggling to deal with the effects of the disaster.

We find that it is our Christian obligation to help the needy in whatever way we can. We are setting up a Disaster Relief Fund to provide help to the people who have been affected by the Tsunami Natural Disaster.

We exhort all of you to contribute whole-heartedly for the cause, collect as much money as possible, and send it to the American Diocese as early as possible so that we can provide assistance to the needy”, informed the Metropolitans of the American diocese jointly vide Kalpana No. CK.35/2004 on Dec.30, 2004.

“We are expecting $2,50,000 from all of the parishes from American diocese for this noble cause. Hope everyone will rise to the occasion to contribute liberally and wholeheartedly” said H.G. Mar Zachariahs Nicholovos to Indian Orthodox Herald.

“One of our young priests, Fr. John Joshby Thomas was preparing for Holy Qurbana on 26th morning when Tsunami struck. He along with the people had to flee to the forest and to a hilly place to save their lives and they stayed on the hill for three full days before they were evacuated on Wednesday, 29 Dec. They were literally starving on the hill! .Now they are back in Port Blair”, said the Madras diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios in Madras.