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Diocese News News Northeast America

FOCUS First Meeting Was A Success

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NEW YORK: The first ever gathering of the newest spiritual organization of the American Diocese named FOCUS (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in the United States) was held on Saturday, January 21, 2006 at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Queens (Cherry Lane) under the leadership of FOCUS Director, Dn. Aju Philip Mathews.

After opening prayer and an ice-breaker to get everyone acquainted, Dn. Aju spoke of the responsibilities of a Christian young adult living in the modern American society. He stressed the call of Christ to all people to live and spread the Good News to all. The floor was opened to a interesting discussion of the goals of FOCUS and how those goals could be actualized in various areas. The group decided to meet as a larger NY-NJ area in February onwards until the need to make it smaller was necessary.

FOCUS also is unique to the American Diocese because it works specifically to involve American-born Indian Orthodox young adults with the other members of the Church community, especially students as well as colleagues of the same age, but born and brought up abroad. It also looks to help the church’s mission to go after young adults who feel left out of the Church, or who have legitimate issues with the Church.

FOCUS – Philadelphia will convene for the first time on Sunday afternoon, February 12th, 2006 at St. Thomas Orthodox Church (Unruh Ave.) at 3 pm. FOCUS – Houston and FOCUS – Maryland are also looking to organize themselves soon.

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Church News News

Work for Bringing Back Unity in Church – Bava

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PATHANAMTHITTA: H. H. Baselius Marthoma Didimus I, Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan (Catholica Bava) exhorted members of the church to work for bringing back unity. He was delivering the Late Catholica Bava memorial lecture on the day of mid lent at the Central Travancore (Madhya Tiruvithaamcoor) Orthodox Convention held here. H. H. added, “The reason for disunity in society is selfishness of people. Where there is prayer with faith, there is peace. Love and unity will be there only where there is peace. For this you need to acquire penance and knowledge. Do not sleep any night without reading the Holy Scriptures. If your faith has met with any damage, it has to be repaired. Hear the speeches at the convention and practice what you hear in your daily life.

‘The Late Catholicos could cultivate the love for Church and sacrifice in our believers. That is the reason why all of us stood united even in the days of crisis. He had a multifaceted personality and shone brilliantly in the social, cultural and educational fields of Kerala. The late Bava was able to conquer old age and continue his work. He was thus able to adore the top position with all top leaders of world religions.”, H. H. concluded.

His Grace Philipose Mar Yausebias, who presided, advised to lead life knowing God more closely. “Only if the family gets better, the society will be better. Only if the Society is better, the nation will be better.”, H. G. added.

The activities of the Christian should be with social commitment, opined H. G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, Metropolitan for Europe and Canada. Dr. Marxis (U. S. A.), Fr. Joseph Samuel, Karukayil, Fr. Varghese Varghese and others spoke. The next morning a retreat was led by Fr. Titus John, followed by Holy Qurbana and the chief celebrant was H. G. Philipose Mar Yausebias. A prayer meeting in the afternoon was addressed by Fr. Dr. John Panicker. An anti alcoholic meeting was held in the evening. H. G. Philipose Mar Yausebias presided and Dr. Syriac Thomas, former Vice Chancellor, M. G. University, was the main speaker.

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Church News News

Condolence Meeting In Memory Of Mathews II Bava

Kottayam Feb 7 2006: A touching and poignant condolence meeting was held in Kottayam today, Sunday Feb.5, 2006 condoling the passing away of our beloved Bava Thirumeni. In a well attended meeting held at Baselius College, Speaker after speaker brought alive their unfaded memories of association with the departed. In the Presidential address, H.H. Didimos Bava Thirumeni highlighted the warmth of affection received from Mathews II Bava . Almost like a pet student, Bava Thirumeni attended on him and it was at the height of that concern that the departed Bava Thirumeni adorned his successor with the staff and chains on the day of enthronement.

Mar Thoma Metropolitan Mar Chrisostam who inaugurated the meeting, in his inimitable way narrated a dream he had on the evening of January 27. God announced in heaven that He had called to rest Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews 11 and would be reaching heaven soon. As everybody waited, Bava Thirumeni reached and the first two persons with whom Bava shook hands was Yoohanon Marthoma Metropolitan and Alexander Marthoma Metropolitan. So much was Bava’s relation ship with Mar Thoma Church. He also confessed that Mar Thoma Church lost an eloquent speaker for all their functions who was invited without a second thought and now with the demise of Bava they have to sruggle to find the right person.

Bishop Mar Powathil, higlighted the good human being in Bava Thirumeni and unfolded his association for the last 25 years. Bishop Sam Mathew drew the big picture of an Ecumenical stalwart in Mar Thomas Mathews II who played a big role in settling the Nilackel issue.
Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, the Health and Irrigation Minister of Kerala pictured Bava Thirumeni as a big humanist. Suresh Kurup, Member of Parliament of Kottayam, recalled with gratitude when His Grace Mathews Mar Coorilos went to the bedside of his father who was admiited in the Madras Medical Mission Hospital for Heart Surgery and prayed and thereafter, the hospital authorities treated them with extra love and concern. Sri. Narendranath Kurup, the N.S.S. General Secretary, recalled that occasion when Bava Thirumeni was the Chief Guest for the Mannam Birth Day Celebration and how Bava captivated the gathering with his eloquent speech.

Almost choked with emotion Thomas Mar Makarios Thirumeni recalled how Bava compelled him to conduct the Thailabhishekam for patients before Bava was taken to the Operation Theatre for Heart Surgery in the U.S.A. Thirumeni also recalled how Bava Thirumeni when he was Angel Achan asked him to join Othera Dayara on frugal food. K.M. Mathew, Chief Editor , Malayala Manorama and Dr. Alexander Karakkal also spoke on the occasion. Fr.Dr.O.Thomas moved the condolence resolution and Sri P.C. Abraham Padinjarekara, the Lay Trustee offered floral tributes, Pushparchana , on the photograph of the Bava Thirumeni . The dedication song by Fr. M.P. George added to the solemnity of the occasion which certainly must be cherished by our Bava in the Heavenly Abode.

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Varghese Pothanicad And George Thumpayil Felicitated

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PHILADELPHIA: Rev. Dn. Paul Cherian (MGOCSM General Secretary, American Diocese) and Ms. Sibyl Thomas (St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Oak Park, IL) have been selected as delegates from the Malankara Orthodox Church to represent its youth at the 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) that will be held at Porto Alegre, Brazil from February 14-23, 2006.

Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Coorilose , Fr. Dr. K.M. George, Fr. Dr. Jacob Kurien, and Dr. Alexander Karackal will also represent the Malankara Orthodox Church.

George Thumpayil and Varghese Pothanicad will represent the media, orthodoxherald.com. Today, at a brief meeting that was held at Philadelphia St. Thomas Orthodox Church, these two media persons were given a warm send off by the Board of trustees of BMM Creations, Inc and the friends of IOH. Fr. M .K.Kuriakose, Vicar of St. Thomas Orthodox Church Philadelphia presided over the meeting. Malayalee Sangamam Chief Editor Reji George, Associate editor Sunny Anapparackal, Malayalam Vartha Chief Editor Abraham Mathew, Daniel Yohannan, John Panicker, Reji Jacob, Biju John, John P. Eapen, Ninan Mathai, Philip Varghese, and Susan Samuel have felicitated Pothanicad and Thumpayil for their representing the readers of IOH around the world.

In their replies, Varghese Pothanicad and George Thumpayil applauded the Malayalam news media in USA (Pathram, Malayalee Sangamam and Malayalam Vartha) for giving extensive coverage on WCC 9th Assembly that will be held at Brazil.

Fr. Shebaly, President BMM Creations, Inc welcomed the gathering and Trustee Mathew George said the vote of thanks. A lunch was hosted by BMM Creations, Inc honoring Varghese Pothanicad and George Thumpayil