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News Northeast America

St. Gregorios Philadelphia Won the Overall Ever Rolling Trophy

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NEW YORK: The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Northeast American Diocese), Sunday School Talent Show and Competitions were held on October 24th, 2009 at Saunders High School, Yonkers, NY.

Diocesan Assistant Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos inaugurated the program by lighting the lamp and presided over the function.

St. Gregorios Church Philadelphia won the overall ever rolling St. Gregorios Memorial trophy for highest points (Church Level).

Paul Jacob (St. Thomas PA) and Miss. Michelle Pothen (St. Mary’s Rockland) won the individual trophy (Mundukuzhy Achen Memorial Trophy) in the competition. All the Sunday school students who participated in the talent show and competitions were congratulated at the show.

Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios memorial cash awards were given to the first and second place holders of the 2009 centralized Examinations. St. Gregorios Queens Elmont, St. Stephens Long Island and St Gregorios Philadelphia sponsored this award.

Following Sunday School Students received the Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios memorial cash awards.

Paul Jacob (St. Thomas PA), Elizabeth Varghese (St. Gregorios Queens, Elmont, NY), Elijah Mathew (St. Stephens Bergenfield, NJ),Stacy Shaji(St. Mary’s Bronx);Sharon Shaji (St Gregorios New Hyde Park, NY),Jamie Gheevarghese (St. George’s-New Rochelle, NY),Joshua V Kurian (St. Mary’s Bronx, NY),Crystal Kuriakose(St. Mary’s Rockland, NY);Jaya Isaac (St. Baselios Elmont, NY) and Richi Thampan (St. George Staten Island, NY).

Leelamma Thomas (Former Secretary) and George Samuel (Centralized Examination Coordinator) were honored at the show for their dedicated service to the Sunday School.

Sunday School Director Fr. Dr. Raju Varghese led the talent competitions and talent show. Thomas Mathai, Mathai Chacko and Ann George served as coordinators for the program. Many Priests, deacons, Sunday school officials, and church officials attended the event.

Dr. Alice Vettichira (Regional Coordinator) welcomed the gathering. Benny Varghese (Sunday School Diocese Secretary) said the vote of thanks.

The Sunday School Children from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington and Boston areas presented very outstanding programs at the Talent Show.

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Southwest America

New Diocesan Center for Southwest American Diocese

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HOUSTON: Southwest Diocese of America had bought a new diocesan center on October 23, 2009 as the residence of the new Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius. The new center is located at 3703 Chesterdale Dr, Missouri City, TX 77459 (Sienna Plantation – Estates of Silver Lake). Hopefully the new Center will be occupied after renovation by December 2009.

• TOTAL SQ FT OF THE HOME : 5604
• LOT SIZE: 48461 (over an acre)
• BUILT IN 2002
• 2 STORY HOME
• 5 BEDROOMS
• 4.5 BATHROOMS
• HUGE FORMAL LIVINGROOM AND DININGROOM
• SPACIOUS DEN WITH FIREPLACE
• LARGE KITCHEN WITH ISLAND AND BREAKFAST AREA
• GAMEROOM UPSTAIRS
• MEDIA ROOM
• 3 CAR GARAGE DETACHED
• 1 CAR CARPORT ATTACHING HOME TO GARAGES
• HUGE BACKYARD WITH LONG COVERED PATIO

The dedication ceremony of the new center will be announced later. K.V. Chacko (St.Thomas, Houston), Thomas Mathew (St.Stephens Houston) and Varughese Kuriakose (St.Gregorious Houston) were the subcommittee members for the purchase of the new building.

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News Parish News

Southend-on-sea Church Perunnal on Nov 28

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SOUTH END ON SEA, ESSEX: 107 Dukrono of Saint Parumala Mar Gregorios will conducted at St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, Essex on Saturday, November 28, 2009.

At 8.30am the Morning Prayer will begin. At 9.30am Moonninmel Qurbana will be celebrated. This will be followed by Rassa and intercessory prayer.

At 11.30am a retreat will be conducted for the Children. At 12pm retreat for adults will be conducted. The retreat will be led by Fr. John V. Samuel.

For more information contact the Vicar, Fr. Mathew Abraham Palathinkal (07787525273), Trustee K.S. Abraham (07828613842) or Secretary,  Shibu Thomas ( 07984144254 )

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Articles We Believe

Man (Humanity) – In The Image Of God

sing-praise
What does the word sacrament signify? “It is the sacraments that constitute our life in Christ.” The sacraments are “windows into this unseen world.”

But though we live in a dark world, there are windows into it. Let us remember the Greek term for sacrament — mysterion, mystery. A mystery, in the true religious sense, is not simply an enigma, an unexplained problem. A mystery is something, which is revealed for our understanding, yet never totally revealed because it reaches into the infinity of God. The mystery of all mysteries is the incarnation of Christ; therefore all other sacraments of the church are founded upon that.

The second word in the title which we shall need to keep in mind is healing — Sacraments of Healing and the healing power of our Sacraments. Healing means wholeness. I am broken and fragmented. Healing means a recovery of unity. Let us each thinks that I cannot bring peace and unity to the world unless I am at peace and unity with myself. “Acquire the spirit of peace and thousands around you will find salvation.” If I don’t have the spirit of peace within myself, if I am inwardly divided, I shall spread that division around me to others. Great divisions in the world between nations and states spring from many divisions within the human heart of each one of us.

How I am to understand my unity as a person? What models do I have when I think of the healing of my total self? Human beings are a complex unity. My personhood is a single whole, but a whole that embraces many aspects. As humans we stand at the center and crossroads of the creation. Saint John Chrysostom thinks of the human person as bridge and bond. Each of us then, is a little universe, a microcosm; each of us is imago mundi — an icon of the world. Each reflects within her or him the manifold diversity of the created order.

Saint Gregory Nazianzen, the Theologian, distinguishes the two main levels of the created order. On one hand, there is the spiritual or invisible order, on the other there is the material or physical order. Angels belong only to the first order. They are bodiless, spiritual beings. In Saint Gregory’s view, animals belong to the second order — the material and physical. We, uniquely in God’s creation, exist on both levels at once. Anthropos, man, the human person alone, has a twofold nature, both material and spiritual. Saint Gregory goes on to speak of ourselves as earthly yet heavenly, temporal yet immortal, visible yet intelligible, midway between majesty and lowliness, one selfsame being yet both spirit and flesh. Wishing to form a single creature from two levels of creation from both visible and invisible nature, says Gregory, the Creator Logos fashioned the human person. Taking a body from matter that He has previously created and placing in it the breath of life that comes from himself, which scripture terms the intelligent soul and the image of God, He formed anthropos, the human person, as a second universe — a great universe in a little one.

Now, because we stand in this way on the crossroads of creation, because each of us is a laboratory or workshop that contains everything in a most comprehensive fashion, we have a special vocation, and that is to mediate and to unify. Standing at the crossroads, earthly yet heavenly, body yet soul, our human vocation is to reconcile and harmonize the differing levels of reality in which we participate. Our vocation is to spiritualize the material, without thereby dematerializing it. That is why reconciliation and peace are such a fundamental aspect of our personhood.

But having said that humans are a microcosmic image of the world, we have not yet said the most important thing. The most important thing about our personhood it is not that we are an image of the world but it is that we are created in the image of God. We are a created expression of God’s infinite and uncreated self-expression. Our true glory is that we are in God’s image, that we reflect the divine. We are called not only to unify the different levels of the created order, but we are also called to join earth and heaven and to unite the created and the uncreated.

We are not only imago mundi but also imago dei — image of God. These are our two vocations — not just to unify the creation, but also to offer creation back to God. As king and priest of creation formed to the image of God, the human person offers the world back to God and so transfigures it. The great universe is not the world around us, not the galaxy light years away from us. The great universe is the inner space of the heart. Incomparably greater than the outside universe is the depth within each human heart.

Our vocation is not just to unify but also, as image of God, it’s our task to render the world transparent — to make God’s presence shine through it. We cannot fulfill our vocation as bridge builders, as unifiers, as cosmic priests, unless we see our own selves as a single undivided whole. More specifically, we can act as bond and mediator within the creation, rendering the material spiritual only if we see our body as an essential part of our selves, only if we view our personhood as an integral unity of body and soul. Severing our links with the material environment, we cease to mediate.

Here at once we see the very grave spiritual implications of the present pollution of the environment, what we humans are doing toward the cosmic temple which God has given us to dwell in. The fact that we are degrading the world around us in a very alarming manner shows a terrifying failure to realize our vocation as mediators. So we need, if we are to be truly human, to come to terms with our own body — with its rhythm, its mysteries, its dreams — and through our body then to come to terms with the material world.

Let me express my sincere and deepest gratitude to Bishop Kallistos Ware, my supervisor and guru for his wonderful series of lectures from which I have managed to write and share the above topic.- Tenny Thomas

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Parish News Southwest America

Dallas St. Gregorios Church Installed the Holy Relics of the Saint

holy-relics-installtion-dallas
DALLAS TX: Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius installed the Holy Relics of Saint Gregorios of Parumala on Saturday, October 24th 2009 at 7:15pm in St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Dallas.

Hundreds of faithful attended the Holy relic’s installation service. Special intercessory prayers were said right after the service.

The Perunnal of St. Gregorios Orthodox church commenced on October 23, 2009. Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius hoisted the Perunnal Flag.

Perunnal convention will be on Friday Oct. 30 and Saturday 31 at 6:30 pm. Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil (St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur) will be the convention speaker.There will be M.G.O.C.S.M District Seminar from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

On Sunday November 1, for The Perunnal Mooninmel Qurbana, Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil will be the chief celebrant at 9:00 am. Thereafter Rassa, intercessory prayers will be conducted.

For more information contact the Vicar Fr. Raju M Daniel at 972 303 1449.

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News World News

Death of Archbishop Acharuparambil was A Great Loss : The Catholicose

Daniel-Acharuparambil
KOCHI: Head of Latin Catholics, Archbishop Dr. Daniel Acharuparambil breathed his last here on Monday morning October 26, 2009 . Archbishop was in the intensive care unit of a private hospital near Kochi for the last three days. He was 70.

Archbishop’s death was a heartbreaking news for thousands of Latin Catholics and members of other communities in Kerala. He was not only dear to Christian community but to Hindus and Muslims as well through his approach towards society. Archbishop Acharuparambil served as the President of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council.

Various people from different socio cultural arena converged at the hospital to see him for the last time.

The supreme head of the Orthodox Church the Catholicose Baselios Marthoma Didymos I on hearing this news said that Dr. Daniel Acharuparambil’s death was a great loss to the community and the people of Kerala. The Catholicose also reflected on Archbishop’s role in giving leadership to bring the Kerala Christian churches together in harmony.

Sabha Secretary Dr. George Joseph sent condolence on behalf of the Malankara Orthodox Church to the Latin Catholic community..

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Church News News

Mar Osthathios Receives Nilackal Award

Minister P.J. Joseph Inaugurates the Nilackal award ceremony at Kanjirappally. Alpphonse Kannanthanam M.L.A., Rev. Dr. Antony Nirappel, Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilos, Raju Markose, Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, Mar Mathew Arackal, The Catholicos Elect Poulose Mar Milithios, Bishop Thomas Samuel, Sugathakumari, Anto Antony M and E.D. Sebastian Look on.
Minister P.J. Joseph Inaugurates the Nilackal award ceremony at Kanjirappally. Alpphonse Kannanthanam M.L.A., Rev. Dr. Antony Nirappel, Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilos, Raju Markose, Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, Mar Mathew Arackal, The Catholicos Elect Poulose Mar Milithios, Bishop Thomas Samuel, Sugathakumari, Anto Antony M and E.D. Sebastian Look on.

NILACKAL:Nilackal Religious Harmony award was received by poetess Sugathakumari at the same function. Both the awards were given away by the Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios.

The meeting was inaugurated by Hon. PWD Minister Mr. P.J.Joseph and presided over by Kanjirappally Bishop Mar Mathew Arackal.

H.L.Dr.Zacharias Mar Theophilos Saffragon Metropolitan, Bishop Thomas Samuel, Nilackal Trust Secretary Rev. Dr.Antony Nirappel, Imam Naushad Moulavi, Fr.George Alunkal, Anto Antony MP, Alphonse Kannanthanam MLA, Former M.G.University Vice Chancellor Dr. A. T. Devasia, A. K. C. C. President M. D. Joseph Manniparampil and St.Antony’s College of International Studies Principal Raju Markose offered felicitations.

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Parish News

St. Gregorios Church, Washington DC – Perunnal

St-Gregorious -Orthodox -Church -Greater -Washington
WASHINGTON DC: The Perunnal of St. Gregorios Orthodox church, Washington DC will be held from November 1 – 8, 2009

On Sunday November 1, after service, Vicar Fr. Labby George will hoist the Perunnal flag to mark the commencement of week long celebrations.

There will be evening prayers and special intercessory prayers every evening at 6:30 pm till November 7. Special programs are arranged on November 7 from 10am to 5:30 pm.

On Sunday November 8 the Perunnal will be celebrated. Fr. K. G. Philipose will be the chief celebrant for Holy Eucharist at 8:30 am. Thereafter Rassa and special intercessory prayers will be conducted.

The Perunnal will be concluded with Nercha Lunch. In Washington DC area St. Gregorios Church is the only parish named after the saint.

For more information contact: Fr. Labby Panackamattom: 301 288 7191

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Gulf

Muscat Mar Gregorios Church Organized Kudumba Sangamam

muscat-family-nite-09
MUSCAT: The Family Meet (Kudumba Sangamam) of Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church was held successfully on Friday October 23, 2009.

The main theme of the Sangamam was – ‘Building family according to God’s norms.’ Shalom TV fame Fr. Saji Varghese Amayil was the key note speaker for the Kudumba Sangamam.

Vicar Fr. James Varghese presided over the function. Fr. Varghese George and Dr. Biju Jacob spoke on the occasion. The documentary film ” The heaven on earth’ was also presented at the Sangamam.

Group discussion and counseling session was also included in the Kudumba Sangamam.

T. J. Joseph, the Trustee of the parish welcomed the gathering. Secretary P. K. Koshy proposed vote of thanks.

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Gulf

Be God’s Hands on Earth: Mar Polycarpos

kuwait-harvest-festival-09-2
KUWAIT: “Change ourselves from failing God Almighty by not giving the tithe, stick on to His commandments and give what we owe to Him. This will enable us to be God’s hands in this planet earth and will bring His will in this earth.” Said Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos, the Metropolitan of Ankamaly.

Metropolitan was speaking this while delivering his words of blessings at the inaugural ceremony of the harvest festival of St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Maha Edavaka in Kuwait.

Ajay Malhothra, the Honorable Indian Ambassador in Kuwait inaugurated the Harvest festival by lighting the customary lamp.

The Souvenir was released by Era Malhothra, the wife of the Indian Ambassador. The Souvenir was introduced by Shaji Varghese.

Vicar Fr. Jose K. Varghese presided over the meeting. Rev. Emmanuel Garib, Fr.Abraham P. George, K. P. Koshy spoke on the occasion. A musical concert led by Pradeep Babu and Meera had added attraction to the crowd.

The General Convener Koshy Mammen welcomed the gathering. Joint Convener E. P. Varghese proposed vote of thanks.

A Large number of faithful attended the Harvest Festival 2009 held in Al-Shab Leisure Park on this Friday October 23, 2009.