News Southwest America

St. Paul’s Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando, Florida Consecrated

ORLANDO: The St. Paul’s Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando was consecrated and dedicated on January 22- 23 by Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius of the South West American Diocese. Now St. Paul’s Orthodox Church has the biggest Church building of Malankara Orthodox Church in Florida.

The first part of the consecration has begun with evening prayers on January 22. On 23rd January the services began at 7.30 am. All the priests joined the Metropolitan in their holy vestments to assist him with the consecration. After the services the Metropolitan celebrated holy Eucharist for the first time at the newly consecrated Church.

The Metropolitan received the keys of the Church from chairman of construction committee Dr. Alexander V. Alex for the Malankara Metropolitan and handed them over to Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew, the Vicar, who in turn handed it over to the trustee of the Church.

A public meeting was held after the consecration. John Maingot, the Mayor of the Longwood City, inaugurated the public meeting. In his speech he welcomed the Indian Orthodox community to the Longwood city. The mayor also expressed his joy over the dedication of the new church that is almost as old as Christianity in his city of Longwood, Florida.

Metropolitan Mar Eusebius in his presidential address commended on the unity among the members of the parish. He exhorted them to maintain the spirit of spreading the gospel by St.Paul in the first century. Metropolitan congratulated the Vicar, Managing Committee members and the faithful of the St. Paul’s Orthodox Church at their achievement.

Fr. P. M. Zachariah, Fr. Dr. Joy Pyngolil, Fr. George Daniel, Fr. George Paulose, Fr. Slomo Isaac George, Fr. P. M. Cherian, Fr. George John, Fr. John Hamatie of the Byzantine Antiochene church of Orlando, Dr. Aravind Pillai representing the Hindu Community of Orlando and Dn. Dennis Mathai spoke on the occasion.

The group song by the MGOCSM members of the St. Paul’s Orthodox Church literally made the occasion colorful. Hue Harling, the Engineer for the construction and John Youngman, the architect were also present at the ceremony.

Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew, the Vicar welcomed the gathering. Dr. Alexander V. Alex, the Trustee proposed vote of Thanks. Ms. Hiba George and Ms. Hana George were the MCs.

More than 200 people and all the priests in the area attended the consecration on Friday and Saturday

Consecration Photos

News World News

Relics of St. John Chrysostom from Moscow in New York

NEW YORK: With the blessing of His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of Saint John Chrysostom, which is enshrined in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, will be available for veneration in New York February 6-12, 2010.

The relic will arrive at the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, 75 East 93 Street, New York, during the celebration of the Vigil at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 6. Following the Vigil, it will be available for veneration by the faithful. The following morning, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m.

On Monday, February 8, the Vigil for the Feast of Saint John Chrysostom will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m., while the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy the following morning will begin at 8:30 a.m.

The Vigil will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 10, at 6:30 p.m.. The following morning, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, ROCOR First Hierarch, will preside at the Divine Liturgy at 8:30 a.m., after which the relic will be taken to Saint Nicholas Representation Cathedral, 15 East 97 Street, New York, where it will remain until the departure of the Moscow delegation on Friday, February 12.

The head of Saint John Chrysostom was brought to Russia from the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos in the 17th century. It was enshrined in the Moscow Kremlin’s Assumption Cathedral until 1922. From 1930 until 1988, the reliquary with the shrine belonged to the Foundation for Guarding of Russian Silver of the 19th century.

Several reliquaries, including the one bearing the saint’s head, were returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in the State Armoury Chamber on the eve of celebration of the 1000-year anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ on May 26, 1988.

See the schedule

For further information please contact Protopresbyter Andrei Sommer at



An overview of the 9 Assemblies of the World Council of Churches – Part- 2

On the road to its 10th Assembly, to take place in Busan, Korea, in 2013, the World Council of Churches looks at its history through its 9 first Assemblies.


An overview of the 9 Assemblies of the World Council of Churches – Part 1

On the road to its 10th Assembly, to take place in Busan, Korea, in 2013, the World Council of Churches looks at its history through its 9 first Assemblies.


The General Secretaries of the World Council of Churches

A retrospective of the former General Secretaries of the World Council of Churches (WCC), from its foundation in 1948 to today.


FOKANA Launched Humanitarian Projects in Kerala

PARUMALA: As part of the silver jubilee celebrations, an ongoing humanitarian project was launched by FOKANA in a function held at St Gregorios Hospital Parumala on Wednesday January 27, 2010.

Metropolitan Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos of Niranam diocese inaugurated the launching of the projects. FOKANA president Paul Karukappally presided over the function.

The year-long humanitarian projects were introduced by Adv. Biju Oommen Muringasseril to the public. The projects include housing for the homeless, free medical assistance, educational assistance and assistance for heart surgery.

Joseph M Puthussery MLA, K K Shaju MLA, Dr. M. Anirudhan, Manmadhan Nair, Mathew Kokoora, Dr. Alex Paul, T.S.Chacko, Thampi Chacko, Parumala St Gregorios Hospital chief executive officer Fr Alexander Koodarathil, K Anadagopan and Pratapachandra Varma spoke on the occasion

FOKANA president Paul Karukappally is a council member of North East American Diocese.


Installation of the Holy Relics of Parumala Thirumeni at Dallas St.Gregorios Church

This video was taken at 8pm on Saturday October 24th 2009 at St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church, Dallas, Texas USA during the installation of the Holy Relics of Parumala Thirumeni.

Articles Youth And Faith

Fast Of Nineveh

In the first qolo of Thursday evening prayer, we sing:

The Ninevites trembled at the voice of Jonah, the son of Mattai, and took refuge in penitence by watching, fasting and prayer; and by tears and groans the sentence of judgment pronounced by Jonah concerning the destruction of Nineveh was annulled. Blessed be the Compassionate one who turned them from evil to good.

The three-day fast commemorates the three days Jonah spent in the belly of the fish and also the repentance of the city of Nineveh. Jonah runs away from God and from the mission that was entrusted to him. Jonah was cast into the sea and in the belly of the whale Jonah cries out to God. Jonah proclaims his message: “in 40 days Nineveh will be overthrown.” The people fast and pray. The king also prays and commands the whole city to call on God in the hopes that God would relent and withdraw his anger. God withholds his judgment due to their repentance and prayers. The Three Day Fast is in a way our preparation for the Great Lent. St. Jerome writes: “Fasting is not merely a perfect virtue: it is the foundation of all the other virtues; it is sanctification, purity, and prudence, – virtues without which no one can see God.”

The origins of the Nineveh Fast in the Syrian Orthodox Church can be traced back to the fourth century AD. This can be inferred from the memres and hymns of St. Ephrem, the Syrian. Initially the fast was for six days, but now it is only for three days starting on the third Monday before the Great Lent. The 3 days Fast had been neglected through the ages. Mar Dionysius Bar Salibi states that Mar Marutha of Tikrit was the one who enjoined it on the Church of the East first in the region of Nineveh. Armenians embraced this practice of the Syrians calling it (Sorep Sarkis). The Copts did the same during the time of Patriarch Anba Eprem, the Syrian.

Historically, this fast is one of the most rigorously observed fasts in the Church. The faithful traditionally refrain from food and drink for three consecutive days, from Monday till Wednesday. Some observe the fast by refraining from food and drink from morning till sunset during the three days. The church exhorts her faithful to at least refrain from meat, fish and dairy products during the period of fasting. The faithful are urged to go to church after this fast and receive the Holy Qurbono.

In the Old Testament, preparation for a special holy occasion included fasting and prayer. The New Testament often mentions fasting. Fasting is clearly not optional inasmuch as Jesus Christ said, regarding fasting “When you fast” (Matt. 6:16), rather than “If you fast.” Fasting is the change of every part of our life, because the sacrifice of the fast is not the abstinence but the distancing from sins. Fasting is an essential aspect of practicing the Orthodox life. You cannot be Orthodox and not fast. Unfortunately, many in the Church today do not participate in this grace-bestowing practice. St. John Chrysostom says:

“Fasting purifies the mind, calms the senses, subjects the flesh to the spirit, renders the heart humble and contrite, disperses the clouds of concupiscence, extinguishes the heat of passion, and lights up the fire of chastity.”

Fasting in the Orthodox Church has two aspects: physical and spiritual. The first one implies abstinence from food, such as dairy products, eggs, fish and all kinds of meat. Spiritual fasting consists in abstinence from evil thoughts, desires, and deeds. The main purpose of fasting is to gain mastery over oneself and to conquer the passions of the flesh. It is to liberate oneself from dependence on the things of this world in order to concentrate on the things of the Kingdom of God. It is to give power to the soul so that it would not yield to temptation and sin.

Basil the great reminds us,

“As much as you subtract from the body, so much will you add to the strength of the soul. True fasting lies is rejecting evil, holding one’s tongue, suppressing one’s hatred, and banishing one’s lust, evil words, lying, and betrayal of vows.”

God has forgiven us for running from Him and God has snatched us from death, and He has rescued us from what we deserve. May this Fast enable us to turn to God and experience His abundant grace, compassion and loving kindness. May this Fast truly prepare us for the Great Lent that will dawn upon us in a few weeks.

Mawdainan lokh moryo alohan, wyateeroeeth mqableenan tayboothokh dalwothan wethraham ‘layn. (We thank You, O Lord our God, and are grateful for Your grace toward us, and have mercy upon us).

1. Bede Griffiths, The Book of Common Prayer of the Syrian Church, (Gorgias Press, 2005), pp. 172.
2. Rev. D.E. Hudson, “The Fathers of the Church on Fasting.” in The Ave Maria: A Magazine Devoted to the Honor of the Blessed Virgin, (1988).
3. Edip Aydin, “The History of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch in North America: Challenges and Opportunities,” Saint Vladimir’s 4. Orthodox Crestwood, (New York, 2000).
5. Ibid.
6. John Chrysostom, “Homilies on Fasting,” From The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, vol. 9.
7. Basil the Great, “On Fasting,” in Orthodox Tradition, Volume XXIII, Number 3 (2006), pp. 6-16. Also refer to Greek original in Patrologia Græca, Vol. XXXI, cols. 164A-184C.

Church News News

Mar Osthathios Navathi Nilayam Opened in Bangalore

BANGALORE: Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios Navathi Nilayam, a project of NAMS Bangalore chapter was consecrated and opened on January 24, 2010, afternoon in Bangalore. 85 lakhs Indian Rupees was the construction cost for the new center.

Mission Board working President Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos and Bangalore Diocese Metropolitan Abraham Mar Epiphanios were the chief celebrants on the occasion.

Bangalore Diocesan Secretary Corepiscopos T.K. Thomas, Corepiscopos Abraham Marett , Prof. D. Mathews and Mr P.G. K. Nair spoke on the occasion

NAMS felicitated Padmashree Dr T.K. Alex at this event. “Daya Bhavan: Dhukkitharude Daivika Snehalayam ” written by K.V.mamen was released on the occasion.

Navathi Nilayam” could accommodate 30 to 35 old inmates while functioning. Foundation stone for this Navathy Nilayam was laid by Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios on his 90th Birthday.

Vicars of Bangalore Parishes and a large number of faithful attended the public meeting.

News World News

Enthronement of Newly Elected Patriarch Irinej of Serbia on Saturday

BELGRADE: The enthronement of the newly elected Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, will be conducted at the end of the Holy Liturgy at the Cathedral church in Belgrade tomorrow, on Saturday, January 23, 2010.

In a congratulatory letter to Bishop Irinej (Gavrilovic) of Nis, who was elected patriarch by the holy assembly of bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on Friday, 22 January, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed ” extraordinary joy” at the news of the election.

“On behalf of the entire fellowship of the WCC member churches, in their deep commitment to make our unity in Christ visible, please accept, Your Eminence, our warmest congratulations and assurance of prayer that God will continue to bless the Serbian Orthodox Church through your leadership,” Tveit wrote.

Patriarch Irinej succeeds the highly popular Patriarch Pavle, who died at the age of 95 in November after a long illness and 45th Patriarch of Serbia.

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia : Profile

Patriarch Irinej (Gavrilovic) of Serbia was born in the village of Vidova, near Cacak in 1930. He is the son of Zdravko and Milijana. His baptismal was name was Miroslav. He finished the elementary school in his village, and then in Cacak he completed the high school. After the end of the high school he enrolled and completed a seminary in Prizren, and then he finished the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade. Upon graduation, he went into the army. Following his return from the army he was soon appointed a professor of the Prizren seminary. Before taking the office of the professor in October 1959, at the Rakovica monastery he was tonsured by His Holiness Patriarch German, gaining the monastic name of Irinej.

On October 27, 1959 at the Ruzica church on the Kalemegdan, he was ordained to the rank of hieromonk. While he worked as the professor at the Prizren seminary he was sent to the postgraduate studies in Athens. In 1969 he was appointed as the head of the monastic school at the monastery of Ostrog, from where he returned back to Prizren and there he became a rector of the Prizren Seminary. From that duty, in 1974 he was elected for a vicar bishop of Patriarch of Serbia with the title of Bishop of Moravica. A year later, in 1975 he was elected for Bishop of Nis, where he has been until now.