Church News News

Orthodox Church Welcomes the Court Order to Open Thrikkunnathu Seminary Chapel

ALUVA: The Kerala Highcourt after considering the petition submitted by the Orthodox Church, finally ordered to open the Thrikkunnathu seminary Chapel between January 23 and 24 for prayer to both Orthodox and Jacobite factions of Malankara Church and maintain the Church by the Orthodox faction under the observation of the advocate commissioner appointed by the court.

A tension was prevailing while the Jacobite faction of the Malankara Church had announced early this month that a relay prayer meet would be held before the Perunnal of Thrikkunnathu seminary between January 22 and 26.

The Catholicos Elect Mar Milithios said on last Friday that the decision by Catholicos Baselios Thomas I of the Jacobite group to resist the ban and pray at the tombs of the Fathers at Thrikkunnathu, near Aluva, was a challenge to the rule of law in the State. Though prohibitory orders were in force at the tombs of the Fathers of the Church at the Thrikkunnathu seminary complex, the laity was allowed to visit the tombs and offer prayers.

The decision to open the Chapel to offer prayers for four hour each on January 23-24 to both factions under the observation of advocate commissioner by the High court was welcomed by the Orthodox Church.

The catholicose Baselios Marthoma Didymos I urged its faithful to attend the perunnal and receive blessings.

Church News Episcopal Election News

Episcopal Election 2010: Eleven Candidates to Malankara Syrian Christian Association

KOTTAYAM: Sabha Managing Committee held at Kottayam Old Seminary today finalized the official panel of the Episcopal candidates for the 2010 election.

The Committee began at 11.30 am and presided by the Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Didymos I. After completing the regular business affairs, at 12.15pm voting was conducted to select 11 candidates from the 14 names submitted by the screening Committee. Fr. Dr. O. Thomas, Dr. George Varghese and Adv. Biju Oommen Muringasseril represented the Sabha managing Committee in the Screening Committee.

Rtd. Justice John Mathews was appointed by the Catholicos as the Chief election officer to conduct the election in the managing Committee.

After the lunch break the counting was started. Finally at 4.40pm the names of the first 11 candidates with highest votes were declared as the official candidates of the Church.

Candidates declared as the official panel of the Church were as follows.

1. Fr. Dr. George Pulikottil
2. Fr. V. M. James
3. Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Ramban
4. Rev. Thomas Yohannan Elavukattu Ramban
5. Fr. Zacharia O.I.C
6. Fr. Mathukkutty Chengamanadu
7. Rev. Yoohanon Ramban
8. Fr. M. K. Kurian
9. Fr. Dr. Sabu Kuriakose
10. Fr. Dr. John Mathews
11. Fr. Dr. V. M. Abraham

Trikkunnathu Seminary issue was also discussed in detail at the Sabha meeting.

Catholicos Elect Paulose Mar Milithios, Metropolitans Thomas Mar Athanasius, Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius, Yuhanon Mar Milithios, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Paulose Mar Pachomios, Kuriakose Mar Clemmis, Dr. Gabriel mar Gregorios, Mar Anthonios, Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos, Mathews Mar Theodosius and Abraham Mar Epiphanios attended the Sabha Managing Committee.

Sabha Secretary Dr. George Joseph, Priest Trustee Fr. Dr. Johns Abraham Konatt and lay Trustee M. G. George Muthoot gave leadership to the proceedings of the Managing Committee.

Other than the Metropolitans, 85% of the 129 elected and 30 nominated members of the Sabha managing Committee were present in the Managing Committee


The MGOCSM Of The 1970’s : A Memoir

It is with great joy that I reminisce over the story of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement of India during the decade of the 1970’s. With great humility and gratitude I look back over those years of the MGOCSM where I had the blessed opportunity to serve the united student organization of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church. After church unity, in 1960’s, the Mar Gregorios Student Association of the Pathriarchese side and the Syrian Student Conference of the Orthodox church joined together to form the MGOCSM.

St. Gregorios of Parumala

The inspiration and the influence of the spiritual life and teachings of St. Gregorios of Parumala, the Patron Saint of MGOCSM, live on every day beyond the membership of Malankara Orthodox church. Parumala Thirumeni’s life has been a tremendous dynamic force for thousands of MGOCSM members throughout the century. Thirumeni’s pious and saintly life attracted many to Lord Jesus Christ and his Church. Anywhere, in any city and on any continent I go I come across individuals and groups who have been touched and blessed by the power of Parumala Thirumeni’s prayer and intercession.

MGOCSM in the 1970’s

I am immensely blessed by having the privilege of serving the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement of India for almost a decade during the 1970’s. The Movement marched forward in those years, following the path of my predecessors, from being an annual Syrian student conference, convened once a year at a school or college in Kerala, to the MGOCSM of India in its fullest.

Regional and Zonal Conferences

During the 1970’s the MGOCSM began organizing conferences in cities of northern and southern India to reach out and to involve the youth and seniors who study and work in various cities outside of Kerala. MGOCSM also started convening conferences in different zones within Kerala during this time for the maximum participation of students who reside and work in closer proximity.

The Student Centers

One of the highlights of this decade was the establishment of Student Centers in Kottayam and Trivandrum. It was a daunting task, opening hostel facilities for college students at that time when colleges were closing

News Uk And Europe

Metropolitan Mar Themothios Visited the Patriarch of the Ethiopia

Metropolitan Dr. Thimothios participating in the national festival of Ethiopia, the feast of Epiphany (Timkat) with H.H. Dr. Abuna Paulose I, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and other Metropolitans

ADDIS ABABA: Metropolitan Dr. Mathews Mar Thimothios reached Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia on 18th January and visited Dr. Abuna Paulose I, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan also participated in the national festival of Ethiopia, the feast of Epiphany (Timkat) on January19.

H.H. the Patriarch was the chief celebrant for the liturgical celebration of Epiphany held at Jan Meda. The members of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Mar Themothios were cocelebrants for the feast.

Political Dignitaries, Ambassadors, Religious Dignitaries and a large number of tourists participated in that glorious event. More than 3 lakhs people attended the festival.

While in his speech, Metropolitan Mar Themothios conveyed the greetings of the Catholicose H.H. Baselios Marthoma Didymos I, in the public function held after the liturgical celebration.

Fr.Dr. Jossiu Jacob, Professor of Holy Trinity Theological College and Coordinating Vicar of the East African Congregations is also with the Metropolitan.

Metropolitan will visit important Monasteries, Churches and Cultural Centers in and around Addis Ababa today.

Church News News

Episcopal Election 2010: Sabha Managing Committee to Meet Tomorrow

KOTTAYAM: While after meeting, the Sabha managing committee will declare the 11 official Episcopal candidates of the church, on January 21 tomorrow.

His Holiness the Catholicose Baselios Marthoma Didymos I will preside over the meeting. Catholicos Elect Paulose Mar Milithios and all other Metropolitans will attend the meeting. Association Secretary Dr. George Joseph, Priest Trustee Fr. Dr. Johns Abraham Konat and Lay Trustee M.G.George Muthoot will supervise the voting tomorrow.

On December 28, the screening committee released 14 eligible candidates’ names for the episcopate. Further, the Managing Committee through voting will shortlist 11 candidates as the official panel of the church for final voting at Malankara Association on February 17 at Sasthamkotta. In the managing Committee as there is no separate minimum, the first 11 candidates with maximum votes will be declared official candidates.

The names are mentioned below according to descending order of age at the second elimination round at Sabha Managing Committee.

1. Fr. Dr. John Mathews
2. Fr. O. P. Varghese
3. Fr. V. M. James
4. Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Ramban
5. Rev. Thomas Yohannan Elavukattu Ramban
6. Fr. Zacharia O.I.C
7. Rev. Geevarghese Ramban
8. Fr. Mathukkutty Chengamanadu
9. Rev. Yoohanon Ramban
10. Fr. M. K. Kurian
11. Fr. Dr. Sabu Kuriakose
12. Fr. Dr. George Pulikottil
13. Fr. Dr. P. C.Thomas
14. Fr. Dr. V. M. Abraham

A separate minimum of 50% + 1 from clergy and laity are needed for the selection to the episcopate in Malankara Association. By looking on to many factors emerging especially this year, many faithful and observers predict that this time it is unlikely to get 7 candidates at 2010 Episcopal Election. Some think that 5 or less candidates will only survive the final round of voting.

Now the faithful of the Church are eagerly looking forward for the outcome of the Sabha Managing Committee.

Other than the main agenda, on Thrukkunnathu Seminary, the warnings by the patriarchal faction will also be reviewed and discussed in the Managing Committee.

News World News

NJ Ecumenical Fellowship Celebrated Christmas

Rt. Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas, the Apostolic Visitor of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church to North America & Europe delivering the Chrstmas message

NEW JERSEY: On Saturday afternoon, January 9, 2010   NJ Indian Christians came together as one Christian body and celebrated Christmas with prayer, bible reading, messages, carol singing, dance, food and fellowship at Liberty Middle School, West Orange.

Rt. Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas, the Apostolic Visitor of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church to North America & Europe was the chief guest for the celebration. Christmas Message by the chief guest, at this time of earthquakes, war and tragedies, was reassuring and refreshing.

West Orange Mayor – Hon. Mr. John McKeon pledged his support to NJ Indian Christian community. Fr. Joy Alappat also spoke on the occasion.

The following parishes participated in the Ecumenical Christmas Program.

1. St. Thomas Syro-Malankara Catholic Church of New Jersey – Fr. Augustine Mangalath
2. St. Stephen’s Indian Orthodox Church, Bergenfield – Fr. Babu Mathew
3. Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of New Jersey – Fr. Joy Alappat
4. St. Mary’s Indian Orthodox Church, Montclair – Fr. Sunny Joseph
5. St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, Clifton – Fr. Babu Varghese
6. The New Jersey Marthoma Church, Randolph – Rev. Jose Abraham
7. St. Thomas Orthodox Church of India, Dover – Fr. Shibu Daniel

Mathew M. Abraham was the Program Coordinator of the celebration.

For more information visit their website

Church News News

Church Observes the Fast of Ninevites on January 25-28

KOTTAYAM: The Fast of Ninevites or the 3 Day Lent will be observed by Malankara Orthodox Church on January 25-28, 2010. In Thumpamon diocese, the lent will be observed by the whole diocese in one place ‘Madhya Thiruvithamkoor Convention’. Whole day long prayers and retreat are conducted at the premises of Pathanamthitta Makkamkunnu Cathedral Church for the past many years. Many of the parishes of the church have regular prayers and retreats on these 3 days.

This is one of the most strictly observed fasts in the Syrian Church tradition. This fast lasts for three days beginning on the Monday, the third week before the beginning of the Great Lent. The origin of this fast was to commemorate a miraculous cessation of plague which broke out in the region of Beth-gammae. When struck with disaster, the faithful of the place gathered in the Church to pray and began to do great acts of penance and the plague ceased suddenly. To remember this great mercy of Lord, this fast came to be observed annually.

3 Day Lent Prayer Book In Malayalam Available

3 Day Lent Prayer Book In Malayalam from Pampakuda Prayers 28 pages
For Parishes in USA  (Church and Home use)
Call 215-303-6294

Since it is observed for three days, it is commonly known as Moonnunoimbu (three days fast) in the Malankara Church. It is also known as the fast of Jonah since it commemorates the conversion of Nineveh through the preaching of Prophet Jonah. It is time for the penitential practice for the whole Church and the Church does her penance and prayers like that of Jonah in the belly of the big fish and that of the Ninevites” – Dr. Yuhanon Mar Diascoros of Madras Diocese says in one of his articles – Fasting In The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Tradition-

Parishes could post their 3 day lent program directly with their contact phone numbers at comments section below.

News Uk And Europe

Metropolitan Dr. Mathews Mar Themothios Visits Congregations in Africa

KOTTAYAM: Dr. Mathews Mar Themothios, Metropolitan of UK, Europe and Africa visits African congregations from January 18 to February 16, 2010.

Metropolitan will reach Ethiopia on January 18, 2010 to meet Malankara Orthodox Church members there. He will also visit the Ethiopian Orthodox Church there.

On January 26 Metropolitan will reach South Africa. After visiting the congregations there he will return to India on February 16, 2010.

After assuming the Charge of the new diocese, it is the first time Metropolitan Mar Themothios is visiting the congregations in Africa.

News Southwest America

Metropolitan Mar Eusebius Responds to the Shocking News of Earthquake in Haiti

HOUSTON, TX : Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of the Diocese of South-West America of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, expressed his deepest sorrow after the massive earthquake that took place in Haiti, where it is feared that more than 100,000 people may have lost their lives and over one-third of the population is in need of emergency aid.

Metropolitan extended his love and prayers for the thousands who have lost their lives and the many who are injured and trapped and still seeking assistance.

The Metropolitan has sent a circular (Kalpana ) to all parishes of the Diocese stating that “The time is now and it cannot be delayed.”

The Metropolitan pledged prayerful and financial support from the Diocese and requested that every parish set apart this Sunday’s offertory and initiate a special collection from every earning member of the parish for the Haiti earthquake relief and restoration process.

Metropolitan Mar Eusebius also exhorted that a special prayer be conducted this Sunday in each parish for the victims of the earthquake


First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama released a Public Service Announcement asking people to join her in supporting the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti