News Parish News

Mar Nicholovos in Damascus St. Thomas For Passion Week

MARYLAND: Assistant Metropolitan of Northeast American diocese will conduct the passion week services at Damascus St. Thomas Orthodox Syrian Church MD from Hossanna to Easter.

Service details:

March 28 Sunday – Hossanna services at 9.00am
March 31 Wednesday- Pessaha services at 6.30pm
April 1 Thursday – Feat Washing ceremony at 6.30pm
April 2 Friday – Good Friday services at 9.00am
April 3 Saturday – Holy Qurbana at 9.00am
April 4 Sunday -Easter services at 9.00am

Evening Prayers will be conducted on all days at 6.30pm at church or members houses.

The church is located at 28201 Kemptown Road, Damascus, MD 20872, USA :: Phone: (301) 570-3614

Contact Fr. Reji Chacko, the vicar for more information : 301-704-8056

News Southwest America

Diju Skariah to the Holy Order of Sub-Deacon on March 27

HOUSTON: Metropolitan of the Diocese of South-West America of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Alexios Mar Eusebius will to ordain Diju Skariah to the Holy Order of Sub-Deacon on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

The ordination will take place at St. Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral Bellwood, Chicago with Morning Prayer at 7.30 AM.

Diju is currently a 3rd year seminarian at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and is anticipating graduation in May of 2010.

Prior to joining seminary, Diju earned a degree in Church & Ministry Leadership, Psychology, and Theology from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois. He has served as a leader for his parish youth group and as a core committee member of the MGOCSM Chicago for the past several years. He has also worked on the MGOCSM Missions Committee of the American Diocese and has participated on mission trips to both India and Africa.

Diju is the son of Thomas & Mariamma Skariah, Charumoottil House, Chengannur.

News Parish News

Doha OCYM Unit Conducted Blood Drive

DOHA: As part of the Catholicate Day celebrations, the Doha Unit of Orthodox Christian Youth Movement (OYCM) has organized a blood drive on Friday, March 20, 2010 in cooperation with Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammed Blood Donor Center at Hamad Medical Corporation.

This campaign was organized to support the need for blood within Qatar’s local community. Another event is planned in the Church premises on Friday July 9, 2010 after the Holy Qurbana.

The blood drive was headed by the Vicar Fr. Thomas Myalil and Church Secretary, Varkey Jacob,Managing Committe Members Saji Johnson Ittiyamparampil and Thomas Abraham with Youth League Unit Secretary, MSunil Koshy Mathews, Unit Trustee, Alex P Chacko, Executive Committee Members and Unit Members.


Obituary: P. S. Joy Kizhavalloor

NEW YORK: P. S. Joy Kureekattil, Kizhavalloor, Pathanamthitta passed away on March 23, 2010 due to a heart attack. He was 73. His son Fr. Alex Joy is the vicar of St. George Orthodox Church, Staten Island, New York.

The funeral services will be led by Metropolitan Mathews Mar Themothios on Monday, March 29 at St.Peter’s Orthodox Church, Kizhavalloor.

He is survived by his wife Mariamma and children: James K. Joy, Raju K. Joy, Jose K. Joy, Fr. Alex K. Joy and shirley (all in USA). In laws: Saly, Shiny, Suja, Jessy and Jain Philip.

Metropolitans of Northeast American diocese Mathews Mar Barnabas and Zachariah Mar Nicholovos expressed their condolence along to the berieved family. Fr. John Thomas the diocesan secretary has also condoled.

News Parish News

Metropolitan Mar Epiphanios to be chief celebrant at Muscat for Passion Week

MUSCAT: Dr. Abraham Mar Epiphanios, Metropolitan of Sultan Bathery Diocese, will be the chief celebrant for this year’s Holy Week services to be held at Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Ruwi. This will be the metropolitans maiden visit to Muscat as Bishop.

The Holy Week kicks off with a prayer and Holy Qurbana on March 25th evening followed by Vachanippuu Perunnal. Catholicate Day celebrations will be on the next day (Friday) which precedes the Holy Qurbana. Friday is the general holiday in the Gulf.

On Saturday will be the Evening prayer and Palm Sunday service.

There will be evening prayer and devotional address on Passion days. Pessaha service will be on March 31, evening prayer and feet washing service and Good Friday services will be on April 1 and 2nd.

Holy Easter Service and Holy Qurbana will be on April 3rd at 9 am and 7 pm respectively. Since Sundays are working days in the Gulf, the Easter services will be held on Saturday night.

The metropolitan will also be the chief celebrant at Palm Sunday service. The Holy Week programmes will conclude with Easter service on April 3 from 7 pm.

Elaborate arrangements have been made for the Holy Week services.

Metropolian will also visit St Stephens Orthodox Church in Salalah and deliver Holy Qurbana on First Sunday on April 9.

Metropolitan Abraham Mar Epiphanios was given a warm welcome upon arrival at Muscat International Airport on March 24 by Vicar Fr James Geevarghese, managing committee members and parishioners.

Gulf News

Coorilos Metropolitan’s Muscat visit gives impetus to Ahmedabad Diocese Development Fund

MUSCAT: “The newly formed Ahmedbad Diocese is like a crawling child on a blind alley which needs to be supported and nurtured by the church members,” said Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Bombay and Assistant Metropolitan of Ahmedabad on his recent visit to Muscat Gregorios Orthodox Church (MGOC).

Metropolitan Mar Coorilos wants to build up a foundation from where his new successor can take over the reins easily. The diocese metropolitan was in Muscat on an invitation from the church primarily to take part in the Catholicate Day celebrations and also to launch a fund drive for the new Ahmedabad Diocese.

The 10-day visit was also the bishops last as the acting metropolitan before His Grace relinquishes charge to a newly appointed metropolitan next month on May 12.

Metropolitan chaired a meeting with the newly-formed Ahmedabad Diocese Development Fund members and also the new managing committee members for 2010-11 and planned the initiatives to be undertaken.

As a start-up to the fund, the church’s Martha Mariam Samajam donated a cheque for Riyal Omani (OMR) 150 to be used for various development works in the new diocese. The Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Youth Movement also contributed a sizable amount for the cause.

Several individuals and church members have also pledged their support to help build the diocese.

As part of the Catholicate Day celebrations, His Grace also led the congregation during a Holy Qurbana at the chapel and also hoisted the Catholicate flag at the church parsonage premises. Chants of Jai, Jai Catholicos and Jai, Jai Coorilos rent the air. Rev Fr James Geevarghese as Vicar and President of MGOC and Rev Fr Rev Fr Varghese George also attended.

As part of the visit, the metropolitan also delivered devotional address and also conducted Holy Qurbana at the St Thomas Church and at the Ghala PCO hall.

Metropolitan has since left for Doha, Qatar to take part in the Hasa Velli programme at the Malankara Orthodox Church there.

It may be recalled that additional charges were given to HG Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan on the basis of the decision taken by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association Managing Committee on October 21, 2008 and the recommendation of the Holy Episcopal Synod that met on February 25, 2009. The Ahmedabad Diocese came into existence through the Kalpana No 93/2009 dated March 2, 2009.

During the tenure of Coorilos as Assistant Metropolitan, the Muscat church successfully hosted the 4th Gulf Orthodox Family Meet (GOYC) in December 2009 and the Orthodox congregation in Sohar in the Al Batinah region (200 kilometers north of Muscat) became a full-fledged church as the St George Orthodox Church.

Church News News

Mor Severius Moses Gurgan Consecrates a Malayalee Metropolitan for Ankamaly

KOTTAYAM: Mor Severius Moses Gurgan the Primate of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe, whom the Malankara Orthodox Church had consecrated as a Metropolitan in 2007 has consecrated Ramban Fr. Varghese Mattathil as Metropolitan Mor Bartholomaos Joseph at St Gabriel Syrian Orthodox Church in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States on March 21, 2010.

Mor Cassianus, the Metropolitan of the Middle-US diocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe assisted Mor Severius Moses Gurgan at the consecration. Mor Bartholomaos Joseph has been assigned with the diocese of Angamaly and South Kerala of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe.

“Due to the prolonged court cases and unhealthy situations between the two waring groups of Jacobite and Orthodox factions in Kerala lot of faithful and priests have requested His Eminence Mor Severius the Primate to help them and to solve the issues between the two factions. The Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe is growing across the world and because of that more bishops will be consecrated soon” says the official web site of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Europe.

Malankara Orthodox Church has asked for explanation to Mor Severius Moses Gurgan on this act, learnt IOH from Devalokam.

News Northeast America

A New Priest to the Diocese of Northeast America

NEW YORK: Dn. Abi Chacko was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at his home parish, St. Mary’s Malankara Orthodox Church of West Sayville, New York.

The ordination services were be led by the diocesan Metropolitans Mathews Mar Barnabas, and Zachariah Mar Nicholovos.

Fr.Abi Chacko is the son of Chacko C. Kochukunju and Rachel Chackalayil House, Kadapra, Niranam. Sibyl Thomas Chacko is his wife.

Fr. Abraham is a graduate of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, New York and a graduate of the liturgical studies program at Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam.


The Family In Distress Would Be Helped

St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Adimali, Ernakulam District, Kerala was in the news! The Mangalam Daily reported a couple of days back on the funeral of a 60 year old individual, who committed suicide because he couldn’t afford treatment for his diabetes / kidney trouble. He left his family in deep sorrow.

Death is the normal end of life, but suicide is a cry for help. From the news report its is clear that he belongs to an Orthodox parish. I have some puzzling questions. Did the parish know about his condition or request? Was there any effort from the Church to help this individual in any way? Did they explore possibilities to help this family out by getting the needed medical help? Why does the Church have a Medical College and other medical establishments?

As far as I know, there are several parishes outside Kerala, including the parish that I am serving, especially in the US and Gulf countries, who are willing to help deserving and legitimate cases. So, if the diocese or the said parish did not know about such services, please update your information. If the parish has done what they could, then it is beyond anyone’s guess or control.

Secondly, this issue is opening a major theological and ethical question to all members of the Church. What are our priorities? We spent millions of rupees to celebrate a silver jubilee or reception of a bishop elect or to celebrate a palli perunnal. I am not saying such celebrations are wrong but do we have a certain amount set apart to help people and prevent his untimely death? Mr. Joy has three children.

Our ministry needs to go beyond regular house visiting to more personal relationship with families. “Parson is the person of the community” with a responsibility to attend to the “total need” of the individual and family. Every parish or diocese should have an emergency trust to help those, who are in need. If they cannot get adequate help then they should contact other parishes or dioceses, who can help. Parishes shall collect funds to help the poor before they demolish and rebuilt new churches.

If Mr. Joy’s family needs financial assistance with the education of their children, St. Thomas Community Services, 805 Glenn Parkway, Hollywood, Florida USA can partially support them through their parish. I am sure more parishes from Kerala dioceses and outside Kerala dioceses will come forward to help this family.

St Thomas Church, Adimali is under ANKAMALI DIOCESE (Telephone 0484-2624339).
Achan used to visit Joy quite often and was very helpful.Let us all pray for the family. The 40th day of demise falls on Saturday.–This information was passed by Thomas David from Kottayam. Readers may contact the church for more details _ Editor

Gulf News

Catholicos Elect Reaches Kuwait on March 24

KUWAIT: Catholicos Elect Paulose Mar Milithios reaches Kuwait on March 24, 2010 to lead holy week services at St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Maha Idavaka.

The Catholicos Elect will be the chief celebrant for the important feasts starting from annunciation to St. Mary on March 25 through Easter services on April 4.

His Beatitude returns to Kerala on Monday Aprtil 5, 2010.

For more details contact 24312064