Features News Northeast America

Preparations are Underway for the Family Conference of North East American Diocese

NEW YORK: Preparations are going on at a fast pace for the second Family and Youth Conference of the North East American Diocese in July at Newark, Delaware. The conference aims at spiritual, social, and cultural growth of the members of North East American diocese.

Main Theme of the Conference is ‘Be still and know that I am God’, Psalm 46:10

Metropolitan of the Diocese of Calcutta Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius and Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, Pennsylvania, Fr. Igumen Sergius Bowyer will be the main speakers for the conference.

Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius was born on June 15th, 1956 at Valanjavattam, Thiruvalla, Kerala as son of T.V. Mathai and Eliamma. Metropolitan belongs to St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Valanjavattam of the Diocese of Niranam and is a member of Mount Tabor Monastery, Pathanapuram.

Mar Dionysius joined the Mount Tabor Monastery in 1971 and was ordained as deacon in 1980. He became a priest in December, 1985.

The Metropolitan holds M.Phil and Ph.D. from University of Kerala and a Degree in Divinity from Senate of Serampore. He had undergone training in Christian Leadership at the Haggai International Institute in 2005. He was professor in the Department of Zoology at the St. Stephen’s College, Pathanapuram and Research Director as well. He has held various important positions at the University level as well.

The American Biographical Institute recognized the Metropolitan with ‘Man of the Year’ award in 2003. He had also secured the ‘St. Berchuman’s Award’ for the best university teacher in 2003 and 2008.

Formerly kown as Fr. Dr. Markose Joseph, Mar Dionysius was elected to bishopricate in September 2008 at the Malankara Association met at Pampakuda, Ernakulam District. He became Ramban later at Parumala Seminary and got consecrated as metropolitan with the name Mar Dionysius at Puthuppalli, Kottayam in February, 2009.

The second resource person of the conference is Fr. Igumen Sergius Bowyer. Fr. Igumen Sergius is the Abbot of the first Orthodox Monastery, St. Tikhon’s at Pennsylvania. He teaches also liturgical music at the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania.

Fr. Igumen Sergius took his theological training at St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary and joined the Brotherhood of St. Tikhon’s Monastery. He became a priest in 2009 and got elevated as the 16th abbot of the monastery on January 23, 2010.

Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas and Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholavos of the Diocese of North East America will lead the conference. There will be facilities and special arrangements for pastoral counseling, spiritual guidance, bible classes, meditations, and confession etc. aimed for the spiritual awakening of the attendees.

Musical choir will create a heavenly ambience for the conference. There will be special and separate meetings for Men, Women, Children and the Youth. Clergy Association, St. Thomas Men’s Association, St. Mary’s Women’s League and Sunday School will have separate seminars and meetings at the conference.

Church News News

Third Memorial Feast of Augen Mar Dionysius

KOTTAYAM: The third memorial feast of late lamented Metropolitan Augen Mar Dionysius of the Idukki Diocese will be celebrated at Vallikkattu Dayara, Vakathanam on June 7th, 2010. It is at Vallikkattu Dayara, Kottyam that the mortal remainings of the Metropolitan are laid to eternal rest. Catholicos of the East Baselios Marthoma Didymus I will be the chief celebrant for the feast.

Metropolitan of the Diocese of UK, Europe and Africa Dr. Mathews Mar Thimotheos hoisted the flag on Sunday, May 30 after Holy Qurbana to mark the beginning of the week long celebrations. There was a special class on personality development thereafter, for which Anil K. Sam and team were the leaders.

Fr. Tiju V. Ipe will deliver sermon on June 3rd after the evening prayers. Fr. Paul Abraham will preach on June 4th and Fr. Jai Zachariah will speak on June 5th. Metropolitan Joshua Mar Nichodemus will celebrate Holy Qurbana on Saturday, June 6th.

Dayara Manager Chor-Episcopos Ramban C.M. Philipose and General Convener for the memorial feast Fr. Abraham Vazhakkal will receive pilgrims from Ranni, Niranam, and near by parishes on June 6th in the evening.

Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios will lead evening prayers on June 6th. Fr. P.K. Geevarghese give the sermon of blessings on the occasion. There will be a public meeting thereafter and therein the new Metropolitans will be honored. Opposition Leader of Kerala Legislative Assembly Oommen Chandy will inaugurate the meeting. Member of Indian Parliament Jose K. Mani will be the chief guest. There will be festive procession and apostolic blessings to conclude the day’s events.

Catholicos of the East Baselios Marthoma Didymus I will be the chief celebrant for the Holy Qurbana on June 7th. Metropolitan Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim will deliver the remembrance speech. Special prayers of remembrance at the tomb, eulogium and festive lunch will follow.

Various Committees are working hard to co-ordinate preparations under Chor-Episcopos Ramban C.M. Philipose, Manager of the Dayara, General Convener Fr. Abraham Vazhackal, Fr. John C. Chirathalattu, and Fr. Kuriakose Mani.

Church News News

Logo Designing Completion for the Malankara Orthodox Ecological Commission

KOTTAYAM: Ecological Commission of the Malankara Orthodox Church is conducting a completion for designing a logo for the commission. Those who are interested may send their works to ‘Metropolitan Kuriakose Mar Clemis, Basil Aramana, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India’.

There is another competition to create a motto for the commission. Creative suggestions are welcome therein too.

Catholicos of the East Baselios Marthoma Didymus I will inaugurate the Ecological Commission of the Malankara Orthodox Church on June 5th, the World Ecological Day at the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. Metropolitans of the Church, renowned ecology activists and a number faithful will attend the meeting.

Editorial Features

Stretch Out a Helping Hand

Indian Orthodox Herald launches a fundraiser to maintain IOH as a free online news paper for the Malankara Orthodox faithful, especially for those in the diaspora.

IOH is the only news paper of its kind publishing from the United States of America that brings news at once in English and in Malayalam. There is also a weekend Malayalam Edition, where one can read articles of credence and speeches from reputed orators on important occasions and events related to the Malankara Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Julios is the Patron of the Indian Orthodox Herald.

IOH is approaching the first, second and third generation faithful in the diaspora with this fundraiser to carry on the good works it is doing in the web from 2002 onwards. Unfortunately we had to layoff four of our Indian office personals due to financial constrains. Unless we make the Indian office run in full swing, we are handicapped in bringing news, speeches and photographs firsthand. In the event of a continued financial constrain we will be forced to make Malayalam edition available only under paid subscription from 1st July 2010.

You can press the following buttons after entering the number of donations you wish to contribute at the designated place. We consider your goodwill as encouragement to our efforts and sincerely appreciate your benevolence in advance. This drive will remain online for the month of June.

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IOH Team

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Church News News

Orthodox Woman Grabs Award for Fashion Designing

NEW DELHI: The powerful Orthodox women presence in the fashion designing world, Miriam Jiji Thomson grabbed special award of Pearl Academy of Fashion, New Delhi. Delhi based Miriam Thomson is daughter of Jiji Thomson IAS, Special Officer for Commonwealth Games. She is also a Post Graduate Diploma student at the Pearl Academy of Fashion.

Miriam presented her designs at the Most Practical Collections section at Portfolio 2010, the annual event, where post graduate and undergraduate students of the Academy displayed their novelties in fashion designs.

It was after securing a bachelors degree in Economics from the Delhi University Miriam joined the Pearl Academy of Fashion Designing.

Miriam is privileged to have schooling in fashion designing also at London College of Fashion, Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design, United Kingdom, and Instituto Europo Di Design, Italy.

More information

Features Gulf News

Handicraft Talent Show Amazes Abu Dhabi Parishioners

ABU DHABI: Orthodox Youth League, Abu Dhabi Cathedral Unit organized a Handicraft Talent Show for the first time and it became an amazing experience for the parishioners.

Trustee of the Cathedral P.G. Itti Panicker and Secretary A.J. Joykutty jointly inaugurated the show on Friday, May 28, 2010 after the Holy Qurbana.

Parishioners got the chance to present their endeavors in art and handicrafts through the talent show. The show included sections in handicrafts, paintings, pencil sketches, and photography.

Vicar of the Cathedral Fr. Johnson Daniel and Secretary of the Youth League Bobby Eapen spearheaded arrangements for the talent show.

Abu Dhabi Cathedral Parish en block watched the show and it evoked a novel and amazing experience in everyone.

Diocese News Features News

Delhi Grabs the Best Diocese Award of OCYM

DELHI: Diocese of Delhi grabbed the best diocese award of the Orthodox Youth League for the year 2009-2010. The diocesan youth league members were overjoyed at reception of the award and celebrations were underway. This is the second time that the Diocese of Delhi takes hold of this award.

There was a meeting at the Delhi Diocesan Center, Tuglaqabad on May 26 to share the joy in receiving the award. Metropolitan Job Mar Philoxenos presided over the meeting. Fr. John Thomas Kringattil, Fr. C. Daniel, Fr. Thomaskutty, Fr. Samji George, Mount Horeb Monastery, Sasthamkotta, Fr. Shaji Mathews, Fr. Thomas John Mavelil, Fr. Johnson Ipe, Fr. Philipose Mathew, former secretaries, and senior members of OCYM, Delhi attended the meeting.

Jiji K. Ninan of the Delhi Diocese had secured the best unit secretary award last year.

Church News Features News

Rousing Reception to New Metropolitans at Chicago

CHICAGO: A rousing reception was given with garlands and overwhelming enthusiasm to two of the new Metropolitans of Malankara Church, Dr. Geevarghese Mar Julios and Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim, at the O’Hare International Airport, Chicago on Friday, May 28, 2010. Fr. Dr. M.K. Thomas, Fr. V.M. Shibu and Fr. Aby Chacko, the Managing Committee Members of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Oak Park along with a huge multitude of faithful were present at the Airport.

After the reception the Metropolitans were led to the St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Oak Park, where they led the litany.

In the evening Metropolitan Mar Julios and Metropolitan Mar Seraphim set out to Milwaukee to attend the three day Family Conference organized by the parish. Both the Metropolitans were assistant vicars at the St. Gregorios Church, Oak Park.

The Metropolitans will return to St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Oak Park on Monday May 31st in the evening. The Sunday School children, members of St. Mary’s Women’s League and members various spiritual organizations will extend a candle welcome to the Metropolitans along with vicar Fr. Dr. M.K. Thomas and Fr. V.M. Shibu.

Various Cultural, Spiritual, Political and Social leaders will attend the public meeting thereafter. Vicar Fr. Dr. M.K. Thomas, Assistant Vicar, Fr. V.M. Shibu, Treasurer, Varghese John, Secretary, Joson Jacob, and General Convener George Panicker are spearheading various committees for the success of the event.

For more details;
Fr. Dr. M.K. Thomas : 708 848 4120
Fr. V.M. Shibu : 773 443 1973
Varghese John : 630 484 6672
Joson Jacob : 847 682 1970
George Panicker : 847 401 7771


Features Gulf News

Muscat Mar Gregorios Church grants aid to Yemen Orthodox Church

MUSCAT: When a guest comes calling from a neighbouring brotherly country, it is the duty of the mother church to extend all hospitality and care.

Recently Fr Blessan Varughese, Vicar of the St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church in Sana’a paid a visit to the Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church and sought help from the Orthodox community members here. Yemen is part of the Arabian Peninsula and and lies west of Sultanate of Oman.

As a gesture, the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church general body which met last week under the presidentship of Rev Fr James Geevarghese decided to extend a substantial financial grant for the upkeep and building of the new Orthodox Church in Sana’a, the capital of Republic of Yemen.

Fr James Geevarghese, Vicar of the Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church introduced Fr Blessan to the members after the Holy Qurbana and urged the members to help the cause.

The church service is a new entity to the Orthodox community, coming under the Diocese of United Kingdom, Europe, Africa. Fr Blessan was handpicked by His Grace Dr Mathews Mar Thimotheos, the diocese head Metropolitan to lead the staggered Orthodox community in Yemen and presently serves as a full-time vicar since September 2009.

Metropolitan Dr Mathews Mar Thimotheos in a Kalpana dated January 16, 2010 states the Yemen parish has great potential to attract a large number of members and to develop it further. But this has been hampered by the lack of a church building and facilities for our families to gather and conduct their services and other spiritual programs.

Metropolitan has therefore, requested all and the faithful, to prayerfully consider this acute need and generously assist the parish to construct a church at the earliest.

“The great strides our Church has achieved outside India is a source of joy to all of us. With the organisation of the Diocese, the Malankara Orthodox Church has established its presence significantly and strengthened our relations with the other Oriental, Eastern, Catholic and Protestant Churches.”

The Yemen congregation was formed in February 2008 as per the advise of Fr Jose Thomas by elders Miju, Thomas and Abraham. Fr Jose Thomas celebrated Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter services in March 2008 and Dr Fr Jossi Jacob celebrated Christmas 2008 and Holy Week in 2009.

Taking it up as a challenge, the young Achen has taken up the onerous responsibility to gather together the staggered Orthodox community despites risks.

“Earlier, due to lack of a proper religious place for worship, our community went haywire and had no religious place for fellowship. Only the elders remained steadfast as Orthodox believers,” says Fr Blessan.

Now under his leadership, about 40 families gather to conduct Holy Qurbana in a rented hall every Friday (2 services) along with regular meetings of four prayer groups. It needs funds and all help to sustain itself on maintaining the hall and payment of salaries. A good samaritan has come forward to help locate a huge hall where the Holy Qurbana is presently being conducted.

Achen has been able to work with the elders and the nursing community in Sana’a to help propagate Orthodox values and beliefs. Mainly Christian work in Yemen is relegated to Catholics, missionary work of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Orthodox community at present.

Fr Blessen’s main motive of the visit was to seek help from the Orthodox community members in Muscat. Though Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church invited Fr Blessen for the Gulf Orthodox Youth Conference (GOYC) in December last, Achen couldn’t visit travel past the border country due to some unavoidable circumstances.

Fr Blessen hails from Ranny in Kerala under the Thumpamon Diocese with Perunadu Bethany St Thomas as the home parish. He was also active as part of the Sruti School of Music under the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam.
Fr Blessen can be contacted on + 967-7-14590241 Email:

News Northeast America

NE American Diocese: Parents and Couples Conference 2010 on June 5

PHILADELPHIA: The Annual Parents and Couples Conference of the Northeast American Diocese will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2010 from 9AM to 4PM at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of Bensalem (Philadelphia). The church is located at 4136 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, PA 19020

The theme of the conference will be “Family life, A divine callling” (II Peter 1:10). Fr. Laby George Panackamattom, Vicar of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of Washington D. C., will be the main speaker.

For more information on this conference, please contact:

Chor Episcopos Paulose Adai (Vice President of the Marth Mariam Samajam) – (718) 648 8172, Chor Episcopos K. Mathai Chor Episcopos (Vicar of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of Bensalem) (610) 544 2742

Faithful from all the parishes under the Diocese are to attend.