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Mar Yulios pledges holistic freedom to augment Church growth

Declares Mar Coorilos as Valiya Thirumeni

MUSCAT: A young metropolitan fosters vibrant young ideas for the new generation. He will be a trend setter and one who is a set apart from others. His Grace Dr Pullikkottil Geevarghese Mar Yulios Metropolitan is out to perform just that. His first Kalpana dated September 3, 2010 issued from Ahmedabad and in English bears testimony to this.

The new young bishop who is here to stay and perform noble deeds for the church and the laity took charge on India’s Independence Day as the new Diocese Metropolitan striving hard to shepherd the huge flock.

Devoid of specifying out any plan of action, the Kalpana stands out with his stamp of nobility. With kind salutations His Grace addresses vicars of parishes, priests, trustees and members of all the parishes of the new Ahmedabad diocese as dearly beloved. He has effectively channelised the order with a promise to perform his best with prayers of Holy Virgin Mary, the mother God as “fortress of all of us.”

Envisioning a global church with Oriental aspirations and ecumenical leanings, His Grace duly thanks HG Geevarghese Mar Coorilos for helping out the Ahmedabad diocese during its early days when the later guided it as assistant metropolitan for almost a year. Mar Coorlios had single handedly raised funds, administered remarkably well and built a perfect foundation for his successor. He will definitely be a source of guidance and strength for the new metropolitan in the days ahead.

Mar Yulios has therefore rightly commended the pioneering work of Mar Coorilos terming it as ‘meritorious’ and bestowed upon him the honour of a Valiya Thirumeni.

Perfectly worded and with due respects to some of the leading metropolitans of sacred memory, His Grace has struck the right chord among the diocese members.

Porbandar, in Gujarat, birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader who pioneered satyagraha falls under the diocese jurisdiction. Mahatma’s renowned philosophy of non-violence and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s iron hand ethics will also serve as a catalyst as he guides the destiny of the new diocese. His Grace’s Raj Ghat visit to pay homage at the Samadhi and his inert desire to have Ahmedabad Diocese known as Gandhi Smaran Diocese is also a clear pointer in this direction.

Dr Mar Yulios desires to be an exemplary shepherd and emerge as a prophet of love and reconciliation. He upholds Mahatma and his simplicity drawn from Biblical precepts and as a symbol of fundamental reason for liberating the country from colonial rule.

His Grace notes that Gandhi envisaged the political freedom of the country as a tool for the spiritual freedom of humans. “Spiritual freedom is the holistic freedom of humans. Utilisation of this freedom will be to augment national integrity, for the welfare of the society in all aspects, and for the growth of the church at large. Let us all work towards this goal as a diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christians.” This is a real harbinger for the Malankara Orthodox community and His Grace should will make sincere efforts to deliver the message to its outmost end and also duly abiding by the ‘cannons and traditions of the holy church.’

Paying due respects to Metropolitans Job Mar Philoxenos of the diocese of Delhi, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos (Bombay) and Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius (Calcutta) who led their respective churches which was entrusted upon them, he is infact following in their rich legacy.

He is not alone in this huge task. The church and laity in its entirety will support him to the core. There is also the support of the holy Episcopal Synod and from HH the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan in the matter. The result will be a harmonious growth of the holy church and congregations of the Ahmedabad diocese.

His Grace gratefully acknowledges services of late Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, Metropolitan Dr Philipose Mar Theophilos, Dr Paulose Mar Gregorios and Dr Stephanos Mar Theodosios who guided and nurtured parishes of our diocese and also children of our church who toiled to establish churches and institutions.

As he begins his work, prayers are one big asset that is expected from the many followers in the church. His Grace calls for imitating the faith of apostles, spiritual fathers and primates. He quotes St Paul, the apostle from Hebrews 13:7: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith…” and seeks their blessings who have governed the church from St Thomas to this day. He rightly calls for ‘imitation’ and ‘reflection’ at this hour.

Just as Naroda, the present location of the diocese headquarters flourished, from a suburban town to an industrial area, the baby diocese too will see major changes. And Mar Yulios and his church shall stand witness to it.

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News Parish News

Cemetery for Ranchi St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church


RANCHI: Another long cherished dream of Parishioners of St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church, Ranchi, for a cemetery of their own came to reality, when the Diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius laid the foundation stone for the vault on September 20, 2010.

Fr. P.S. Varghese, Vicar, St. Gregorious Orthodox Church, Jamshedpur, Parish Vicar Fr. Aju K Varghese and parishioners attended the event.

Mangalam family donated the land for cemetery at Hardag Village in fond memory of their beloved father, late M.P. Mathew, whose tomb is also located on close proximity to the cemetery. The Cemetery was named as ‘St. Stephen’s Orthodox Syrian Church Cemetery’. This is the first cemetery in the Diocese of Kolkata, which belongs to an Orthodox parish and is solely for the Orthodox Church members.

While laying the foundation stone, the Metropolitan offered special prayers with incense at the tomb of M.P. Mathew and expressed condolence over his sudden demise.

The Metropolitan Dr. Dionysius expressed the gratitude of the parish, the Diocese, and on his own behalf to the Mangalam family, especially to Mariamma Mathew, widow of M.P. Mathew for the generous gesture in donating the land to the Ranchi Parish.

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News and photos sent in: Jobin

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Church News Features News

Mar Dionysius visits Tata Nagar, Jamshedpur and Bokkaro, Jharkhand


JAMSHEDPUR: Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kolkotha Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius visited Tata Nagar, Jamshedpur and Bokkaro, Jharkhand, two important cities, in his diocese from September 18-20, 2010.

At Tata Nagar the Metropolitan visited the new Orthodox Center and the new Church being constructed. Mar Dionysius delivered a meditation after evening prayers and celebrated Holy Qurbana at the Roman Catholic Mission School, where temporary arrangements were made therefore.

The Metropolitan also delivered a lecture at the Malayalee Samajam, Tata Nagar, on the topic ‘Family Life and its Present Challenges in the Modern Society’. Visit of the shepherd of the Diocese of Kolkatha became a memorable experience to both the parishioners and to the Malayalee Community at Tata Nagar at large.

At Bokkaro the Metropolitan blessed foundation stones for the MGM Higher Secondary School and St. Mary’s Primary School, both run by the Diocese of Kolkatha and the Bhilai Mission.

News sent in: Jobin

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Columns Opinions

Inauguration of St. Antony’s Orthodox Syrian Congregation, Pondicherry


One more historical milestone has been added to the hat of Madras Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Dr. Yuhanon Mor Diascoros, Metropolitan of the Madras Diocese, issued a bull to establish a new congregation at Pondicherry with the name “St. Antony’s Orthodox Syrian Congregation” on Sunday, September 26th, 2010.

It is to be noted that this is the first congregation of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Pondicherry. It is under the aegis and dedicated leadership of our beloved Fr. C.M.Philipose of Pondicherry Institute of Medical Science (P.I.M.S.) that this congregation could be established. This congregation will help in fulfilling the spiritual needs of the true believers residing in and around Pondicherry Region. Fr. C.M. Philipose celebrated Holy Qurbona for the new congregation on Sunday at 6 a.m. in St. Thomas Catholic Church with permission granted by the Archbishop of Pondicherry Arch Diocese. Fr. Sebastian Chittalapilly, Vicar of St. Thomas Catholic Church, welcomed the gathering with a warm speech and extended his heartful support to this new congregation.

Under Philipose Achen’s guidance and ardent commitment to God, the Orthodox Students of P.I.M.S have also found a Prayerful Sanctuary called “St. Joseph’s Chapel” inside the Pondicherry Institute of Medical Science (P.I.M.S) campus to worship God. After his appointment as the Chaplain of Pondicherry Institute of Medical Science (P.I.M.S), the students have been able to attend the Holy Qurbona regularly since February 14th, 2010.

The Holy Qurbona of the St. Antony’s Orthodox Syrian Congregation will be held at St. Thomas Catholic Church, Jay Nagar, Reddiyarpalayam on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month at 5.30 P.M. The Holy Qurbona will also be celebrated at the St. Joseph’s Chapel, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Science (P.I.M.S) every Sunday at 7 A.M. All the faithful in and around Pondicherry are welcome to take part in the Holy Qurbona.

For further details, the students and the faithful residing in and around Pondicherry can always contact:

Rev. Fr. C. M. Philipose:-
Mob: +91-90476 55383
Email: philiposeachen@gmail.com

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Church News Features News

Orthodox Siblings to Present Mohiniyattam at Commonwealth Games’ Inaugural Ceremony


NEW DELHI: Nissi Babu and Neena Babu, Orthodox siblings belonging to the St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Hauzkhaz, New Delhi, will present Mohiniyattam at the inaugural ceremony of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in October.

“It is singularly the mercy of God that we can participate in a ceremony that the whole world is eagerly anticipating to watch”, said the sisters with a lot of enthusiasm.

Nissi and Neena live at Mayur Vihar Phase I, New Delhi and are daughters of O. Babu and Jolly. These Malayalee girls are born and brought in at New Delhi.

Nissi and Neena are students of famous Delhi based dance teacher Radha Marar. They will take part in the October 3rd event along with other 40 dancers trained at Kalamandalam, Vallathol, the famous dance school.

News sent in by: Joji Ninan

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Features Gulf News

Foundation Stone for the St. Dionysius Orthodox Church, Al-Ain Blessed


NEW DELHI:Metropolitan of the Diocese of Delhi Job Mar Philoxenos blessed the foundation stone for the St. Dionysius Orthodox Church Al-Ain. The ceremony took place at the Delhi Orthodox Centre, Tuglaqabad, New Delhi on September 25, 2010.

Diocesan Secretary Fr. M.S. Skaria Ramban and Vicar of St. Dionysius Orthodox Church, Al-Ain Fr. Saji Abraham were also present on the occasion.

News sent in: Jojy Vazhuvady

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Church News Features News

New Office Bearers to St. Thomas Orthodox Priest’s Guild


KOTTAYAM: The Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan Baselios Marthoma Didymus I appointed Fr. Saji Amayil as the new General Secretary of the St. Thomas Orthodox Priests’ Guild. Fr. Saji Amayil belongs to Chengannoor Diocese and is also teaching at the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam.

The Catholicos also appointed Fr. Zachariah Ninan (Lijesh) Chirathalattu as Joint Secretary of the St. Thomas Orthodox Priests’ Guild. Fr. Lijesh belongs to Kottayam Diocese and is a member of Mar Baselios Dayara, Njaliakuzhi, Kottayam.

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News Obituary

Fr. P.C. Yuhanon Ramban, Bethlalem Ashram, Chengamanaadu, Passes Away


KOTTARAKKARA: One of the prominent priests of the Diocese of Kollam of the Malankara Church and member of Bethlehem Ashram, Chengamanaadu, Fr. P.C. Yuhanon Ramban passed away on Friday, September 24, 2010. He was 60.

Fr. Yuhanon Ramban retired from St. Gregorios College, Kottarakkara and he was Professor in the Department of Syriac. He belonged to Konnayil Pallimelethil family, Ayoor.

Fr. Yuhanon Ramban served as Member of the Malankara Managing Committee. He had served the Church and society at various capacities like Teacher at the St. George Vocational Higher Secondary School, Chowalloor, Manager of the MPM ITC, Chengamanaadu, Manager of the Baselios English Medium School, Kottarakkara, Manager of Bethlahem Ashram, Chengamanaadu, MMC Corporate Schools’ Local Manager, and Manager of Mar Dioscoros Center, Sadaanandapuram.

He was serving as Vicar of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Vadakkekkara Thazhathu Vadakku, Pattazhi. He had served more than 30 Churches as vicar at various dioceses of the Malankara Church.

Political, social, cultural and religious leaders from all walks of life conveyed their condolences at the demise of Fr. Yuhanon Ramban. Hearing the news thousands of disciples and students of Rambachan, including his previous and present parishioners poured into Bethlahem Ashram to pay their homage.

Funeral of Fr. Yuhanon Ramban will be at 2.00 pm on Monday, September 27, at Bethlahem Ashram Chapel, Chengamanaadu. Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios and other Metropolitans will lead services.

IOH family hereby puts into record our sincere condolence at the demise of Fr. Yuhanon Ramban. We also thankfully remember the services that Rambachan rendered to the Malankara Church and pray to God Almighty to count His servant along with the blessed saints at his second coming.

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Church News Features News

Seven Metropolitans of Malankara visit Israel


ISRAEL: The newly consecrated seven Metropolitans of Malankara along with forty three faithful have celebrated Holy Qurbana on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church, Bethlahem.

Metropolitan Joshua Mar Nichodemus was the chief celebrant, who was assisted by the other Metropolitans, Fr. John Sankarathil and priests of the locality.

Before entering to Israel the group visited Egypt, and witnessed sacred places like Maddi Church, where the Holy Family stayed during their flight to Egypt. They also visited places, where apparition of St. Mary happened. From there they went to Mount Sinai and the Egyptian sojourn longed for two days.

In Israel the group will spend six days and will trace the footprints of Lord Jesus Christ on earth. They will fly back to India on September 30 from Amman, Jordan.

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Features News Southwest America

Eastern Regional Sunday School Talent Search Competition Took Place at Orlando


ORLANDO: Diocese of South West America Eastern Regional Sunday School talent search competition took place at St. Paul’s Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando, Florida on Saturday, September 18, 2010.

Sunday School children from five parishes, namely, St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, South Florida, St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, South Florida, St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church Oakland Park, South Florida, St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Tampa, and the host parish St. Paul’s Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando took part in the competitions.

Competitions were conducted for various age groups and in various items like single song, group song, Bible quiz, elocution and story telling. More than 120 children participated in various competitions.

Sunday School of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Tampa emerged as overall champions on overall point tally in the competition. St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, South Florida came to the second position. All first and second prize winners were awarded with trophies and all participants received a memento each.

It was decided to conduct 2011 competitions at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, South Florida on August 13.

Fr. George John, Fr. George Daniel and Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew along with a large number of parents and Sunday School teachers from all participating parishes witnessed the event.

Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew, vicar of the host parish, welcomed the guests to the competitions. Abraham Kappil, Sunday School Regional Coordinator, moved vote of thanks.

News sent in: Abraham Kappil, Sunday School Regional Coordinator, Eastern Region, Diocese of South West America