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OSSAE OKR Meeting at Nagpur Seminary

NAGPUR: Orthodox Sunday School Association of the East (OSSAE) Outside Kerala Region conducted a one day conference at St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary Nagpur on Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12, 2010. OSSAE President Metropolitan Dr. Yacob Mar Irenious inaugurated the meeting. OSSAE – OKR President Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius presided over the meeting.

Fr. Dr. O. Thomas, OSSAE, Director General, Fr. Dr. Bijesh Philip (Principal, STOTS), Fr. Dr. Gheevarghese K. (OKR Director),Fr. Dr. Reji Mathews (Former OKR Director), and other faculty members of the seminary led proceedings for the day.

Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius celebrated Holy Qurbana and presided over the concluding session as well

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Malankara Church Implements ‘U-Turn’ Project

KOTTAYAM: The Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan Baselios Marthoma Didymus I exhorted all children of Malankara Church to refrain from the abuse of all kind of drugs and alcohol. The Pontiff observed that the abuse of alcohol, drugs and other kinds of intoxicants have increased alarmingly in Kerala and it is in this context that the Supreme Head of Malankara Church issued Bull no 489/2010 dated September 15, 2010.

The Catholicos observed that Kerala that carries the fame ‘God’s own country’ is now slowly embracing the notoriety ‘alcohol’s own country’. “Alcohol has the capacity to destroy ‘the temple of God, namely, the human body’. A young generation that is falling into the snares of alcohol and drugs that provides momentary kick is at heavy danger of severe disasters, personality disorders and possible suicides. Witnessing these pitiful situations the Church can not keep herself silent”, acclaimed the Pontiff.

On this predicament the Church is implementing a new initiative called ‘U-Turn’ that fights abuse of alcohol and drugs. The initiative will run through three months, October, November and December 2010. Ministry of Human Empowerment will be in charge of this initiative.

IOH had reported earlier that the August meeting of the Holy Episcopal Synod had taken a decision into this effect and the bull from the Pontiff is officially implementing the Holy Episcopal Synod’s decision.

The bull exhorts all parishes to implement anti alcohol and drug abuse initiatives at parish level under the auspices of various spiritual organizations. It also exhorts the Church members to completely refrain from the use of alcohol during banquets of blessed occasions like weddings, baptisms and housewarmings. Christmas celebration shall also be devoid of alcohol, encouraged the Catholiocos.

“Above all, may the Holy Spirit help us to find joyfulness and sober intoxication in the new vine, Christ, who makes everything happy”, concludes the bull sent out to all parishes in Malankara.

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Bangalore Diocesan Aramana to come up on prime land donated by St Thomas Church

Aramana coming up at Dodda Gubbi Village

BANGALORE : The new Bangalore Diocese will soon have a roof over its head. It has set things rolling towards finding a prime location to build the Diocesan palace.

On September 16, 2010, Diocesan General body decided to set up the Aramana in Bangalore City limits for the new Metropolitan of Bangalore. Due to the magnanimous offer of St Thomas Orthodox Church, Bangalore East, which donated the property, the Aramana will now come up at Dodda Gubbi Village, Bidarahalli Hobli of Bangalore East Taluk. With real estate rates reaching sky high, it was a truly altruistic effort by the parish members to donate prime property towards setting up the Aramana at a central location worth Rs 2.25 crore.

Earlier, the General Body meeting of the St Thomas Orthodox Church, Bangalore East held on September 12 had decided to extend help from the parish towards providing an accommodation and office for the Diocesan Metropolitan.

The meeting unanimously decided to offer the immovalbe property bearing Survey No No 23-1A, HL No. 244-1 at Dodda Gubbi Village to Bangalore diocese. It was registered as Sale Deed as per Document No 742/2003-2004 dated 17/4/2003 and stored in CD No 82 in the name of His Holiness Catholicose of the East, Supreme Head of The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala.

At the Diocesan General body meeting on September 16, efforts taken by Vicar Fr Mani K Varghese, St Thomas Orthodox Church, Bangalore East and the parish members, came in for high appreciation, which the Metropolitan reciprocated by thanking and presenting a bouquet on the occasion.

The Vicar handed over the minutes of the meeting to the Metropolitan Mar Seraphim.

The Dodda Gubbi plot measures an area of 22,000 square feet and presently has furnished buildings measuring about 4,400 square feet built up area and a chapel of about 1,500 square feet. The cost of land, building and chapel is estimated at around Rs 2.25 crore. The area is presently located within Bangalore city limits and surrounded by many various Christian institutions.

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Nagpur Seminary Invites Applications for BD Course

NAGPUR: The St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur (STOTS) invited applications for admissions for Bachelor of Divinity course for the academic year 2011-12. Both men and women with true commitment to God and the Holy Orthodox Church can apply.

The last date to submit completed application forms will be November 30, 2010.

Written test and interview will be on January 18th and 19th, 2011.

For application forms and further details contact:

Fr. Dr. Shaji P. John
St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary
Kalmeshwar PO
Nagpur, Maharashtra, 441501.

Phone: (+91) 711-827-1696
Cell: (+91) 965-787-4641

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Consecration Of Los Angeles, St. Thomas Church

A remarkable and historic Consecration took place on Friday September 3 and Saturday September 4, 2010. The site was St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church at 14121 Coteau Dr., Whittier, CA 90604, and the chief celebrant was His Grace Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of South-West American Diocese. Assisting His Grace were Vicar of St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church Los Angeles Fr Yohannan Panicker, Fr. Slomo George, St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Phoenix; Fr. Mathai Alakott, San Jose and Fr. Sabu Thomas, St. Mary’s Jacobite Church, Whittier.

More than 450 guests from sister churches, other denominations and from various locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York attended the Consecration Ceremony over the two days.

On Friday September 3rd, His Grace, Alexios Mar Eusebius, was welcomed with the traditional Kerala Talipoli by parishioners in their traditional attire. Parish Vicar greeted the bishop at the gate before escorting him in a procession with other Priests to hoist traditional church flag marking the beginning of celebrations. His Grace dedicated the foundation stone, cut the ribbon to enter the church and lighted the nelavilakku before entering the Sanctuary for evening prayers and the Consecration Service parts one and two. After the Services, Martha Mariam Samajam served all the guests with refreshments.

On Saturday, September 4th, His Grace conducted the Consecration Service Part three followed by a Munninmel Qurbana. A Public meeting was held after a short break where representatives from the following organizations gave congratulatory speeches: Office of Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, 39th District; Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe; St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, San Fernando Valley; St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Bellflower; St. Mary’s Orthodox Congregation, Las Vegas; St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Phoenix; St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church, Whittier; Marthoma Church of Los Angeles; St. Pius IV Knanaya Catholic Church, Montebello; Indian Evangelical Mission, Lakewood. The current and previous church building committees were honored for the hard work in accomplishing this dream. The Sunday School Children and the MGOCSM groups sang melodious songs to captivate the crowd. A grand luncheon was provided by the Martha Mariam Samajam to all that attended.

After 35 years, St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church of Los Angeles has a bigger Church and adjoining facilities which includes a Parish hall, Church Parsonage and a School building all in an area spread over 1.4 acres.

The church building was acquired in August 2009, and has been extensively remodeled and updated by a small group of volunteers and a great architect Thiruvalla Baby. Parishioners had been working feverishly for months in remodeling and preparation for this great day.

Parishioners made every effort to come and support the dynamic parish along with their prayers, wishes and donations.

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Mar Seraphim envisions commitment to Orthodox traditions and society for Bangalore diocese

BANGALORE : The new metropolitan of new Bangalore Diocese who took charge on August 15, recently gave an interview to Bangalore-based News9, the leading English news channel in Karnataka.

Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim was interviewed by Bansy Kalappa, Special Correspondent, News9, alongwith cameraman Kavit Kumar, at the St Gregorious Cathedral, Hosur Road, Bangalore. Mar Seraphim spoke about his vision for the the new diocese. The news clip was titled: BENGALURU IOC GETS NEW METROPOLITAN

The news and interview was telecast on September 11, 2010.

The Orthodox church in Bengaluru has a new metropolitan. He is the leader of the community that hails from Kerala. Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim speaks aobut his vision for Bengaluru, the youth and the challenges ahead for the 2,000 year-old-church. Metropolitan Abraham was himself a student in Bengaluru and has a close association with the city.

The word by word interview follows:

Bansy Kalappa: “Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim has taken over as Bishop of the Orthodox Church.. He is the new and the youngest Bishop of this new diocese. Lets go out to him to find out what his vision is for Bengaluru… Sir, Dr Abraham what is your vision for Bengaluru…?”

Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim: “I have a vision for my church as well as a vision for the society in Bangalore. The vision for the church is to make the whole folk spirtually well and they should love and respect God.. They should follow the path of Orthodox tradition and they should be committed to the society also not only for the church but they have to contribute something to the society. We know what is right and we know what is wrong…but many of our young people…not many.. some of …atleast some of our young people are chosing wrong paths. There are lot of people who are addicted to drinking.. those kind of lifestyle — there are lot of people moving away from the religious life. They don’t attend worship, they..they follow the secular this is my little advice to .. or my vision for the people that they should follow the right path and have a meaningful life. So that it will be beneficial for their family and their church well as the society as a whole….”

Thank you, Your Grace…….

The full text and video of the News9 interview is available on our vedio gallery


Dr. Mar Seraphim on Bangalore Channel


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All New Metropolitans of Malankara Church on Historic Visit to Israel

KOTTAYAM: All the newly consecrated Metropolitans of Malankara Church set out today on a historic pilgrimage to the land, where Jesus set his foot on earth, Israel.

Metropolitans Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dimitrios (Diocese of Delhi), Jacob Mar Elias (Diocese of Brahmavar), Dr. Youhanon Mar Thevodoros (Diocese of Kottarakkara-Punaloor), Dr. Joshua Mar Nichodemus (Diocese of Nilackal), Dr. Zacharia Mar Aprem (Diocese of Adoor-Kadampanaadu), Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios (Diocese of Ahmadabad), and Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim (Diocese of Bangalore) are in the visiting group comprising 50 faithful. Fr. John Sankarathil leads this group, who is undertaking his 39th trip to Israel.

The group will first visit Egypt. Places, where infant Jesus spent with the Holy Family during the time between the order of Herod to kill all children below two years and his death, Coptic Orthodox Monasteries, the Egyptian museum in Cairo, and the pyramids etc. are their points of interest in Egypt.

From Egypt the group will set out to Israel by road and the main part of the visit will be to trace the places, where the incarnate God spent His life on earth. The group will move to Jordan then and from Amman they will fly back on 1st of October.

St. Gregorios of Parumala undertook a pilgrimage to Israel in 1895 along with other six clergy men, namely, Ramban Fr. Paulose (who later became Metropolitan Paulose Mar Coorilose), Vattasseril Fr. Geevarghese Malpan (who later became St. Geevarghese Mar Dionysius), South Paravur Thoppil Chor-Episcopos Luckose, Thumpamon Karingattil Fr. Skaria, Kadammanitta Puthenpurackal Fr. Geevarghese, and Dn. Sleeba from Syria. This is the first time after St. Gregorios’ time that an organized pilgrimage of Metropolitans of the Malankara Church to Jerusalem is being undertaken.

“We, all the newly consecrated Metropolitans, wanted to visit Israel together even before our consecration. We consider this opportunity as a blessing from heaven that we can pray and meditate together in the land, where the Lord set His foot, and receive blessings from above, which will be a head start in serving respective dioceses that are assigned to us”, said Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios to IOH. The Metropolitan also requested prayers of support from all the faithful during this venture.

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M.G.O.C.S.M – VASHI ZONE One Day Conference

MUMBAI: A one day conference of M.G.O.C.S.M – VASHI ZONE (Bombay Diocese) will be conducted at St. Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, Panvel on 26th September 2010.

The Theme of the conference is “HOW CAN ONE BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN”.

Fr. Mathew Thannimootil (Vicar), Fr. Thomas Mathai and Fr. Jacob Anish Varghese will lead the conference.

The conference will commence at 7:00 am with the Holy Qurbana.

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Special Prayer at Commonwealth Games Village

NEW DELHI: Fr. M C Poulose, the Sabha Managing Committee member and the Vicar of St.Mary’s Orthodox Cathdedral, visited Commonwealth games village, representing Indian Orthodox Church and conducted a special prayers at the site.

Giji Thomson IAS, the Special Secretary to Commonwealth games was also present on the occassion.