PARUMALA: As the 91st Catholicos of the East and as the 21st Malankara Metropolitan Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios is getting consecrated during the special installation ceremony at Parulmala on Monday November 1st. Catholicos of the East is traditionally the successor of St. Thomas, the Apostle to India and therefore, the new Pontiff will inherit the throne of St. Thomas.
This installation is because of the abdication of present Catholicose Baselios Marthoma Didymus I. It is also special with the event that the present Catholicos himself will lead the consecration ceremony.
A special session of the Holy Episcopal Synod that was convened at Catholicate Palace, Devalokam, Kottayam, on Saturday, October 30, has decided upon the consecration. On October 12, 2006, the Malankara Association convened at Parumala elected the Metropolitan of Kunnamkulam Diocese, Paulose Mar Milithios as successor of the present Catholicos. Thereafter he had been serving as the assistant of the Catholicos.
All Metropolitans of the Church will assist the Pontiff in consecration ceremony. The new Catholicos will lead this year’s annual feast of St. Gregorios of Parumala.
It is after almost a century back that a Metropolitan from Kunnamkulam is reaching to the pinnacle of Malankara Church.
Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios is related to the new Catholicos. Fr. Pathrose Pulikkottil is also related to him. Three of the four daughters of his brother, Thampi, are married to priests: Fr. Joseph Mathew (Kunnamkulam Diocese), Fr. Jimmy Rajan (Mavelikkara Diocese), and Fr. Mathew Varghese (Sultans Battery Diocese).
Fr. P.C. Cherian, former MGOCSM General Secretary, who went to the new Catholicos’s family to take permission to send him to the Seminary, is also in jubilation.
The Supreme Head of The Indian Orthodox Church His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didymus 1st,The Supreme Head of the Indian Orthodox Church, The Catholicos of East & The Malankara Metropolitan Conveys his Love to the faithful on his 90th Birthday 29th October 2010
An Initiative By : Indian Orthodox Diaspora Secretariat Diocese of Delhi, Under the guidance of His Grace Job Mar Philoxenos, Metropolitan & His Grace Dr. Yuhanon Mar Demitrios, Assistant Metropolitan Diocese of Delhi, Indian Orthodox Church (MOSC)
Our Special Thanks to
Rev. Fr. P A Philip,
Director, Ministry of Human Empowerment,
Indian Orthodox Church Headquarters,
Devalokam, Kottayam. India.
In the annals of the nearly century-old Malankara Orthodox, November 1, 2010 will go down as a day of great significance. With HH Baselios Marthoma Didymos I having abdicated the Catholicate crown due to failing health and ordination of Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios (HH Baselius Marthoma Paulose II) as the new head, the stage is also set for choosing another designated prelate of the Orthodox Church.
This is a unique situation and unparalleled in the history of the church.
New Kottayam – Devalokam based head, Mar Paulose Milithios, is the third distinguished son of Kunnamkulam, a major business centre north of Thrichur in Kerala.
Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dianasius I who established the Old Seminary, Kottayam in 1815 as a permanent head quarters for the Malankara Metropolitan and organised theological training centre for future clergies of the Church, was the first gift of Kunnamakulam for the Malankara Church.
Pulikkottil Dianasius II, who was the master-mind for the Parumala Seminary, Parumala Church, Kottayam MD Seminary and originator of many of the spiritual organisations of the church became the second gift.
In Mar Milthios, the Malankara community has a good writer, orator and above all a trustworthy, enthusiastic, sincere and hardworking bishop.
Born on August 30, 1946 as the second son of K I Iype-Kunjeetty couple of Kollannoor house, Mangad near Pazhanji of Thalappally taluk in Thrissur district, Mar Milithios was a reserved boy who was not interested in extra-curriculars or enjoyments of other boys of his age. His graceful appearance, attracted all to whom he came into contact. His mother Kunjeetty belongs to Pulikkottil family. The child was named as Paul after his grandfather. Infant Paul was baptized in his mother’s church at Pazhanji. Paul grew up as a well matured, pious and dedicated boy and become the apple of the eye of the villagers.
Paul had his preliminary education at the Magad Church School till 7th standard. High school education was at the Pazhanji Government High School which was established by Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dianisisus II. He attended church services regularly and became an altar boy at a young age.
He passed his SSLC in 1963 with a high grade. Due to the local necessity of priests, Paulose Mar Severios Metropolitan of Kollam-Kochi diocese could foresee the Call of God for his service in the young boy, Paul.
Paul studied Pre-University and BSc in Physics at Trichur St Thomas College. While studying for his graduation, his call was strengthened. Paul was an active member of MGOCSM unit of Trichur St Thomas College.
Fr. P.C. Cherian, the former General Secretary of MGOCSM inspired him for the priestly services. The affection bestowed by this young deacon of that time encouraged Paul and inspired him for the dedication of clergical services who was staying with Deacon P.C. Cherian.
In 1969, Paul joined the Theological Seminary by the initiative of Dn. P.C.Cherian at Kottayam for his theological studies under the discipleship of Dr Paulose Mar Gregorios, Fr Abraham and Fr Koruthu Malapan. He completed theological studies in GST from Orthodox Theological Seminary and BD from Seramboor University.
In 1972, Paul was ordained for the first stage of deaconate in Parumala Seminary. He was ordained as a full deacon at Koratty Seheyon Seminary. On June 2, 1973, Dn Paul was ordained as priest.
Fr Paul celebrated his first Holy Qurbana at Mangad St Gregorious Church, served the Mooleppat Mar Baselios Mar Gregorios Church for a short while. Later Fr Paul completed his MA in Sociology from CMS College Kottayam and conducted holy services at Aduppootty St Mary Magdalene Convent Chapel and Kottayam Medical College Chapel.
From 1975 onwards Fr Paul served as the vicar of Ernakulam St Mary’s Church for nine long years. Rev Fr K I Paul was always closely associated with MGOCSM activities of Malankara Church.
Catholicose Mar Basalios Marthoma Mathews I foresaw the call of Fr Paul to His episcopate and choose him as a candidate. The Malankara Association held at Thiruvalla on December 28, 1982 elected Fr Paul to be elevated to the episcopate.
On May 3, 1983 Fr Paul was ordained as Ramban along with other elected Bishop candidates by then Catholicate designate HG Mathews Mar Coorilose Metropolitan and started living in Parumala seminary along with the co-Rambans for two years under the guidance of late HG Yuhanon Mar Severios for learning holy literatures, administration and traditions of the church.
By this time Ramban Paul had transformed himself as a famous retreat father of repute.
On May 15, 1985 at 38, Ramban Paul was ordained as a Bishop with title Paulose Mar Milithios at Puthiyacavu St Mary’s Church by Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I.
He is the first Metropolitan after Parumala Thirumeni who was ordained Bishop below the age of 40. Four other Bishops, Mathews Mar Epiphanios, Philppose Mar Eusabius, Geevarghese Mar Ivanios and Thomas Mar Athanisios were also ordained along with Mar Milithios.
Kunnamkulam was formed as a new diocese for the Church on April 14, 1985 with some of the churches of Talappally taluk of Kochi diocese and other neighbouring churches. The newly ordained Bishop Mar Milithios was appointed as the diocesan Metropolitan of the newly formed diocese of Kunnamkulam.
When he took over the charge on August 1, 1985, there was no diocesan headquarters. Initially the new Metropolitan lived in an annexed room of Arthat Church. With determination and hard work and co-operation of fellow believers of his diocese he could construct a beautiful diocesan centre with a chapel in the vicinity of Arthat church for Kunnamkulam diocese within a span of five years.
His Grace was unanimously elected successor to the Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baseliose Mar Thoma Didymos I on October 12, 2006 at St Gregorios Nagar, Parumala Seminary by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association, the 4,051-member church parliament of the Malankara Orthodox Church.
The Episcopal Synod meeting held earlier at Theological Seminary, Kottayam had unanimously recommended Paulose Mar Milithios, Bishop of Kunnamkulam diocese as candidate for the election of Catholicose-designate with full support of the Synod and the Managing Committee.
On October 29, 2010, in a special session of the Holy Episcopal Synod at the Catholicate Palace, Devalokam, the Pontiff who decided to abdicate, will consecrate his successor, Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios, on November 1 during the annual feast of St Gregorios of Parumala.
As the Orthodox community passes through testing times, let us invoke the blessing of the Almighty to shower His choicest blessings on the new Catholicos to give him the vision and the direction to shepherd the flock. Here’s wishing all the best for the new Pontiff and pray for all the blessings to Thirumeni from heaven.
According to our liturgical calendar, October 30th, 31st or the 1st Sunday of November marks the beginning of our liturgical year. We have a special name for this Sunday: Koodosh Eetho (qddosh Hebrew), which means ‘sanctification of the Church’. In this short message I would like to focus on the theme of a sanctified Church in today’s context.
First of all we need to know what the Church is and why it should be sanctified. Church, according to St. Paul, is the ‘Body of Christ’ (Romans 12:4-21; 1Cor 6:15; 12:12ff). Church is also called the ‘temple of God’ (1Cor 3:16). This Church belongs to God.
A temple is the abode of God and therefore it must be holy. Here St. Paul reminds us all that individual believers and the collective body of believers is the members of Christ’s body.
St Peter jogs our memory to be ‘living stones built into a spiritual house’ (1Peter 2:5). We proclaim in our Niceo-Constantinopolitan creed that the Church we believe in is ‘ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC’. Church by virtue of being a Church is, therefore, the body of sanctified and ‘called out’ people (ek-kaleon, Gk). The faithful are called out from darkness to His marvelous light to declare His wonderful deeds (1 Peter 2:9). And therefore, Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
We separate certain places/things for certain uses. We give due regards to our place of worship. It must be clean. As group or individuals this cleanliness has to be spiritual, physical, moral and ethical. This is a God-given requirement: “You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy”. “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes, and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you” (Lev.19:2; 20: 6-8; 1 Peter 1:15).
In His High-priestly prayer, our Lord prayed to His Father to sanctify His disciples and His Church: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you did send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, and they also may be consecrated in truth” (John 17: 17-19). Thus, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit are interceding for us (Heb.10; Rom 8: 26-27).
In short, Church is the body of Christ and not merely an association or incorporation of people. Christ sanctified her by His sacrifice and continues with the sanctification process. We shall maintain that sanctified status by following the word of God in our individual and collective responsibilities. In other words, we have to follow a sanctified behavior pattern. It is not merely our adherence to a faith that matters but our new behavior.
Now let us look what does this sanctification mean precisely to us? As individuals and as a body of believers, we have to examine our lives and mission. Where are we with our mission? Christ did not send us to the world to make enemies but to make friends and disciples. Our mission is not political but moral and spiritual. Historically Churches have succeeded to make followers (employing party spirit by force or by mission) but have failed to make disciples. We have been fighting for temporal and personal powers or for recognition. It is high time that we pause for a moment and contemplate on our special calling.
Our church with its long history is still in her infancy in mission. We need to be reaching out as a community. Every parish should have an active mission program, wherein all believers take active roles. Our parish committee and general body meetings should be theologically focused and mission oriented. Our individual commitment to Christian/Church life needs to go beyond our Sunday worship, learning Church history, and monthly subscription to a total dedication of Christian living because we are a ‘called out’ community to proclaim His good deeds by putting away ‘all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and slander’ (1Peter 2:2).
As individuals we need to commit ourselves to spread the Gospel by our personal deeds, by reaching out as forgiving and loving persons. As parishes we have to develop a mission plan that goes beyond Sunday ministry and as a Church we have to be a forgiving entity with wide worldview in ecumenical initiatives and putting away all quarrels to ‘declare His marvelous deeds’.
Let this Koodosh Eetho (Qddosh Eetho) Sunday be a renewed beginning for all of us, namely, as individuals, parishes and as Church as a whole. May God bless us all. Let us work closely, by putting away our differences to glorify His name through our words and deeds with the help of His Holy Spirit. Amen!
KOTTAYAM: The great shepherd of Malankara decided to step down.
It is in a special session of the Holy Episcopal Synod that was convened at the Catholicate Palace, Devalokam, Kottayam, today that the Pontiff decided to disclose on his abdication.
“The Almighty allowed me to lead the Church for the last five years. Looking back, I consider everything as grace of God. I love the Church and the people of God. I also thank all of you, who stood as strong support to me during these years”, said the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan to the members of the Holy Episcopal Synod in the preface of his speech.
“For the rest of my life, I want to retreat in prayer and wish to set aside myself from all administrative responsibilities”, carried on the Catholicos.
Twenty Metropolitans including Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios attended the meeting.
A meeting of the Holy Episcopal Synod will officially convene tomorrow. Details of the abdication will be released to the media thereafter.
The reigning Catholicos himself will consecrate his successor. With this His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymus I will have the rare honor of being the sole Catholicos of Malankara, who has been consecrated by his predecessor and of consecrating his successor as well.
His Holiness The Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Didymus I was enthroned at St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Church (Parumala Pally) at Parumala on October 31, 2005.
Historians will depict this father as the great skipper, who depended on the power of prayer than secular administrative skills to lead the children of God. Great meeting at Kottayam and two flawless Malankara Associations bear witness to the above said fact.
PARUMALA: “In the path of pilgrims St. Gregorios was a philanthropist, who opened the door of goodness and love”, said the Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios. Mar Milithios was inaugurating the ‘Week of Pilgrimage’ in association with the 108th Annual Feast of St. Gregorios of Parumala on October 26, 2010.
Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Niranam, presided over the meeting. Sabha Ratnam Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios delivered the sermon of blessings.
K.M. Mani, Member of Kerala Legislative Assembly released the book ‘Parumala Thirumeni, The Saint Reformer’ by giving it to Joseph M. Puthusseri, one of his fellow Members of Kerala Legislative Assembly.
PARUMALA: Flag hoisting ceremony for the 108th Annual Feast of St. Gregorios of Parumala took place on Tuesday, October 26, at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church, Paruamala. Thousands of faithful witnessed the event.
The flag hoisting ceremony started at 2.00 pm. Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios, Sabha Ratnam Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, Metropolitan Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, and Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Polycarpose led the flag hoisting ceremony at three different flag poles.
Faithful did not fail this year as well to fulfill the tradition of throwing betel leaves prayerfully into the air. This special tradition is understood as the accomplishment of commencement of the annual feast of St. Gregorios of Parumala.
This is the 34th time that Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios is hoisting flag to mark the beginning of the feast of St. Gregorios of Parumala. He did it for the first time in 1976 after having assumed charge of the Niranam Diocese. That tradition was kept intact this year as well.
Catholcos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios inaugurated thereafter the ‘Week of Pilgrimage’ at a special meeting held at St. Gregorios Chapel, Parumala.
Sabha Ratnam Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Manager, Prumala Seminary, Fr. M.D. Yuhanon Ramban, Dr. Alexander Jacob IPS, Priest Trustee Fr. Dr. Jones Abraham Konattu, Sabha Trustee Dr. George Joseph, Fr. Thomas Thekkil, Dr. Alexander Karackal, A.K. Thomas, Jacob Thomas Arikupuram, Thomas T. Parumala and G. Oommen spoke on the occasion.
Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Polycarpose inaugurated the ‘144 Hour Prayer Vigil’ at Azhippura, the first residence of St. Gregorios of Parumala. This is an initiative led by the Orthodox Christian Youth Movement.
The coming one week will witness an ocean of faithful at Parumala. People from all walks of life as well as from all religions will rush to Parumala to place their petitions to God through the intercession of St. Gregorios.
KALKAJI, NEW DELHI: The Youth Convention of Delhi Diocese that took place at DDA Community Hall on Sunday, October 24, honored various Whizkids of Delhi Diocese, who proved their worth at various avenues of life.
Dr. George Varghese, who has won various awards for Social activities, K. Babu, Police Medal laureate from the President of Indian Union, Limka Book of Records fame Dr. George Nedumpara, Rintu Thomas, who has won various awards through documentaries of social commitment, and Ashil Shaji, who won special prize in the Poster Competition in connection with the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, were honored.
Fr. Philip M. Samuel presided over the meeting, which the Auxiliary Metropolitan of the Diocese of Delhi, Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dimithreos inaugurated. Fr. M.S. Skaria Ramban and Sabu Thomas felicitated.
Justice Banjamin Koshy delivered the Keynote Address on the topic ‘Church, Constitution and Responsibility of the Youth’.
Br. Aji Varghese spoke on the topic ‘Concept of Personality Development in the Holy Bible’. The documentary ‘Sparks of Life’ was also shown.
Fr. Thomas John Mavelil welcomed the gathering and Joji Ninan moved the vote of thanks.