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Muscat Maha Edavaka’s ‘Save A Life’ cardiology camp at Thannithode


THANNITHODE, Kerala : Kuriakose Mar Clemis, Metropolitan of Thumpamon Diocese launched the cardiology medical camp of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka Save A Life (2011-12), cardiac surgery project last week.

The camp was organised by St Anthony’s Ashram under the guidance of its Superior Fr. Yakoob Ramban.

Dr Saji Philip, clinical and administrative co-ordinator of the St Gregorios Cardio-Vascular Centre, Parumala also took part and tracked the genuine patients.

Thannithode is a village in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. It is near Konni town and is mainly a plantation township.

The Cardio-Vascular Centre has so far held cardiology camps in several parts of Kerala like Chengullum and Thannithode to filter out the genuine cases.

The last such camp will be held on August 6, Saturday, at Sultan Bathery.

So far a sizable number of sponsors from Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat have come forward to bear the cost of the operations.
Fr James Geevarghese, Vicar, Muscat Maha Edavaka had said since the church enters its 40th year, the Maha Edavaka as part of its popular charity project called ‘Thanal’ wants to provide financial aid to a minimum of 40 children through the project.

The cardiac surgery project will be executed in association with St Gregorios Cardio-Vascular Centre. The international centre provides training and research for cardio thoracic and vascular diseases. The centre functions from the St Gregorios Mission Hospital, Parumala.

Those desiring to take part in the next camp at Sultan Bathery can contact:
Dr Saji Philip (Administrative and Clinical Co-ordinator)
St Gregorios Cardio Vascular Centre
St Gregorios Mission Hospital, Parumala, P O – 689 626
Pathanamthitta District, Kerala
Tel: + 91-0479-2310664, 2310 665, 231 2381
Fax: + 91-479-231 1008

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Orthodox Fellowship in Hitec City, Hyderabad inaugurated


HITEC CITY, Hyderabad: Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan of Bangalore Diocese has inaugurated the Hyderabad Orthodox Hitec City Prayer Fellowship on July 23.

Dr Mar Seraphim in his address urged the techies to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven by doing good deeds. His Grace counselled the techies to read and study the Holy Bible with enthusiasm.

Later the Prayer group was named as Hyderabad Orthodox Hitec City Prayer Fellowship and co-ordinators were elected.

This fellowship is intended to bring together all Orthodox Christians working in various companies located in Hitec City.

This initiative began a month back with the blessings of His Holiness the Catholicose and Dr Mar Seraphim.

Two prayer meetings were already held in two of the homes. Fr Santhosh Samuel, Vicar of Hyderabad Cathedral took the initiative in bringing members in the region and led two prayer meetings. A hall was rented for conducting prayer meetings in the future. There will be prayer meetings at least twice in a month on Saturdays, which will be lead by the vicars from the Hyderabad region.

Holy Qurbana will also be conducted if participation strengthens at a later stage.

The prayer meeting was blessed with the presence of Rev John Thachamperil Cor Episcopa (Vicar, St George Orthodox Church, Jeedimetla), Fr Koshy Thomas (Vicar, St Andrews Orthodox Valiapally, Secunderabad), Fr Santhosh Samuel (Vicar, St Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral, Hyderabad) and Fr Moncy Chacko (Vicar, St Mary’s Orthodox Church, BHEL).

Around 40 Orthodox Christians employed in various companies in Hitec city, as well as well wishers from the four parishes of the twin cities attended the prayer meeting.

The next meeting has been slated for August 6 at 3 pm

Orthodox Christians working in Hitec City can kindly contact the coordinators below.
Binoy Baby (Senior) – +91-9703802360 E: binoy02.baby@gmail.com
Kiran Raj (Coordinator) – +91-9581001218, E: 1986kiranraj@gmail.com
Elizabeth Cherian (Coordinator) – +91-8008096769 E: elicherian@gmail.com

News sent in: Kiran Raj

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Muscat Maha Edavaka member, Dr Biju Jacob, appointed Accountant General, Kerala


MUSCAT : Dr Biju Jacob (IA&AS) has been appointed as the new Accountant General of the Government of Kerala.

Dr Biju will be the representative of the CAG of India in Kerala.

IAAS or Indian Audit and Accounts Service is an Indian Central Government service, free of control from any executive authority, under the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.

Belonging to the 1993 batch of Civil Services, Dr Biju gets back to his home state of Kerala from his previous posting in the north-eastern state of Nagaland as the Accountant General.

Dr Biju is a member of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat (ID # B159) since 2005. St Thomas Orthodox Church in Meenadom, Kottayam is his home parish.

Academically, Dr Biju has a MBBS degree from Medical College, Kottayam and a MBA from the College of Engineering, Trivandrum.

An active youngster, he also served as the Sunday School teacher for more than two decades at his home parish, St George Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Spencer Junction, Thiruvananthapuram and more recently at the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat.

He has also held various important assignments as financial controller of World Bank-aided Gujarat Earth quake relief in 2001 and as trainer for Auditor General in Botswana (Africa) in 2003. While in the Sultanate of Oman, he was with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as an Internal Auditor for 5 years from 2005, after which he was posted to Nagaland where he served for two years.

Fr James Geevarghese, Vicar, Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat and members of the managing committee have congratulated Dr Biju in occupying the key post and wished him all success in future.

Dr Renju Kuriakose is his spouse and Amritha Mariam Jacob and George Jacob are their children.

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Dr Mar Yulios turns lecturer, takes classes for seminarians at STOTS, Nagpur


AHMEDABAD : Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan head of Ahmedabad Diocese, is presently visiting the St Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS) in Nagpur where he is engaged in taking classes for the seminarians till August 5.It may be recalled that Dr Mar Yulios had served as lecturer and professor of religion and philosophy at Orthodox Theological Seminary Kottayam and Nagpur from 1994.

Mar Yulios was also the bursar of St Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur before his consecration.
The visit follows the Metropolitan’s recent attendance at the meeting of the Governing Board of St Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary which met at the Seminary Campus under the leadership of HG Geevarghese Mar Coorilose (Working President of STOTS).

Last week, Dr Mar Yulios had completed a three-day pastoral visit to Madhya Pradesh Region which falls under his Ahmedabad diocese.

The Metropolitan visited the St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian church in Indore and Dewas and also the nearby congregations.

He met with the church committee members and all other units the namely MGOCSM, MGOCYM, Martha Maria Samajam and others.

After August 6, Dr Mar Yulios will leave again for Kerala where he will attend the customary meeting of the Holy Synod from August 8-12 at Devalokam, Kottayam.

Metropolitan returns to his Headquarters in Naroda, Ahmedabad by August 13.

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St Thomas Cathedral, Dubai kids summer camp focuses on Malayalam language


DUBAI: Nelson Mandela rightly remarked: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

That’s what kids at the St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Dubai did for their Venalshibhiram 2011 summer programme with a powerful documentary on the Malayalam language church news. Venalshibhiram programme tried to instill a love for their mother tongue among all the Malayali children who attended the program.

On July 22, the valedictory for the Venalshibhiram 2011 organised by the Orthodox Christian Youth Movement affiliated to St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Dubai concluded with a bang.

A colourful curtain raiser for this year’s edition emphasised on the importance of Malayalam on the theme, Amma Malayalam, Nanma Malayalam was held on July 15, with a display of folk arts such as naadan patu, chakayar koothu and kummatti, a colourful folk dance.

The main programme concluded with over 200 children from the age group of 3-16 reluctantly bidding adieu to their teachers who took them through an edutainment programme which consisted of stories on past and present literary greats in Malayalam, interesting science and maths tricks, crafts and practical classes such as communicating effectively. The programme concluded with the screening of a brief but spellbinding documentary entitled Malayala Peruma or “The greatness of Malayalam” on the Malayalam language covering the literary greats in prose and poetry and exploring the history of Kerala from a cultural and artistic perspective.

Fr T J Johnson, Vicar, Fr Biju Daniel, Asst Vicar, Program Convenor Babukutty Abraham and the secretary, Reju S John spoke at the concluding ceremony with the promise to meet again for a similar camp next year.

News sent in: Manoj Thomas

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MOSC to launch project on Christian parenting for kids from Oct to Dec


KOTTAYAM : The Ministry of Human Empowerment of Malankara Orthodox Church will launch a new project on ‘Christian parenting’ titled Pathirakallee Kathirukal (Let not our grains become chaff). The project will be implemented in all the parishes of the Orthodox Church in the months of October, November, and December 2011.

This new project is the next phase of Church wide Family Empowerment programme like Family Welfare and U–turn.

The focal point of this project is ‘Child is the greatest Gift’. The project envisages to organise orientation programme for parents to rear children in the Christian way by equipping them to face and overcome the challenges of the new age. Classes, seminars, counselling sessions and other programme will be organised at parish-Diocese and church levels.

Those interested to volunteer to serve as Resource Persons of the project may kindly contact: The Ministry of Human Empowerment, Catholicate Palace, Devalokam. P O, Kottayam – 686 038. Email: hrm@mosc.in Phone: +91-481-2572800.

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Pathetic state of Malankara Orthodox church in Chickmagalur, a blot on the community


CHICKMAGALUR, Karnataka : The pathetic state of the St George Orthodox Syrian Church, Karugundha, in Chickmagalur district is really a shame for the huge members of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christian community.

MOSC which boasts of many spectacular churches in Kerala and abroad should really witness to experience the sad state in which the church is in.
Youtube link

Every week the Holy Eucharist is celebrated in a ramshackle shed where the Thronoos,

namaskara mesha is literally placed on a piece of Kadappa (black) stone. Here, the worshippers don’t sit on chairs or posh benches but on the floor done by mud where the cow dung is used for flooring. The worship place resembles a hut of bygone era. During the monsoon, rain water seeps inside the building. Lack of a parsonage makes the situation worse.

Work on the construction of the church which began this year is on a snail’s pace. Lack of funds is the main issue. The church has suffered a lot. All development activity has been suppressed because of the litigation for 13 long years.

In this hour of crisis, well placed churches irrespective of their diocese must come forward and help this church in its worst hour of difficulty.

Fr Sunil P Thomas Pallichira, the Vicar, has written personally to Malankara Orthodox TV (M TV), Indian Orthodox Herald (IOH) and Icon expressing his displeasure at the state of affairs.

He writes: “It is our responsibility as Malankara Orthodox Church members to support the church. As a Vicar of the church I beg and urge support from all the well wishers who are good in heart in all ways.”

To give a brief of the St George church. In 1996 about 32 families joined Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church from Pourastya Suvishesha Samajam and requested HH Baselios Marthoma Mathews II for a church which will cater to the spiritual and liturgical needs. HH the Catholicos declared this parish as a church under Madras Diocese and appointed a Vicar. HG Yakob Mar Irenaios (Former Metropolitan of Madras Diocese) also extended help towards the church’s development.

Former Diocesan Metropolitan Abraham Mar Ephiphanios, who came in next, was grieved by the pathetic situation of the parish. It was the Metropolitan who suggested that a new church be constructed. One of the church members generously donated us 50 cents of land in the name of the Catholicos.

Presently there are 32 families and most of them are agriculturists by profession who have migrated from Kerala and settled in Chickmagalur. Most of them do not possess land sanctioned from the government. Even though drowned in poverty but God fearing, they run the case and support the church in one of their most difficult situations.

Because of the poverty of the parishioners, it has become difficult to construct a church with their own financial effort.

The Vicar expresses his wholesome praise and gratefulness to many of the friends from Bengaluru Diocese and other places who responded during its hour of difficulty by contributing funds to the church and also through Internet.

“We are really thankful to the good-hearted donors. We request more help in this regard from others also,” says the vicar.

Work on the church commenced on May 9, 2011 by the new Diocesan Metropolitan HG Yakob Mar Elias, Metropolitan, Diocese of Brahmavar.

Earlier, the stone was blessed by HG Abraham Mar Epiphanios, Metropolitan, Sultan Batthery during his visit to the church last year.

At present, construction work has reached the lintal level. The parishioners sincerely request all prayers and financial help from the supporters towards the completion of the Church.

Those willing to contribute generously for the further completion of church can contact:
Rev Fr Sunil P Thomas Pallichira
Vicar, St George Orthodox Syrian Church,
Karugundha Shetty Koppa Post
NR Pura Taluk
Chickmangalur Dist.
Karnataka State -577134, S India
Mobile: +91-9481843960

Account No: State Bank of Mysore, N R Pura
Acc No: 54028384336
IFSC Code: SBMY0040148
Syndicate Bank, Muthinakoppa
Acc No: 09132200039432
IFSC Code: SYNB 0000913

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Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios launches Indian Orthodox TV in US


Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios launches Indian Orthodox TV in US
Recording offices to come up at Atlanta, Houston and Kottayam

HOUSTON : A new Indian Orthodox TV, a 24-hour gospel channel, mainly to propogate and telecast Christian programmes based on the worship, traditions, faith and teachings of the Orthodoxy has been launched recently.

Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The TV was launched during the recent visit of the Metropolitan to the United States.

Other members of the directorial board include Fr Johnson Punchakonam who will be the Chief Executive Officer, Pulikkottil I Joy as CFO, Charly Varughese Padanilam as Secretary & PRO of the Director Board, Dn George Poovathur as Director of Marketing for USA & Europe, Mathews John Attatharayil (Middle East & Asia), George Panicker (Programme Director) and Dr Zacharia Thomas M D (Director Board)

Available on the web at www.orthodoxTV.in, the Orthodox TV will be a charitable and non-profiting organisation which aims to spread the ‘Word of Jesus’ as He commanded to spread the teachings around the World.

Also present at the inauguration were Dr Mar Yulios, Fr Johnson Punchakonam, George Panicker, Fr Paul B Issac, Fr Ham Joseph, Dn George Poovathur and Dn Saju Varghese and others.

The Board of Directors decided to increase the number of board members to 15 from the MOSC members. It also decided to register the venture as a non-profit organisation and arrange offices and recording facilities in different places and encourage the people to get involved in this project.
Initially the recording facilities will be set up in Atlanta, Houston in the US and Kottayam in Kerala.

The Directorial Board also approved to use the opportunity to move forward for the Free Air telecast to Television in USA and the online channel globally. The TV aims to promote the works of the Indian Orthodox TV taking part in different parts of the world. It also thanks and gives praise to the Lord our God for the opportunity and blessings to establish this venture which progressing much more than expectations.

Charly V Padanilam from Houston, Texas says: “We need the support of all in this venture. We decided to telecast the church programmes of the parishes and spiritual organisations once the recording is done. One can send the Christian programmes which shall be the sole property of the Indian Orthodox TV.”

The Orthodox TV needs dedicated people to work around as reporters, camera crew, TV editing and production staff which shall be purely on a
voluntary basis. Those who are keen to volunteer with Indian Orthodox Television may please contact:
Indian Orthodox TV
6000 Live Oak Prk Way Suite 102
Norcross, GA 30093
Email: orthodoxtv.in@gmail.com
Tel: 001-678-342-0246

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Dr Mar Seraphim meets Andhra CM Kiran Reddy, submits memorandum


HYDERABAD : Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan of the Bengaluru Diocese, who was in Hyderabad recently has met with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. The meeting lasted for a while.

Dr Mar Seraphim presented a memorandum to the chief minister outlining the needs of the Orthodox community in the state. The Chief Minister gave him a patient hearing.

Fr Santhosh Samuel, Vicar, St Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral, Hyderabad, also accompanied the Metropolitan.

Dr Mar Seraphim has commented on his Facebook page in comments from Santhosh Achen who has posted pictures on his album:
“Let all glory go to our Lord. If we unite, God will do wonders. May God bless you all.”

There have been comments congratulating about the various initiatives taken by the Metropolitan and for the dynamic leadership and for one with new ideas and vision.

It may be recalled the meeting with the chief minister couldn’t take place in June when the Bengaluru Diocese Metropolitan had visited Hyderabad for the consecration of St Mary’s Church at Ramachandrapuram, Ranga Reddy district.

During the present visit last week, Dr Mar Seraphim also used the opportunity to open a tailoring unit at Eluru’s Andhra Mission centre and also launch an Orthodox Prayer Group in Hitec City for techies residing in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Andhra Pradesh which falls under the Bengaluru Diocese also serves the State through various service institutions, including the Balagram, for children of leprosy-affected persons at Yacharam and the centre for cerebral palsy-hit children at Eluru in West Godavari district.

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To connect with his people in the diocese, Metropolitan uses iPad


AHMEDABAD : Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan head of Ahmedabad Diocese, has gone high tech.

From being used to such tech gizmos, be it the laptop or notebook, the switch to Apple’s latest iPad will serve many purposes for the fast-paced Metropolitan.

Fresh from his recent month-long US sojourn, Dr Mar Yulios virtually uses all of its apps quiet conveniently.

During the recently concluded Ahmedabad Diocesan General Assembly at the St Thomas Chapel, Naroda, Dr Mar Yulios was seen attentively feeding data during its proceedings. Fr Dr Johns Abraham Konat, Priest -Trustee of the Malankara Orthodox Church, who attended the meeting as a special invitee, was keening watching the new gadget with interest.

It will make his tough and hectic schedule which includes surfing the web, checking mails, reading books or even watching movies more comfortable.

Data and photos can be stored with regard to the works related to the new diocese at ease.

With its Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, the Metropolitan can also use it effectively during his long journeys by road or air. It can also keep him posted of the latest developments around the world and also with his people in the diocese.