Features Gulf News

Mrs Betzy Babu, spouse of Sohar Vicar, bags 1st Rank in MOMS exam

SOHAR, Sultanate of Oman: Mrs Betzy Babu (Kochamma), spouse of Fr C S Mathews, Vicar, St George Orthodox Church, Sohar (Sultanate of Oman) has notched up the First Rank in the Akila Malankara Orthodox Martha Mariam Samajam (MOMS) Annual Examination.

Mrs Betzy top scored with 96 marks on 100 in the junior category and emerged the clear winner. The examinations were held in October 2010.

The results of the MOMS exams were announced during the recent annual MOMS conference held at Parumala on August 23-25, 2011.

The win is all the most important since this is for the first time the prize has gone outside Kerala. This is a big achievement and honour for the new Ahmedabad Diocese under which the Sohar St George Orthodox Church falls.

Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, has expressed his happiness over Mrs Betzy claiming the first rank.
Dr Mar Yulios will receive the Award on behalf of Kochamma and handover to Mony, Malankara Pathrika, Devalokam, Kottayam.

The Metropolitan has in an email message to Fr C S Mathews congratulated both Achen and Kochamma on this wonderful achievement. The members of the managing committee of St George Orthodox Church, Sohar have also congratulated Mrs Betzy on her achievement.

Features News World News

Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, Madison, to host Forgiveness conference

Orthodox Peace Fellowship conference to focus on forgiveness:
UW professor Robert D. Enright to be keynote speaker

MADISON: The North American Conference of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship has chosen Madison as the location for its 2011 conference. The conference to be held Friday, Sept. 16 to Sunday, Sept. 18.

The theme of the conference will be“Forgiveness: Finding Wholeness Again”

Robert D. Enright Ph.D., professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be a keynote speaker. Enright is a founding member of the International Forgiveness Institute Inc., is the author of four books including “Forgiveness is a Choice.” He has appeared on “20/20” and “NBC Nightly News,” and his work has been featured in TIME, McCall’s Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the LA Times.

Other speakers will include:

• Erin Manian (staff attorney for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who will speak on the topic of forgiveness and healing as it relates to the Armenian Genocide of 1915);

• David Giffey (Orthodox iconographer and member of Veterans for Peace, who will speak after a screening of “Kim’s Story: Road from Vietnam” – a film about Kim Phuc, the “little girl in the photograph” of the napalm bombing of a Vietnamese village in 1972);

• Rev. George Morelli Ph.D. (chairman of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Department of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Ministry);

• Judith Toy (Buddhist cleric and author of “Murder as a Call to Love”);

• Rev. John-Brian Paprock (pastor of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, Madison, and author of “Neighbors, Strangers and Everyone Else”).

The event will be held at the Bishop O’Connor Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison. At the end of the conference, attendees can choose to attend Sunday services at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 11 North 7th St., Madison.

Fees are $90 for individual (includes registration and five meals, from Friday evening to mid-day Sunday); $50 for Saturday only. $150 all-inclusive fee for a couple ($80 for Saturday only). Overnight accommodations at Pastoral Center are also available.

Reservations must be received prior to Wednesday, Sept. 7. More information is available by contacting Patico at

The Orthodox Peace Fellowship is an association of Orthodox Christians applying the principles of the Gospel to situations of division and conflict – in the home, the parish, the community, the work place, and within and between nations.

News sent in: Teresa Paprock

Features News Parish News

Eight Days Fast at Cherry Lane St. Gregorios Orthodox Church

NEW YORK: St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, NY is celebrating the the feast of the nativity of St. Mary from August 31 to September 7, 2011 informed Mathew Mathen, the Secretary of the parish.

There will be evening prayer followed by devotional speech everyday at 6.30 PM. Mathai Edayanal Cor Episcopa will be the main speaker.

The church is located at 175 Cherry Lane, New Hyde Park, New York.

Church News Features News

NAAC of UGC visited St. Thomas College, Bhilai

BHILAI : Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius, Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese received the Chair-Person of NAAC Peer Group Prof. Dr. Bhoomitra Dev (Ex. Vice-Chancellor), Prof. Dr. Harinarayan (Pro. VC) and Dr. Govindayya (A.P) at St. Thomas College, Bhilai onAugust 25, 2011.

Fr. Geevarghese Ramban (Administrator), Dr. Renny George (Principal), Fr. Raju Thomas (Bhilai Mission), staff and students took part in the reception ceremony.

The college has several achievements to its credit. It is already accredited at the B++ level by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of the U.G.C. Every year the students of the college produce excellent results in the University examinations and secure several merit
positions in the University.

St. Thomas College, Bhilai under the Diocese of Calcutta (affiliated to Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur) is a Pride to The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church as shining Star in the education map of India.

Late Lamented H.G Dr. Stephanose Mar Theodosius, is the Founder Manager of the college. The College looks forward to the future with a single minded determination to redouble its efforts and continue to serve society by providing quality higher education.

The able leadership of Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius, Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese, a veteran Educationalist and University teacher rejuvenates the Mission and Vision of the college. The endeavour is to provide quality education on a foundation of values and virtues, with emphasis on academics and to offer postgraduates courses which are in high demand and attract a great number of students.

The college places emphasis on cultural, literacy and sports activities and our students have acquitted themselves creditably in these areas, bringing laurels to the college at the District, State and National levels.

Over the past 25 years, the college has done its utmost to ensure that its outgoing students are well-placed with bright career prospects. The placement cell of the college is ever-alert to the requirement of the students who, in turn are well-equipped by the multi-faceted activities provided
in the college.

News sent in: Jerry J. Koshy

Features News Parish News

Family conference in Muscat on Sept 8

MUSCAT: As part of the 8-day Lent, the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat will be hosting a family conference for its members on September 8, Thursday at St Thomas Church, Ruwi.

Flavour the Family With Spiritual Essence will be the theme of the conference.

Noted Malankara Orthodox orator and General Secretary-Akhila Malankara Prarthana Yogam Fr Ebey Philip will lead the conference.

Fr Ebey belongs to Mavelikara Diocese with Karthikappally St Thomas Cathedral as his home parish. He is presently Vicar of St George Orthodox Church, Cheppad.

Fr Ebey will be assisted by Biju Pandalaplav, another well-known speaker from Kerala. Biju is the chief Editor of Orthodox Yuvajanam.

The conference will begin at 6.30 pm and ends by 10 pm with dinner. Earlier, there will be evening prayers.
The week-long programmes are slated from September 1-7 from 7 pm onwards as part of the Lent.

Features Gulf News

St. Gregorios OCYM JEBEL ALI organizes 100th Activity Meet

JEBEL ALI : The 100th Activity Meet of St. Gregorios Orthodox Christian Youth Movement Jebel Ali was held on August 28, 2011 after the Holy Qurbana.

Vicar Fr. Mathew Varghese presided over the meeting. Fr. Abey Philip led the devotional address. Secretary T. A. Joseph gave felicitation speech. Binu M. Varghese (Vice President) gave introductory speech.

Ribu K. Varghese welcomed the gathering and Aju O. Varghese (Treasurer) proposed vote of thanks.

“ The real credits behind the success of Jebel Ali OCYM Unit deserves to our beloved vicars Rev. Fr. Aju Abraham (Former Vicar) who by his strenuous effort launched the setup of a church in Jebel Ali without a church and Rev Fr. Mathew Varghese (Present Vicar) who manages, leads, supports the church and its activities even in complex situations” said one of the unit members.

“It gives us immense pleasure to reflect upon on Jebel Ali OCYM unit, we must say, since its inception, the members have earned a name of fame wherever represented by their outstanding performances in church activities and intra zonal programs” said another member.

News sent in: Aju Oommen Varghese

Features News Southwest America

New Indian Orthodox congregation formed in Memphis, TN

TENNESSEE: St.Mary’s Indian Orthodox Congregation, a new Indian Orthodox congregation has started in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

Alexius Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of the South West American Diocese, issued an order to establish a new congregation in the name of ‘St.Mary’s Orthodox Congregation of Memphis, Tennessee’.

Fr. Johnson Punchakonam is appointed as the vicar of the congregation.

Holy Qurbana for the new congregation will be on First Sundays of each month at 8.30 AM, at the St. Mary & St. Rueis Coptic Orthodox Church. The Church is located at 501 N. Mendenhall Rd, Memphis, TN 38117

“All the faithful in and around Memphis are welcome to take part in the Holy Qurbana” said Fr. Johnson Punchakonam.

For more details contact
Fr. Johnson Punchakonam (678) 342 – 0246

Features News Uk And Europe

United Kingdom – Second Diocesan Family Conference

MANCHESTER: The 2nd Annual Diocesan Family Conference of the Diocese of UK, Europe and Africa began on 26 august 2011 at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Manchester, UK.

Metropolitan Dr. Mathews Mar Thimothios presided over the inaugural meeting. Fr Varghese John, Fr George Samuel and Dr. M.S Alexander gave felicitation speeches. The Orthodox Community from 14 families in 1972 had grown to over 1,500 families in UK at present

In the inaugural address, Mar Thimothios reflected upon the rapid progress of the Orthodox Community and the importance of the Family Conference to bring together the faithful of the diocese to share the faith of the holy Church, happiness, sorrows which may encourage their personal spiritual life.

Fr Abraham Thomas (Registrar of the Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam) is the main speaker at the conference.

The main theme of the conference is ‘A Wise Man Builds his House on Rock’.

A committee under the leadership of Fr Happy Jacob, Dr. Sandeep Mathew, Dr. Paul Peter, Mr. Linz Aynattu, Dr. Sen Kallumpuram, Sunil Philip, Reji Kottarakara and Jinoj Philip is working hard behind the scene for the success of the conference

Dr. Thomas Jacob is the Director of programmes and Music at the conference.

Over 300 delegates are attending this conference at present. They consist of 3 generations of family members – grandparents, parents and children. 23 parishes spread over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland is benefited by the conference.


News sent in: John Kochukandathil

Diocese News Features News

Sunthronitho of Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius on October 26

BHILAI : The ‘Sunthronitho’ of Dr.Joseph Mar Dionysius, Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese will be held at St Thomas Ashram Chapel, Bhilai on October 26 , 2011. His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, will be the chief celebrant on the occasion

The venue is blessed with the ‘Tomb’ of Late Lamented Dr.Stephanos Mar Theodosius, the first Bishop of Calcutta Diocese.

Preparations are already begun at the diocesan level for the big event and the grand reception to the supreme head of the Church.

The council members, vicars, the managing committee members, leaders of all spiritual organizations and the parishioners under the Calcutta diocese will attend the ceremony.

The ceremony will be concluded with a public meeting at 11.00 am. The Catholiocs will be the chief guest at the public meeting.

News sent in: Fr.P.S.Varghese, PRO, Calcutta Diocese

Features Gulf News

Muscat Youth organises devotional orchestra, ‘Heavenly Melodies’

MUSCAT: The youth wing of Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat, MGOCYM, is organising a devotional orchestra at St Thomas Church, Ruwi, on August 26, 2011.

Titled Heavenly Melodies, this three-hour musical mega hit show will feature a blend of melodious devotional music.

The show will be led by Kalabhavan Gopan, one of the most popular devotional singers from God’s Own Country. An eminent playback singer in his own right, he has been an icon with his meliflous voice.

Gopan will be accompanied by Shibu Vakathanam, a well-known classical singer along with Ms Rani S, a female singer who has proved her talent as an eminent and graceful singer in the ‘Voice of the Week’ channel programme on Asianet.

The event will be yet another feather in the cap for the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Youth Movement (MGOCYM).
Date: August 26, 2011, Friday
Timings: 7 pm to 10 pm
Gates open: 6.30 pm
Entry: By tickets and invitation
Contact Person: Binu Kunjattil
Programme Convenor
GSM: 968-99464758