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Diocese News Features News

Martha-Mariam Vanitha-Samajam one day conference concluded in Gandhidham


GANDHIDHAM, Gujarat: A one day conference of the Martha-Mariam Vanitha-Samajam of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Ahmedabad Diocese (Rajkot Zone) was held on August 15, 2011 at St Stephen’s Orthodox Church, Gandhidham.

The conference was held under the presidentship of Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, of Ahmedabad Diocese, who presented his vision on the subject “An Ideal Indian Women – A Christian perspective”.

90 participants took part in the conference.

Fr Thomas Jose, Parish Vicar delivered the introductory speech. The sessions began at 11 am after the Holy Eucharist and concluded at 4 pm. Vicars of Mar Thoma and also evangelical churches also attended the seminar.

Mrs Jaya Koshy, General Secretary of Vanitha-Samajam, Ahmedabad Diocese delivered her thoughts on the subject and Mrs Gracy Mathew, Zonal Secretary, Vanitha-Samajam Rajkot Zone, delivered the concluding speech. The participants shared their feedback about their experience from the seminar.

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Features News Uk And Europe

Two more churches in United Kingdom purchased properties


LONDON: Two more churches in United Kingdom, St.Thomas’s, London and St. Mary’s, Bristol had purchased their own church properties recently.

Until July 2011, the Diocese of UK-Europe had only only one church owned by Malankara Orthodox Church (St. Gregorios Church, Brockley, London). The eminent leadership of the Metropolitan, Dr. Mathews Mar Thimothios along with the dedication and hard work of the respective Vicars and members of these churches made these dreams come true. Metropolitan is at present in the UK for his pastoral visit and has visited both these sites.

On August 24, 2011, at a simple function organised at the new church property of St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, London the Vicar, Fr. George Joy along with the secretary and treasurer did the symbolic gesture of handing over the keys of the new church property to the Metropolitan Mar Themothios. In his address, the Metropolitan urged the parish members to make a concious effort to contribute further towards the church development fund.

Metropolitan also depicted the beautiful story of Jacob, who randomly selected a stone and used it as a pllow to sleep. He then had the dream of a ladder resting on the earth and reaching up into the Heaven and he saw Angels of God going up and coming down the ladder. Then Jacob saw the Lord standing above the ladder, who blessed him and his generations with the land where he was sleeping. When he woke from his sleep Jacob said “Surely Lord is in this place, but I did not know it.”Jacob placed the stone on its end he made it a pillar. This pillar then became the cornerstone for Bethel- the House of the Lord. Dr. Mar Themothios encouraged everyone to have this dream of Jacob and keep the new church in our daily prayers.

The Metropolitan also gave his vision of having more chuches owned by his people in the UK which should be followed by the establishment of a Diocesan Centre in the UK.

The new church property of St. Thomas’s Indian Orthodox Church is located in St. Agnell’s Lane, Cupid Green, Hemel Hemstead HP2 7AY. It is located towards the North of London, 3 miles from M1 Motorway Junction 8a and 6 miles from the Junction 21 of M 25 Motorway . Further development works are planned for the existing church building and the hall which is about to start in a few weeks time. Consecretation is planned for next year.

News Sent in: Dr. Sen Kallumpuram

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Columns Opinions

Prophet Micah speaks to India

“Its rulers give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for a price, Its prophets give oracle for money; Yet they lean upon the LORD and say, Surely the LORD is with us! No harm shall come upon us”. Micah 3:11

These are the words of a prophet of Ancient Israel of 8th C BC.

Israel became truly a free country after Saul, when David became king. It had all the resources to stand on its own feet.

But it did not last very long. Solomon introduced a new wave of establishing diplomatic relation with neighbouring nations. He had several wives and had to construct independent houses for them. So he raised tax and the money thus collected did not go to the welfare projects of people. Rather it went in to construction contractors’ pocket.

People became restless and unhappy. They could not take it any more. Solomon was a wise person in his own way. But had lost contact with people. His son was even more of less contact. Then came Jeroboam a truly people’s person.

After Solomon the nation was divided in to two leaving just two tribes for the son of Solomon Rehoboam and Jeroboam a popular leader went away to north with ten tribes. That was the end of a united free Israel of the dream of Joshua.

But that also did not save any one. Unrest and uncertainity prevailed in both countries.

Then came the prophets of Social reformation and religious vigour, Amos, Isaiah, Hosea and Micha (Who is like Yahweh – 737 to 690 BC. The kings mentioned in the book are from 756 to 697 BC).

Micah started prophesying just before the fall to Israel to Assyrians.

He was addressing a nation that had long lost all its fundamentals. These fundamentals were set by none other than Yahweh, a just and righteous God according to words of Amos Micah’s predecessor, who said, “let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever rolling stream” (5:24). Amos addressed only the Northern nation.

Micah prophesied with the same principle but addressed both Israel and Judah.

He specifically points out one of the anti-divine practice in the society.

I am afraid Micah was talking not only to Israel and Judah but also to us, the Indians? He is very much alive and is talking to us today through these words, because that is what we are today.

Look at our situation!

India became an independent nation in 1947. Great leaders gave their lives for this noble cause.

What does it mean to be independent?

The people get the privilege of deciding their own future and destiny. It was freed in to a democratic system of administration!

The people and their welfare became primary to the nation. Elected representatives and administrators should do their job for and on behalf of the people and work for the welfare of the people.

Any thing that happens in our country should have people as its base. Mahatma wrote: “I hold that self government is not an end in itself, but only a means to good government. And true democracy is that which promotes the welfare of the people, the test of good government lies in the largest good of the people with minimum of controls. The test of autocracy, socialism, capitalism, etc is also people’s welfare or good government. In themselves, the various approaches are of no value. Any system of government can fail if people do not show scrupulous honesty and a feeling of brotherhood. There may be work, there may be men to do the work and also the tools with which to do it: yet in my view, any system which admits poverty and unemployment is not fit to survive even for a day…” (Hindu. 31/12/1947).

As early as 1921 while leading the first non-cooperation movement Gandhiji had stated that ‘one of the objectives of the movement was to purify India by fighting against deceit, corruption, terrorism in political life and the incubus of white superiority’.

In 1928 he wrote in Young India (Dec. 6, 1928) “Corruption will be out one day, however much one may try to conceal it: and the public can, as it is its right and duty in every case of justifiable suspicion, call its servants to strict account, dismiss them, sue them in a law court, or appoint an arbitrator or inspector to scrutinize their conduct, as it likes”.

Former president of India, Mr. K. R. Narayanan during his first address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day of 1997 quoted this and said, ‘we should educate people to fight against corruption’.

Now I see people well educated against corruption and are on the streets against it.

Look at the chart that gives you a glimpse of the corruption scandals recorded in our history:

Jeep Purchase (1948) 80 Lakh, BHU Funds (1956) 50 lakh, MUNDHRA SCANDAL (1967) 1.25 crore, Teja Loans (1960) 22 crore, Kuo Oil deal (1976) 2.2 crore, HDW Commissions (1987) 20 crore, Borors Pay off (1987) 65 crore, St Kitts Forgery (1989) 9.45 crore, Airbus Scandal 1990 2.5 crore, Security scam 1992 5000 crore, Indian Bank Rip off 1992 1300 crore, Sugar Import 1994 – 650 crore, JMM Bribes 1995 1.2
crore, In a Pickle 1996 – 10 Lack, Telecom Scam 1996 – 1.6 crore, Fodder scam 1996 – 950 crore, Urea deal 1996 – 133 crore, CRB Scam 1997 – 1000 crore, Vanishing Companies scam 1999 – 2563 crore, Plantation Companies scam 1999 – 2563 crore, Ratan Praksh scam 2001 – 137 crore, Stock Market scam 2001 – 1,15,000 crore, Home trade scam 2002 – 600 crore, Stamp Paper scam 2003 – 30000 crore, IPO Demat Scam 2005 –140 crore, Bihar Flood re;oef sca, 2005 – 17 crore, Scorpene submarine scam 2005 – 18978 crores, Punjab city centre project scam 2006 – 1500 crore, Taj corridor scam 2006 – 175 crore, Pune Billionaire Hassan Ali Khan tax default 2008 – 50000 crore, The Satyam Scam 2008 – 10000 crore, Army ration pilferage scam 2008 – 5000 crore, 2 G spectrum swindle 2008 – 176000 crore, State Bank of Saurasta scam – 95 crore, Illegal money in Swiss Bank as estimated in 2008 – 7100,000 crore, The Jharkhand medical equipment scam 2009 – 130 crore, Rice export scam 2009 – 2500 crore, Orissa mine scam 2009 – 7000 crore, Madhu Koda mining scam 2009 – 4000 crore, Commonwealth game scam 2010 – 40000 crore, Kargil coffin scam ?, Adars Housing Society Scam ?, Israel arms deal scam 2010 – 500 crore, ISRO Satalite Broadband scam 2011 – 1000 crore, Total 910603234301500+/

Few more facts: According to ‘One India’ News report that came out on 17 Feb 2011 quoting Global Financial Integrity, a Washington Base Organization, the illicit outflow of Indian money since 1991 to foreign banks amounts to a total Rs. twenty one lakh (21,00000) crore.

According to the data provided by the Swiss bank, India has more black money than rest of the world combined. India topping the list with almost $1500 Billion, followed by Russia $470 Billion, UK $390 Billion, Ukraine $100 Billion and China with $96 Billion.

This amount is 13 times larger than the nation’s foreign debt. Every year this amount is increasing at a rapid speed. The total black money accounts for 40% of GDP of India, if all the money comes back to India then that could result in huge growth burst for India. The account holders include politicians, IRS, IPS, IAS officers, religious leaders and industrialists

The Supreme court with Mr. Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and S.S. Niijar on Jan 19, 2011 expressed displeasure over the government’s reluctance in coming forward with full information on the black money stashed by Indians in foreign banks, saying it as a theft of national wealth and amounted to “plunder’ of the nation”.

A news from Indian Express daily Aug. 23, 2011 tells us, Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy a congress MP in the Upper House of Parliament filed his tax return showing an annual income of Rs. 9.19 lakh in May 2004. In 2011 Lok Sabha bypoll from Kadappa, he declared an annual income of Rs. 36 crore. He has declared movable assets for Rs. 365 crore and immovable assets for Rs. 25 crore. His wife has an asset of Rs. 41 crore. His father Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy is the Congress party chief in AP. Jaganmohan recently moved to a newly built 53,000 sq.ft. house in Hyderabad that cost 99 crore.

Recently the Chief Minister of Karnataka had to resign for his alleged involvement in mining scandal. His family members are also in the list of accused. The amount of money pocketed goes up by thousands of crores.

It is in this context we are asked to look in to the movement of Anna Hazare against corruption and people’s response to it.

Who is Anna Hazare any way?

Kisan Baburao Hazare commonly known as Anna Hazare was born on June 15th 1937 in a small village called Bhingar near the city of Hingangahat in Bombay Province of those days (presently Maharastra state) to a very poor family. He studied only up to 7th standard. He came to Mumbai and became a flower vendor in Dadar. Later he opened his own shop. In 1963 he joined the Indian Army as a driver at the age of 25. He was influenced by the writings of Swami Vivekananda through his book “Call to the youth for nation building”. Later he also read the works of Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave. When he survived his second accident, he took an oath that he shall dedicate his life to the service of humanity and that was at the age of 38. He was honourably discharged from service in the army when took voluntary retirement in 1978. While in the Army he had won several medals of honour (This was confirmed by the Army in an RIA petition).

Then he went to Ralegaon Siddhi, his native village to see people’s suffering in the drought prone rain shadow region of Ahamadnagar district in central Maharastra. With the participation of the local people he made the village an oasis. They planted about three lakh trees to prevent soil erosion. He made the land fertile with water shed development program and organic farming. He made the administration proclaim the region alcohol free. Tobacco, cigarette and beedi were also prohibited in the village. In 1980 he started a grain bank for the villagers to deposit and loan food grain. They used low water consuming and high yielding crops and avoided high water consuming corps like sugar cane. He also helped several other villages to follow the pattern. This method of farming helped them to cultivate 2500 acres of land in place of 70 acres in 1975. He was also able to promote milk production. They produce about 2500 litters of milk per day now. Along with this a child nutrition program was also introduced. Literacy rate now is much above the national rate. Removal of un-touchability, collective marriage, Gram Sabha are some of the other initiatives.

The first ever anti-corruption movement was launched in 1991 under the banner of ‘Popular Movement to Fight Against Corruption’. (Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Aandolan . BVJA). It was against 40 corrupt forest officers. Next protest was against 4 NCP ministers of Maharastra in 2003. Other initiatives include Right to Information Movement in 2005, Regulation of Transfer and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Officials Duties Act (2006), Campaign against liquor from food grains (2007). The last one in the list is for a Jan Lokpal Bill (April 5, 2011).

He was criticized of his positive comments about Narendra Mod (April 2011). Later he clarified his statement. Some people alleged that his Hind Swaraj Trust spent Rs. 2.2 lakh for his birthday party against the laws of the Trust. He is also accused of being anti-dalit.

He has won several awards and honours including Padmabhusan and Padmasree

How do we look at this movement? To me the methodology may be a bit unacceptable, but we can not ignore the issue he raised. There are lot of people who have difficulty in accepting the methodology he adopting to press his case. But the question is if we do not approve what he is doing what is the other option to check corruption? Indian Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Sing the other day said, ‘corruption can not be done away with by just one method or one Lokpal Bill. The answer would, why don’t he try some more? Has he done any thing on that? He stated some time back that he is not in control when a coalition government is in power we people asked about he doing nothing or rather protecting Mr. Raja on 2G spectrum case.

Are we to let what Micah said about Israel happen to our country?

Micah said in 3:12 “Therefore because of you Zion shall be ploughed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest”.

Look at the countries like

What has happened to US and several European countries are to be studied in this context. A documentary by Charles Ferguson called “Inside Job” will tell that story.

Some of the questions we may have to ask under the circumstance are,

Is there any relation between globalization/ privatization and current escalation of corruption?

Our Prime Minister yesterday said, there is none. But look at the data, the number of scams and amount of money went up from 1990 when we opened our country up the world corporations!

How do we deal with this?

What are the measures that could be taken by the Church in this matter?

My question: We have house full attendance every Sunday in the Church, do we dare to use the pulpit to talk about what Micah said?

God be with us; God! save our country please.

Source: malankaraorthodox.tv

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Videos

Speech by Prof. Mary Mathew – MMS conference Parumala

Speech by Prof. Mary Mathew – Martha Mariam Samajam conference Parumala

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Videos

Speech by Dr. George Joseph at First Anniversary of Edaya Sandesam Program

Speech by Dr. George Joseph at First Anniversary of Edaya Sandesam Program, Karmel Dayara, Kandanad, Aug. 19, 2011.

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Church News Features News

Applications invited for Nagpur seminary admission


St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS), Nagpur invites applications for the new batch. The application form can be downloaded or can be obtained from the office.

Minimum secular education required is graduation in any subject. Female candidates may also apply.

The last date for the submission of application is September 30th 2011.

The interview and written test will be on November 8th & 9th, 2011 respectively.

Send in the duly filled application forms to:

The Principal,
St. Thomas Orthodox Seminary,
Brahmani P.O.,
Kalmeshwar, Nagpur,
Maharashtra – 441501

Office: # 08605869697
Principal: # 08888722165

Download application

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Features Gulf News

Pilgrimage 2011 in Muscat from August 31 to Sept. 1


Trust in the LORD and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:3,4)
MUSCAT : Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat will hold ‘Pilgrimage 2011’, the two-day Sunday School conference during the Eid holidays on August 31 (Wednesday) and September 1 (Thursday).

The theme of the conference will be based on Psalms 37: 3,4.

This conference for teenagers will be addressed by Fr Ebby Philip, Biju Pandalaplav from Kerala, Dr Biju Jacob (IA&AS) and John Philips Matthew.

Rev Fr Ebby is a well-known Malankara Orthodox orator and General Secretary-Akhila Malankara Prarthana Yogam. Biju will the layman speaker and the chief Editor, Orthodox Yuvajanam. Dr Biju Jacob, a Sunday School teacher is the new Accountant General of Government of Kerala. John Philips, is an English language Inspector from the Ministry of Education, Sultanate of Oman.

Present day topics among teenagers like ‘Hero Worship’, ‘Ego’, ‘Personality Development,’ ‘Creative Thinking’ and ‘Orthodox Faith and Traditions’ will be deliberated upon at the conference.

The students will also have Bible study classes.

Mary Varghese, Headmistress, says the Church has been hosting such conferences since 2007, the Silver Jubilee year of the Sunday School. The same has since been continued each year. This years theme will be based from Psalms 37 verses 3, 4. All students from Standard IV including ex-students can participate in the conference.

The conference timings are from 8 am to 5 pm on both the days.

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Features News Southwest America

Website for St. Paul’s Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando Launched


LONGWOOD, FLORIDA: The newly designed website for the St. Paul’s Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando was launched on Sunday, August 21, after Holy Qurbana.

Vicar, Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew, clicked the mouse in the presence of the whole congregation to declare the website launched.

Jagan Rajan designed the website, whereby the managing committee and many members of the parish contributed with ideas and suggestions to improve the website during its testing.

“This website is a long cherished dream coming true for the St. Paul’s Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando. The many attempts to get this done are herewith reaching the goal and all, who have toiled therefore may receive blessings and rewards from above in abundance”, said Fr. Jacob in his speech. He also thanked everyone, especially Jagan Rajan for the hard work and percevearance in getting the task successfully done.

Jagan Rajan explained various menus of the website to the congregation. He called for articles and writeups from members to enflush the website. He also requested for positive criticisms and suggestions to improve the quality of the website.

There are options for viewers to register themselves in the website and members of St. Paul’s Orthodox Church have special registration available. In future, payment of all dues to the Church are also planned through the website using credit or debit cards.

Important links pertaining to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Diocese of South West America, under which the St. Paul’s Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando falls, and Orthodox Seminaries are embedded in the website. Important news portals of the Church like IOH and Orthodox Radio are also available through the newly launched website.

There is a possibility for blogging as well in the website. Prayer requests, daily bible readings and lectionary, recent events and calendar etc. are other important features therein.

Website

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Columns Opinions

Recent Kolenchery Church Verdict


The judgment pronounced by the District Court Ernakulam on 16th August 2011 about the administration of the St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church, Kolenchery was the verdict on an Original Suit filed by the Patriarchal group in 2007 (OS 43/2007) for obtaining the following relief.

1. For obtaining a declaration that the Kolenchery church and its assets are liable to be administered only in accordance with the terms of an Udampady registered in 1913 and not in accordance with the 1934 constitution.

2. To settle a scheme for administering the church and its assets and its institutions.

3. For getting an order from the court to appoint a receiver who may prepare a voters list of all the parishioners and conduct fresh elections to the managing committee.

4. To issue an injunction prohibiting the handing over of keys of the church to Fr. Jacob Kurian, the vicar appointed by H. G. Dr. Mathews Mar Severios.

The court after considering the various issues passed a verdict on these crucial issues as follows.

1. Whether a declaration that the church is administered by the 1913 Udampady is allowable?

The patriarch’s party’s main contention was that 1934 constitution was not accepted by the Kolenchery church. The judgment says that the Supreme Court (SC) judgment 1995 upholds the 1934 constitution and there is no mention that each parish should accept this constitution by convening a general body of the parishioners. This means that each parish of the Church is bound by the SC judgment to accept the 1934 constitution. No special decision of the parishioners is necessary for this. The SC verdict is applicable to the Kolenchery church even if the church was not a party to those suits. So the verdict clearly says the Patriarch’s group even cannot contend that the 1934 constitution is not valid and not applicable to the Kolenchery church. So it cannot be declared that the church should be governed by the 1913 Udampady.

2. Whether a scheme of administration has to be settled?

The Patriarch’s party claimed that after 1972 elections were not held to the managing committee of the parish and the governing body of its institutions. The Orthodox Church argued that elections were held regularly according to the 1934 constitution, and such elections were recognized by the metropolitan. Evidences of such elections were produced before the court. The verdict says that the stand of the Patriarch’s group cannot be accepted as it is against the SC finding. “First of all they have to accept and recognize 1934 constitution and then only their prayer for conducting election to committees can be considered. There is no question at all to frame a scheme (for administration) when 1934 constitution is in existence and when it is held valid and applicable to the 1st defendant (Kolenchery church)”. Thus the court dismissed their prayer to settle a scheme of
administration. The judgment further says that “the parish members in the church has right to decide regarding the administration of the properties and the educational institutions under it. But as stated earlier, only when the plaintiffs (Patriarch’s group) or other members in the Patriarch faction accept and recognize 1934 constitution, their contention can be entertained”. So the point is answered against the Patriarch’s group.

3. The court also considered whether election to managing committee has to be conducted by a receiver. The finding of the question in No. 2 does not allow for such an action and thus it was not allowed.

4. The plaintiffs prayed for an injunction to restrain Fr. Jacob Kurian and his agents from receiving the keys of the church. No such injunction was allowed.

The court dismissed all the prayers of the plaintiffs (Patriarch’s group) and confirmed that Fr. Jacob Kurian is entitled to get the keys of the church – the keys were already in his possession as per the interim order in IA 3984/2010

Evaluation

This order is very important for the future litigation of the Church. It upholds the SC verdict and affirms that the 1934 constitution is binding on the parish churches. The basic contention of the Patriarch’s group that the SC judgment is not binding to the parishes is quashed. The verdict says that those who do not accept the 1934 constitution do not have any claim on the administration of the church and its properties. By asking to hand over the keys to Fr. Jacob Kurian the court has recognized the authority of the bishop (H. G. Dr. Mathews Mar Severios) who appointed him over the administration of the church and its properties.

A Brief History of the Present Litigation

The original suite (OS) which culminated in the present judgment was filed by the Patriarch’s party in 2007. During the pendency of the OS both parties (The Patriarch’s party as well as the Orthodox Church) filed IAs seeking interim relief. Both the IAs was heard together by the District Court and an order was given in 2 – 12 – 2010. According to this the court ordered that the church be opened. The Orthodox Church can celebrate Qurbana on two Sundays and the patriarch’s party may be given freedom to celebrate Qurbana on every third Sunday. The keys were to be given to Fr. Jacob Kurian who was recognized as the rightful vicar of the parish and the administration has to be carried out by the existing managing committee which was elected by the Orthodox Church according to the 1934 constitution. This arrangement was fixed till the disposal of the OS.

According to this order the Kolenchery church was opened once again in 2 – 12 – 2010 and we took possession of the church and its properties. The maintenance work of the church was initiated. The patriarch’s party had no other right except to celebrate liturgy every third Sunday. The patriarch’s party filed an appeal in the High Court challenging this interim order. But the High Court did not give them any additional relief but directed the district court to dispose off the OS within 2 months. Thus the District court took up the matter and issued the judgment on 16th August 2011 and H. G. Dr. Mathews Mar Severios Metropolitan celebrated Holy Qurbana at Kolenchery church on 17th August 2011.

The Patriarch’s party approached the same court for a stay order. On 18th August the same District court stayed the operation of the judgment for 15 days in order to get reasonable time to file appeal. The parties are directed to maintain status quo with regard to the services conducted by both parties. No judgment or any verdict was issued from any Honorable Court to restrain H. G. Dr. Mathews Mar Severios Metropolitan from exercising His Grace’s Episcopal authority and celebrating Holy Qurbana at Kolenchery church.

Fr. Dr. Johns Abraham Konat (Priest Trustee, Malankara Orthodox Church)
Aug. 20, 2011

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Features News Parish News

Chennai’s IT corridor gets new parish under St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church


CHENNAI: St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church in Chennai will be the new church of the Orthodox community in Tamil Nadu. It will be named as Injambakkam St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church since the area falls within Chennai Metropolitan limits.

Dr Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros, Metropolitan, Chennai Diocese, has issued the Kalpana # 119/2011 declaring the chapel as ‘independent parish’ in the name of ‘Injambakkam St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church,’ with effect from September 1, 2011. Injambakkam is on the East Coast Road (ECR) in Chennai. It houses many IT companies as well as on the parallel Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) and is famously known as the IT corridor of Chennai.

The Cathedral General Body took a decision to give its recommendation to the Diocesan Metropolitan to make the chapel as an independent parish at its meeting held on July 17, 2011.

Earlier, during the feast of Feast of Assumption of St Mary, Dr Mar Dioscoros declared the chapel as an independent parish.

The new St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church will be the 11th parish in Chennai under the Madras Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
Fr Zachariah Mathew was appointed the Vicar of the new Parish. The parish will mainly benefit around 100 Orthodox Syrian families residing between Adayar–Mahabalipuram/Kelambakkam belt areas and will also benefit the Orthodox Syrian students studying in various colleges located in these areas.

The parish, earlier known as ‘Injambakkam St Mary’s Orthodox Chapel’ was functioning as a unit of the St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Broadway. All the spiritual organisations of the church were actively functioning under this chapel.

Brief Events of Injambakkam St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church
1978: One-acre land donated by Shri P M Jacob and family
1988: A retreat centre was constructed and annual retreats conducted on October 2 of every year for the benefit of all parishes in Chennai
1998: A Congregation was formed and the Holy Qurbana was celebrated on all 5th Sundays.
2000: Holy Qurbana services shifted from 5th Sunday to the 1st Sunday of every month with the initiative of Rev Fr John Thomas, the then Vicar of the Broadway Cathedral. 2002: Holy Qurbana services celebrated on 1st and 3rd Sunday’s of every month.
2004: Holy Qurbana services celebrated on 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday’s of every month.
2009: Holy Qurbana was celebrated on all Sundays of the month.