Church News Features News

Inauguration of Christian Parenting Project in Chengannur

CHENGANNUR: The Ministry of Human Empowerment of Malankara Orthodox Church will be launching the Christian Parenting Project, “Pathiravaruthu Ee Kathirukal” (Let not these grains turn in to chaff) on 2nd October 2011 at St. Ignatius Orthodox Cathedral, Chengannoor at 10 a.m.

His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, will inaugurate the program. Thomas Mar Athanasius, Metropolitan of Chengannoor Diocese will preside over the meeting on the occasion.

Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius, the President of MOHE will present the project before the august audience. Shri. Jiji Thomson IAS will deliver the Keynote address.



Church News Features News

HH the Catholicos: Love the Church above political, regional interest

‘Prayers empowered and gave us robust hope. Do continue to pray’
‘Fast undertaken as last resort against denial of justice to MOSC’

KOLENCHERY, Kerala : The Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicos of the East Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulos II has emphasised that the main aim of the faithful should be the progress of the Church, terming it as the Lord’s Temple, Bride and Body and continue to pray for a permanent settlement of the Kolenchery issue.

Presently recouping at the MOSC Medical College in Kolenchery, after a strenous eight-day fast strike (Sept 11-18, 2011), the Catholicos issued the first Kalpana, in Malayalam and English, after the issue began.

Moran Mar Baselios Paulos II has called upon his beloved people to continue to pray towards maintaining perfect peace and a permanent settlement on the issue. He quotes from Nehemiah 2:20:- The God of Heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.

Explaining the circumstances under which the fast was undertaken, HH notes that we were compelled to take this extreme step as a last resort when we realised that there was no other way to protest against the denial of justice to the Malankara Orthodox Church and to get justice executed.

The Catholicos notes with deep concern that those who were responsible and expected to help us, did not. Instead, they hurt us. “Inspite of this, the Almighty strengthened our hearts. God is with us. Each one of you are our strength and fortitude. The sacrificed you endured, the tears you shed, prayers you said before God empowered and gave us robust hope.”

The Bull dated September 20, 2011 No 365/2011 expresses sincere gratitude and support extended during the time of crisis.

It notes the support extended to HG Dr Mathews Mar Severios which went beyond the expections of all. The Catholicos thanks all Metropolitans, Priest Trustee Rev Fr Dr Johns Abraham Konatt, Lay Trustee Shri M G George Muthoot, Association Secretary Dr George Joseph, Members of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christian Association, Members of the Managing Committee, beloved priests, sisters, office bearers and members of various spiritual organisations mainly the Youth Movement members and above all the beloved people of the Church (the crown and glory) who had galvanised their strength through prayers, tears and conditional support.

The Kalpana also expresses its gratitude to the various religious leaders, leaders of sister churches, office bearers of the Kerala Christian Council and leaders from various strata of the society and all those who responded to the issue.

Explaining the reasons for undertaking the fast, the Catholicos explains that the stalemate at St Peter’s & St Paul’s Orthodox Valiayapally was one of the most serious issues faced by the Church during recent times. HH says that the local district administration had denied the legitimate right of worship flouting the recent court order.

It explains that in order to persuade the Kerala government to execute the court order and with firm conviction, determination and reliance on God, HH along with HG Dr Mathews Mar Severious began an indefinite fast from September 11.

The court had earlier in August 2011 categorically pronounced that the Kolenchery Church, its worship centres and the properties that belong to the Orthodox Church are to be administered in accordance with the 1934 Constitution.


Features MGOCSM News

Oriental Orthodox Youth Meeting in St. George Staten Island

New York: The third annual Oriental Orthodox Spiritual Day was observed by the MGOCSM of Staten Island / Central Jersey area on September 24, 2011 at St George Malankara Orthodox Church, Staten Island NY.

Theme of the year was “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9 .

The conference was inaugurated by Fr.Alex.K . Joy, the vicar. Dn. Sujit Thomas was the inspirational speaker of the conference. Dn. Vijay Thomas was present on the occasion.

A committee under the leadership of Jeena Thomas (Council Member, MGOCSM) worked for the success of the conference.

” Through networking, fellowship, and workshops, we were able explore more on our fellow brothers and sisters. Oriental Orthodox Youth Conference was really a memorable experience. ” said one of the participant

Many Youth members from all the Oriental Orthodox churches around this area attended the conference.

Diocese News Features News

Brahmavar community overjoyed as Dr Mar Irenios celebrates Holy Qurbana in Konkani

BRAHMAVAR : The Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community, the only non-Malayali congregation within the church, were praising the Lord in full glory.

The occasion was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Konkani language at the St Thomas Orthodox Syrian Church Sastan by HG Dr Yakoob Mar Irenios, Metropolitan of Kochi. HG Yacob Mar Elias, Metropolitan of Brahmavar, also graced the occasion.

Placed in the coastal belt of Karnataka, Brahmavarians remember HG Alvares Mar Julius, the founder bishop, who continues to inspire and challenge both Orthodox and non-Orthodox believers alike around the world. He had laid the vision for the establishment of educational institutions in the area.

His efforts is seen to be believed. Today it has grown to 6 churches, 5 congregations and 7 odd educational institutions spreading far and wide.

This has enabled the Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community to hold its head high over the strong presence of the Roman Catholic community in the coastal belt of Karnataka. They also own a small relic entombed in the St Thomas Orthodox Church, the main church of the community.

By holding the Holy Eucharist in Konkani, the Malankara Orthodox has given due respect to the efforts of HG Alvares Mar Julius towards establishing the community and installing faith upon the Malankara Orthodox church for its nourishment.

Video 1 2

Written and edited by Rev Fr Noel Lewis and Youtube inputs by Rev Fr Abraham Kuriakose

Columns Features Opinions

Fr Jacob John -Master, in service of God

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Fr Jacob John was often confused about what to tell his students when they addressed him as ‘Master.’ His wards too were in a bit of a dilemma about what to call their teacher – ‘Master’ or ‘Father.’ This dilemma has persisted for the past 15 or more years, ever since Fr Jacob started teaching Karate to the public.

Fr Jacob, an Orthodox priest with the St Mary’s Church, Edamon, near Punalur, has been teaching various martial arts – Karate, Kungfu and Kick Boxing – at many centres in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. When City Express caught up with him at his dojo opposite the AKG Centre, the priest was busy teaching ‘horse stance’ to his students.

Amazed at the sight of a priest teaching Karate, we could not hold back from asking whether teaching martial arts suited a clergy man. He evaded the question as deftly as he would evade a face punch. Later, sensing the connotations of the question, he returned to it with a graceful smile, one that suits a priest more than the martial artist. “If you can cultivate tranquility and spiritual guidance through martial arts, why hesitate?” he says, bringing a more serious look on his face.

Jacob John was inducted to a martial arts school run by his cousin as a young boy. “Only after getting trained in the martial arts did I join the seminary,” he remembers. Earning a black belt under Renshi R Gopakumar, he created his own martial arts school ‘Dragon Karate and Kobudo Academy.’

The man doesn’t shy away from conducting Karate classes dressed in cassocks, his clerical attire. And he has no remorse for taking Karate so close to his heart, although at times he receives criticism from some sections of his community who say he was embarrassing them by teaching martial arts.
Fr Jacob has a different take on the issue.

“My tryst with spirituality began after practising Karate,” he says. According to him, this indifference to martial arises out of ignorance.

“Whether as a priest or a master, my duty is the same, to guide people. A true spiritual mentor should make use of all the available options he has. I don’t hesitate to introduce my students to new vistas of learning by providing them basic knowledge of Reiki, Pranic Healing and Yoga,” he says.

For this purpose, he started the Chaithanya Healing and Training Centre at Kottarakkara.

He had also conducted a month-long yoga camp for the public in Punalur during the month of Karkidakom. The revered season is suitable for treatment and physical maintenance, he says. Apart from that, all official functions of his academy begin by lighting the lamp, which is a thoroughly Indian tradition. Fr Jacob is adept in blending the local culture with his Christian beliefs in the same manner he incorporated Kalaripayattu to his syllabus.

Source: The New Indian Express dtd Saturday 27 Aug. 2011

Send a Thanks giving Day gift to IOH

Diocese News Features News

St. Thomas College organizes Symposium

BHILAI: St. Thomas College, Bhilai had organized a symposium on “Chemistry – Our Life, Our Future”, on the occasion of the International year of Chemistry, 2011.

Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius, Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese and the Manager Bishop of St. Thomas College inaugurated the function and presided over the program. The Metropolitan elaborated about the paradigm shift in Chemistry and stated that life starts with Chemistry.

Dr. B.C. Mal, Honorable Vice-Chancellor, CSVTU, Bhilai was the Chief Guest on the occasion . In his enlightening speech Hon. V.C. offered a broad perspective on the philosophy of Chemistry.

Principal In-charge Dr. M.G. Roymon, in his speech, stressed on the need to take up Chemistry as an important subject as it improves quality of our life. College Administrator Very Rev. Geevarghese Ramban and Academic Coordinator and HOD of Botany Mrs. Vinita Thomas, were also present on the occasion.

In the symposium Dr. T.S. Pal, IIT Kharagpur, speaking on the topic, “Metals in Spectroscopy and Catalysis” highlighted on the different aspects of nanoparticles and nano-technology. Prof. Anjali Pal, IIT Kharagpur, elucidated her views on the topic, “Arsenic – an Environmental Menace” and spoke about the selection, qualification and removal of arsenic from water. Prof. D.N. Sharma, Kalyan College, Bhilai, expressed his views on the topic, “Chemistry on Well Being”. Dr. S.K. Sar, BIT Durg and Dr. Yasmeen Pervez, CSIT Durg, also were present on the occasion and impressed the gathering with their informative speeches.

The program was conducted by Ms. Chanda Verma . The proceedings of the symposium and the views of the speakers were highlighted by Dr. Ashish Kumar Bhui.

Dr. James Mathew, Convener and Head of Chemistry Department welcomed the gathering. Ku. Anjum proposed Vote of thanks.

News sent in: Jerry John Koshy

Diocese News Features News

Metropolitans unveil trophy for Bengaluru Diocese-level sports contest

BENGALURU : The Annual Bengaluru Diocese-level Sports Day titled ‘Titulus’ began on September 24 with Bengaluru Metropolitan Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim and OCYM Vice President Fr Saji Daniel jointly inaugurating it.

It will be spread over two days starting with the league matches. Semis and finals have been scheduled for October 8, Sunday. The event is being hosted by Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Hebbal.

12 teams including the Mysore-based St Greogrios Church will participate in games like cricket and throw ball for women.

The 12 Bengaluru-based churches along with their team names are:
St Gregorios Cathedral, Hosur Road….Cathedral Champs
St Mary’s Church, Begur….Begur Dazzlers
St George Church, Indiranagar…Gregorian Warriers
St Mary’s Church, Jalahalli…SMOC Stallions
Mar Gregorios Church, Hebbal…Gregorian’z
St Baselios Church, Marathahalli…Basil Blasters
St Thomas Church, Bangalore East…Warriors of East
St Gregorios Church, Mathikere…Achievers
St Dionysius Church, Dasarahalli…Dionysian Dynamites
St Stephen’s Church, Vijayanagar…Stephen Samurais
St Greogrios Church, Mysore…St Gregorios XI and
Mar Yuhanon Mamdana Church, KR Puram….Almighties

Dr Yuhanon Mar Demetrius, Assistant Metropolitan, Delhi Diocese and Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim unveiled the glittering trophies during the recent annual one-day conference of OCYM & MGOCSM. Jersies for all the teams were also launched in the presence of the Metropolitans.

Trophies for ‘Titulus’ are being sponsored by the Whitefield-based Soukya Holistic Centre.

The 12 teams will be grouped into four and there will be three teams in each group.

Group champions from each group will play in the semi-finals.

The website for Titulus has been developed by Anish Varghese.
Details of the contest are available on the website

Columns Opinions

Aurangabad Church should be governend as per 1934 Constitution of MOSC: Mahaloadalat

The Mahalokadalat held at Charity Commissioner office, Aurangabad, on Sunday, September 18 , 2011, declared that St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Aurangabad should be governend as per 1934 Constitution of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

This is a great victory for our Church, especially during the time of Our Bava Thirumeni’s fasting at Kolencherry for implementing our 1934 Constitution in Kolencherry Church, and is the fruit of prayer and fasting done by our beloved Bava Thirumeni.


St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Aurangabad was established in 2005 and in the year 2005 itself, the Church have been registered as a trust in the Assistant Charitable Commissioner Office, Aurangabad, under the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 bearing registration No. E 1079 dated 17-12-2005.
It should be noted that most of the parishes outside Kerala Dioceses are registered as Trusts according to the local situations. Only by doing this, the Parishes are accepted and recognized by the respective state or Government. As the law of the land, this type of registration was allowed by the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Church.

Since all the parishes are bound by the rules and regulations laid in the Constitution of 1934, the same constitution should be reproduced and submitted before the Honorable Charity Commissioner. It is allowed to prepare and formulate according local situations but cannot change any rules and regulations laid in the Constitution of 1934. That means even though the Parish is registered as a public Trust, the Parish should governed and ruled by the articles and traditions of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

Unfortunately, the Scheme submitted by St.Marys Orthodox Syrian Church, Aurangabad before the Honorable Charity Commissioner in the year 2005 was with many contradictions with the Constitution of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Some of the articles in the trust deed No.E 1079 are entirely against the rules and regulations laid in the constitution of 1934. According to the registered deed, the power of general management of the Parish was vested in Parish Managing Committee and not with the General Body. The Management committee have the right to expel any of the parish member, without the permission of General body, Diocesan Metropolitan and even the Malankara Metropolitan. The Trust law empowered them to sell or lease any of the property of the Church either by the Auction or by private contract. This trust deed made many administrative and operational constrains in almost all the parishes outside Kerala.

With the view to overcome this administrative crisis and operational constrains the General Body meeting of the Parish on 19th April, 2009, unanimously passed the resolution amending the clauses of the existing rules and regulations of the Trust deed E. 1079. The said General Body proposed amendment, with signature of Diocesan Metropolitan and copy of the resolution were submitted to the Charity Commissioner office. But some of the Parishioners were against this amendment and they gave appeal against the decision of the General Body and of Diocesan Metropolitan, before the Charity Commissioner. Thus the litigations started.

Court Verdit

By the grace of God, and I believe, this verdict mainly because prayer and fasting of Our Bava, His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Paulose II. We got this verdict, completely in favour of our Church.

Main points of the verdict are fallowing:-

1.St.Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Aurangabad should be governed as per 1934 Constitution of Malankara Orthodox Church, which was approved by Honorable Supreme Court of India.

2. The problematic clauses of Trust Deed become invalid and the Charity Commission will produce a new Scheme as per the 1934 Constitution and the back bone of this Scheme will be the 1934 constitution.

Fr.Thomas Philipose is the Asst. Vicar of Aurangabad St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church

Features Gulf News

Well-known plastic surgeon Dr Chona Thomas honoured

Dr Chona Thomas receiving the memento from P T Thomas, Member of Parliament

MUSCAT: Dr Chona Thomas (MS, FRCS, FACS), a well-known plastic surgeon, was honoured by Jaihind Television on September 16, Friday.

Dr C Thomas (ID # T021) is a long time member of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Muscat since 1974.

Dr Thomas is a senior consultant and Head of Plastic Surgery Service in Oman since its inception. The Plastic Surgery Service in Oman started in 1981, at Khoula Hospital, and now it is the largest plastic surgery department in the entire Middle East with 80 beds and 20 doctors.

This department is attached to the College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman for teaching the medical students and the postgraduate doctors attached to the Oman Medical Speciality Board. It is the only recognised department in this part of the world as a Centre for Higher Surgical Training in Plastic Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, UK after official inspection in 1998 which is a unique achievement.

In 1991, Dr Thomas received the Civil Service Award (Order of Oman) from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the ruler of Sultanate of Oman.

Along with Dr C Thomas, well-known business tycoon and jeweler M M Ramachandran (Atlas Ramachandran), was also honoured. The main highlight of the launch event was the conferring of the Abhinaya Samrat Award by Jaihind TV Oman to Jagathy Sreekumar, leading Malayalam actor.

Top dignitaries who made it to the function included Ramesh Chennithala, President, Jaihind TV, India and KPCC president; M M Hassan, Managing Director, Jaihind TV, and P T Thomas, Member of Parliament, India.

Key members of Jaihind TV – J S Indukumar, Executive Editor and B Balachandran, General Manager, programmes – were also part of the launch in Oman. Indian Ambassador, Anil Wadhwa, was present as one of the guests of honour.

Columns Opinions

Juvenile Depression

These days we can see the level of competition is too high that it becomes very hard for the children to handle it in the right way. Do not forget their studies and extra curriculum that needs to go the parallel way. Parents too are demanding when it comes to child’s escalated success. We often see parents comparing their children with other’s children, which itself it the root cause of depression. Reality shows, publicity, fame and other kind of competitions coming in our sphere children are soft target for depression. Children don’t play well nor do they get sleep well. They are over loaded with all kind of stuff. The childhood phase in them is been wiped out at a very early stage in life. Unlike adults, children don’t exhibit sadness or express like adults do, so it becomes difficult to recognize whether a child is depressed or not. They hold back their feelings and that in turn leads to stress and depression.

Here are some symptoms that could help you identify juvenile depression.

· Being very irritable or angry or start to respond negatively on anything and every thing.
· Becoming unenergetic and not responding to things where it could be fun for them.
· Feeling of not wanted or detected. (This happens usually when compared.)
· Not being able to concentrate and as a result fairing miserably at studies.
· Growth considered improper ie. Gaining and losing weight at a fast pace.
· Obesity in children.
· Crying without reason or anything and everything making them cry.
· Frequent illness.
· Feeling of “I can’t” in life.
· Mood swings. (Suicidal thoughts: take them to a qualified psychotherapist right away)

Tips to overcome juvenile depression.

· Talk to your child and make him/her understand that everyone faces depression.
· Allow the child to express.(If he/she wants to cry; let him/her cry but be with them to support their feelings with encouraging words and action).
· Make the child face the truth. We often try to cover their painful/hurtful feelings. (esp. getting the child a prize from the shop and gifting when failing to get a prize in the competition).
· Develop confidence of the child in you. This helps them to open-up everything to you.
· Do not over empathize with the child, rather empathize to lead the child back to recovery.
· Make the child understand various other options to excel and be better.
· Schedule time for the child to eat, play and sleep. Do not encourage the child to be obese.
· Develop a hobby of child’s interest.
· Seek opinions from them for decisions at home. This is helpful in implanting a feeling of being wanted and / or getting them mature to situations.

In spite of trying out all these if the child do not respond take him/her to a qualified psychotherapist who could assist your effort in leading the child out of situational depression.

Every child is unique and let him/her be what he/she is and excel in their field of interest. Bring the smile back on the child’s face.

Dr. Kurien S. Thomas
Clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Wellness Therapist
Effective Living Clinic
B-3/19, 0:1, Sector 3, Vashi,
Navi Mumbai 400703