Church News Features News

Kolenchery Church feud – HH The Catholicose on hunger strike

KOLENCHERY: The District authorities have banned gatherings of more than four people in an attempt to diffuse created tension around St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Kolenchery among the Malankara Orthodox and Jacobite factions.

Problems arose on Saturday, when Jacobites tried to enter the church. The Orthodox faction demanded the rival group to abide by the district court order.

The dispute over the St. Peters and St. Paul’s church, Kolenchery began years ago. The latest tension erupted after a local court handed control of the church to the Malankara group on August 16.

The supreme head of the Orthodox Church, HH Baselios Marthoma Paulose II launched hunger strike, demanding the execution of the recent court verdict, on Sept. 11 near the disputed church.

Police had vacated all from the church and put security in place, after declaring 144.

Meanwhile, the district administration invited both the factions for a discussion at the Government Guest House at 10 am on Monday to sort out the issues, was also failed.

Recent Court verdict


Catholicos started fasting at Kolenchery

Catholicos started fasting at Kolenchery

Columns Opinions

Biju John, a dialysis patient, needs help to lead normal life

PERISSERY, Chengannur : He is a young, hard worker and a true Orthodox Christian. But his disability is his being unable to live a normal life like any other individual since he is handicapped by birth. He is Biju K John from Perissery in Chengannur and a resident of Kattungal Kizhakkethil House.

Biju is born with short left limb and also suffers from chronic kidney disease (Nephropathy). Coming from an agricultural family, he is also threathened with other congenital malformation and has started on maintainance hemodialysis which needs to be done on a regular basis thrice a week throughout his life.

Dr Rajesh Joseph, MD, MD (Nephrology), consultant nephrologist at St Gregorios Medical Mission Hospital, Parumala in his letter (enclosed) notes that an alternative option for Biju will be renal transplantation for which expenses per month for dialysis will be around Rs 20,000. His renal transplantation will cost around Rs 3 lakhs and later medicines to sustain his life will cost at least Rs 7,000 per month.

Biju was the first in-house patient at the Parumala Hospital when they recently opened its nephrology department.

An active member of St Mary’s Orthodox Valiyapally, Perissery, Chengannur, Biju takes part in all church and diocese activities.

Rev Fr Wilson Sankarathil, Vicar, St Mary’s Orthodox Valiyapally, vouches for Biju and says that to lead a normal life he needs monetary help due to his poor financial condition (Letter attached). Added to this, he is on dialysis thrice a week in order to survive. The Valiyapally is trying to have a permanent fund collected in his account which he can use for his needs and treatment purposes.

Biju, 39, is married and Jobina is his spouse from Perissery.

Those willing to lend a helping hand to this ailing man may kindly contribute towards his dialysis and to get on with life.

His bank account details are:
Shri Biju K John
Puliyoor Service Co-operative Bank Ltd
A/c No: 3087
No: A-109
Perissery P O
Chengannur – 689 121
Ph: +91-479-2454995

Document – 1 Document – 2

Features News Northeast America

NE American Diocese SSA General Body Meeting on September 17

NEW YORK: The annual General Body meeting of the Sunday School Association of Northeast American Diocese will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at St. Mary’s Indian Orthodox Church of Rockland.

The meeting will begin at 10AM. Elections of the office bearers, annual accounts, plan for the upcoming Sunday School year are included in the agenda.

All the Vicars, principals, board members and teachers are expected to participate.

The Church is located at 66 East Maple Avenue, Suffern, NY 10901.

For more information, contact Fr. Dr. Raju Varghese.

Diocese News Features MGOCSM News

Bengaluru OCYM & MGOCSM conference on Sept 17

Bengaluru OCYM & MGOCSM conference on Sept 17
Theme: ‘Spiritual Discernment – the Christian Way of Life’

BENGALURU : The annual one-day conference of OCYM & MGOCSM (Bengaluru Diocese) will be held on September 17, Saturday, at the St Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral, Hosur Road. Dr Yuhanon Mar Demetrius, Assistant Metropolitan, Delhi Diocese will be the main speaker at the conference.

The conference will debate on the theme from Psalm 119:125… “I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.”

Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, the diocesan Metropolitan, will preside over the inaugural ceremony. Mrs Suja Issac, Co-founder & Executive Director, Soukya International Holistic Health Centre will deliver the address as guest of honour. Dr Yuhanon Mar Demetrius will deliver the keynote address at 10.15 am.

Later, there will also be interactive sessions on the role of youth in society by Fr Stephen Varghese, General Secretary, OCYM and a business session coordinated by Dr Mar Seraphim. The full-day programme will begin at 6.30 am and conclude at 4.30 pm. P C Philip, Corepiscopa, Vicar, St Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral will deliver the welcome address during the inaugural ceremony.

The Holy Eucharist will begin at 7.15 am and the chief celebrant will be Metropolitan Dr Yuhanon Mar Demetrius.

Others who will be present include Fr Saji Daniel (Vice President), Fr Santhosh Samuel and Fr James Kuttykandam.All efforts are being made to make this yearly meeting a mammoth success.

The conference is widely expected to be attended by delegates from Orthodox parishes of Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mysore, Tumkur and students from various colleges based in Bengaluru.

Participants planning to take part from other cities and requiring arrangements for accommodation can inform the same by email on or before September 11.

Online registration

Articles We Believe

Orthodox Church and Sleeba Perunnal

In September we are at the ‘Sleeba Perunnal’, the feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the instrument of salvation, on the 14th. This feast marks the discovery of the Holy Cross on which our Lord was crucified. In Greek and Latin this feast is called the ‘Exaltation of the Holy Cross of our Lord’. All Oriental Orthodox Christians, especially the Armenians and the Ethiopians observe this festival with utmost devotion, although the Ethiopians celebrate this feast on Meskel (the Holy Cross) day as per their Julian calendar tradition.

Queen Helene, Mother of Roman Emperor Constantine, was the one, who ventured a pilgrimage to Palestine to discover the Holy Cross in the year c.326-328, though she was nearly eighty years of age at that time. She was able to find the Holy Cross and the ‘Church of the Holy Sepulcher’ was built, where the Holy Cross of our Lord was found out. Tradition says that a dead person was made to touch the three crosses that were found in a pit down the outskirts of Jerusalem and at the touch of the real and holy Cross of our Lord the dead person came back to life. We get a notion of this legend in the song ‘Sleebaye vandippanaay Helene Rajnji…’ as well.

Holy Cross is the means of salvation that drives away all evil spirits because the Lord carried it upon His shoulders to Mount Calvary during His ultimate fight with evil. There beyond He ornamented it with His very own human body. Holy Cross is the symbol of peace and the flag of victory. It is in the Holy Cross that our glory confides. It is the fortress for all, who take their refuge in, including churches and monasteries. That is why we all ornament ourselves with a Holy Cross, mostly gold though!

Let us sing once again with optimistic and positive trust in the symbol of peace, the Holy Cross that ‘sleeba pallikal dayaraakal kkellaamaakatte kotta’!

Features News Northeast America

MGOCSM Philadelphia – Back To School Conference on Sept. 10

PHILADELPHIA: The annual back to school conference for MGOCSM of Philadelphia region will be held on September 10, 2011 from 9 AM to 3PM at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church.

Fr. V.M Shibu of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church vicar will be the the speaker for the conference

MGOCSM Philadelphia Area elections will also be held during this event.

The Church is located at 4136 Hulmeville Road Bensalem, PA.

For more information:

Aaron Zacharia:
Simi Mathew:

Features Gulf News

Sunday School conference in Muscat concluded

MUSCAT : The Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka (MGOME), Muscat successfully conducted its Annual Sunday School conference ‘Pilgrimage 2011’, during the Eid holidays on August 31 and September 1.

The theme of the conference was based on Psalms 37: 3,4 (Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed….)

Sunday School students in large number attended the conference along with teachers and parents despite the national holidays.

Main speaker, Fr Ebey Philip, a well-known orator from Kerala in his inaugural address spoke on the topic How to face life successfully. This was followed by a group discussion among the students who actively took part.

Fr Ebey drove home the point towards facing life successfully with examples. He shared this with the students and the various factors behind this. He gave directions and the ways to achieve this. He quoted from Psalm 11:10 (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…) and urged the students to lead a prayerful life and said that with ‘will power you all can change yourself.’

Earlier, the presidential address was delivered by Fr James Geevarghese, Vicar of Maha Edavaka and lighted the ceremonial lamp to signal the beginning of the conference.

Session 2 saw Biju V Panthaplav’s talk on Orthodox Faith and Traditions which had the children in splits.

Dr Biju Jacob (IA&AS) led the third and an interesting session on the topic Nayantara, Prabhu Deva and You. The talk was delivered by a power point presentation which was well received by the children. The topic was much in the news recently when leading actress Nayantara embraced Hindu religion from her deep Christian roots.

The highlight of the second day saw an interesting talk from John Philip Mathew, English language instructor, Ministry of Education on the topic Personality Development and Counselling.

The song session was led by Mrs Vinu Tharakan, Aji Paulose, Biju John and entertainment rounds by Anu Varghese, Reji Philip and George M George.

There was also a quiz show from the Holy Bible by Dr Biju Jacob followed by an informative film show on St Gregorios of Parumala. This followed by a short discussion with parents, teachers and Sunday School students. From the feedback, the Sunday School students thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and came out enriched from the conference.

On the concluding day, Abraham Mathew, Hon Trustee, and Reji Philip, committee member spoke during the valedictory. Mrs Mini Mathew, convenor, and Sunday School teacher proposed a vote of thanks. Rev Fr Fr James and Fr Varghese George also presided.

Kudos to MGOME managing committee, Mrs Mary Varghese, Sunday School Headmistress, Dr T K Philip, Inspector and the teachers towards the successful conduct of the two-day conference.

Diocese News Features News

Hyderabad convention from Sept 9 to 11 at St Gregorios Cathedral

Hyderabad convention from Sept 9 to 11 at St Gregorios Cathedral
Convention theme based on St John 1:14

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad Central Orthodox Convention will be held on September 9, 2011, Friday at 6.30 pm. Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan of Bengaluru Diocese, will inaugurate the convention.

The three-day convention, titled ‘Logos 2011’, will be held at the St Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral Gandhinagar, Hyderabad.

The convention theme will be based from the Gospel of St John 1: 14 –The word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us.

Fr Zacharia Ninan, from St Basil Dayara, Vakathanam, Kottayam, will be the key note speaker for the convention on all the three days. The convention will be followed after the evening prayer at 6.30pm.

The convention will also see the coming together of four Orthodox parishes from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad who are jointly hosting the meet.

On September 11, Sunday, Dr Mar Seraphim will lead the Holy Eucharist at the Cathedral at 9 am followed by devotional address.

Vicars from the four churches who are actively involved are John Thachemperil, Cor Episcopa (Vice President and Vicar), St George Orthodox Church, Jeedimetla, Fr Koshy Thomas, Vicar, St Andrews Orthodox Valiapally, Secunderabad, Fr Mathew Samuel, Vicar, St Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral, Hyderabad and Fr Moncy P Chacko, Vicar, St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Ramachandrapuram.

The Hyderabad Convention will be the first major program which Dr Mar Seraphim will be attending after his recent visit to United States.