Features Gulf News

17th OCYM Annual Conference of UAE Zone Concludes

ABU DHABI: More than three hundred delegates from the seven Orthodox Churches in UAE attended the 17th Annual Conference of OCYM – UAE zone hosted by St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi on 27th January 2012.

The theme of the conference was “Marthoman Heritage – Lessons of understanding”.

The Conference that began with flag hoisting immediately after Holy Qurbana was led by renowned scholar, orator and Church historian Fr. Dr. M. O. John. He has served as professor in Orthodox Theological Seminary and is currently a resource person in United Theological College, Bangaluru.

Fr. Dr. M O John elucidated the rich heritage of the Indian Christians who cherished the legacy of the Apostle St. Thomas and also threw light on the developments that led to the installation of Catholicate in India. He is also the chief editor of Malankara Sabha Deepam.

The conference was presided over by the Cathedral Vicar and UAE Zone President Fr. V C Jose and was attended by Fr. Saji Abraham of Al Ain and Fr. Abraham John of Sharjah along with other dignitaries.

A moment of silence was observed in respect of the departed soul of Late Lamented HG Job Mar Philoxenos who was the beacon of OCYM UAE Zonal Committee. Tributes were also paid to renowned scholar and writer Mr. Sukumar Azhikode who had left for his heavenly abode last week.

Yuvadarshanam, the first visual magazine of its kind with the activity reports of the OCYM units in UAE enriched with visual effects was released on the occasion.

Assistant Vicar of the Cathedral, Fr. Cherian Jacob welcomed the delegates and UAE Zonal Secretary Thomas T Mathew proposed the vote of thanks.

Jibu Kurien of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Sharjah was elected as the OCYM UAE Zone Secretary for the year 2012 and was handed over the OCYM flag.

Prizes were also distributed to the winners of the various competitions organized under the aegis of UAE Zonal Committee.

Fr. Johnson Punchakonam coordinated with the media team in Abu Dhabi to web stream the conference live through, which enabled more than 3300 viewers worldwide to be part of the sessions led by Fr. John. The webcast was also available on Malankara orthodox TV with the coordinated efforts from Joice Thottakad.


News sent in: Reji Mathew Meenadom

Features News Northeast America

Observes Ninevah Lent at Cherry Lane St. Gregorios Church

NEW YORK: Ninevah Lent will be observed at Cherry Lane St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, NY from Monday Jan 30 through Wednesday Feb 1.

There will be evening prayer followed by devotional speech everyday at 6.30 PM. Dn. Sujit Thomas and Tenny Thomas will be the main speakers on these days.

Monday, Jan. 30, 2012
6:30 PM Evening Prayer
7:00 PM Devotional Address
Speaker: Dn. Sujit Thomas (Diocesan FOCUS Director)

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012
6:30 PM Evening Prayer
7:00 PM Devotional Address
Speaker: Mr. Tenny Thomas (PhD Student, Columbia University)

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012
6:30 PM Evening Prayer
7:00 PM Holy Qurbana
8:30 PM Dinner

The Church is located at 175 Cherry Lane, Floral Park, NY

For more information:
Very Rev. Dr. P. S. Samuel, Vicar (516-355-0003)
Rev. Fr. Gregory Varghese, Asst. Vicar (914-413-9200)

News sent in: Mathew Mathen

Diocese News Features News

‘Role of Sunday School teachers in Christian parenting’ – Gujarat Zone meet

NARODA, Ahmedabad : The Sunday School Teacher’s one-day conference of Ahmedabad Diocese (Gujarat Zone) was conducted on January 22, Sunday, at St Thomas Aramana Chapel, Naroda.

Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, inaugurated the conference and led the main session based on the theme “Role of Sunday School Teachers in Christian Parenting”.

Fr Joji George, Diocesan Secretary, Fr Manu Varghese Jacob, Vice President, Sunday School, Fr Vineeth Koshy, NCCI Youth Secretary, Fr Varghese Thomas, Vicar, Mar Gregorios Orthodox Valiyapally, Baroda, Sunday School Director P M Abraham took part in the conference and replied to felicitations.

Sunday School Inspectors and about 60 teachers from various parishes from Gujarat Diocese participated in the conference.

The conference was lively with Q&A session. The executive committee meeting of Sunday Schools was also held under the Presidentship of Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios.

Earlier, the conference began with the Holy Eucharist led by the Metropolitan.

Diocese News Features News

Dr Mar Yulios concludes pastoral visit to Madhya Pradesh

AHMEDABAD : Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan Ahmedabad Diocese, has successfully concluded the second round of pastoral visit to Madhya Pradesh.

In a week-long visit to the central state last week, Dr Mar Yulios visited various Orthodox parishes and schools in Dewas, Indore, Pithampur and Nagada.

This was the second official visit of the Metropolitan after taking charge as Dicoesan Head in August 2010.

During his visit, Dr Mar Yulios, undertook a review of the activities in the parishes and schools for the forthcoming annual holidays in the region. The Metropolitan also addressed a well-attended ecumenical gathering at Indore.

Dr Mar Yulios has since returned to the Diocesan HQ at Naroda, Ahmedabad.

Features Gulf News

OCYM UAE Zone Annual Conference at St.George Cathedral – Abu Dhabi on 27

ABU DHABI: The 17th Annual Conference of OCYM UAE Zone will be held at Mar Philoxenos Nagar, St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi on 27th January 2012.

The theme of the conference is “Marthoman Heritage- Lessons of Understanding”.

More than 300 delegates from all Indian Orthodox Churches in UAE are expected to attend this Zonal Conference, including various Social and Church Dignitaries. The conference will commence with the flag hoisting, after the Holy Qurbana.

An eminent speaker and renowned scholar in Church History;Fr. Dr. M.O John will be the key note speaker at the conference. Fr. Dr.John, the former lecturer of Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam is a resource person in Serampore University. He is also the publisher and chief editor of Malankara Sabha Deepam.

Cathedral Vicar and the President of OCYM UAE Zone, Fr. Jose Chemmanam; Assistant Vicar Fr. Cherian K. Jacob; Cathedral Managing Committee and OCYM Managing Committee for the year 2011 and 2012 along with the conference sub-committees and other OCYM members are striving hard for the success of the conference.

The Programme will be webstreamed LIVE from the Venue on from 10.00 AM onwards.

News sent in: Reji Mathew Meenadom

Features News Northeast America Obituary

Sosamma Oommen, Mother of Fr. Reji Chacko, Damascus, Passes Away

THIRUVALLA: Sosamma Oommen (67), Kailathu House, Kavumbhagaom, Thiruvalla, M/o Fr. Reji Chacko, Vicar, St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Damascus, MD, passed away today. She had been suffering from illnesses for a prolonged time.

She is survived by husband Chacko Oommen. Sarasu John, Bahrain, Nirmala Maman, Kochumol Varghese and Mini Edison are her daughters. PV John Pallathu, Karackal; VM Maman, Vazhatharayil, Thirumoolapuram; Jose Varghese, Kavungaparambil, Niranam (Saudi Arabia); Edison Samuel – Thottathil Padinjarethil, Perissery (Saudi Arabia); and Bini Chacko, Pallathu, Onakoor, USA are the in laws.

Funeral services will be later.

Columns Opinions

The Road to Redemption – New Year’s Retreat 2012

The MGOSCM youth of the DC-MD-VA area had conducted ‘The Road to Redemption Retreat-2012’ at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Greater Washington (Silver Spring, MD) on Friday, December 30, 2011 from 12:00PM – 4:30PM. This retreat was a truly enlightening experience that instilled a newly found sense of faith in our orthodox youth.

Rev. Dn. Philip Mathew, the main speaker, began by speaking of how the orthodox faith views on departed souls. While the body and the soul are often used interchangeably; they are two separate entities, two separate beings that co-exist in the same space. What makes death so traumatic and so dauntingly final is that the body and the soul are separated, torn apart from each other forever. This is the physical separation, the physical death that the body and soul endure. There is, however, a more traumatic death that can be experienced: spiritual death, the soul being torn away from its Creator, God. As the soul sins, it is torn further and further from God. God offers physical death to humans as an act of mercy; it is his way of ensuring that the soul will not endure the trauma of being torn away from its Creator.

In addition to the teaching on death, Dn. Philip also discussed what happens to the soul, after death. The media portrays vivid pictures of the afterlife, including a fiery hell and an angelic heaven. According to the Orthodox faith, the souls of the dead in Sheol, an area where the souls wait for Jesus to return. Sheol contains two distinct areas: Paradise, which is the Garden of Eden, a land which offers a preview of what heaven will be like and Sheol, which is a dark, ominous area that reveals how torturous hell will be. Once the soul is placed in either Paradise or Sheol, nothing more can be done, the soul cannot redeem itself. However, God is the ultimate creator and if the church prays for a particular soul, God does have the power to move the soul from Sheol to Paradise. The journey of the soul from the world to Sheol is long and arduous. Each soul is judged for every sin and scrutinized for every deed; nothing goes unseen and ultimately, Christ is our judge. According to the early church fathers, this process takes 40 days which is why the church offers special prayers to the faithful departed 40 days after the death. God has also equipped each and every soul with a guardian angel. Angels were created as pure spirit; they lack the image and likeness of God, yet continue to serve God wholly for eternity. Not only does each soul have a guardian angel, every church, every altar and every family is given a guardian angel for protection, guidance and spiritual support.

Christ prophesized that the end of times will come like “a thief in the night”. The world will end when Christ returns, and it will be the final chapter of human history. Essentially, as the world began with God, it will also end with God. Contrary to popular belief, apocalypse is not the complete and utter destruction of the world; it is the revelation of something that was once hidden. It is also thought, that the book of Revelations, chronicles the fate of the human race, the complete demise and unfathomable horrors. This, however, was not the true purpose of Revelations; the book was written with careful caution. St. John wrote in unique symbols and codes that only the faithful would understand. His message was not to give up faith, despite what Christianity endures. Even if the world is trampled by a fiery beast or destroyed by a treacherous storm, we as Orthodox Christians must have faith that will remain ironclad, impermeable to the destruction that will ensue.

As our faith was revitalized and given new meaning and purpose, the retreat was closed with honest and clear-sighted advice regarding New Year’s Resolutions by Rev. Fr. Aju Mathew. Instead of making outlandish resolutions that we should make smaller attainable goals. This New Year should not be a year of distress or turmoil rather a year of newly found faith and growth.

Church News Features News

Malankara Association 2012 – Members Preliminary List published

Malankara Association 2012
Malankara Syrian Christian Association
March 7 2012, at 1:00 pm
at Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta
Members Preliminary List published

A. Kalpanas of His Holiness

1. Kalpana No. 427 / 2011
2. Kalpana No. 475 / 2011

B. Guidelines and Instructions

1. Form A & B
2. Constitution Amendment
3. Intimation Form
4. Guidelines

C. Preliminary List

1. Adoor-Kadampanadu
2. Ahmedabad
3. Angamaly
4. Bangalore
5. Bombay
6. Brahmavar
7. Calcutta
8. Chengannur
9. Delhi
10. Direct Control
11. Idukki
12. Kandanad East
13. Kandanad West
14. Kochi
15. Kollam
16. Kottarakkara-Punalur
17. Kottayam
18. Kottayam Central
19. Kunnamkulam
20. Madras
21. Malabar
22. Mavelikara
23. Nilackal
24. Niranam
25. North East America
26. South West America
27. Sultan Bathery
28. Thrissur
29. Thiruvananthapuram
30. Thumpamon
31. UK-Europe Africa

Features News Northeast America

Metropolitan Visits St. Gregorios Church, Floral Park

NEW YORK: Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, the Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese visited St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Floral Park, NY (Cherry Lane Church) on Sunday, January, 15, 2012.

It was the Metropolitan’s first visit to Cherry Lane Church since assuming his position as the Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese.

The vicar, Cor-Episcopos Dr. P. S. Samuel and the assistant vicar, Fr. Gregory Varghese welcomed the Metropolitan Mar Nicholovos to the parish

Diocese News Features News

Consecration of the St.Thomas Orthodox Church Sarni conducted

SARNI : The consecration of the newly built St.Thomas Orthodox Church was held on 13th of January 2012, by Calcutta Diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius in a two days ceremony.

The first part of the consecration was held on January12, following the evening prayer. The second part was conducted on January 13 after the Morning Prayer. In the newly consecrated church the first Holy Qurbana was conducted and the Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius was the chief celebrant on the occasion.

A public meeting was organized where in Priests, Sisters and faithful from other denominations were present.

Fr. Geevarghese Ramban from Bhilai, Fr. P.J. Joseph from Thumpamon along with other Priests of the Diocese assisted the Metropolitanduring the varied ceremonies

The Sarni Project started in the year 1985 was an initiative of Late Lamented Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius Metropolitan, then vicar Fr. K M Varghese and all the members of St.Thomas Orthodox Church. Though 14 Acres of land was purchased and a Higher Secondary school developed there in, the believers longed for a place of worship. The church services were conducted in an Ecumenical church shared along with other denominations. The church members felt the need of having a worship centre inside the campus. The foundation stone for the new church was laid on the 26th of January 2011.


News sent in: Fr. P.S.Varghese