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Catholicate Day celebrations at Muscat Maha Edavaka


MUSCAT: Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios led members of the Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka (MGOME), to celebrate Catholicate Day (‘Sabha Dinam’) or Church Day on March 31, Friday.

Dr Mar Yulios hoisted the Catholicate Flag before the Holy Eucharist and later in his message to the congregation recalled the re-establishment of the Catholicate in Malankara and thanked God for His immense blessings showered on us through the Church.

The Metropolitan traced the beginnings of the Malankara Church and gave a brief about the origin, contribution of its founder, St Thomas to the church and the present day role of the Catholicate.

Dr Mar Yulios also personally contributed his mite to the Catholicate Day collections. Last week, the Metropolitan who was at the St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Cherry Lane, New York, had also presided at the Catholicate Day celebrations and offered his contributions.

Dr Mar Yulios said members of the Malankara Orthodox should take pride being part of this ‘independent, universal church’ which is growing strongly by the grace of God.

“Today, we are a strong community with 31 dioceses and Metropolitans and headed by the Catholicate. This is the church which will live forever,” he added.

Felicitations were also offered by Fr Joji George (New Vicar, (MGOME), Fr Binu John Thomas, Associate Vicar, P K Koshy (Malankara Sabha managing committee member, Mathew Ninan, Ahmedabad Diocesan Council Member, and Biju Parumala, Secretary.

A resolution was passed by Cherian P Thomas, Co-Trustee. Fr Varghese George was also present.

Catholicate pledge was read out by former Maha Edavaka vicar Fr James Geevarghese and the Catholica Mangala Gaanem ‘Marthoma Simhasanathil’ sung by Sunday School students.

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Diocese News Features News

Bengaluru Diocese Pay Rich Tributes To ‘Prophet Of Love’ LL Osthathios


BENGALURU: Bengaluru Diocese and the Mission Board Society of the Malankara Orthodox Church jointly observed the 40th day remembrance of LL Dr Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, senior Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church on March 25 at 4 pm.

The remembrance function was called ‘Smarananjali’ and held Nams Snehasadan at Voderahalli, Vidyaranyapura, on the outskirts of the city..

Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Bengaluru Diocese presided over largely attended function.
Other speakers include Fr Dr Bijesh Philip, Principal, St Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS), Nagpur, Justice Jacob Benjamin Koshy, Chairman of the Kerala Human Rights Commission, Cor-Episcopoi, Vicars and and others.

Large number of Orthodox believers from all the churches in Bengaluru attended and paid homage to the departed soul.

Pictures

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Columns Features Opinions

Dr Mar Irenios Calls On Orthodox Church To Take Ecumenical Roles Seriously

Mission work among Orthodox churches is much more than ‘proselytisation’ and should equip ourselves for dialogue with other churches and other religions’

‘National ecumenical bodies must initiate dialogue with Malankara and Jacobite factions to avoid conflicts and abide by court directives’

“Missionary is a rare commodity with our Church and we must get away from extraneous preoccupations”

‘Church must prepare and groom apt persons for representing at ecumenical forums. Over enthusiasm for ‘church planting’ is doing more harm than good.

HG Dr Yakoob Mar Irenios, Metropolitan of Kochi Diocese and the present Chairperson of the Faith Unity Mission Commission of the NCCI, demits office by April end. It is for the first time that a Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Metropolitan gets to become the Chairperson of the Faith, Unity and Mission Commission, which is of great importance.

As Chairperson since 2009 and member of Executive Committee, Dr Mar Irenios, outlines the work he did and explains how the Orthodox Church can play an effective role in future with better planning strategies.

Mar Ireanios took charge as Metropolitan of Kochi diocese on April 1, 2009. Earlier, His Grace was the Metropolitan of Madras diocese from 1997. Earlier, in 1993 Mar Ireanios was elevated to the rank of Episcopos and became the Assistant Metropolitan of Malabar diocese.

Excerpts from an email interview. Exclusive to IOH.

Q: After you took over as chairman of faith unity mission commission, what were your plans and programmes? How much were you able to achieve during your tenure.

A: The NCCI, by the grace of God, is slowly recovering from a very difficult financial situation, which was caused by lack of proper financial management for a few years. Now things are back on the rails, thanks to the dedication and prudential financial management of the treasurer.

I shall try to answer your questions rather generally; since it is group work at all levels of NCCI activities. As you know the Orthodox Church is a small part in this institution, where the large majority is Protestant.

Unity, Mission and Evangelism is a wing of the NCCI among others. Every such unit has an Executive Secretary, who is on the staff of NCCI. With the concurrence and direction of the Chairperson, organises programmes. He or she is a kind of CEO, which means the Chairperson has precious little to perform! But the Chair gets involved in several ways. We had an exploratory session immediately after the new Chairpersons took over, and prepared a chart for the several programmes to be implemented during our tenure. For instance the Centenary of the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference in 2010 was an occasion for arranging several á “revisit” programmes at different centres.

The main focus of course, was on the aspect of unity at different levels. These were conducted in the North East, Central India and the south. In fact The Orthodox Church hosted a dialogue programme for Churches in the South at Kochi. Such occasions the different churches and confessions a lot to understand each other better. The Protestant members were very curious to learn about the Orthodox Church and its understanding on unity and mission. Of course, there are some differences in the way these concepts are understood and explained by the Orthodox Church and the Protestant block.

It was the consensus that the western missionary models were outdated and not of much use in modern India. The Orthodox members were trying to convince the rest that mission means much more than ‘proselytisation’.

I myself was a resource person at the consultation on ‘Tradition and Modernity’ at Chiang Mai, Thailand organised by the WCC, CCA and the NCCI. I presented a paper on this which was widely appreciated and acclaimed. They were told that ‘Tradition” has a very dynamic meaning than what they had actually thought about!

Q: As member of the executive committee, what was the role you performed.

A: As a member of the Executive Committee, we attended the meetings which mainly deal with administrative matters. Here programmes are reviewed and discussed in detail. I could contribute my mite and make the Orthodox presence felt in such assemblies.

Q: The recent consultation meeting prepared a report of a national study conference on grass roots ecumenism. What was the report like..

A: The recent Consultation on Grass root ecumenism held at Madurai in February was a useful one, though I could be present there only on the concluding day to deliver the valedictory address. I was trying to convince them that the Church is one entity and ‘Grass root’ has no existences separate from the main body of the church. Protestants are always ready to ‘share the Lord’s Table’ with any one at the local level, which we just cannot. It is good to cooperate at the local level, but full communion is something that has to take place no short cut in an undisciplined manner.

Q: How relevant is ecumenism among different faiths today. Do you feel they are moving in the right direction?

A: India presents a multi-religious situation. Now, almost all religions are ‘awake’, sometimes in an aggressive manner, and the mission endeavours have to be conscious of the ground realities. The western model has done its course, and is not of much use today. ‘Witnessing” has to be redefined especially in a country like India. Over enthusiasm for ‘church planting’ is doing more harm than good.

Q: Does the Malankara church have any policy on ecumenism? If yes, what have we achieved so far because what we see is all of them talking about it…

A: Malankara Church is associated with the ecumenical movement from its very inception. At the level of the WCC, the Orthodox Churches are trying how to make their voice and concerns heard. At different ecumenical levels and bodies, a new awareness about Church history, tradition and the like is being planted by the Orthodox Churches. The Orthodox Church has a very clear view on ecumenism.

Q: Do you feel ecumenism can play a role in bringing together the two warring groups (Malankara & Jacobites) together. What steps need to be taken in this regard.

A: The usage “warring groups” is not a healthy one, since it is a group creating disorder in the Malankara Church; and not two groups quarrelling!

However, this query is very relevant indeed. In the NCCI and the CCA, the Jacobite group has obtained membership, because the Malankara Orthodox Church did not oppose it. But this group is not a member of the WCC. There they are part of the Antiochene Syrian Church.

The NCCI General Secretary had issued an appeal when the Kolencherry issue was at its peak. Since the contents were not based on facts, I wrote to him about this; and he apologised to me for his statements.

But, as we know, the NCCI is not a Super Church with power of arbitration, unless both sections ask for it. So it can do precious little about it as things stand. May be this national ecumenical body can take the initiative to talk to both parties and impress upon them the need for avoiding conflicts and abiding by court directives and the rule of law.

It is also a fact that the vast majority of members of this National Ecumenical Body are the Protestant Churches, and the Orthodox Church forms only a tiny minority.

The Orthodox Church may try to make available its members to serve on the staff of this body in different capacities. For instance Fr Veneeth Koshy did a good job as the Youth Executive Secretary; as did Fr Abraham Oommen earlier. Fr Philp Kuruvila is also presently serving on an arm of NCCI.

I feel the Orthodox Church should take its ecumenical moves and role a bit more seriously, in terms of participation; and grooming a few of its members for taking up responsibilities in such bodies at the correct time. In this aspect we are way behind other churches!

Q: How can the Orthodox Church take ecumenical moves seriously or how can this be rectified to have our voice heard at major forums

A: The Church has to select/call/prepare and groom suitable persons for representing it at various ecumenical fora. Changing delegates every time will not only bring down our credibility, but will not help us to gain anything in the long run. We have the spectacle of sister churches planning for and grooming their representatives sufficiently early, that they have no dearth of candidates at any given time! This happens at positions of leadership in ecumenical bodies. This kind of homework rarely happens with us.

Q: What do you mean exactly by “witnessing” in a country like ours.. Can our church adopt to this?

A: The religious pluralistic situation in this country offers a challenge and an opportunity for this ancient and indigenous Church in its given task of witnessing Christ. The Orthodox need to remain faithful to their faith and indianness that there will be precious little of ‘imported-ness’ with it. Simultaneously we need to reach out to the villages and the poor; equip itself for dialogue with other churches and other religions as well on an intellectual level. We have dearth of church publications which are helpful in this. As matters stand today, our status leaves little to be proud of.

Actually we have very few mission endeavours and “missionary” is a rare commodity in this ancient church. Programmes like adoption of villages, mission outreach programmes among tribal’s and the like are still almost unknown in our psyche. Such projects are proceeding in full swing in the case of others. Sadly enough, we have other extraneous preoccupations which keep us too busy for such endeavours.

Q: Lastly, do you feel our church must retain executive posts with bodies like NCCI, CCA to have its presence felt…

A: In the situations today, our Church has to make its presence felt, though we are a ‘minority’, by coming to positions of responsibility, at least for not getting sidelined. The ecumenical world is wont to have its pushes and pulls and bits of ‘politics’. The realities should never be missed!

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Church News News

Jaya Koshy Elected Committee Member of St Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Ahmedabad


AHMEDABAD: In keeping with the initiative of Malankara Orthodox towards empowerment of women, the Ahmedabad Diocese has elected Jaya Koshy Mattackal as one of the Church Managing Committee Members of St Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Ahmedabad.

Credit goes to Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil HG Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, for initiating the move towards women’s empowerment and their active participation.

Mrs Jaya Koshy Mattackal thus becomes the first woman managing committee member of St Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Ahmedabad.

She has been serving the Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam (MMVS) in various positions since over 25 years.

Jaya Koshy is presently serving as the General Secretary of Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Ahmedabad Diocese.

As Diocesan Coordinator, Jaya Koshy is an active member participating in all its activities. She hails from Mavelikara in Kerala.

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Editorial Features

Thoughts On Closing The Great Lent


In a week, we will have completed forty days of fasting, which we call Great Lent, as a penitential preparation for ten days of intense meditation and recollection on the passion and death of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and for His crowning victory over death by His resurrection. It is now fitting for us to go through some relevant and pertinent thoughts as we conclude this Great Lent.

The daily Lenten prayers of all Eastern Churches, particularly the Syrian Church, clearly bring to our attention the enormity of our sinfulness and the need of penance and reparation for our sins. Those canonical prayers often remind us the sinfulness of Nineveh and how she was saved from the wrath of God. One of the areas this writer would like to highlight in this editorial is that every sin has its definite consequence.

St. Paul teaches that the wages of sin is death. Every act of sin is a rebellion against God the creator and His authority. The natural and moral consequence of rebellion against God and His authority is death of the offender. Out of His mercy, such extreme punishment may not be executed always, but other forms of less extreme punishments may be administered to give more opportunities for sinners or the sinning generation so that they may correct their path of destruction by repentance and penance.

We hear about food shortage and water shortage around the world. For example, it is said that north India would be hit by severe droughts as a result of the drying rivers, such as Indus, Ganges, Yamuna, and Brahmaputra, which flow from the ice-caps of Himalayas. There are reports that that some South Indian States will face intense shortage of water within a few years. This is not just a case in India alone. Many countries in the world are facing and about to face intense shortage of drinking water.

We often hear that food prices are going up everywhere in the world. No country is an exception in this area. America once had the reputation of being called the bread basket of the world. America exported food commodities to many countries, or sent wheat, corn, milk powder, egg powder, cheese, oil and other edible items to the poor countries as part of their philanthropic activities, because America had surplus food. Compared to the food prices in other countries around the globe, American consumers bought their food items at a much lower price.

In February we heard the report that food prices are going to go up at a much higher level. Some of the food growing states in America, (including Texas and Oklahoma) experienced severe drought during the last summer. There was little supply of grass and water even for the cattle. The cost of feeding hay went up from $80 to $200 a ton. The cattle inventory went down to its smallest size since 1952.

We can imagine how this affects the prices of grains, milk, beef, egg, vegetables and other food items. They are expected to climb about ten or more percent soon.

Scientists and meteorologist have their explanations. In India they blame global warming that melts away the ice-caps without forming additional layers of ice to replenish what was lost as water that runs in the rivers coming from the Himalayas. Some of them blame deforestation as a reason for shortage of water. In America they blame the La Nina weather pattern or a cool Pacific Ocean as culprits. Some would attribute this problem to some latest solar phenomena that are adversely affecting the weather systems on earth; some would say it is due to burning too much coal or fossil fuels. Many weather predicting scientists say that this trend will continue.

Look around the world. Is there any corner in the world that enjoys peace? There is no peace in families. Divorces take place at an alarming rate in countries where everyone considered marriage as a sacred bond between a man and woman. One could blame an economically independent wife, or infidelity of a spouse, alcoholism or an egocentric spouse as the reason behind this social evil. Children are caught up in this fight between husband and wife. There would be no one morally responsible for raising children. The sanctity of the family which is the basic unit of the society thus compromised.

Nations enjoy peace between each other only peripherally; every nation is suspicious about the intentions of the other. That is why each of them is vigilant about the spy network thrown over by others. Peace is the greatest gift of the Spirit given to the children of God. If they do not have peace, it is indicative of their alienation from their filiation with God.

Our sick population has increased although we have better medicines and the span of human longevity has been extended considerably. But our suffering due to sickness is not reduced much. We suffer more mentally and physically.

Often we blame others or the weather for the problems we encounter. This writer urges every Christian, every Orthodox Christian, to pause a moment and look for the real cause of our troubles. We seldom point the finger to ourselves. We are the culprits behind our troubles.

Go to the Israelites of the Old Testament. In almost every book of the Old Testament there are warnings and admonitions to them not to violate God’s law; and if they violate His laws there are severe punishments depending on the severity of the offense. We know how God punished the entire human race with the exception of the family of Noah, who were righteous. The history as well as the geography of the Middle East tells us about Sodom and Gomorrah that were terribly immoral and disobedient to God and His laws. Those two cities were destroyed with fire and brimstone; even now the air over and surrounding the Dead Sea cannot retain normal life due to the intense smell. How many thousands were destroyed in that divine intervention to establish God’s law!

We read in the Old Testament about the exiles of God’s chosen people from their own promised land which God had given them through God’s covenant with Abraham and later through their exodus from Egypt after several centuries of slavery and persecution by the instrumentality of Moses the high priest and prophet. Actually the stories in the Old Testament are about disobedience of God’s chosen people and its due punishment inflicted on them. In other words, God will not permit anyone to transgress Him and His ordinances. Some He would punish individually, some collectively; some punishments are lighter and some are capital. Every act of sin is punished based on its severity of offense. No one is exempted from the natural moral consequence of his offense. We read that even Moses the His high priest and prophet had to bear the consequences of his apparently negligible suspicion on God’s omnipotence in bringing about supernatural miracles for providing sustenance of the people of God in the wilderness. Although what Moses had in his mind was a silly thing in our minds when it is compared with capital offenses, the fact of doubting God’s almighty attribute and his delay in obeying God’s command were serious enough for His punishment.

Look at our generation. It is not just the atheists and unbelievers who, without knowing God’s purpose for the human race, violate God’s commandments and commit sins against nature. Actually Christians and Jews, who received the word of God and God’s explicit will regarding human conduct, are the violators of God’s law. There is no remorse for unlawful possession of our neighbor’s property. There is very little scruple to covet money through illegitimate and immoral means. Drug trafficking is not the only sin now; human trafficking for immoral motives is done without the guilt of conscience. The purpose is to make more money. Children are not safe anywhere, not even in their homes; a good number of them are sexually abused. Young girls are transported across national borders to become sexual commodities. Marital fidelity has no value any more due to the permissive ethics of the day that devaluates all virtues related to human sexuality as mere normal expressions of human nature. Thus chastity, purity, virginity and modesty are all worthless virtues. Even the very theological concept virtue is ill-defined.

Recently we received a report on a progressive-minded priest who is conducting graduate studies in Psychology; he counseled an Orthodox Christian young lady that she should not sublimate or control her sexual urges, but rather should yield to her desires so that she would not become a victim of repression and would not develop any abnormal behavior! Let us exhort our young people to run away from such priests like fleeing from contagious diseases. This instance is a classical example of what happened to our clergy who are supposed to uphold and defend high morals demanded by God in His Word. Since the onset of Protestant Ethics, a system of ethics that erupted from Reformation and later augmented by the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, pleasure has become the ultimate value in life. Hence, whatever leads one to pleasure is ethically justified. Thus morality has been redefined. The result was the expulsion of the traditional moral norms expounded by the Decalogue and evangelical precepts and Pauline moral teachings of Christianity.

As a result of this ethical relativism or alienation from traditional ethical norms, our generation is suffering from a severe moral cataract that disables us to discern what is wrong and what is right. Our generation has developed an amoral approach to life and human actions. John Dewey’s Pragmatic expediency is the key phrase that determines moral rectitude. The result? There is no concern about sin or sinfulness in our public life. Sin does not exist any more. Thus we have many new theories, such as: You can make money through any means, as long as that money can make you happy. You can practice marital infidelity as long as your partner does not know about it; and it is even more pleasurable to keep such a relationship if your partner agrees to it. It is laudable to keep a homosexual marriage; and it is legal to call it a marriage! Fornication and promiscuity are expressions of human sexuality, and therefore there are no moral implications to such behaviors; masturbation (self abuse) is just a solitary expression of one’s sexuality with no moral consequences (in contradiction to God’s command that sexuality is a gift to be shared by a man and a woman for the purpose of keeping the twofold creative and unitive purpose of human love). Lying is acceptable, as long as it does not take one to imprisonment… The list of our permissive attitude in an ethically relative environment goes on.

We are all guilty of one or more of these sins. And we complain that the weather is bad, the ice cap is melting; it is not only Sahara that burns in drought; our diseases find no cures; our food inventory has been reduced to its smallest size since many years; the number of starving stomachs is steadily rising…

There is no sudden solution for such problems no matter how we try to solve them. Humanity has become a direct enemy of its creator.

Let me quote from Leviticus: “If you walk in My ordinances and keep My commandments, and do them, then I will give you rain in its season, the lands shall yield its produce, And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. War shall not pass through your land, and I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; and I will utterly destroy the bad wild animals from the land. You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by slaughter before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to fight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you. For I will look upon you and make you fruitful, and multiply and establish My covenant with you, and My soul shall not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people… (Lev. 26: 3- 12).

This is the promise given to us by our God if we are obedient to Him. Sadly we have become sinners and we deserve punishment.

During the past few weeks, the Holy Church put her children into constant prayer, fasting and penance for reparation of our sinful humanity. None of these actions will bear fruits and bring compassion from God unless we repent about out sins and resolve that we will not go back to our sins again. From top to bottom, we have sinned against God. We urge you Holy Church, whether you are a patriarch, hierarch, a priest, a deacon or layperson, to genuinely repent about your sins. Go to the mystery (sacrament) of reconciliation and confess your sins to a priest of your choice and get God’s absolution for your sins and get reinstated in the love of God so that He “will walk among you and He will be your God”. Then the Lord will fulfill His promises for you as they are mentioned above.

May you all have a rewarding Lenten Season!

God bless you our readers!

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Features Gulf News

Mar Dioscoros Arrives in Kuwait for Holy Week


KUWAIT: Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros, Metropolitan of Chennai Diocese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, reached in Kuwait on 29 March, to lead this year’s Passion Week Services of Kuwait St. Gregorios Maha Edavaka.

Metropolitan was received at the Kuwait Airport by the Parish Vicar Fr. Jose Mathew, Associate Vicar Fr. George C. Varghese, Ahmadi St. Thomas Orthodox Parish Vicar Fr. Abraham P. George, Managing Committee members and a number of faithful from the parish.

Passion Week Schedule of Kuwait St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Maha Edavaka

March 31 SAT, 6.00 PM : Hosana (Palm Sunday) at Marina Hall, Abbassiya
April 4 WED, 6:30 PM : Pesaha (Maundy Thursday) at Marina Hall, Abbassiya
April 5 THU, 3.00 PM : 9th hour Prayer & Washing the Feet Service at NECK, City
April 6 FRI, 7:30 AM : Good Friday (Morning Prayer & 3rd hour Prayer, at ICS Auditorium, Abbassiya
April 6 FRI, 11.00 AM : Good Friday Service continues at Marina Hall, Abbassiya
April 7 SAT, 7.00 AM : Gospel Saturday (Holy Qurbana) at St. George Chapel, Abbassiya
April 7 SAT, 6.00 PM : Easter Service at Marina Hall, Abbassiya

Report by: Jerry J Koshy

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Features News Parish News

Mar Yulios Arrives in Muscat for Holy Week


MUSCAT : Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios has arrived in Muscat from Kerala after attending the maiden meeting of the new Malankara Sabha Managing Committee at Pazhaya Seminary, Kottayam.

The Metropolitan was received at the Muscat International Airport on Wednesday night by Fr James Geevarghese, the outgoing Vicar of Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, Fr Binu Thomas John, Asst. Vicar, trustee, co-trustee, secretary managing committee members among others.

New incoming Vicar Fr Joji George also arrived from Ahmedabad to take his charge as the new Vicar of Muscat Maha Edavaka from April 1, 2012.

Both Dr Mar Yulios and Fr Joji George were extended a warm welcome upon their arrival.

Dr Mar Yulios will the chief celebrant for the Holy Week programme at the Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka for 2012. The Metropolitan will also lead the Catholicate Day Celebrations and preside over the function for the farewell of outgoing Vicar Fr James Geevarghese and reception to incoming Vicar Fr Joji George.

Dr Mar Yulios will also visit Sohar St George Orthodox Church, Nizwa congregation, and Salalah’s St Stephen’s Orthodox Church.

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Videos

Dr.George Joseph Re-elected as Sabha Secretary

First Managing Committee meeting held on March 28, 2012 -video by MTv

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Diocese News Features News

Mathew Ninan to Ahmedabad Diocesan Council, Advisory Panel


MUSCAT: Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios has nominated Mathew Ninan, senior member of Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, to the Ahmedabad Diocesan Council and advisory committee for educational institutions.

In a Kalpana issued from Diocesan HQ in Naroda Campus, Ahmedabad, Dr Mar Yulios has also nominated the following members to the committee.

They are: C K Koshy, IAS (Retd) from Gandhinagar, Jacob Andrews from Baroda, Adv Mathai Mampallil from Ahmedabad, and P D Baby from Ahmedabad.

Mathew Ninan, also known as Raju is a member of the Maha Edavaka since 1973 and has held several posts in the past. St Kuriakose Orthodox Church, Melpadom, is his home parish under the Niranam Diocese.

Mathew Ninan hails from ‘Athimoottil Bungalow’, Melpadom P O, Mannar in Alappuzha District. Mrs Leela Mathew is his spouse and Reji Ninan Mathew is his son.

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Features Gulf News

St. Gregorios Congregation Dibba To Be Consecrated on April 13


Fujairah: The consecration of the new site of St. Gregorios Orthodox Congregation Dibba will be held on Friday 13 April 2012 at 6.00 Pm. The ceremony will be preceded by evening prayer on Friday at 6.00 Pm at the new building at Dibba industrial area.

Dr. Abraham Mar seraphim, the Metropolitan of Bangalore Diocese will be the chief-celebrant on the occasion. Vicars of other UAE Churches, members & families of UAE orthodox churches and well wishers will also participate in the ceremony.

Dibba Congregation attached to Fujairah St. Gregorios Orthodox Church was started in 1982 with seven families has almost 25 families at present. Since 1982, Holy Qurbana was celebrated in Dibba in a house once in a month. It was a long cherished dream of a number of orthodox believers residing in Dibba to have a place of worship of their own to accommodate the growing generation of the church. That dream is coming true with upcoming building modified as a congregation. Metropolitan Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim inspected the building during his Maiden visit to Dibba during the month of January 2012 and expressed his deep interest to modify as a congregation. Saji Cheriyan, member of Fujairah church agreed to provide required funds for modifying the building into a congregation and he fulfilled his promise.

Fr. Jacob Thomas is the current vicar under whose leadership the construction of the congregation has been completed within two months.

Joe Mon Mathai (Trustee), P. K. Koshy Vaidyan (Secretary), L. Johnykutty (Auditor), Revi Mathews, Dr. George Philip, P. K. Thomas Vaidyan, Mathai John, Sam Philip, P. John, Mr. C. John Raju, K. Joseph Varghese, Elizabeth George and Regina Johnykutty are the current managing committee members of the congregation.

Report by: Dr. K. C. Cheriyan, Sabha Managing Committee Member