Documentary on St. Thomas

Documentary on St. Thomas by the OCYM Unit–Al Ain St. Dionysius Orthodox Church

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Fr. Alexander James Kurien Celebrated Silver Jubilee of his Ordination to the Priesthood

PHILADELPHIA: Fr. Alexander James Kurien, a priest of the Indian Orthodox Church and a senior staff member of the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. celebrated the 25th anniversary of his Holy Ordination to the priesthood on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

Yesudasan Pappan Cor Episcopos, Fr. Shibu Venad Mathai, Fr. Joice Pappan, Abu Chemmassen, and twenty five plus altar boys of all ages joined in the altar to celebrate the Holy Qurbana. Over 500 friends and families from throughout the United States attended the Thanksgiving Holy Qurbana and follow-on ceremonies.

The felicitations from Baselios Marthoma Didymus I, His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, President Barak Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Mammen Mathew the Chief Editor and Managing Director of Malayala Manorama, Ex-Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, Ex Secretary of State Colin Powell, Metropolitans of dioceses of the Indian Orthodox Church: Nicholovos, Eusebius, Geevarghese, Pachomius, Athanasius, Yuhanon, Clemmis, Theopilos, Yulios, and Thimotheos. In addition, they read “Greetings, Patriarchal Blessings and Prayers for many more years” from: 1) Greek Ecumenical Patriarch, Constantinople, Turkey – His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew; 2) Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow, Russia – His Holiness Patriarch Kirill; 3) Georgian Orthodox Church, Tbilisi, Georgia – His Holiness Patriarch Ilia II; 4) Armenian Orthodox Church, Ejmiatsin, Armenia – His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II; 5) Syrian Orthodox Church, Damascus, Syria – His Holiness Mor Ignatius Zakka I were read out at the public meeting.

Sunil Samuel, Saju Varghese, Kallelil Kuruvila , Korason Varghese, Shalom Mammen and Arun Philip, Abraham Joshua, Seema and Philps Thomas, Jos Thomas, Dr. Alex Polachirackal, Paul Mathai, and Dr. Swamidos spoke on the occasion. Representatives of various organizations and churches across the United States highlighted Fr. Alexander’s 25 years sacrifices and unconditional service to the American and Indian communities, various churches, and families.

Fr.Alexander Kurien has been a vibrant presence in the spiritual and social lives of so many people in the Washington DC metro area for about two decades. He’ll be long remembered as a visionary, an exceptionally talented organizer, an efficient motivator, a sincere friend, and above all a compassionate spiritual leader.

In recognition of his services, Yesudasan Pappan and Fr. Shibu Venad Mathai clothed Alexander Kurien Achen with “Ponnada”. They also clothed Ajitha Kochamma (Anna Kurien) with a “Ponnada” in recognition of her 25 years of sacrifices in Achen’s ministry and their 25 years of married life. The public meeting ended with a prayer by Fr. Joice Pappan.

Fr. Shibu Venad Mathai, vicar of St. Gregorios Church welcomed the gathering. Ciby Abraham and Gregory Varghese were masters of ceremony.

Fr. Alexander J Kurien- a Profile

Fr. Alexander came to the United States of America after finishing high school. He is the youngest son of Koshy Kurien and Pennamma Kurien of Kadackal House, Pallipad. Upon completing Bachelor of Arts in religion and business, Master of Philosophy, and Master of Divinity, he was ordained as a deacon in 1983 by late Lamented Philipose Mar Theophilos of the Mumbai Diocese and late Lamented Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios of the American Diocese. On June 28, 1987, he was ordained to priesthood at Kottayam Devalokam Chapel by Mathews Mar Coorilose (Later HH Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II) in the presence of His Holiness Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews I, late His Grace Mathews Mar Epiphanios, and late His Grace Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios. He served at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church of Tampa, Florida during the first two years after his ordination. In 1989, he was appointed as the officiating priest of St. Thomas Orthodox Church of Baltimore, Maryland, and St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of Greater Washington, D.C., and became the vicar of both in 1990. In 2000, under Achen’s hard labor and leadership, St. Gregorios congregation acquired a church campus consisting 4.5 acres of land and church facilities, including a parsonage. After serving 18 years as the vicar of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of Greater Washington he took a sabbatical from the day-to-day administration of the parish. He has conducted religious services in over 50 countries and had official meetings with Holy Patriarchs of Russian Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Church in Constantinople and Jerusalem, Georgian Orthodox Church, Armenian Orthodox Church, Syrian Orthodox Church from Damascus; and the Archbishop of the Albanian Orthodox Church in Tirana, Albania. He continues to enjoy his ministry in close coordination with and under the guidance of the Metropolitan of the North East American Diocese of the Indian Orthodox Church, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos.

Fr. Alexander leads a well-balanced spiritual and secular life. In addition to the theological studies, he has completed Master of Business Administration in Finance, Master of Science in Strategic Planning, Chartered Financial Analyst, Fellow of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Counselor of Real Estate Valuation, Certified Business Valuer, and Member of the Appraisal Institute.

He is currently employed as the Director of the Office of Strategic Planning at the United States Department of State in Washington D.C. Within his office, he directs the Knowledge Management and Long Range Planning Divisions, which manage eight major initiatives and programs. He has 26 years of private and public sector experience conducting and assisting in politically sensitive, high-level negotiations with private entities and foreign governments in 147 countries. His responsibilities include long-range strategic planning involving the Department’s overseas portfolio of more than 18,000 constructed assets valued at over $53 billion, publishes the Long-Range Plan consisting $13 billion in requirements, as well as the day-to-day oversight of the portfolio database and digital archival records. He has coordinated the holistic requirements for the construction of the three largest U.S. embassies located in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and ninety newly constructed embassies and consulates in five continents. He collaborates with 30 United States Government Executive Departments and agencies to accommodate their operational platform to conduct their mission in 324 embassies and consulates. He has won the international award for Excellence in Innovation and eighteen awards for exceptional performance from the United States Department of State. He is married to Anna (Ajitha) of Kallelil house, Karthikapally, and they have been blessed with three children: Alyssa, Natasha, and Elijah.

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Fr Alexander Kurien on his Silver Jubilee of priestly ordination

ELLICOTT CITY, Maryland : Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, has complimented Fr Alexander J Kurien on his attaining the Silver Jubilee of priestly ordination. The Metropolitan has wished all success to the celebrations connected with the event.

In a Kalpana dated June 28, 2012, issued from the United States, Dr Mar Yulios has greatly acknowledged the valuable contributions of Fr Alexander Kurien to the nation and to the society at large and also the services rendered to the church as a ‘vibrant leader which was a source of inspiration for many.’

The Metropolitan further notes: “The two functions of priesthood, as referred to in Church-doctrines, are Enlightening and Sanctifying people through the dispensation of the Word of God both in Preaching and officiating Holy Sacraments. May our Lord help you to continue to serve Him and His people!”

Dr Mar Yulios has shared his Apostolic blessings to the most beloved Vicar, Kochamma and children, and thanks God Almighty on the wonderful occasion of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of Fr Alexander Kurien.


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Fr Mathews, Vicar, St Mary’s Church, Yemen a ‘vibrant church’ leader

# Fr Mathews Mathews completes Silver Jubilee of ordination as a priest
# Achen enlightens and sanctifies people through dispensation of Word of God

SANA’A, Republic of Yemen: Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, has complimented Fr Mathews Mathews, Vicar, St Mary’s Orthodox Church in Sana’a, Yemen, on his attaining the Silver Jubilee of ordination as a priest.

In a Kalpana dated June 29, 2012, Dr Mar Yulios has praised the great and valuable contributions of Fr Mathews Mathews to the society at large and has noted the vicar’s service to the Church as a ‘vibrant’ leader and a source of inspiration for many.

The Metropolitan states that the two functions of priesthood, as it refers in Church-doctrines are ‘enlightening’ and ‘sanctifying’ people through the dispensation of the Word of God both in preaching and officiating Holy Sacraments.

“May our Lord help you to continue to serve Him and His people!”

Dr Mar Yulios while giving his Apostolic blessings to the most beloved Achen, Kochamma and children, has thanked God Almighty and also joins on this wonderful occasion of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of Priesthood of Fr Mathews.

Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios had earlier officially included St Mary’s Orthodox Church of Sana’a in Yemen to the Diocese of Ahmedabad and welcomed the vicar, managing committee and faithful members to its fold.

This is as per the Kalpana of His Holiness the Catholiocs (HES/HH/09/2012) dated March 19, 2012.


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OCYM – Abu Dhabi Cathedral –Gift a Bible Project for members of Brahmawar Diocese

Holy Bible – the Word of God, which we meditate day and night, is the pulse of life for every Orthodox Christian. Sadly, still there are many families in our diocese who doesn’t have a Bible of their own.

As part of the Catholicate centenary celebrations, OCYM – St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi has taken up a humble step, to ensure that every Orthodox Christian home in our diocese should have a bible in their language, to be able meditate the Word of God.

The Cathedral members actively took part in this project to spread the Word, which enabled us to provide Holy Bible to the bible less families of the diocese in Malayalam, English, Kannada and Konkani languages as required.

Symbolically, on 27th April after the Perunaal Holy Qurbana, a copy of the Holy Bible was handed over to the Diocesan Metropolitan, H.G Yakob Mar Elias by the Catholicos of the East and the Supreme Spiritual Head of the 1960 year old Indian Orthodox Church, H.H Moran Mar Baselious Marthoma Paulose II .

Early June, Metropolitan Yakoob Mar Elias acknowledged the receipt of 506 copies of Holy Bible at Diocesan Head quarters and has conveyed his Blessings, love and affection for each one of us. Elias Thirumeni has stated in his email – “Thank you all for your special concern to give Holy Bible to Bible less families in our Diocese. May God bless you one and all and give proper reward. We pray that God may enable you to do more services to god and to His People”.

We take this opportunity to thank each and every member of the Cathedral for the motivation, contribution and prayers that they have extended to make this project succeed.

Features Gulf News

St Mary’s Church of Yemen under Ahmedabad Diocese now on

# Previously the church was under Diocese of Africa-Europe
# Compliments Fr Mathews Mathews on taking up the Yemen assignment as Vicar
# Fr Mathews, aged 70, completes 25 years of ministry as a priest
# Holy Liturgy at the parish on regular basis since December last year

AHMEDABAD: Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese has officially welcomed and included St Mary’s Orthodox Church of Sana’a in Yemen to the Diocese of Ahmedabad and welcomed the vicar, managing committee and faithful members to its fold.

This is as per the Kalpana of His Holiness the Catholiocs (HES/HH/09/2012) dated March 19, 2012. Yemen is part of the Arabian Peninsula and lies west of Sultanate of Oman.

Dr Mar Yulios has in a Kalpana dated June 29, 2012, acknowledged the support the parish received from the Europe-Africa Diocese of the Church which was under Metropolitan HG Dr Mathews Mar Timothios and extends thanks to all the priests who had served from the previous diocese as well.
Dr Mar Yulios duly acknowledges the commitment and willingness of Rev Fr Mathews Mathews, who volunteered to visit Yemen from December 2011 and his willingness to serve the church despite political unrest in the country.

The Metropolitan adds: “The Church as a whole was praying for the parish during those turbulent days and continue to pray even now. We are glad and thankful to God Almighty for accepting the opportunity to despatch a priest from our (Ahmedabad) Diocese since earlier days so that you were able to conduct the Holy Liturgy.”

Dr Mar Yulios compliments Fr Mathews Mathews on crossing 70 years and also completing Silver Jubilee in His ministry as a priest of the Church. Metropolitan has extended his best wishes to him and his family on this special occasion.

May He continue to bless him and guide him in all his duties, Metropolitan notes in his Kalpana.

Church News Features News

Indian Orthodox TV makes transition to regular TV channels Today

# India Orthodox Church’s only TV channel steps into second year of operations
# Fr Punchakonam says the visual media was launched with a prayer and we felt the unseen
power leading us more than our expectations
# Programs will be available through Android and Roku boxes on regular TV channels
# Function to be graced by HGs Mar Eusebios, Dr Mar Nicholovos and Dr Mar Yulios
# Ample opportunities for Orthodox members to showcase their talents

HOUSTON, Texas : As Orthodox TV ( leaps into its second year of operations, it is stepping into a major change. It will be the transition of the TV to the regular TV on July 2, when it will be officially launched at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Houston.

Orthodox TV was inaugurated on July 3, 2011 at Chicago by its Chairman Dr Pulikkottil Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese.

The authorities are happy to see the slow and steady growth as the only TV for the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox TV celebrates its successful first year of operations with a most modern studio.

Another major step from July 2 is that the Orthodox TV will be made available on regular TV through Android and Roku boxes, the package which is being included on Asianet (5 channels), Kairali, India Vision, Reporter, Jai Hind, Shalom, Power Vision, Raj TV, Jeevan, People Channel and up to 24 channels.

The shifting of the Orthodox TV programme to the Regular TV will be inaugurated by Zacharias Mar Nicholovos, Metropolitan of the Diocese of the North-East America and the distribution of Android Box will be inaugurated by Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of Diocese of South-West America.

The meeting will be presided over by HG Dr Pulikottil Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Chairman of the Indian Orthodox TV.

Dr Alexander Karackal, Fokana President, G K Pillai, Fokana Trustee, Board Chairman Paul Karukapalli will deliver felicitation speeches at the function.

Charly Varughese Padanilam, Director Board Secretary and PRO, Indian Orthodox TV Inc, says, “By the grace of God we will continue the webcast along with the telecast on regular TV. We are thankful for God’s abundant mercies on this project and also thankful for the kind co-operation. We expect the same throughout. We are planning to give opportunities to talented Orthodox members. Those interested to show case their talents on Orthodox TV, please do contact us.”

India Orthodox TV Inc Board of Directors include Rev Fr Johnson Punchakonam (CEO), Charly V Padanilam (Secretary and PRO), Pulikottil I Joy (CFO), Dn George Poovathur (Director USA, Europe and Far East), Mathews John (Director Middle East & India), Mathew Ninan (Director, Programmes), Thomas George Poovathur (Director), Dr Kadavil C Chacko (Director), Abraham Eapen (Director), and Mathew George Poovathur (Director) under the Chairmanship of HG Dr Pulikkottil Geevarghese Mar Yulios.

Orthodox TV, CEO, Fr Johnson Punchakonam, notes that it was the dream of many Malankara Orthodox faithful to have a visual media of their own in order to spread the teachings on faith, worship and traditions of Orthodoxy. “We took this seriously and tried to establish it with prayer and that gave us strength to work to establish an Orthodox visual media. We started as a web TV and it has now reached the level of a regular TV status. ”
During every moment of our work, we felt the unseen power leading us, more than our expectations. Even though we were not financially sound to run such a project, the unseen power made everything possible at every moment and we firmly believe that is the power of God. Seven more faithful believers of the Orthodox Church joined with us and strengthened our team.”

The package is reasonably priced and available at $150 for 6 months and there are no other initial charges, which are renewable every 6 months and should be be subscribed directly from Indian Orthodox TV only.

For details contact Fr Punchakonam on email:, cell: +1-678-342-0246 or
Charly V Padanilam (Secretary and PRO), email:, Cell: +1-281-682-0623