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Coptic Church: New pope will be enthroned on Sunday18 November

CAIRO: Coptic Orthodox Church is waiting for their 118th pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the see of St Mark, the seat of which has been vacant since Pope Shenouda III died last March.

On October 29 the election of three from among the five candidates nominated for the papacy was conducted. The three winners who will be candidates for the altar draw that will determine the name of 118th pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the see of St Mark are, in order of the highest votes scored: Anba Raphail, Bishop-General of Downtown Cairo; Anba Tawodros, Bishop-General of Beheira; and the monk Father Raphail Ava Mina.

The names were announced in a press conference held at 9:00pm at the premises of St Mark’s cathedral at Anba Rweiss in Abassiya, Cairo, by the acting patriarch Anba Pachomeus.

In elections which saw a voter turnout of some 90 per cent—2177 voters showed up for the elections out of a total 2412 eligible voters, plus the five bishops from the Ethiopian Church who took part in the vote—only two votes were invalid.

Anba Raphail scored 1980 votes, Anba Tawodros 1623, and Fr Rapahail Ava Mina 1530.

The altar draw will be conducted next Sunday after Holy Mass at the St Mark’s cathedral in Abassiya, Cairo; which Anba Pachomeus said would begin at 8:00am. The three names will be placed in a big glass box on the altar and, right after Mass, a blindfolded child will draw one of the names: the name of the new pope.

The new pope will be enthroned on Sunday18 November.

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Dr. Mar Dionysius Re-dedicates the Renovated Church in Ranchi

Ranchi : The renovated St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church, Ranchi was re-dedicated by the Diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius on October 1, 2012.

On 2nd October Holy Mooninmel Qurbana was celebrated with His Grace being the Chief Celebrant and Rev. Fr. Aju K. Varghese (Vicar, St.Mary’s Orthodox Church, Bhandara) and Rev. Fr. Abraham P.J. (Vicar, Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Jamshedpur) as co-celebrants.

Metropolitan praised the efforts of Vicar Fr. Mathew Thomas and the parishioners for renovating and beautifying the church.

Fr. Mathew Thomas acknowledged the valuable contributuions of Kuwait-St.Gregorios Maha Edavaka, Ahmadi-St.Thomas Orthodox Church, Bhandara-St.Mary’s Orthodox Church, towards the renovation of the Church.

Thereafter the Metropolitan planted a sapling in the Church premises in commemoration of the Church Renovation and inauguration of the Eco-Club.

During the Parish Day Celebrations, Rev. Dr. Joseph Ayrookuzhy Ranchi Marthoma Church Vicar honored Mar Dionysius by presenting a Shawl & boque. During the function, the senior members who had completed 60 years of age were honored.

Church civil work contractor, Omanakuttan was specially felicitated on the occasion. Declaration of the institution of a Memorial Award named after Late M P Mathew, a pioneer member of the parish was done by Mar Dionysius.

Sunday school students and Martha Mariam Samajam members presented songs, dance and skit.

News Reported by: Jerry John Koshy

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Faithful to become torch bearers of a new era of love: Geevarghese Mar Coorilos

DUBAI: “The faithful to become torch bearers of a new era of love and fraternity while clinging on to the basic orthodox values and virtues” said Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Coorilos

Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Coorilos of Mumbai Diocese was speeking at the public meeting, while inaugurating the year- long celebrations of the St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Dubai, pertaining to 1960th anniversary of the founding of the Church and the centenary of the reestablishment of Catholicate in Malankara at Marthomman Nagar in Dubai.

Metropolitan opined that the sustenance of our Church is based on the combined cultural heritage of India as well as eastern traditions. He also expressed gratefulness of the Church to the Rulers of the Country for their magnanimity, wished Eid greetings and hoped that the celebrations symbolically revealing sacrifice and fraternity would encourage global peace and harmony.

Fr. T.J. Johnson, Vicar, St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral presided over the meeting. Dr Tiju Thomas, Consul, Indian Consulate, Dubai(an icon of Malankara Youth) was the Guest of Honor. V.T. Thomas Chor Episcopa, Fr. V.C. Jose(Vicar, Abu Dhabi St George Orthodox Cathedral), Sabha Managing Committee Members Jacob Mathew(Jojo), P.G. Mathew and Dr K.C. Cherian, Trustee Thomas Vilayil, Secretary Varghese George and Diocesan Council Member K.G. Ninan spole on the occasion.

A thunderous pledge, read out by Babu Kurian, was recited by all reminding the Slanting cross oath(Koonen Kurishu Sathyam) taken by our forefathers in 1653.

A beautifully decorated, painstakingly researched and professionally crafted history photo exhibition conducted by OCYM, with an impressive entrance made as a replica of Thiruvithamcode Arappally, attracted masses.

An orchestra of devotional songs by 30 – member Zumoro Choir of Sruthi Liturgical Music, Kottayam , under the conductorship of Fr. Dr M.P. George that followed was a sumptuous musical feast to ears. The syriac hymns maestro and legendary classical musician, Fr. Dr M.P. George made the audience spellbound by a mesmerizing classical concert that had to be prolonged due to public demand. He was decorated with a golden shawl (Ponnada) and a memento was also presented by Mar Coorilose.

Thousands lined up in a rally strident with vigor and vitality, just before the commencement of the public meeting, reiterating their loyalty and allegiance to the Catholicate of the East and the Throne of Apostle St Thomas. Slogans were chanted at the top of voices in praise of the reigning Catholicose. Floats depicting various stages of the mission of St Thomas in India by Sunday School, OCYM, MGOCSM, MOMS and Prayer Group of the parish and various dazzling Nazrane cultural art performances of Margam Kali by MGOCSM and Kol Kali by MOMS with traditional attire enthralled the crowd. Beautiful paper crowns, cross belts and badges with slogans written, were worn by Sub juniors, Juniors and seniors of Sunday school classes respectively. Catholicate flags and decorations flooded the arena making it a golden ocean. Mar Coorilose was given a rousing reception while the Cathedral choir sang ‘Thobaslom’.

Saramma Easaw read Biblical passage. National anthems of UAE as well as India. ended with Catholicate anthem sung by Cathedral Choir.

Fr. Biju Daniel (Asst Vicar) welcomed the gathering and General Convener Jose John proposed vote of thanks.


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Ahmedabad Diocesan Martha Mariam Samajam celebrated the centenary of the Catholicate

INDORE: Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam, Diocese of Ahmedabad, hosted the Catholicate Centenary celebration at the 3rd Annual Conference at St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Indore, M.P. on 24th October 2012.

The Theme of the Conference was “Orthodox Spirituality & Christian Family Life Today” and “Be Models to good works” (Titus 2:7).

The leaders were Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan, Diocese of Ahmedabad and Fr. Dr. Bijesh Philip, Principal, St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur. The other dignitaries were Rev. P. C. James, Vicar, Marthoma Church Indore (MP), Fr. Mathew Cherian, Vicar, Mhow (MP) and Fr. Sijin Mathew, Vicar. Dewas (MP).

The dignitaries were given a warm and traditional welcome. Indore Church choir sang the Catholicate Mangala song to mark the 100th year of Catholicate establishment and to earmark our token of love towards the Catholicos, H. H. Baselios Moran Mar Baselios Paulose II.

Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios inaugurated the function. Fr. Manu Varghese Jacob, Vice President, MMVS of Ahmedabad Diocese, and Rev. P. C. James, Vicar of Indore Marthoma Church, the special guest, spoke on the occasion. “Even at times of difficulties and problems, it is women to hold her family and Church into unity by her prayers and faith in God Almighty” said Rev. P. C. James, while in his speech.

Fr. Dr. Bijesh Philip highlighted on 5 values that woman requires in a Christian family life while managing her family. The core themes of family life which are (1) Samsaram (2) Sahanubhooti (3) Samyamanam (4) Samsargam and (5) Salpravarthikal. “It is woman who builds her family and keeps the unity thereon. In all things showing you to be a pattern of good works, in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, and incorruptibility” he added.

Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, enlightened the thought of simple living with high thinking and the need of respecting parents and honoring old age. The Metropolitan also spoke on the Relevance of Catholicate.

Annual Report and Accounts for year 2011-12 of the Ahmedabad Diocese, MMVS, was submitted in the meeting by Gen. Secretary, Jaya Koshy and Treasurer, Sosamma Chacko.

The Diocesan level elocution competition was conducted on the topic of “Relevance of Catholicate” 5 contestants represented 5 zones. The winners were Sally Mathai, Baroda, Gujarat, Elizabeth Joseph, Dewas, M. P. and Alemma Varghese, Udaipur.

Beena John, Indore secured 3rd rank at the MOMS Exam. of 2011. Sherly Johnykutty, Indore, and Beena Kuriakose, Baroda secured 3rd position at the short story writing competition in English and Malayalam respectively, held by MOMS during the Ashta Dashati celebrations – 2011. First and second rank holders of the MOMS Exam at Diocesan level (Ahmedabad) in the junior, senior and super senior categories were also honored along with the other winners

An ‘Award of Honor’ had been presented to Fr. P. O. Mathai for the glorious service rendered as Vice President of MMVS, Ahmedabad Diocese from 2009 to 2011.

From all the parishes in the Diocese 320 delegates attended the conference. Everyone was honored with memento sponsored by M/s. Muthoot Finance Ltd. Fr. Saju Padachira, Vicar of the host Church welcomed the gathering.


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Parumala church festival began on October 26

PARUMALA: The annual festival at the St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Church on the banks of the Pampa at Parumala began on  October 26, 2012.

The festival began with a flag-hoisting ceremony on October 26. His Holiness the Catholicose Baselios Marthoma Paulose II and Metropolitan of the Niranom diocese Dr. Youhanon Mar Chrysostomos led the ceremony on the church premises at 2 p.m.

The Catholicos of the East Baselius Marthoma Paulose II  inaugurated the week-long annual pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Gregorios, the first canonized saint of the Church, at a meeting at 3 p.m. Dr. Youhanon Mar Chrysostomos  presided over the meeting. P.H. Kurien, IAS, delivered the keynote address. Fr. John Abraham Konatt, clergy trustee of the church, Jacob Thomas Arikupuram, Thomas T. Parumala and G. Oommen spoke on the occasion. Fr. K.V. Joseph Ramban proposed vote of thanks.

A 144-hour continuous prayer session began under the auspices of the Malankara Orthodox Youth Movement at 5 p.m. Youhanon Mar Polycarpus  inaugurated the session. OCYM Vice President Fr. Mathews T John, General Secretary Fr. Stephen Varghese, Treasurer Friju T. Mathew will lead the 144-hour continuous prayer session which will be concluded on Nov.1.

Free medical camp

A free medical camp under the auspices of St. Gregorios Mission Hospital will begin at the Parumala seminary auditorium on October 28 forenoons.
Cultural meet

High Court Justice Surendra Mohan will inaugurate a cultural meet to be held in connection with the church festival on October 28. Dr. Youhanon Mar Chrysostomos will preside. Sabha Secretary Dr. George Joseph will welcome the gathering and the Lay Trustee M. G. George Muthuut will propose vote of thanks.

Processions by pilgrims will be accorded reception at Parumala on October 31. Dr. Abraham Mar Epiphanios will inaugurate a All Malankara Prayer meet later in the day.

State Human Rights Commission Chairman Benjamin Koshy will deliver the keynote address at a felicitation meeting to be held on November 1. Film director Blessy will inaugurate a music programme ‘Sangeetharchana’ at 5 p.m.

Saint’s 110th feast

The 110th feast of St. Gregorios will be held on November 2. Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II will lead the tri-mass at the church in the morning.
The Catholicos will inaugurate the MGOCSM meeting at 12 p.m. Kerala Accountant General Dr. Biju Jacob will deliver the keynote address.
Believers from different parts of the State and abroad will reach Parumala in separate processions to offer prayers at the saint’s tomb on November 1 and 2.

The annual church fete and pilgrim week will come to a close with a procession at 2 p.m. on November after a ceremonial Rassa.


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Photo Gallery

Parumala Perunal 2012

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Consecration: St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church, Tampa

In the land of the ever rising sun, Tampa, Florida, a group of believers of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (India) formed a congregation on the 4th of November, 1989 named after the Holy Saint of the Church, St. Gregorios of Parumala under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Samuel K Mathew.

On November 09, 1990, Rev. Fr. George Paulose, Valanadyil, Onakkoor, was appointed as the Vicar of this congregation and the Holy Qurbana was conducted regularly at the parish hall of the Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church in Temple Terrace. The small congregation started to grow slowly and one acre land with a building was purchased in May 1994 and the worship started in this building. On January 01, 1995, Rev. Fr. George Paulose, the Vicar, laid the foundation stone for a new church building and parish hall in the presence of Rev. Fr. P.M.Zacharia and all faith full believers of the congregation. By the hard work, continuous prayers, generous contributions from the faithful, well-wishers and friends, the new church and the parish hall came up very fast like a ‘lily of the valley’. The new church and parish hall were consecrated on the 15th and 16th of August 1997 by H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas, former Metropolitan of the American Diocese and late H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, Metropolitan of the Diocese of Canada and Europe in the presence of several priests, faith full members and well-wishers. Under the leadership of Fr. George Paulose, the parish continued to flourish in the upcoming years.

The spiritual organizations like Sunday School, MGOCSM, and Morth Marium Samajam, were functioning regularly as scheduled. As years passed by, the members felt that the space inside the church was insufficient. To accommodate more people, it became a compelling need to have a bigger church building. The Vicar, Rev. Fr. George Paulose, encouraged the members to have a new church building. By the Grace of God Almighty, with the intercessional prayers of St. Gregorios of Parumala and with the submissive prayers of the faithful members, the congregation hoped and firmly believed that their dreams will be fulfilled in the near future. In the month of April, 2004, the church was able to purchase five acres of land located on Jefferson Road near I 75 and the foundation stone was laid on the 5th of October by the former Metropolitan of the American Diocese. In 2010, the General body elected Manoj Max Palakkat (Treasurer), Binu Cheriyan (Secretary) and John Jacob as Convener and V.G.Koshy, Koshy Mammen, Babu Kunjummen, Dr. Sunoj Abraham, Sunny Jacob, Aji Mathews, Varghese Koshy and Asha Varghese as committee members. The ground breaking ceremony for the new church was conducted on the 27th of February, 2011.

It took more than a year to complete this new church building project. The new church towers like a lighthouse, surrounded by a scenic background. The icons on the dome in the middle of the church, and the Risen Christ on the east wall of the altar resemble a real orthodox look. The charm and the solemnity of this new church are not often seen in many other Malankara Orthodox churches. It’s like a “full bloom of rose of Sharon”. On the 12th of August 2012, Rev. Fr. George Paulose, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Cyril Davy, conducted the first Holy Qurbana in the new church.

The year 2012 is a mile stone in the history of the Malankara Orthodox Church of India because the centenary celebrations of the Catholicate throne of St. Thomas. This new church is a gift to the Indian Orthodox believers in Tampa of the Malankara Orthodox Church.

“True faith, canonical worship, and goodwill to help the poor & needy” is the main motto of the church. Rev. Fr. George Paulose has passionately encouraged the faithful members to contribute generously towards charity. The church has extended a helping hand to the Hurricane victims in Honduras & Haiti, earthquake victims in Gujarat, India & Japan, the handicapped children of Mulanthuruthy, rehabilitation of the Blind in Calcutta, build homes for the homeless, provide financial help for poor girls to pursue Nursing, and offer financial assistance for poor girls to get married.

God willing, the consecration ceremony of the church will be solemnized on Friday Oct 25, & Saturday Oct 26, 2012, by His Grace Alexious Mar Eusebious; Metropolitan of the Southwest American Diocese, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovas; Metropolitan of Northeast American Diocese, and His Grace Gabriel Mar Gregorios; Metropolitan of Trivandrum Diocese Of India. You are cordially invited to bless this occasion with your presence and prayers.

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Edayanal Achen in Muscat for convention and harvest festival

MUSCAT: Noted orator Mathai Edayanal Cor Episcopa will be the chief speaker at the week-long perunal convention and harvest festival of Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka, MGOME.

The church is named after patron saint, St Gregorios of Parumala.

The convention will be held from October 26 to November 1, 2012 at St Thomas Church, Ruwi.

Malankara Orthodox Church’s renowned speaker profoundly known as Edayanalachen will deliver the convention address from October 26 at 8 pm after the evening prayers.

Mathai Edayanal Cor Episcopa is a member of the Malankara Sabha Managing Committee and Secretary of Angamaly Diocese.

For the parish day programme and harvest festival, Dr Mathews Mar Timotheos, Diocese Metropolitan of UK-Europe and Africa, will be the chief celebrant. Dr Mar Timotheos will lead the tri-mass at the St Thomas Church on November 2, Friday, at 6. 15 am. This will be followed by harvest festival and auction of first fruit offerings from 10 am to 4 pm.

MGOME Vicar Fr Joji George Koickalethu and Fr Binu John Thomas, Associate Vicar, have requested the faithful to attend the convention in large numbers.

Features Gulf News

Bicentennial Celebration of the Bible Translation by Kayamkulam Philipose Ramban

SHARJAH: Bicentennial Celebration of the Bible Translation will be conducted in Sharjah St.Gregorious Church on Oct. 26, 2012 from 1.30pm onwards.

Fr. Abraham John will preside over the meeting and Mons Joseph MLA inagurate the function. Consul of Dubai Indian Consulate Dr. Tiju Thomas will be the main speaker and Kerala Land Development Corporation Chairman Benny Kakkad and Principal of Adoor St.Cyrils College Dr. Varghese Perayil felicitate the occasion.

Kayamkulam Philipose Remban translated Holy Bible from Syriac to Malayalam for the first time and printed in Courier Press Bombay in 1811. Remban died in 1812 and this year many programs has been conducted to remember the 200th death anniversary.

Members of St. Thomas Cathedral, Kannamkode, Adoor in UAE will host this program where Kayamkulam Philipose Remban spend his final years and his tomb located.


Reported by: Jyothish Jacob

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Bengaluru Diocese Youths have experience of a life time at Yovela 2012

BENGALURU – Located about 4,851 feet above sea level, Nandi Hill, was the location for Bengaluru Diocese MGOCSM and OCYM youth camp titled Yovela 2012.

The youths experienced great feeling staying at the camp above the hills for 3-days at the Promised Land, Glorious.

Youths from the Orthodox churches in Bengaluru who attended were touched, moved and transformed.
“No words can describe the wonderful experience each one of us went through during Yovela 2012. This was your camp, and you have made the change towards the greater glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are happy that you have experienced what we intended from the camp “full of joy”, wrote a youth on Facebook.
While another wrote: “Truly an experience of a lifetime. Every bit and piece of knowledge, insight and information helped in fulfilling the mission of being “Ambassadors of Church.”

For three days, four priests, deacons and Bengaluru Diocesan Metropolitan HG Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim addressed the them in various sessions.

The youths stayed in cottages. The camp included ice breaking activities, campfire, group discussions, moral ethical topics, outdoor games, sports time and talk on confession.

The speakers were Rev Fr Philip Kuruvila, Nagpur, General Co-ordinator, Ecumenical Solidarity for HIV and Aids Programme, NCCI, Dn Abraham Philip, New York, Bachelors in Counselling and Sociology, Dn Jackson Mathews, Nagpur Seminary, OVBS Co-ordinator, OKR, Sunday School, Ms Susan Mathew, Philadelphia, USA, Member, Daughters of the King.

On the concluding day, Dr Mar Seraphim led the Holy Eucharist. Student Chaplain Priest Fr Cyril Varghese, Rev Fr Joy Samuel also took part.