Diocese News Features

Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim renews call for dedication as La Moriyo Zegtho DVD, CD released

BENGALURU: HG Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Bengaluru Diocese, released the DVD and audio CDs of La Moriyo Zegtho, on the second day of the 3-day Bengaluru Orthodox Convention (Meltho) from January 18-20, 2013.

Dr Mar Seraphim in his brief DVD comments said La Moriyo Zegtho, a worship session, was a trendsetter which enabled many to turn to the Lord more fervently. His Grace hoped those involved would further use their talents vigorously to glorify God’s name.

The Metropolitan said the Oriental Orthodox chants were unique and thanked Bengaluru Orthodox choir and its leadership of Fr John Samuel, Dn Abraham Philip and singers from all over India towards the work.
La Moriyo Zegtho (Worship to the Lord), had marked a history for the Indian Orthodox church with a liturgical symphony of Orthodox liturgical chants and created a mystical feel to everyone who participated in it.

The orchestration and training for the choir was successfully done by Fr John Samuel.

Fr John Samuel says there have been huge requests for buying the CD, DVD from people all over the world. Right now they are planning to upload with downloading option via Pay Pal account and those in India can contact the Bengaluru Diocese directly or through the Diocese Metropolitan (email:

La Moriyo Zeghto, a liturgical symphony to Oriental Orthodox beats, was held during the occasion for the celebration of 1,960 years of Orthodox Syrian Church in India and the centennial celebrations of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox by Bengaluru Diocese at Christ University Auditorium on October 23.

Fr John Samuel (Roy Achen), La Moriyo Zegtho’s conceiver and conductor, had remarked that the audience had experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit during the symphony. It was certainly a dream come true and confesses that “three of them who had gone astray from Orthodox to a new type charisma had confessed and returned back.”

Meanwhile, the eighth Bengaluru Orthodox Convention was organised by Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Bengaluru Region, at the India Campus Crusade Auditorium, St Thomas Town, Hennur Main Road, Bengaluru. The faithful in large numbers attended the session which were addressed by Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim and renowned convention speaker Rev Fr Jojy K Joy.

For obtaining DVD, CDs, please contact the Bengaluru Aramana at:

# 1 Malankara Veedhi, (Behind Sharma Farm House),
Dodda Gubbi Post, Bengaluru, Karnataka – 560 077, India


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Dr Mar Yulios sketched by young artist Tomin George

MUSCAT: Youngster Tomin George had done members of the Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka proud with his budding skills as an artist.

During his recent holidays, he has pencil sketched Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil HG Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios. The Metropolitan has expressed his ‘joy’ and ‘best wishes’ for Tomin George on his artistic ability. This is for the first time that Tomin has sketched Dr Mar Yulios, both in colour and grey.

Tomin, a Standard X student of Indian School Muscat (ISM), drew an oil painting of Jesus Christ on canvas and offered it as a first fruit offering at the ‘fete and sale’ of the Maha Edavaka recently. An altar boy at the Muscat Maha Edavaka, he is the son of George P Thomas (Church ID # G-122) and Suja George. He also has a younger brother in Jobin George. Tomin who has sketched paintings on sceneries and portraits, looks set to scale greater heights in the coming years.

Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Maha Edavaka comes under Ahmedabad Diocese with HG Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios as the Metropolitan.

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Jeet Thayil wins Rs 26.89 lakh prize

JAIPUR: Poet and novelist Jeet Thayil became the first Indian on Friday to win the DSC South Asian Literature prize, now on its third edition.

Jeet’s “Narcopolis” was shortlisted from six names to bag the Rs 26.89 lakh ($50,000) DSC prize.

The prize was announced on at the ongoing DSC Jaipur Literature festival venue, Diggi Palace by celebrated actress Sharmila Tagore in the presence of renowned personalities and authors.

Thayil won the prize from a short list of six which included Jamil Ahmad: The Wandering Falcon; Tahmima Anam: The Good Muslim; Amitav Ghosh: River of Smoke; Mohammed Hanif : Our Lady of Alice Bhatti; Uday Prakash: The Walls of Delhi (Translated by Jason Grunebaum)

Instituted by DSC Limited in 2010, the DSC Prize is awarded annually for the best work of fiction inspired by the South Asian Region, people, culture and diaspora; published in English, including translation into English.

Jeet Thayil is the son of the great journalist TJS George, who is a member of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Thumpamon.

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HH Patriarch Kirill meets with Primate of Georgian Orthodox Church

HH Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with HH Patriarch Iliya II of All Georgia

HH Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with HH Patriarch Iliya II of All Georgia

On 21 January 2013, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya II of All Georgia and with the delegation of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The meeting took place at the Patriarchal residence in St. Daniel Monastery.

Meeting His Holiness and Beatitude Iliya II at the entrance to the residence were Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR); Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR deputy chairman; and archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations.

The Primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church celebrated a prayer service at the home church in the residence. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill prayed in the sanctuary. Attending the service and praying were hierarchs, clergymen and laymen of the Georgian and Russian Orthodox Churches. After the service, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill addressed His Holiness and Beatitude Iliya II and the worshippers, saying in particular:

“Special welcome to you in this church at the spiritual and administrative centre of the Russian Orthodox Church, as your visit arranged for receiving the award of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations (IFUOCN) is much more significant.

“We greet you as the Primate of the friendly sister Church of Georgia and as the spiritual leader of your nation. We are aware of the role you played in the preservation of peace, mutual understanding and cooperation among Georgian people of different political views.

“We thank you for your labours and rejoice at the opportunity to welcome you and your respected companions in our capital city. May your visit to Holy Russia be blessed and bring a freshening contribution into the development of bilateral relations between our countries and peoples.

“Your Holiness, welcome to the Russian Orthodox Church!”

Catholic-Patriarch Iliya II cordially greeted Patriarch Kirill on behalf of the Holy Synod and of all faithful children of the Georgian Orthodox Church and expressed his gratitude for the IFUOCN award and his conviction that his visit will be conducive to the mutual understanding and strengthening of brotherly ties between the Georgian and the Russian people.

The two Primates were joined in their fraternal talk by Metropolitan Hilarion and archpriest Nikolai Balashov from the Russian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Theodore of Akhaltsikhe and Tao-Klarjeti, Metropolitan Gerasim of Zugdidi and Tsaishi, and archimandrite Vakhtang (Liparteliani) of the Church of St. George the Victorious in Moscow.

After tat, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill met with the official delegation of the Georgian Orthodox Church: Metropolitan Theodore of Akhaltsikhe and Tao-Klarjeti; Metropolitan Dimitry of Batumi and Lazeti,; Metropolitan Gerasim of Zugdidi and Tsaishi, head of the Foreign Department of the Georgian Orthodox Church; Protopresbyter Georgy Zviadadze, rector of the Tbilisi Theological seminary; archimandrite David (Chincharauli); archimandrite Vakhtang (Liparteliani); Mr. Tamaz Gamkrelidze, president of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences; and Mr. Lasha Zhvania, general director of the International Charity Foundation of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.

The Russian Orthodox Church was represented by Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, DECR chairman; Archbishop Mark of Yegorievsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administration for Institutions Abroad; Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; Mr. Vladimir Legoida, chairman of the Synodal Information Department of the Moscow Patriarchate; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR deputy chairman; and archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill opened the meeting and greeted the Primate of Georgian Orthodox Church and members of the delegation. He congratulated Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya II of All Georgia on his 80th birthday and the 35th anniversary of his enthronement and thanked Catholic-Patriarch Iliya II for given to the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church at the festivities in Tbilisi. His Holiness noted that Georgian society experienced radical changes last year; the process went peacefully and constructively and without confrontation largely thanks to the Primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Kirill underscored: “Relations between our Churches never depended on political situation and have always been warm, sincere and trusting”. He believes that their dynamic development would help develop relations between the two states and contacts among the Russian and Georgian people.

His Holiness highly appreciated the results of the first session of the Joint commission on a possible reburial of the Georgian Kings Vakhtang VI and Teimuraz II. He said: “The decision depends on many factors The Commission should collect all necessary data, tackle with difficult issues, and present the problem for pubic consideration. Any action taken without public support can cause a possible damage to our bilateral relations. We are confident that the Commission will cope with its work, which we are willing to support, and we shall pray for successful completion of its work.”

His Holiness mentioned the consecration of the Sretensky church at Donskoy Monastery where King Archil’s family and outstanding representatives of Georgian nobility are buried and thanked the Georgian side for assistance in restoring the church.

His Holiness highly appreciated pastoral work of archimandrite Vakhtang (Liparteliani) who takes spiritual care of the Georgian community in Moscow.
Patriarch Kirill expressed his satisfaction with representatives of the Georgian Orthodox Church studying in theological schools of the Russian Orthodox Church and noted: “We are willing to assist the increase of their number”.

His Holiness stated that the Russian and Georgian Churches used similar approach to the urgent topics in the Orthodox world, including the preparation for the Great and Sacred Council of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Kirill also noted that through common efforts we could assist the solution of problems in pastoral sphere in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Our dialogue will help the two Churches to act with pastoral caution for the sake of Orthodoxy there.

His Holiness and Beatitude Iliya II thanked His Holiness Kirill for hospitality and clear position on the discussed matters, noting in particular the Russian Orthodox Church’s attitude to canonical jurisdiction of Abkhazia and ‘Tskhinvali region” and added: “We should be close friends who understand each other in everything.”

He continued thanking the Russian Orthodox Church’s delegation led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk for attending celebration of his 80th birthday and the 35th anniversary of his enthronement and added that Georgia and other states were delighted by Metropolitan Hilarion’s reading Patriarch’s greeting in the Georgian language.

Expressing his gratitude for the award, Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya II underscored that he considered it as recognition of the merits of the entire Georgian Orthodox Church.


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Congratulations to and prayers for Our President Barack Obama & Vice President Joe Biden!

President Barack Obama Takes Oath of the Office
Since inauguration day – January 20 – fell on a Sunday this year, Mr. Obama was officially sworn in at a very brief ceremony just before noon in the Blue Room of the White House, taking the oath from the Chief Justice John Roberts using a family bible, ahead of Monday’s public events. During a small and succinct ceremony at the White House, Obama recited the constitutionally mandated oath of office for the third of four expected times during his time in office. Embracing his children after the oath, his younger daughter Sasha was heard to whisper “good job, Daddy!” “I did it!” he responded, before she observed “You didn’t mess up.” Sunday’s official swearing-in, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, was the 57th inauguration of a president in American history.

Vice President Joe Biden took the first official step of the inaugural weekend, swearing the oath of office as he stood among friends, family and a circle of Democratic power players of his political history – and, perhaps, future. In a brief morning ceremony at the Naval Observatory, the vice president’s official residence, Biden put a hand on his family Bible, held by his wife, and swore for the second time to uphold the duties of the vice president’s office. “It’s an honor, it’s an honor,” Biden told Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor immediately after she administered the oath, the fourth female jurist to perform that duty for a president or vice president in the country’s history. Then he turned to the crowd of 120 and explained that he was leaving immediately to join President Obama to lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. Shortly afterward, in a ceremony that has become a traditional part of the inaugural proceedings, the two men stood at attention at the cemetery, saluting at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as taps played in the background.

More than million people attended the swearing-in and the inauguration celebration of President Obama’s second term on Monday on the western steps of the U.S. Capitol.

In his 2013 Inaugural address, President Barack Obama touched on climate change, partisan bickering, and the protection of rights for gays, immigrants, and women in his second inaugural address delivered before more than a million people standing on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” ……………………………… My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction — and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes his/her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. Thank you, God blesses you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.”

The ceremony followed by an inaugural parade in front of the White House, that featured many branches of the U.S. armed services and two inaugural balls with performances by singers including Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, and Stevie Wonder.

Our prayers are with President Obama and the Administration. May God provide necessary guidance and wisdom to our President and the Administration to lead our nation to prosperity and stronger economic conditions. Let us join in a –

A Prayer for The President and the Administration of the United States

O Lord, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favor to behold and bless thy servants The President of the United States, Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and all others in administration; and so replenish them with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue them plenteous with heavenly gifts; grant them in health and prosperity long to live; and finally, after this life, to attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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4-pronged resolution for Nineveh Fast, the lent of repentance

NARODA, Ahmedabad: Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan, Diocese of Ahmedabad, has come out with a four-pronged resolution for Nineveh Fast or the lent of Repentance which is being observed from January 21-23, 2013.

Dr Mar Yulios has called upon all faithful members of Ahmedabad Diocese to observe the lent rigorously and attain from God His abundant grace.

Nineveh Fast, a preparatory period of fasting and prayer, is observed before the Great Lent and the blessed feast of Resurrection of the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, which is the basis of Indian Orthodox faith.

The Metropolitan elaborates that “if we compare our modern life with that of the Ninevites we may be eligible for more severe punishments. But as the Ninevites fasted and prayed severely for 40 days and nights and averted God’s anger, we may also transform God’s anger and punishment into mercy and blessings! This year let us observe this lent rigorously and attain from God his abundant grace. Let us look into the matter more spiritually and scientifically.

The young Metropolitan has advised to adopt to ‘Fruitarians’ (consuming only fruits), during the period. Nutritionists say that a diet constituting of fruits for three days was an efficient and assured way of rejuvenating and detoxifying the body. “Let us look into the matter spiritually and scientifically. Those who can fast till afternoon or evening can do so and for three days,” he says.

Dr Mar Yulios has in the Kalpana No 03/13 dated January 18, 2013 also suggests to practice prostration, to pray twice a day and to keep aside a small amount towards charity.

For aiding the less privileged, His Grace has suggested to contribute whole heartedly a sizeable amount saved during the three-day fast and forth coming Great Lent to Prerna Special School for the mentally challenged children, run by STOTS in Kalmeshwar, Nagpur, Maharashtra.

The school is doing a remarkable work in serving the society and extending the comforting hand of Christ to the needy in the society. This is being done through the MGOCSM who has come up with this noble project.

The Bull was issued from St Thomas Bishop’s House, the Head Quarters of Ahmedabad Diocese in Naroda, Gujarat.

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OVBS in Muscat Maha Idavaka concluded

MUSCAT: Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edavaka conducted its 23rd session of Orthodox Vacation Bible School (OVBS) from December 26, 2012 to January 3, 2013.

The theme of the 10-day Bible School was on ‘We are one in Christ’ from Galations 3:28.

The classes were held under the guidance of Dn Anish Koickalethu Sam from Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, from 8 am to 1 pm. There was also a love-feast, and a visit to a farm in Barka with teachers and parents.

The valedictory function was held in a grand manner on January 3 at 6 pm. Various cultural programmes were enacted by the Sunday School students.

The OVBS convenors were John Thomas Vadakkedum, Reji Philip and Binil K S.

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Jini Mathew Passed Away in Detroit

DETROIT: Jini Mathew (58), mother of Fr. Mathew T. Mathew (Shaun) had passed away on Sunday January 13th at Detroit

The funeral was held on Wednesday, January 16th at Guardian Angel Cemetery, Rochester, MI after the Holy Qurbana and funeral services at St. Thomas Orthodox Church.

Southwest American Diocesan Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius led the funeral services.

Viewing was conducted on Tuesday, January 15 at St. Thomas Orthodox Church of India.

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Fr. V.V. Bahanan as Cor-episcopos

vv bahanan cor-episcopa
KURUPPAMPADY: Sabha Managing Committee Member Fr. V.V Behanan was elevated to the Cor – episcopate in a ceremony at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Kunnakkurudy of Ankamaly Diocese.

Diocesan Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Polycarpose was the chief celebrant at the ceremony.

Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Polycarpose presided over the public meeting. Joseph Vazhakkan MLA inaugurated the function. Various dignitaries including Dr.Thomas Mar Athanasius, K P Danapalan M.P, V P Sajeendran MLA, Saju Paul MLA, P.C.Thomas (Ex.Central Minister), Raman Namboodiri (Ex.Sabarimala melsanthi) and Mathai Edayanal Cor-Episcopa attended the function.

Bahanan Corepiscopos is currently the Vicar of St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church and St. Thomas Catholicate Centre, Kuruppampady)

The ordination ceremony was attended by priests from various dioceses and other sister churches.

News Reported by: Alex Kuriakose

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Sohar St George Church to hold a Harvest Festival on Feb 7

SOHAR: St George Church Orthodox, Sohar which holds the food and harvest festival on an annual basis has decided to hold it this year too. The 2013 Food and Harvest Festival will be held at the Sports Complex, Sohar on February 7, Thursday evening.

The festival will commence from 6 pm onwards.

Rev Fr C S Mathews, Vicar/President, SGOC, has requested the faithful to attend in large numbers.

The food festival will also include dance, games and music.

There will be mouth-watering barbecue, kappa-fish curry, traditional Kerala cuisines, Thattukada and various types of food stalls. On the entertainment side, programs like group dance, instrumental music, and musical nite will enthrall the crowd.

Contact: Rev Fr C S Mathews, (GSM: 97375874)