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Metropolitan Mar Barnabas- A tribute

It was on July 3rd, 2012 the last time I had a chance to meet with our beloved Thirumeni at his residence in Pampady Dayara. He was very excited and energetic and eager to learn about the progress of his former diocese which he divided and gave to two of his successors.

Mar Barnabas was a simple and humble bishop as someone opined a ‘golden bishop with a wooden stick”. I emphasis on the word, “golden” because he was of 24carart, which is flexible, no copper added to strengthen it. This original nature had its limits. He was excited to learn about the Educational Scholarship established in his name in the South West America diocese. Immediately he dictated a kalpana to the diocese complimenting them. It was a fulfilling moment for me.

It was his humble nature and commitment to ministry that made me to choose Idukki diocese for my parish ministry upon my ordination prior to migrating to the United States. ( I was trained and ordained for the outside Kerala diocese by the one and only Outside Kerala diocesan metropolitan, HG Mathews Mar Athanasius). I loved him and cared for him just like any responsible children who had no eyes on paternal inheritance. It was true that, we had disagreements. They are all part of healthy paternal reactions or parent child conflicts. Outsider may try to take advantage of it, it is universal truth and it happened here too.

It was on March 22, 1992 His Grace arrived in the US to take responsibility of the American diocese. It was not an easy ride in the early years. When his living arrangement was in a quandary, it was Mr. K. M. Jacob and family who came forward and took care of him just like a father. Mr. Jacob was not in any way involved in the diocesan administration.

It was during his term that our diocese took membership in the National Council of Churches in the USA, which a dream for me since 1983. The diocese went through the storms in 1995-96, but he kept his calm. The church created another diocese- Canada and Europe. I was there with him all these difficult years and during fire test of September 6, 1996. He came out humbled and victorious.

Mar Barnabas was a great, I say it again, simple person. He considers himself as a father to all and expected full obedience from all. It was his honest and short tempered. A short living short temper, easily ignited easily extinguished. I was fascinated by his generosity, always gave his share for any new church buildings in his diocese. I do recall his donation of $5000.00 to Orlando church when I was serving there for a short period of time. He never bothered about his survival or was never overly concerned about money. God gave him lavishly and he distributed it lavishly. It was his transparency in money matters that helped the small diocese to secure a great place for itself. His financial dealings are great model for all our hierarchy. It was said that he authored 25 books, but his whole life was a book if we could read it right. May God grant him eternal life.

Fr.Dr. Joy Pyngolil
Diocesan Secretary, Southwest America

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Does the Lay-leaders of the Church are ignored and are the positions ornamental?

We have a serious problem that to be addressed at large! Malankara Orthodox Syrian church has adopted a constitution of democracy in administering the church. That is why we have Lay Trustee and Secretary from parish to church level. Now a day it is a bad tendency that the clergies are blocking the recognition to the lay leaders and trying to ignore the lay leaders.

The Vicars in some parishes changed the positions of the Trustee as treasurer and the laymen kept quiet as they may be ignorant or they are afraid of the Vicar. If there are any public function the Clergies will find seat for the clergy, deacons and even to seminarians at the stage and they will extend welcome and thanks to them but they will ignore if there is any Managing committee member or Diocesan council Member, and the lay leaders, which is not at all the correct procedure. Parish-Diocesan-Church level all the functions are arranging and organizing by the laymen but when the function come the stage will be decorated by all those have robs and crowns only and the laymen are ignored. They have the places at the “Kitchen or “Vadakke Puram”.

This type of clergy monopoly is spreading and the laymen keep quiet and then it is becoming an order gradually.

We celebrated a great function and of course the lay leaders are the ones who arranged everything and no lay leaders were allowed to do their roll on the stage. Lay Trustee and Association Secretary got a chair at the stage clergies including the Priest Trustee got roll in stage but the lay leaders were ignored. This should be stopped and the laymen should not allow proceeding to eradicate their rights. It should be a subject that we need to discuss and stand for.

Unacceptable Supremacy of clergies “Pawrohithya Melkoyma” cannot be tolerated. When we tolerate it, it makes to loose the rights of the Laymen. Laymen are the main stream that keeps the church strong and the foundation of the Church. If laymen are not active then there will not be any Church. This subject should be taken seriously. The clergies are decision makers for the Holy sacraments, faith and order but administration and other matters the laymen have important part along with the clergy and they are also the decision makers.

Every hierarchy should show the respect and then only they can get the respect. The Church leaders should show us the obedience among them to their superiors and that enables the laymen to obey the superiors.

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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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A great moment for Indian Orthodox Church women to take part in life and witness of the Church

WE thank God humbly for the privilege that we as women of the Indian Orthodox Church (IOC) have got in the very long history of our Church since it was established in AD 52!

We also take this opportunity to thank all those people who were directly and indirectly instrumental in bringing this great change – men and women, laity and clergy, Managing Committee and the Holy Episcopal Synod. Although recognising women’s voting rights at the local parish level and enabling them to be office bearers at the local parish level is a small step, it is indeed a great moment in history, a great beginning for women of our Church to participate in the Life and Witness of our Church (MOSC/IOC) in more responsible, accountable and visible positions. Indeed it is the biggest feather on our cap as we celebrate the Catholicate Centenary this year!

On October 19, 2011, we had this good news when the Managing committee of our Church that met on this day unanimously accepted the constitution revision proposals of the Rules Committee that women of the parish should be given equal right in the parish assembly.

We take this opportunity to thank our Bava Thirumeni HH Baselios Marthoma Paulose II for making the Catholicate Centenary a very meaningful and happier occasion for all women and those who believe in the empowerment of women.

It is indeed a matter of great importance leading to visible Transformation of the Church when the Faith community rejoices in acknowledging God’s Love, Peace and Grace through this gesture. We hope, trust and pray that it will remain a great blessing for this generation and all Generations to come. We look forward the guidance and Blessings of His Holiness as we tread this new, exciting as well as challenging path to witness our faith as we explore greater dimensions of our calling.

Although it was with great fear, doubt and worry that many participated in this process in the last few years, we see the change gaining its momentum under the able guidance and leadership of the Metrachens in different Dioceses. Of course, we do not expect an instant change everywhere but hope and pray that those Parishes and Dioceses which are yet to bring this change will do so in the near future. As a person who has had a global ecumenical exposure working with the Churches across the world, as I commend the Priests, Metrachens, men and women of the Church (including the Youth) for bringing about a big change, I also plead that we take care not to abuse this great privilege and not to create a situation where any particular group will be threatened on account of the changes made in the constitution. By this I mean that every woman who is called elected and put into responsible positions ensure that we carry out our responsibilities in the most fitting manner making a right difference. We need to exercise our roles with great caution, sense of accountability, inclusivity and faithfulness to God Almighty.

While it is seen as expressing the empowerment of women in the Church, for me it is more the expression of our spirituality and faith in the Triune God who embraces us with no discrimination. Whether we take God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son or the Holy Spirit, we see no discrimination. We are all the children of God the Father, Brothers and sisters to Christ through Baptism and become the instruments and agents of change and transformation through the Holy Spirit. Thus the Triune God in whom we live, move and have our being calls us to be the agents of Transformation.

A Kalpana that makes and marks history: At this point of time, I would also like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to our Diocesan Metropolitan HG Dr Mathews Mar Thimothios for giving me this opportunity to serve the UK region in my role as the Deputy Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Spiritual Organizations.

I am deeply humbled and commit myself to serve in this capacity to the best of my ability by God’s Grace. Needless to say that he has taken a huge step with Faith and Courage.

As a mark of celebrating this day I would like to post His Grace’s Kalpana here (dated August 23, 2012 No: 29/GEN/2012) May many more women be honoured to take up such positions at different levels in our Church. I am grateful to all people in this region – young and old who have rejoiced with me as I got this new role, which constantly encourage, support and uphold me in their prayers.

I also take this opportunity to thank HG Dr Yuhanon Mar Meletius for all his contributions in my spiritual and personal formation. I am ever grateful to him for the manner in which he has enabled me to take deeper roots in the Orthodox Faith even as I am in the learning process to understand and witness the Orthodox Faith in its essence and grandeur.

If you wish to read more on the proposal – the text of the report given by HH Yuhanon Mar Meletius on behalf of the Commission appointed by the Holy Episcopal Synod to study the matter and place proposal, please follow the link below:

As His Grace says, the Synod, the Rules Committee and the Managing Committee has made several changes to this document. It is taken from his Blog. Click to go to this page

Answer me O Lord!:

You can read many articles or refer to the above link for Questions and Answers which I am sure will add Blessings in your life enlightening you on many questions in relation to Orthodox Faith and our witness. You can also go to Skydrive to listen to sermons or read more articles and interviews or view photographs! Hope you find these resources helpful not just in your Ecumenical and Spiritual journey but instrumental in changing your perspectives in relation to our Socio-political, religio-cultural and economic participation in whichever part of the world we may be in.

May they help us to re-orient ourselves deeply rooted in our Faith to respond to the challenges of this 21st Century.

You may be happy to find the resources here in both English and Malayalam including audio sermons that nourish us. They are like streams in the desert that one can seek and be refreshed. The link

As we pray for God’s guidance to lead us in paths that lead us to witness God’s love in our day to day lives, may we commit ourselves as members of this great Church with its great heritage to live out our faith in the Triune God to bring Transformation through love, peace and justice. May this day in history be a day that we remember to empower those at the margins – the least, the last and lost.

Mrs Elizabeth Joy is the newly appointed Deputy Secretary of Ecumenical Relations and Spiritual Organisations from UK-Europe and Africa. She was appointed by HG Dr Mathews Mar Thimothios, Diocese Metropolitan of UK-Europe and Africa.

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Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius : A Visionary and Pioneer Orthodox Missionary Bishop

1. Introduction

Late lamented His Grace Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius was the first Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese and Founder Director/President of St. Thomas Mission Bhilai. It is a matter of pride and great privilege to be his immediate successor and I humbly bow my head in respect to the sacred memory of this saintly Bishop on the occasion of the fifth Anniversary of his entering the eternal heavenly abode. Though he was not an extraordinary scholar or orator, he was a godly man with deep devotion and commitment. He was positively unique and solitary in every dimension. He dedicated himself for the Christian witness in North India, where he spent his entire life and finally his mortal remains were laid to rest in the very soil were he toiled. This article is a humble effort to reflect upon briefly his works and contributions, in the North Indian context as a visionary Orthodox Bishop, Educationalist and activist and pioneer Orthodox Christian Missionary.

2. As a visionary Orthodox Christian Bishop in North India

He was consecrated as Bishop at Niranam Valiyapally on 16th February 1975 along with four other Bishops of high esteem, and was given charge of the then Madras Diocese. The Diocese of Calcutta was organized in 1979 and Church then appointed him as the first Metropolitan. The new Diocese was an underdeveloped one and included very few churches at that time. Even these were distributed far and wide spreading around ten North Indian states including the North East. To support this economically weak Diocese, the parishes in Muscat and Kuwait were also included under the Diocese.

As a devoted Bishop, his three important endeavors are commendable.

(1) He very well understood that the future of the Church will be dazzling only if the younger generations are taken care of. For the generation born and brought up outside Kerala, Hindi became their ‘thinking language’ and was literally at a loss during the worship which was conducted in Malayalam. Mar Theodosius took steps to translate Holy Qurbana and prayers into Hindi. His Grace took pains to celebrate Holy Qurbana in Hindi and also asked the parishes to have services in Hindi at least once or twice every month.

(2) To train the Priests in a North Indian context and Mission-based orientation, he jumped into a new venture of starting a Theological and Mission Training Institute at Bhilai in Aramana /Mission house/Ashram centre. With the consent of the Holy Episcopal Synod and full co-operation of the Church, this later emerged and developed as ‘St. Thomas Theological Seminary’, a fully fledged theological Seminary and shifted its permanent site into the city of Nagpur. At this juncture it is noteworthy that the contributions of Mar Theodosius Thirumeni is comparable to that of almost the late lamented Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, the great Malankara Metropolitan who is well known as the founder and father of organized Theological studies and Seminaries in the Church.

(3) To cater the spiritual need of the Diaspora Syrian Christians distributed in and around the Northern states of India, Thirumeni started prayer fellowships and congregations which all later developed into Parishes. Without remunerations and proper salary quota drawing from these centers, the priests were sent for the spiritual caring of his people. The priests in those days reserve gratitude and remain as models for their selfless service with minimum material remunerations.

3. As a visionary Educationist

Christian mission in India is always remembered for its positive contributions in the field of education. From the latter part of 18th century onwards Malankara church also made some forays in the field of education. Saint Gregorios (Parumala) and later Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius II and other Church Fathers started schools for the uplift of the people both within and outside the ambit of the Church. English education was also started which marked the beginning of a new social revolution in Kerala. Having this awareness in mind, Mar Theodosius arrived in North India as a young priest. He found that the social milieu here is more or less comparable to that of the 19th century-Kerala. Poverty was rampant in the villages and adding to the worry superstitious practices which sometimes even posed a threat to the life were prevalent. It occurred to him that the remedy mainly lied in educating the people. So he decided to start schools alongside churches.

Another reason for the starting of Schools was his vision for the church. He foresaw the future and understood that if a situation arises in which the membership of the local parish is less, the school may serve as a life support system by providing the essentials to the Priests who also will be in-charges of the Schools. The task was ambitious but the resources were scarce. With an indomitable commitment to the cause of education he decided to go for the arduous mission. To cut the long story short, he was instrumental in starting a string of educational institutions from Madhya Pradesh to Nagaland. It ranged from many balawadis to an Engineering college. More than two dozens of Schools and a P.G. College also came into existence due to his persistent labour.

The educational institutions started by Mar Theodosius was aimed at helping the needy and economically weak in the society. The fact that he could have easily turned those institutions into money spinners which he never did bears witness to his deep social commitment. Not a single paisa was charged as capitation fee or donation even in the professional colleges either from the students or from the candidates who came seeking for job opportunities. ‘Imparting value-based excellent education at affordable cheaper cost’ to the down-trodden weaker sections of the society was his vision and mission.

4. As a pioneer Orthodox Christian Missionary and Social Worker in North India

The greatness of Mar Theodosius as an Orthodox Missionary can be better gauged only if we consider the Mission history of Orthodox church in India. Many point it out that the lack of ‘missionary spirit’ as a shortcoming of the Church. Saint Gregorios of Parumala and Pathrose Mar Osthathios might be treated as exceptions. The church was more than happy to confine to the geographical boundaries of the present day Kerala for almost two thousand years.

Mar Theodosius wanted to change the perception of Malankara Church from a Malayalee Church to an Indian Church. Whenever and wherever he got a chance to air his views he passionately talked about the mandate that the Church has got regarding Mission. He always exhorted the believers not to ‘fail St. Thomas’.

The starting of a Theological Seminary in North India shows his zeal for making the Church Indian. Since the social, religious and cultural conditions of Kerala and North India differed a lot, it would be a tough job for a priest who was brought up and trained in Kerala to cater to the needs of the Church in North India. He argued the ministry will be more fruitful if the training imparted takes place in the same milieu were they are intended to serve. Mar Theodosius’ vision about the new seminary included committed ‘Missionary priests and laymen’. He direly wanted to improve the situation of the millions of the poor people in the villages “who could not discern between their right hand and their left hand”. To uplift them socially and economically he inaugurated a mission model hitherto unknown to the Malankara Church. It was born out of his conviction that it is better to transform a society than spoon feeding a few individuals. This was successfully implemented for the first time in Makodia and was later replicated in various other areas and resulted in the social uplift of many.

5. Conclusion: the follow up works and developments at present

It’s an undeniable fact that the void created by the passing away of Mar Theodosius cannot be bridged but our humble efforts are on to continue the works started by that great soul. Significant attempts are made at streamlining the activities of our diocese.

5.a. Diocesan level

5.a1. Parishes and congregations

As part of the Diocesan activities and mission within our church people and other denominations in North India, we are able to start some new parishes and congregations in the last couple of years.

• Kuwait: By the grace of God a new parish named St. Basil Indian Orthodox Church, was formed in Kuwait and now we have three parishes there.

• Itanagar: We were able to have our own church consecrated in the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh. Now the church functions in a rented hall and there are plans to have our own land and building.

• Jamshedpur: Though Jamshedpur parish was functioning for more than two decades it was handicapped by not having an own centre. The long cherished dream to have own centre of worship was fulfilled with the consecration of the new Church last year.

• Kondagaon: At Kondagaon, a Naxal affectarea of Bastar District services were held earlier in St. Paul Minor Seminary run by Roman Catholic Church. A plot of land was purchased and a small Church and a village Mission Centre was built there with the co-operation of parishioners and the financial aid from the Diocesan centre. It was declared as a Parish and now services are held regularly along with village Mission activities.

• Tezpur: A new congregation was started in the garrison city of Tezpur (Assam) and Holy Qurbana is being conducted once in a month.

• Tinsukia: Another Military town of Tinsukia also witnessed the formation of an Orthodox congregation and is having regular services.

5.a2. At Diocesan Centre

Administrative Block

• At present Diocese & Mission Offices and Ashram is situated in the same building which also accommodates guests. A new administrative block is being built which is nearing its completion and expected to be inaugurated in January 2013 as Catholicate Centenary Memorial Block. It will accommodate the offices of the Diocese, Mission and institutions. In future priests and other guests shall also be accommodated in the Guest rooms of the new block so that the old block shall ensure an exclusive area for the inmates of Ashram.

Hall of Memorabilia

• Adjacent to the tomb of Theodosius Thirumeni a hall of Memorabilia was constructed. This is dedicated to preserve the memory of Thirumeni. Photographs, mementos, personal items used by Thirumeni are kept on display.

Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius Memorial Library

• A library containing books of theological interests, Church history, Social and environmental issue, Law etc. was set up for the use of inmates of the Ashram and guests. The library is named as Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius Memorial Library and it includes the collections of Mar Theodosius, other inmates, priests and current journals, magazines and books.

Santhome Press & Training Centre

• With the introduction of new technology and improved machines the output capacity of the Santhome press has been drastically increased. Now priests are appointed as Managers which ensures more accountability and efficiency leading to satisfy the printing requirements of Diocese, Mission and various institutions. Further expansion of the Press is planned with the financial assistance from Mar Gregorios Movement, Kuwait Maha Edavaka.

Diocesan Darpan

• A quarterly official news letter named Diocesan Darpan was started on November 2009 onwards to cover the news of the events conducted at the Parishes, Diocese and institutions. It is a matter of pride that the Darpan has been regularly published without fail ever since. It’s is being planned to make the newsletter into a bimonthly publication.

5.a3. Diocesan Land at Bhopal

In 1950s a land plots of around 40 cents, one km away from the present St. Thomas Cathedral, Bhopal was purchased and a worship centre was started in this piece of land. Later, as the worship centre shifted to develop an independent church at Ashoka Garden, Bhopal, this land was given to Diocese. Due certain difficulties the land could not be occupied by Diocese resulting in encroachment and legal dispute. Now it has been settled legally and the land is regained by the Diocese. Sincere thanks are due to Priests and members of Bhopal parishes for their help and co-operation. The Diocese is planning to start a school and centre there immediately.

5.b. Educational Institutions

• Due to the re-organization of the diocese we had to contribute three schools to the newly formed dioceses. But God was gracious enough to enable us to establish three new schools. The new schools were started in a simple fashion at Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Guwahati. It’s heartening to note that these are functioning properly and in the way of progressing.

• All our Schools and both the colleges are functioning smoothly. A new block was added to our CCET and a couple of new courses were introduced in St. Thomas College. We welcome students within and outside our community to study in our institutions, as these institutions are started by Thirumeni not only to uplift the downtrodden and weaker sections of the society but also to meet the requirements of our people. In many educational centers purchasing of new lands and their legalization processes for up gradation of the institutions are going on.

5.c. Mission Field

• To give a new boost to Mission activities steps are being taken to start a separate Social Service Board under St. Thomas Mission. Experts from Social service sector will be included in the advisory board.

• Process of revamping Makodia mission is also on the anvil with the introduction of new projects. The Jeevan Jyoti project at Bhilai was shifted to a new building in the Mission compound. Training in Computer courses are also imparted to the children. Asha Kendra at Patna and Jeevan Jyoti at Bokaro are also functioning well.

• St. Gregorios Mission at Calcutta was a dream project of Mar Theodosius. Hence we have taken a keen interest and special attention on this and now it is being in the way of materialization. With our humble efforts, personal collections and generous financial assistance from Kuwait St. Gregorios Maha Edavaka activities are going on towards land legalization, school up gradation and construction of Mission centre. A team consisting of a priest as Manager and an efficient working committee is taking care of the activities there.

• Other projects to be taken off include counseling centre Bhopal, Balika Bhavan and Convent at Bhilai, and Diocesan Mission and Youth centre at Raipur.

Prayerful co-operation and hard work of all our Believers are earnestly required for the fulfillment and advancement of all endeavours ahead.

Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius is the Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese & Director of St .Thomas Mission, Bhilai

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A Family in Distress seeks your help

PATHANAMTHITTA: Pazayakavil,Georgekutty, a member of St. George Orthodox Simasana Church, Thattayil, is facing serious heart problem and looking for an urgent help.

Last week Georgekutty was admitted in Parumala St. Gregorios Heart hospital with serious 3 or 4 blocks. The doctor suggested him for an immediate operation to save his life. This operation will cost around Rs. 2.5 Lakh. He is running with ZERO balance and without the help of the community the operation will not be possible.

He have his wife and 2 daughters. His elder daughter is studying for B.Sc nursing in Banglore.(becuase of well wishers support she is paying the fees) and younger one is studying for B.Com

Now the priority is for his surgery. He is indangerous stage. His family background and financials status is very bad. We request the IOH readers are encouraged to help the family in their crisis.

Account no: 2783/95
Bank: Catholic Syrian Bank, Thattayil,Keerukuzhy, Pathanmathitta Dist
Name: George kutty P.K and Reena George

IFC CODE: CSB K 0000192

Reported by: Manu Poothakkuzhiyil

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A Prayer for the Victims of Aurora, Colorado

Heavenly Father our Benevolent Lord,
Creator and Sustainer of us all, hear us, Your children, at this time of unbearable pain. We come to You because You are our Savior and Benefactor Who grants peace and solace to those who suffer. It is only You that can heal our wounds and ease our pain.

We here by pray that you protect and comfort the citizens of Aurora, Colorado at this time of terrible tragedy of trial and crisis. Shield them and us under the shadow of Your Cross. Grant to us, especially those friends and families in Aurora, Your peace, Your love and assistance. Bestow solace and strength to the families of the innocent victims of the barbaric acts of violence in Aurora.

Christ our eternal King and God, You have destroyed death and the devil by Your Cross and have restored man to life by Your Resurrection; give rest, Lord, to the soul of Your children who have fallen asleep in this tragedy, in Your Kingdom. Touch and heal those injured and fighting for their lives in this tragedy. Work through the doctors, nurses, and emergency crews helping those injured and their families.

Help us and people throughout the world to comprehend that we are all your children. We are all brothers and sisters created in your image and likeness. Guide us to live in harmony with one another, respectful of each other’s human rights and human dignity.

We ask this of you; for You are a benevolent and loving God and to You do we ascribe glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen


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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.