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Association of Chhattisgarh Christian Educational Societies (ACCES) formed

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RAIPUR: A common platform for all Christian Educational Institutions in the state by the Churches which manages Educational Institutions have formed the Association of Chhattisgarh Christian Educational Societies (ACCES).

This association will bring all Christian Educational Institutions under one umbrella and function as an apex body of the Christian Minority Institutions. The registered office of ACCES shall be at Bishop Philip Ekka Pastoral Centre, Byron Bazaar, Raipur.

ACCES shall also function as an advisory body to all Christian member institutions so as to promote research activities and conduct studies and investigate further educational facilities . ACCES shall unite these institutions to safeguard their character and constitutional rights. Christian institutions and Churches are targeted often, mainly by fringe elements and these incidents are on a rise.

Arch Bishop H.E. Dr. Victor Henry Thakur (Raipur Catholic Arch Diocese) heads the Association as its President along with Vice President Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan (Malanakara Orthodox Syrian Church). Fr. Joshi Varghese (Secretary St. Thomas Mission Bhilai) has been chosen as the Secretary, Ajay Dharamraj (Diocesan Secretary, CNI Raipur) as Treasurer and Dr. P.K. Martin (Mennonite Education Board, Dhamthari) as Joint Secretary.

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Fr. Philip M. Samuel, celebrates Priesthood Pearl Jubilee

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DELHI: Fr. Philip M. Samuel, Priest of the Delhi Diocese today completes 30 years of Priesthood.

Fr. Philip M. Samuel, was ordained on February 23, 1986 at St. George Orthodox Valiyapally, Thumpamon Erom, Mathoor, Pathanamthitta by Late Lamented Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios Metropolitan.

Currently he is serving as the Vicar of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Gurgaon. Wife: Valsamma Philip. Children Cecil Sam Philip, Cerin Mary Philip. Fr. Philip is from Changayil Family, Mathoor.

Previously he served in St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Hauz Khas, New Delhi (Astt. Vicar) – 1986-1989, St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Udaipur, Rajasthan – 1989-1992, St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Bhilwara, Rajasthan – 1989-1992, St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Banswara, Rajasthan – 1989-1992, St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Dungarpur, Rajasthan -1989-1992, St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Dubai, UAE – 1992-1995, Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Janakpuri, New Delhi – 1996-2002, St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Ghaziabad – 2002-2005, St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Faridabad – 2005-2006, St. John’s Orthodox Church, Mayur Vihar Phase – I, Delhi – 2006-2011 and St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, C-3, SDA, Hauz Khas, as vicar

News: Varughese P Thomas

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Living word of God is the media followed by Christians, says Mar Yulios

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UDAIPUR: “The living word of God, the good news, should be the media which Christians must devotedly follow”, the Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios said.

The base of our media culture should be “Christ is our savior” the Metropolitan reminded, quoting from the Gospel St Luke 2-10:11

Mar Yulios was delivering the presidential address after inaugurating the 6th annual MMVS conference of Ahmedabad Diocese, at Mar Gregorios Valiya Pally, Udaipur, from December 12, 13, 2015.

The theme of the conference was based on “The Christian family in the context of New Media Culture”.

About 250 delegates from the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan attended the two-day annual conference and shared their experience of having an enriching and rewarding experience.

Fr George Abraham, Vicar, Mar Gregorios Valiya Pally, Udaipur, welcomed the dignitaries at the inaugural function and urged the Samajam delegates to seize the opportunity to attain maximum benefit from the conference.

Elaborating on the theme, Fr Dr John Thomas Karingattil, focused on the role of parents to inculcate Christian values among children. “This will help them differentiate the good and evil of new media culture and its influence,” he explained.

Jaisy John Karingattil with her expertise as an advocate briefed about empowerment of women and urged the womenfolk to be aware of their rights and to kindle the spirit of self-confidence, self-respect and empower oneself and the society.

The delegates enjoyed the classes as the lessons were interspersed with fun and humor. The classes were also made very interactive as the message was delivered to the delegates in a very interesting manner.
Fr Manu Varghese Jacob, Vice President MMVS, Fr Binu John, Vicar, Banaswara Church also graced the occasion and delivered felicitation speeches.

A group discussion with presentation brought forth the theme in its full depth which was much appreciated. The conference also saw various flair of the Samajam members being exhibited through competitions on solo song, quick Bible verses and talent show.

Top rankers from the diocesan level results of annual MMVS examinations 2015 were declared during the conference and awarded.

General Secretary Mrs Beena Kuriakose presented the annual report and the annual accounts for 2014-15 was read by treasurer Mrs Ponnamma Thomas.

The warmth of the hospitality by Mar Gregorios Valiya Pally, Udaipur, the host church, under the leadership of Fr George, the Vicar, was highly applauded by all the participants.

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Catholicos declared bishop Alvares Mar Julius and Fr R Z Noronha as ‘Regional Saints’

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UDUPI: Catholicos Paulose II, who is on his maiden apostolic tour of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar and its chapels, on Sunday December 6, declared bishop Alvares Mar Julius and Fr R Z Noronha as ‘Regional Saints’ (Blessed) during the Sunday holy Eucharist offered at St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar.

Regional saint is a step lower than the universal saint, the highest status which is posthumously conferred to any individual by the church. Thus, Udupi district gets to witness for the first time, two persons who lived and served at Brahmvar, being raised to the level of ‘Regional Saints’.

After the holy Eucharist, the valedictory of the three-day visit of HH Baselios Marthoma Paulose II was held.

Fr CA Isaac, vicar general of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian cathedral, Fr Lawrence Dsouza, Fr David Crasta, Fr Abraham Kuriakose, Fr Noel Lewis, Alan Rohan Vaz – convener church renovation committee, Marton D’souza – Candle trustee, Ivan Suares-Member Malankara Managing Committee, Brahmavar diocese and Anil Rodrigues bid a farewell to Baselios Marthoma Paulos II during the short valedictory ceremony which was held soon after the holy Eucharist.

Diocesan Metropolitan Yakob Mar Elias and Mathai Mampally-Member, Malankara managing committee were also given farewell felicitation. Valedictory function was concluded by singing Laudate (Latin hymn from book of psalms) as one family.

Life of Metropolitan (Bishop) Alvares Mar Julius:

Born on 29th April 1836 in the region of Goa, currently a State of Indian Republic, Alvares Mar Julius was ordained as a priest of Catholic Order in 1869. As a priest and a staunch freedom fighter of Goa, the eminent personality, Fr Alvares, served in his land for spiritual and social upliftment of his countrymen for a span of eighteen years during 1869-1887. His philanthropy, patriotism and yearning for freedom from foreign Portuguese yoke, journalistic acumen and his aristocratic birth had won a good number of followers for him in Goa and South Canara. Due to the political and religious constraints of that time in his own region, Fr Alvares left Goa in 1887, geographically rerouted his mission area and started to concentrate his social and spiritual activities among his folks in Brahmavar.
On July 29, 1889, Alvares was consecrated as a Metropolitan (Bishop) with the title Alvares Mar Julius at the Old Seminary, Kottayam by Malankara Metropolitan Pulikkottil Mar Joseph Dionysius II and St Geevarghese Mar Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni, the first canonized Saint of Malankara). The newly consecrated Metropolitan Mar Julius was appointed as the Archbishop of India and Ceylon for the diocesan area of outside Kerala of the Malankara Orthodox Church.

Brahmavar Mission:

Alvares Mar Julius started the Brahmavar Mission in Karnataka in 1888. This mission was started in order to give spiritual leadership and to help them learn liturgy and catechism of the Church for those people newly joined to the Orthodox Church from the surrounding regions. He was the shepherd of over 5,000 faithful in Brahmavar who bestowed their allegiance to him.
In 1913, he left Brahmavar and went back to Goa. He had to suffer a lot of persecution at the hands of the Portuguese. He spent the rest of his life for collecting food for the poor people in Goa. His grace entered into eternal abode on September 23, 1923 at Ribandar, Panaji, Goa and interred mortal remains in Goa.

During his lifetime, he was known as educator, social worker, apostle of charity and patriot.

Posthumously, he came to be known more as a martyr and a saint. In the face of severe persecution, he stood for his faith. With time, more and more miracles were testified through his intercession.

Life of Fr Roque Zeferino Noronha, Brahmavar:

Fr Roque Zeferino Noronha was was born on October 20, 1850, at Angediva, Goa. He was the youngest son of Custadio Santana Noronha and Felicidade Dionisia Silveira.

Fr Noronha is the one who preached ‘Orthodox Faith’ to the coastal belt in undivided South Kanara viz Brahmavar, Sasthan, Kolalgiri, Kandlur, Barkur, Neelavar and so on and laid a strong foundation of faith.
Fr Noronha was impressed by the lifestyle and teachings of lamented Metropolitan his grace Alvares Mar Julius. As the consecration of Bishop was invoked as Mar Julius, the responsibility of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral was handed over to Fr Noronha. He started to follow the footsteps of his role model in high spirits and accepted the ‘Orthodox Faith’. This was because he learnt that St Thomas had established the ‘Orthodox Community’ 2,000 years ago in Kerala, South India.

He established St Mary’s Church, Kandlur in 1907, and St Antony’s Church, Kolalgiri in 1923.

He was a good educationist, who believed in giving good education to the poor and needy. So he founded the Cosmopolitan Higher Primary School in 1916. The name of the school itself reveals the personality of Fr Noronha. Cosmopolitan meant to treat everyone equally. (The dictionary defines ‘Cosmopolitan’ as diverse, multiethnic or multicultural.)

Through his writings, he challenged his opponents, the ‘Colonial Christian Faith’, who had challenged his mighty faith. He built the foremost Brahmavar Church with his own hands. Besides this, he went far in the service of the ones in deep waters.

Right from the time he settled at Brahmavar, this place turned into a holy and historical pilgrimage center. Along with this, the people of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar became more devotional to their patron ‘Mother of Miracles, St Mary.’

Even after years of his death, his memory has taken deep roots in the hearts of the masses especially the elderly people of Brahmavar and Brahmavarians. There are lots of reasons behind this. The first and foremost is that Fr Noronha used to give medications. His medication was free of cost and never depended on one’s caste. He always lent a helping hand to the people. Though he never did any doctoring, he utilized his teachings from Goa to aid the poor and needy, which led to miracles. This made him popular and far famed. His spirituality was beyond comparison. He has already occupied a saint’s place in the minds of the people, all because of his prayers and medications.

Source: Daijiworld.com

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Ahmedabad Diocese MMVS conference on Dec 12, 13 at Udaipur Valiyapally

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UDAIPUR: The Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam (MMVS) unit of Ahmedabad Diocese is gearing up to host the 6th Diocesan Conference being scheduled for December 12, 13, 2015 at Mar Gregorios Valiya Pally, Udaipur.

Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Diocesan Metropolitan, will lead the two-day conference.

The theme of the MMVS Conference will be based on “The Christian family in the context of New Media Culture”.

Key note speakers at the conference include Fr Dr John Thomas Karingattil, Prof of Media and Communications, Kottayam Seminary, and Chief Editor of Malankara Sabha magazine along with his spouse Adv Jaisy Karingattil , OCYM General Secretary.

Delegates from all parish of Ahmedabad Diocese are expected to attend the annual conference. The meeting will also include group discussions, competitions, talent night which is expected to add colour to the conference.

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Catholicos to Visit Brahmavar in early December

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UDUPI: The Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, is set to make his maiden visit to St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral Brahmavar and its chapels (‘Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community’) from 4 to 6 of December, said Fr Issac C A, Vicar General of St Mary’s Cathedral Brahmavar, at a press meet held at the Press Club here on Monday, November 9, 2015.

St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral and its 7 chapels is the only Konkani speaking orthodox community, within the jurisdiction of the Indian Orthodox Church and in the entire world. As such, this visit is of great importance for the community and its churches.

The Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community and the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church share many things in common, especially their history. Both have fought foreign (Western) domination over the Indian Church and as such, they have fostered native or Indian leadership. Thus, promulgating ‘Swadeshi Ideology’ within the Christian Church. It was for this reason the founder of Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community, late Alvares Mar Julius Archbishop, brought the community under the communion of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church in 1889.

Catholicos Paulose II had taken an interest in the affairs of the Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community from the beginning and had expressed keen interest in visiting the community. He will arrive in Udupi on the morning of 4 December, 2015. Catholicos Paulose II will be received in a procession from Udupi Karavali Junction to St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar at 9 am.

In the evening at 4 pm, a public meet will be held in the Church compound in view of the maiden visit of Catholicos Paulose II. Along with it, the inaugural ceremony of the Centennial Celebrations of the Cosmopolitan Higher Primary School Brahmavar will also be held.

On 5 December, Catholicos Paulose II will set out to Hulikel, Shivamogga District to consecrate the newly built St Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, a chapel of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar. Thereafter, His Holiness will be visiting all the Chapels, namely: Hosangady – St George Church, Kandlur – St Mary’s Church, Sastan – St Thomas Church, Kurady – St Peter and Paul’s Church and Kolalgiri – St Antony Church.

On 6 December, Catholicos Paulose II will be celebrating the holy Eucharist at 8:30 am. During the Eucharist, late Alvares Mar Juilus Archbishop (Founder of Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community) and late Fr R Z Noronha (First Vicar General of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral Brahmavar) will be declared as ‘Blessed Saints’. Thereafter, Paulose II will meet various spiritual organizations and management committees associated with St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar.

In the morning of 7 December, Catholicos Paulose will return to Kottayam.

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Fr Abraham Kuriakose, Fr Noel Lewis, assistant priest of the cathedral Fr David Crasta, treasurer of the cathedral Anil Rodrigues and Joslin Almeida were present at the press meet.

Courtesy: Mangalorean

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Feast of Metropolitan Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius concluded in Bhilai

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BHILAI: The glowing memories of ‘ Bada Baba’ -as Metropolitan Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius of Blessed Memory were fondly called by the villagers- was re-lived on the occasion of the 8th Annual Feast of the first Metropolitan of the Dioceses of Madras and Calcutta from 29 October to 5 November, 2015 at the St. Thomas Chapel, Kailash Nagar, Bhilai.

In a solemn ceremony at 12pm on October 29 at the St. Thomas Ashram, Kailash Nagar, Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II hoisted the flag marking the opening of the 8th Memorial Feast of Mar Theodosius. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostemos, Metropolitan of Diocese of Niranam was the chief celebrant for the feast.

On 4th November, Holy Qurbana was celebrated by Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese. A symposium was conducted on the “Mission perspectives of Metropolitans Late Lamented Alexios Mar Theodosius, Late Lamented Kuriakose Mar Gregorios and Late Lamented Stephanos Mar Theodosius”. Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan, Fr. Dr. Bijesh Philip, Principal, STOTS and Fr. Mathewkutty, Pampady Dayara were the resource persons.

A seminar on “Use and abuse of social media” was conducted in the afternoon. Fr. Titus John led the session. Rasa conducted from the MGO Cathedral to the Tomb of Mar Theodosius situated at St. Thomas Chapel, Kailash Nagar, Bhilai.

On 5th of November, Holy Qurbana was celebrated by Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostemos, Metropolitan of Diocese of Niranam.

The Meritorious students from the Schools under the Diocese of Calcutta and St. Thomas Mission were presented with a Mar Theodosius Merit Award. Submission of Catholicate Day Collection, Diocesan Priests’ Meeting, and Baskiamma Meeting were also held after the service.

The Feast concluded with a ceremonial lowering of Perunal flag at 2pm by the Diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius.

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Delhi Diocesan MGOCSM conference LOGOS-15 concluded

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DELHI: M.G.O.C.S.M. Delhi Diocese had organized the ‘Three Day Annual Conference’ “LOGOS 2015, from 23 to 25 October St. Thomas School, Indirapuram Ghaziabad.

The conference was hosted by the St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Ghaziabad.

The Theme of the conference was “Trust in the Lord with all your Heart, and lean not on your Understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Theodore Collins, Bishop of CNI, along with Sam V. Gabriel, Cor-episcopos inaugurated the conference by lighting the lamp. Fr. Saji Yohannan (Vicar), Fr. Saju Thomas (Asst. Vicar) were also present on the occasion.

Dr. Yuhannon Mar Demetrius, Diocesan Metropolitan; Sam V Gabriel Cor-episcopos (Vicar, St. George Orthodox Church, Dwaraka) and Fr. Dr. Bijesh Philip (Principal, St. Thomas Theological Seminary Nagpur) were the leaders for the conference

A workshop was conducted by Lovelish Abraham (Former Chief Editor, Prayatna Magazine Delhi Diocese)

“It was filled with spiritually inspiring sessions, fun filled games, interactive workshops, grilling Q&A session, invigorating Talent Night and a soul stirring Gregorian Retreat” most of the attendees reflected.

Gregorian Voice, the official Choir of MGOCSM Delhi Diocese led the songs sessions and retreat.

LOGOS gave the members a platform to learn Orthodox faith and its exercises. Interactive sessions allowed the members to dig deep to find out why we conform to orthodoxy. 245 delegates from across Delhi Diocese attended the 3 day LOGOS 2015.

News sent in by Varughese P Thomas

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The Australian Orthodox Clergy Retreat concluded

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SYDNEY: The retreat for the clergy of the Indian Orthodox Church in Australia was held on February 20, 2015 at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Cathedral, Sydney. The retreat was lead by Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos and Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros.

“His Grace Mar Dioscoros’ opening address encouraged the clergy under the diocese of Madras in Australia to use the Great Lent with its intensified prayer life as a preparation for the year ahead. Metropolitan suggested that although they might face criticism from people on one hand and the ire of their superiors on the other, their reaction should always be positive like Moses and Aaron.

Mar Polycarpos, in the main retreat address, spoke to the clergy referring to Psalm 34:8 enjoining them to take in God their refuge like David did when he was in danger from Abimelech. The Metropolitan emphasized that priests should pray to God to know the One Who called them properly. God’s people entrusted to them can be led by them to Him only through their right words and activities. ”

Fr. Thomas Varghese, Fr.Shinu K Thomas, Fr. James Philip, Fr. Ferdinand Pathrose, Fr. Benny K David, Fr. Varghese Maniyampra and Fr. Babu Kurian from the parishes in Australia attended this retreat. Fr. George Thomas (visiting priest) also was present at the retreat.

Fr. Benny David welcomed the gathering. Fr. James Philip proposed vote of thanks.

This event also coincided with the 6th anniversary of the Episcopal ordination of Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos and Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros. Fr. Thomas Varghese congratulated both Metropolitans on behalf of all the priests and wished them all the best.

News sent in by Sujeev Varghese

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Home for the differently challenged girls and school in Mysore consecrates

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MYSORE: Bengaluru Diocese of Indian Orthodox Church is giving increasing importance to the existing Diocese Mission projects at Bilikere, Mysore, in Karnataka and in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh.

Diocese Metropolitan Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim had started a home for the differently abled girls and an English medium school at Bilikere in Hunsur Taluk of Mysore district.

On January 26, Metropolitan Mar Seraphim led the inauguration and consecration of the project.

H P Manjunath, Hunsur MLA, cut the ribbon and lighted a traditional lamp to signal the formal opening of the school and home. A number of clergy and faithful from various parishes in Bengaluru also attended the function.

At present construction in about five-and-half acres in the district has begun in right earnest. The Diocese is planning to build an international school which will have Kannada school primarily for the local students and aims to provide quality education.

The future plan is to construct on the remaining four acre area with an international school and hostel facility. The estimated cost of the institution which can accommodate about 20 girls came to around Rs 85 lakhs. Mar Seraphim says the school will remain as a mission centre for the Diocese.

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