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Episcopal Election 2010: Malankara Association Today

Malankara Association venue: Baselios Mathews II Nagar -Sasthamkotta

SASTHAMKOTTA: (Feb.17 -7.30am IST) The Malankara Syrian Christian Association, the parliament of the Malankara Church, will be held today at Mount Horeb Ashram- Sasthamkotta at 12.30pm to elect 7 priests to episcopate.

11 priests have been short listed for election. Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil, Fr. Dr. John Mathews, Fr. Dr. Nathaniel Ramban, Fr. V. M. James, Fr. Yuhanon Ramban, Elavukkattu Fr. Geevarghese Ramban, Fr. Skriah OIC, Fr. Dr. Sabu Kuriakose, Fr. M. K. Kurien, Fr. V. M. Abraham and Fr. J. Mathukutty are in the official panel of the Church presented by the Sabha Managing Committee.

The seven candidates will be elected through secret ballot. Metropolitans, priests, managing committee members and lay representatives will cast their votes in the election.

The registration will begin at 9am. Association members will have to verify themselves at 41 counters according to the dioceses set at the entrance of the Association Nagar from morning 9 am to 12 pm. After verification of Document of Legitimacy (Adhikara Pathram) the delegates will receive identity cards from respective counters. The members will have to submit their Adhikara Pathram at the counter and thereafter they will get the official leaflets on election procedure.

Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselios Marthoma Didymos I will preside over the Association. It will begin with a prayer at the Mar Elia Chapel of Mount Horeb Ashram at 12.30 p.m. Thereafter the Malankara Metropolitan and other Metropolitans will proceed ceremoniously to the dais.

Around 4,000 delegates from across the globe, including those from America, Europe and African Continents, Gulf Countries, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia will participate in the Malankara Association 2010.

“A Five-Member Tribunal, chaired by the Catholicos-elect, Paulose Mar Milithios, would look into the complaints over the list of delegates for the association meeting”, Dr. George Joseph, the Association Secretary, said. Fr. K. A. Abraham, K. T. Chacko I.A.S, Adv. P. G. Jacob and Adv. K. K. Thomas are onboard as jury members of the ‘Tribunal’.

Polling booths will be arranged and counting of votes will be held immediately after the polling. Alexander Daniel IPS, the additional Director General of BSF is the returning officer for the Episcopal Election 2010.

Updates
9.00am IST : Registration started
11.00am IST : Lunch for the Association Members began
12.30pm IST : Procession began
1.00pm IST : Association meeting began with prayer
1.20pm IST: Fr.Bijesh Philip -Nagapur Seminary Delivering the devotional address.
2.15pm IST : Polling began
3.15pm IST : Polling Closed
3.30pm IST: Sorting of ballot paper began
4.00pm IST: Counting began

Total Voters registered
Clergy: 901
Laity: 2094
Minimum vote to pass
Clergy: 451+1
Laity: 1047+1


9.00pm IST : Election declared . 7 priests won

Name : Clergy vote : Laity vote : Total

1. Fr. George Pulikkottil (714 – 1677) = 2391
2. Fr. John Mathews (769 – 1475) = 2244
3. Fr. Sabu Kuriakose (701 – 1536) = 2237
4. Fr. Yuhanon Ramban (599 – 1619) = 2218
5. Fr. Nathaniel Ramban (611 – 1510) = 2121
6. Fr. V. M. Abraham (544 – 1384) = 1928
7. Fr. V. M. James (497 – 1184) = 1681

Congratulations to the Metropolitan Elects from the family of IOH!

Circular- page 1 Page 2
Circular from Asso. Secretary

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Vattasseril Mar Dionysius Memorial Lecture on Feb. 21


KOTTAYAM: The Orthodox Christian Youth movement is conducting Vattasseril Mar Dionysius memorial lecture on Sunday February 21, 2010 at10am at St. Marys Orthodox Church, Karamood, Kottayam in connection with the 76th feast of St. Vattasseril Dionysius.

Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos, president OCYM will celebrate Holy Qurbana and preside over the function.

Paul Manalil, senior editor of Malaya Manorama will be the key note speaker.

Fr. M.C.George Mundaplamoottil, , Fr. Jacob Mathew chandrathil, Vice president, OCYM Fr. Spencer Koshy, General secretary OCYM, Fr. Mathew Philip, Vice president ocym, Kottayam, Fr. M C Kuriakose, manager Old seminary Kottayam, and Mr.Oomman John, Treasurer ocym will felicitate

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OCYM Elocution Competition Feb. 26


KOTTAYAM: The Orthodox Christian Youth Movement, in cooperation with Mar Dionysius foundation has decided to conduct an Akhila Malankara Elocution competition at 10am on February 26 at Orthodox Youth Centre , Kottayam, in connection with 76th feast of St. Vattasseril Mar Dionysius.

The subject will be “Parisuddha Vattasseril thirumeni,aadunika Malankara sabhayude silpi”.

Orthodox youths in between 15 and 40 can participate. Those who wish to participate are requested to report at Orthodox youth centre at 9am on Feb. 26, 2010 with an identification letter from the parish vicar.

Winners will be awarded with merit certificates and cash prizes on the feast day of Saint Vattasseril Mar Dionysius, at old seminary, Kottayam on February 27 , 2010

For more details contact 9447255765, 0481 25839

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Episcopal Election 2010: Association Flame reaches the Destination


SASTHAMKOTTA: The 2010 Malankara Association Flame reached its destination Sasthamkotta Baselios Mathews II Nagar today at 5.30pm with only 1 day to go until the Episcopal Election and ignited at the Association Nagar marked the opening of the event.

The Association 2010 Flame was ignited today morning at 7am at Parumala Seminary after a brief prayer at the tomb of Saint Gregorios of Parumala. Metropolitans Paulose Mar Pachomios, Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Mathews Mar Theodosius and Mathews Mar Epiphanios, Priest Trustee Fr. Dr. Jones Abraham Konatt, Association Secretary Dr. George Joseph, Manager of Parumala Seminary Fr. MD John Ramban, Assistant Managers Fr. K. V. Joseph Ramban and Fr. Simon Skaria, and Fr. Abey Philip were present at the occasion.

The flame traveled across Theo Bhavan, the Mavelikara Diocesan Centre and accepted receptions at the St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Puthiyakaavu, Karippuzha, Muttam, Pallippadu, Danappady, Karthikappally, Cheppadu, Evur, Pathiyur, Kayamkulam, Kattanam, Vallikkunnam, Suranadu, Poruvazhi and Chakkuvallam, and reached Bharanikkavu at 5pm pm. The flame has been followed by hundreds of faithful including the dignitaries of the Church on many vehicles.

The flame was welcomed at Baranicavu with musical accompaniments by the community and taken out in a procession to the Association Nagar which was received by Paulose Mar Pachomios, Zachariah Mar Anthonios, Association Secretary Dr. George Joseph and Lay Trustee Muthoot M. George. Later on at the gate of the Association Nagar the flame was received the Catholicos Elect Paulose Mar Milithios.

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Let Us Be Reconciled With One Another – Shubqono


The Church, on this very afternoon of the ‘Day of Forgiveness,’ has set her journey into penitence. And so, kneeling and prostrating, her people look ahead to Kymtho, the great feast of the Light. The service of reconciliation is conducted on Monday, the first day if the Great Lent, at the end of third hour. The Service of Reconciliation or shubqono, stands at the ‘threshold of Great Lent.’ The service marks the actual doorway into Lent, the threshold on the other side of which stands the fullest measure of ascesis that the Church metes out to the whole of her faithful throughout the world. As we stand at the threshold of the fast, we sing of him who stood before the gates of Eden. As we make ready to enter in to this season of preparation, we sing often:

O merciful and compassionate Lord, to You I cry aloud: I am fallen! Have mercy on me! Your grace has shown forth, O Lord, it has shone forth and given light to our souls. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the season of repentance. Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, that having sailed across the great sea of the Fast, we may reach the third-day Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls.

The scene painted by the hymns of the day is one of a great and terrible sorrow. We lament the loss of so great a gift – the gift to be children of God. Our sins have forced us to be exiles from glory. We are in want. No more can we look upon the Lord our God and Maker. As Great Lent begins, we are reminded in language stronger and more direct than ever before of the gravity of our condition in sin:

‘Woe is me, what have I suffered in my misery! I transgressed the commandments of the Master, and now I am deprived of every blessing.’ Then the Savior said: ‘I desire not the loss of the creature which I fashioned, but that he should be saved and come to knowledge of the truth; and when he comes to me I will not cast him out.’

By the transgression of the will of God we threw aside the gift of grace and blessings. However, we have a God who loves us and is abundant in His mercy.
‘I will not cast him out.’ God’s words in this are already the words of salvation. They are words of calling, of beckoning, of reconciliation. But they are also words of directive: ‘when he comes to me….’ God does not take fallen man and, with a divine fiat that would mean little to the long-term well being of humankind, magically place him back into glory from which we ourselves have exiled. God knows that it is our heart that most desperately needs to be healed, needs to be turned away from the desire for its own ends and back to a desire for the heart of God Himself. And so the Savior whispers to us, ‘When you come back to me, I will not cast you out’.

Our prayer must be:

Come, my wretched soul, and weep today over your acts, remembering how once you were stripped naked in Eden and cast out from delight and unending joy.

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Malankara Church Enters into Great Lent Today


HOUSTON: Over two and half million Malankara Orthodox Christians world wide will begin to observe the great lent from today. Great lent is the occasion for them to purge themselves from all infirmities of their lives.

“The beginning of lent is marked with the rite of Shubkono, namely, asking mutual forgiveness. At the end of prayer at ninth hour, the priest preaches on love and forgiveness. Thereafter the priest kneels towards the congregation and asks forgiveness from them and the congregation reciprocates the same to the priest. Thus the congregation and the priest reconciles with each other. The congregation is asking forgiveness from each other as well, as part of Shubkono. It is in this spirit of total reconciliation that the congregation enters into the great lent”, Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil, Professor of Nagpur Seminary, told the IOH.

The great lent is observed for forty days. It is marking the forty days of fasting that Jesus observed on the mountain during his period of temptation and trials from Satan. These forty days also correspond to the forty days of fasting by Ninevites, that of Moses, Elijah, forty years that Israel endured in the desert on their way to Canaan, the paradise on earth.

Great Lent Prayer Book

Available in US for Churches or individuals

Call 215-303-6294

Fortieth day of the lent, which is the Friday before Lazarus’ remembrance, therefore, gains importance. It precedes the Palm Sunday and the Passion Week, which precedes Easter. The seven days of Passion Week are also a time of rigorous fasting.

Orthodox Fathers teach that the first human sinned in Paradise, and it caused the fall of humans. This sin incepted carnal nature into humans. Through fasting Orthodox Christians attempt to recapture the Paradise in their lives by refraining from carnal nature and practices.

This year Palm Sunday falls on March 28, Maundy Thursday on April 1st, Good Friday on April 2nd, and Easter on April 4th.

This is one of those rare years in which the forty days of fasting and feasts during the Passion Week as well as Easter coincides for the whole Christendom.
Sabha calendar

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Great Lent: ‘Restore Me To The Paradise From Which I Departed’


The center of the liturgical year in the Orthodox Church is Kymtho, the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.  It is extolled in the services as the Feast of feasts and Triumph of triumphs. Justifiably so, for as the Apostle Paul declares, if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain (I Cor. 15:14).  The sense of resurrection joy forms the foundation of all the worship of the Orthodox Church; it is the one and only basis for our Christian life and hope.  Through His redeeming Passion, Christ freed us from the tyranny of death and opened for us the door to Paradise and eternal life.  This is the goal of our life-long spiritual journey, a journey from death to life, from darkness to light – a restoration to paradise from which we have departed.  It is a long journey and we travelers get weary; we get distracted and wander off or even lose sight of the road.  To help keep us focused, the Church every year compresses for us this journey as it prepares us to greet the Feast of Christ’s Resurrection. This preparatory time is the joyous period of Great Lent. Without this preparation, without this expectant waiting, the deeper meaning of the Easter celebration will be lost.

The primary aim of fasting is to make us conscious of our dependence upon God. It is to lead us to a sense of inward brokenness and contrition; to bring to us, that is, to the point where we appreciate the full force of Christ’s statement, `Without Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5). During the Great Lent, we have to strip ourselves from the specious assurance of the Pharisee who fasted, it is true, but not in the right spirit. Lenten abstinence gives us the saving self- dissatisfaction of the Publican (Luke 18:10-13). Such is the function of the hunger and the tiredness: to make us `poor in spirit’, aware of our helplessness and of our dependence on God’s aid. Abstinence leads to a sense of lightness, wakefulness, freedom and joy.

Lent is a time of joy. It is a time when we come back to life. It is a time when we shake off what is bad and dead in us in order to become able to live, to live with all the vastness, all the depth, and all the intensity to which we are called. We are at the threshold of the Great Lent. We have to believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual weapon that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil. Fasting might seem hard, but with each passing day, God’s call will grow stronger and clearer. Finally, we will be convinced that God has called us to fast, and He would not make such a call without a specific reason or purpose. With this conviction, enter the Great Lent with excitement and expectancy mounting in our hearts, praying, Lord, “I have walked away from You and Your precepts. But now I return, merciful Lord, and cry to You: I have sinned.”

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New Catholicos of Malankara Orthodox Church Consecrated

consecration-didymos-2005
PARUMAlA: Thomas Mar Themothios has been enthroned as the seventh Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Church at a solemn ceremony held at the St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church at Parumala on Monday. This was following the abdication of the throne by his predecessor, 91-year-old Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews-II, owing to old age and bad health on Sunday.

The 85-year old new Catholicos has been christened as Moran Mor Baselius Mar Thoma Didymos-I.

The enthronement service was led by the Church Synod comprising all the Metropolitans amidst the holy Eucharist celebrated by Thomas Mar Makarios. Senior Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Osthatheos was the chief celebrant of the enthronement service.

Thomas Mar Athanaseus, Geevarghese Mar Ivaneos, Kuriakose Mar Cleemis, Mathews Mar Epiphaneus, Peelipose Mar Eusebeus, Paulose Mar Pachomeos, Paulose Mar Militheos, Mathews Mar Savarios, Zacharia Mar Theophelus, Youhanon Mar Chrisostomos, Augen Mar Dioneseus, Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Gevarghese Mar Koorilos and Youhanon Mar Milithos were the co-celebrants.

Hundreds of faithful thronged Parumala on the banks of river Pampa to witness the occasion.

The holy Eucharist began at 7 a.m. and the enthronement service around 9 a.m. The new Catholicos, seated in a chair, was lifted thrice by the Metropolitans amidst loud chants of `Oxion’, a Greek word that meaning `that he is worthy’. Then, the new Catholicos read out the Holy Bible.

Outgoing Catholicos Moran Mor Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews-II blessed his successor and handed over the Pastoral Staff to him, later, marking the culmination of the main part of the enthronement ceremony.

It is for the first time in the history of the Malankara Orthodox Church an outgoing Catholicos himself attending the enthronement of his successor. The newly enthroned Catholicose blessed the gathering and he was felicitated at a meeting held at the church hall later.

The new Catholicos made his reply speech on the occasion.

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Memorial Feast Of Pulikkottil Mar Dionysius

KOTTAYAM: The 188th Memorial Festival of Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, the founder of the old Seminary was celebrated.

The flag was hoisted by Seminary Manager Fr. K. V. Joseph at 9.30 am on Sunday 21st November 2004. Many pilgrims from Kunnamkulam, the birthplace of Metropolitan Pulikkottil Mar Dionysius, attended the ceremony. They had been welcomed by the parishioners under the leadership of Fr. Dr. K. M. George, the Principal of Orthodox Theological Seminary .

The Old Seminary is the oldest theological seminary of the Malankara Orthodox Church. It is situated in an area of twenty acres of land, on the southern bank of the Meenachil river. The place is on the western boundary of Kottayam city. The decision to lay the foundation for such a seminary for the proper training of theological students had been taken at the meeting held on the 40th day after the demise of Marthoma VII. The construction of the seminary started on 3, Kumbham 1814 on the sixteen acres of land donated tax free by Maharani Lekshmi Bhai. Her Highness had also donated Rs.20,000 because of the goodwill of the British Resident Col. Menroe permission was given to use the interest of the ´Vattipanam Case´ for the construction of the building. These two amounts and the money collected from many well wishers formed by the capital of the construction. This amounted to Rs. 45,395 approximately.
It was the pulikkottil Ramban himself who prepared the plan of the monastery. He was well-versed in architecture. The building containing a ´nalukkettu´ and a chapel was completed in 1815. On 21st March, 1815 the Madras Government informed the church authorities that none other than a Metropolitan had the right to receive the interest of the “Vattipanam”. Soon, Pulikkottil Ramban became Metropolitan. The Travancore and Cochin Maharajas accepting this promotion through official declaration. This marked the end of the continuity of the Pakalomattom Family as Metropolitans and also the increase in the influence of English Missionaries and Residents in Church affairs. Which finally led to the division of the church.

Regular institutional education of English started in Kerala for the first time in this Seminary in 1817. Other major languages like Syriac, Sanskrit, Hebrew and Latin were also taught here. The 150th Jubilee of the Seminary celebrated in 1965.

The southern block was completed in 1965-67. From 1967 onwards the principal of the seminary was the world famous Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios Metropolitan when he passed away Dr. K. M. George was appointed as the principal. The teaching program in the seminary continuous successfully under his able guidance.

The Tombs of the Metropolitan Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, his successor Dionysius II and Vattasseril Geevarghese Mar Dionysius are situated in a chapel adjacent to the Seminary. Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, the founder of this seminary which provides modern kind of theological education passed away on 24th November 1816. His 188th memorial festival was celebrated in the seminary on November 21st, 2004.

The Catholicos of H. H. Baselius Marthoma Mathews II, inaugurated the recently constructed P. G. quarters. After the evening service at 6 p.m Fr. Dr. O. Thomas, the priest Trustee of the Church made a speech. There was prayer at the Tomb at 7 p.m. This was followed by the Raza.

On November 24th 2004 Perunal Qurbana will be celebrated by His Holiness. There will also be an incense prayer at the Tomb.

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