MGOCSM Council Meeting Conducted


TEXAS: The Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement of the American Diocese held the first Council meeting for the new year on Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14, 2006 at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Garland, Texas. The Diocesan Metropolitan and MGOCSM President, Mathews Mar Barnabas presided at the weekend meeting. Future leadership camp dates and locations, visit by His Holiness Didymos I, and the Mission Trip 2006, the budget and expense report, area reports, reports by the Vice Presidents, the Dallas Leadership Camp presentation and National MGOCSM Day. It was reported that the National MGOCSM Service Day was held on October 22, 2005 throughout the Diocese was on the agenda. Session I of the Council meeting took place on Friday.On Friday, January 13, His Grace the Metropolitan was given a warm reception with lighted candles and religious umbrellas at St. Gregorios Church. Evening prayers began at 7:00 PM followed by the lightning of the lamp to inaugurate the Council weekend.

On Saturday, January 14, His Grace led the morning prayers followed by Session II of the Council Meeting. The different MGOCSM units worked together to create “help kits” for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Also, several areas worked with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for the victims and donated blood through the American Red Cross.

Both meetings were attended by Fr. John Kunnathusseril, Fr. Thampan Varghese, Fr. Raju Daniel (Vicar of the hosting parish), Fr. C.G. Thomas, and Fr. Rege Mathew, the Dallas area Vicars.

The 2006 Leadership camp will be held at the Texas Christian University in Dallas, Texas from July 27-30, 2006 under the leadership of and the expected visit of His Holiness Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos I, His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, His Grace Bishop Yussef, Dr. Peter Gilquist, Dr. Clark Clarkson

Over 150 MGOCSM delegates are expected for this years camp. Ashok Kunnathusseril is the Dallas/Oklahoma area Council Member and Siji John and Anita Chacko are the Camp Conveners.

Fr. Mathew Koshy (Vice President of the Southeastern Region) ,Fr. Mammen Mathew (Vice President of the Southern Region) and 13 Council members representing the Northeast, Central, Southern Regions of the Diocese were also present.

MGOCSM General Secretary, Dn. Paul Cherian welcomed the gathering.


Oriental Orthodox Youth Retreat In Atlanta


ATLANTA: The Oriental Orthodox Churches of Atlanta (OOCA), organized its annual youth retreat at Simpsonwood Conference Center. Over 85 youngsters from the high school and collegiate level attended the retreat from the Coptic, Indian, Syrian, Eritrean, Armenian, and Ethiopian Churches. The whole-day retreat was based on the theme, Unity in Christ, taken from 1 Corinthians 10:17.

Rev. Fr. Asmerom (Eritrean Orthodox Church) presented the first lesson on unity with God. The second lesson was prepared by Rev. Dr. Mathew Koshy (Indian Orthodox Church) on unity with each other, which focused on the transformational aspects of the self within a growing community. Events included bonding activities for the youngsters, prayers from the various Orthodox rites, lessons from the clergy of the OOCA, a panel discussion, and sporting events. Clergy, parents, and youth participated in the team-building activities and a basketball tournament.

The retreat proved to be great success for all of metro-Atlanta.” it served as a reminder for unity among Orthodox brothers and sisters, and also emphasized the importance and applicability of clergy, parents, and youth working together in today’s diverse society” percipients commended.

Mr. Michael Nawar (Youth Coordinator) was able to conduct this event under the guidance of clergy from the OOCA along with assistance from youth representatives of Atlanta’s local parishes, including Manoj Mathew, Jacob David, and Solomon Ghebre.


Partake In MGOCSM Activities: Mar Nicholovos


NEW YORK: “As the youth of the Orthodox Church, each member has the responsibility and duty to be involved in the MGOCSM and partake in its activities, advised His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, Assistant Metropolitan of the American Diocese.

Mar Nicholovos was speaking on the occasion of the MGOCSM Charity Banquet, held on Friday, July 1, 2005 at Akbar Restaurant, Long Island, New York.

Almost one hundred youth from the northeastern region attended the banquet. Chor-Episcopos P.S.Samuel also spoke on the occasion. He reiterated the importance of preparing the youth for taking up leadership roles within the Church.

A slideshow showcasing various activities of the MGOCSM was shown to the attendees. Miss Lincy Thomas made a presentation about Missions 2005, which took place last month, in which certain young men and women from different parts of the United States visited Kerala and stayed at chosen mission centers of the Orthodox Church. Lincy spoke of their experiences at St. Paul’s Convent and Balagram and showed pictures from their visit.

The proceeds of the banquet would be sent to the Balagram for the repair of the car which was damaged in the unfortunate accident which took place last month that took the life of Sister Helen of the Convent.

The welcome speech and vote of thanks was given by Judy Ninan, the Event Organizer of the Banquet. Deacon Aju Mathews was the Master of Ceremonies at the event.

Church News MGOCSM

Tsunami Relief Work At Kayamkulam By OCYM


KAYAMKULAM: The Orthodox Christian Youth Movement (OCYM) will observe Sunday the 2nd of January as a Tsunami Relief Sunday according to the Kalpana released from the President H. G. Yoohanon Mar Meletius. All the OCYM units are asked to send their donations to The General Secretary Fr. Varghese Varghese or to Rev. Fr. Abey Philip at Kayamkulam who is coordinating the relief work there. ” I am happy to see that the response has been so over whelming”, said Metropolitan Yoohanon Mar Meletius.

In the affected areas of Kerala, Mar Meletius made a personal visit shortly after the disaster. “The scene was heart breaking. Thousands of people have lost every thing they had at home either by the killer wave or by the antisocial miscreants who used the situation to steal things from vacant homes. Hundreds of homes were destroyed in full and some in part. Those damaged cannot be used for security reason”, continued Mar Meletius.

Until last Saturday, the voluntary organizations were permitted to distribute food and clothing to the victims in hospitals and in temporary relief camps. Now the government has asked the volunteer organizations to back off and the government machinery had taken over the relief work. More over piles of cloth are left without any one to collect them.

“When the rehabilitation work begins, the government will need us to support them with money to construct homes and to buy boats, nets and other equipments for their livelihood in the affected costal areas. So if any units has collected cloths, medicines of food materials do not send them to Kerala. It may be needed in Tamil Nadu or in Andamans” Mar Meletius added .

The collected money, may send to Fr. Varghese Varghese, General Secretary, OCYM, St. Thomas Bhavan, Seminary Road, Chungom, Kottayam, Tel. 0481 2583997 (Account # 16957 Federal Bank Kottayam). The collected money will be disbursed later on when the rehabilitation work starts.

“Earlier the authorities allowed OCYM to establish two camps one in Kayamkulam Taluk hospital and one in Karunagappally. Along with all other NGO’s OCYM was also asked to suspend that kind of work for a while. The Chief Minister Mr. Oommen Chandy has already said that the help will be needed in future for rehabilitation.

“We will do whatever we can when and where needed with the money collected” concluded Mar Meletius