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E.M. Baby (Kattanam), passes away in Ghaziabad

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GAZIABAD: E.M. Baby ( Kattanam), Member of Ghaziabad StThomas Orthodox Parish, who met with an accident this Sunday afternoon, passed away yesterday 28 Feb’16).

Viewing and funeral Service will be conducted at Church. Burial will be held on Wednesday at his Home Parish: St. Stephens Orthodox Church, Kattanam,Alappuzha, Kerala.

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Diocese News Features News

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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Diocese News Features News

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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Dr T. Pathrose Mathai passes away in Vellore

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KOTTAYAM: Chalukunnu Mazhavanchery Madatlnl Dr T. Pathrose Mathai (76), a well-known nephrologist, has passed away in Vellore. His body will be brought home at 8am tomorrow. After prayers at apm at home, his body will be buried at 3pm in Kottnyarn Puthan Palli under the leadership of the Catholicos, His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II.

Dr Mathai, who earned an MD from PG Institute of Medical Sciences in Chandigarh in 1967, started his service at Christian Medical College, Vellore. He was instrumental in establishing the first dialysis unit at Vellore. Also, he played a major role in establishing the first dialysis unit in Kerala at Caritas Hospit al in 1971.

He has served in Kangazha MGD1I, Karipal in Kalathipady and Kottayam Cheriyapalli Hospital and in Sandi Arabia. Dr Mathai’s research was mainly into damage caused by snakebites on kidneys. He is one of the founders of the Indian Society of Nephrology, He has received the president’s honour for eminent nephrologist from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Late Cherat Puthusseri Muttepadathil Sobha Mathai is his wife. His children are: Dr Smitha Mathai (pathologist, a IC Vellore); Dr Sona Mathai (paediatrician, Sheffield, UK); and Dr Saritha Mathai (ophthalmologist, Binningham, UK).

Source: onmanorama.com

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News Northeast America

St. George Malankara Orthodox Church Staten Island moved to new facility

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y: Worshipers of St. George Malankara Orthodox Church of India finally have a new home.

The church held a dedication ceremony and inaugural service on Saturday to christen its new facility on Sunset Avenue in Meiers Corners. Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, the diocesan Metropolitan was the chief-celebrant on the occasion.

Borough President James Oddo, Councilman Steven Matteo and District Attorney-elect Michael McMahon attended the morning ceremony, which comes just over three years after St. George’s old church in New Dorp Beach was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The old facility reopened following repairs, but didn’t have the space to accommodate the church’s growing congregation.

The new 15,000-square-foot space, which had been under construction since early 2012, has more seating in the sanctuary, a cry room for children, an audio visual room with state-of-the-art equipment and a larger event space to accommodate church charity drives and social functions.

It’s also more conveniently located for many church members, who will now be able to walk to Holy Qurbana. Fr. Alex K. Joy is the current vicar of the parish.

Prior to Saturday’s dedication, worshipers had been holding services at Alba House in Westerleigh, after closing old New Dorp Beach facility early last year.

Source: By Zak Koeske / SiLive

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Diocese News Features News

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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Diocese News Features News

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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Church News Features News

Church Should Introspect on its Mission: Jiji Thomson

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KOTTAYAM: Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson on Thursday called upon the Church to introspect on its mission. He was delivering the keynote address on the mission of the Church at the valedictory function of the bicentenary celebrations of the Kottayam Orthodox Theological Seminary (Old seminary) here.

He also called for taking up the mission of spreading Christianity and added it was Biblically imperative to bring people unto Jesus.

Thomson, who spoke at a function being attended by Governor Justice P Sathasivam, highlighted the importance of the evangelisation mission.

Thomson began his speech by saying that he was speaking not as a Chief Secretary, but as a son of the Church.

“The ultimate mission of the Church is to spread Christianity and I am thinking of ways to fulfil this mission. There are three ways to achieve this goal, which are Church evangelisation, personal evangelisation and mass evangelisation. While mass evangelisation is being held through Bible conventions, everyone can go on the path of personal evangelisation,” he said, elaborating the term gospel as ‘go’ and ‘spell.’

When Express contacted Thomson over phone and asked whether his speech amounted to evangelisation, he said being a Christian he had the right to speak about Christianity. Replying to a question whether it is proper for him to speak about attracting people to Christianity while holding the Chief Secretary’s post, he said everyone has religious freedom and he could speak about it as a person.

“There is nothing wrong in speaking about Christianity while being a Chief Secretary,” he said.

Source: The New Indian Express
By Abhilash Chandran Published: 27th November 2015

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Governor hails State’s communal harmony; Bicentenary fete of Old Seminary concludes

Governor P. Sathasivam inaugurating the valedictory session of the bicentenary celebrations of the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Kottayam on Thursday.: Photo-The Hindu
Governor P. Sathasivam inaugurating the valedictory session of the bicentenary celebrations of the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Kottayam on Thursday.: Photo-The Hindu

KOTTAYAM: Rich accolades were paid to the contributions made by the Orthodox Theological Seminary (Old Seminary) on the occasion of the valedictory of its bicentenary celebrations here on Thursday.

Inaugurating the valedictory function, Governor P. Sathasivam said Kerala could take pride in the rich heritage of communal harmony and high literacy levels. Recalling the role of the Orthodox Theological Seminary in the educational uplift of the State, he said he was proud to represent the State when the President called a meeting of the Governors. He also remembered that his colleagues too had commended on the achievement of the State, especially in the area of the communal harmony.

He pointed out that the seminary was the product of the collaboration between the local Syrian Christian community and the missionaries for providing modern education to the local youth. Grooming them for ministerial service was also one of the intentions, he said. The Governor also pointed to the role of the seminary in imparting education in English, Latin, Syriac and Sanskrit.

“It is a golden occasion to look back to the past with legitimate pride and look forward to specific schemes of action for much more glorious future,” he said.

Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II, head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC), presided. Metropolitan Tikhon, the primate of the Orthodox Church of America, delivered the benedictory address and Jiji Thomson, Chief Secretary, delivered keynote address.

Fr. Jacob Kurian, former Principal of the seminary, spoke. Fr. O. Thomas, Principal, Orthodox Theological Seminary, welcomed the gathering and Fr. Johns Abraham Konat, priest trustee of MOSC, proposed a vote of thanks.

Source: The Hinu
BY SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

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Features News Uk And Europe

Indian Orthodox Church Supreme Head Visits New Zealand

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AUCKLAND: The prelate of the Indian Orthodox Church, Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II was on a maiden visit to New Zealand from November 10 to 14, 2015.

I was with the parishioners of St Dionysius Indian Orthodox Church in Auckland and many others to welcome the Holy Father as he landed at Auckland Airport on November 10.

The Diocesan Metropolitan, His Grace Dr Yuhanon Mar Diascoros arrived later aboard a delayed flight.

Wellington Welcomes

The Holy Father and Mar Diascoros were in Wellington on November 11 to attend the Holy Eucharist held at the Assyrian Church of St George. Mar Diascoros celebrated the service in the presence of His Holiness.

This followed with a welcome meeting where many dignitaries including Attorney General Christopher Finlayson participated. His Eminence Amphilochios Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Church, Rev Richard Randerson, Retired Bishop of the Anglican Church and Fr Aprem Pithyou of the Assyrian Church, Clergies from the Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox and Russian Orthodox offered felicitations.

Hamilton Happenings

The Holy Father and Mar Diascoros arrived in Hamilton on November 12. The faithful of the St Gergorios Indian Orthodox Church accorded a traditional welcome. The feast of the patron Saint Gregorios was held in the evening.

A torch lit from the first Indian Orthodox Church in New Zealand, named after the sacred memory of the illuminator of the church, St Dionysius was brought by a group of parishioners from Auckland.

Evening prayers followed and the Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Mar Diascoros in the presence of His Holiness. After the benediction, a public meeting was held to greet the visiting primate.

The Anglican Bishop of Waikato, Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley was present at the Feast and spoke at the meeting.

Auckland Calling

The Holy Father was in Auckland on Friday, November 13 and visited the Church at 55 Keeling Road, Henderson where the Indian Orthodox Church owned the first property in New Zealand. The church members and local MP Phil Twyford were present to receive the Holy Father. Children with lighted candles, youth throwing flowers on the walkway, ornamental umbrellas, firecrackers, illuminations etc. all added flavour to the event.

The Auckland Parish also celebrated the Feast of St Gregorios. His Holiness celebrated the Holy Eucharist at the newly built Church, which was consecrated early this year.

The Eucharist was followed with a public meeting where clergy and faithful from the Coptic, Syrian, Catholic & Marthoma churches also participated.

The Diocesan Bishop chaired the meeting. Mr Twyford, priests from the Coptic, Catholic and Marthoma Churches felicitated His Holiness, who addressed, blessed the gathering and distributed gifts to the dignitaries.

Later, His Holiness consecrated the first cross shrine in the Pacific Region dedicated in the memory of The Holy Theotokos, in front of the Church.

After the benediction and love feast, His Holiness planted a New Zealand fern sapling at the church premises in memory of the historic visit.

Faithful gathered in large numbers to meet and seek the blessings of His Holiness.

The contingent then left for the next leg of this visit to Sydney on November 14.

The Diocesan Metropolitan Dr Yuhanon Mar Diascoros and I accompanied His Holiness throughout the visit.

In retrospection, the maiden Apostolic visit of His Holiness was rejoicing for the faithful in NZ who were privileged to view the radiance of the Holy Father’s countenance.

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News : Fr Anup Joseph Eapen