Diocese News News Northeast America

Grand Reception to The Metropolitans on Their Birthday

NEW YORK: The Members of the Diocesan Council  and the Sabha Managing Committee members of the North East American Diocese met at the Family Conference Center,  decided to felicitate the Diocesan Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas on his 85th birthday on August 9, 2009 .  Mar Nicholovos also will be felicitated at this function since his 50th birthday falls on the same week.

Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebios, the Diocesan Metropolitan of the Southwest American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church will preside over the function at Glen Oaks School (P.S. 266) Auditorium at 5:15 P.M. Evening prayer will start at 5:30 P.M.

Sunday School Teachers were advised to bring the Sunday School children and to line them up at the premises of the school before 5.15p.m to receive the Metropolitans to the stage. “If they bring the Sunday School flags, it must be appreciated” said Fr.John Thomas Alummoottil, the diocesan secretary in a press release.

“It was our desire to open the Diocesan Center on Metropolitan’s Birthday. The contributions from members and parishes will be very much appreciated” the diocesan secretary added.

For more information contact Fr.John Thomas Alummoottil (Diocesan Secretary) at 516 996 4887

Diocese News News Northeast America

Family And Youth Conference 2009


NEW YORK: 27th Family and Youth Conference of the North East American diocese will begin on July 15, 2009 at DoubleTree Hotel and Executive Meeting Center, 200 Atrium Drive, Somerset, New Jersey.

The Theme of the 4 day Conference will be : “Bear One Another’s Burdens” (Galatians 6:2) . Very Rev. Fr. Chad Hatfield and Fr. Dr. Jacob Kurian, Vice Principal, Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam will be the main Speakers for the year.

Metropolitans of the diocese Mathews Mar Barnabas and Zachariah Mar Nicholovos will lead the conference.

The Family and Youth Conference offers a forum for the spiritual, cultural and social exchange of knowledge related to our Orthodox faith.

The mission of the Family and Youth Conference is to provide attendees with an opportunity to enhance their relationship with Jesus Christ, explore and learn more about the Orthodox Faith, and enhance relationships among individuals, families, and parishes.

Diocese News News Northeast America

Annual Conference – Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam 2006


NEW YORK: The Annual Conference of the Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam of the American Diocese was held at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Sayville on Oct 21st Saturday from 9.00 am to 4.00pm.

The conference was inaugurated by the Asst. Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos.

The theme of the conference was “The challenges to Christian faith today”. Fr. Bijesh Philip, professor of Nagpur theological seminary was the keynote speaker. In his speech, he went over the various elements which stand against to our faith and the ways to overcome them. His speech was very enthusiastic to the audience. In his presidential address, Mathews Mar Barnabas, the metropolitan of the American Diocese, put emphasis on showing Christ’s love in our practical life.

The Bible quiz competition was conducted in the afternoon session. Fr. M. K. Kuriakose (St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church Philadelphia) was the Quiz-Master. Almost 26 churches were participated in the quiz competition. The St. Thomas Yonkers and St. Stephens Bergenfield shared the 1st and 2nd prizes respectively.

The Raffle drawing was also conducted and the winners were from St. Thomas Yonkers(1st &3rd) and St. Mary’s Montclair(2nd). The top two raffle sellers were St. Thomas Yonkers (1st) and St. Thomas Detroit and St. Baselios Brooklyn (2nd).

The Business meeting session in the afternoon was under the leadership of Chor-episcopos Paulose Adai. Saroja Varghese was elected as the new Treasurer and Saramma George as the Jt. Treasurer. The melodies songs by the church choir, Group song by St. George Orthodox Church, Staten Island, Devotional songs by Elizabeth Tharaken and Sangeetha Mani gave a spiritual uplift to the conference.

Chor-episcopos Paulose Adai welcomed the gathering and general secretary Shiny Raju delivered the vote of thanks. Including Priests and Deacons, about 300 members were attended the conference.

Shiny Raju, Mary Ennacheril, Thankamma Korah, Thresiamma Vettichira and Elcy Yohannan Shankarathil gave their leadership to the conference.

The conference for the year 2007 was sponsored by St. Mary’s Church, Jackson Heights, New York .

Diocese News News Northeast America

FOCUS First Meeting Was A Success


NEW YORK: The first ever gathering of the newest spiritual organization of the American Diocese named FOCUS (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in the United States) was held on Saturday, January 21, 2006 at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Queens (Cherry Lane) under the leadership of FOCUS Director, Dn. Aju Philip Mathews.

After opening prayer and an ice-breaker to get everyone acquainted, Dn. Aju spoke of the responsibilities of a Christian young adult living in the modern American society. He stressed the call of Christ to all people to live and spread the Good News to all. The floor was opened to a interesting discussion of the goals of FOCUS and how those goals could be actualized in various areas. The group decided to meet as a larger NY-NJ area in February onwards until the need to make it smaller was necessary.

FOCUS also is unique to the American Diocese because it works specifically to involve American-born Indian Orthodox young adults with the other members of the Church community, especially students as well as colleagues of the same age, but born and brought up abroad. It also looks to help the church’s mission to go after young adults who feel left out of the Church, or who have legitimate issues with the Church.

FOCUS – Philadelphia will convene for the first time on Sunday afternoon, February 12th, 2006 at St. Thomas Orthodox Church (Unruh Ave.) at 3 pm. FOCUS – Houston and FOCUS – Maryland are also looking to organize themselves soon.

Diocese News News Northeast America

Colorful Talent Show Ended In Yonkers


NEW YORK: The annual Talent Show of the North Eastern Region of the American Diocesan Sunday Schools was conducted on Saturday, November 12, 2005. This colorful event took place at the Saunders High School in Yonkers, New York.

The Diocesan Metropolitan His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas inaugurated the event. The performances of students from about 23 parishes have captured the minds and eyes of the audience. Young angels dancing like butterflies, aspiring stars singing like they are trying to penetrate into the hearts of the listeners, a skit that brings the history of our church closer to our hearts, all these created a heavenly atmosphere there. Regional talent competitions that involved all the first and second place winners from the area level competitions were conducted at the school prior to the beginning of talent show. The winners of those competitions were awarded with trophies and certificates at the end of the talent show. The rolling trophy for the Sunday school that has scored most points in different competitions was awarded to St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Jackson Heights, New York.

Diocesan Sunday School Director Fr. Dr. Raju Varghese led the competitions and talent show programs. Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas presented a plaque to Chacko Koikkaleth in recognition to his services as the talent show coordinator for seven years. Thomas Mathai of St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church will be the coordinator for next year.

Mini Oommen welcomed the gathering. Leelamma Thomas delivered the vote of thanks.

Diocese News News Northeast America

Oriental Orthodox Churches Celebrated Eucharist Jointly In Atlanta On Oct. 29


ATLANTA: The Oriental Orthodox Churches in Atlanta recently celebrated a common Oriental Orthodox liturgy here in Atlanta. The priests, deacons, and laity of the Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Antiochene, and Indian Orthodox Churches came together at St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church on October 29, 2005, and celebrated the Eucharist jointly.

The vision for this event was to bring out the fulfillments of the prayer made by Our Lord “Holy father, keep them in thy name, which Thou has given me that they may be one, even as we are one” (St. John 17:11). Fr. Dr. Mathew Koshy reiterated on this in his sermon during the liturgy.

This is the first time that the Oriental Orthodox Churches in communion with each other are having a common event in the Southeastern Region. All of the above Orthodox churches are existing in Atlanta under their respective dioceses. The clergy and lay leaders of these churches have been meeting every other month for the last two years. Bishop Vicken Aykazian of the Armenian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Coorilos of Bombay have also attended these meetings in the past.

Fr. Dr. Mathew Koshy of St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church was the founding President, and Rev. Fr. Luke Wassiff of St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church is the current President of this fellowship. Armen and Greg Avesessian of the Armenian Orthodox Church, Fr. Ephrem Kabede, Fr. Asmeron Hagos, Fr. Michael Yuhannes, Fr. Mark Deress, Fr. Sabapthi, Fr.Mathew Puthukunnathu, and Arch-Deacon Haileyesus from the different churches are working as a core group for its functioning. Thomas David is working as the current secretary, Michael Nawar is the youth-coordinator, and Sunil Varkey as the Public Relations Officer.

It was an unusual experience to have fellowship with the brethren of the same family and to have a common liturgy- said Thomas David the secretary of the fellowship to Indian Orthodox Herald.

Diocese News News Northeast America

Fr. T. J. Joshua – The Great Evangelist , Theologian And Orator


PHILADELPHIA: A Under the joint auspices of the Orthodox churches in the city of brotherly love – Philadelphia – its 11th Gospel convention was held in 3 days at the St. Thomas Orthodox Church Auditorium.

The convention was particularly noteworthy for two reasons, this year. Most important was the presence of Fr. T. J. Joshua and the other was being able to convene such a convention in Orthodox Church own facility – the magnificent and huge Church complex acquired by St. Thomas Church.

Sensing the mood of the 1000 plus faithful gathered in the two days speaks the importance of a joint Orthodox Gospel convention. The participants listened the majestic and heart piercing voice of our great orator Fr.T.J.Joshua . “It was a revival and refreshing for those heard this servant of God at least once in the past and it was new experience for those never heard him, mainly the children” many reflected.

Fr.Joshua captivated the listeners in pin drop silence with his theological insights put as simple as to be able to comprehend by the young and old, the little learned and the learned and Malayalam speaking and English speaking audience. Fr.Joshua spoke about the importance of seeking the Feet, Hands and the Face of our Lord and ultimately to surrender the self before Him.

A To be at the feet of our Lord, to look at the nail print of our Lord and at the face of Lord. To regain the lost humility of our people, at the feet of Jesus, recount the suffering of our Lord looking the nail pierced arms and seek the protection of the hands those created the universe and seek the joy of the face of our lord,- reminded Fr.Joshua

The 3 days oration led the faithful in a pilgrimage. The physical inflictions that Fr.T.J. Joshua had to go through was a new awareness for most of the attendees. And yet the the deep understanding of the great plans of our Lord to sustain this great evangelist though the sufferings speaks to everyone a lot.

“Pray for this great son of Malankara Sabha for good health and long life. We cant’ wait for another opportunity to listen to this great voice of God through Joshua Achen” many praised the Lord and said..

Diocese News News Northeast America

Southern Regional Family Conference In Texas In August


NEW YORK: Preparations are well under way for the Southern Regional Family Conference of the American Diocese of Malankara Orthodox Church. This Conference will be held at “Saint Vattasseril Dionysius Nagar” at The Lake Tomahawak Baptist Encampment, Livingston , Texas from August 4 – August 7, 2005.

Fr. T. J. Joshua (Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam) and Prof. Steve Mathews (Florida) will be the key note speakers of the Conference. Diocesan bishops, priests, and professionals hailing from different disciplines will be the leaders of this Conference.

Religious, social, economic and family issues will be included in the topics for discussions. The venue of this conference is two hours drive away from Houston area and around 3 hours drive away from Dallas area. Lake Tomahawk area abounds in natural beauty which is adjacent to the largest Indian reservation in the Southern United States.

There will be plenty of opportunities for water sports including fishing, canoeing, paddle boating, water slides, rock climbing, rope walking etc., all professionally supervised. Additionally, attendees will enjoy well lit basket ball and volley ball courts and vast areas of green fields to play. Cost of the conference is kept at a very low price to enable maximum participation. ranging from $85.00 (bunk) – $110 (suite) total cost per person, for three nights of stay, food, ground fees and every thing else. Plenty of food and refreshments will be on hand.

“Two sessions of entertainment evenings will provide an excellent opportunity for talent shows from participating parishes. A well organized Committee is working very hard for the success of the conference” said Joshua George, General Secretary for the Southern Regional Family Conference to Indian Orthodox Herald.

For Registration and further information, please contact your area church representatives or Joshua George (281) 773 7988 or (281)343 5099. Registration deadline is July 3rd , 2005.

Diocese News News Northeast America

Be A Living Example To Your Children: Metropolitan Mar Barnabas


NEW YORK: Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas encouraged young women of the American Diocese to make their lives a living example to their children and to be sincere in their own lives. His Grace urged to use Pope Shenoda of the Coptic Church as an example in their lives. Pope Shenoda has said that he never gives a speech or address and neither volunteers his advice as his motto is “let people follow what I do.” Mar Barnabas was making his presidential address at the Annual Conference of the Young Women Samajam of the American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church which took place on Saturday June 18, 2005 at St. George Orthodox Church, Staten Island. The theme of this year’s conference was “Parent’s involvement in children’s freedom.” Metropolitan added: as a parent, your aim should be to mold your children in the way of Jesus and to bring everyone closer to God. One also has the right to involve in his or her child’s life, even if it is forced involvement. His Grace also noted that while everyone is selfish or self-centered to some extent, parents should teach their children to be self-forgetting through love.

The keynote speaker for this conference Fr. M.K.Kuriakose began his speech with a quote from the introduction of the book “Freedom by Authority,” by Late H.G. Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios, in which Dr. Paulose Gregorios stated that while everyone is in the quest for freedom, no one is willing to obey each other. In Genesis, we read that man is created in the image of God, thus, we must be like God in our lives as we are images of God. He pointed out that while God has the real freedom because He is the Creator of the universe, we are also given the same freedom. The difference is that we abused our freedom in the Garden of Eden, and became unlike God, but, God never misused His freedom. it also stated that the only way to give freedom is to bring the people towards Christ through the Holy Communion.

Fr. Kuriakose used the example of a typical child’s development to convey our search for freedom in our lives. When a baby is born, its initial search for freedom begins with its eyes, as it searches around wildly for familiar objects and faces, and this same baby soon starts to explore its surroundings through its sense of touch and finally begins to turn over and crawl. Soon, this baby starts to take very small steps and until, one day, he or she is walking and running and is unstoppable in its search of freedom to explore everything and anything in its sight. Achen gave another interesting example when he remarked that we wouldn’t have many of the luxuries we have today if certain people didn’t defy their critics and follow through with their own search for their freedom. In the early 1900’s, the Wright Brothers worked very hard and produced the first airplane, and today, millions of people around the world take this luxury for granted, as we all have flown in the jumbo jets of today carrying almost 600 people around the globe. Could we have enjoyed this luxury had it not been for the exploration of their limits of freedom by the Wright Brothers? We all have studied about the first man to climb Everest, or the first man on the moon, etc., but how many of us are willing to allow our children to explore their inner dreams if they convey to us that their dream is to climb the world’s tallest mountain or to fly into space?

Fr. Kuriakose also said that the most important thing is for parents to know their children well. Parents are the ones who know a child best because “one who sleeps with you knows your night fever.” Communication and an open mind are the key methods to knowing your child better. “Parents must understand their children by giving them ample freedom to enhance their personalities,” Parents must impose discipline as well for it says in Proverbs 23:13, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” Proverbs 10:13 advises parents that “a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.” Parents must surely restrict certain things and explain these restrictions to their children. Fr .Kuriakose also insisted that parents should not sound hateful in their reprimands as children do not hold grudges. A parent shouldn’t stop talking to their child, even if it is for a short time, because of something the child did. Parents must also make an effort to monitor their children and try to meet their friends whom they spend their time with outside of the home.

After the speeches, there was a group discussion session in which the attendees were split into three groups and were asked to discuss the topic further and converse about the problems or hurdles they have faced in their lives concerning the topic at hand. Everyone agreed that parents must take an extra effort to give love, affection, time, and appreciation to the children and be open-minded in their dealing with their children by understanding that the child is not living in the same country or time in which the parent lived. Parents must learn to trust their children, but, also be logical in giving freedom. Limits should be set, as punishment should be enforced when these limits are broken and these punishments are carried out. Prayer life should also be encouraged in their lives through family prayer at home.

Fr. Ninan T. Easo, Fr. Dr. C. C. Mathews, Fr. John Thomas, and Cor Episcopos Paulose Adai also attended the Conference. The meeting was well attended by many young women from the tri-state area. Following registration and breakfast, the Conference began with a prayer song by Dr. Bindhu K. Lalu and Bible Reading by Sherin Mariam Joy. Fr. Philip C. Abraham, the vicar of the host parish, gave a condolence speech in memory of Mr. K.K. Abraham the twin-brother of H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas. A moment of silence was observed in his memory and in remembrance of Miss Soby Mathew of Chicago. The Business Meeting was conducted by Very Rev. Fr. Paulose Adai Cor Episcopa, the Vice President of the Martha Mariam Samajam. Felicitations were given by Fr. Dr. C. C. Mathews, Fr. John Thomas, and Liziamma Kuruvilla. A bible quiz, organized by Tilly Varughese, was conducted and three winners were awarded trophies at the end of the Conference. There was also a raffle drawing in which four lucky attendees were selected to receive prizes. A 50/50 raffle was also conducted to help the unprivileged women of Kerala, by using the money from donations from the attendees towards the purchase of sewing machines. The Conference was blessed with the melodious songs sung by the choir of the host parish.

The welcome speech was given by Mrs. Shyny Raju, the coordinator of the Young Women Samajam at St. George, Staten Island, and the vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Soffy Wilson, the Diocesan coordinator of the Annual Conference of the Young Women Samajam.

Diocese News News Northeast America

American Diocese To Raise $2,50,000 As Tsunami Relief

tsunami“It was shocking to hear the Tsunami disaster and its aftermath in South Asian countries. The unexpected calamities of nature are always incomprehensible. As an initial contribution we are making a donation of $5000 from our personal resources”” said Mar Nicholovos.

Immediately after returning from the parishes they had their Christmas Services, the Metropolitans of the American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church, decided to announce the collection of a ‘Tsunami Relief fund’ by the diocese.

“All of us are aware of the devastating tidal wave that hit the coasts of many of the Asian and African nations killing more than one hundred thousand people. The reports point that many of these nations without proper infrastructure and financial resources are struggling to deal with the effects of the disaster.

We find that it is our Christian obligation to help the needy in whatever way we can. We are setting up a Disaster Relief Fund to provide help to the people who have been affected by the Tsunami Natural Disaster.

We exhort all of you to contribute whole-heartedly for the cause, collect as much money as possible, and send it to the American Diocese as early as possible so that we can provide assistance to the needy”, informed the Metropolitans of the American diocese jointly vide Kalpana No. CK.35/2004 on Dec.30, 2004.

“We are expecting $2,50,000 from all of the parishes from American diocese for this noble cause. Hope everyone will rise to the occasion to contribute liberally and wholeheartedly” said H.G. Mar Zachariahs Nicholovos to Indian Orthodox Herald.

“One of our young priests, Fr. John Joshby Thomas was preparing for Holy Qurbana on 26th morning when Tsunami struck. He along with the people had to flee to the forest and to a hilly place to save their lives and they stayed on the hill for three full days before they were evacuated on Wednesday, 29 Dec. They were literally starving on the hill! .Now they are back in Port Blair”, said the Madras diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios in Madras.