Features Gulf News

Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilos visited the Coptic Church in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: Metropolitan Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilos of Malabar Diocese visited the Coptic Church, Abu Dhabi, one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches on Monday, April 25, 2011. Fr. Isaac Amba Bishoy and Ashaia Haroun, a senior member of the Coptic Community at the Church, accorded a warm welcome to the Metropolitan.

Fr. Isaac stressed the importance of prayers in these troubled times and requested the Metropolitan and the Malankara community to pray for the Copts and for the Egyptians at large.

Fr. Johnson Daniel, vicar of Abu Dhabi Cathedral accompanied Metropolitan Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilos during his visit.

Ashaia Haroun reflected on their interactions with Fr. M.S Skariah Ramban during his tenure in Abu Dhabi. Both the Metropolitan and Fr. Isaac gratefully remembered the benevolence of the UAE rulers for the facilities provided to both the churches.

Dr. Mar Theophilos and Fr. Isaac exchanged souvenirs of their visit to each other and hoped further mutual visits in future.

Initiatives of OCYM, Abu Dhabi made the visit a reality and it the helped to re-establish the relationship of Abu Dhabi Cathedral with the Coptic Church in Abu Dhabi.

News sent in: Reji Mathew Meenadom

Features MGOCSM News Northeast America

Dn. Gheevarghese John Ordained to the Holy Priesthood

PHILADELPHIA: Dn. Gheevarghese John, 30, a graduate of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, New York, was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ordination services were be led by Metropolitan Emeritus Mathews Mar Barnabas and Metropolitan and Zachariah Mar Nicholovos of the North East American Diocese.

Fr. Gheevarghese John had been ministering to the needs of FOCUS, MGOCSM and Campus Ministry of the Philadelphia area and has served as the General Secretary and General Treasurer of the MGOCSM North America. Fr. Gheevarghese John is married to Mrs. Linju John from St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church, Philadelphia and is the son of Rev. Fr. K. K. John and Amminikutty.

Born of November 14, 1980, Fr. John was a resident of Philadelphia for the last 25 years. He serves as a teacher (Science and Math) in the School District of Philadelphia from 2005 onwards. He also proved his leadership skills through Mission Trips to MGOCSM Kerala and through ‘Way to Cross Ministry’ with a sole purpose of evangelization. His sermons and speeches are available in U-Tube. He is also a famous youth guide and a youth retreat leader.

He was ordained to sub deaconate in 2005, Deaconate in 2010. On March 27, 2011 he celebrated his first Holy Qurbana.

Features News Northeast America

Dn. Markose Mani Passed Away in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA: Dn. Markose Mani passed away at Philadelphia on March 26, 2011 at 7.00 am. He hailed from Kanakkalil family, Manarkaadu, Kottayam. Deacon Mani was born to E. M. Mani and Mariamma Mani on August 17, 1934 and was 76. He belonged to St. George Orthodox Church, Puthuppally, Kottayam.

Funeral is to take place Forest Hill Cemetery on Saturday, April 2 after Holy Qurbana at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Philadelphia. Wake will be at 5.00 pm on Friday, April 1 at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Bensalem.

Dn. Mani is survived by his wife Aleyamma and sons Dr. Jiji Mani and Cherian Mani.

Dn. Mani was interested in spiritual matters from his early days of his life, which eventually led him to theological training at Nagpur Seminary from 1996 -1999. Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas of American Diocese ordained him as Deacon in 2002.

He was the Sunday School Headmaster in the St. Paul’s Church, Rourkela, Orissa for sixteen years. Once in the USA, he was a dedicated member of St. Gregorios Church, Philadelphia. He held various positions in the church including the first Secretary and first Headmaster of Sunday School. He was very much interested in the Orthodox Church history and orthodox faith also. He was involved in various community organizations namely KALAA, Philadelphia Ecumenical Fellowship and Philadelphia Kottayam Association.

He reached America in 1976 and had served as Respiratory Therapist. After having completed his MBA he worked for Alianz LIfe Insurance and Larson and Tubro for 18 years before reaching the US.

News Sent In: Dr. Rajan Mathew

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Enthronement of Dr. Mar Seraphim – Catholicos of the East As Chief Celebrant

BANGALORE: Enthronement or Sunthronitho of Metropolitan Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim is to take place on March 27, Sunday at 11.00 am.

The youngest bishop of Malankara Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim will be enthroned during the ceremony as the head of the Bangalore diocese by the Catholiocos and Malankara Metropolitan Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II.

Morning prayers began at 8.00 am after the official welcome to the Pontiff and other Metropolitans.

The Holy Eucharist will be led by the Catholicos of the East and will begin at 9 am at the St Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral, Hosur Road.

Geevarghese Mar Coorilose (Metropolitan, Mumbai Diocese), Dr Yuhanon Mar Theovodorus (Metropolitan, Kottarakkara, Punaloor), Dr Zachariah Mar Aprem (Metropolitan, Adoor-Kadampanaadu Diocese) are will be assisting the Catholicos during the lengthy services.

“Priests and faithful from all 22 parishes of the diocese are seriously counting on to make the event the most memorable one. We expect more than 5000 people to witness the events”, said Fr. Mani K. Varhgese, one of the senior clergy of the Diocese to IOH.


Features MGOCSM News

OCYM Annual Conference to Take Place in October at Delhi

This Year’s Theme will be ‘Learning St. Thomas Heritage and Lessons of Discernment’
Mid Lent Wednesday To be Observed as ‘Day of Prayer’
Use Voting Rights Intelligibly and Prayerfully

KOTTAYAM: Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos, President, OCYM, issued orders to all units of the Movement to get themselves ready for this year’s Annual Conference, which will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Hauz Khaz, and will be conducted under the auspices of the Diocese of Delhi. Dates for the conference were confirmed as October 5, 6, 7, and 8.

The order that also address current geological and political fiascoes around the globe as well as election scenario in Kerala was dated March 20, 2011 and was issued from the St. Thomas Bhavan, Central Office of OCYM, near Old Seminary, Kottayam.

Usually the OCYM Annual Conferences are conducted in May. However, due to the location outside Kerala this year, the dates are pushed 5 months later.

“‘Learning St. Thomas Heritage and Lessons of Discernment’ will be the theme for this year’s conference”, says the order from Metropolitan Mar Polycarpos. “Handbook on the theme will soon be published. Diocesan level seminars basing the main theme shall be conducted on a timely manner”, urges the Metropolitan.

Since the conference was to take place in Delhi, each parish should select two members to represent the unit at the conference. Registrations should be made before May 30 and registration fees would be Rs 200.00. Train charges remained Rs 1200.00. Therefore, total registration for each representative would be Rs 1400.00 and should be paid by the respective parishes, orders the OCYM President.

The order further admonishes OCYM members to offer special prayers for everyone working in the Arabian Gulf that they are protected spiritually, physically and economically. The order also admonishes the Youth of the Church to pray for spiritual strenght and comfort of all, who were affected by the recent tsunami in Japan. Members of OCYM are exhorted also to pray to God to protect humanity from potentially harmful radiations possible from atomic reactors all around the world. “Everyone is duty bound to do everything possible for accomplishing the above said in the name of God. It is our duty to do so during prayers of seven watches of the day. Moreover, Mid Lent Wednesday shall be observed as ‘Day of Prayer'”, exhorts Metropolitan Mar Polycarpos.

President of OCYM quoted St. Matthew 10:16 to remind all members with voting right to remain intelligent like serpents and innocent like doves. “Use your voting right intelligibly and prayerfully as a weapon against those, who pose stumbling blokes against accomplishing justice for the Church. You shall also follow guidelines given from the Church leadership from time to time”, concludes the order from Metropolitan Mar Polycarpos.

Features News Uk And Europe

Metropolitan Mar Thimothios Reached South Africa

JOHANNESBURG: Metropolitan Dr. Mathews Mar Thimothios of UK, Europe and Africa Diocese reached South Africa and is on his second apostolic visit to the far southern region of the diocese.

“We are very happy that our faithful have bought a very good parsonage and a plot for constructing a Church. They did a commendable job”, said the Metropolitan in his note of felicitation about the faithful in South Africa.

The Metropolitan is to go to Botswana and Tanzania as part of his mission to visit the Orthodox faithful there.

Metropolitan Dr. Mar Thimothios will arrive at Dubai on April 13 and visit various parishes in the UAE until May 11. Peak of his visit to the UAE will be the Holy Week Services at St. Thomas Cathedral, Dubai.

Diocese News Features News

Observe Holy Lent Strictly to Receive Heavenly blessings: Dr. Mar Dionysius

BHOPAL: “Holy Lent is an utmost important event in one’s life , and one should follow the lent strictly to receive blessings upon blessings from heaven”, said Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius of the Diocese of Calcutta. Metropolitan was addressing the faithful during his two day visit, 19, 20 March 2011, to the St. Thomas Cathedral, Bhopal, .

Dr. Mar Dionysius also blessed the new house bought by the Cathedral and dedicated it to the Church. Mar Dionysius also launched the new website of St. Thomas Cathedral, Bhopal. He also appreciated the parish members, who worked behind the creation of the website.

Chor-Episcopos Mathias Ramban, the Diocesean Secretary, Fr. Geevarghese Ramban, Vice-president of Bhilai Mission, Fr. Raju Thomas, Treasurer Bhilai Mission, Fr. Joseph Sunny John, Principal, MGM school, Itarsi, Fr. M. J. Mathew, Vicar, St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Kolar, Fr. Abraham P. J., Manager, Abhaya Niketan, Makodiya, Fr. T. S. Mathai, Vicar, St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Bhopal, and Fr. Giju George, the Asistant vicar were also present during the occasion.

News Sent In: Fr. P. S. Varghese

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St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Melbourne Elevated as Cathedral

MELBOURNE: Reading out the Bull from Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Metropolitan of Chennai Diocese Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros proclaimed that the parish has been elevated to the rank of a Cathedral. The proclamation was received with loud applause.

The declaration was made after Holy Qurbana on Sunday, March 20, 2011. Metropolitan Dr. Mar Dioscoros was the chief celebrant and Fr. K.Y. Chacko and Fr. Charles Philipose con-celebrated with the Metropolitan.

The public meeting thereafter honored the founding and initial members of the parish. Sunday School Annual Day was also observed.

The Metropolitan handed over trophy to the Melbourne team, who came first at the talent search competitions and sports during the conference of OCYM at Sydney.

The Cathedral Declaration Committee was also felicitated for their hard work for the success of the event.

News Sent In: Thomas Panicker, Melbourne

Features News Northeast America

Sunday School Teachers’ Training Camp Held at Staten Island

NEW YORK: Area 3, the Staten Island Unit Teachers’ Training Conference of the North-East American Diocese was held on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at St. George Orthodox Church, Staten Island, New York.

Around 30 teachers from Staten Island Sunday Schools attended.

Fr. Alex K. Joy, vicar of the host parish opened the program with a prayer. Varughese Mathew, Principal of Sunday School, St. George Orthodox Church, Staten Island, made a brief introduction to the program and welcomed the attendees.

Dr. Alex Thomas made a commendable presentation on teaching techniques, special education for scholar students, which was followed by a model class as well. Korah T. Mani briefed on the Teachers’ Training Certificate Program. Viji Kurian, the Centralized Examination Coordinator, and. Aju Thomas, the Area Coordinator, also addressed the gathering.

There was an open forum for discussion and a question and answer session subsequently .

Dr. Skaria Oommen, Cicily Sunny, Sunny Abraham, Annamma Mathew and Linda Mathew felicitated the occasion.

Abraham Eapen moved vote of thanks to all participants.

A traditional Indian lunch was also arranged afterward for the participants.

News sent in: Varghese Mathew

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Bangalore Diocese to Felicitate Catholicos of the East

BANGALORE: Bangalore Diocese is organizing a public meeting to felicitate newly installed Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselios Marthoma Paulose II.

The meeting is to take place on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Campus Crusade for Christ Auditorium, Lingarajapuram Main Road at 5.30 pm.

Chief Minister of Karnataka Dr. B. S. Yediyurappa will be the Chief Guest. Prof. K. V. Thomas, Minister of State for Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution, and R. Ashok, Home Minister of Karnataka are also to attend the meeting. Heads of other Christian Churches and local dignitaries will speak on the occasion.

This is the first time that the Pontiff is officially visiting Bangalore after having assumed charge as the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan. Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim is spearheading the young Diocese as Metropolitan.

Audio Report by Fr.Mani.K.Varghese

News sent in: BIJI JOHN