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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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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 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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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

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Catholicos to Visit Brahmavar in early December

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UDUPI: The Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, is set to make his maiden visit to St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral Brahmavar and its chapels (‘Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community’) from 4 to 6 of December, said Fr Issac C A, Vicar General of St Mary’s Cathedral Brahmavar, at a press meet held at the Press Club here on Monday, November 9, 2015.

St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral and its 7 chapels is the only Konkani speaking orthodox community, within the jurisdiction of the Indian Orthodox Church and in the entire world. As such, this visit is of great importance for the community and its churches.

The Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community and the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church share many things in common, especially their history. Both have fought foreign (Western) domination over the Indian Church and as such, they have fostered native or Indian leadership. Thus, promulgating ‘Swadeshi Ideology’ within the Christian Church. It was for this reason the founder of Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community, late Alvares Mar Julius Archbishop, brought the community under the communion of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church in 1889.

Catholicos Paulose II had taken an interest in the affairs of the Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community from the beginning and had expressed keen interest in visiting the community. He will arrive in Udupi on the morning of 4 December, 2015. Catholicos Paulose II will be received in a procession from Udupi Karavali Junction to St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar at 9 am.

In the evening at 4 pm, a public meet will be held in the Church compound in view of the maiden visit of Catholicos Paulose II. Along with it, the inaugural ceremony of the Centennial Celebrations of the Cosmopolitan Higher Primary School Brahmavar will also be held.

On 5 December, Catholicos Paulose II will set out to Hulikel, Shivamogga District to consecrate the newly built St Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, a chapel of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar. Thereafter, His Holiness will be visiting all the Chapels, namely: Hosangady – St George Church, Kandlur – St Mary’s Church, Sastan – St Thomas Church, Kurady – St Peter and Paul’s Church and Kolalgiri – St Antony Church.

On 6 December, Catholicos Paulose II will be celebrating the holy Eucharist at 8:30 am. During the Eucharist, late Alvares Mar Juilus Archbishop (Founder of Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community) and late Fr R Z Noronha (First Vicar General of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral Brahmavar) will be declared as ‘Blessed Saints’. Thereafter, Paulose II will meet various spiritual organizations and management committees associated with St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Brahmavar.

In the morning of 7 December, Catholicos Paulose will return to Kottayam.

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Fr Abraham Kuriakose, Fr Noel Lewis, assistant priest of the cathedral Fr David Crasta, treasurer of the cathedral Anil Rodrigues and Joslin Almeida were present at the press meet.

Courtesy: Mangalorean

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Feast of Metropolitan Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius concluded in Bhilai

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BHILAI: The glowing memories of ‘ Bada Baba’ -as Metropolitan Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius of Blessed Memory were fondly called by the villagers- was re-lived on the occasion of the 8th Annual Feast of the first Metropolitan of the Dioceses of Madras and Calcutta from 29 October to 5 November, 2015 at the St. Thomas Chapel, Kailash Nagar, Bhilai.

In a solemn ceremony at 12pm on October 29 at the St. Thomas Ashram, Kailash Nagar, Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II hoisted the flag marking the opening of the 8th Memorial Feast of Mar Theodosius. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostemos, Metropolitan of Diocese of Niranam was the chief celebrant for the feast.

On 4th November, Holy Qurbana was celebrated by Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese. A symposium was conducted on the “Mission perspectives of Metropolitans Late Lamented Alexios Mar Theodosius, Late Lamented Kuriakose Mar Gregorios and Late Lamented Stephanos Mar Theodosius”. Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan, Fr. Dr. Bijesh Philip, Principal, STOTS and Fr. Mathewkutty, Pampady Dayara were the resource persons.

A seminar on “Use and abuse of social media” was conducted in the afternoon. Fr. Titus John led the session. Rasa conducted from the MGO Cathedral to the Tomb of Mar Theodosius situated at St. Thomas Chapel, Kailash Nagar, Bhilai.

On 5th of November, Holy Qurbana was celebrated by Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostemos, Metropolitan of Diocese of Niranam.

The Meritorious students from the Schools under the Diocese of Calcutta and St. Thomas Mission were presented with a Mar Theodosius Merit Award. Submission of Catholicate Day Collection, Diocesan Priests’ Meeting, and Baskiamma Meeting were also held after the service.

The Feast concluded with a ceremonial lowering of Perunal flag at 2pm by the Diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius.

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Fr. M.M.Abraham’s Funeral on Friday November 6

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BENGALURU: Fr. MM, Abraham (80) a senior priest of Malankara Orthodox Church and Chaplain of NAMS Snehasadan, Bangalore had passed away on 4th November 2015.

Funeral service will begin on Friday 6 November at 10 am at NAMS Snehasadan and the burial service at 1 PM at St. Mary’s Orthodox Valiapally, Jalahalli, and Bangalore.

Fr. Abraham was born on 11th March 1935 at Mallapally, Kerala into the Vattaserril family and was ordained as priest on 15th August 1960.His first assignment was at Trichy for the people who came from Latin Catholic sect to the Orthodox fold. (1961-62)

Fr. M.M Abraham had served in the Diocese of Malabar from 1962 to 1992, where he established more than 16 churches and was the Vicar of, 20 parishes. He is an acclaimed priest whose contribution is considered to be very vital in laying a strong foundation to the Diocese. He was instrumental in organizing the migrant population in the difficult terrains of the Malabar region. He took the initiative and constructed parishes in the districts of Malappuram, Palghat and Kozhikkode. He is known as the ‘Apostle of Malabar’. A selfless priest devoted and totally dedicated to his call, he traveled bare foot through the length and breadth of the region without proper food and even reached out to the migrant population, taking care of their social, economic and religious needs and “kept the sheep under the fold” who would have been otherwise lost.

After his retirement in 1992 he has served Christu Shishya Asharam, Tadagam near Coimbatore and St Gregorios Balagram, Yacharam before settling down at NAMS Snehasadan, Bangalore. Achen was the MGOCSM Chaplain for Karnataka between 2002 and 2005.

Fr. M .M Abraham did his BSc Mathematics Degree from St Joseph’s Devagiri, Kozhikode.He was awarded merit scholarship for his excellence in studies, the same was used to construct parishes for small congregations. Achen has three post graduate degrees to his credit in History, Political Science and Sociology. A vivid reader, a scholar of par excellence. He was an authority on Church History. His capsule sermons during the Holy Qurbana were very popular. He was always very popular among children and youngsters. He was a role model for the children and youth of Malabar during his tenure there and later on for the Pravasi students as the Chaplain of MGOCSM, Karnataka Region. He managed to guide many people to priesthood and inspired a generation towards a spiritual path.

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Fr. Dr. Parackel Kuriakose Mathew Passes away in Canada

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TORANTO: Fr. Dr. Parackel Kuriakose Mathew (Mathew Achen, age 78) passed away on October 29, 2015, in Mississauga, Toronto, Canada.

He is survived by his wife Ponnamma Mathew (retired teacher) from Venmony (Kandalore House) in Kerala and three daughters, Dr. Anu Mathew (w/o Varghese Abraham (Unni), Maryland, USA), Renu Mathew (w/o Bejoy Philip, Montreal, Canada) and Sneha Susan Mathew (w/o Sanjay Markose, Montreal, Canada).

Fr. Mathew is the son of the late Parackel Kuriakose Cor Episcopos and Annamma. He was born and brought up in Meenadom, near Kottayam, Kerala, India, as the eldest of six children. He came to Canada in 1972 and has been serving the communities in Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, and Montreal. He organized congregations and served as vicar in St. Thomas Orthodox Churches in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, and St. George’s Orthodox Church, Kingston. He was very dynamic in social, community and Church spheres in India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Canada. His last Holy Qurbana was on September 20th, 2015, at St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Toronto.

His decision to become a priest came about in his youth when he encountered H.G. Geevarghese Mar Philoxenos (Puthencavil Kochu Thirumeni). When passing through Pampady in front of his mother’s house, Thirumeni stopped and talked to the young Thankachen (Mathew Achen), urging him to get a priest like his father, Parackel Achen. He has been influenced in his lifetime by many pious and saintly men, key among them being H.H. Baselios Augen I, H.G. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, and H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas.

After finishing his B.A. from SB College, Changanassery, P.K. Mathew joined the first batch of students (1959) at the Kottayam seminary. He had completed his B.D. degree and served as the SCM Secretary in Trivandrum for one year. Subsequently, he also had completed his M.Th from Serampore University, Calcutta. Augen Bava sent Deacon Mathew to teach at Theological College of Holy Trinity, Haile Selassie I (present Addis Ababa) University, Ethiopia. Fr. Mathew was ordained as a priest by Augen Bava in 1968. He also had completed an S.T.M. (Master of Sacred Theology) degree from the Near East School of Theology, Beirut, and earned a Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal in New Testament studies. He taught at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. He was also visiting Professor of Biblical Languages at the Spiritan International School of Theology at Enugu, Nigeria and has published articles in books and international journals.

Fr. P.K. Mathew has been a very devout and faithful Orthodox priest, an excellent scholar, counselor, and defender of the Orthodox faith. He was a firm advocate of the ecumenical movement and counted priests and members from other denominations and faiths among his acquaintances. Above all he was a truly noble person who loved to recount tales from his life and wished for all his faithful and loved ones, unreservedly.

Funeral Details