News Parish News

Foundation Stone Laid For Orlando St. Pauls Parish

Orlando July 05 2005: Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, the asst. Metropolitan Of American diocese laid the foundation stone for the parish hall of St. Pauls Orthodox Church, Orlando on Sunday July 3, 2005 in a brief ceremony. Earlier the stone was blessed by Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas. Many priests and faithful attended the ceremony.

In 1992St.Pauls Orthodox Congregation came into existence under the vicarship of Fr. Dr. M. K. Thomas. Now it has grown with a membership of 28 families. The congregation already had acquired 5 acres of land in Longwood of Greater Orlando.

Once in two months the congregation has its Holy Qurbana.

Alexander V.Alex, the trustee welcomed the gathering and Dr.C.P.Peter, the secretary proposed vote of thanks.

News sent in: Sherin. C. Davis

Church News News

Manorama Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund

KOTTAYAM: Immediately after the unexpected ´TSunami´ disaster on Dec.26 Sunday morning, Malayala Manorama had instituted a relief fund as a reach out to the thousands of families of the victims and affected in India.

The supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Church His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Mathews II had entrusted ´Manorama´ a check for 5 lakh towards the ongoing TSunami relief work. His Holiness also apprised ´Manorama´ for the humanitarian task they had voluntarily taken and said that Manorama will be well appreciated for their such activities.

Orthodox Christian foundation, a joint venture of 8 Orthodox Parishes in an around Kochi had contributed Rupees 1 lakh to the Manorama relief fund

The most powerful earthquake in more than 40 years wrought widespread devastation across Southeast Asia on Dec 26, 2004, triggering huge tsunamis and killing more than 23,000 people. Over a million people throughout the region have been been displaced and left homeless as a result of the sudden catastrophe.

Manorama needs your help as it mobilizes to mount a lifesaving response to this tragic disaster. Sunday morning, an earthquake measuring 8.9 in magnitude struck near the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, unleashing waves up to 30 feet high. These deadly waves moved quickly inland, striking coastal cities throughout the region and burying entire communities under raging floodwaters.

While details are still coming in, it seems certain that the death toll will rise and that the destruction will be unthinkable. Families across India, stricken by disaster during this holiday season, need your help to recover and rebuild – many have lost everything.

Here´s what we know at this hour:
In India, more than 6,200 have been killed by tidal waves that ravaged the southern coast.

Those who want to participate from the readers of IOH in this may contribute their donations to “BMM Creations Inc´ P.O.Box 52301, Philadelphia, PA 19115. This amount will be handed over to Manorama and the contributions will be published in Indian Orthodox Herald.

Those want to send directly, may send the check in favor of “Malayala Manorama Charitable Trust” P.B.No.300, Malayala Manorama, Kottayam-686001.

Eye witness reports by BBC
“My wife and my eldest daughter were in our hotel room on the first floor in Mahabalipuram when a monster wave came in the window.
I could hear them screaming and two village men came running to help but the floor split into two, leaving cracks in between and my wife´s leg got stuck inside.

My wife was pulling my daughter´s skirt to keep her alive and away from the wave. We got out safely and went to Chennai, but it was a miraculous escape.”

Rahul Thiagarajan, Chennai, India
“I was shocked to see innumerable fishing boats flying on the shoulder of the waves, going back and forth into the sea, as if made of paper.

Many boats were upturned, but fishermen were still holding onto them. They also were pushed into the sea.

I had never imagined anything like this could happen.” P. Ramanamurthy, Andra Pradesh, India

“After the earthquake, when we were sitting at home, suddenly a big wave came. It was so big that people who were near the sea had no chance to survive.

“In some parts the sea was up to chest level”

It was with big force, many children who were playing at that time died.

A lot of old people have died. Around 10 children who were playing at the beach are missing.” Sounder Rajan, Madras, India

“It was early in the morning and I was sorting my catch from the fishing net when I saw the waves climbing alarmingly.

I rushed back and pulled my wife and two children out of our home, water had rushed into our hut by then.” Ravichandran, fisherman, Elliot´s Beach, Madras, India

“The water simply raised itself up and huge waves came ashore. It was moving very fast. The impact smashed the glass walls of a restaurant on the beach here and damaged hundreds of boats.

It was more than four feet high. But the water level went down very quickly, after about 15 minutes.” Peter Thomas, Kochi, India
“The scene I witnessed on the streets around the Marina Beach was heartrending.

People were running here and there on the roads with little bags and suitcases, some in their nighties, with tears in their eyes and taking shelter in the temples.” Rani Balaji, Chennai, India

“On Madras beach some were drenched up to their hips, some up to their chests, some all over and some of them were so drenched that they had already stopped breathing.

Men and women, old and young, all were running for lives. It was a horrible sight to see.
The relief workers could not attend to all the dead and all the alive.

The dead were dropped and the half-alive were carried to safety.

Old women had to be carried in chairs or transported by rickshaws.

People scrambled what they could from their homes.” Nanda Kishore, Chennai, India

A tsunami is a Japanese word, means “harbor wave”. A tsunami Is a series of huge waves traveling across the ocean with extremely long wavelengths up to hundreds of miles across the ocean. Often a tsunami is incorrectly described as a tidal wave. Tidal waves are created by the rise And fall of tides and the following movement of water produced by the sun And moon´s gravity. Tsunamis have nothing to do neither with weather nor with tides.

Tsunamis are seismic sea waves are created as a result of sudden Rise or fall of an earth´s crust under or near the ocean. The rise or fall In the sea level is the first formation of a tsunami wave.

Tsunami waves Can also be created by volcanic activity and landslides happening above or below the sea surface. The waves at the beach are caused by wind blowing over the surface of the Sea. The size of these waves are determined by the wind and the distance Over which it blows. Tsunami waves resulting from sudden rise or fall of Earth´s crust is much different than wind generated waves. The magnitude of The disturbance causing the tsunami is the main reason influencing the size And strength of the waves. Depending on how deep the water in which the Tsunami is traveling; it may pick up speed up to 500 miles per hour. As a Tsunami hits shallow waters, its height can reach to over 20 meters, or 66 Feet. All this can take a few minutes. Sometimes, waves can be over an hour Apart. Many have died after returning home in between tsunami waves, Believing that the waves have stopped. Tsunamis have happened in all major oceans of the world

Church News News

Fr. Saji Abraham Attacked on Christmas Eve

RAJASTHAN: A wanton and brutal attack was reported on a priest by a gang of mischievous anti social elements at 5.30 p. m on the eve of Xmas in Rajasthan .

Fr. Saji Abraham , the Priest in charge of St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Banswara, Rajasthan was entering the Church to conduct the Xmas Service in the evening of 24 Dec. It was reported that three strangers were following him to the church. Though strangers, they seemed eager to know about the church and as it was Xmas eve, Fr. Saji Abraham warmly welcomed them in .

While Priest entered the Holy of holies to keep the Holy Bread that he was carrying for the worship, on the Altar. The strangers followed him to holy of holies. On seeing this Fr. saji politely told them to stand outside for the place is holy .Immediately these strangers with some metal rods started attacking the Priest. Fr. Saji fell down in the holy of holies with heavy bleeding from his head. As the Priest fell down unconscious , the culprits felt that he was dead and they then left the Church by closing the doors.

After a little while, the Priest regained his conscious and contacted some of the church members through his mobile phone. They all ran immediately onto the spot and rescued him. 17 stitches were administered on him in a hospital nearby and is still there in critical condition. Fr. Saji Abraham is from Thonniamala, near Kozhencheri-Kerala

A case has been registered with the Banswara Kotwali police station and the additional superintendent of police asked to probe the incident.

No one has so far been arrested but the search is on for the assailants.

News Parish News

Dedication of Fujairah Parish on 29th and 30th May 2003

Fujairah, UAE: Mon, 26 May 2003: Job Mar Philexenos, Metropolitan of Delhi Diocese will solemnize the consecration and dedication of the newly constructed Church at Fujairah, on 29th and 30th May.

The first part of the consecration will be held on Thursday 29th May at 5.30 PM and the second part at 4 PM on Friday, 30th May. A large number of faithful from the different parts of UAE are expected to participate the functions. This would be the 5th parish of Malankara Orthodox Church in the United Arab Emirates. There were a few members of the Indian Orthodox Church, among the Keralites who settled in Fujairah. Even though they were few in number, they remained staunch and loyal to the mother Church, having regular prayer meetings enabling themselves to ponder their faith and traditions soundly.

The Fujairah orthodox Congregation is very active since about 25 years. The only chance of the congregation to fulfill the spiritual needs of the members was to depend the priests of the neighboring parishes as well the visiting Bishops and the priests. For the last 3 years Fr. K.G. Alexander was serving as the Vicar of the congregations in Fujairah, Dibba, Khorfakkan and the parish in Ras al Khaima. At the moment there are about 100 members in Fujairah and neighboring places, counting family as one.

The magnanimity, kindness and the generosity of His Highness the Ruler of Fujairah is to be appreciated by all alike. His Highness gave the land and permission to construct the church, as well as spent the entire cost of construction on a condition that the new parish to pay back the entire amount to the Government in four installments.

Fujairah is an emirate famous for the tourist attractions, having plenty of blessed natural beauty. Locally it is considered as the paradise of tourists. Three sides of Fujairah are surrounded by Rocky Mountains and on the forth side; it has got vast seashore. Fujairah has a pleasant and lovely atmosphere. As soon as the oil reserves were found under the loose sand and deep waters of UAE so widely in early 60s, the state reached the highest peaks of richness and popularity. So by the mid-60s UAE achieved a super position among the world nations. When Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, as well as Dubai and Sharjah, the so called trade capitals, grew into achievements after achievements, the smaller emirates like Fujairah, Ras al Khaima, Ajman and Um al Qaiwan also had a growth, even though it was not at the same scale. Many foreigners from different countries reached UAE in search of their livelihood. The locals were very eager to receive them with open hands. The fortune seekers selected each emirate for their dwelling.

Report by Fr. K.G. Alexander, Fujairah, UAE