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Archive for December 2014

Bombay Orthodox Priest Family Conference held at Sanpada College

The first time in the history of Diocese of Bombay,Bombay Orthodox Priest’s conference held at IIBM,College, Sanpada, Naviv Mumbai from 25th to 27th, December, 2014. The conference started with evening prayer, Public meeting and Christmas eve celebrations. Rev. Fr. O.Thomas (Faculty of OTS, Kottayam) lead classes on Family Relationships and Family Problems. There were different sessions for Priests and their wives, for Priests alone, for Kochamma’s by Mrs Leelamma Jolly. Sessions for Kids was by John Jesusdasan and Basil. Rev.Fr.Joshy P Jacob (Faculty of STOTS, Nagpur)  lead the retreat. Confession session was also arranged.

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Rev.Fr.Varghese Thomas,  the junior most priest of the gathering celebrated Holy Qurbana.

After that Fr.O.Thomas took his 3rd session on the theme, followed by Question answer session. Conference was concluded with Noon Prayer and lunch at 1 P.M.


4 years ago

Brief History

Thirty five Orthodox Christian families residing at Mira-Bhayander, who were the members of St. George Orthodox Church, Borivali, felt the need for a separate parish at Mira-Bhayander. The issue was discussed time and again and finally decided to approach Diocesan Metropolitan for an independent parish and unanimously decided to name the proposed parish after St.Gregorios of Parumala. Accordingly a delegation representing Mira-Bhayander Orthodox Christians met His Grace Philipose Mar Theophilos Metropolitan and His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Asst. Metropolitan of Mumbai Diocese on several times at Vashi Aramana. After many persuasions His Grace convinced of genuine necessity and permitted to celebrate the feast of St.Gregorios at Mira-Bhayander. The faithful assembled at the residence of Shri K.U Abraham at Asmita Hill View, Mira Road (East) and passed a resolution confirming the erstwhile decision of independent parish and its proposed name and also emulated future plans for raising funds for immediate needs. A delegation met Sr. Johanna of Holy Cross Convent, Mira road and sought her permission to conduct service at their premises and the sister gracefully permitted to utilize the fourth floor corridor of Holy Cross Convent School.

The first Holy Qurbana and feast of St.Gregorios was a celebrated on 4th Nov 1994 at 4th floor corridor of Holy Cross Convent School Mira Road by Rev Fr Paul Mathew of St Paul’s Mission Centre Mavelikara. Therefore Holy Qurbana has been conducted on Sunday evening on the availability of priests from the diocese till declaration of independent parish.

ST GREGORIOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH – MIRA BHAYANDER has been declared as independent parish with effect from 1st June 1995 comprising members of erstwhile St George Orthodox Church Broivali who resides at Mira-Bhayander and all other Orthodox Christians resides in Mira-Bhayander by an order of Diocesan Metropolitan and appointed Rev Fr. C.J Varghese as its first Vicar. The Holy Qurbana has been conducted on every Sunday morning at 4th floor corridor of Holy Cross Convent School Mira Road. Meanwhile members under the guidance and leadership of vicar restlessly searched for a suitable place for worship. A trust Viz., ST GREGORIOUS ORTHODOX CHARITABLE SOCEITY is registered vide Reg No MAH/479/96 THANE DT 31/1/1996 under Bombay Public trust Act. By the Grace of God Almighty matter was negotiated with M/s Rainbow Realtors and consented to construct present church building through the parish had no substantial balance fund for purpose. Bestowing faith in Almighty and our patron saint, foundation stone was laid on 8th June 1997 by Late Lamented Philipose Mar Theophilos, then the metropolitan of Mumbai Diocese which was His Grace last official function. The construction work has begun. Members offered their contributions as well as collected donations from faithful of various churches and also through souvenir, coupon collection etc. Considering the old age of Vicar Rev Fr C.J Varghese Rev Fr M.S. Geevarghese was appointed as Assistant vicar with effect from june1998.

The collection of funds has been rejuvenated under the leadership of Assistant Vicar.

The construction of building was completed by the end of year 1998.The church was consecrated temporarily by His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos on 13th December 1998 and the Holy Qurbana was performed. Despite ill health and old age, Rev Fr C.J Varghese has done a commendable piece of work for building parish and church which is appreciable. Rev Fr M.S. Geevarghese elevated as Vicar with effect from 1st June 1999.

The church was finally consecrated on 8th November 1999 by His Grace Geevarghese Mar Osthathious metropolitan of Niranam Diocese assisted by His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos of Mumbai diocese and His Grace Dr Abraham Mar Severious of Ankamaly East Diocese with presence of Ramban, priest and multitude of faith. At the time of consecration membership of parish has enhanced to 110 from 35.

Our parish blessed with service of following priest as vicars and Asst. Vicar.

Rev Fr Varghese Yohnnan
Rev Fr Jesudasan as Asst Vicar
Rev Fr Koshy Plammmottil
Rev Fr Koshy Alex
Rev Fr Jiji K Thomas
Rev Fr Thomas Kurian
Rev Fr Benjamin S Philip
Rev Fr Geevarghese Abraham

The parishioners appreciate the dedicated services of all Vicars and Asst. Vicar for the temporal as well as spiritual development of parish.

Liturgy services on Moranaya perunal and Saints day have been celebrated since the inception of parish by the faith, aromatic parishioners. The church organs such as Sunday School, Choir, Youth League, MGOCSM, Matha Mariam Vanitha Samajam and Prayer meetings have been programmed and systematically functioned to keep members attached to parish.

A Cross vault constructed and donated by Shri Viju C Varghese and Issac Kottadiyil to parish, was dedicated by His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos the metropolitan of Mumbai diocese on 2nd July 2006.

Shri Jose Parumala has donated a part of Holy Relics of St Gregorious Parumala gifted to him by Rev Fr K.B Mathews, Karikott, Mattackal to parish which was installed and dedicated on 15th June 2008 by His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos the metropolitan of Mumbai diocese, assisted by Vicar Rev Fr Jiji K Thomas.

Christmas Greetings

New Testament accounts of the advent and nativity of Jesus stress the all-encompassing nature of the Christ event. Without reservation, the Biblical text says that God’s grace appears to all, offering the promise of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation with God in heaven and with our neighbors on earth.The grace of God has appeared in the person of Jesus Christ. He appears for the sake of marginalized shepherds and their families in his homeland. He attracts the attention of well-to-do scholars in distant nations. He appears to Mary and Joseph as a gift of God’s mystery. Through these faithful witnesses, and the proclamation of good news down the ages, Jesus appears to us. We, too, are called to respond to his presence among us today.


This is the season of Holy Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no “Santa” there is only St. Nicholas! everyone can be “Santa”, you can give gifts and presents at any moment of any day not only in this period that was transformed to a commercial event by the evil hands…and it dangerously plug the love of the materialism to children, this period is a period of strong prayers, fasting and a holy event that makes the faithful closer to God! The Satanic forces of the world are using the X to spread their message that says that there is no Christ, be aware of that evil trick… it’s Christmas not Xmas!

May the grace and peace of God appear to many more through this season of Christmas! I wish you well at the turning of this year, and I pray for God’s blessing on our heavenly pilgrimage in the years to come.

With Prayers

Fr.Thomas Philipose, Web Manager

Rev.Fr. George M.B

4 years ago

Mobile: 09969576329 (India). 009731 35642519 (Bahrain)



Date of Birth                                : 25-05-1972

Date of Marriage                          : 22-05-2000

Date of Ordination (priesthood)  : 08-07-2000

Ordained by                                 : H.G. Kuriakose Mar Climmis

At St.George Chapel, Kadapra



Name of  the father                             : (Late) Mr. M.C.Baby

Name of the mother                            : Mrs. Thankamma Baby

Name of the spouse                            : Susan George (Teacher)

Name of the child                               : Abel John George (7th STD)


Permanent address                              : Mannariethu Thundiyil

Koipuram P.O, Thattackadu,

Chengannur, Kerala State-689531.


Present address                                   : St.Mary’s Indian Orthodox Cathedral,

P.O. Box 834, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.


Parent Diocese                                    : Chengannur Diocese

Present Diocese                                   : Bombay Diocese


Parent Church                                     : St. Mary’s Malankara Orthodox Syrian

Church, Koorthamala.


Present serving church                        : St.Mary’s Indian  Orthodox Cathedral (Asst.Vicar)


Name of the Parishes served               : St.Mary’s, Aurangabad         (2000-2003)

St.Mary’s, Ahmed Nagar      (2000-2003)

St,Gregorios, Ojar, Nasik      (2000-2003)

: St.Mary’s , Panaji,Goa          (2003-2007)

St. Gregorios Congr. Ponda (2003-2007)

: St.Mary’s, Vapi, Gujarat       (2007-2008)

: Mar Gregorios, Chembur      (2008- 2011) (Asst.)

: St.Mary’s, Rasayani              (2008-2011)

: St.George, Borivily               2010 Nov- 2011 June)

: St.Paul’s, Powai                    (2011-2014) (Asst.)

: St.Baselios, Kalina                (2014 June-  Nov)


Education – (Secular)                          : B.Com, PGDCA,

– (Theology)                       : G.S.T, B.C.S ( Serampore).

Name of Seminary studied                 : St.Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur

Special Charges           (Ex)                            : Vice President of Diocesan Choir, Mumbai

: Publisher – Diocesan Gateway

: Secretary- Vaideeka Sanghom

: Aux. Comm Member – Bible Society Bombay

: Member- Jeevan Dhara

: Co-Ordinator- Convention – Spiritual Revival









Learn Christmas Liturgical Hymns Tune with Fr. Blessen Varghese in 'Ragangal'.

Produced by Mar Alvares Media, an initiative by Fr. Abraham Kuriakose and Fr. Noel Lewis, Brahmavar.

For more videos on Liturgical Hymns and Orthodox Teaching visit


The Holy Bible and Orthodox Tradition

The Orthodox Church governs her life by Holy Tradition. The word “tradition” comes from the Latin traditio, which is translation of a Greek word used frequently in the scriptures,  paradosis. Translatedliterally, this word means something that is handed on from one person to another, in the same way that a baton is handed over in a relay race. Something that is “traditioned” passed on from one person or group of people to another.

In Galatians 1:11, St Paul says, that the tradition of the Church is “not according to man”. in other words, it is revealed by God. It is not a human product.

Tradition means an experience, an entire life-not simply a series of teachings, but the living out of those teachings that have come from the God who has revealed Himself to us. Tradition is the living out of the revelation of God by His people.

Five Sources of Christian Tradition

  1. The Holy Scriptures (Bible)
  2. The Liturgy
  3. The Councils (Synods)
  4. The Saints
  5. The Church Art


The Holy Scriptures

The first place we give to the Holy Scriptures: the Bible, Old and New Testaments. The Bible is understood by the Orthodox Christians to be the principal written record of the experience by God’s people of God’s revealing Himself to them. It is understood that the Church, therefore, wrote the Bible. The Bible is the word of God, but the word of God was not written directly and personally by God. The Holy Scriptures did not fall from Heaven in a full complete form. Instead, they were written by human beings who were inspired by God. What they write is the truth about God.They write what they write as members of God’s people.

For example, in the early years of the Christian Church, those most important books of Holy Scripture that we call the Gospels did not exist.Several decades passed afterPentecost before the first Gospel was written. It was the end of the first century by the time all four Gospels were written. Three hundred more years passed before a decision was made in the Church that there would be only four Gospels.

The books that are in the Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are there because God’s people, through those who were set aside as having the authority to make the decision, decided that these books would be part of the Bible, and other books would not. The Church, as God’s people inspired by God, wrote the Bible. The Church produced the Bible. The Bible did not produced the Church.

The Holy Scriptures are the principal and most honourd written record of God’s revelation to His people. But it is the understanding of the Orthodox that Holy Scriptures cannot be completely, truthfully understood unless they are understood within the context of the Church that produced them, that declared them to be what they are.

So, the Bible is the Book of the Church, the first source of the Christian Tradition.


I will try to write on the Bible in greater detail later on.


The Liturgy

The second source of the Christian Tradition is the liturgy of the Church.”Liturgy” is a word that means in Greek, common work. The liturgy of the church means the work of the church when it comes together to be the people of God and to worship God. Liturgy includes the whole body of the Church’s common worship: the services for the various hours of the day, the days of the week, the feast days and seasons of the Church, the sacraments of the Church, like baptism, the holy Eucharist, marriage and other.

In all the public prayer of the Church we have a record of what the Church believes. In fact, there is a saying that has been popular among the Orthodox from the beginning; the rule of faith, the standard of what we believe, is established by the way we pray.


The Councils (Synods)

The third source of the Christian Tradition is the councils of the Churchman council is  meeting of those in the Church who have been given the authority to decide what is faithful to the Tradition of the Church and what is not. The first council that we hear described in the Act of Apostles chapter 15 takes place in the Church of Jerusalem. This council was convened to decide the question of whether Gentiles could becomes Christians and whether they should be required to obey the Jewish Law. This was a situation that Jesus had not specifically prepared His Apostles to deal with. But he has given them the authority in the Church to distinguish between what was true and what was not, so they met to decide what to do with the Gentiles who wanted to become part of the Church.

The result of the Jerusalem council was a compromise: the Gentiles would be required to keep a few core principles of the Jewish law, but the rest of it was not binding on them. Moreover, the Apostles made it very clear that this was not merely a human decision. They were so boldly as to say, “It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us that this is how we answer this question. (Acts 15:28).

Many councils have met through the centuries of the Church’s life and they have decided many Questions. The answers they give to the questions that have to be resolved come in two forms: creeds and canons.

The Oriental Orthodox Family including Indian Orthodox Church accepting the first three Ecumenical Councils:

  1. Council at Nicea on AD325
  2. Council at Constantinople on AD381
  3. Council at Ephesus at AD 431

The most important of the Church’s statement of faith is contained in the creed called the Nicene Creed. It is called “Nicene” because it was written at the first Ecumenical Council in Nicea in AD 325


The Saints

The fourth source of the Christian Tradition is the lives of the saints and the teaching of one particular group of saints who are called the Fathers, includes some mothers.

In every generation in the life of the Church, there have been people who lve the teachings of Christ faithfully, heroically, who attain while living in this world the destiny for which we as Christians believe God has created us: to share His own life.

The ultimate promise concerning the Christian revelation is that it is true. “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”. Free from what? Free from error, free from sin, free from emptiness, and ultimately free from death in the negative sense. Those are the things that God frees from us from. But He does this so that we can be free for something that is indescribably greater: to reach our destiny as partakers of the life of God Himself.

A certain group of those saints is called the Fathers. By a Father of the Church, we mean one who by his or her wisdom in teaching or defending Church doctrine, often at the cost of his or her life or in the face of great suffering, bore witness to the Tradition of the Church. When we read the Gospel here is what the Church has always believed. In the same sense, when we read the writings of the great Fathers, we can find in them a faithful and true testimony to what the Church has always believed and experienced about God.


The Church Art

The final source of the Christian Tradition is the Church Art. It might come as a surprise to some that along with such exalted things as the Holy Scriptures and the Liturgy of the Church and the Saints and the Fathers, we would speak of Church art. In the minds of some people, art is simply a kind of decoration, a secondary thing.

In the Orthodox understanding of the nature of human being, of how God has made us, how God has revealed Himself to us, is that material creation is very much involved. One could say that the Orthodox Faith, the Orthodox experience is a holistic one. It involves the whole into the material world, God becoming man, God becoming matter-is uniquely at the heart of the Christian Faith.

Art is, by definition, the use of material things as the medium for the revelation of God. So for the Orthodox, art is not icing on the cake; it is something very central to what we know of how God has revealed Himself to us. One goes in to the Orthodox Church building and is immediately surrounded by all sorts of things that appeal to the senses.

We could divide them into the three categories:-

  1. Iconography: the way in which the images of Christ, His life, His Mother, and the saints are portrayed in the Church.
  2. Church Music: the way our Church services are sung, the chants that are used in the liturgical services.
  3. Church architecture: even the way an Orthodox Church is traditionally built is a visible testimony to the Faith of the Church as it has been experienced throughout the ages.

None of these is understood to be merely accidental or a frill. Rather, they are at the heart of our experience in the Church as the people of God.


So we have these five basic sources of the Orthodox Tradition, what has been passed on from one generation of the faithful to the next, from Christ and the Apostles even to the present time: the scripture, the liturgy, the creeds and canons that have come from the Church Councils or Synods, the lives of the saints and the teaching of the Fathers, and finally Orthodox Christian Art.

Rev.Fr.Joshy Pallattu Jacob

Address                                              : St.Thomas Orthodox Theological

Seminary, Kalmeshwar, Brahmani

Post,Nagpur, M.H.,441501.


Nationality                                         : Indian.

Date of Birth                                      : 29th June 1978.

Marital status                                    : Single.

Linguistic Skill                                    : Malayalam,English,Hindi,Syriac.


Permanent Address                          : S/o P.I. Jacob,

Pallattu, Puthuppally, Kottayam-11.


Contact details

Cell Nos                                               : +919746427701,+919702762767.



Home Parish                                       :St.GeorgeOthodoxChurch,Meenadom

Home Diocese                                    : Kottayam.

Diocese to which Ordained              : Bombay.


Date of Ordination : 12th May 2007.


Academic Qualifiaction

Sl.No. Degree/Diploma University College Year of Study

1 M.A. Syriac Mahatma Gandhi SEERI 2012-14 2. M.A. Administration IGNOU OPEN 2010- 12

  1. P.G Diploma Biblical Studies Dharmaram DADE 2011-12
  2. Bachelor of Divinity Serampore STOTS 2002-07
  3. GST MOSC STOTS 2002-07
  4. B.Com Mahatma Gandhi Baselius 1996-99

Counselling for HIV/AIDS Evangeline Booth Hospital,Ahmednager in 2005

Participated in the International Syriac Musical Festival “MAZMUR-2013”



Positions held.



St.Stephens Orthodox Church, Gandhidam. 2007-2008

St.Peters St.Pauls Orthodox Church,Roha. 2008-2012

St.Thomas Orthodox Church,Pen. 2008-2012

St.Gregorios Orthodox Church,Khopoli . 2008-2010

St.Marys Orthodox Church,Aurangabad 2009-2012

St.Marys Orthodox Church, Kattilapoovam. 2012-2014

St.Gregorious Orthodox Church, Dhule. 2014 cont.


Principal, Gregorian Public School, Roha 2008-2012.

Administrator,Gregorian Community Centre,Roha. 2008-2012.

Gregorian Public School,Roha. 2008-2012.

Gregorian Old Age Home 2008-2012.


Cuurent position:

Bursar and Teacher of St.Thomas Theological Seminary,Nagpur(Hymnology & Syriac)

Vicar: St.Gregorious Orthodox Church, Dhule. M.H.



Is there an Orthodox Bible?

Many people do not know that there is an essential difference between the Protestant Churches and the Orthodox Church concerning the Bible. This is not only seen in the attitude towards the Bible and the attitude towards the Bible and the way of interpreting individual texts of it, but also in the number of books contained in the Bible. The contents of the Bible are known as the Canon in its technical sense. As far as the Canon of the New Testament is concerned, all the Churches in the East and West follow the list prepared by St. Athanasius of Alexandra, the stalwart of the Council of Nicea in his Easter letter of AD 327. It put an end to the disputes between Eastern and Western Churches concerning the content of the New Testament and it was established that 27 books from St.Mathew to the Book of Revelation would from the New Testament.

The term Old Testament is coined by the Christians and it indicates the Bible of Jews. During the time of Jesus there were two types of Jews based on their cultural heritage. One group had its base in Palestine and they used the Hebrew Bible.  A  Council of Rabbis held in Jamnia completed the Canon of this Bible only in AD 100. This Bible had only 39 books which is the reason why the Bible used by the Protestants does not include the seven books mentioned above.

However, a great number of Jews lived in different parts of the Roman Empire outside Palestine. Alexandria was their cultural centre and they used Greek as their language for communication. It can be seen that the new generations of Malankara Orthodox Church who use English instead of Malayalam. The Bible of Jews was prepared in Greek language during the reign of King Ptolemy II (285-247 BCE). This was called the Septuagint, which means Seventy in Greek, because of the seventy people who were engaged in its formation.

The Septuagint was not merely a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible; instead it had three changes in comparison with the Hebrew Bible:

  1. It contained seven additional books, namely, 1-2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Bara Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon.
  2. There were some additions and changes in the books like Esther and Daniel.
  3. The order of the books in the Septuagint was different from that of the Hebrew Bible. For example, II Chronicles was the last book of the Hebrew Bible. The numbering of Psalms was also different in the Septuagint.

Now the most important question is: what was the Bible used by Jesus and his disciples? None of the books of the New Testament    was written during the time of Jesus; the Bible, which he used, was that of the Jews. Once the new scriptures were written by the Early Christians, the Church reffered to it as the Old Testament rather than the Hebrew Bible of the Palestinian Jews. Since the Canon of the Hebrew Bible  was finalized only in AD 90 there is every reason to conclude that Septuagint was used during that time. Moreover, the modern researches have proved that the New Testament writers like St.Mathew and St. Paul quoted not from the Hebrew Bible but from the Septuagint.Since we want to follow the Old Testament of the Apostles and the Early Church, we consider the seven books mentioned above as scriptural texts.

Now the most important question is: what was the Bible used by Jesus and his disciples? None of the books of the New Testament    was written during the time of Jesus; the Bible, which he used, was that of the Jews. Once the new scriptures were written by the Early Christians, the Church reffered to it as the Old Testament rather than the Hebrew Bible of the Palestinian Jews. Since the Canon of the Hebrew Bible  was finalized only in AD 90 there is every reason to conclude that Septuagint was used during that time. Moreover, the modern researches have proved that the New Testament writers like St.Mathew and St. Paul quoted not from the Hebrew Bible but from the Septuagint.Since we want to follow the Old Testament of the Apostles and the Early Church, we consider the seven books mentioned above as scriptural texts.

The above are two most important reasons why the Deutrocanonical books could be considered as scriptural texts. The Orthodox Church of India considered the Syriac Peshitta version as its Bible. This was originated in the Aramaic speaking world of the Jews in the dawn of the modern of the modern age. The word Peshitta means “simple” and the version was more or less the same as Septuagint in content. That’s why we teach the 46 Old Testament books and include the seven books in our liturgical life.


prepared by Fr.Thomas Philipose


Fr.Joshy P Jacob appointed as the Syriac Faculty of STOTS, Nagpur

His Holiness Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Paulos II, Catholicos of the East appointed, Rev.Fr.Joshy P Jacob as the Syriac faculty of STOTS Nagpur..


Rev. Fr. Joshy Pallattu Jacob, an alumnus of STOTS, Nagpur of the 2002-2007 Batch, joined the STOTS family as a faculty member early this year. He is also given the charge as the Asst.Warden of the Seminary. He hails from Meenadom, Kerala and a member of St. George Orthodox Syrian Church, Meenadom.He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration & Syriac (SEERI). He also serves as the vicar of St. Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, Dhule under the Diocese of Bombay. After his seminary studies Fr Joshy served in the churches of Bombay diocese and served as the in charge of Gregorian Community, Roha. With the permission of H.G.Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan, He successfully completed in MA in Syriac from SEERI, Kottayam.Congratulations Achen.




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