His Holiness the Catholicos of the East to lead Malankara Orthodox delegation on 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide
This will be the maiden visit of the Catholicos to Vagharshapat, Armenia and is upon an invitation from His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church.The Primate will be the official guest along with other dignitaries and leaders at the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians which will be commemorated on April 24, 2015. April 24 is the day when thousands of the Armenian community leaders of Constantinople (now Istanbul) were deported and mostly executed.
The Primate of the Indian Orthodox Church will be accompanied by a 5-member delegation. They include the Episcopal Synod Secretary Dr Mathews Mar Severios, Dr K M George, Director of Sopana Academy, clergymen in Fr Dr Jacob Kurien, Principal, OTS Orthodox Theological Seminary, OTS, and Fr Thomas Scaria. The Catholicos will also lead the talks with His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia. The Armenian Apostolic Church is in communion with a group of churches within Oriental Orthodoxy.
It may be recalled that the Armenian Catholicos Aram I was conferred with the ‘Order of St Thomas’ in February 2010 by LL Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Didymos I during his visit. ‘Order of St Thomas’ is the most prestigious honor by the Malankara Orthodox Church.
On the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians, Pope Francis had described the mass killing by the Ottoman Empire as “the first genocide of the 20th century. HH Baselios Marthoma Paulose II is also visiting Lebanon in July to personally meet Catholicos Aram I of the Holy See of Cilicia.
Courtesy : by Liju Cherian, Indian Orthodox Herald
Today in the early morning heard a horrible news that the Panagitsa Greek Orthodox Church in Montreal, Canada, has been destroyed by fire. Let us pray for this our sister community because the Greek community of Montreal are very sad since they loved this Church very much. Thank God the faithful flock are safe, and then again the Church is not the stones but her very own people! The Church will be reborn from its ashes by the grace of God. Evil forces can destroy our Churches build by stone, they cannot destroy our faith. Lord have mercy.
On behalf of His Holiness Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Paulos II, the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, H.G Zachariahas Mar Anthonios, the Diocesan Metropolitan of Kollam, distributed Roji Roy Compassion fund to her parents, in a function held at St Gabriel Orthodox Church on 9th April,2015. A Corpus fund of 16 lakhs deposited in bank to take care of her parents who are deaf and mute. Out of this 16 lakhs, Rs 1 lakhs by His Holiness , Rs 2 Lakhs by OCYM, Dubai and the rest amount (13 lakhs )were collected by ICON Charities.Malankara Sabha will take care of the educational needs of Roji’s brother Robin, who is studying in 9th grade. This is a moment of pride for each church member, experiencing the caring nature of our dear Bava Thirumeni beyond imagination.
Roji Roy, the 19 year old daughter of Mrs. Sajitha and Mr. Roy of Nallila, near Kottarakkara was a nursing student at Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She was a very active teenager in her parish, St. Gabriel Orthodox Church, Nallila. She was a member of the parish choir and an energetic Sunday school teacher. Beyond all, she was the hope, dream and voice of her parents who are deaf and mute.
On Nov. 6th, 2014, she reportedly committed suicide after falling from the tenth floor of KIMS hospital according to the hospital authorities. She was allegedly involved in a ragging case. It is reported that she was brought to the Principal’s office for questioning, where she was asked to bring her parents, who are deaf and mute, and was told that she can’t take the upcoming yearly exam. She was under distress at the thought of causing pain to her family, and it is suspected that she committed suicide. The death itself remains to be a mystery. The relatives and neighbors say that there is no convincing reason for her death. Though the hospital authorities state that it is a suicide, the whole story is shrouded with mystery. The frontline media also keeps quiet about the episode. However the social media has taken up the issue and hopefully some inquiry can be expected. The family and friends are concerned about the silence of the main stream media and the hospital authorities. There are calls for thorough investigation, largely from the social media.The unexpected death of Roji is a traumatic blow to the family. Whatever be the outcome of the police investigation, the fact is that a bright girl has lost her life leaving the dreams and hopes of a poor family to ashes. Her relatives have been helping with Roji’s education. With the death of Roji, her younger brother who is in 7th Grade, and the parents are struggling for survival.
After reading about the sad plight of Roji’s family, many members of the church, especially OCYM members have been calling for help. ICON Volunteers looked at how we can help the family. We have been in touch with Rev. Fr. PA Philip of Devalokam (Malankara Orthodox Human Empowerment Department) to find more information about the family. Respected Philip Achen had contacted Rev. Fr. John Geevarghese (Mithun Achen), the Vicar of St. Gabriel Orthodox Church, Nallila, and found out that the family deserves support as no substantial help is offered from any quarters so far. ICON Charities have been in contact with Mithun Achen to assess the needs of the family. Respected Philip Achen discussed the need of this family with Holiness Bava Thirumeni. Bava Thirumeni would like to gather as much support as possible to the family. To be in the fore front of this campaign, His Holiness Bawa Thirumeni has offered to donate Rs.100,000 ( Rupees One lakh) and shall visit the parents of Roji very shortly. His Holiness wished that understanding the pathetic situation of the family, many people with Christian compassion would come forward to help this family and alleviate their misery.
Reported by ICON Charities
The Central and State Governments are stated to be doing their best to evacuate all Indians, including many Orthodox Christians and a Priest Fr.Bejoy the Vicar who are all now stranded in Yemen.Mr.Ankur Naik,a senior Official attached to the Office of Indian President is personally monitoring the evacuation plans and its conduct. Mr.Jacob Mathew (Jojo),our Church Managing Committee Member,based in Dubai is coordinating in his capacity with Mr. Ankur Naik officially and personally on a daily basis.
The main issue is ‘SAFETY’ of the stranded personnel.The Airspace in Yemen are at the moment controlled totally by Saudi Arabian Air Defence.They have to give permission for any Aircraft to land in Yemen.They are not giving permission for any Aircraft to fly into Yemeni Airspace at the moment due to security and safety concerns.
Al Hudaydah Port is the nearest port to Sanaa. It is about 300 kms from Sanaa to Hudaydah.(Aden port is too far being about 700 kms-12 hrs- away and more risky).
The latest situation with Fr. Bejoy Varghese and few of our members is as I am given to understand, is to move them to Al Hudaydah tomorrow morning (Friday) and if there is a possibility for any small Chartered Aircrafts (provided we are approved of permissions) that can land or any ships that plan to come by for evacuation, they plan to board them. Al Hudaydah will be a better and safer option to be than in capital Sanaa. Achen and members are planning at the moment to travel to Al Hudaydah by a government operated bus at 7am on Friday morning.
Mr. Oommen Chandy was in St. Thomas cathedral, Dubai to participate in the Pessaha Service,l last evening and has ensured that he will be constantly in touch with the team to assist with the situation.
Let us all earnestly pray that they come out before the situation becomes more grave and worse.
Parishes in Gujarat Region
H.G.Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, the Diocesan Metropolitan,will lead passion week services at the Churches in Gujarat Region. His Grace will conduct Hosanna service at St Gregorios O.S.C, Silvasa, Service of Washing the feet and Pessaha service at and at St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Valsad and Good Friday service at StMary’s Orthodox Church,Vapi.
H G Dr.Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan of Trivandrum Diocese, will lead the Holy week services in St Marys Indian Orthodox Cathedral assisted by Fr Varghese Yohannan (Vicar) Vattaparampil and Fr M B George (Asst Vicar).
St Mary’s Orthodox Catherdral, Dadar
H.G.Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of South West America, will lead Passion week services at St Marys Cathedral, Dadar, assisted by Rev.Fr. P.C.Thomas ( Vicar) and Rev.Fr. Sunil Baby (Asst.Vicar).
Malankara Orthodox Church, Doha
H.G. Dr.Zachariah Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of Adoor-Kadampanad will lead Passion week services at Malankara Orthodox Church, Doha, assisted by Rev.Fr.Benjamin S Philip (Vicar) and Rev. Fr.M.E.Joseph (Asst Vicar)
St Thomas Orthodox Valiapally, Malad
H.G.Dr.Mathews Mar Severios, Metropolitan of Kandanad West will lead Passion week services at St Thomas Orthodox Valiapally, Malad, assisted by Rev.Fr.Thomas Varghese and Rev.Fr. Saji Thannimottil (Asst Vicar)
St Thomas Orthodox Valiapally, Kalyan (West)
H.G. Abraham Mar Epiphanios, Metropolitan of Sultan Battery, will lead Passion week services at St.Thomas Orthodox Valiapally, Kalyan West, assisted by Rev.Fr. Jiji K Thomas (Vicar).
Hundreds of members of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches organized a peace rally in the city on Tuesday, 24th March, 2015 to support the rights of minority communities in India and protest against the gang-rape of a nun in Kolkata. The rally commenced from Saint Felix School in Bund Garden at 9 am and the protestors marched up to Council Hall by 11 am.
Speaking to the crowd that gathered for the rally, Pune Bishop Thomas Dabre said, “We are forgetting the secular approach of the Indian Constitution. In a situation, where minority groups are being targeted and their houses of worship are being vandalized, it is a direct attack on the constitutional rights of the citizens. We demand that the Modi government must ensure that that the culprits behind the attack on the Panvel church and the nun in Kolkata must be punished.”
Emphasising on the concept that God is one and every religion preaches the tenets of peace, Father Malcolm Sequeira said, “We are all one and if we stay united nobody can do any harm to us.”After the collector expressed his support to the cause and assured that the government would ensure that such incidents do not occur in Pune, the peace rally ended with the protesters singing the national anthem.
Rev.Fr.Thomas Myalil, Vicar of St Gregorios OSC, Dighi, Pune, and Rev. Fr. Jacob Thomas(Sherin),Vicar of St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church,Pimpri represented Malankara Orthodox Church in this peace rally.
Edited by Aneesha George.
Hope that you got the Kalpana from the Diocesan Metropolitan regarding this. Hope that your parish will register the courses before the cut off date. For more details visit www.divyabodhanam.org
Fr. Thomas K Chacko (Manojachen)
Divyabodhanam, Bombay Diocese
With the blessings and patronage of His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos the Diocesan Metropolitan and the President of MGOCSM, the Youth Convention under the auspices of MGOCSM Diocese of Bombay will be held on Sunday the 22nd March 2015 at St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral Dadar as per the schedule given below. Rev Fr (Dr) K. Geevarghese (OKR Director of Sunday Schools & Professor, STOTS Nagpur) will be the keynote Speaker.
4.30 PM: Lenten Reflections
6.00 PM: Evening Prayer followed by Devotional Singing by Divine Ragas
7.00 PM: Keynote Message
8.30 PM: Benediction and Refreshments.
We wish, this spiritual gathering be of great inspiration towards more fruitful experience in the coming days of the Great Lent and participation in the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord.
We welcome all teenagers and youngsters to attend.
Fr Jacob Koshy
MGOCSM Bombay Diocese
The Gregorian Community conducted a survey and identified about 400 plus children in Roha who are mentally challenged and need a special school to help make them self reliant. We believe that the availability of a Residential Special School in Roha will relieve the burden of anxious parents by supporting them throughout the upbringing process.
We humbly request every well-wisher, corporate firm & individual to reach out and lend a helping hand to support the Gregorian Community to provide maximum service to these very special children.