Syrian Christian Community in Pune dates back to early forties. In the initial years, people belonging to various denominations, mainly Orthodox, Marthoma and CSI Churches, formed a combined congregation and conducted prayers and Holy Qurbana at St. Paul’s Church, Pune and All Saints Church, Kirkee. A priest belonging to one of the aforesaid denominations conducted prayers by rotation once in a month.
As the membership of Orthodox Syrian Christian Church increased, they decided to form a separate Parish. H. H. Baselios Geevarghese II, the then Catholicos and H. G. Thomas Mar Dionasius of Niranam came down to Pune, conducted Holy Qurbana and declared formation of Orthodox Syrian Church, Pune in December 1951.
As membership further increased, it was found extremely difficult for one Priest to manage the affairs of the Church and the necessity for a bifurcation was felt by members residing in Pune. The Parish was bifurcated on 16th October 1973 as St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Pune and St. Thomas Orthodox Syrian Church, Kirkee by the Bombay Diocesan Metropolitan. The Pune Parish members continued their worship at St. Paul’s Church, Pune.
A plot of land measuring 12 guntas was purchased at Kondhwa during the vicar ship of Rev. Fr. C. V. Kuriakose in 1981. In the year 1983, a parsonage was also purchased at Nirmala Niwas in Pune Camp near M.G. Road. During 1987, a plot of land measuring 7 guntas was donated by one of our members, Mr. T. P. Alexander at Viman Nagar Area. Somehow, both these lands could not be used for construction of a Church
The present Church plot measuring 15 guntas at Ghorpadi was purchased in the year 1991 during the vicarship of Rev. Fr. Jacob Koshy. Funds were raised for purchase of land and construction of Church through mighty contributions and donations from members in and out of India, through coupon sale, publishing of two souvenirs, sale of the two plots and parsonage earlier mentioned.His Grace late lamented Dr Philipose Mar Theophilus, the then Diocesan Metropolitan assisted by His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos laid the foundation stone for the present church on 2 February 1994. His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews II, the then Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan consecrated the Church on 20th and 21st February 1998 assisted by His Grace Mar Osthatheos, Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese and His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Mumbai Diocese.With the tireless effort and commitment of the faithful members and with the blessed guidance of the leadership of the Church, our Parish continues to grow. Today, the Parish has membership of over 200 families. All spiritual organizations of the Malankara Orthodox Church, such as Sunday School, MGOCSM, Youth Movement, Martha Mariam Samajam and Prarthana Yogams (Area Prayer Groups) are active and flourishing in the Parish.
St. Paul’s Orthodox Church, Powai has become a full fledged parish in the year 1993 and is an organ of “The Malankara Orthodox Church” of India.
Initially we have started a prayer group of 10 to 15 members under St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Dadar. The very first service was conducted by Rev. Fr. Paul Adai, on 10th March, 1985, at the I.I.T. Community Hall, Powai, and it was continued till the year 1990.
On 25th December 1990, the worship place was shifted to Ray Construction compound. Rev. Fr. Koshy Alex conducted the first Holy Qurbana there. Later this prayer group had been upgraded under the leadership of Rev. Fr. K.P. Lazarus.
In October 1992, a Charitable trust was formed namely “St. Paul’s Charitable & Educational Trust”. On the 1st of April, 1993, by the grace of Almighty God, our Valiyathirumeni (Late Lamented) H.G. Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilus and H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos declared this small congregation as a full fledged parish.
The prayers of the people of Powai was answered by Almighty by showing us a prominent place in the zenith of Powai Hills and we got a permanent place of worship. Under the dynamic and enthusiastic leadership of our then Vicar Rev. Fr. Scaria Varghese (Santhosh Achen), and the prayers of all the parishioners, we achieved our long cherished desire to have our own place of worship, in the year 1998.
On 14-02-1999, the foundation stone for the proposed Church was laid by H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, the Diocesan Metropolitan of Bombay. The construction of the Church building was completed within a short span of just 3 months. It was temporarily consecrated by Very Rev. K.I. Philip Ramban and the Palm Sunday Service was conducted on that day. i.e.28-03-1999 in the new Church.
After completion of the entire interior works of the Madbaha & the Church, the newly completed Church was consecrated on 1st& 2nd of October, 1999.The chief celebrant of the consecration was (Late Lamented) H.G. Dr.Geevarghese Mar Osthatheos and ably assisted by (Late Lamented) H. G. Philipose Mar Eusebius and H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos.
The cherished aspiration of our members for a new Parsonage near our Church was fulfilled by procuring a Parsonage in Mansarovar C.H.S., in the year 2002.
A newly constructed Cross Vault was consecrated on 2nd October 2008, by (Late Lamented) H.G. Geevarghes Mar Ivanios (Chief Celebrant), & H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilose.
The former Vicars of our parish were Rev. Fr. Thomas Panickar (1993-95), Very Rev. P.J.James Cor episcopa (1995-96), Rev. Fr. Benjamin Stephen (1996-97), Rev. Fr.Scaria Varghese (1997-2001), Very Rev. Thomas Kurian Cor episcopa (2001-05), Very Rev. Yaunan Mulamoottil Cor episcopa (2005-08), Very Rev. P.J.James Cor episcopa (2008-11), Rev. Fr. M.B. George (2011-14). Very Rev. Yaunan Mulamoottil Cor episcopa is a member of this parish.
At present Rev. Fr. Thomas K Chacko is serving as the Vicar since 1st June, 2014.
Today the Church is having a strength of over 128 families and having all spiritual organizations like Sunday School, M.G.O.C.S.M., Youth Movement, Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam, “Akhila Malankara Orthodox Sushrushaka Sangam (AMOSS), Prayer Groups, Divyabodhanam etc..All these spiritual organizations are working fruitfully and instrumental in all the Spiritual Activities & Charity works. Our Sunday school is one of the best Sunday schools of our Diocese. Our member Mrs. Alice Koshy is serving as the Secretary of Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam Bombay Diocese.
We have a Charitable Dispensary running smoothly for serving the poor and downtrodden. The needy are getting free consultation & medicines from the Dispensary. Our parish also provides educational, medical and financial helps to the economically weaker section through various endowment funds.
HISTORY OF AMBARNATH PARISH
Ambarnath St. Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Parish is a registered body under The Bombay Public Trust Act Vide No-D/55,Thane.Today we have got a beautiful Church, a Community Hall, a Parish Office Room, a Parsonage, a Sexton’s accommodation room and a Spacious Basement Property in the adjacent building. More importantly all spiritual organizations of our Parish are actively functioning in our Church.
In the year 1965, a very small group of people residing at Ambarnath, who were then members of St.Mary’s O S Church, Dadar, took up the idea of conducting regular church services at Ambarnath to avoid the inconvenience of travelling all the way to Dadar to attend regular church services. They took up their that great desire to the then Metropolitian of Bombay Diocese and the Catholicose of the East, H.H. Moran Mar Baselious Mathews I, who was kind enough to recognize this group as an independent congregation from August 1973 and gave consent to conduct Holy Qurbana at Ambarnath once in month and the same was conducted in the Fatima School Hall.
On 4th Nov, 1979, the then Metropolitian of Bombay Diocese Late H.G. Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilus declared the Ambarnath Congregation, which consisted of some 33 members ass an independent Parish after the Blessed name of St. Gregorios OF Parumala. By November 1980, we purchased a plot land at Ambarnath –West, where the present Church is situated.
On 3rd October 1982, Late Lamented H.G. Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilus laid the foundation stone of the church building. With the dedicated leadership of our then vicar Rev.Fr. P.J.James and the whole –hearted co-operation and support of the parish members, the construction of the ground floor of the Church building was completed by the middle of 1984 and a temporary Consecration of the Church was conducted on 4th Sept, 1984 by Late H.G. Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilus. The parish members then had the vision of constructing a Community Hall on the first floor of the Church building to carry on their allied spiritual activities and hence the formal consecration was deferred to a future date.
Later on a community hall was constructed on the the first floor of the church building and a separate of the Church building and a separate office room of the parish was also built up in the Church premises. By then, with the active co-operation of the Bombay Diocese we got one full time Priest allotted for our Parish to conduct Holy Qurbana on all Sundays and other allied spiritual activities of the parish. We have also purchased a parsonage near the Church for providing accommodation to our Priest.
The final and formal consecration of our church was conducted on 20th and 21st of February, 1999 at the blessed hands of H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, the present Metropolitan of Mumbai Diocese.
In 2002, thanks to the keen interest and initiative of the then Vicar Rev.Fr. M.E. Joseph , our Parish was fortunate enough to get the Holy Relics of our patron saint Parumala Thirumeni installed in our Church at the blessed hands of Late Lamented H.G. Dr. Stephanos Mar Thevodosios, the then Metroplitan of Calcutta Diocese on 09-11-2002.
Also in 2006,we could construct a kurishmthotti adjacent to our Church under the guidance of the then vicar Rev Fr. T.A Daniel and it was consecrated and dedicated to our Church by H.G Kuriakose Mar Clemis, the Metropolitan of Thumpamon Diocese on 17-11-2006.
We have great pleasure to state that by now our Parish had developed into a full fledged Church with 102 subscribing members and fortunate enough to have the services of eminent priest with great administrative acumen and total dedication which helped the continuous growth and progess of our Parish .Rev Fr.T.P.Mathew, Fr. Thomas Kurian, Fr. George Joseph, Fr. P.J.James,Fr.T.A.Daniel.Fr.Jiji Thomas, Fr. Mathew Mathew, Fr. Benjamin Stephen, Fr. Benjamin S.Philip. Fr. A.V.Paulose. Fr. M.E.Joseph,Fr. George Varghese and Fr. Kurian Baby rendered their services as former Vicars of this Parish since its inception. Rev.Fr.Koshy George is the present Vicar and under his leadership and guidance various spiritual Organizations like the prayer group, Martha Mariam Vanita Samaajam, M.G.O.C.S.M and Sunday school are functioning smoothly and effectively
St. Thomas Christians or the Indian Syrian Christians exist at present in different churches and denominations. But a major section of the parent body of St. Thomas Christians which has maintained its independent nature constitute The Orthodox Church under the Catholicate of the East on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas and the Malankara Metropolitan with Headquarters at Devalokam, Kerala in India. The Church, though modern in its vision and outlook, keeps the traditional oriental Orthodox faith and liturgy.
St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church, Thane fall under direct administration of Malankara Metropolitan and it is part of Bombay Diocese. St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church came into existence in the year 1976 though the spade work for Thane Parish began way back in 1967. From 1976 to 1996 we were using St. James – C. N. I Church for our spiritual activities. The long-cherished dream of having our own place of worship in Thane did come true on 26th January 1996 when this Church was temporarily consecrated by the then Asst. Metropolitan of Bombay Diocese His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos in the Charismatic and divine presence and guidance of the Late Lamented His Grace most respected Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilus who was well-known as the Ambassador of Malankara Orthodox Church. It was a miracle that the construction of the Church was completed in a record time of 59 days with the blessings of our patron Saint
St. Stephen. The Church was renovated and consecrated again on 2nd and 3rd of February 2001.
Again, with the abundant blessings of Almighty God through the ceaseless intercession of our Patron Saint St. Stephen, we have been able to re-construct our Church and consecrate the same on 7th and 8th of January 2011. The Chief Celebrant of the Consecration Ceremony was His Holiness Moran Mar BeseliosMarthomaPaulose – II barely 2 months after His Enthronement as the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan.
Our Activities : In addition to usual spiritual activities within the religious parameters, we are also engaged in many other projects &programmes as under:
- Charitable Activities. We help the poor, needy, downtrodden & marginalized with food, clothing, medicine & direct finance in most deserving cases. A free charitable clinic is functioning from our Church premises. We are extending charitable help to every needy person irrespective of caste, creed, religion & community. We had, in the past, collected usable dress materials from pantaloon and distributed them among the poorest of the poor in and around the slum areas. A few consignments of such dress materials were dispatched to the tribal villages of M.P. under the direct supervision of our sister organizations there a few years back. We also have distributed imported blankets among the survivors of ‘Sairaj’ Building at kisan Nagar when it collapsed a decade back.
We do believe that “one hand opened in charity is worth 1000 hands folded in prayer”.
- Prayer Meetings. Prayer meetings will be conducted in various houses of the parish on voluntary basis. This augments the personal interaction between the families of the parish knitting the parish members as a home. The Prayer meetings are held every week and normally on Sunday evening. Our members take turns to host the prayer meeting at their residence.
The prayer meeting gives our members a great opportunity to come together to learn more about the faith and to network with each other to build up the strong ties among the members of the community. During the prayer meeting, we have the following activities to help our children and adults to grow spiritually:
- a) Devotional Songs b)Bible reading c) Message of the day (by Vicar /distinguished guest) d) Evening Prayer(SandhyaNamaskaram)
The Great Lent Prayer Meetings: During the 50 day Great lent, the special Lent prayer meeting is held at the residence of our members. The members are divided into geographical areas and the members in a particular area attend the prayer meeting. This is a great initiative as we are able to pass on the traditions to our next generation.
- MGOCSM is a students’ wing under our church. It stands for “Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Students’ Movement”. This unit is also engaged in various social, educational & cultural activities in collaboration with international organization like YMCA & many other associations of similar objectives & various other groups of people who render philanthropic services to the society at large.
- MarthmariamVanitaSamajam is a women’s wing of our church. The women community of our church get together on Sundays & chalk out their plans &programmes which include praying for the sick and infirm, visiting hospitals, children home & orphanages and many other humanitarian & benevolent activities in co-ordination with our Charity wing.
- Sunday School: Under our Church, a Sunday School is also functioning in full swing which imparts education to children of our members mainly on Christian values in the lines of what Jesus taught the world i.e. Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
- Youth Movement: The youngsters of our Church have come together and formulated various ways and means of extending their support to the poor, needy and under-privileged irrespective of caste, creed, religion and community. Our youth wing is working on many other philanthropic activities such as Ambulance Service, Organizing Blood Donation Camps, Extending financial support to the poor and sick. The ultimate objective of the plans and programmes of our youth is to alleviate the sufferings of our fellow beings, no matter which religion or community they belong to.
- Malayalam Classes: Under the initiatives of the state Government of Kerala, we have already started Malayalam classes at our church premises. The target group of students in this case are those who want to learn Malayalam language which is the most difficult language in the world. We have trained teachers as faculty members. Nearly 100 students have got admission. The main objective of the project is equipping the children of Keralites born & brought up outside Kerala with at least basic knowledge of Malayalam so that they will not find it difficult to get along with their peers while visiting Kerala- their homeland which is God’s own country.
Prayer : O Lord our God Omnipotent one, Thou art the Master of all mankind, sole and supreme ruler of whole universe. We praise You, glorify You and thank You for the great love with which You guided comforted and led us so far. We know our feeble hands are strengthened by Your mighty unseen hands. Let Thy blessings flow upon our Parish that we live in peace, prosperity and happiness ever more worshiping You in this House of God.
Fr. Benjamin Stephen
Brief History of Malad Parish
In the middle of 20th century, there was an exodus of Syrian Christians to other parts of India either in search of job, business or studies. Accordingly a large number of Syrian Christians landed in Mumbai. The only place of worship was at St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral at Dadar and the people who were scattered all over Western Suburb felt it very inconvenience to attend the Sunday Mass at Dadar and also for their spiritual needs. Accordingly a band of dedicated Orthodox Syrian Christians started a Sunday School in the year 1958 at the residence of Mr. P. K. Joshua at Goregaon (W). Subsequently X’mas Carol groups were formed and further Youth League were formed steer-up the activities of Orthodox Syrian Christians spread over right from Vile Parle to Virar.
The idea of having a separate Parish was noted out in the minds of devotees and a committee was formed in the month of September, 1962 under the able leadership and guidance of late Rev. Fr. K. K. Punnoose (Later Lamented H. G. Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius). A request was made to Dadar Parish to provide a separate service in Western Suburb and eventually the first Service was celebrated on St. Thomas Day in 1967 at St, Thomas Church (Roman Catholic School Hall at Goregaon (E)) The first service was celebrated by late Rev. Fr. C. V. John, the then Vicar of St. Mary’s O. S. Church at Dadar. This practice was continued till 1970 and an ad-hoc committee was formed to find out suitable place of worship and to construct separate parish building for that purpose.
Further, a memorandum was submitted to the Metropolitan, Outside Kerala, H. G. (Dr.) Mathews Mar Athanasius and ultimately the request was considered sympathetically and a separate parish was formed vide Kaplana No. 551/71 dated 28/12/1970 and Rev. Fr. P. Philipose was appointed as the first Parish priest of St. Thomas Orthodox. Syrian Church, Malad (W). On 17/1/1971 the First Mass was celebrated and First General Body Meeting was held on 31/1/1971 and the office bearers and area-wise committee members were elected with the ultimate aim of finding out a suitable place to construct a Church building.
The General Body held on 25/7/197 entrusted late Shri M. M. Mathai then the Chairman, to purchase a plot of land and accordingly a piece of land at Chincholi, Malad (W) was purchased at a total cost Rs.56,000/- admeasuring 1981 sq. yards (wherein the present beautiful church was constructed and consecrated on 5/2/1910 & 6/2/2010). The Foundation Stone was laid on 12/2/1972 by the then Diocesan Metropolitan late lamanted H. G. Mathews Mar Athanasius – the construction was started on 9/9/1972 and completed within a record time of one year and it was consecrated on 19/8/1973. Time has passed with its length and breath, the stability of the church bldg. started deteriorating and the General Body held in the month of March, 1999, decided to reconstruct the church and to add four more storeys to the existing school building. Mr. K. Abraham Baby was unanimously elected as the General Convenor of the project.
The old church bldg. was demolished and reconstruction work along with the extension of school bldg. was started. The ‘Kurisumthotti’ was also renovated with a magnificent ‘Kodimaram’ and ‘Kalvilakku’. The consecration of church and ‘kurisumthotti” was celebrated on 5th & 6th Feb. 2010 by H. B. Paulose Mar Milithios, the Catholicate Designate later our H. H. Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan along with H. G. Thomas Mar Athansios, Chengannur Diocese, H. G. (Dr.) Mathews Mar Sevarious, Kandanad Diocese and H. G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Bombay Diocese.
Rev.Fr.Thomas Varghese is the present Vicar and Rev.Fr.Saji Thannimmottil is the Assistant Vicar.
Address: Y R TAWADE MARG, MHATREWADI, BEHIND VAISHALI DIAMOND INDUSTRIES, RIVERSIDE, DAHISAR WEST, MUMBAI: 400068
Locality/Land Mark/Nearest Railway Station/Bus Stop: RIVER SIDE DAHISAR WEST/DAHISAR WEST
Parsonage Address:A-601 STONE HARBOUR, NEAR MARY IMMACULATE GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL, L M ROAD,DAHISAR WEST, MUMBAI:400068.
Contact No: Church:022-28955566
Year of Establishment: MAY 1980 vide Kalpana by H G Dr Philipos Mar Theophilus Metropolitan of Bombay Diocese.
Whether Own Church Building/Rented: OWN
No of Priests Serving in the Parish: ONE-VICAR
Number of Subscribed Members: 140.
Total Number of Members: 425
No of Regular Services Held in a month: Malayalam: 03/04. English/Hindi: 01 ON LAST SUNDAYS OF EVERY MONTH.
a)HOLY QURBANA CELEBRATED ON ALL SUNDAYS AT 8.30 AM.
b)HOLY QURBANA CELEBRATED ON OBLIGATORY DAYS AT 7.30 PM.
c)INTERCESSION PRAYERS ON WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS AT 7.30 PM.
d) CHOIR PRACTICE-EVENING PRAYERS ON SATURDAYS AT 6.30 PM.
Active Spiritual Organizations:
a) Sunday School: YES. No of students.40.
b) MGOCSM: YES. No of Members.25.
c) OCYM: YES. No of Members.25.
d) MMVS.YES. No of members.30.
e) Cottage Prayer meetings: YES
No of Areas.06 ON SUNDAYS AND SUNDAY-THRUSDAYS DURING GREAT LENT SEASON.
Major Achievements since Inception:
1) CONSTRUCTED OWN CHURCH BUILDING AND CONSECRATED IN MAY 1998 BY H B THOMAS MAR THEMOTHIOS METROPOLITAN-CATHOLICOS DESIGNATE(H H MORAN MAR BASELIOS MAR THOMA DIDYMOS I) AND H G GEEVARGHESE MAR COORILOS METROPOLITAN OF BOMBAY DIOCESE.
2) STARTED CHARITABLE CLINIC IN THE BLESSED MEMORY OF L.L H G DR PHILIPOS MAR THEOPHILUS METROPOLITAN,INAUGURATED BY H.H MORAN MAR BASELIOS MARTHOMA MATHEWS II THE CATHOLICOS OF THE EAST AND MALANKARA METROPOLITAN.
3) CONSTRUCTED AND CONSECRATED THE CROSS TOWER DURING THE SILVER JUBILEE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT IN MAY 2005.
4)RENOVATED THE HOLY ALTAR AND CONSECRATED IN MARCH 2012.
THE FOLLOWING PRIESTS OF BOMBAY DIOCESE SERVED IN THE PARISH SINCE INCEPTION.REV FRS.M T EASO, K.MATHEW ABRAHAM,P J JAMES,P JESUDASAN , ABRAHAM JOSEPH, GEORGE JOSEPH YAUNAN MULAMOOTIL, MATHEWTHANIMOOTIL,VARGHESEYOHANNAN VATTAPARAMPIL,JACOB THOMAS KARAKAL,BENJAMIN S PHILIP,JOJI GEORGE, M B GEORGE.
REV FR JACOB ANISH VARGHESE IS A MEMBER OF THIS PARISH.MR.BASIL KURIAKOSE ALSO A MEMBER OF THIS PARISH IS PURSUING THEOLOGICAL STUDIES.
Present Vicar is Very Rev.Yaunan Mulamoottil Cor Episcopa.
Saint Mar Gregorios of Parumala stayed for a week in Bombay in February 1895 on His Grace’s way to Jerusalem. This was a significant event and a forerunner of the shape of things to come. At the turn of the century, lured by employment prospects and business opportunities, the members of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christians, began to migrate to Bombay.
As the members of the community increased, the necessity of a worshiping place and a priest to look after the spiritual needs of the community was very much felt. As a result of the initiative taken by some prominent members of the community, the Rev. Fr. Thomas Kottathuvilla, the then vicar of the Orthodox Syrian Church, Allepey, visited Bombay and celebrated Hoy Qurbana in St. Mary’s Church, Parel, on 23rd May 1943. A meeting was held on that day at which an adhoc committee with Mr. P.M Mathew and Mr. K.M. Thathunny as Joint Secretaries was set up to examine the possibility of a Parish in Bombay.
On 27th February 1944, a General Body Meeting was held at Byculla YMCA under the Presidentship of His Grace Mar Thoma Dionysius at which the findings of the adhoc committee were presented and a new committee with Mr. K.M. Philip, President, Mr. P. M. Mathew, Secretary Mr. M.E. Cherian Joint. Secretary and Mr. V.K. Thomas, Treasurer was appointed. Upon the request to His Holiness Moran Mar BaseliusGeevarghese II, the Catholicos of the East, the late Rev. Fr. P. M. Philipose was appointed as the first Vicar of the newly formed Parish by His Grace Alexios Mar Therdosius, O.I.C, the first Metropolitan of the Parishes outside Kerala. Fr. Philipose arrived in Bombay on 26th May 1944 and celebrated Holy Qurbana from Sunday the 28th May 1944 onwards at the St. Peter’s Church, Mazagaon, by the generosity of the Bishop of Bombay and the Cowley Fathers. This arrangement continued till our Church was built and consecrated on 9th December 1951. Fr. P. M. Philipose served and organized the Parish on a token remuneration from 28th May 1944 to 1st April 1945. He was succeeded by the late Rev. Ft. T.I. Joseph in May 1945. Since 1945 keeping in view of the growth of the parish the General Body of the Parish at its meeting held on 7th January 1945 appointed a Church Building Committee for the Purpose with Late Mrs. Achamma John Mathai, as its Chairperson, Mr. M.E. Cherian as its convener. Late Mr. T. Mathew was appointed as convener in place of Mr. M. E. Cherian relinquishing his post on his transfer from Bombay. Mr. T. Mathew deserves a special mention for the work he rendered to the Parish in various capacities till he left for his eternal rest on 19th August 1979.
Under the inspiring leadership of the Vicar, Rev. Fr. T. I. Joseph and Mrs. Achamma John Mathai, Chairperson a fund raising drive was launched in the month of July 1945. The Building committee then focused its attention to secure a suitable plot and through the efforts of Mrs. Achamma John Mathai, the Bombay Municipal Corporation, agreed to give on lease a plot of land at 171 Naigaum Estate, Dadar, Bombay. The Building Committee was registered under the Society’s Registration Act in the name of The Orthodox Syrian Church Building Society on 2nd April 1947 as the legal body.
The construction of a small parsonage was started in December 1949 and it was completed in February 1950.Fr. T. I. Joseph moved to the newly built parsonage. He was succeeded by Rev. Fr. T. G. Koshy, and under his inspiring leadership the construction of the church building was started in 3rd May 1951 and the building was completed in December 1951.The consecration of the St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church was solemnized on Sunday the 9th of December 1951 by the late His Holiness Moran Mar BaseliusGeevarghese II of the blessed memory, assisted by the late lamented His Grace Mar Thoma Dionysius and a host of clergy. Distinguished personalities like the Governor of Bombay, and a large gathering attended the holy ceremony. The event was a land mark in the history of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christians of Bombay.
Since the old Church building had outlived its estimated life, the members of the Parish decided to rebuild the Church. The Foundation stone for the new Church building with adequate space for worship, Priest Quarters, A Free Charitable Dispensary and other social activities was laid on Sunday 22nd April 1984 by our beloved Diocesan Metropolitan His Grace TheophilusPhilipos, along with His Grace Geeverghese Mar Osthathios, Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese. The construction of the building was prayerfully started under the inspiring and mature leadership of Late Rev. Fr. C.C. Geevarghese, the Vicar and ably assisted by Rev. Fr. PauloseAdai. The project received the blessings of His Holiness the Catholicos, His Grace the Diocesan Metropolitan and the whole hearted support of all the Parish members, as one entity.
The St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church is celebrated diamond jubilee in the year 2009. On 18 Jan 2009 His Holiness Moran Mar BaseliusMarthomaDidymos I, seventh Catholicos of the East in Malankara issued a kalpana elevating this historical first Church of the Malankara Orthodox Christians of Mumbai to a Cathedral. The BavaThirumeni’skalpana was read by H.G Geevarghese Mar Coorilos (Metropolitan, Bombay Diocese), in the presence of H. G Paulose Mar Pachomios (Metropolitan, Mavelikara Diocese), H. G. Zacharias Mar Theophilus ( Metropolitan, Malabar Diocese) during the Tri Mass celebrated on the same day.
CHURCH SERVICES HOLY QURBANA Sunday : 07.00 AM (1st service) 09.30 AM (2nd service) (4th Sunday of every month 1st service in English) Friday: 06.00 PM On Obligatory days: 07.00 AM INTERCESSORY PRAYER Tuesday: 06.30 PM Evening Prayer & Intercessory Prayer to St. Mary Friday: 05.30 PM Evening Prayer, Holy Qurbana and Intercessory Prayer to Parumala Mar Gregorios.
At present Rev.Fr Thomas Myalil serving as the Vicar and Rev.Fr.Sunil Baby serving as the Asst.Vicar.
FORMATION AND GROWTH
For want of suitable place for worship, the venue for Holy Qurbana was shifted to the School Hall of St. Xavier’s High School, Vile Parle. After around 5 months, authorities of Holy Family Church, Chakala was good enough to allow us to use their Asankur Hall, Chakala for worship and for other spiritual activities. Meanwhile in Oct. 1979 the congregatIon was regIstered under PublIc Trust Act and Society’s Act.
at at Marol was purchased in 1988.The congregation was declared as a Parish with effect from 1st December 1979 by the order of No. 48/79 dated 14th Nov. 1979 of late H.G. Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilos then Metropolitan of Bombay Diocese. Fr. Thomas Kurien was appointed as Vicar of the Parish. In Feb. 1980, Rev. Fr. M.T. Easow took charges as Vicar and served the Parish for the longest period of 8 years i.e. upto May 1988. During his tenure, the membership swelled substantially and this gave rise the necessity of having a Church of our own. Thereafter, Rev. Frs. C.J. Varghese, P.A. Kuriakose, Skaria Varghese, Mathews Thannimoottil, Koshy Alex, Jacob Koshy and M.S. Geevarghese had the privilege to serve the Parish and have made ceaseless efforts to raise the funds for the purchase of a suitable land for construction of the Church Building. Meanwhile, the Parsonage
The highlighting aspect of this Parish is its inspiration to do charitable activities. To cite an example is our Free Medical Centre at Sahar Village being successfully run by a Medical team under the able leadership of Dr. Philiph John MD. Apart from this, Parish always help the Poor and needy by financial aid – viz for major Diseases, Surgery, Natural Calamities etc.
LAND ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION OF A CHURCH BUILDING AND CONSECRATION OF THE CHURCH
By the Grace of God, a land admeasuring about 11000 sq. ft. was purchased at Kondivitta, Andheri (F) in Feb. 2002. After vacating the 4 tenants in 2003, the foundation stone for the Church building was laid on 9th January 2005 by H.G. Gevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Bombay Diocese. By the generous contributions / donations from Parish members and others, coupled with the free services obtained from various authorities, the Church Building was completed in 2009 and the consecration was solemnised on 5th and 6th June 2009 by H.G. Thomas Mar Athanasius, Metropolitan of Chengannur Diocese assisted by H.G.Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Bomaby Diocese and large number of priests. It is heartening to say that our Sunday School and other spiritual organisations are in the fore
With the unity, faith and love, let us hope that our members will show their true Christian principles in their thoughts, words and deeds. May Almighty God’s grace be with us always. front of various activities.
- Rev. Fr. Thomas Kurian
- Late. Rev. Fr. M.T. Easow
- Late. Rev. Fr. C.J. Varghese
- Rev. Fr. P.A. Kuriakose (Alichen)
- Rev. Fr. Mathew Thannimoottil
- Rev. Fr. Skaria Varghese
- Rev. Fr. Koshy Alex
- Rev. Fr. Jacob Koshy
- Rev. Fr. M S Geevarghese
- Ver Rev. Koshy P. Plammoottil Cor Episcopa
- Rev.Fr.Jacob Thomas Karakka
Schedule of Church Services
- All Sundays – 7.30 a.m. Morning Prayer & 8.30 a.m. Holy Qurbana
- All Fridays – 8.00 p.m. Evening Prayer & 8.30 p.m. Intercessory Prayer to St. Greegorios of ParumaIa
- All Saturdays – 7.00 p.m. Evening Prayer
SCHEDULE OF SPIRITUAL ORGANISATIONS
- Sunday School – Every Sunday
- Youth Movement – 1st Sunday
- MGOCSM – 4th Sunday
- Marthamariam Samajam – 3rd Sunday
- Elders Forum – 1st Sunday
- AMOS – 2nd Sunday
KALYAN – The place where St. Thomas the Apostle of India landed in AD 52 (as per history revealed by the late lamented Philipos Mar Theophilus) and we are blessed with his footprints.
In 1950, orthodox people who were living in and around Kalyan depended upon the mother parish St. Marys Orthodox Syrian Church Dadar to meet their spiritual needs. Considering the difficulties in reaching Dadar from Kalyan, the then Vicar of St. Marys Church Dadar Rev. Fr. Punnoose(The Late Lamented Stephanos Mar Theodosios) decided to conduct Holy Qurbana in Kalyan and accordingly the first Holy Qurbana was celebrated in December 1957 at St. Christopher Church at Kalyan which belongs to CNI Church.
With the intention to build a church and school in Kalyan, purchased a plot at Thangewadi in 1964 and a cross was placed in that plot. The Bishops who visits Dadar used to come to Kalyan and offer Prayer too. People of Kalyan started their efforts to start a school in Kalyan with the guidance of the then Vicar of St Mary’s church, Dadar,fr C.V. John in 1968. As soon as construction of the ground floor got completed, started Holy Qurbana at this new place instead of St. Christopher Church, KG classes were also started at the new premises in the name of St. Thomas school.Two services in a month were conducted till 1978.
Considering the increase in orthodox members in Kalyan and the repeated requests to H.G. Philipose Mar Theophilus,His Gracious declared St. Thomas Orthodox Syrian Church,Kalyan as an independent Parish with effect from April 1980. A Kalpana was issued in this respect and declared Kalyan Parish as independenton 6th April 1980. Rev Fr. Thomas Kurian was the first Vicar of the independent Church. People residing at Ambernath,Ulhasnagar,Dombivili were members of Kalyan Church and by the grace of god now there are Churches at Ambernath,Ulhasnagar and Dombivili.
Day by day the number of memebers were increasing and the space of school hall was not enough to accommodate the members attending Holy Qurbana and considering this we had decided to build a new Church and started its function in 1990 with the permission of H.G. Theophilus thirumeni and the guidance of Vicar Fr. Mathew Abraham.We completed the Church building and consecrated on 19th April,1993. H.G. Philipos Mar Theophilus was the chief Celebrant. H.G. Stephanos Mar Theodosios and H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos were co-celebrants.
1. Rev. Fr. Thomas Kurian
2. Rev. Fr. C.J. Varghese
3. Rev. Fr. Koshy Plammoottil
4. Rev. Fr. P.O. Jacob
5. Rev. Fr. Mathew Abraham
6. Rev. Fr. Koshy Alex
7. Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Thannikot
8. Rev. Fr. N.S. Varghese
9. Rev. Fr. Thomas Panicker
10. Rev. Fr. T.A. Daniel
11. Rev. Fr. P.J. James
12. Rev. Fr. Benjamin S. Philip
13. Rev. Fr. Koshy Plammoottil
14. Rev. Fr. Varghese Yohannan
15. Rev. Fr. Yaunan Mulammoottil
16. Rev.Fr.Jiji K Thomas
1. Rev. Fr. George Varghese
2. Rev. Fr. M.E. Joseph
3. Rev. Fr. Presquillas Peter
Now we have 340 subscribed members. Very Rev N.S Geevargis Cor Episcopa and Fr. George Abraham are the members of our church. The 17th Vicar of the Church Fr. Shaji Chacko is serving as Vicar since JUNE 2015 onwards.
Sunday school, MGOCSM, youth League, Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam are very well functioning in our church.A choir group is there adding solemnity to the Holy Qurbana. A team of Altar assistants are there and the senior most is Mr. P.G.Chacko.
We have erected a Kalluvilakku and FlagPole (kodi maram) in front of our church and was consecrated on 30th September 2012 by the Diocesan Metrapolitan His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Thirumeni. The repainted Holy Altar was blessed by the Diocesan Metrapolitan on the same day.
We have pride in informing that St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Kalyan is the second church in Bombay Diocese.
PARISH HISTORY IN BRIEF
Orthodox Church in Doha has a history of more than 70 years. People from Kerala started to arrive here as oil exploration started in the year 1939. Since 1940, priests from Bahrain used to visit Doha via Dukhan using British mini aircrafts visiting for business purposes and conducted holy services. In the beginning all Christian denominations joined together and started community prayers. As time passed, more members from Orthodox churches arrived and felt to have their own church and traditional prayers as followed in Kerala.
During the year 1973, members of our Doha congregation approached H.Ga. Mathews Mar Athanasius, Metropolitan of outside Kerala with this request and His Grace issued a Kalpana on 20th September 1973 declaring a parish named “Malankara St. Thomas Orthodox Parish”.
HG appointed Rev. Fr. C.C. Gheevarghese as the first vicar for the new parish and was succeeded by Rev. Fr. M. T. Easo, Rev. Fr. Joseph Mankidiyil, Rev. Fr. A.M. Peter, Rev. Fr. Joseph Kalapurayil and Rev. Fr. Yunan Mulamootil till 1988. The Parish was at the residence of Late Mr. Baby Kongalam and Orthodox Parish cannot forget his devoted services to Orthodox Church in Qatar. What we are now is the result of sacrifices done by late Mr. Baby Kongalam.Rev. Fr. C.C. Geevarghese was the vicar of Bahrain Church also and in the beginning he used to come once in six weeks and conduct Holy Qurbana.
This practice was continued for a long time. As number of members increased, frequency of visits of priests from Bahrain had increased to once in three weeks. During the year 1988 Rev. Fr. George Joseph was appointed as a full time vicar for the parish.
Mar Gregorious Orthodox Parish was established during the year 1990 and St. Mary’s Orthodox Parish in 1995. Until the establishment of the new Church with the consecration ceremony held on 2,3rd July 2009, the three Orthodox Parishes were independently serving the orthodox community in Doha.
A new place of worship for Malankara Orthodox Church in Doha
The New Church Interior
The new church built for Malankara Orthodox Church in the deserts of Arabia, with the approval of the rulers of Qatar,was consecrated under the name Malankara Orthodox Church Doha (MOC Doha). The members of St. Thomas, Mar Gregorios and St. Mary’s parishes of Doha came under the banner of Malankara Orthodox Church Construction Committee to build this church which can accommodate up to 1500 people at a time. The building consisting of 1968 sq.mt.has the Parish hall, two parsonages, guest room, conference hall, office room etc. at the ground floor.
Seven buildings are constructed on 12,861 sq. Meter land given free of cost by the government of Qatar to the Inter Denominational Christian Church (IDCC) Doha. 28 different Christian denominations conduct their worship here. The foundation stone for the church was laid on 23rd December 2005 by His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Mumbai Diocese. An amount of Qatar Riyals 9 million (Rs. 12 crores) was spend on the construction.
The consecration ceremony of July 2nd and 3rd 2009 started with the arrival of lamp from St. Thomas Parish, Censor from Mar Gregorios and Flag from St, Mary’s as a true symbol of unity of the three parishes. The Metropolitans and guests were received at the main entrance of IDCC complex and led to the church in ceremonial procession. The public meeting started after the flag hoisting, opening of the main church entrance, lighting of the lamp and offering of the first censor.
- G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilose presided over the public meeting which was inaugurated by H.H. Thomas Mar Athanasios, Metroplitan of Chengannur Diocese. Felicitation addresses were given by H.G. Dr. Mathews Mas Savarios, H. E. Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa –Indian Ambassador to Qatar, Fr. Jose Thachukunnel – president of Ecumenical Clergy Fellowship Doha, Rev. Fr. T J Joshua – Former Vice-Princopal of Orthodox Theological Seminary and Mr. K C Cherian – IDCC Co-ordinator. Mr. M B Thomas – Convenor of Church Construction Committee presented the working report and Mr. George Pothen – IDCC Chief Co-ordinator placed on record the efforts put in by all in completing the church building. Rev. Fr. Thomas Myalil – Convenor of Consecration Committee gave the welcome speech and Mr. George Thomas- General Convenor of Consecration Committee proposed the vote of thanks.
At the conclusion of evening prayer, Mr. K S Varghese – Secretary of Church Construction Committee handed over the keys of the Church to H. G. Thomas Mar Athanasios which was then handed over to the Diocesan Metropolitan, the Diocesan Bishop to the Vicar and finally the Vicar to the Church Trusty – Mr. M P Philip.
The Metropolitans were assisted during the 2 days of the consecration ceremony by Rev. Fr. Joseph Mankidi – Past Vicar; Rev. Fr, P C Thomas, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Stephen, Rev. Fr. George Abraham and Rev. Fr. M E Joseph, all vicars during the construction stage of the church. Besides Priests from Syro-Malabar, Marthoma, CSI, Knanaya, Malankara Catholic rite etc were participated. The 55 member Choir for the ceremoy was trained and led by Rev. Fr. M P George – Director of Shruthi School of Liturgical music.
Holy Qurbana is conducted in the Church on Friday (morning and evening), Saturday (evening) and on Sunday (evening). The Intercession prayer for St. Mary is on Wednesday and for Parumala Mar Gregorios on Thursday. The church celebrates August 15th as the feast of St. Mary, November 2nd as the feast of Parumala Mar Gregorios and December 21st as the feast of St. Thomas.
The church which is under the leadership of l – Rev.Benjamin S Philip Vicar and, Rev. Fr.Skaria Varghese – Assistant Vicar is managed by 15 member Working Committee and 42 member Managing Committee. The Spiritual organisations like Sunday School, Bala Samajam, MGOCSM, Youth Movement, Martha Mariam Samajam, Elders Forum, Medical Forum, Prayer Group, Divyabodhanam, Shruthi, AMOS are very active