St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Aurangabad
The Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church was founded by St.Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ in AD 52, and this year the Church is celebrating her 1960 anniversary and 100th year of relocation of Catholicate of East in India. St.Marys Orthodox Syrian Church, Aurangabad, is a Parish of Malankara Church, under Diocese of Bombay. We are very much proud of being the members of this ancient Church.
In the early sixties a good number of Malayalees immigrated to Aurangabad for seeking better job opportunities and many Orthodox Christians found their jobs in military establishments, State, Private and Public sectors and some of them found their own business opportunities also.
That time, there were no organizations or fellowship of Malayalees here. The Malayalee Christians, according to their convenience, attended the worship of CNI, Catholic Churches. It was during 1966, some of the Malayalee Christians of Cantonment area gathered together and formed prayer fellowship. They conducted worship in the CNI, Christ Church, with the permission of the Vicar, that time.
Later the prayer group was named as “Malayalee Christian Congregation and efforts were made to have Malayalam Holy Qurbana here, and it was in the year 1968, Rev.Fr.MoothedomCorEpisscopa visited Aurangabad and celebrated the Holy Qurbana at Holy Trinity Church, for the first time in the history of Aurangabad Orthodox Christians. Inspired by the first Holy Qurbana, many priests from Bombay, Pune and Hyderabad, visited Aurangabad occasionally and celebrated Holy Qurbana according to Orthodox as well as Marthoma rites. Here we are thankfully remembering the names of Rev.Fr. A.M.Varghese from Hyderabad, Rev.Fr.P.J.James from Mumbai and Very.Rev.Fr.K.I.PhilipRamban for their selfless sacrificial services to this community. After conducting services in different Churches and houses, when the number of Orthodox Marthoma Christians increased, they jointly purchased a plot in Nandanvan Colony and built a small Church there and formed “Malayalee Christian Congregation Community Centre”. His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Diocesan Metropolitan of Bombay of the Orthodox Church, consecrated the Church on 2nd October 1991.Regular services of the Orthodox and Marthoma rites started and held alternately and members of both Churches participated the services of each other.
Rev.Fr.M.B.George was appointed by His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, the Diocesan Metropolitan, as the first resident Vicar of St.Marys Orthodox Church, in the year 2000. After Fr.M.B.George, Rev.Fr.Mathew Mathew, and Rev.Fr.Joji George served as the resident vicars of Orthodox Church of Aurangabad. In the year 2005, the constituents’ partners of the Malayalee Christian Congregation decided to have their own independent Churches and separated and hence dissolved the Malayalee Congregation. The Malayalee Christian Congregation was a great experience of cooperation, brotherhood, Christian love and the finest example of Ecumenism.
The Orthodox Community purchased a plot in Firdous Garden, Padegaon, under the leadership of Rev.Fr.Joji George and the construction of the Church was completed within six months under the able leadership of the young energetic priest Rev.Fr.ShajiChacko. With the blessings and consent of H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan, Fr.ShajiChacko, visited different parishes of Mumbai Dioceses and collected a substantial fund for the Church construction. The construction of an independent Church was a milestone in the History of the Orthodox Christians in Aurangabad. This dream came to fulfillment on 6th February 2005, when Very.Rev. Fr.K.I.PhilipRamban, laid the foundation stone in the presence of then Vicar Rev.Fr. Joji George. On 11th and 12th November 2005, His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan, consecrated the new Church. The Parsonage was concecrated on 17th January 2008. Fr.ShajiChacko transferred in the year 2008 and Rev.Fr.Dr. GeevargheseIype, appointed as the new Vicar.
In the year 2009 Rev.Fr.Joshy P Jacob was appointed as the Vicar and Rev.Fr.ThomasPhilipose was appointed as the Assistant Vicar and Resident Priest of this Parish. St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Aurangabad was established in 2005 and in the year 2005 itself, the Church have been registered as a trust in the Assistant Charitable Commissioner Office, Aurangabad, under the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 bearing registration No. E 1079 dated 17-12-2005.
As per the direction of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Church, most of the parishes outside Kerala Dioceses are registered as Trusts according to the local situations, for getting the acceptance and recognition of the respective states or Governments. Since all the parishes are bound by the rules and regulations laid in the Constitution of 1934, the same constitution should be reproduced and submitted before the Honorable Charity Commissioner. It is allowed to prepare and formulate according to local situations but cannot change any rules and regulations laid in the Constitution of 1934. That means even though the Parish is registered as a public Trust, the Parish should be governed and ruled by the articles and traditions of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Unfortunately, the Scheme submitted by St.Marys Orthodox Syrian Church, Aurangabad before the Honorable Charity Commissioner in the year 2005 was with many contradictions with the Constitution of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Some of the articles in the trust deed No.E 1079 are entirely against the rules and regulations laid in the constitution of 1934. According to the registered deed, the power of general management of the Parish was vested in Parish Managing Committee and not with the General Body. The Management committee has the right to expel any of the parish members, without the permission of General body, Diocesan Metropolitan and even the Malankara Metropolitan. The Trust law empowered them to sell or lease any of the property of the Church either by the Auction or by private contract. This trust deed created many administrative and operational constrains in the Parish. With the view to overcome this administrative crisis and operational constrains the General Body meeting of the Parish , unanimously passed the resolution amending the clauses of the existing rules and regulations of the Trust deed E. 1079. The said General Body proposed amendment, with signature of Diocesan Metropolitan and copies of the resolution were submitted to the Charity Commissioner office. By the grace of God, we got the verdict, completely in favour of our Church. The Mahalokadalat held at Charity Commissioner Office, Aurangabad, on Sunday, September 18, 2011, declared that St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Aurangabad should be governed as per 1934 Constitution of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
This Parish is having 44 families, at present, and having three Sunday services, and apart from the Sunday services , all the feasts (MoronayaPerunals) of the Church is conducted regularly by the full time resident Vicars of the Parish. Area wise prayer meetings are conducted thrice in a month, Sunday school and Marth Mariam Samajam are functioning very well. With the great cooperation of MGOCSM and Youth members, the Christmas Carols and Church Feast on every year January 15 is conducted regularly. OVBS is conducted on alternative years under the leadership of brothers from Nagpur Seminary.
We Pledge and affirming our loyalty to His Holiness Moran Mar BaseliusMarthomasDidymos I ValiyaBava, His Holiness Moran Mar BaseliusMarthomaPaulose II, the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan and to His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos , the Metropolitan of Diocese of Mumbai and to all Metropolitans of the Holy Episcopal Synod of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Constitution of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, formulated in 1934, and we will always be loyal to this great ancient Church. We praise and thank God Almighty for the guidance and blessing for the yester years and pray, that this Church, continue to remain as a worshiping place and a blessing to many, and for the future generation, spreading the love of God. May the God Almighty bless us.