CHRISTIAN NEWS BIWEEKLY PUBLICATION FOR KERALA MALAYALEE CHRISTIANS FROM INDIA AROUND THE WORLD
APRIL 2005 NEWS & EVENTS
VOL:4 ISSUE:04


FOUR NEW BISHOPS FOR MALANKARA ORTHODOX CHURCH


Four Rambans of Malankara Orthodox Church were consecrated as Bishops by H.H. Basalios Mar Thoma Mathews II, during the consecration ceremony held at Parumala Seminary Church on March 5, 2005. Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel Ramban, Most Rev. Augen Ramban, Most Rev. Dr. Yuhannon Ramban and Most Rev. Dr. Zachariahs Ramban are the ones elevated to the order of Bishops with titles as Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Augen Mar Dionasius, Yuhannon Mar Chrysostum and Zachariahs Mar Theophilus respectively. During the ceremonial ordination services Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan of the Church acted as the chief celebrant assisted by of all other Metropolitans of the Church in the presence of thousands of devotees and hundreds of clergies.

Immediately after the ordination ceremony the faithful of the church joined together in a public meeting to felicitate the newly ordained Bishops under the president-ship of the Catholicose designate H.B. Thomas Mar Timotheos. Kerala Chief Minister Hon. Shri Oommen Chandy inaugurated the felicitation meeting attended by many dignitaries comprised of religious, social and political leaders of every walk of life and a large crowd of faithfuls. In addition to all the Metropolitans of the Malankara Orthodox Church, Mar Thoma Metropolitan Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostum, prelate of Mar Thoma Church, Rt. Rev. Dr. Issac Mar Climmees of Malankara Catholic Church, Rt. Rev. Isaac Mar Philaxenos of Marthoma Church and many other eminent personalities in society attended this auspicious function.

During the Malankara association held on June 10, 2004 at Parumala Seminary premises Mar Yoohanon Ramban, Mar Augen Ramban, Rev. Fr. Dr. K.J. Gabriel and Rev. Fr. Dr. M.C. Cherian were elected to be ordained as Bishops and Holy Episcopal Synod had approved the Association decision in an Assembly of the Synod held at Sophia Center, Kottayam on June 18, 2004. Further Rev. Fr. Dr. K.J. Gabriel and Rev. Fr. Dr. M.C. Cherian were elevated to the Order of Rambans with title Gabriel Ramban and Zacharias Ramban respectively on August 7, 2004 at Devalokam Catholicate Aramana Chapel.

AUGEN MAR DIONASIUS:

MAR AUGEN RAMBAN

H.G. Augen Mar Dionasius is an unequivocal multifaceted personality as a retreat leader, blessed orator, writer, Scholar, Theologian, prophetic Shepherd and an efficient organizer. From 1982 onwards he was the Manager of Vallikkattu Dayara, Vakathanam, Kottayam and his relentless efforts and continuous prayer had brought the Dayara to the apex of its growth. Many Christians and non-Christians became friends and joined in the workforce of this Dayara so that it could win a social importance in the locality. As the Manager and Vicar of the Dayara from the status of priest Binoy Achen [officially Fr.P.K. Zachariah] to Ramban Augen, he could create a masterpiece of hardworking pattern adorned with humble behaviour, simple life and devotion to the society.

Mar Augen was born to Mathai Kurien couple of Ranni Pakalomattom Thazhamon family at Mavelil Perangattu house at Mukkalumon, Ranni on July 1, 1955. Family atmosphere of Binoy with strict observance of Prayer and fasting added with its priestly tradition paved the strong foundation for Zachariah to grow spiritually. After acquiring a postgraduate degree [M.A.] meritoriously in History, Zachariah proceeded for the Theological studies at Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. After completing his B.D. with distinction of 'Best Outgoing Student' in 1979, he was ordained as Deacon by H.H. Marthoma Mathews I. In 1980 Dn. Zachariah was ordained to priesthood and further in 1992 he was elevated as a Ramban by H.H. Basalios Marthoma Mathews II, taking the name of Augen which means 'Well born'.

Mar Augen served as the Secretaty to Basalios Mar Thoma Mathew I, the Fifth Catholicose of Malankara Orthodox Church for 16 long years. With this capacity, he could inherit the invaluable work style of the energetic and efiicient Catholicos. Also he served to the capacity of Devalokam Aramana manager, First Central Diocesian Secretary, Holy Episcopal Synod Office Secretary, Manager for the manufacture and distribution of Church Utensils, Member of the Church Publication Department, Member of Church Defense Committee, Vicar of Kummanam St. George, Karapuzha Mar Gregorios, Azhutha St. Thomas Churches. Ramban had given enormous contribution to the literal activities of the Church. He had published a Travel Details [Yathravivaranam] codifying all his foreign journeys along with the fifth Catholicos as his secretary. Also he had the credit of authoring other books of faith and traditions like 'Prathyasa'[Hope], Life History of the Second Catholicos and other books published during the jubilee year.

He had also shined in the capacity of Resident Manger of Vakathanam JMHSS, President of Basalios Charitable Society, Director of Basalios Researh Centre which is engaged in the study and research in Church History and Church Fathers, Manager of Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Basalios Bava.

Mar Dionasius is an ascetic hero who found his refuge in prayers, a great Scholar of the Church faith and traditions, an accepted spiritual leader, an imitatable personality and role model combined with a great zeal and affection to his Church.

DR. GABRIEL MAR GREGORIOS:

MAR YOOHANON RAMBAN

H.G. Gabriel Mar Gregorios was born on January 28, 1948 as third son of Thumpamon Vadakke Thazhethil, Kanjikkal Chacko John and Pandalam Kudassinadu Ramanattu Mulamoottil Aleyamma John and the family belong to the Kudassinadu St. Stephens Cathedral of Chengannoor Diocese. Preliminary education of Gabriel was done at St. Stephens High School, Pathanapuram and Pre-Degree in the St. Stephens College. After graduating in English Literature [B.A.] from Basalios College, Kottayam, Gabriel proceeded for Theological studies at Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam. He had Acquired GST from there and B.D. degree from Serampore University.

On November 4, 1969 Gabriel was ordained as deacon and on February 8, 1974, as a priest. Fr. Gabriel took M.T.H degree in New Testament, Three year Diploma in Hebrew Language and two year Diploma in Aramaic Language and great proficiency in Greek from the Paris Catholic University. He had done research in Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, USA, about 'Grace in the Epistles of St.Paul'. Based on the dissertation and Thesis of this research study, he was awarded doctorate by the Serampore University. Also he had undergone post graduate research in Cambridge University. Fr. Gabriel had acquired proficiency in ancient languages of Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and in modern languages German, French and English etc.

Fr. Gabriel served as vicar of fifteen parishes including parishes at Bombay, Delhi, Kottayam, Trivandrum over period of long 30 years. He was deeply involved in many ecumenical corporate activities of the Church. He had also served as Registrar and Director of F.F.R.R.C which act as a United Theological research Centre of Marthoma, C.S.I, Orthodox Seminaries [1995-2003]. He had a major contribution to uplift this centre as one of the biggest Theological Research Center where maximum number of researchers got attracted from different states of India. He is the chief architect of this institution to elevate it as Doctoral Research Center giving M.T.H degree in 8 subjects from 1999 onwards. Fr. Gabriel also acted as Malankara Orthodox Church representative of ecumenical organizations like Orthodox-Marthoma Dialogue Forum, Orthodox-Lutheran Dialog Forum, Bible Society Kerala Auxiliary Committee, Theological Literature Forum etc. for six years each.

During 1996-2000 he was the treasurer of Society for Biblical Studies which is an organization of the Theological Scholars in India. He also held the posts of Associate Director of the Orthodox Youth Magazine, Organizer of the publication of the Sunday Schools books for Oriental Orthodox Churches, Convener of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Vattasseril Mar Dionasios [1983-85], Orthodox Seminary Regustrar, Warden and Alumni Association President.

From 1982 onwards Fr. Gabriel is the Professor of New Testament Department in Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. He also holds the post of Fellow of George Bell Ecumenical Institute, England, and Administrative Committee Member of Serampore University etc. He had also authored many Theological Books like Towards A New Humanity, Towards The Grace Of God, Cross And Grace etc. On August 7, 2004 Fr. Gabriel was elevated as Ramban by Basalios Mar Thoma Mathews II at Devalokam Catholicate Aramana Chapel.

H.G. Mar Gregorios authored more than 100 books in English and Malayalam. Some of his distinguished works are Towards the Grace of God, Towards a New Humanity, Cross and Grace, Gurumukhathu Ninnum[Part I & II] Athmeeyathyude Yadartha Shrothassukal.

DR. YUHANON MAR CHRYSOSTUM:

FR.DR. K.J. GABRIEL

H.G. Yuhannon Mar Chrysostum, formarly known as Fr. Varghese John, was born to K.V. Yohannan couple Mannil Puthenprayil, Kottoor Thiruvalla of St. Mary's Parish, Niranam Diocese on Dec 1, 1954. After graduated from Kerala University [B.Sc.], Varghese John proceeded for theological studies in Theological Seminary, Kottayam. After completing B.D. degree, he acquired M.Th. degree from Serampore University and later D.M. [Doctor of Ministry] from Sanfransisco Theological Seminary, U.S.A. He was ordained as a priest in 1982 and later as Ramaban with title Yuhanon. Fr. Varghese John served as Vicar in parishes like Mundukuzhy, Perumpetty, Elavunkal, Kadamankulam.

Ramaban Yuhanon was deeply associated with charity organizations of the Church under the guidance of H.G. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios. Ramban Yoohanon served as superior MGDM Ashram, Karunagiri. He was the Director of St. Thomas Karunya Guidance Center, Ulloor, Trivandrum and Director of Visranti Bhavan, Kattela, Trivandrum for many years. The Karunya Guidance Center near the Medical College, Trivandrum was started by Metropolitan Dr.Geevarghese Mar Osthathios in 1989. Visranti Bhavan in Kattela, Sreekariyam, Trivandrum was also started by Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios on December 11, 1993. This is a center that takes care of poor patients who have fatal diseases like cancer. 50 room building is constructed for the Vishranthi Bhavan. Mar Yuhanon was involved with both of these charity organizations of the Church from the stage of its inception.

Mar Chrysostum had also worked in the capacity of Co-Ordinator, Malankara Orthodox Church Mission Board, Principal, St. Paulís Mission Training Center, Mavelikara etc.

DR. ZACHARIAHS MAR THEOPHILUS:

FR.DR. M.C. CHERIAN

H.G. Zachariahs Mar Theophilus formarly known as Fr.M.C. Cherian was born on Sept. 16, 1952 to M.P.Chandy couple of Manjanamkuzhiyil, Chengaroor. He is a member of St.George Orthodox Church, Chengaroor. After post-graduating from Kerala University [M.A.], he had proceeded for theological studies. He had acquired B.D. and M.Th. from Serampore University. He had done his Doctoral Studies in Ministry [D.Min.] at Saint Vladimirís Orthodox Theological Seminary, New York, U.S.A., which is one of the old and famous Orthodox Seminary in USA established in 1938 associated with Russian Orthodox Church.

On August 7, 2004 Fr. M.C. Cheriyan was elevated as Ramban with title Zachariahs by Basalios Mar Thoma Mathews II at Devalokam Catholicate Aramana Chapel along with Fr. Gabriel.

Mar Theophilus is well known for his inseparable association with MGOCSM (Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement), which is the students, and youth mission wing of the Malankara Orthodox Church. He had served for this essential wing of the Church at different capacities from 1979 and lately served as the General Secretary. Considering the importance of the growing children in the spiritual nourishment Symposium, Seminars, Study Classes, Conferences, Discussion Forums, Workshops etc. are organized at Church, Diocese, and Parish levels nationally and internationally. Also residential cum touring program for overseas students and youths are been organized by MGOCSM.

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