Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church (Malayalam: മലങ്കര മാര്ത്തോമ്മ സുറിയാനി സഭ, Malankara Mar Thoma Suriyani Sabha) otherwise called as Mar Thoma Church in a shorter form,which is a part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. is one of the ancient Churches in the world. It is traditionally belived that St. Thomas (Mar Thoma in Syriac), the disciple of Jesus Christ came to India in AD 52 and established the Church in the Malabar coast. Kerala is known as Malankara in those times. Being rooted in the Bible, the Church maintains its Episcopal heritage and value oriented democratic form of administration.
The Church believes in Jesus Christ, the God incarnate for the redemption of humankind, and in the Triune God revealed by him, who himself is one among the Trinity. The Church cherishes its Oriental heritage and Episcopacy as a gift of God. The Church accepts Holy Bible as the basis for all matters of faith and doctrine, and the Nicene Creed formulated in accordance with the Holy Scripture. The Church is regarded as a 'bridge' church in the Ecumenical world.
The Church identifies its goal and function as: to be the repository of the divine doctrines revealed by Jesus Christ and proclaimed by His Apostles; to maintain these doctrines in their purity; to promote the spiritual life of its members through the administration of the sacraments and by the ministry of the Word. The Church affirms that the people of God are sent all over to the world and they partake in the soteriological mission of God, to unite everything in Jesus Christ through the ministry of reconciliation begun in Jesus Christ. The Church is blessed and enriched by the leadership of Metropolitan, Episcopas, ordained Clergy and deacons. Metropolitan is the Supreme head of the Church. The Laity has full participation in the Priestly ministry, given through the Church, by Christ. They are called to profess and practice Christian truths and teachings in their daily life and avocations. The laity shall take active part in the life and ministry of the Church and co-operate in the general administration of the Church.
The Church is at present blessed by the able leadership of twelve Bishops and is headed by Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan who is the 21st Malankara Metropolitan to occupy the Holy Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas. The Church is served by 1037 clergy through thirteen dioceses to 1.6 million people (aprox).The headquarters is located at SCS Campus, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India and has over a million adherents spread worldwide.
His Grace Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan, an outstanding personality remarkable for brilliant ideas and inborn sense of humour, was born in Adangappurath Kalamannil, a family of priestly tradition. Born as the son of Very Rev. K.E. Oommen Kassessa, Vicar general of the Mar Thoma Church and Sosamma of Nadukkeveetil family, Karthikappally on 27th April 1918 Philip Oommen was known as Dharmistan at home. His character fully justified that name. Right from childhood he accepted as life's principle and fully supported justice and morality. After school education in Maramon, Kozhencherry and Eraviperoor he obtained BA Degree from Union Christian (UC) College, Alwaye.
His commitment to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ made young Philip Oommen involve in missionary work in Ankola, Karnataka. He ventured to accept this as a challenge when Missionary work in Karnataka was in a crisis. After working there from 1940 to 1942 he started Theological studies in United Theological College, Bangalore. He was ordained as Deacon on 1st January 1944 and as Kasessa on 3rd June. Along with theological studies he fulfilled the duty of leading the Bangalore Parish. After participating in the activities of Ankola Ashram for some time he served as Vicar of Kottarakkara, Mylom, Pattamala, Manganam St. Peters and Thiruvananthapuram parishes.
Rev. Philip Oommen along with Rev. Dr. M.G. Chandy and Rev. P. Thomas was ordained as Ramban on 20th May, 1953 and as Episcopa on 23rd May with the name Philipose Mar Chrysostom Episcopa. Later history proved that he richly deserved the name of St. Chrysostom of the golden tongue. He joined St. Augustine's College, Canterbury, England to pursue further theological studies. On his return in 1954 he was given responsibility of Kottayam-Kunnamkulam Diocese and the Mar Thoma Vaideeka Seminary. During this period he represented the Mar Thoma Church in the Evanston Conference of the WCC.
When Thomas Mar Athanasius Episcopa completed his tenure as the Missionary Bishop, Mar Chrysostom took up the responsibility with his office and residence at Olivet Aramana, Chengannur. He played a pivotal role during this period to widen the mission activities of the Church by visiting the parishes, Ashrams and mission centres outside Kerala there by giving fellowship and spiritual leadership to the workers there. He paid special attention to the spiritual nourishment of youths as well.
On completion of service as the missionary Bishop he served as the Diocesan Episcopa of Adoor- Kottarakkara. During this period he was the President of Sevika Sanghom, Sunday School Samajam and Kerala Christian Council also. He was the President of CASA as well. From 1975 once again he became missionary Bishop and was head of Thiruvananthapuram – Kollam, Adoor – Mavelikkara, Ranni – Nilackal and Chengannur – Thumpamon Dioceses thereafter.
Thirumeni's special concern for socially and economically backward parishes is note worthy. He formulated and implemented projects to improve the social, economic and cultural condition of the backward parishes of South Travancore. He believed that the way to the creator was through the creations of God. He was exalted to the positions of Suffragan Metropolitan in May 1978, Officiating Metropolitan on 15th March 1999 and Metropolitan on 23rd October 1999. As Metropolitan he led the Church and also the Niranam – Maramon Diocese.
The basic quality of Mar Chrysostom Metropolitan is a pleasant attitude. His main medium of communication is pleasant talk containing humorous words and action. Such humorous conversation and speeches spread a pleasant feeling around. The humour of Thirumeni is very famous. Many blooks and documentaries have been published containing his humorous speeches and talks. Some of them are "Mar Chrysostom makes us laugh and we think", "Listen O Heavens – hear O Earth", "100 platforms with Mar Chrysostom", "He summons us", "Chrysostom Metropolitan the Prophet of Divine Universe", "The Christian Mission in Market Community", "Mission in the Market Place", "Sketches and Speeches", "Mar Chrysostom – an Assessment – Documentary", "Laughter and thought –Documentary".
Considering the contributions of Thirumeni to Theology the Serampore University honoured him by awarding a Doctorate Degree.
He attended the 2nd Vatican Council summoned by Pope John 23rd as Official observer of the Mar Thoma Church. He always found time to get in touch with individuals in various parishes of Dioceses. He was very keen to conduct meetings of clergy very meaningfully.
Chrysostom Metropolitan is unparalleled with his touching style of speech full of humorous statements and broad minded love of humanity. He is a devout idealist. Mar Chrysostom is a talented steersman able to guide the Church boat correctly to the destination as the times demand knowing the pulse of the period. He is endowed with an extra ordinary and indescribable talent to mingle with the youth to enter into a dialogue with them imbibing modern views. His presence enables each and everyone to overcome any highly complicated situation with the help of his inborn sense of humour. Moving on to be a hundred in age Thirumeni is able to remain youthful in thought, vision and words. The Mar Thoma Church decided to build houses for 1,500 homeless people by imbibing his vision on the occasion of his 90th birthday. As His Grace Philipose Mar Chrysostom Valiya Metropolitan is busy in action forgetting his advanced age, his spiritual leadership and sense of direction is a great blessing for the Church and society.
He is now living in Maramon Jubilee Home after voluntarily retiring from administrative responsibilities on 1st October 2007. But he is leading a very active life style even now. He has given a new meaning to retirement by his present way of life. He visits many people and many people visit him in search of the noble experience of being in the presence of a sublime personality. His presence is required not just in Church gatherings. Various religious and cultural organizations demand his advice and blessings. His magnetic personality inspires each and every one who gets in touch with him.
Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan was born in the Maramon Palakunnath family which was the ancestral home of the father of the reformation of the Malankara Church, Abraham Malpan and the first four Metropolitans of the Mar Thoma Church. He was born on 27th June 1931 as the son of Puthoor Mariamma and Lukochen who was the son of Palakunnath Kadon Thomachen, elder brother of Titus II, Mar Thoma Metropolitan. The childhood was formulated in the context of a very noble tradition. After school education in Kozhencherry St. Thomas High School he graduated from UC College Alwaye. Having dedicated himself to serving the Church he passed BD degree from UT College, Bangalore. He was ordained Deacon on 29th June 1957 and Kasessa on 18th October 1957.
He served as Vicar of Ranni, Kozhikode, Kundara, Madras and Thiruvananthapuram Parishes. As the Church deputed him, he served as the travelling secretary of the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Aassociation for a few years during a crisis in the organization. He got MD and STM degrees after higher education in Virginia Seminary, Oxford and Canterbury St. Augustin Colleges. He got ample opportunities to travel abroad.
The Sabha Prathinidhi Mandalam in its meeting in November 1974 selected him as Episcopa. He was ordained Ramban along with Rev. V.T. Koshy at Trissur Mar Thoma Church on 11th January 1975. Joseph Ramban was ordained Joseph Mar Iraneus Episcopa on 8th February 1975 at the temporary Madbaha in the courtyard of SC Seminary, Thiruvalla. He was given charge of Kollam – Kottarakara Diocese. He did his utmost for the overall development of the Diocese. At the same time he gave good leadership as the President of Sunday School Samajam, President of Yuvajana Sakhyam, Chairman Development Committee and President of Kerala Christian Council. During the second half of the seventies as the head of Sunday School and Yuvajana Sakhyam he was able to introduce VBS and cassette ministry respectively. Next he was in charge of outside Kerala Parishes and prepared the path for the development of the church in those regions. He was instrumental in acquiring property in Delhi, Bombay and Madras to establish Church centres there. He gave leadership to procure land from the Government to establish churches outside Kerala in Delhi, Hyderabad and Vishakhapatanam. Later he was appointed as the head of the Thiruvananthapuram – Kollam Diocese.
He took special care to start Anchal ITC, student centres at Sasthamkotta and Pandalam and to register STARD for the developmental activities of South Travancore. He was specially appreciated for the construction of the Auditorium in Sion Hill, Kalayapuram and develop coconut cultivation there. He was able to solve the dispute about student centre Kollam and start construction work there. As head of the outside Kerala Diocese he formed four zones with Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras as centres to broaden activities. Malasia-Singapore Diocese was divided into two zones and activities were developed.
In 1988 he took charge of Thiruvananthapuram – Kollam Diocese again. In consequence of the unexpected demise of Easow Mar Timotheos Episcopa he had to take charge of Bombay – Delhi Diocese also along with the responsibilities of the Diocese for some years. He organized the starting of Ayoor Mar Thoma College of Science and Technology after procuring land near MC Road for the Diocese. He was the first Manager. He played a pivotal role in the development activities of Thiruvananthapuram St. Thomas Residential School.
A student centre was started in Nagarcoil. Thiruvananthapuram guidance and counselling centre was completed after settling the liabilities. The liabilities of the Women's Centre started in Neyyattinkara also was settled. He concentrated in the completion of the construction work of the Auditorium in Kottarakara, the construction of the wards of the Mandiram and the building construction of Hospice. When the Sevika Sanghom handed over the Punalur Boys' Home it was taker over. As president of the Suvisesha Sevika Sanghom for four years he gave leadership of its activities.
As Vice-President and President of the National Council of Churches he gave good leadership. He led the joint protest marches at Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi against the denial of justice to Dalit Christians on the basis of religious faith. He served as the Board member, Vice-President and President of CASA. He provided good leadership to provide relief to earth quake, flood victims and rehabilitation activities in Lathur of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and during Tsunami in South India. He served also as the Trustee Board member of ECLOF. He was the Executive Committee member and senior member of the presidium of CCA. He worked as the Co-chairman of the Joint Committee of CCA and Asian Bishops Conference. During this period he served as member of the Peace Mission in the context of the tension in Nagaland, Manipur and East Timor. He attended the Lambeth Conference in England and the Anglican Consultant Committees held in South Africa and Hong Kong. He took part in the WCC Assemblies in Canberra, Harare, Porto Aligrae and Busan in Korea. He attended and spoke as special invitee in the Conference of world religions held at UN. General Assembly Hall organized by the UN General Secretary. The Mayors of California and New York Yonkers in the US have honoured him by presenting Awards of Honor.
He has worked as the President of the Governing Council of St. Thomas College, Kozhencherry, Christian College, Chengannur, Mar Thoma College for Women, MBA College, School Governing Board and Mar Thoma Teachers Training College, Perumbavoor. He was in-charge of Adoor- Mavelikkara Diocese from August 1997. He took the initiative to start nursing schools in Kattanam and Hoskote. His service to organise the Maramon Convention officially and unofficially in the past and at present is commendable. As a man of unique ability to lead Thirumeni pays special attention to the construction activities of the Church. He worked as Chairman of the Sabha Auditorium Fund Committee and gave leadership to collect 84 lakhs. As Chairman he directed the re-publishing of Mar Thoma Vaideeka Directory. In recognition of the distinguished leadership in various fields the Virginia Seminary of America honoured him with a Doctorate. Moreover a second doctorate was bestowed on him by the Serampore University on 10th February 2007 taking into account Thirumeni's activities in the Church and society. A third Doctorate to honour him was awarded to him by SHIATS Deemed University (Formerly Allahabad Agriculture University) in recognition of his total contribution in the social field.
He was consecrated as the Supreme Head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on 2nd October 2007. In the words of Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan, Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan is noble in heredity, rich in self acquired abilities, well versed in relations able and talented in construction work and blessed in leadership.
Mar Theodosius studied at Baselious College, Kottayam and Mar Thoma College, Thiruvalla. After taking a degree in Science he joined Leonard Theological College and took BD Degree in 1972. His ordination as ‘Kasseesa’ was in the year 1973. In 1980, he took a Master’s Degree in Comparative Religions from Visva Bharathi University and Doctorate from Mc Master University, Hamilton, Canada in 1986. He was consecrated as Episcopa on December 9, 1989 along with Mar Athanasius and Mar Coorilos.
From 1973 onwards, he was in charge of several parishes including Mumbai, Calcutta, Toronto and Nanthancode and he served as Director of Thomas Mar Athanasius Orientation Centre, Manganam. On consecration as Episcopa he was given charge of Kunnamkulam – Madras Diocese. He was the Episcopa of the Chennai – Bangalore and Malaysia – Singapore – Australia Dioceses. He is presently the Episcopa of the Mumbai Diocese.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Euyakim Mar Coorilos (Rev. Euyakim I Cheeran) was born on 25th November 1951 as the son of Sri Ittimani Ittyachan Kunju and Smt. Saramma of Cheeranveedu of Kunnamkulam Arthat Mar Thoma Parish. He completed school education in CMS LP School and Erumapetty Govt. High School. He completed Predegree from SH College, Thevara and BSc (special) MSc degrees from Christ College, Irinjalakuda. He joined Kottayam Mar Thoma Vaideeka Seminary for theological studies after having submitted himself for the service of the Lord through the Church. He was ordained Semmas on 29th April 1978 and Kasessa on 16th May. He served as Asst Vicar of Kottayam Jerusalem and as Vicar of Jalahalli, Thiruvarpu, Palarivattom, Mumbai, Kolaba and in US Staten Island, Washington, Philadelphia Bethel, Baltimore and Florida Parishes.
Rev. Euyakim I Cheeran was consecrated as Ramban on 4th November 1989 and as Euyakim Mar Coorilos Episcopa on 9th December 1989. Life of devotion, simple presentation of the gospel, realization of the ministry of the Church through action projects of modern vision, urge for special justice, committed propagation of gospel, ability to go forward steadfastly and hopefully without getting upset at the face of opposition, care and love for the poor and punctuality are the special qualities of his character. He takes special care to keep up personal relationships. Love and care for children, youths and elders make him endeared to all.
Thirumeni gave leadership to establish Ashabhavan at Pathanapuram, Pidavoor for the rehabilitation of handicapped children. Deepthi Balika Bhavan Pallippad was started to provide good education and mental and spiritual development of the children of poor fishermen. Jyothis, Mavelikkara, started to help mentally retarded children is progressing. The newly constructed Youth Centre at Adoor for Yuvajana Sakhyam is the realisation of his vision. As one who is devoted to a life of meditation he gave leadership for the construction of Easo Mar Timotheos Memorial Meditation Centre attached to Adoor Hermon Aramana meant for prayer, meditation and study. Gospel work among Railway porters was started as part of Sapthathy Mission. Gospel work was started at Sathyawadi and Ghatgheswar .In connection with the birthday of Alexander Mar Thoma Kalahandi Mission in Orissa was started. He gave leadership to start Half way Home in Ranni in connection with the birthday of The Metropolitan. Deepam Balika Bhavan for poor Dalit Girls was started at Mekozhoor.
It is Thirumeni’s lifestyle to respond strongly against social evils. He was the patron of Pathanathitta District Prohibition Committee which was organized to eradicate drinking as a social evil. He gave laudable leadership to Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam as President, Sunday School Samajam as President, Chengannur Christian College as Manager and Kattanam Mission Hospital as Chairman. He also led effectively the Dayara Movement, Sanyasini Samooham, Voluntary Evangelists Association, Suvisesha Sevika Sanghom, Kozhencherry St. Thoma College and Cherukole ITC. He served Adoor-Mavelikkara, Ranni-Nilackal, North America-Europe and Kottayam – Kochi Dioceses. When he was in-charge of North America- Europe he served as the Executive Committee member of North America NCCA.
The life of prayer and style of work of Easow Mar Themotheos Episcopa has influenced Euyakim Thirumeni very much. He is able to draw the people closer to God by imparting Christ Centered Pure Gospel in simple language. He takes special care to lead the youths to a live relation with Jesus and total submission.
Joseph Mar Barnabas Episcopa with an ever smiling face, appealing behaviour and keen to keep up personal relationship was born on 8th September 1949 as the son of Ancherry Christos Parish Elakkatt Kaduppil. E.V. Jacob and Manganam Chemmarappallil Saramma.
After basic education in Erikad and high school education in Puthupally St. George School Joseph Jacob completed degree from Baselios and CMS Colleges and BD Degree from Bishop’s College Calcutta. He was ordained as Semmas by Joseph Mar Iraneus Episcopa on 29th May 1976 at St. Thomas Church, Thiruvalla and as Kassessa by Thomas Mar Athanasius Episcopa on 12th June 1976 at Christos Church, Ancherry. He got his degree in Theology from Bishops College, Calcutta and Diploma in counselling from Alberta St. Stephen’s College.
He served Kozhikode Chengaroth Immanuel Chempanoda Carmel, Kelakom Immanuel, Anakulam Sehion, Mumbai Santacruz, Chembur, Thuruthikad, Valankara, Kalamassery, Eloor, Madras North, Vellore, Neyveli, Thalappadi Nazreth, Meenadom Salem, Puthuppally Horeb, Puthupparamb St. Luke, Canada Edmanton Trinity, Calgory, Fort Magmory and Niranam St. Thomas parishes.
He was consecrated as Ramban at Mavelikkara Thazhakkara Mar Thoma Church on 31st August 1993 along with Thomas George Kaseessa and A.I. Issac Kaseessa. He was consecrated as Joseph Mar Barnabas Episcopa at the Madbaha in the SCS Compound, Thiruvalla on 2nd October 1993.
Thirumeni took charge of Chengannur – Kozhenchery Diocese on 1st November 1993. (This Diocese was later known as Chengannur – Thumpamon Diocese). He was appointed to lead Kunnamkulam – Malabar Diocese from 1st April 1997. Special attention was drawn by Kudumba Sangamam which was started when he was head of Chengannur – Thumpamon Diocese. He worked as Chairman of Kompady Abraham Mar Thoma Memorial Institute and Episcopal Jubilee Institute and also as the President of Mar Thoma Voluntary Evangelists Association. He was able to provide a new awakening and vigour to the Mar Thoma Voluntary Evengelists Association. He gave laudable leadership to Delhi – Mumbai Diocese from August 2001. He worked as the Chairman of Lectionary Committee and Liturgical Commission. He published cassettes of liturgical songs, namely ‘Thybooso’ ‘Hasa Kramam and Rogopasanthi’ and ‘My Lord and My God’-giving details of the history of our Church. The books ‘A short history of Malankara Mar Thoma Sabha’ and ‘The Indian Churches of St. Thomas’ were republished. he was published ‘Padapeedathinkal’, ‘ Thirunivasam Etra Manoharam’, ‘At the father’s feet’ and ‘Roots and wings of our liturgy’. A daily meditation book was published from Kompady and ‘Jeevamrutham’ a correspondence course was started from E.J. Institute. he was Chairman of 2010 Vaideeka Directory.
He continues to be the head of Bible Society of India. Kerala Auxiliary, DSMC, MCRD, Church Animation Centre, Website Committee, Liturgical Committee, Lectionary Committee and ‘Dayaraya Samooham’, Manager of Titus II Teachers Training College and member of Mar Thoma – Jacobite Dialogue Commission.
Thirumeni is very keen to be a ‘Meditation Guru’ in the Syrian Church tradition. He specially takes note of the noble tradition of the Church. Sweet and pleasant behaviour coupled with a simple life style makes his personality a noble one.
Thomas Mar Timotheos Episcopa with a personality that is the sum total of energetic personal superiority, committed style of functioning and calm and meek behaviour was born as the son of Mulakuzha Angadical South Kaleekkal Thekkethil Lovedale Rev. K.N. George and Rachel George on 13th December 1950. He had his school education in Venmoney, Kaviyoor, Thalavoor, Angadical South and Kidangannoor. He had his BA from Christian College Chengannur and MA from Sardar Patel University, Gujarat in English language and literature. After teaching in Lunavada and Modasa Colleges under Gujarat Univesity from 1974 to 1979 he joined United Theological College, Bangalore and took BD Degree. He was ordained Semmas on 28th May 1983 and Kaseessa on 10th June by Thomas Mar Athanasius Suffragan Metropolitan at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Thiruvalla. He served Surat, Vapi, Valsad, Angaleswar, Beruch, Tharapur, Gudallur, Philadelphia Bethel in America, Kochukoickal, Kottamanpara and Moonnukal Parishes. He was the Principal of St. Thomas English Medium School, Gudallur. He obtained M Th degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Mar Thoma Sabha Prathinidhi Mandalam selected Rev. K. Thomas George as Episcopa. He was consecrated as Ramban on 31st August 1993 at Mavelikkara Mar Thoma Church by Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Thirumeni along with Rev. Joseph Jacob and Rev. Dr. A.I Isac.
On 2nd October 1993 he was consecrated as Episcopa with the name Thomas Mar Timotheos by His Grace Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan at the temporary Madbaha prepared at the SCS Compound, Thiruvalla.
In consequence of the redivision of Diocese he was entrusted with Madras – Calcutta, Malasia-Singapore-Australia Dioceses. He served as President of National Missionary Society, Council member of Vellore Medical College, Zonal Committee member- Madras- Calcutta of CASA and as Executive Committee member of CISRS. Along with the responsibility of the Parish of the Diocese he supervised Devanahalli Mission of Karnataka region, Medakur Mission Navajeevan Kendra of Andhra Pradesh, Neeratmed, Navajeevan Kendra Ranchi of Bihar and Hospital Guidance Centre, Vellore. Moreover Balavadies, basic education centres and medical work were also started. The construction of Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma Hospital Guidance Centre at a cost of 60 lakhs was completed near Vellore Medical College. He gave leadership to construct a Diocesan Headquarters at Chetpet, Chennai called Mar Thoma Bhavan collecting 85 lakhs for it. He served as Episcopa of Kunnamkulam- Malabar Diocese from 1st October 2001. He was manager of Mar Thoma College, Chungathara, Mar Thoma College of Special Education, Kasargod, School for Deaf and Mar Thoma Higher Secondary School, Chungathara. He initiated LTC-Life’s Tithe for Christ in the Church. Mukthi De-addiction Centre, Nadavayal, Wayanad and Darshana De-addiction Centre, Sholayoor were started during his period. He was able to lead various mission fields and establishments from Thrissur to Kasargod. He represented the Church in Christian Conference of Asia. Sadanandapuram Mar Thoma Mount TMTS Centre, Sanoha, Peringalam Mar Thoma Dhyanatheeram on the shore of Ashtamudi Lake, Peyad, Nairmalya De-Addiction and Counselling Centre, Charupara Vayojana Mandiram Mar Chrysostom Hall, all these were started under the leadership of Thirumeni. The meditative life style and leadership of Thirumeni is a great blessing for the Church.
Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos Episcopa is a thinker and student inculcating all necessary streams of thought to develop spiritual fervour in the people of India through a dialogue based on grace which can inter connect Theology and Hindu Philosophy. He was born on 5th December 1951 as the son of late Sri AM Isac and Mariamma of Attupurath family of Mavelikkara Cherukole Mar Thoma Parish. He completed High School education from BH High School Mavelikkara. He completed BA Degree from Bishop More College, MA from Banares Hindu University and BD from Calcutta Bishops College. He was ordained as Semmas on 29th May 1976 and as Kaseessa on 9th June 1976. He served as vicar of Rajara, Bilaspur, Allehabad, Renuket, Singroli, Boston, Mumbai Santacruz Parishes. He got MTh Degree from Princeston Theological Seminary and Doctorate from Banaras Hindu University. It is significant that the university awarded Doctorate on the basis of research based on the place of grace in Vaishnava Philosophy and Christian Theology. This research was a fundamental search for ideology helpful for meaningful dialogue.
He was consecrated as Ramban on 31st August 1993 at Mavelikkara Thazhakkara Church and as Isac Mar Philoxenos Episcopa on 2nd October. On 1st November 1993 All Saints Day – he took charge of Mumbai – Delhi Diocese. It was his initiative that made the construction of the beautiful Diocesan Head quarters at New Mumbai (Vashi) possible. He procured hundred acres for the Church near Kalyan and Navajeevan Centre was started there. Gramajyothi schools aimed at total rural development were started. He gave laudable leadership to construct houses for the rehabilitation of those rendered homeless as a result of earthquakes in Lathur of Maharashtra, Jabalpur of Madhyapradesh and Bhujj of Gujarat.
He gave leadership to NCCI unit I as its Chairman and as Chairman of CASA, Western Region. He worked as member of the Governing Boards of Leonard Theological College, ISPCK and Ludhiana Medical College. Thirumeni took the initiative to start Dharmajyothi Vidyapeet, Theological College in Faridabad near Delhi in 2000. He gave bold leadership to the Diocese till 30th September 2001.
Thirumeni took over charge of Kottayam-Kochi Diocese from 1st October 2001. He took special care of all the parishes in the Diocese and gave special importance to planned developmental activities in underdeveloped regions. He worked as President of Kerala Council of Churches (KCC), Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam, as Chairman of Thomas Mar Athanasius Memorial Research and Orientation Centre Mochana and Thomas Mar Athanasius Counselling Centre and as member of Serampore Senate Executive. He gave special attention to the development of High Range region. He gave strong support and guidance to fight against social evils.
He was elected as a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee for a second time and worked in WCC, Policy Reference Committee, WCC Reference Committee on Justice and Peace, Chairman of ECC and unit 1 of NCCI. He was elected a second time as President of Senate of Serampore. He fulfils his responsibilities in his own special style as President of Holistic Child Development, India and now as member of the Executive. He was Chairman of the Governing Board of Kottayam Vaideeka Seminary and Manager of Kozhencherry St. Thomas College.
Thirumeni is committed to work with spirituality and social service combined. He is very keen to alert the members of the Church to effectively uphold meaningful ministry among the utterly poor millions of Indian people.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Abraham Mar Paulos Episcopa ( Rev. Dr. K.U.Abraham) was born on 16th August 1953 as the son of Kanjirathara KC Uthuppu and Sosamma of Kottayam Manganam St. Peters Mar Thoma Parish. He completed school education from Muttampalam Govt. LP School and Kottayam MT Seminary High School. College education was done in CMS college and Baselios College of Kottayam. Theological study was done in Kottayam Mar Thoma Theological Seminary. He was ordained Semmas on 31st May 1980 and Kaseessa on 28th June 1980. Higher studies was one in Princeston University. He got doctorate from Boston University in Christian Education. He was consecrated as Ramban on 11th February 2005 by Geevarghese Mar Athanasius Thirumeni at Kottayam Jerusalem Mar Thoma Church. In the Silver Jubilee year of his priesthood he was consecrated as Episcopa by Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan on 14th May 2005 at SCS, Thiruvalla. During his Theological studies he was elected to the Senate of Serampore University.
He was active in the public even when very young through Akhila Kerala Balajana Sakhyam. He provided glorious service as the General Secretary of Sunday School Samajam. Children’s Maramon organized in connection with the Centenary of Sunday School Samajam was an outstanding example of his leadership qualities and organizing ability.
He provided laudable leadership as Chairman of the Socio Political Commission of the Church, member, CMC Ludhiana Director Board and SHIATS University Director Board, Vice President of Bible Society of India Delhi Auxiliary and Chairman of Dharmajyothi Vidyapeet.
Thirumeni is an outstanding orator and scholar in addition to being a friend of the children and youths. He served in Chengannur – Mavelikkara Diocese and as head of Thiruvananthapuram – Kollam and Mumbai Dioceses. Thirumeni considers his call as God’s Commission for hard work and commitment and finds strength in God’s mercy and love of the members of the Church. As he cares for humility and systematic work Thirumeni is always busy to know the people more and more and do some good for them. He takes special care to make the activities in the Parishes lively.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Mathews Mar Makarios Thirumeni ( Rev. Dr. Varghese Mathai) was born on 25th February 1953 as the son of Kalayil Kannanpoikayil Sri. K.E. Mathew and Smt. Kunjamma Mathai of Thumpamon North Immanuel Parish. Varghese Mathai completed education from Thumpamon EALP, MG High School and Pandalam NSS College. He took his degree in Physics. He joined postal services in Mumbai.
On being called for divine service he left the job and joined Kottayam Mar Thoma Theological Seminary for a Theological degree in 1975. On completion of his studies brilliantly he was ordained as Semmas on 22nd April 1978 at the St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Kozhencherry by Joseph Mar Iraneaus Episcopa and as Kaseessa on 22nd May 1978 at the St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Thiruvalla by Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan. He served as Vicar in Ranni Valiakavu, Karimpanamkuzhy, Kumaly, Anakkara, Vandanmed, Kolkatta, Nattassery, Australia, New Zealand and Othera Ebenezer. He got MTh from Kottayam FFRRC in 1985 and doctorate from Bangalore SATRI in 1994 based on New Testament. He successfully completed research on the subject ‘Christ Vision and Holy Spirit in the Gospel of St. John’. He taught New Testament in Leonard Theological College of Madyapradesh from 1987 to 1996 and in Kottayam Mar Thoma Theological Seminary during 1996-2003 and 2006-2008. He served during this period as member of the Research Committee of Serampore University and as Dean of the Doctoral studies of FFRRC. He has published explanatory books on Hebrews and 1. Corinthians. The other books published are Paraclitos the experience of the Holy spirit, Jesus the Good shephered, Sishyathavum, Viliyum, Niyogavum and Fragrance of Christ. He is able to publish outstanding articles in the periodicals of the Church and International Theological periodicals.
He was consecrated Ramban along with Rev. K.V. Varkey and Rev. Dr. Oommen George by Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa on 7th May 2011 at the specially constructed Holy Madbaha at Ernakulam St. Alberts College Grounds. With the other two Rambans he was consecrated as Episcopa by Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan on 13th August 2011 at the specially prepared Holy Madbaha at Thiruvalla SCS Ground with the name Mathews Mar Makarios Episcopa.
His endearing behaviour, deep insights of Theology and noble experience of teaching ministry increase the quality of Thirumeni’s ministry.
Rt. Rev. Gregorios Mar Stephanos Episcopawas born on 16th March 1959 as the son of Kochi Panayapally Parayil Sri. K.P. Varkey and Smt. Kunjamma. Fort Kochi St. George is the mother Parish.
He continued his education in Kochi where his father was employed after early studies in Niranam Mar Thoma LP School. After completing Pre-Degree from Cochin College he took BA and MA in Philosophy from Maharajas College. Then he procured MPhil from Chennai University. Along with college education he was member of College football and hockey teams in addition to being the General Captain of the college and proved his ability.
During 1982-86 he got degree in theology from Kolkotta Bishops College. Thereafter he was ordained as Semmas on 16th March 1986 at St. Thomas Church, Thiruvalla and as Kaseessa on 27th June 1986 at his home Parish by Easow Mar Timotheos Episcopa.
Bilaspur, Korba, Ambikapur, Chennai-Chetpet, Thambaram, St. Thomas Mount, Kolalampur, Ranchi, Mumbai Santacruz, Maramon, Venmoney, Kavumbhagom were the parishes he served as Vicar.
He was awarded with many prizes in recognition of his efficient management of the School as the Principal of St. Thomas School, Ranchi. Chief among them were the honour from Prathibha Udhan Samithi, International Millenium Gold Star, Vijayasri Puraskar. The active leadership of Mumbai Navajeevan Kendra, Medical Mission Secretary and leadership of education reform Committees were rich experiences of active life. He led the mission work of Ranchi also.
He was consecrated as Ramban on 7th May 2011 at the specially prepared holy Madbaha in the St. Alberts College ground by Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa along with Rev. Dr. Varghese Mathai and Rev. Dr. Oommen George. He was elevated as Episcopa with the name Gregorios Mar Stephanos on 13th August 2011 at the specially prepared Holy Madbaha at the Thiruvalla SCS ground.
Strong leadership ability, unshakable faith in God and timely vision of Kingdom of God activities are the hall mark of Thirumeni’s activities.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Theethos Episcopa was born on 10th May 1959 as the son of Kottackatt Puthenveetil Sri. P.N. George and Smt. Aleyamma George of Adoor Kannamkod Mar Thoma Parish.
He had his school education at Vadakkadathukavu Govt. UP School and Adoor Govt. High School. He passed Pre-Degree from Kottarakkara St. Gregorios College and BSc Botany from Catholicate college, Pathanamthitta.
He got degree in Theology from Mar Thoma Theological Seminary, Kottayam during 1982-85. Easow Mar Timotheos Episcopa ordained him as Semmas on 1st June 1985 and as Kaseessa on 14th June 1985 at Kottarakkara.
He served as Vicar of Chengaroth, Chempanoda, Aanakulam, Gandhidham, Bhuj, Bhavnagar, Goregau, Kolaba, Thumkur, Kalamassery, Devas, Chengannur – Thittamel, Pularikad, Long Island, New York St. Johns, New York St. Andrews and Chirayiramb Immanuel. He was also the Manager and Senior Principal of Indore Mar Thoma Higher Secondary School. He worked as the Secretary of His Grace Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan. He got MA in Sociology from Indore University. He procure a MTh and Doctorate from Dharmaram Vidyakshetra, Bangalore. The topic for research was Holy Qurbana and spirituality. He visited Amsterdam University and conducted research as part of his study. He has given leadership in many conferences.
He was consecrated as Ramban by Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa on 7th May 2011 at Ernakulam St. Alberts College ground specially prepared Madbaha along with Rev. Dr. Varghese Mathai and Rev. K.V. Varkey. He was raised as Thomas Mar Theethos Episcopa on 13th August 2011 at the Holy Madbaha prepared at the Thiruvalla SCS ground.
He marches forward with his mission in the Church in the light of noble theological streams of thought and visionary activities of care for the needy and social change.