Our Faith

orthodox Church in India

During the first four centuries the eastern form of Christianity was extended to various peoples of Asia, Europe and Africa. In this way their came to be established the Churches of Syria and the Orient, Egypt, the Mainland of Greece, Armenia, Ethiopia and our own Indian subcontinent. Among these Eastern Churches, our church is in many ways an exception. The other Churches were able to receive each of them its own character within the geographical areas of their existence, even supplanting existing civilization and cultures. But our Church, at present, although we claim to have St.Thomas as our Apostle, as existed in India as a branch of the Syrian Church of the Middle east, all through this centuries, without ever feeling the need for a real confrontation with the great intellectual and spiritual tradition of India. Consequently we have not acquire an Indian character in the religious and spiritual spheres. We have all along been satisfied with our Indian Identity in this social, economic and political life only.

India , as is well known to nay one, has a religious and philosophical heritage as profound as, if not profounder than, that of Greece and Rome. But we have never made any contact or acquaintance with it.

Source: Northeast American Diocese website – www.neamericandiocese.org

orthodox church in the United States

The history of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of the East in the U.S.A. begins approximately in the mid 20th century. During this period, a number of prominent priests and laity came to the U.S.A. for higher studies and training.

The year 1976 was a very important year for the Church, especially here in America. The Holy Synod decided to establish more dioceses to better administer the flock in various parts of the world. At this time, the numerous churches in America were placed under the authority of the Metropolitan of the Bombay Diocese, Thomas Mar Makarios, who had spent time in America as a student. Under the leadership of Mar Makarios, the Holy Synod made a momentous decision and granted the parishes in America their own Diocese, creating the American Diocese.

In 2009, the Malankara Church decided to divide what was known as the ‘American Diocese’ into two dioceses, namely – the Northeast American Diocese and the Southwest American Diocese.

Today, the Northeast American Diocese can boast of more than fifty parishes, with more than forty priests, deacons and seminarians. The hard work and prayers of all our Hierarchs, Priests, and laity have led to the Diocese’s strong foundation, and have provided for us a secure future and outlook for the next generation of Indian Orthodox Christians in the Northeast American Diocese.

Source: Northeast American Diocese website – www.neamericandiocese.org

Catholicos of the East

Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios

His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II

Young Paul was born in a small village called Mangad near Kunnamkulam August 30, 1946 to the ancient Syrian Christian family of Kollannur to K. I. Ipe and Kunjeetty. Paul was baptized at his home parish, St. Mary ‘s Orthodox Church, Pazhanj.

From his early childhood Paul showed keen interest in spiritual matters. His home parish, played an important role in his spiritual growth. At the age of 13, he was selected by his parish priest to be one among the twelve in the ‘Washing of Feet Service ‘ by His Grace Paulose Mar Severios, Metropolitan. This marked a turning point in the life of young Paul when Metropolitan Mar Severios saw the making of a priest in his character.

The influence of his parents especially that of his mother who hails from the famous Pulikkottil family, played a great role in the molding of his spiritual life. Even from his childhood, he took great interest in Syriac chants and prayers and was very keen in attending all liturgical services in the Church. Following his interests and his leaning towards the Orthodox Faith, young Paul joined the Orthodox Theological Seminary from where he secured GST and Bachelor of Divinity from the Serampore University.

His Grace Yuhanon Mar Severios of Blessed Memory ordained him to the Subdiaconate at the Holy Pilgrimage Center of the Church, St. Peter & St. Paul Church, Parumala on April 8, 1972 and to the full Diaconate at Sion Seminary, Koratty on May 31, 1973. He was ordained to priesthood priest by his spiritual father, Yuhanon Mar Severios Metropolitan, at Sion Seminary, Koratty on June 2, 1973.

Fr. Paul served as a model shepherd of St. Marys Orthodox Church Ernakulam, Moolepat Orthodox Church Pazhanji, St. Mary ‘s Magdalene Convent Adappotty, Kummanmkulam and Medical College Chapel Kottayam.

The Malankara Syrian Christian Association held at MGM Thiruvalla on December 28, 1982 elected Fr. Paul as Metropolitan. His Grace Mathews Mar Coorilos, (later His Holiness Moran Mar Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II) of Blessed Memory, professed Fr. Paul to Monastic Orders (Ramban) May 14, 1983 and was later consecrated as Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios by His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, of Blessed Memory.

His Grace, had the blessing of being appointed to the Episcopal Throne of the newly formed Kunnumkulam Diocese on August 1, 1985. The Holy Episcopal Synod and the Managing Committee nominated His Grace to be the Successor to the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan on September 27, 2006.

His Holiness was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East on November 1, 2010.

Source: Northeast American Diocese website – Catholicos of The East

Diocesan Metropolitan

Zachariah Mar Nicholovos

Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos

His Grace, Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos was born on August 13, 1959 to the famous Poothiyottu family in Mepral. His boyhood name was Cheriyachen. He has three brothers and one sister.

He studies in different schools in Kerala until he finished his High school. The first two years of his college education was in Malabar Christian College. He received his BA (English) from the St. Joseph College, Devagiri (Calicut University). He continued his studies in Theology at United Theological College, Bangalore and received a Bachelors of Divinity and a Masters of Theology.

His Grace Metropolitan Kuriakose Mar Coorilose ordained him to the Holy Diaconate on January 4th, 1986 and to the Priesthood on May 16, 1990 at his home parish St. John’s Church, Mepral. His Beatitude Mar Baselios Paulose II tonsured him as a monk on August 5, 1993 at Moovattupuzha. His Holiness Moran Mar Ignatius Zakka Iwas I, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, consecrated him as Metropolitan on August 15, 1993.

Metropolitan Mar Nicholovos served as the Ecumenical Secretary of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church and taught as a professor at the Malankara Syrian Seminary at Mulanthuruthy. His ecumenical activities led him to serve as a member of the Syrian Orthodox – Roman Catholic Dialogue Commission. His Grace remains very active in the Ecumenical and Inter-Religious movements. Metropolitan Mar Nicholovos was appointed as the Assistant Metropolitan of the American (Northeast American) Diocese in 2002.

His Grace currently serves as a Central Committee member of the World Council of Churches, and as a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, New York.

On February 26th 2011, following the retirement of His Grace Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas, His Holiness Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II appointed Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos as the ruling Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese.

Source: Northeast American Diocese website – Diocesan Metropolitan