HOUSTON: “The South West American Diocese has been demarked into five zones/regions. The zones will be hereafter known as South East, Mid West, South, West, and North West” declared Mar Eusebius Alexios, the Metropolitan of the newly formed diocese, South West America.
Metropolitan declared this while he was speaking to the clergy of the diocese, in their business meeting at the annual clergy retreat convened for the first time after the formation of the diocese.
Metropolitan also explained that the zonal demarcation is for the convenience of coordinating the spiritual activities, seminars and conferences of the diocese in future. “Much representation from each zone is what I am looking for. This will enable and empower the diocese to think collectively and act collectively. Together we could do many things for the diocese and the church at large. This is what God expect from each of us. I believe that clergy is the backbone of the church.” Mar Eusebius added.
Fr. Jacob Mathew( South East), Fr. Ham Joseph( Mid West),Fr. Mathews George & Fr. Sam Mathew (South ),Fr. Joseph Kalapurayil ( West),and Fr. Philipose Philip (North West ) were elected as Zonal / regional Family and Youth conference coordinators for the next year. Fr. George Daniel from Florida was elected as the diocesan family conference coordinator. His office would be for three years.
Fr. Rege Mathew (Lufkin St. Thomas Church) was elected as Priest secretary for the Diocese of South West America and elected Fr. Joseph Kallupurayil (St. Gregorios orthodox Church, San Francisco) as diocesan finance promoter. Next clergy retreat will be conducted May 2010.
Clergy meeting decided to celebrate the diocesan day on 1st Sunday in June every year.
The business session began with the memorial prayer remembering the Metropolitan late Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, and the priests who tirelessly served the diocese late Cor-episcopos very Rev. Koshy Poovathoor, and late Fr. Zachariah Venattukulam.
The first annual clergy retreat of the Diocese of Southwest America was conducted at St. Stephen’s Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas on August 7 and 8, 2009.
The diocesan Metropolitan Mar Eusebius led the retreat. The retreat was focused on the theme Priesthood: The process of becoming a priest and their responsibilities.
On Saturday August 8, the clergy retreat was concluded with Holy Qurbana. Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius was the chief celebrant on the occasion. All participants were given time for silent meditation and confession.
Diocesan clergy secretary Fr. Rege Mathew said vote of thanks. In his concluding remarks, Clergy secretary expressed his hope that the diocese would emerge as a model diocese of the Holy Church in the coming years , for the glory of God under the able guidance of its first Metropolitan Mar Eusebius.
The retreat was attended by around 40 priests, deacons, and seminarians of the South West American Diocese.