HOUSTON: The ad-hoc committee of the Diocese of South West America was held on Friday August 7, 2009 at the Diocesan Aramana office in Houston and unanimously passed a budget for $230,000.00 for this fiscal year. Diocesan Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius presided over the meeting. Ad-hoc committee secretary Fr. P. M Cherian presented the first budget of the new diocese.
Centralized salary, home allowance, and family health care for the priests will be implemented in the diocese shortly. The committee approved a diocesan level grant for priest welfare and priest annual retreat expenses. Diocese will take initiative in supporting the theological students of the diocese and approved a grant per student from the diocesan account.
All diocesan spiritual organizations (Balika Bala Samajam/ Sunday School, MGOSM/Campus Ministry, OCYM/FOCUS, Martha Mariam Samajam and Prayer fellowship) will be reorganized. The committee recommended the Diocesan Metropolitan to appoint Vice presidents / General secretaries for all spiritual organizations.
The demarcation of the South West American Diocese into five regions for the convenience of coordinating the spiritual activities, seminars and conferences was approved. The regions are South East, Mid West, South, West, and North West.
A Diocesan counseling center will be opened shortly. Fr. John Kunnathusseril (St.Marys church‐Dallas) has been appointed as the counseling Center director by the Diocesan Metropolitan. He is given the responsibility to start the Christian premarital counseling courses, to propagate family counseling awareness programs in all the parishes.
10% of the total diocesan income will go for charity and this will be implemented with immediate effect.
Metropolitan appointed K.V. Chacko (St.Thomas, Houston), Thomas Mathew (St.Stephens Houston) and Varughese Kuriakose (St.Gregorious Houston) as subcommittee members. A supplementary budget for purchasing the temporary Bishop House has been approved by the committee.
The ad‐hoc committee recognized the faithful of the church living in small groups in different towns/cities where they have no privilege in attending any Orthodox prayers. In order to coordinate these scattered members of the church, a Congregation Coordinator will be appointed shortly. The ad-hoc committee also recommended the Diocese Metropolitan to appoint a full time Aramana Manager who can help the Diocese Metropolitan in administration and co ordinate the new congregation activities.
An efficient Inter church and Public relations department will be formed to develop and establish a good relationship with other orthodox churches as well as our sister churches. Also to keep a good relationship with the Media, Community leaders and dignitaries as well as getting out the Good News we preach and good activities we practice to the outside world. Manoj Mathew (St. Thomas, Houston) has been appointed by the Diocesan Metropolitan to take charge of the new department.
The diocese will Give a high priority to launch a diocesan website has been discussed and approved.
The diocese will celebrate the diocesan day on first Sunday in June every year. The Diocesan Metropolitan also emphasized the need of celebrating Catholicate day and improving the collections in the diocese as it has been pointed out that the American Diocese was not fulfilling the anticipated target amounts. Metropolitan will be visiting the 5 regions in the diocese during the great lent to propagate the importance of Catholicate day and its collections.
Fr. John Kunnathusseril (Dallas), Fr. Joseph Kalapurayil (San Francisco), Fr. Mathew Koshy (Atlanta), Fr. P. M Cherian (Houston), Abraham Eapen (Houston), Alvin Thalappillil (Orlando), C. Thomas (Edmonton), Mathew Varghese (Detroit), Peter Varghese (Chicago), Dn. George Poovathur (Chicago), Dr. Zachariah Thomas (Houston ) and Manoj Mathew ( Special Invite, Houston ) attended the meeting.