their hostel facilities because of student upheavals. With boldness and faith, MGOCSM opened student centers and extended admission even to non church members and to employed people who needed accommodation in a safe place. The impact and the influence upon those who stayed in our centers has been amazing and long lasting.
The Kottayam Student Center
It was an honor and a blessing for me to work alongside with then MGOCSM president LL Mar Theophilus Thirumeni in developing plans and designs for the lay out and the architecture of the centers. Thirumeni’s friendship with the Westfalen Church in Germany brought seed money for the Kottayam Student Center as for many other church projects. We borrowed a large sum of money from the Central Bank of India with the expectation that the rent income from the roadside shops would pay it off. We received ample donations from well wishers and price discounts from utility companies for the furnishings. Our creative approaches and strategies were effective for evacuating the old tenants from the previous MD Hostel facilities to build the new center.
The Trivandrum Student Center
TVM center has an amazing story to tell about how the dream got realized there in my tenure. Mr. T.N. Kuriakose, the former accountant General of Kerala, helped me a lot in securing the property from the daughter-in-law of late Judge Simon. The land lay adjacent to the Trivandrum University Campus and across from the AKG Center (former gas house junction). Professor Joseph P. Varghese worked as my right hand organizing the fund raising project. We raised the entire amount of money needed for the purchase of the property from numerous members of our Church in every part of India and abroad. I was amazed at the gracious and generous response of our people when I visited them at their homes or workplaces asking for their support. Immediately after acquiring the property we remodeled and renovated the old house where Judge Simon’s family lived to accommodate 25 students. My friend late Bobby Kattanam was my sojourner in this project. God helped us to inaugurate the new Student Center in Trivandrum in two years since we bought the property and the opening of the Kottayam Student Center.
Book Shop and Publishing House
Another important initiative of the Movement during the 1970’s was the start up of the MGOCSM Book Shop and Publishing House. It started from nothingness (ex-nihilo) without any financial capital from the Movement. We felt it was a needed project for our church at a time when there was no official church publishing house or bookshop. We published the Evangelion Book and the Holy Week Book of Songs and Prayers while I was with the Movement. I need to mention the special involvement of Fr. M.C Cherian(Mar Zachariah Theophilus), late C.P.Chandy sir and LL Yoohanon Mar Severios whose dedication and skills hugely helped the publication of books at the MGOCSM publishing house. . Our bookshop became a very helpful place for our church members to buy and order items needed for worship services.
Mar Gregorios Chapel Arpookara
It was a long cherished desire of medical students and doctors and the residents at Arpookara to have a church at Arpookara for their spiritual needs. Theophilus Thirumeni and I approached Kottapparampil Pappoottan, Aymanam to donate the land across from the Medical college Hospital. It was a wonderful