The MGOCSM Of The 1970’s : A Memoir

Written By: on Jan 20th, 2010 and filed under Columns.

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

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8 Responses for “The MGOCSM Of The 1970’s : A Memoir”

  1. Dear Cherian Acha

    Please provide your contact e-mail Id in order to contact.

    I saw your article today and very happy

    I want to talk with you

    Shaji Kuttiyil, Kottayam

  2. Jacob Kollanethu says:

    Dear Achan,

    Inspiration,leadership and ultimate faith in Jesus Christ are like seeds you planted in the lives of so many young people during the 1970′s. We could see the harvest in so many of our church leaders now. Can we have your leadership again.

    Jacob Kollanethu

  3. Editor says:

    Mar Thoma College, Thiruvalla MGOCSM 1970′s: A Memoir
    E.C. Mathews

    When I glanced across the Orthodox Herald published on January 22, 2010, I was exhilarated to see Rev. Fr. P. C.Cherian on the front cover with a grey beard and with the same congenial smile he had almost 4 decades ago.

    H.G (Late) Philipose Mar Theophilos, Rev. Fr. K.I. Paul (Our Catholicos designate H.E. Paulose Mar Milithios) and Rev.Fr. P.C. Cherian the MGOCSM marched forward in its fullest in our Schools and Colleges in Kerala. This inspired me and lots of students during that time. The Motto of our MGOCSM gave our unit and myself to go beyond the extra mile.

    I take this opportunity to remember our college principals–Rev. Fr. (late) T.C.Thomas and Prof. C.T. John. I would also like to acknowledge and appreciate the college authorities for sanctioning the use of the Chapel and other facilities to worship every Friday.

    We were blessed with the teaching and sermon of H.G. (late) Paulose Mar Gregorios, H.G. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, and H.G. Zacharias Mar Athanasios (Bishop of the Malankara Catholic, Thiruvalla diocese) during our one day retreat and our visit to the Old Seminary. Our visit to H.H (late) Baselios Augen served to be unique at Devalokam Aramana.

    Part of the service every Friday the members of the MGOCSM observed in fasting and prayer. We also provided lunch to the destitute in the surroundings of our college as well as cleaned the government hospital. I personally know a number of old MGOCSM leaders and members in this great country with fond memories. I experienced the intercessional power of Parumala Thirumeni during my time with the MGOCSM. I would like to give my sincere gratitude to our former President and Vice President, Dr. M.I.Andrews, Prof Thomas P. John and Sally Kochamma.

    E.C. Mathew
    Email: [email protected]
    St.Gregorios Orthodox Church Dallas, Texas.

  4. Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew says:

    Dear Cherian Achen!

    I know from narrations of older people, especially LL Philipose Mar Theophilose Metropolitan, that MGOCSM had been like a tent, namely, can be folded and taken to where ever it was necessary to be pitched. It did not have a permanent building, for instance, to boast upon in the earlier seventies and before.

    It was your vision and perseverance that made today’s MGOCSM what it is today. You kindly elaborate this article by adding dates and people who have toiled with you in this article that a missing link from the history of MGOCSM is known to many like me.

    The Gospel narrative does not have the childhood of Jesus Christ. But the history of MGOCSM can have its childhood narratives and it looks like you shall be the one to fill up that gap.


    Jacob Mathew Achen

  5. Dear C.Thomas,
    Thanks for your comments. What I wrote in the article is just a glimpse of the powerful events and beginnings took place in MGOCSM during the 1970′s.

    We bult on something which you all laid the foundation. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve MGOCSM of India. Today I see a plethora of leaders all around the world and in our Church inspired by MGOCSM through the prayers of St. Gregorios of Parumala.
    Cherian Achen

  6. C.Thomas says:

    Thank you Cherian Achen to make me think of the “Good old days”.Yes I attended MGOCSM(earlier known as Orthodox student conference)since 1954 to 1958,Alleppy,Venniculam ,Kottayam(Old Seminary),Trichur and my last Conference at Balikamadom,Thiruvalla.General Secretaries during this time were,M.Thommachen Fellowship House U.C.College.Paul Varghese sar who just returned from USA and P.S.Samuel Chemmachen.T.S. Kor Episcopa was the Vice President and I was Student Trichur Conference.Daniel Philexinose Thirumeni was the president and I think,Theophilose Thirumeni took over later.Philipose Thomas(lateBishop Eusobiose and his brother P.T.Thomas were regular attendees during my period.Lots of good memmories of these conerences,;Food Poisoning at Pazhaya Semminary and the Fire in the face of Valia Bawa scolding the food contractor,Mosquitto problem at Alleppy Church at HQ to the point a decon had to stand next to the celeberent(Coorilose Thirumeni)fanning to keep them away from suiciding in the Chalice and the extra incence to keep the alter area smoke filled..Long walk from Vennikulam school to the Reiver for bath,Social Hour at Pathira manal by boat arranged by Dr.P.C.Alexander who was a new IAS officer and Asst.Collector at Alleppy.Also the last Conference attended by Bishop Peckenham Walsh of Thadakam Ashram.M.V.George achen was a usual target at Social Hour,especially from instant Songs of C.P.Chandy Sar.
    Yes you are right ,the inspiration we got from these conferences also kept my faith strong.C.Thomas .Canada

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