The MGOCSM Of The 1970’s : A Memoir

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

experience for me working with both Pappoottan who was a strong Patriarchese leader and Mar Ivanos Thirumeni of Kottayam Diocese. For everybody’s dismay they both opened their hearts to support this project whole heartedly. I had the opportunity to work with Late P.C.Yohannan Remban and my beloved Fr. T. J Joshua to raise funds to complete the dream of having a church near the Kottayam Medical college.

Focused Mission

The leadership of the MGOCSM was very diligent not to get distracted from the mission and programs of the movement throughout the period of these developments and expansion. Our commitment was the building up of the spirituality of our young people and nurturing their loyalty to the mother church. The MGOCSM organized various seminars and meetings for equipping members with leadership skills to use within the church community and in community as a whole. The Movement expanded by organizing units and spiritual programs in colleges and other education centers. Some of those units were in non Christian and Government Institutions.

New MGOCSM Wings

During the 1970’s, MGOCSM began expanding activities to the areas beyond the already existed Medical and Technical Auxiliaries. For utilizing the diverse talents of members the MGOCSM established the Missionary Wing (Parish mission), the Literary Wing, the High School Student’s Wing, and the Sangeetha Vedhi.

Leadership Development

Leadership development has been, as always, a core commitment of MGOCSM , especially during the 1970’s. MGOCSM opened up opportunities for young people to work within the establishment and in our student centers. Many members pursued seminary studies and many others got involved lead in church projects locally and nationally. In the horizon of today’s church there are many soaring stars with whom I had the privilege to work during this decade. They served the Movement sincerely and worked hard and found their notch for climbing the ladder. In reality, Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement has served the Malankara Orthodox church and the greater community as a spawning ground for raising leaders.

A Life Time Impact

It is emotionally overwhelming for me when I receive telephone calls, e-mails or personal notes from friends and participants of MGOCSM programs even after three decades of my time with the organization. There are no sufficient words in me to express my gratitude to those wonderful people whom I worked with during the time of my servant hood ministry in MGOCSM.

I am deeply grateful to all the great souls – His Holiness Thomas Mar Didimos, the present Catholicose, who ordained me to the priesthood at the Shrine of St. Gregorios of Parumala; the late lamented Mar Philipose Theophilus who called me to the MGOCSM General Secretary ship; His Holiness Augen Catholicose who gave me the appointment Kalpana; and His Holiness Mathews 1st Catholicose who nurtured me deepening my faith. I am delighted to see many, whom I had the opportunity to work with during the 1970’s, who are elected and elevated to the leadership of the church , especially the Catholicose designate Poulose Mar Milithus, Mar Gheevarghese Mar Coorilose, Mar Zachariah Mar Theophilus, beside several leading priests like Fr. John Thomas and many lay leaders.

For me, I continue holding on to the faith and practices of Malankara Orthodox Church, in which I am raised and trained, no matter wherever I study and work. The experience and the inspiration I received through working in MGOCSM lead me on to continuously witness the faith of our church among American Christians as well I did in Germany and in England. I have kept my faith dearly and am running my course diligently to fulfill my call “go, and make disciples of All nations” (Mathew 28:19) by being an unofficial and informal ambassador of Malankara Orthodox Church of India in America, the most diverse country in the world.

May the MGOCSM continue to be a lamp for the feet and a light on the path of our youth, students and leaders as it has been for me throughout my life.

The author of this article Rev.Fr.P.C.Cherian, a great visionary of the Church who pioneered MGOCSM from nothingness to what we see today, was the General Secretary from 1971 to 1981. Now he lives in Minnesota, USA as the Director of Agora Ministries.

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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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