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.
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 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.