The MGOCSM Of The 1970’s : A Memoir

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

It is with great joy that I reminisce over the story of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement of India during the decade of the 1970’s. With great humility and gratitude I look back over those years of the MGOCSM where I had the blessed opportunity to serve the united student organization of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church. After church unity, in 1960’s, the Mar Gregorios Student Association of the Pathriarchese side and the Syrian Student Conference of the Orthodox church joined together to form the MGOCSM.

St. Gregorios of Parumala

The inspiration and the influence of the spiritual life and teachings of St. Gregorios of Parumala, the Patron Saint of MGOCSM, live on every day beyond the membership of Malankara Orthodox church. Parumala Thirumeni’s life has been a tremendous dynamic force for thousands of MGOCSM members throughout the century. Thirumeni’s pious and saintly life attracted many to Lord Jesus Christ and his Church. Anywhere, in any city and on any continent I go I come across individuals and groups who have been touched and blessed by the power of Parumala Thirumeni’s prayer and intercession.

MGOCSM in the 1970’s

I am immensely blessed by having the privilege of serving the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement of India for almost a decade during the 1970’s. The Movement marched forward in those years, following the path of my predecessors, from being an annual Syrian student conference, convened once a year at a school or college in Kerala, to the MGOCSM of India in its fullest.

Regional and Zonal Conferences

During the 1970’s the MGOCSM began organizing conferences in cities of northern and southern India to reach out and to involve the youth and seniors who study and work in various cities outside of Kerala. MGOCSM also started convening conferences in different zones within Kerala during this time for the maximum participation of students who reside and work in closer proximity.

The Student Centers

One of the highlights of this decade was the establishment of Student Centers in Kottayam and Trivandrum. It was a daunting task, opening hostel facilities for college students at that time when colleges were closing

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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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