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Mar Athanasios honors Muscat Mar Gregorios Sunday School student topper

Genius is one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration. A saying that truly extols the benefits of hard work and effort.An young achiever from Muscat has extended this on his religious fellowship too besides excelling on the academic front.

MUSCAT: Master Chris Jeo Philip of Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church has emerged a topper at the Sunday School Final Certificate (SSFC) examination conducted by the Orthodox Syrian Sunday School Association of the East (Outside Kerala Region) in December 2009.

He emerged first from among all the churches in the entire Ahmedabad Diocese, also topping the Gulf Region and stood fourth from among the Outside Kerala Region with 87 per cent marks.

Incidentally, Chris lost the Third Rank by a single mark to Divya Suseel, from St John OSC, Andheri, Bombay Diocese. This is as per the results put out on the online version of the Orthodox Syrian Sunday School Association of the East (www.ossae-okr.org)

Thomas Mar Athanasios, Metropolitan of Chengannur Diocese, who was on a short visit for the valedictory function of the church’s 10th anniversary celebrations felicitated Chris Jeo after the Holy Qurbana on February 12. His Grace also gave away prizes to other outstanding Sunday School students.

Also in attendance were Fr James Geevarghese, Vicar and President Fr Alexander Koodarathil, CEO, St Gregorious Mission Hospital, Parumala.

Chris is also a bright Class XI student of Indian School Al Ghubra (ISG) in Muscat and was also one of the high performers of the CBSE Class X examination held in 2009.

Chris is the son of Mrs and Mr. Philip K Philip of Muscat Insurance Company. They hail from Kallooppara, Thiruvalla. He also has a younger brother in Kevin Tom Philip.

A delighted Chris says: “My thanks goes first to God Almighty. My teachers kept encouraging me from the beginning of the school year to attain greater heights. This would not have been possible without the tremendous support of my parents. My special thanks goes to my class teacher Dr Biju Jacob IA&AS and to Mary Varghese, Sunday School Head Mistress. I am proud and happy that I could keep our Sunday Schools’ name on top among all the schools in the Gulf Region as in the last year. I am confident that this will be continued in the years to come with the current spirit and dedication of our teachers, Vicar and Church Managing Committee.”

Says Dr Biju Jacob, his Sunday School teacher: “I recollect Chris as a silent but keen student. One of his strong points is the regular studies which differentiated him from the average student who studies just before the exams. Credit also goes to his parents who closely monitored and supported him.”

Chris was presented with a gold coin and a Holy Bible by the Metropolitan. The Certificate of Special Comments and SSFC leaving certificate will be delivered after it is received from the Ahmedabad diocese centre.

Orthodox Syrian Sunday School Association of the East is a spiritual organisation functioning in all the parishes of the Orthodox Church throughout the world. It takes care of the spiritual nurturing of the children, by bringing them up in the knowledge and fellowship of Jesus Christ and His Church. It has a separate wing for the outer Kerala region, called as OSSAE-OKR and is headquartered at the St Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary in Nagpur, Maharashtra.

The Sunday School classes range from Pre-primary classes to the 12th class. As in secular schools, class ten concludes the secondary level and a certificate is awarded – Sunday School final Certificate (SSFC) to the successful candidates.

Higher Secondary course is for another two years which is normally not done in the Gulf Region. Hence students like Chris Joe will miss out on further study at the Sunday School.