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Tech-savvy Malankara Orthodox Metropolitans… Mar Nicholovos And Mar Eusebius Emerge Active Facebook Users

“Two google searches would produce as much green-house gases as boiling a cup of water!!!”

This was an interesting posting on Facebook from HG Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, Assistant Metropolitan of America. This however related to a feature from UK The Sunday Times, titled: “Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches.”

With more than 500 million active users, Facebook, the social networking and microblogging site launched in 2004, is really the in-thing. The Facebook bug has not left Malankara Orthodox metropolitans either. Those belonging to the younger generation have switched to the high-tech virtual world easily.

HG Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, based in New York and HG Alexios Mar Eusebius, new Metropolitan of the Texas-based Diocese of South West America have emerged front runners with their updates and postings.

Not to be left behind is HG Dr Yuhanon Mar Milithios, Thrissur diocese Metropolitan head who uses MSN space lavishly and differently.

Mar Nicholovos tops with an impressive list of 1,502 friends followed closely by Mar Eusebius at 1,490 and the list seems growing rapidly with each passing week.

Both Mar Nicholovos and Mar Eusebius due to their base in the United States have utilized the virtual world to be in touch with the net-crazy Orthodox faithful.

The immensely popular microblogging site have helped them keep their community of friends updated through their posts, pictures and videos.

They have also used the site to espouse the cause of the Malankara Orthodox church and its beliefs in the best possible manner.

They have linked their likes to bishops of the older generation like Catholicate head HH Baselios Marthoma Didymos I, HB Paulose Mar Milithios, HG Job Mar Philoxenos, HG Yuhanon Mar Meletius, HG Dr Mathews Mar Severios, HG Geevarghese Mar Osthathios and HG Joseph Mar Dionysius.

HG Dr Yuhanon Milithios may have a long way to go on netting Facebook friends as he is way behind with 172 friends. But logging http://meletiusofthrissur.spaces.live.com [1] presents one with a startling picture. Milithios is tech savvy to the hilt and keeps in constant touch with his friends and followers.

Setting up his own blog, the Metropolitan has gathered an amazing collection of events and happenings in his life and shared it for public view.

Dr Milithios welcomes comments for visiting his site. “Those who visit my space and record their comments must leave their email ID too if a reply is expected, I do not wish to make this a discussion forum. Thank you for your co-operation,” he writes.

The huge and meticulous collection of events, talks and pictures is available on SkyDrive set up as public folders (about 208) all of which are open for public view and individual opinion.

MOTC TV team has created Facebook page for Catholicos-designate HB Paulose Mar Milithios and dedicated it to Niyuktha Bava Thirumeni and liked by 202 people. He is also on www.malankaraorthodoxchurch.org/thirumeni [2].

HG Mathews Mar Barnabas, Metropolitan of America is on Facebook in the most humble manner with his quote – “As a priest he went where other priests hesitated to go. He put his heart and soul to live his divine call,” on the front page.

His links are on “The Secret of Real Work At Home Success,” “How I Lost 5 Stone 4 Pounds In 15 Weeks” and also “Reconciliation of Malankara Syrian Christians.”

HG Job Mar Philoxenos, Metropolitan, Diocese of Delhi, is referred as Vanampady of The Indian Orthodox Church on Facebook.

MOTC team has also initiated HG Dr Mathews Mar Severios, Metropolitan of Kandanad on Facebook. Introduced as serving the Holy Episcopal Synod as its secretary! with links to www.marseverios.info. Mar Severios also has an exclusive site on charitable projects at http://www.icbs.com/seva/ [3] which opens with a saying of Mother Teresa. Lists of various charitable projects of Kandanad diocese is on www.praisef.com.

HG Dr Geevarghese Mar Osthathios is online on http://www.geevarghesemarosthathios.info [3] which insights his profile, articles, books, institutions and details the Mar Osthathios Vision.

Majority of the metropolitans like HG Thomas Mar Athanasius (Chengannur), HG Kuriakose Mar Clemis (Thumpamon), HG Dr Zachariah Mar Anthonios (Kollam), HG Geevarghese Mar Coorilos (Mumbai), HG Paulose Mar Pachomios (Mavelikara), HG Dr Zachariah Mar Theophilus (Malabar), HG Dr Yuhanon Mar Chrisostomos (Niranam) have their profile and picture linked to http://mosc.in [4], the official website of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

A profile of HG Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan of Thiruvananthapuram is on Wikipedia at ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Mar_Gregorios.

HG Dr Mathews Mar Themothios is available on http://www.iocukeuropeafrica.org [5], the diocese site for UK, Europe and Africa detailing the biography of the metropolitan head.

HG Dr Yuhanon Mar Dioscorus, Metropolitan of Chennai is on http://indianchristianity.vatsofts.com/orthodox/ [6] directory with some of his events on youtube by Parumala seminary and also HG Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos, Ankamaly Metropolitan on http://indianchristianity.vatsofts.com/orthodox/diocese/angamaly/angamaly [7].

HG Joseph Mar Dionysius, Metropolitan of Calcutta is profiled on www.icon.org.in/php/HGJosephMarDionysius [8]

and other sites. HG Dr Abraham Mar Epiphanios, Metropolitan of Sultan Battery is linked to www.pathicaduoschurch.org [9], a website of St Peter’s & St Paul’s Orthdox Church, Mallapally, Kerala while HG Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, Metropolitan of Kottayam gets noticed on www.pampadydayara.com [10].

Posts and updates from Mar Nicholovos and Mar Eusebius are looked forward to by his friends comprising of a mixture of both young and old ranging from kids, parents, vicars, decons, rembans, expatriates and friends.

Nicholovos has recently installed Facebook for Android application on his phone. During his recent trip to Kerala, HG Nicholovos posted thus: “Vacation over now, time to get things under control. Have to shed a few pounds I gained in India and need to bring that glucose level to under 100..”

Another post towards the end of his trip went like this: Enjoying time in India, unfortunately sugar levels are not as I want them to be. I think being among family is injurious to my health….

Such posts brought out instant reactions from his wide friends circle. Anu Jacob, a Facebook friend of Nicholovos retorted jockingly: If you stop having all those nayappams, oondas and Fruti drinks you wouldn’t have sugar problems!! God Bless :)

Birthdays of both the bishops elicited chain of greetings and best wishes from their US friends and from other parts of globe. New diocese head of Ahmedabad. HG Dr Pullikkottil Geevarghese Mar Yulios is also active on Facebook.

Available with the web link www.facebook.com/puliachen [11] linking it www.1church.org [12] reminding one of his tenure as Assistant Vicar at St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Chicago, under the South-West American Diocese.

Managing 334 friends, HG Dr Yulios mentions his political and religious views which are moderate and universal love and service.

The metropolitan who envisions a global church has posted some interesting offbeat pictures of his life in America titled ‘Look at Me.’ His likes and interests relate to Northeast American Diocese, Orthodukso, HG Dr Geevarghese Mar Julios (!) and HH Baselios Marthoma Didymos I.

43 people have liked HG Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan of Bangalore’s, entry into Facebook which is a recent one. There is only one profile photo and no discussions so far on his page. Dr Seraphim is a virtual newcomer with a growing friends list.

More inputs and activity will be watched with interest from the bishop due to his becoming the first metropolitan head of Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India.

HG Dr Milithios has some of his folders listed which relate to divorce rates in Kerala, global warming, church and current economic situation, articles and interviews on TV and print media. Images of visits abroad have been titled ‘My days in Singapore, Sydney, San Jose, LA, Orlando’ among others. His collection of photos of nature titled ‘Learn from Nature’ is outstanding.

His Grace’s favourite books are ‘’People’s History of United States’(Howard Zinn), ‘Karunayude Kathal’ (HH Dalai Lama), ‘Ageless Body and Timeless Mind’ (Dr Deepak Chopra). Music, reading, traveling are his past times and lists Istanbul as a favourite holiday spot.

A comment from a faithful on Dr Milithios: “your blogs are full of life and create a renewable energy in understanding the Gospels and the Syrian Orthodox faith together. His sermons are a sea of realistic approach to the common man’s life and Christ as well; a must to join for the Holy Qurbana with His Grace.”

Nicholovos has posted 566 photos, 10 vidoes and used the TripAdvisor to good effect. He has pinned 83 cities in 15 countries mentioning the cities visited all over the globe except Africa and Australia.

He has found Raj Patel’s book on ‘The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy’ eye opening and Guy Debord’s ‘The Society of the Spectacle’ (originally written in the 60s) still relevant. “Very thought provoking work,” he comments about Debord’s work.

He has also used mobile uploads and mention must be made of the huge chandelier at the new aramana which drew many likes among friends.

Videos include educative ones like the Catholica Mangala Gaanem and one on the teaching by HG Job Mar Philoxenos and another on Houston Leadership camp — Where will you be when amazing happens.

In the recent past, email ids of HGs Mar Severios and Yuhanon Milithios were hacked during their visits abroad. Hackers posted emails to their friends from the directory stating that they were in deep trouble and had to be helped financially since they had lost all their valuables.

Facebook and Twitter can be effectively used by our dioceses to educate the younger generation. The Youth Movement can take the lead in this direction. These sites are being widely used by the youngsters to convey messages and to be in touch. A forum can be created to discuss problems of the youth and other pressing issues pertaining to the community. All new dioceses formed recently must connect themselves to the virtual world and have them linked to microblogging sites. In a fast paced world, being online helps and those responsible should take the lead.