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Spirituality focuses on repentance and liturgical customs: Mar Nicholovos

BENGALURU: Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, Metropolitan of North East American Diocese has said that the Orthodox tradition of spirituality mainly centered on its repentance which enabled an individual to become more involved towards the “likeness of God.”

The Metropolitan on his maiden visit to Bengaluru after his ordination as Bishop of Northeast American Diocese was delivering the key note address at the one-day Annual Conference of Bengaluru Diocese OCYM and MGOCSM at the St Dionysius Orthodox Church, Dasrahalli on August 12, 2012.

The Metropolitan based his speech on the theme “Return & Repent to God” from Hosea 12:6 “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Mar Nicholovos pointed that Orthodoxy does not come by virtue of one’s birth but rather by practising its liturgical traditions and pointed out about the silent “spiritual revolution” among the diaspora of the Indian Orthodox (Malankara) church in the US where they have become more
Orthodox than their peers in India. The Metropolitan urged the MGOCSM youngsters to yearn for one’s growth in spirituality by following in the disciplines of the church.

Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan, Bengaluru Diocese, presided over the annual conference and delivered the presidential address. The Metropolitan’s call for all MOGCYM members to actively participate in the conference had encouraging results with about 300 strong youngsters taking part. Dr Mar Seraphim and his 300 strong youth members were exposed to an historical spiritual awakening, evoking comparison with Gideon and his 300 fighters or King Leonidas of Sparta and his 300 men.

“The one-day conference was a spirit-filled one and I thank God for providing us an opportunity toremind our goal. Nicholovas Thirumeni really did a good job as he does always. We had about 300 participants and the host unit arranged everything well. I thank all the organisers and the St
Dionysius MGOCSM/OCYM for organising such a wonderful conference. Let us hope that we can arrange similar programmes in the future,” pointed out Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim on his postconference impressions via Facebook.

During the Q&A session, Mar Nicholovos answered a wide range of questions ranging from discipline, prayer and identity of the church some of which were laced with good humour.

The conference began with the lighting of the traditional lamp by Mar Nicholovos, Dr Mar Seraphim, Abraham Marret Cor-Episcopa, Vicar, St Dionysius Orthodox Church. Abraham Marret Cor-Episcopa delivered the welcome address after the choir gave the prayer song. Earlier, Dr Mar Nicholovos celebrated the Holy Eucharist at the St DionysiusOrthodox Church at 8 am.

The conference also paid rich tributes and expressed condolence at the demise of LL HG Paulose Mar Pachomios (1946-2012), Metropolitan of Mavelikara Diocese, who passed away after a brief illness in Kerala and remembered his spiritual contribution for the growth of the church.

In the business session, Fr Saji Daniel Vice President, Bengaluru Diocese OCYM outlined the activities of the OCYM-MGOCSM for the year with special emphasis on the camp (Yovela 2012) to be held at Nandi Hills on October 19 to 21. Ajit Mathew George, General Secretary, and Aaron
Koshny Mathew, Co-ordinator, also took part in the annual conference.

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(Additional inputs from Varghese P Abraham, Bengaluru)