- Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement
Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student MovementWorship, Study, Service.
Location United States, India, Worldwide Information Religious affiliation(s) Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Denomination Indian Orthodox, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Patron saint(s) St. Gregorios Established 1908 Color(s) Red, Grey, White, and Black General Secretary of North America Rev. Dn. Vijay Thomas General Treasurer of North America Teji Abrahaam Website www.mgocsmamerica.com
Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement (MGOCSM) is the oldest Christian Student Organization in India. It is the student wing of the Indian Orthodox Church, officially known as the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church with Headquarters at Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala, India.
- Worship, Study and Service are the main objective
The Movement has three main objectives:
- to deepen the spiritual life of its orthodox members.
- to prepare them to be responsible citizens in the Church and Society
- to encourage them to commit themselves for sacrificial service in the Church and Society
The students and senior leaders of the Church who were residing in Madras in the early part of the last century felt the need for an organization to bring together Christian students in various colleges and high schools with a view to deepening their spiritual life and to create in them a lively sense of fellowship. The Syrian Student Conference, the parent organization was formed in 1907 and the first conference was convened on 1–3 January 1908 at Balikamadom School, Tiruvalla, Kerala. Annual Conferences have been a regular feature since 1908. The Movement assumed the present name MGOCSM in 1960 and its motto is Worship, Study, Service.
The strength of the Movement is the wide network of its units centered in educational institutions and major parishes spread all over India and outside. MGOCSM has been maintaining inter-disciplinary contacts in the academic field for a long time by the formation of its wings. They include the High School, Higher Secondary, College students’ wings, University, Higher Secondary, High School teachers’ associations, Medical Auxiliary, Technical Auxiliary, Missionary Forum, Literary Forum, and the Publication wing.
Student Centres at Kottayam, Thiruvananthapurum, Kothamangalam, Alwaye and Davengere stand as fitting monuments to the continuous and tireless efforts of the Movement during the past years. Each Student Centre provides hostel facilities in addition to a chapel, an auditorium, a reading room and guest rooms. Mar Theophilus Study Centre in Kottayam is used for conducting seminars, study classes and the like. Our dream of establishing other student centres is also coming to life in Pampady, Iritty, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolar. MGOCSM Bookshop and Publishing House at Kottayam continue to function purposefully. The Orthodox Study Bible, Total Education for 100 students, Financial assistance and scholarship to students of low income group, outside Kerala student chaplain services and CHAIROS - Centenary building complex are major projects of the Centenary 2008. The Movement has appointed priests in major educational centres to carry on the student mission. A Diaspora secretariat has also opened with its office at Nagpur to co-ordinate the youngsters born and brought up outside Kerala.
The greatest contribution the Movement has made to the Church is that it has prepared and provided able and outstanding leaders for her service from time to time including late Metropolitan Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilos, Metropolitan Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios (Theologian & Former President, WCC), the late Shri C.M. Stephen (Former Union Cabinet Minister), Alexander Joseph and Dr. P.C. Alexander M.P. (Former Governor of Maharastra and Tamilnadu). The blessed name of our Patron Saint Saint Gregorios (Parumala), the great vision of Saint Saint Dionysius (Vattasseril), the prayerful patronage of holy fathers of the Church and the encouragement of elders have enabled the Movement to serve the Church and the student community at large.
The unit meets every Sunday after the Holy Qurbana. The sessions comprise of prayer, bible reading, devotional songs, classes/speeches, quizzes, personality development programs, games, entertainment programs etc. Various other activities which do justice to the motto are also organized. Some of them are :
- Classes on faith, liturgy and traditions of the church.
- Educational orientation classes and personality development programs.
- Providing study materials, uniforms and other scholarships to financially backward students.
- Awards for academic excellence.
- Providing clothes, medicines and financial aid to the needy.
- Annual grants to selected orphanages and charitable institutions.
- Arts and sports competitions for Sunday School students, during Onam Holidays.
- Annual tours to various Christian centers and other important places.
- Quiz and Light Music competitions.
- Publishing Newsletters and Magazines (for circulation among members only).
MGOCSM helps students to review the Sunday school topics, discuss the disturbing thoughts, and doubts they carry, enlighten through seminars and conferences etc.
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