Deacons' Training Camp - A Great Step Forward For Having A Dream Blossomed
- Deacons' Training Camp - A Great Step Forward For Having A Dream of The American Archdiocese Blossomed
The humble vision for a Malankara Syriac Orthodox Seminary began with four lay young men with an interest in ordained ministry at the Aramana at Pomona, NY, the Archdiocesan Headquarters of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America in December 2010, increased to eleven participants in December of 2011, has significantly progressed to eleven deacons and seven young men attending an organized Deacons' Training Camp at St. Peter's Syrian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia during the end of July,2012.
The program commenced with evening prayers and Presidential Address by Archbishop and Patriarchal Vicar, His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho. Over the course of four days the deacons and lay men were able to benefit from the presence of our beloved Archbishop, the well versed visiting Metropolitan His Grace Dr.Thomas Mor Themotheos and our talented and dedicated priests. The program followed the regimen of Seminary back in Kerala to allow the young men to have an experience with the discipline and dedication needed in the formal study of theology and liturgy. The participants stayed in the parsonage of the Church and were able to understand the importance of fellowship among brothers.
The sessions included: Introduction to Theology, Differences between Eastern and Western Theology and Christian Ethics by Rev. Fr. Jacob Joseph, Pastoral Counseling by Very Rev. Fr. Abraham O. Kadavil Corepiscopa, sessions of Liturgical Music by Rev. Fr. Varghese Paul, Biblical Counseling & Church Administration by Rev. Fr. Paul Parambath, Dogmatic Theology by Rev. Fr. Joy John, Church Services by Rev. Fr. Jose Daniel and a formal business meeting that enabled the attendees to inquire topics of interest and concern. In addition Rev. Fr. Zachariah Varghese attended the program for one day, coordinated by Rev. Fr. Bijo Mathew . Although a very rigorous schedule, there was an opportunity to spend some time together in sports activities and even a tasting of the Philadelphia favorites, Philly cheese steaks and Italian ice.
The program concluded with the Holy Sacrament of Confession and Holy Qurbono at sunrise on Wednesday August 1. During the closing program, Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldho summarized the happiness His Eminence felt to be a part of the event that provided a venue for the young men to pray together, live together, and play together as one body that share the same values and interest in ordained ministry and the Syrian Orthodox Faith and Traditions.
After such an uplifting and positive experience, it brings attention to the necessity of providing our deacons and youth who are interested in the ordained ministry a platform to excel in their theological studies. God willing, in the upcoming years we can have a talented staff and campus to provide the education and experience our young ministers need to take our faith and traditions to the coming generations.
Now, many in this blessed Archdiocese are trying to connect all dots together; the meetings of those young men with the interest in ordained ministry back in December 2010 and thereafter at the diocesan headquarters and the intensity of circumstances in the current happenings described above etc., were all assumed to be part of Godly foundation work for a Syriac Orthodox Seminary in this land for His dear children.
We offer fervent prayers for the continued vision and leadership of our Archbishop, the love and sacrifices of our committed Clergy and unrelenting support of our faithful to work towards attaining the dream, A Malankara Syriac Orthodox Seminary in the United States for our young people. Our sincere gratitude goes to the members of St. Peter's Syrian Orthodox Church, Philadelphia and their vicar, Rev. Fr. Joy John in hosting the training camp.
Chev.Babu Jacob Nadayil
Public Relations Officer,
Malankara Archdiocese of the S.O.C. in N.America