Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement
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Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement
|Motto||Worship, Study, Service.|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox|
|Denomination||Indian Orthodox, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church|
|Patron saint(s)||St. Gregorios|
|Founders||Students of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian CHurch|
|Color(s)||Red, Grey, White, and Black|
|Malankara Metropolitan||H H Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II|
|President of MGOCSM||H G Dr. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos|
Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement (MGOCSM) is the oldest Christian Student Organization in Asia. 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. From 1912 to 1960 it was called St Thomas Syrian Students Movement. The Movement assumed the present name MGOCSM in 1960, with its motto is Worship, Study, Service, after its merger with MGSSA (Mar Gregorios Syrian Students' Association), then the students wing of Jacobite Church. And in 1972 it had a split forming SOSMI (Syrian Orthodox Students Movement of India), the Student wing of Jacobite Church which was later renamed as JASSMI (Jacobite Syrian Students Movement of India) in 2002 and then as Mor Gregorios Jacobite Students' Movement (MGJSM) in 2009.
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 high ideals behind finding of the Movement included bringing together the Orthodox Christian students of different educational institutions into one body in order to get them rooted in Orthodox faith and traditions and to strengthen them in spiritual life and Christian fellowship. The Movement has grown as an international one with about 1500 units all over the world. It has been maintaining inter-disciplinary contacts in the academic field for a long time by the formation of its wings. They are the high school, higher secondary, college-post college wings; University, higher secondary, high school teachers association, medical auxiliary, technical auxiliary, missionary forum, literary forum and publication wing.
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 lamented Metropolitan Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosious, 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 Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu). The blessed name of the Patron saint Saint Gregorios of 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 consist 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.
MGOCSM is among the world oldest Christian Student network, with time it has also upgraded itself to a new level of technology.
MGOCSM organizes Global Conferences annually.
105th MGOCSM Global Conference was held at Thiruvananthapuram in December 2013. 106th MGOCSM Global Conference was held at Christian College of Engineering & Technology, Bhilai, Chhattishgarh, INDIA from 2 October to 5 October 2014. 107th MGOCSM Global Conference was held at Catholicate college, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, INDIA from 22 December to 26 December 2015.
The movement celebrated hundred years of service to the Church and society in 2009. Ethiopian Patriarch Abune Paulos was the chief guest at the public meeting held on 30 December 2008, in connection with the centenary global conference at Parumala Seminary where the patron saint is entombed. In his inaugural address, the Patriarch stressed the need for upholding Christian values in this age of ‘conflicts and chaos.’ His Holiness also said that India was a fast-growing economyand added that Ethiopians and Indians had many similarities. The Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan His Holiness Baselius Mar Thoma Didymus I presided over the meeting. The Catholicos also conferred the Order of St. Thomas, the supreme award of the Malankara Orthodox Church, on the Ethiopian Patriarch on the occasion. Gerima W. Kirkos, Abba Timotheos Tesfa and Abba Dioscoros, Archbishops from Ethiopia, accompanied the Patriarch. Mr. Oommen Chandy, Metropolitans Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Mathews Mar Severios, Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Paulose Mar Pachomios, Youhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Thomas Mar Athanasius, Kuriakos Mar Cleemis, Zacharias Mar Theophilus, Zacharias Mar Anthonios, and other dignitaries including Jiji Thomson IAS, Malankara Association secretary George Joseph, MGOCSM vice-president Anju Paulose, general secretary Fr V.M. Abraham (later Abraham Mar Seraphim), Parumala seminary manager Fr M. D. John, priest trustee Fr Johns Abraham Konattu; and lay trustee M. George Muthoottu also addressed the meet.