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  V. Rev. M. S. Cherian Cor-Episcopos, Moozhiyil

Fr. M. S. Cherian was elevated to the position of Cor-Episcopos on 28th June 2014 at our St. Peters Valiyapally Yonkers by Archbishop Silvanos Ayub Metropolitan. V. Rev. M. S. Cherian Cor-Episcopos is presently serving as the President of North American Knanaya Association, the Vicar General of North American Knanaya Community and the Chief Editor of Knanaya Chronicles besides being the Vicar of St. Thomas Knanaya Church Dallas and St. James Knanaya Church Houston.
Rev. Fr. M.S Cherian was born in 1951 at Aythala, Ranny as the eldest son of Very Rev. M. C. Samuel Cor Episcopa and late Mrs. Thankamma Samuel. His primary education was at Government UPS Pazhvangadi and high school education was at St. Thomas H.S Ranny. His college education was completed at St. Thomas College, Ranny, from where he graduated with a degree in B.A. Economics in the first batch. Further he received his M.A. degree in English Literature at Vikram University, Ujjain. Immediately after obtaining the M.A. degree he joined Pune University as a lecturer in English as per the recommendation of the head of the department of Vikram University. While teaching there he was actively involved in evangelism among the students and youth. In recognition of that work, he was selected from Maharashtra to attend advanced leadership training program for Christian leaders by Haggai institute in Singapore for a period of forty days.

In 1977 he married Grace Cherian, the granddaughter of artist O. Cherian, Oorakamanil. In 1980 they left for Doha, Qatar. Practicing any religion other than Islam was not allowed in Qatar in those days. In spite of the strict laws, there were underground churches functioning in Doha at that time. At that time spiritual services in Doha were conducted by a Jacobite priest who visited occasionally from Bahrain. There were no resident priests for any denomination of Indian community. H.E. Mor Clemis Abraham of blessed memory who visited Doha in those days suggested that somebody who is working in Doha come forward to be ordained as a resident deacon. It was very risky to be a priest during that period. But submitting to God’s will and to the wishes of the community, Mr. M.S. Cherian in 1987 came forward for ordination. He was ordained as deacon in 1987 and had his priestly training under H.E. Mor Clemis Metropolitan at Mor Aprem Seminary. During his days as a Deacon, Dn.Cherian led the Knanaya people in prayer meetings and all spiritual activities and also formed a Knanaya association organizing all Knanaya people in the State of Qatar.

In 1988 all churches which were functioning in Doha were shut down. Some churches were raided and many people were arrested and deported. After this, in 1989, Dn. Cherian was ordained priest and H.H The Patriarch of Antioch with the consent of the Chief Metropolitan of the East appointed Fr. Cherian as the vicar of St. Peters Syrian Orthodox Church where Jacobites as well as the Knanaya People organized together under Fr. Cherian to build a church which functioned until he left for U.S.A in 2004. In 1995 Fr. Cherian along with his wife attended the Middle East Council of churches conference in Limassol, Cyprus representing Qatar. During that trip they visited His Holiness, the Patriarch and personally updated Him about the status of the current situation in Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries. During his time in the middle east, Fr. Cherian also attended the consecration of the Bahrain Jacobite Church and Al Ain Syrian Orthodox Church which was conducted by H.H. the Patriarch. He was also present when H.H. the Patriarch visited the St.Mary’s Church in Sharjah.

In 2004 during his visit to Damascus for attending the ordination of Mor Severios, as metropolitan, H.H. the Patriarch honored Fr. Cherian by giving him the right to wear the cross during Holy Mass and other ceremonial occasions. The Patriarch presented him the cross in a special ceremony at Marat Sednaya, the patriarchal Seminary. Fr. Cherian during his tenure as vicar of St. Peters Church, Doha has served the Knanaya People in different parts of Middle East. In 2004 he celebrated Holy Mass in Dammam and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is still talked about by our people there. No other Knanaya priest has done so before or after that.

In 2003 H.H The Patriarch issued a bulletin sanctioning a Knanaya church in Qatar, to Fr. Cherian, which he has submitted to H.E. Mor Severios Metropolitan in the public reception which was accorded to Thirumeni during his first foreign visit to Doha after his ordination as Bishop.

It was in 2004, as per the request from the members of the Dallas knanaya community that Fr. Cherian was appointed as Asst. Vicar to Dallas St. Thomas Knanaya Church. Following the retirement of Rev. Dr. P. P. Philips, Rev. Fr. Cherian was appointed as the Vicar of St. Thomas Knanaya Church, Dallas on 1st December 2008. He has since been very active in the Ecumenical activities of Dallas and served as President of Union Christmas Celebrations in 2008, and during that year our church hosted the event. Fr. Cherian also served as Vice President of the Union Christmas Celebrations in 2009.

Archbishop Silvanos Mor Ayub Metropolitan has appointed Rev. Fr. Cherian as the Vicar General of North American Knanaya Community from January 2010. He is presently serving as the Vicar of St. Mary’s Knanaya Church Philadelphia and also the St. James Knanaya Church Houston of which the construction is expected to be completed by July 2013, besides St.Thomas Knanaya Church Dallas.

Fr. Moozhiyil Cherian played a vital role in organizing the jubilee celebrations of Rev. Dr. P. P. Philips in 2008 and in buying the new church facility in 2009 which is undoubtedly the biggest facility in North American Knanaya Community. The main sanctuary with sitting capacity of 400 people and the parish hall with 350 people along with separate rooms to accommodate all Sunday school classes from 1-10 and office rooms for officials and spare rooms is a matter of pride to the parishioners. The Facility lies over a 2 Acre land area. The guidance from the Metropolitan of North America and Europe H.E. Archbishop Mor Silvanos is recognized at this juncture.

We expect a boost to all our spiritual activities as we look to the future developing our new church.

  Rev. Dr. P. P. Philips, M.A. B.D. S.T.M. PhD
Founding Vicar (Retd.)

Plamparampil P. Philips was born in June 1, 1935 in Kurichy, Kerala. Fr. Philips grew up in a devoted family and showed interest in Evangelistic work. After his high school graduation in 1954, he traveled to different churches and places for gospel work. In order to enrich his religious work, Fr. Philips went to theological studies and obtained a B.D. degree from Serampore University in Calcutta. In 1966, he came to the U.S. and studied theology at the famous Andover-Newton Seminary in Boston. Dr. Philips obtained M.A. S.T.M and Ph.D. degrees from different colleges in the New England area. While he was a Ph.D. student at Boston University, he married Aleyamma Kuruvilla Vadavuparampil who was working as a Registered Nurse at the time. As a Seminarian, he worked in many local American churches and institutions as a counselor. Soon after, he became youth director and then a Director of Project Out Reach. He also served as teaching assistant and a Chaplain of The Boys Scouts of America. Between 1970 and 1978, his three sons, Aby, Tommy and Jerry were born in Hartford, CT.

Fr. Philips and his family spent about 12 years in the New England area, which enabled him to lay the groundwork for the future establishment of St. Mary's Knananya church in Hartford, CT. Rev. Dr. Philips and family were active in the New York church where V. Rev. Dr. K.M. Simon conducted Eucharistic Services for all Malayalees.

While Fr. Philips was active in religious services, he took a secondary job at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1974. He moved to Dallas in 1978 and continued his religious and secular work. Prior to his ordination in 1982, Fr. Philips was elected as the President of the Kerala Association of Dallas for the year of 1982.

Observing and appreciating Fr. Philip's various activities, His Eminence Abraham Mor Clemis Metropolitan ordained Fr. Philips as a Priest on October 7, 1982. After his ordination, he initiated the start of the Knanaya church in Dallas. He received sincere and dedicated support from the 10 Knanaya families who were in Dallas at that time. St. Thomas Knanaya church was incorporated in 1983 with tax-exempt status and began Sunday services in various local places. Between 1983 and 1996, our 10 families aimed for a church building of their own. In 1996, St. Thomas church Inc. purchased 1 acre of land at 1621 Balleywood Rd., Irving, Texas.

The early members of the St. Thomas church substantially contributed and dedicated their time and talents to build the present church. Funds were collected from Knananites from all over and even from friends of other denominations. In October of 1997, the church building was completed at the cost of approximately 245,000 USD. His Eminence Abraham Mor Clemis, Chief Metropolitan, came and consecrated the St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya church of Dallas on Oct. 11-12, 1997. His Eminence also conducted the first Holy Qurbana in the presence of many Priests, dignitaries and people from all over. It was a milestone occasion for members and friends of St. Thomas Knanaya church. We started with ten families, which continued to grow over the years and today we have 50 member families.

In 1997, His Excellency Abraham Mor Clemis Metropolitan appointed Philip Achen as the Administrator of the N.A.K.A. He served our community as an Administrator between 1997 and 2002.

Thanks unto the Lord for everything. We praise the Lord for our devoted and dedicated faithful.

Article researched and written by:  Sherin Korah, Vadavuparampil  (9th grader)

Rev. Fr. Tomson Chacko
Kallupalathinkal, Past Vicar

Rev. Fr. Tomson Chacko was born in Kallissery on October 12th 1967, the third child of Chacko Philipose Kallupalathinkal and Mrs. Achama Chacko (Sister of Rev. Dr. A.T. Abraham Alummoottil). He started in his service to the Lord as an alter boy at the age of twelve at Kallissery Valiya Pally. After High School graduation from A.M.M.High School, Othara, he joined St. Paul's Mission Training Center in Mavelikara for my theological studies under the supervision of H.G. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese of Malankara Orthodox Sabha.

On March 11, 1986, Fr. Tomson immigrated to the United States. On January 12, 1991, he was ordained as corooyo (4th rank deacon) by the late lamented Abraham Mar Clemis Metropolitan at the St. Thomas Knanaya Church, Clifton, New Jersey. In 2007 Fr. Tomson graduated with a degree in Christian Ministries from Evangelical University and Seminary, Plant City, Florida.

On Nov 22nd 2007, Fr. Tomson was ordained as Semsono (6th rank deacon) by H.E. Kuriakose Mar Severios and H.G. Kuriakose Mar Gregorios at St. Thomas Knanaya Church, Clifton, New Jersey. He trained with Very Rev. M.A. Kuriakose Chirayil Cor-episcopa for three months in 2008 and also trained with H.G. Kuriakose Mar Gregorios for three months in 2009.

On September 14, 2009 (Sleeba Perunnal Day), Fr. Tomson was ordained as a priest by H.E. Ayoob Mar Silvanos, H.G.Kuriakose Mar Gregorios and H.G. Kuriakose Mar Ivanios at Kallissery Valiya Pally.

At this time Fr. Tomson is serving as vicar of thee different churches in North America. They are: St. George Knanaya Knanaya Church, Tampa, Florida, St. Mary's Knanaya Church Miami, Florida and our own St. Thomas Kannaya Church Dallas, Texas. Fr. Tomson is also serving as the President of NAKYO (North American Knanaya Youth Organisation) and the President of Central Florida Ecuminical Association.

Fr. Tomson is married to Laly Chacko and together they have three boys, Allen Chacko, Tobin Chacko and Edwin Chacko.

We welcome Fr. Tomson to the parish.  

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