St. Mary’s Malankara Orthodox Church, West Sayville took its birth on Sunday, October 21, 1980 when the first Holy Eucharist was celebrated by the Very Rev. Fr. T.M. Zachariah Cor-Episcopa at the residence of Mr. K.M. Jacob in Queens Village, New York. This small congregation of 29 families subsequently moved to a rented community hall in Jackson Heights, New York. This community hall was not an appropriate place for religious worship because the living conditions were very uncomfortable (no air-conditioning, no storage space for church articles and supplies, the other users of the facility during the week did not keep the place clean) thus leaving the parish with no option but to seek our own place of worship. Therefore, the parishioners felt the need to start a church building fund and for that purpose formed a church building committee in February, 1983. The member families also pledged to donate each family’s one month’s net income towards a church building fund. In June, 1984 the parish moved to another rented location owned by Masonic Temple in Astoria, Queens. The search for our own place of worship in the Queens neighborhood got more vigorous; several advertisements were placed in the local newspapers and several sites visited. Despite our concerted efforts no suitable building was available and this brought the parishioners to the idea of constructing a church.
We, therefore, bought the first piece of vacant land in East Elmhurst at a cost of $13,000; but then we found out that in order to build a church on that property, it should have adequate space for a parking lot to comply with the zoning requirements. The search then continued for a piece of land for parking lot and another property was bought on the same block as the first one. An Architect then designed a plan for a church. By this time the church membership had grown large and the plan was found to be inadequate thus leaving us to continue the search for a larger piece of land. A larger property was then located for the third time in the same vicinity and bought. This still did not meet the requirements of the congregation and it was decided to sell all the vacant pieces of land. For the fourth time we located a large property in Queens Village with a two-family house on it. An architect designed a beautiful church and the plan was approved by the City of New York but then another hurdle came up. The tenant who lived in the house on the property did not want to vacate the premises which prevented the parish from moving ahead with the demolition of the house on the property for construction of the church without resorting to legal eviction proceedings.
It was at this time that a beautiful church in West Sayville, Long Island came up for sale and some parishioners liked the idea of buying it. The idea was great but for the unusually long travel time for several parishioners from far-off places like New Jersey, Rockland County and Coney Island. It was finally decided to compromise the distance for the sake of having a place of worship of our own and we bought the church in West Sayville on September 22, 1992. The church was consecrated on November 6-7, 1992 by the Diocesan Metropolitan, His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas assisted by His Grace Thomas Mar Athanasius, Metropolitan of Chengannur Diocese. Now we have travelled together all the way from Jackson Heights to West Sayville. By this time the membership has grown to 106 families. The journey did not end here. Since it was impossible for everyone from far off places to congregate in West Sayville, we have decided to keep our rented worship location in Astoria for some parishioners’ convenience in addition to the newly acquired West Sayville Church. The following clergies were assigned as officiating priests in addition to the Vicar Very Rev. Fr. T.M. Zachariah Cor-Episcopa to celebrate Holy Eucharist at both the locations:
1) Rev. Fr. Johnson Mathai Sankarathil (His Grace Joshua Mar Nicodimos)
2) Rev. Fr. M.C. Cherian (Late lamented His Grace Zachariah Mar Theophilos )
3) Rev. Fr. Thomas Mathew
4) Rev. Fr. Bijesh Philip
In October, 1997 the Diocesan Metropolitan, His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas approved the Parish’s request to make the two locations of worship as two independent Parishes, St. Mary’s, Jackson Heights with 50 families and St. Mary’s, West Sayville with 49 families. Very Rev. Fr. T.M. Zachariah Cor-Episcopa was assigned as the Vicar of St. Mary’s, Jackson Heights and Rev. Fr. Philip C. Abraham appointed as the Vicar of St. Mary’s, West Sayville. Rev. Fr. Philip C. Abraham served as the Vicar of this parish until December, 2004. Very Rev. Fr. Paulose Adai Cor-Episcopa was appointed as the Vicar effective January 1, 2005 and he served in that capacity until February, 2018. Since February, 2018 Rev. Fr. Abraham (Philemon) Philip has been serving as the Vicar of our Parish.
On March 27,1993 our Parish had the blessed honor and privilege to host the enthronement of our Diocesan Metropolitan, His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas by His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews II, Catholicos of the East and the Malankara Metropolitan in our Parish in West Sayville.
Our current Parish membership is 80 families. The parish has regular Holy Eucharist on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and evening prayers on Saturdays at 6 p.m. and on special days of observance. The parish celebrates Eucharist in both Malayalam and English languages.
His Holiness Baselios MarthomaPaulose II was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan (the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India) on Monday, 1st November 2010. His Holiness is the 91st Primate on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas. Born on 30th August 1946 in a village called Mangad near Kunnamkulam, Trissur District, Kerala as the son of the late Kollannur Iype and the late Pulikkottil Kunjeetty, the boy K.I.Paul had his early education in local schools. After graduating from St. Thomas College, Trichur, Paul joined the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam from where he obtained G.S.T and B.D. degrees of the Serampore University. After taking the holy orders, he joined C.M.S College, Kottayam and took his M.A in Sociology.
It was His Holiness' keen interest that the Church should have effective and meaningful Inter-Church relations. It is with this emphasis that His Holiness has already finished journeying to all the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Once in this short span of time as Catholicos, he has already had meetings with all the present heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The fraternal relations with the sister Churches too have been given prime importance. The meeting with the present Pope of the Catholic Church has enhanced the bilateral relations between the two Churches. His Holiness' unassuming character and his philanthropic interests, have given new dimensions to the life of the Church. He has authored a few devotional and contemplative books in Malayalam.
His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos
2158 Route 106 Syosset, New York
(718) 470 9844
Rev. Fr. Abraham (Philemon) Philip
83-32 258th Street Floral Park NY 11004
(917) 691 0400
1979 - 1993
1993 - 2011
Rev. Fr. Abraham (Abi) Chacko is the vicar of St. Mary’s Malankara Orthodox Church Oak Lawn Illinois. Father Abraham Chacko has served as the MGOCSM General Treasurer of the American Diocese and the MGOCSM Council member of the Queens/Long Island/Brooklyn Area.
Father Abraham is a graduate of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, New York and a graduate of the liturgical studies program at Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala, India.
Fr. Abraham (Abey) George is the assistant vicar of St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church, Levittown, Long Island.
He graduated with a Master of Divinity from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA. He currently serves as the Principal Secretary to our Diocesan Metropolitan, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, and as the director of FOCUS for the diocese. He also works for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a hospital chaplain.
Our fathers taught us that the altar assistants are like angels serving God. The Holy Altar is the seat of our Lord Jesus Christ by virtue of the Body and Blood placed there. All the clergy and the altar assistants are servants to the Lord. That service must be carried out in utmost humility, solemnity, serenity, rectitude and sanctity.
സെന്റ് മേരീസ് മലങ്കരഓര്ത്തഡോക്സ് വെസ്റ്റ് സെയ്വിൽ ന്യൂയോര്ക്ക്
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