Indian Orthodox Vicar turns green conscious for Christmas, gifts saplings for senior citizens

Liju Cherian

BENGALURU, India ~ An Indian Orthodox parish priest from Bengaluru Diocese is committed to spread the message of green conscious and become an ecology goodwill ambassador. The young celibate Vicar has distributed over 200 Christmas saplings to the senior citizens in his parish.

Rev Fr Varghese Philip Idichandy as Vicar/President of the St Gregorios Orthodox Church (SGOC), Mathikere brought over 200 conifers from a plant nursery in Kengeri on the city’s outskirts and distributed it among the senior citizens. This was done under the leadership of the church’s MGOCYM.

All the members were also asked to decorate the sapling bringing about a nativity scene. At the time of carols, Fr Idichandy personally visited all the houses spread over six wards of the church. The best decorated saplings were awarded the prizes.

Also known as a ‘Memento Achen’ (Vicar), Fr Idichandy is also known to gift mementos to members who actively participated in the recent annual harvest festival of the church. The mementos are striking in that it promotes the various Orthodox icons of the church.

A former secretary to Catholicos LL HH Baselios Marthoma Mathews II, Fr Idichandy has taken up his social service and charity activities to the highest level.

He is presently engaged in building homes for the poor through his well-organised Beth Olive Creations. Fr Idichandy is also continuing his theological studies at Dharmaram Vidhyakshetram, Hosur Road, and is one with high ideals. He has published several theological books in Malayalam, namely for Bengaluru Sunday Schools, Golden verses, and Biblical General knowledge.

Added to this is his penchant for lyrics. Since 2009, this energetic priest has brought out five audio CDs for the faithful of Orthodox Church with two upcoming ones being Nithya Sthudiyil Vishudhar and Swantana Tanalil. Under his direction and lyrics, he recently released an audio CD on patron saint St Gregorios of Parumala titled ‘Punya Theerath’.

He is also the publicity convener for the Bengaluru Diocese annual convention called Meltho since 2008 and brings out the annual liturgical calender.

Hailing from Kallumala Post in Mavelikara, Kerala, Fr Idychandy began his priesthood career as the Vicar of St Dionysious Orthodox Church, Auckland, New Zealand, from 2004-07. He is also the brain behind the annual Meltho convention calendar from 2008, Catholicate supplements and e-news letters.