Monthly Archives: August 2019

Ten Years of Alvares Julius Research Project (2009-2019)

Ben Kunjacko – OCP-MARP – 12/8/19

About MARP
The year 2019, marks the tenth year of Metropolitan Alvares Julius Research Project (MARP). Launched in 2009 (with the historic visit to Brahmavar Western Rite Community), MARP is an exclusive research project on Western Rite Orthodox communities of Oriental Orthodox Churches with special reference to Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches. The research focuses on the known and unknown aspects of the missionary works of Saintly Metropolitan Alvares Julius, Archbishop Rene Vilatte and their companions.

These missionary champions and their Independent Catholic movements (Western Rite Orthodox) were not limited to religious sphere, rather they played an important role in social transformation. Over the years MARP became instrumental in publishing several documents that had not previously been available. Under the leadership of Dr. Ajesh T. Philip the research Board was able to rediscover many former Independent Catholic mission fields, communities and Church buildings.

The project boasts two research publications, several historical rediscoveries and findings. Please visit this link for more information-

Structure and Ownership of MARP
MARP is a Western Rite Orthodox research under the Center for Orthodox Studies (COS), an autonomous center under the Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE Society. Dr. Ajesh T. Philip is the Head and Chief Research Officer of MARP. He also serves as the Chief Overseer of COS.  MARP has inspired a large number of individuals and institutions to take up research studies on Western Rite Orthodox communities. Please visit this link for more information on the MARP Research Board –

Partnership and Associations
MARP and Center for Orthodox Studies have been associating with a number of Churches, institutions, and individuals. Chief partnership with the Ecumenical Relations Department of the Malankara Church was formally established in 2018. Intense research associations are in progress with the British Orthodox Patriarchate and the Christian Catholic Church Canada. MARP continue to receive immense support and guidance from Patriarch Abba Seraphim and Bishop Serge Thériault. In 2019 COS and MARP began an independent association with  Rohit Gupta, the author of the book –

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: Everything about Indian Orthodox Church‘.

MARP is the first Western Rite Orthodox research project with special reference to Syriac and Malankara Orthodox Churches. It is the longest and most expensive Western Rite Orthodox research project in the Indian Sub-Continent. One of our biggest blessing and achievement was in the year 2018 when Patriarch Abba Seraphim published the book ‘As Far As East Is From The West’ in response to ‘Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches’.

Please visit this link for more information on MARP achievements –

Finances and Accountability
Eighty percent of the research is financed by the internal funds of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE, whereas, the rest twenty percentages is donated by benefactors. The expenses include printing and publication, travel, purchase of research materials, and office management. The total expense of the project as of August 2019 is eight thousand five hundred dollars. As a part of the accountability, regular briefing on the progress of the research project is made to the Ecumenical Relations Dept. of the Malankara Church. Briefing on the progress of the project is also communicated to the Syriac Orthodox Church as well. Fr. Abraham Thomas acts as the point of contact between MARP Board and the Ecumenical Relations department.

The Future
As of August 2019, MARP has successfully completed two research phases. The Executive Council of the OCP Society and the COS Board is expected to decide on the future activities of MARP.

MARP Board is indebted to the following persons and institutions for their support. We wholeheartedly thank all our benefactors and supporters for their kind encouragement throughout our research journey.

Please visit this link for more information on MARP benefactors –

The Indian Orthodox Malankara Church
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II – Catholicos on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas and Malankara Metropolitan
His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos – Metropolitan of North America and President of the Ecumenical Relations Department.
His Grace Geevarghese Mar Yulius – Metropolitan of Ahmadabad
Fr. Abraham Thomas (Secretary to the Ecumenical Relations Department).
Fr. Jacob Kurien (Former Principal of OTS)
Matushka Cincy Mariama Thomas (Faculty of Religion – STOTS)

Syriac Orthodox Church 
His Holiness Ignatius Aphrem II – Patriarch of Antioch and All East
His Grace Mathews Mor Timotheos – Metropolitan and former Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs
Chorbishop Kurikaose Moolyail (Syriac Scholar and Faculty – MSOTS)
Abuna Joseph Bali- Patriarchal Secretary and Director of Media

The British Orthodox Church
His Beatitude Abba Seraphim – VIIth British Patriarch and Metropolitan on Glastonbury

Christian Catholic Church Canada
His Grace Serge Thériault – Fourth Bishop Ordinary of the Christian Catholic Church Canada.

Other Individuals
Paul Manalil (Journalist) 
Joice Thotakadu (Marthoman TV)