MARP – Metropolitan Alvares Julius (Western Rite Orthodox) Research Project
MARP is constituted under the autonomous Center for Orthodox Studies (COS) of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE (OCP) Society. It primarily features history, mission, life, and details of personalities like St. Gregory of Parumala, Archbishop Rene Villate, famous Indian Malankara Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox Church Fathers, laymen who were, directly and indirectly, connected to Metropolitan-Archbishop Alvares Julius. The study has also an emphasis on the two Western Rites (Independent Catholic Mission – ICM & Christian (Old Orthodox) Catholic Rite Church of America (CCRA) of the Syriac and Malankara Orthodox Churches.
Launched in 2009, MARP is the pilot initiative to research and study Western Rite communities (Latin, Anglo Rites & Independent Catholic movements) of Oriental Orthodox Churches.
In August 2020 it was decided by the COS Research Board of the Center for Orthodox Studies, to incorporate Eastern Byzantine and general Western Rite Orthodox research and studies under MARP. Hence the project deals with independent Western Rite Orthodox Churches and those in relation to the Eastern Byzantine and Oriental Orthodox Churches.
Our journey started in 2009. The Executive Council of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE® (OCP) Society approved the launch of the project web portal in response to the special petition filed by Dr. Ajesh T Phillip during the first quarter of 2013. OCP Society is the first Pan-Orthodox Christian organization to commission an exclusive research project on Western Rite Oriental Orthodox Churches.
The Research portal was inaugurated on 28th May 2013 by Fr. Dr. K .M. George (former Principal of the Orthodox Theological College and leading Orthodox theologian) in the presence of eminent Orthodox historian Dr. Kurien Thomas, Verghese John Thottapuza (Direct. Dept of Publications of OCP Society), and Joice Thottakad (Founder and Editor of Malankara Orthodox TV) and Dr. Ajesh T. Philip.
The new OCP-MARP web portal was launched by our beloved friend and well-wisher Dragana Atanaskovic (Serbian Orthodox Author) in April 2018 at her residence in Belgrade, Serbia.
Chief Research Partner
The Ecumenical Relations Department of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church is the Chief Research Partner of the Metropolitan Alvares Julius Research Project.
- The historic visit of the OCP delegation to Brahmavar submits a report to the Holy Synod of MOC. The report titled ‘Holy Brahmavar’ published in British Orthodox journal and OCP Media Network – 2009.
- Ajesh T. Philip rediscover St. Gregorious of Parumala Community in Dindigul – 2010
- OCP-MARP delegation visited the family of the great oriental theologian Bishop K.C. Pillai (Mar James Charles Ryan of the Catholicate of the West) – 2012
- OCP-MARP web portal inaugurated by Fr. Dr. K. M. George at Kottayam – 2013
- Ajesh T. Philip visits Sempatti and rediscovers the St. James Independent Catholic Church – 2013
- Metropolitan Mar Diascoros Yuhanon of Madras visited Dindigul and Sempatti area and initiated a mission (Dindigul Mission or St. Gregorious of Parumala Mission, Dindigul) upon discussions with Dr. Ajesh T. Philip. The Metropolitan met leaders and faithful of Independent Catholic communities – 2013
- George Alexander speaks on ‘OCP-MARP field research on the Western Latin Rites in the Indian subcontinent’ at I.A.O conference in Thessaloniki – 2014
- Orthodox Liturgy was served by the prelates of the Madras Diocese of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church in the historic mission field in Dindigul after a gap of 59 years. New Mission Centre started at Dindigul – 2014
- OCP-MARP delegation visits Gao, Swanthawadi Madurai, Mettupetti and Malayapetty, Pallithanam, Tamil Nadu, Nagercoil, Palayamkottai, Kanyakumari, Kuttapuli and Vdakkankulam for further field research – 2014
- OCP-MARP initiative rediscovers our Lady of Good Death Cathedral in Colombo, Sri Lanka – 2014
- George Alexander (OCP Secretary) visits Our Lady of Good Death Cathedral, Roman Catholic Churches, Anglican convents, and Churches and met with Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj Ranjit Canagasabey, the Anglican Bishop of Colombo – 2015
- OCP-MARP delegation rediscovers an old Tablet of Independent Catholic Prelates. The Tablet was handed over to the Madras diocese as per their request and as per the decision of the OCP Executive Council – 2015
- Ajesh T. Philip speaks on the importance of ‘Western Rite among Oriental Orthodox Churches in the India Sub-Continent’ at the Goan Orthodox Symposium- 2015
- OCP-MARP delegation visits Pune and Mumbai for further data collection – 2016
- Bonn University Researcher Dr. Wei Jaing meets Dr. Ajesh T. Philip and discusses Independent Catholic movements– 2017
- Dragana Atanaskovic, Serbian Orthodox author launch revamped MARP Portal – 2018
- OCP-MARP delegation visits Ecumenical Relations Department of the Malankara Orthodox Church and initiates discussion on Western Rite Orthodox movements– 2018
- OCP publish the book titled ‘Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches’ – 2018.
Phase – II
- Latin Catholic Historian & Benefactor of OCP-MARP Mr. Manishad Mattackal honored, October 2018.
- Research Book on Mar Alvares Julius & the Independent Catholic Church Presented to the Goan State Central Library, November 2018.
- Western Rite Book Presented to Alexandre Barbosa – Editor of Herald Publications, November 2018.
- An original Photo of Metropolitan-Archbishop Alvares Julius published in MARP Portal, November 2018.
- Gratitude letter sent to Maria Costa (retired Asst. State Librarian (Central State Library of Goa), historian, and author) for locating the photo of Mar Alvares Julius. Copy of the Western Rite book presented as well. November 2018.
- The Family of Mar Alvares Julius Honoured with the Orders of ‘Western Rite’ & ‘Alvares Julius’, November 2018.
- Patriarch Abba Seraphims publishes Book ‘As Far As East Is From The West’ in response to the Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches, December 2018.
- A copy of the first part of the Western Rite Book was presented to Fr. Stephen Igmnov of the Russian Orthodox Church -Moscow Patriarchate by Fr Koshy Vaidhyan, December 2018.
- OCP Secretary George Alexander visited Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Paulose II of the East and updated the Prelate on the progress of MARP. A copy of the first part of the book Western Rite was presented to the Catholicos as well, February 2019.
- A copy of the first part of the Western Rite book was presented to Dr. Sanal Mohan (Director of Kerala Council for Historical Research- KCHR), April 2019.
- The second part of the Western Rite book was released worldwide in August 2019.
- The Executive Council of the OCP Society and the research board of the Center for Orthodox Studies in August 2020, decides to incorporate entire Western Rite Orthodox research and studies under MARP.
Our Logo is designed by Fr. Prakash Kuriakose – Chief Designs Officer @ OCP
The OCP-MARP logo is developed in the form of a Coat of Arm. Icons and symbol used in the logo is understood in the terms of union between Western Rite Orthodoxy and Orthodox Christianity. The logo is a mixture Western Rite Orthodox and Easter Rite Orthodox symbols and icons, even thought these icons symbols are used by both rites. The cappello romano, the crosier, and the church portray Western Rite Orthodoxy, whereas the key, Easter egg and Chi Riho denotes Eastern Rite Orthodoxy. The center OCP logo shows the project ownership.