In Memoriam: Alumnus His Grace Zachariah Mar Theophilos

24 October 2017 • In Memoriam

With faith in Christ and in the hope of resurrection, we share of the passing away of our alumnus, His Grace Dr. Zachariah Mar Theophilos, Metropolitan of the Malabar Diocese, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.

His Grace, a member of St. George Orthodox Church, Chengaroor, was born on September 16, 1952, to Mr. MP Chandapillai and Mrs. Achamma Chandapillai, Manjanamkuzhiyil, Puthussery South Post, Kallupara, Thiruvalla. He had his early education in local schools at Kallupara, and college education at Marthoma College, Thiruvalla. After taking his Bachelors Degree in Science (BSc Maths) from the University of Kerala, he enrolled in the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, for theological studies. After earning his Graduate Degree in Sacred Theology (GST) there, he earned the Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree at the Senate of Serampore University. After taking his M.Th. there, he completed research studies on the topic, "The Bible and the Holy Land, Past and Present," at St. George College, Jerusalem. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1998; his doctoral thesis was titled, "Strengthening Prayer Life in Indian Orthodox Syrian Christian Parishes in America."

His Grace was widely travelled in the Gulf and European countries. He received the order of Deacon from His Grace Yoohanon Mar Severios in 1977. On May 15, 1991, His Grace Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilose Metropolitan ordained him a Priest at St. George Orthodox Church, Chengannur. He served the Church as fulltime General Secretary of MGOCSM from 1999 onward and held the post of Warden, Student Centre, Trivandrum and Kottayam, Visiting Faculty of St. Basil Bible School, Sasthamcotta, and Governing Board Member of Thadakam and Manganam Ashrams.

When His Grace was studying at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, he offered his pastoral services at some of the parishes of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Diocese. His Grace was instrumental in the strengthening of the MGOCSM (youth ministry department) of the Malankara Church, when he served as its General Secretary.

His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos conveyed the prayerful condolences of the clergy and faithful of the Northeast American Diocese. Memorial prayers were offered at all of the MOSC parishes in the Diocese of Malabar in India. Additionally, prayers were held at St. Basil Orthodox Church, St. Thomas Orthodox Church, and St. Gregorios Orthodox Church in New York and New Jersey.

Let us keep the newly departed Metropolitan in our prayers, especially the grieving Diocese of Malabar. May the memory of His Grace Dr. Zachariah Mar Theophilos, be eternal!