Celebrating Forty Years of Priesthood

September 7th was a Sunday St. Thomas Cathedral will never forget. Our church celebrated our Vicar, Very. Rev. Gheevarghis Aroopala Coriscopa’s 40th year of Priesthood. That day was filled with lots of love, happiness, prayers, and blessings!

Achen has been such an influential part of each one of our lives. Many people in the American diocese cannot say that they had the same Achen who baptized them, saw them graduate, saw them build great careers, and even seen them get married and have children of their own. Aroopala Achen was that person for us. Not only has he been our spiritual Father, but also a role model who leads not just by his words but also his actions. We have been blessed with the same Achen and leader for last 26 years.

Achen has been a great role model for us to become good leaders. Without Achen’s continued support and love, our new year's retreats, prayer meetings, many fundraisers, and the growth of all our organizations wouldn’t have existed. Without Achen, we don’t think we would all be here together as one church and worshipping as one family. We hope and pray that we get to celebrate many more blessed years with Achen!

Slideshow - 40 Years of Priesthood:-

Early Life & Education:-

Very Rev. Gheevarghis Aroopala Corepiscopa was born on November 26th, 1940 to Abraham and Sara Aroopala, He was baptized at the St. John’s Orthodox Church in Pampakuda, Kerala. Achen joined the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Kottayam in 1959 after he completed his schooling at the Pampakuda MTM High School. He was ordained as a deacon by His Grace Augen Mar Themotheos, Metropolitan on May 29th, 1963.

In 1964, Deacon Gheevarghis graduated from the Seminary and received the degree of (Graduate in Sacred Theology). Deacon Gheevarghis was appointed as the Private Secretary to His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Augen I, the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan. Deacon Gheevarghis joined the Bucharest University in Romania where he obtained the Bachelor of Divinity degree. In 1973, he was awarded the Master of Science in Theology degree with a specialization in Historical Theology. In 1974, he obtained the Master of Theology (M.Th.) degree specializing in Pastoral Care Counseling and Psychology.

40th Priesthood Anniversary Celebration:-

Ministry & Family Life:-

Deacon Gheevarghis returned to India and married Molly Cheruvellil, the daughter of Kuriakose and Annamma Cheruvellil from Maradi, September 1, 1974. On September 7th, 1974, Deacon Gheevarghis was ordained as a Priest by His Grace Paulose Mar Philexinos. Returning to the US, Rev. Fr. Gheevarghis Aroopala served as the Founding Vicar and President of the St. Gregorios Church, Chicago from 1978 to 1985. On June 15th, 1988, Rev. Fr. Gheevarghis Aroopala was appointed as the Vicar of the St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas. On September 25, 1999, the Silver Jubilee year of Fr. Gheevarghis's priesthood and our St. Thomas Parish, His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II, the Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicos of the East, elevated Achen to the positionof Corepiscopa.

Our beloved Very Rev. Gheevarghis Aroopala Corepiscopa, or “Aroopala Achen” as he is fondly called, currently resides in Stafford, Texas with Kochamma and has two daughters, Amy and Christy. Amy is married to Mohan Thomas and they have 1 daughter, Jasmin. Achen continues to lead the church as the Vicar and President. The Church has truly flourished and has pioneered many of the progressive missions and activities that are now practiced throughout the American Diocese. We pray that Almighty God continue to shower blessings on our beloved Achen and family and grant them the health and strength to lead us with their inherent faithfulness, gracefulness and humility that has been perfected in His service over the last 40 years.

Picture Gallery:-