Rev. Dr. C. O. Vargis celebrated Holy Qurbana at our parish on Nov. 30th, 2014. Not only were we commemorating Achen’s retirement after serving the Church for 50+ years as a priest, but also we were celebrating the 40th year anniversary of our establishment as a parish. The St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Cathedral in Houston was established in November 1974 through the kalpana by then metropolitan of outside Kerala dioceses, H. G. Mathews Mar Athanasios (later H.H Baselios Marthoma Mathews I). Rev. Fr. C. O. Vargis was the first vicar and president of our parish. Fondly called as Vargis Achen, he played a very important role in the formation and growth of our parish.
At the end of Holy Qurbana, Very Rev. Gheevarghis Aroopala Cor Episcopa, Rev. Fr. Mammen Mathew, and Rev. Fr. Joel Mathew remembered the service of Vargis Achen to our parish, community, and the Church during all these years and wished him well. Achen was presented with a plaque by H. G. Alexios Mar Eusebius, our diocesan bishop. As a token of appreciation, we also presented a contribution towards the education scholarship fund that Vargis Achen is planning to start.
C.O. Vargis Achen’s legacy lives on in the hearts of the members of all the churches in the the Southern Region. As Joel Achen stated, an Achen can only retire from his administrative duties, however his spiritual guidance goes on forever.