Feast of the Holy Cross & Celebration of Holy Qurbana by Shinto Achen

On September 14th we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Cross at HSTOC and our parish was blessed with the presence of Rev. Fr. George ‘Shinto’ David and Julie Kochamma. The newly ordained Shinto Achen, as he is lovingly known as, conducted Holy Qurbana at our Church for the first time since being ordained to the rank of Priesthood by HG Alexios Mar Eusebius on September 7th at Achen’s home parish (St. Gregorios Detroit).

Achen and Kochamma’s visit proved to be extra special for our Parish in that they are very near and dear to our hearts. Our Parish has been known in the past for the numerous 2nd Generation Priests that have come forth to serve the Holy Church, but Kochamma represents the first Kochamma or ‘Baskiyamo’ from our Church and for that we give glory to God. Julie Kochamma is a very beloved daughter of our Church, who grew up in our parish and was a part of various ministries such as Balika Samajam, MGOCSM, Leadership Camp, Campus Ministry and Sunday School. Likewise, Achen is no stranger to Houston as he has served at the Diocesan Center on various occasions and visited our parish numerous times as a Pre-Seminarian, Seminarian, Sub-Deacon, Deacon and now as a Priest.

In his homily, Shinto Achen reminded us on the message that was present in the Gospel that we live in a fallen world and on the difficulties that come withliving a life in Christ. Christian life isn’t one that is smooth sailing at all times and comes with its’ own set of bumps along the way. Achen reminded us of the importance of standing fast in the faith, especially in moments of tribulations and how the Cross is a sign of our salvation.

Following the Divine Liturgy , Very. Rev. Gheevarghis Aroopala Cor-Episcopa presented Shinto Achen with a small gift on behalf of the Clergy, Managing Committee, and the members of our Parish as a token of our appreciation. After dismissal, refreshments were served to everyone on behalf of Achen and family. Thirumeni has appointed Achen to be the Vicar of St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Denver.

Achen and Kochamma, we pray that the Lord blesses your ministry30, 60 and 100 fold; may God grant you both many years and veryfruitful ministry!