Rev. Fr. A.K.Cherian

FrAK CHERIANFr. Alummoottil Koshy Cherian was born and raised in an Orthodox Christian family. He received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics from Kerala University and his B. Ed. from Brunnen College in Tellicherry, Kerala. He joined the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, for the first batch of B.D.. course and successfully completed it in 1968. In between his studies, he was a teacher of Mathematics at the M.D. Seminary and M.G.M. High School in Thiruvalla. He earned his Masters in Education from Fordham University in New York, 1976.

As the church authorities knew him to be a disciplinarian, they appointed him Boarding Master of the boarding homes in M.D. Seminary and M.G.M High School, along with his teaching responsibilities. Meanwhile, he managed to remain active in church related activities such as the youth movement and Orthodox Christian Student Movement. Achen was elected the first general secretary of the high school wing of the student movement. He was also one of the founding members of the Bishop Pakenham Walsh Memorial Teaching and Healing Mission, the MGOCSM, and a supporter of the St. Paul’s Mission Training Center, Mavelikara under His Grace Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios.

The late His Holiness Baselios Augen, Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan and the late His Grace Mathews Mar Athanasius (His Holiness Mathews I) ordained him to the fifth order of the diaconate and full deacon respectively. On July 26, 1971, Dn. Cherian married Molly Thomas. On August 15, 1971, the late His Grace Daniel Mar Philexinos, Metropolitan of Thumpamon Diocese ordained him to the Holy Priesthood at his mother church, St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Kurumpala, Pandalam.

His life in the United States started in 1972, and God guided him to begin a small congregation in the Bronx with a few members. Today, with the blessings of God, that small congregation has become the largest parish in the American Diocese. Thirty-six years of hard work and perseverance provided financial stability and spiritual growth in the parish. Achen’s straight-talked and unassuming nature created enmity around him, but steadfast faith in the Lord, who called him to this work, sustained Achen. With the support of the parish and through our Achen’s hard work, this parish has been able to send millions of rupees to India for many charitable purposes.

Achen has published many articles and stories while he was in India, and also authored the book “Rene Vilate-Mar Thimothios (the first bishop of the Orthodox Church of India in the United States).” Other books published by Achen include: “Karthru Padantikam (Jerusalem Journey), “Bharateeya Visudhanmar” and “Faith of Fathers, Holy Faith,” which was released by His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas on Sunday, September 3, 2006.

Our Achen’s accomplishments are not measured by the size of the Church or the number of parishioners in the Church. His achievements are based on the spirituality, guidance, and joy he has brought to the members of the Christian community.

“The worth of a man cannot be measured in wealth. For a man can be rich in family, friends and health. As he helps his fellow man when he is down, sets another gem in his Heavenly crown. Those that love him decide a man’s worth. The souls he has touched while upon the earth (Barbara Cox).”