H.G. Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom, the longest living alumnus of the UTC was honoured in a function held in the Charles Ranson hall at the United Theological College yesterday evening at 6:00 P.M. Bishop Chrysostom now 96 years old is celebrating the 60 th year of his bishopric. His alma mater UTC joined in the celebration by honouring him with a special programme called "An evening with Mar Chrysostom".
The meeting was chaired by Rev. Dr. K.C. Abraham, the former director of SATHRI (South Asia Theological Research Institute). The principal of UTC, Rev. Dr. John Samuel Raj, the director of CISRS (The Centre for the study of Religion and Society) Rev. Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, the faculty representative, Rev. Dr. Gudrun Lowner and the president of the UTCSA (The United Theological College Student's Association) Rev. Dinesh spoke on the occassion.
|Bishop Chrysostom planting a sapling|
The programme started with Bishop Chrysostom planting a sapling in the UTC lawn. He was then escorted to the stage along with all the dignitaries. Faculty, staff and students from UTC and various priests and people from various churches in Bangalore attended the function. As the opening bhajan was sung, six lighted candles were brought to the stage by Dr. Nalini Arles with people representing senior staff, maintainence, students, student spouses and children. The six candles represented sixty years of Mar Chrysostom as bishop and wished long life for him.
The principal of the UTC called Bishop Chrysostom a well known and popular bishop and one of the most esteemed alumnus' of the college. Dr. K.C. Abraham talked on how a theologian should be a good communicator and without that will not make any sense to the people. He continued by saying that Bishop Chrysostom had the gift to communicate in a simple way which made sense to a lot of people who listened to him. Rev. Vincent Rajkumar said that Bishop Chrysostom is a legend and someone who all looked up to. His reaching out to other communities was a highlight of his ministry which was indeed something everyone could emulate. Dr. Gudrun called Bishop Chrysostom as someone who was now also the topic of research at the BD and Masters level in theology. His simplicity is something which struck her when they met. Rev. Dinesh talked about the bishop from the perspective of a student and from the point of view of someone who has read about Mor Chrysostom but has never seen him. The meeting was interspersed with laughter by the crowd present as everyone referred to the bishop's sense of humour as well.
Bishop Chrysostom in his reply speech said that theology cannot be learnt but has to be lived and experienced. He said that other religions did not have a problem with Christianity but with our interpretation of Christianity and Christ. He further said that we should not be bothered about whether we live or die because in both cases we are with God. He talked about preaching and practising God and said that practising is more important than just empty words. The evening with the bishop also had prayer by Dr. Evangeline Anderson Rajkumar and Dr. Jesurathnam. Bishop Chrysostom was presented a memento on behalf of the college by Dr. Jones Muthunayagom.