Didache Theological Program in the Eparchy of Chicago
Chicago: It was a proud moment for the diocese as the first batch of 46 laity from the Mar Thoma Theological Institute from the Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral successfully completed the course. Didache theological program was established by the Paurastya Vidyapeetham, Vadavadoor, Kottayam for the laity. The Didache program within the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago was coordinated through the Department of Faith Formation, under the auspices of Rev. Dr. George Danvelil. Approximately 400 students are currently enrolled from through-out the diocese and is at different stages of completing the courses.
The journey for the Mar Thoma Theological institute at the Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral started three years ago with approximately ninety students and forty-six graduated the course. In order to complete the course, each student must complete twenty-four subjects and for each subject, the student is expected to write assignments, classroom presentations, and a written exam on each topic. Faculty include subject matter experts from within the United States and also from Kerala.
The program was successful due to the wholehearted support and encouragement from both Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath and Auxiliary Bishop Mar Joy Alappatt. Within the parish, Vicar, Rev. Fr. Thomas Kadukappillil, assumed the role of administrator for the program, and Mr. Thomas Moolayil and Mr. George Ambatt as program coordinators ensured courses are completed, encouraged completing assignments, and provided one-on-one assistance to students.
The convocation ceremony was conducted at the Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral Parish Hall, Saturday, February 5, 2022. Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath and Mar Joy Alappatt along with Rev. Thomas Kadukappillil, Vicar General and Vicar of the Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral; Rev. Dr. George Danavelil, Chancellor of the Diocese and Director of the Department of the Faith Formation; and Rev. Dr. Andrews Mekkattukunnel, President, Paurastya Vidyapeetham (attended via zoom), students, family and others attended the ceremony.
Rev. Dr. George Danavelil submitted the class for approval and Rev. Dr. Andrews Meakkattukunnel, accepted it. Mar Jacob Angadiath distributed the diploma certificates to the students. Everyone congratulated the graduates for their accomplishments. Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath in his presidential address, stated that the graduates will help invigorate the faith formation of our diocese. Mar Joy Alappatt stated that these warriors will help defend our faith and help the church to transmit the sacred traditions of our faith. Ms. Cicily Varkey and Mr. Joppan Joseph, representing the class, shared their experience with the gathering. George Ambatt delivered the vote of thanks. The ensuing dinner and cake cutting marked the end of the graduation ceremony.