An informal Branch meeting was held on May 5, 2009 from 9 pm to 9.50 pm in the North East Hill University (NEHU) Conference hall, attached to the University Guest House. This meeting was held on the occasion of the 14th CHAI Triennial Conference. The Southern Branch meeting was attended by the following members:
Mr. Charles Dias
Dr. Samuel Jayakumar
Dr. Thomas Edmunds
Dr. Santha Prabhuraj
Rev. P.V. Antony
Dr. Gorge Oommen
Dr. Vergese Perayil
Dr. George Menachery
Rev. Antonym Swami
Rev. Sebastian Edathikavil CMI
Rev. Francis Thonnippara CMI
Dr. Gudrun Loewner
After self introduction the Branch Secretary, Fr. Francis Thonippara, cmi, welcomed all the members to the meeting and appealed to the CHAI members to campaign for CHAI membership. The main agenda of the meeting was to fix the dates and venue of the next CHAI Southern Branch Conference. Trichur is proposed as the venue of the next Conference and Prof. George Menachery, a native of Trichur, has graciously extended his wholehearted coöperation for the Conference. October 19 – 21 are the tentative dates proposed. The final decision will be taken after convoking the Executive Body meeting of the Southern Branch Details of the Conference will be worked out later in consultation with the local organizers
The following themes were proposed as topics for the next Southern Branch Conference.
2010 being the centenary year of the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, proper importance should be given to the ecumenical movement in the Indian Church
Challenges of Indian Church and cultural integration
Post independent Christianity in India problems and prospects
Religious violence and suffering: Christian understanding in the context of recent attacks against Christians
Challenges and prospects of Christianity in India.
It was finally agreed upon that “Challenges and prospects of Christianity in India” shall be the main theme of the next Southern Branch Conference. However, the General Assembly also opined that other topics mentioned above can be dealt with, taking into account their relevance in the present context of the Church in India.
It was decided to fix registration fee Rs 300. The inaugural session will be held on October 19 afternoon and the conference will be over on October 21 afternoon. There will be 16 scholarly papers besides a keynote address. Rev. Dr. Samuel Jayakumar has accepted the request of the Assembly as the Coördinator of the papers to be presented. It was opined that Metropolitan Mar Aphrem and Archbishop Mar Andrews Thazhath could be Patrons of the local organizing Committee. It was also suggested to get the involvement of the history departments of the local Colleges in the conduct of the Conference.
The Secretary thanked all the participants and the meting came to an end by 9.50 pm.
After the meeting a Fr. Thonippara had further discussions with Prof. George Menachery and with Executive body members, Rev Dr. Samuel Jayakumar, and Mr. Charles Dias on the viability of conducting the Conference at Trichur. An official Executive Body meting could not be held since the following members were absent;
DR. P. Manasseh, President
Dr. Maria Lazar (Executive Body member)
Rev. Gladson Jathanna ( “ )
However, it was decided to proceed further in organizing the Conference after duly consulting the Executive Body members who were absent.
FRANCIS THONIPPARA, CMI Secretary
Fr. Francis Thonippara later contacted the other Executive Body members except Rev. Gladson Jathanna, over telephone and the members were happy with the decision of the General Gathering. However, there is slight change in the dates as Deepavali falls on October 18th. Therefore, after consulting Prof. George Menachery following dates are fixed for the Conference. From Saturday October 17 afternoon to Monday October 19 afternoon. The venue will be the premises of Trichur Archbishop’s House.
May I request all the member of the CHAI Southern Branch to attend this Conference which is to be held in the cultural capital of Kerala Those who are interested in presenting papers may please contact Rev. Dr. Samuel Jayakumar, 19/C, (New no.26) Appadurai Main Street, Ayanavaram, Chennai-600023, Tamil Nadu. 044 – 26602134; Cell: 09445107984 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAI Southern Branch Report presented by the SIB Secretary at the CHAI Triennial Conference, Shillong on 7th May, 2009
The 13th Branch Conference of CHAI Southern Branch was held at Vailankanni-Tranquebar from September 29th to October 1st 2006. The conference was well attended by the Church History Scholars. Accommodation for the Delegates was arranged in St. Francis Assisi Pilgrims Quarters, Vailakanni. The inaugural session and other sessions were held in the Arogyamatha Higher Secondary School. 16 scholarly papers were presented during the Conference days One important feature of this Conference was that a whole day was spent in the Tranquebar, visiting the places associated with first Lutheran Mission in India. Since the main thrust of the Conference was to commemorate the 3rd centenary of the arrival of Rev. Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg and Rev. Heinrich Pleutschau, the 5th centenary of the birth of St. Francis Xavier and the 4th centenary of Robert de Nobili‘s mission in Madurai, papers were mainly on these topics
On October 1st during the business session the new office bearers of the CHAI Southern Branch were unanimously elected: President: Dr. P. Manasseh; Secretary cum Treasurer: Rev. Fr. Francis Thonippara, CMI (re elected)
Associate Secretary: Prof. Maria Lazar
Executive Body Members: Rev. Dr. Samuel Jayakumar ; Dr. Charles Dias; Rev. Gladson Jathanna.
There are joyful and sorrowful moments in the past years. Prof. George Menachery, an active member of the CHAI is honored by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI with Chevalier title
Sorrowful moments are the sudden demise of two of the members of CHAI Southern Branch: Rev. S.D. L Alagodi, and Rev Varghese Pudussery. Let the departed souls rest in peace
On May 5, 2009, General Gathering of the Southern Branch was held and it was attended by 14 members The next Southern Branch Conference will be held at Trichur in October 20009.
(Report presented by the Secretary at the CHAI Triennial Conference held at Shillong, on 07−05−09)