Rev. Fr. Dr. Raju Varghese was appointed as the Vicar and President of St. Mary’s Indian Orthodox Church of Rockland, Suffern in the second half of the year 2001 by the Diocesan Metropolitan H. G. Mathews Mar Barnabas. The posting of the Achen to our Church has been a real blessing. The Church has progressed leaps and bounds and continues to grow under the able leadership of the Achen. St. Mary’s Church, Suffern has come to the forefront of the American Diocese due to the representation provided by the Achen.
The other current responsibilities held by Rev. Fr. Dr. Raju Varghese are:
1. Sunday School Director, American Diocese, Malankara Orthodox Church:
Sunday schools in American Diocese have 4 Areas and 11 regions connecting 52 Sunday schools in the American Diocese. Under his guidance, the Sunday School is diligently working to develop study materials for the children in America, compatible with the books and materials they use in the secular schools.
2. President, Joint Council of Churches:
This is an ecumenical organization with activities among the Christian churches in Rockland County. The membership includes the denominations from Mar Thoma church, CSI Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, and American Churches. The main objective is unity among the different Christian denominations with the spirit of ecumenism.
3. City of New York, Human Resources Administration:
Supervisor, Job Opportunity Specialists in a Job Center in the Bronx, New York.
1. Director, Orthodox Vacation Bible School (OVBS), American Diocese. (1999 to 2003):
Being the first director of OVBS, he established the OVBS program in the Diocese the way we know it today. Now we have OVBS units in all parishes in the American Diocese. The study materials and songs prepared under his guidance were widely used all over the world. His major accomplishments include teachers’ training, production of music CD’s, teacher’s hand books, student’s work books, devotional guides and many useful tools for teachers in Sunday schools and OVBS, using the most acceptable methods of Christian education.
2. Director of Liturgical Music Committee. American Diocese ( 2001 to 2003):
Being the first director, he tried to coordinate the worship patterns. An album containing songs for the marriage sacrament in English and Malayalam was produced using the translation in English by H. G. Yakoob Mar Irenios. This CD is very popular and being the first CD in English, this CD is used by outside Kerala Dioceses. Liturgical Music Committee is an auxiliary of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement in the American Diocese. He was able to organize a music troupe which is famous for singing in the marriage services all over America.
3. Vicar and President, St. Gregorios orthodox Church, Westchester, New York. (1999 – 2001):
Being the first vicar of this parish, he organized this church with 36 families.
4. Vicar and President, St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Bronx (1989 – 1999):
He was the second vicar of the newly formed parish, and was instrumental in co-ordinating this parish in the Borough of Bronx in the New York City.
5. General Secretary, Orthodox Vacation Bible School, Malankara Orthodox Church. (1980 – 1986):
OVBS was using study materials from other denominations. His major accomplishment as the secretary of OVBS was publishing of our own books and Song Cassettes for the whole Malankara Orthodox Church. This material was later published in English and Hindi.
6. Secretary, High School Wing of Mar Gregorios Orthodox Student Movement ( MGOCSM) ( 1980-1983):
Being the first secretary of the High school wing of MGOCSM, He established units in High Schools, gave leadership in student activities traveling from school to school. His major accomplishment in this post was the organization of Education Orientation Program established in 1981. This program is still continuing as an important program of MGOCSM, giving guidance counseling to the children to choose the future academic studies.
Doctor Of Ministry (D . Min), St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary, New York:
Major in family counseling and Theology. Dissertation on HIV/AIDS patients.
Certified Pastoral Counselor:�
College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York.
Bachelor of Divinity (B.D), Serampore College, Kerala, India.
Graduate of Social Theology (GST), Orthodox Theological seminary, Kerala, India.
Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.), Devaswam Board College, Sasthamcottah, Kerala, India
Pre – Degree , St. Gregorios College, Kottarakara, Kerala, India
Rev. Fr. Dr. Raju Varghese is the oldest son of Mr. K.G. Issac and Chinnamma, Kulangara Family, Puthoor, Kottarakkara. His wife is Susan Varghese, who is currently serving as the secretary of the Family and Youth Conference, American Diocese. They have two daughters Chinnu and Ponnu.