Dr. Rev. Fr. Varghese Manikat
On January 10, 2016, H.E.Mor Titus Yeldho selected Rev. Fr. Varghese Manikat (Dr.) as the Vicar (Head Priest) for this congregation. Born on the hills of the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala, India, our beloved priest was instilled with a devotion and dedication to the Church at an early age. He started serving at the Altar at age 10, heard God’s calling and was ordained a deacon on May 23, 1974 at Manjanikkara Dayaro by Thomas Mor Divanasios, Metropolitan of Ankamali (the current Catholicos H.B. Baselios Thomas I). The spiritual guidance of L.L. H.B. Baselios Poulose II, Poulose Mor Athanasius Kadavil, Yakoob Mor Thimotheos, and Samuel Mor Philexinos moulded his ministry. He received his theological training from Kothamangalam Seminary and Malecuriz Dayaro while simultaneously pursuing his M.Sc. from U.C. College, Aluva and M Ed. from Xavier’s College, Mumbai. On May 18, 1985 Fr. Manikat was ordained a priest at Mor Elia Chapel, Puthencruz, Kerala and offered the Maiden Mass on June2, 1985 at Mor Ignathios Noorono Church, 14th Mile, Adimaly, his home Parish.
His spiritual journey carried him to Mumbai, India whereupon he served in the parishes of St. Peter’s Church, Malad and founded St. Mary’s Church, Santa Cruz and St. Peter’s Church, Navi Mumbai. His leadership and fervent dedication to the church shone as he served as the Diocesan Secretary of the Outside Kerala Diocese, and Diocesan Constitution Chairman under H. G. Thomas Mor Themotheos Metropolitan. He served the Malankara Church as a Managing Committee Member, and a Working Committee Member. A firm believer in teaching and expounding the knowledge to future generations he served as the Chairman of the Sunday School Syllabus Committee. During his time in Mumbai, Fr. Manikat was Professor of Biology at Rizvi College, Bandra and Principal of St. Jude’s College, Malad.
In the year 1993, our priest was led to the United States of America calling Silver Spring, Maryland home and rendering services at the parishes of St. Thomas Church, Washington D.C., Mar Aphrem’s Church, Virginia, St. John’s Church, Staten Island, St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia, St. George’s Church, New Jersey, and St. Mary’s Church, Lynbrook. His inspirational leadership as Archdiocesan Secretary, and Chairman of the Archdiocesan Constitution Committee helped guide the Malankara Archdiocese of The Syriac Orthodox Church in North America during its formative years. His avid devotion to the children was exemplified during his years as Archdiocese Sunday School Director, Vice President and introduced Curriculum as the Chairman of the Sunday School Syllabus Committee. He also helped form the St. Paul’s Prayer Fellowship and served as its Vice President and currently fulfils his duties as Vice President of the St. Mary’s Women’s League. He received his Doctorate in Divinity from St. Ignatius University.
An ardent devotee of St. Mary our Patron Saint, Fr. Manikat is fervent in the True Faith. A caring, gentle father he offers a clear mind during troubled times and teaches words of wisdom through his sermons. Since the founding of our church he has been our guiding force and inspiration to reach newer heights of service.