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Our Vicar

REV. FR. (DR.) MATHEW C. CHACKO

FOUNDING PASTOR

Rev. Fr. Mathew C. Chacko is the founding pastor of Saints Basilios-Gregorios Orthodox Church of Central Jersey [SBGOC].  Achen celebrated the first Holy Qurbana for the congregation on Sunday October 1, 2000, the Feast day of Saint Basilios of Kothamangalam.  He has been leading the congregation ever since.

SBGOC is a parish in the North East American Diocese of the Malankara [Indian] Orthodox Church.  The Diocesan Metropolitan is His Eminence Zachariahs Mar Nicholovos.  The Diocese is under the authority and supervision of H.H. Baselius MarThoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the apostolic throne of St. Thomas established in India Ad. 52.  Fr. Mathew C Chacko was appointed Vicar/Pastor of SBGOC by the Order dated October 8, 2000, form the then Diocesan Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas.  Fr. Chacko lives with his wife Ruthamma in East Brunswick, New Jersey.  The family of their son Jacob M Chacko and that of their daughter Susan M Chacko also live in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Fr. Mathew who arrived in the USA on a Fullbright Scholarship, is one of the early immigrants from India to this country.

ORDINATION

  • Ordained Deacon 'Korooyo' by His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Geevargese II on June 22, 1950.
  • Ordained Priest by Metropolitan His Eminence Mathews Mar Coorilos on St. Andrews Day, November 30, 1957.

EDUCATION

  • Bachelors degree in Mathematics from C. M. S. College, Kottayam, University of Travancore in 1954
  • Bachelors degree in Divinity. B. D., Bishop's College, Calcutta, 1957
  • M. A. (Philosophy and Psychology), University of Kerala, India, First Rank, Gold Medal Gold Medal -1964.
  • Research studies in Philosophy, Univesity college, Trivandrum 1962-'64
  • Fullbright scholar - Arrived in the USA to continue Theological education, Fall 1968
  • Master of Sacred Theology (STM), Union Theological Seminary, 1969
  • Ph.D (Psychology and Theology) hartford Seminary Foundation, 1972
  • Doctrol Thesis: "A Comparison of the concept of self-realizarion in Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and the concept of self-actualization in the American Psychologist Carl Rogers"

PREVIOUS RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Assistant Vicar of St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Palayam
  • Vicar, St. Thomas Church, Madras
  • Vicar, St. Thomas Church, Calcutta
  • Staff Chaplain & Director of Pastoral Care, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (1975-2000)
  • Professor, St. Sophia Ukranian Orthodox Seminary, Somerset, NJ  (Orthodox Psychotherapy, Christain Apologetics, Major world religions, Counselling and Chaplaincy)

SOCIAL INVOLVEMENT

  • Championed the first ever gathering of the Indian Orthodox Community’s celebration of St. Thomas Day in the Inter-Church Center in Manhattan under the leadership of Metopolitan Dr. Thomas Mar Makrios of blessed memory.
  • Vice President: The Council of Churches of the City NY, Manhattan - 4 years
  • President: The Staten Island Council of Churches - 4 years
  • President: The Kerala Samajam of Staten Island. - 4 years
  • President: Staten Island Clergy Association - Two-Year term
  • Contributed several articles to “Religiously Speaking" Column of "Staten Island Advance" periodical from 1977 - 2002

Sermons

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