Rev. Fr. P. M. Cheriyan, a visionary, a spiritual leader who is endowed vocally and was the recipient of Seminary Ekarist is the Vicar and shepherd of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.
Born to the couple of P.C. and Aleyamma Mathai, Rev. Cheriyan grew up in the Wayanadu district in Kerala and like Samuel the prophet heard the calling from God at an early age. His siblings epitomized him and looked up to him to lead a life of prayer and faith.
A graduate in theology from the Old Seminary and a beloved disciple of his teachers, Rev. Cheriyan had received accolades in his prowess and proficiency of the Syrian language and other church liturgies. He was ordained a sub-deacon by H. G. Thomas Mar Thimothios (current retired Catholicos) on March 13, 1988 and full deacon by H.G. Kuriakose Mar Clemis on February 4, 1993. He was ordained a priest on March 6, 1993 by H.G. Thomas Mar Thimothios. Rev. Cheriyan was also blessed to have the opportunity to work closely with H. G. Thomas Mar Thimothios and Late H.H. Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I (our 5th Catholicos). It is noteworthy that Rev. Cheriyan served as the Secretary of H.H. Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I and assisted him to the last stages of his life. It is well known that Thirumeni considered Rev. Cheriyan as his beloved spiritual son and confidant and Achen believes that his success in life is by the grace of God and the prayers and blessings of Thirumeni.
Rev. Cheriyan tries to emulate the spiritual life and humility of St. Gregorios of Parumala and the courage of St. George in his daily life. His passion to work with the youth of the church and engage the elders of the church shows his willingness to forgo his personal interests and life for the well being of his flock. He has served the parishes of St. Mary’s, Thaloor and St. Thomas, Philadelphia and was the vicar of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church Houston before accepting the will of God to be the Vicar of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.
Rev. Cheriyan demonstrated his leadership skills when he reached out to his fellow Vicars to organize a grandiose welcome to our Metropolitan H.G. Alexios Mar Eusebius to the recently established Diocese of South-West America. He championed the ad-hoc committee formed to oversee Thirumeni’s initial visit to US and was tasked with the additional responsibilities of being the Diocesan Secretary of our Metropolitan. He was also instrumental in securing an Aramana for our Metropolitan in Houston.
Like St. Paul, Rev. Cheriyan believes that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him (Philippians 4:13) and it is this determination and dedication that makes him successful in his endeavors. Rev. Cheriyan has always stressed the importance of prayer in everyday life and it was his sense of direction that led to us having evening prayers on all weekdays and Holy Qurbana on all Wednesdays. He is supported by our beloved kochamma Jeena Cheriyan and their children Feba, Christina and Joshua, Rev. Fr. Mathukutty Varghese and Leelamma Mathew (Valiyachan and kochamma).