Baltimore St. Thomas Church Collaborates with ICON to build Aishwarya Home in Idukki

December 8th, 2013 was a special day for St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church in Baltimore, MD. After celebrating the Holy Qurbana, the Vicar, Rev. Fr. K. P. Varghese reminded the congregation about the miraculous birth and dedication of John, the Baptist. The Malankara Orthodox Church celebrates this Sunday as the Children’s Day, remembering John, the Baptist, and honoring the children and the child-like. Guest Speaker, Dr. Raju Varghese delivered the sermon. As the parish observed the first death anniversary of HG Mathews Mar Barnabas, the former Diocesan Metropolitan, special prayers were said in memory of the saintly Thirumeni.

After the prayer, Achen spoke about the decision of the parish to sponsor a house in collaboration with ICON Charities for a family in Idukki Diocese. Achen introduced ICON representatives Dr. Raju Varghese, Mr. Regi Mathai and Mr. Oommen Kappil who came to the parish to receive the funds on behalf of ICON. The Vicar handed over a check to Mr. Oommen Kappil for $5000.00 towards building this house. Mr. Oommen Kappil in his remarks thanked the Vicar and parish members for their generous gift to build a low-cost house for a very deserving family. He also spoke briefly about ICON’s history of providing humanitarian assistance to needy families for education, self-employment, housing etc, targeted towards Idukki Diocese. Dr. Raju Varghese also noted that there are many parishes in our Church that badly need financial support to build a place of worship. Within its limited resources, ICON has been channeling small funds to such parishes.

As its most popular son of Idukki, it was HG Mar Barnabas who silently brought to light the plight of scores of poor families and parishes in Idukki Diocese. Incidentally, awarding the money to build the house in Idukki happened on the same day that the parish observed the Dhukrono of the Barnabas Thirumeni. This generous donation to build a house for the needy appeared to be a great way to honor the legacy of Barnabas Thirumeni who is known for his compassion, humility and simple life.

ICON expresses its gratitude to the Vicar, Managing Committee members and the laity of St. Thomas Church for its generous support to build the house for a needy family.

To view the progress of the construction of the previous house (sponsored by St. Thomas IOC, Philadelphia), click on this link

ICON Charities focuses on identifying the families that are struggling financially, and then pass this information to individuals and organizations, and try to raise money through voluntary contributions. ICON ensures that full donation is applied to the beneficiary without any overhead cost. All donations are tax-exempted in the US. If you like to find out more on how individuals and parishes can sponsor a low-cost house in Idukki, please send an email to, or visit its web site,

Ps: The 2013 Educational project of ICON Charities is another success story, with 97% of the 350 applicant students finding sponsors. See the list


Pictured from left:

Dr. Abraham Eappen (Parish Secretary), Mr. Varghese John (Parish Treasurer), Dr. Raju Varghese & Mr. Oommen Kappil (ICON Charities Volunteers) and Rev. Fr. K. P. Varghese, Vicar.

Tags: Charity

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