ABOUT MARTHOMA RESEARCH ACADEMY
Marthoma Research Academy is a research wing of Marthoma Pontifical Shrine. Marthoma Pontifical Shrine is shrine of national and international importance where the right hand of St. Thomas is kept for public veneration. In AD 52 St. Thomas landed at Kodungallur. Thousands of pilgrims come to this place to venerate this relic.
The purpose of starting MRA is to give intellectual support to the pilgrim who comes to the shrine. The Christians in general and St. Thomas Christians in particular have a very rich cultural heritage which needs to be researched and documented. Several researches are being conducted at several centres. There is lot of areas where attention is to be given. The purpose of this centre will be co-ordination and active involvement.
The launching of Muziris project gives ample scope for research work. MRA can co-operate in this areas
1. Marthoma Research Academy activated –MRA
Marthoma Research Academy hereafter known as MRA was started by Rev. Fr. J. B. Puthur, the then Rector of Marthoma Pontifical Shrine, on March 5, 2005 to do research in various fields connected with history, art etc. of St. Thomas Christians and various activities are being organized under the title of MRA.
Programs initiated by MRA
Marthoma Pontifical Shrine released an Audio CD ‘Marthoma’ contains variety devotional songs about St. Thomas.
Kelkan Cheviyullavar Kelkatte
An Audio presentation of the gospel passages with relevant reflections
Inspirational reflections on the selected gospel passages according to the Liturgical Season.
Thoughtful reflections on the gospel passages
International Seminar: The Guide of this seminar was Prof. K. S. Mathew who was vice chancellor of Pondicherry University. Under his care-of a good number scholars from all areas of world presented papers.
St. Thomas landed in Muziris in AD 52 which was the former name of Cranganore. Muziris was destroyed in the great flood of 1840. Now Indian and Kerala government have launched a huge project called "Muziris Heritage Project". They are trying to identify where Muziris is. The working hypothesis is Muziris is at "Pattanam". In the seminar there were papers on all Roman colonies in Indian Ocean and also on Pattanam.
Bishop Mar Pauly Kannukkadan inaugurates the International Seminar.
The Stage of Inauguration.
Prof. Side Lothan -The famous Archeologist presents the paper.
Another activity of MRA was a Harmony Festival. Christians in general have no affinity with arts as Hindus. The Christian artists also have no encouragement. In a brain storming session of MRA Fr. Paul Poovathingal conveyed this pathetic situation of Christians. In this brain-storming session a decision was taken to conduct an art festival to encourage arts forms and artists. The best place conduct such a festival is Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine. Harmony Festival is the fruit of this decision.
Harmony festival was a three day programme. First day was allotted to music, second day to dance and third for folk lore. All arts forms must be classic and themes must be Christians. Every evening there was performance of great artist. Further art is the best means to foster harmony among religions. On the final day all sorts of arts form were presented
During the Harmony Festival, Harmony International Award is given to a great artist. First Harmony Award was given to Padmasree K. J. Yesudas by Hon .Minister Sri C. N. Balakrishnan in 2013.
Bishop Joseph Karikkassery – Bishop of Kottappuram Diocese inaugurate the festival.
Honarable Minister C.N. Balakrishnan awards first Harmony festival Award to Padmasree K. J. Yesudas.
Honarable minister Awards "Prasasthi Pathra" to Sri K. J. Yesudas.
From 2013 every year we continue the Harmony Festival with Classical and traditional art forms like Classical music performance, Bharathanatyam, Mohiniaattam, Kuchippudi, Group performances, Kathakali, Chavittunaadakam, Parichamuttu kali, Marggam kali etc. We also prompt ‘Arangettam’ on this Harmony Festival Stage. Artists from different areas of world participated in this festival.
Fr. Paul Poovathingal in concert.
Mr. P. J. Joseph Inaugurate the function.
St. Thomas is the Father of Faith of Indian. The Christian community is decided. St. Thomas Shrine holds a live memory of St. Thomas by veneration of his right hand. This may be the best place to bring all the Christians together. Ecumenical activity must be a normal activity of Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine, where the pilgrims from all denominations comes to venerate the relic.
Conscious of this situation MRA look interest to convene ecumenical gathering in 2013 and it was confined to sisters and fathers. All the sisters and fathers around Mar Thoma irrespective of rite differences, were invited on the final day of Unity Octave. Every year we conduct Ecumenical gathering. Resource persons from all denominations participated in this function.
Objective of MRA
To establish museums depicting history and culture of St. Thomas Christians, Indian Church, Indian history and culture.
To do research in all art forms especially the art forms of St. Thomas Christian.
To do research on the history and heritage of Muziris even by collaborating with government agencies.
To do archaeological research works in connection with Muziris project.
To work for unity among various Christian denominations and organizations in the true spirit of the message of peace and love advocated by Lord Jesus Christ.
To establish Ecumenical Centers, Dialogue Centers, Retreat Centers, Ecumenical Bible College etc. to increase the co-operation among the Christian groups.
To have joint Ecumenical Bible translation.
To do research in the religious life of Christians and of all other religions and ascertain the trend behind them especially the impact of secularism.
To conduct research on Liturgical and Ecumenical Subjects, Sacred Art, Music, Church Architecture, Church History, Cultural Heritage, Indigenization of Liturgy etc.
To organize meetings, seminars, classes, workshops etc. on various religious, cultural and social issues for the common welfare of the people.
To foster and promote both oriental and European languages.
To promote religious and health tourism.
To establish Inter – Religious Centre, Cultural Centers etc. to decrease the differences among different religions and find out areas where all the religions can work together for the welfare of humanity.
To establish Educational institutions of all categories for availing quality education to the students at reasonable expenses.
To publish magazines and other periodicals in print and electronic media to spread the message of universal brotherhood, co-operation, peace, love and harmony among the people.
To establish Libraries and Reading Rooms, Research Centers etc.
To do research on performing arts and to organize cultural festivals.
To conduct short term courses in the field of Spiritual and Pastoral activities, Marriage preparation Courses, Social Workers training Courses, Counseling Courses, Vocational guidance Courses etc.
- To engage in any other religious, educational, social and charitable activities as the circumstances warrant.
- To register MRA under University to study and do research in the history and culture of St. Thomas Christians.
The Provincial of Devamatha Province Thrissur of CMI Congregation is the Patron of MRA.
Being the head the province he is to be inspirational sources to encourage members of our province to realize the aim for which MRA was founded.
He is to be informed of all the activities of MRA
He is to be invited to the trustee council meeting with power of voting.
All the superiors of canonical houses of Devamatha Province, Thrissur.
All the members of Pontifical Shrine Azhikode as ascribed by Provincial of Devamatha Province.
All the members nominated by the Patron.
Famous historians, educationalists, artists, literary men and persons of social standing can be included as honorary members by Board of Trustees.
Those who pay a donation of one lakh and above are also honorary member of MRA.
They are to be invited to the trustee council meeting but without the power of voting.