Our Parish, St. Basil Orthodox Church, was originally founded in Garden City, New York, in October, 1990 by the initiation of Rev. Fr. P.S. Samuel Corepiscopa who served as the officiating priest until Rev. Fr. Thomas Paul was appointed as the Vicar in April 1992 by the order of the diocesan Metropolitan, H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas. Services were conducted in a chapel, owned by the Cathedral of Incarnation Episcopal Church, which was permitted to use as a willingness to share for Christian brotherhood until we found a place of our own in Franklin Square in 2001. The church has a history of steadfast growth which started with 12 families and has currently more than 80 families with 300 plus faithful as members. Many non-members also visit this church on Sundays to participate and experience the joy of worship.
St. Basil Orthodox Church, Franklin Square is open every day of the year and has evening prayer from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm (except for Saturday 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm) which is regularly attended by many devotees who seek saintly intercession and receive blessings, specifically on Wednesdays and Fridays. Sunday morning prayer starts at 8:00 am followed by Holy Qurbana at 9:00 am. Sunday school is conducted from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm every Sunday, September through June. Rev. Fr. Thomas Paul, also known as Johnson Achen, continues serving as the Vicar.
Mission and Vision
The mission of the St. Basil Malankara Orthodox Church is essentially the continuation of the ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Gospel portions record Jesus commissioning his Disciples to certain specific mission. Jesus sends forth his twelve apostles (St. Matthew 10) as well as seventy others (St. Luke 10) with mission strategies to speak about the Kingdom of God warning them about possible persecution and challenges. St. Matthew 28 records Jesus Christ expanding the mission of the disciples by entrusting them with what is known as the Great Commission in the very words “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Foundationally, this is the mission that has been entrusted to the Church. The Orthodox mission is to establish the Kingdom of God on earth bearing in mind that the whole of humanity should be united in the building up of the Kingdom of God. The faithful are both communally and individually a part of the mission to grow the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
St. basil The great, Our Patron Saint
St. Basil The Great, a great theologian in early history, was born in 329 A.D. in Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia, in Asian Minor. Many of his family members are honored as saints. His grand mother St. Macrina the Elder, his father St. Basil the Elder and mother St. Emmelia, his brothers St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Peter of Sebaste and his sister St. Macrina the younger.
He studied at Constantinople and later in Athens. One of his fellow students and close friend was another young Cappadocian, St. Gregory Nazianzen. They together with Gregory of Nyssa were known as the trio of Cappadocian doctors of the church. St. Basil traveled through the monastic centers of the east, Middle East and Mesopotamia to study the monastic life. Then he returned and founded his own way of monastic life which is still followed by all the monks of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and by some Catholic monks of the Byzantine rite. St. Basil only lived for five years as monk in his monastery.
In the year 370 he became archbishop of Caesarea. He defended the church against persecution with unflinching courage and great intellectual power. He was a highly regarded scholar. His intellectual writings and way of monastic life made him a legend in early Christian history. He died at the age of 49 on January 1st, 379. Our church celebrates his feast on the first day of January every year.
Click the following links to learn more about St. Basil, The Great.
St. Thomas was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. Writers and historians from the 4th century refer to the work of Apostle Thomas in India and we ascribe the origin of our Church to him in the 1st century.
It is believed that St. Thomas arrived in Cranganore, Kerala, preached Gospel and baptized people. Kerala had trade connections with the Mediterranean and west Asian countries during those times. This may be the reason for St. Thomas to choose that part of India for his evangelistic work. Kerala was ruled by Kings at that time. During the two decades St. Thomas spent in India, he converted few prominent families of the time and established churches at seven places; Maliankara, Palur, Paravur, Gokkamangalam, Niranam, Chayal and Quilon.
He assigned Prelates and Priests and continued his journey to spread the word of Christ. He is believed to have martyred at Mylapore, near Madras, India in 72 A.D. The descendants of St. Thomas known as St. Thomas Christians flourished and there are 7 million Christians in the state today including Orthodox Church with 3.5 million people.
our spiritual organizations
The Church as a whole, has developed specific ministries to cater to the challenges our faithful face. These ministries provide seminars, bible studies, retreats, conferences and so much more to assist our faithful in their journey as an Orthodox Christian. The church continues to seek ways to stay true to her motto of ‘not to be served, but to serve’, by developing more ways serve to our faithful through these ministries.
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.