We are Bethanians, the members of Bethany Ashram. Bethany Ashram, formally called the Order of the Imitation of Christ (OIC), is the first indigenous religious congregation started in the Malankara Church. Founded by the late Archbishop Servant of God Geevarghese Mar Ivanios on 15th August 1919 at Perunadu in Kerala, Bethany blends beautifully the spirit of both Oriental monastic tradition and Indian sanyasa.
As the very name indicates, Bethany Ashram has been a ‘house of consolation’ for all those who entered its threshold. Bethany was instrumental in the spiritual revival of the Malankara church at a time when it was infested by tumultuous litigations and the in-fight for dominance inside the church. Later it became the ‘cradle of the Reunion Movement’ when Mar Ivanios and others embraced the unity of the true Catholic communion thus giving rise to the Malankara Catholic Church on 20th September 1930.
After the reunion movement, Bethany Ashram has steadily grown from being an inter-diocesan congregation confined to the boundaries of the Malankara Catholic Church to a pontifical congregation whose boundaries are the boundaries of the universal Catholic Church. All the while Bethany has been proclaiming the Good News through its life and mission.
“The charism of the Order of the Imitation of Christ is following Jesus Christ in his life of prayer and action, realized in oriental monastic tradition and Indian sanyasa and aimed at the evangelization of India through the spiritual renewal of the Malankara church.”
Bethany Ashram is modeled after Bethany in the Gospel, the house of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. It was a house which intimately loved our Lord Jesus Christ and which was specially loved by him. Lazar was the friend of Jesus and the witness to resurrection; Mary was the symbol of prayer life; Martha was the model of service and apostolic activities. Bethanians follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ imbibing the spirit of Bethany Saints through a lifestyle which incorporates the best of both oriental Christian tradition and Indian sanyasa.
Bethanians lead a life of contemplation which is manifested externally as the loving service to mankind. Through their religious life Bethanians strive to be a “man who possess God” rather than a “man who serve God.” We live out our charism through a life of contemplative action by means of various activities like preaching the Gospel, ecumenical activities and inter-religious dialogue, mission and parish activities, missionary activities, apostolic activities, social apostolate, apostolate through communication media and educational activities.
If you like the kind of work we are doing and want to be a part of it, please reach out to us.