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Diocese of Wichita News

Only By Prayer and Fasting

A sermon from Fr. Thomas Williams
St. John the Theologian Mission, Rapid City, South Dakota

Gospel Matthew 17:14-23 (10th Sunday after Pentecost)

This kind is cast out only by prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting.

When I was ten or eleven growing up in New York City I was one of the lucky kids whose family had a television. New York had seven channels in the 50s. Every Sunday, for some reason, when I came home from the nine o'clock mass, I would sit in front of the twelve-inch screen, eat breakfast and watch Channel 11, waiting for the Yankees game that would come on promptly at 12:30.

But as I was waiting I would always watch the Oral Roberts program on Channel 11, with lots of preaching and shouting. What fascinated me the most were the healings.  "Heal!!! Be thou healed in the name of Jesus," he would shout, and almost always the person who was healed would fall back as he pushed them back on their head. Just as they were about to hit the floor, his assistants would catch them, pulling them up, and off the person would go, somewhat wobbly, but waving their hands and shouting praises to God ... and everyone in TV land. I was fascinated by this. Now I am not sure if it was the shouting (Catholic priests didn't shout during the mass or even in their sermons); or if I was waiting to see if anyone would ever hit the floor. I didn't believe in my heart that anyone was really being healed. It all seemed too loud, and besides who would ever go on television to be healed?

This kind is cast out by prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting.

Prayer for Peace in the Caucasus

St. Nina

"O Master Who lovest mankind, King of the ages and Bestower of good things, Who hast destroyed enmity and givest peace to the human race: Grant peace even now unto all Thy servants who dwell in the lands of the Caucasus. Establish among our nations love one for another; quell every uprising; and allay all dissent and temptations. Grant unto them, O Lord, health and oneness of mind, protect them from all tribulations, afflictions and sudden death; bring an end to all enmity and malice which ariseth through the activity of the devil. Plant peace, O Lord, through the intercessions of the holy Theotokos, of the holy Apostle Andrew the First-called, of the first hierarchs of Moscow, of the holy Nino, Equal-to-the-Apostles, and of the Great Martyr George the Victorious. For Thou art our Peace, and we send up glory unto Thee—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen."  (Released by the Press Service of the Moscow Patriarchate) 

Icon: St. Nino, Equal-to-the-Apostles

Fr. Nicola Yanney 90th Anniversary Pilgrimage

!cid_X_MA7_1219166262@aol There will be a diocesan-wide pilgrimage to Kearney, Nebraska on the weekend of October 25-25, 2008 in honor of Fr. Nicola Yanney, who was the first priest ordained by St. Raphael of Brooklyn and who was also the first priest to serve in what has become today our Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America.

One important part of the pilgrimage will be a commemorative journal that will be a souvenir of the event. We are asking for your assistance in the creation of this journal.  The Journal will consist of informative pictures and articles about Father Nicola, his family, and his parishes.  In addition, it will also contain one-page entries describing each parish in the diocese. We ask for your participation in forming the entries from each parish.

We are asking that each parish contribute a one page written history of their community. Along with the history, we are also asking for photos of the current parish church building and the current parish clergy. Please send the text and photos: all of the pages will be formatted by the journal staff into a consistent format.

Please download and complete the Parish Information Form here: http://www.stjfc.org/Pages/Dowama/dowama.php   and send it in by August 15th, accompanied by your parish history, photo and order fee. 

Thank you!

Memory Eternal! Fr. David Lynch

imageOn Sunday, June 29, our brother Fr. David Lynch, 72, retired from St. Augustine Church of Denver, CO, fell asleep in Christ. Condolences may be sent to Kh. Martha Lynch the Lynch family at mchoban@ameritech.net.

His Grace Bishop BASIL passed on these thoughts from Fr. David's daughter Margaret:

"The long battle for my dear father has come to an end.  At 5:30pm this evening, Fr. David (Charles) Lynch, fell asleep in the Lord.  He ran the good race and crossed the finish line.  He was surrounded by his family and Fr. Pat Reardon who offered prayers for him the whole day and at the moment of his departure.  We gave dad our love and told him to tell everyone already departed hello and that we see him again when it's our time.  He is now in the Loving Hands of the Lord Whom he has served his whole life. He made us so proud with how hard he fought to come back; we were proud to stand by him as he worked so hard day after day to recover.  One thing I know for sure is this didn't happen for lack of prayers, faith, hope or love.  Your outpouring of love and concern has been a cushion for us; we couldn't fall completely down during this because we kept hitting this cushion around us.  And it was an encouragement to him.  Every card, email and message was passed onto him and we heard from a lot of people; that was so good to hear for him to hear from so many people."

The following information regarding funeral arrangements has been released:

Funeral Arrangements for Fr. David (Charles C.) Lynch (1936-2008)

Wake

Wednesday July 2, 4:30pm-8:30pm
Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church
1449 N. Quentin Road
Palatine, IL 60067

Funeral

2008 Diocese of Wichita Parish Life Conference, June 18-21, Dallas, Texas

The schedule for this year's Parish Life Conference is now available.

Bishop BASIL Ordains Fr. Daniel Bethancourt

image His Grace Bishop BASIL traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico's Holy Trinity Orthodox Church on the weekend of June 7-8 to ordain to the diaconate and then to the holy priesthood Fr. Daniel Bethancourt, son of Holy Trinity's  Fr. John Bethancourt. Fr. Daniel and his wife Maria are expecting their first child in July. May God grant them many years! Following are a selection of pictures from the ordination. More are available here, courtesy of Subdeacon Joseph Olas.

The Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America General Assembly

The Dowama General Assembly will be held during the upcoming Parish Life Conference in Dallas from 1:30-4:30PM on Friday, June 20th. At this most important meeting nominations and elections of officers for the Diocesan Fellowship will take place. The following important notice was issued by the Fellowship's Nominating Committee:

"Christ is risen!  We are preparing for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine election of diocesan officers.  We will need to have nominations (or candidates) in place before the general assembly in Dallas.  Due to the requirement that each nominee be in good standing with the Church (to be confirmed by his/her parish priest) we will not be taking nominations from the floor.  If you would like to nominate someone from your congregation for an office, please send contact information to Father Jeremy Davis, Spiritual Advisor to the DOWAMA Fellowship, by email at frjeremy@stelijahokc.com before this coming Monday, May 26th.  Thank You.  Yours in Christ, The Nomination Committee: Father Jeremy Davis and Helen Norton."

The Very Reverend Father Constantine Nasr Visits St. Tikhon's Seminary

clip_image001On Thursday, April 3, the Very Reverend Father Constantine Nasr, Pastor of St. Elijah Antiochian Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, visited St. Tikhon's Seminary and offered an evening lecture to the community on the subject of: "The Vision and Mission of the Local Parish."

See photos at http://www.stots.edu/news_080404_1.html.

From the Frontlines: A Letter from Chaplain Fr. Stephan Close

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Our brother, Fr. Stephan Close, the U.S. Air Force chaplain stationed at the airbase in Ramstein, Germany, shares with us the following observations of his very special and grace-filled ministry:

"Your Grace, one of the joys of my ministry here at 'the Ramstein of my repentance' is to serve the wounded.  Rarely do I have the blessed obligation to honor the dead, which I offer with as much dignity as my humanity can muster. It is such a blessing to be at worship with the wounded faithful who look to the icons with eyes which cannot see and offer a candle though they remain in physical darkness, their hand guided by fellow warrior.  They faithfully follow a Divine Liturgy (and wait patiently through a sermon) in a language they do not understand but whose form helps them recall worship and remind them of truth which warms their hearts though far away from home.  They walk towards the chalice though one shoe has no foot in it.  They bow down although they cannot rise without the support of their brother.  They make the sign of the cross with a hand scarred and tortured by flame.  Such are the saints you have sent me to serve. 

29 Chrismated at St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City

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On January 13, St. Elijah Orthodox Christian Church of Oklahoma City, OK, had the great joy of receiving by chrismation 29 new members including Fr. Mark Wallace in to the Holy Orthodox Faith. Fr. Mark was ordained to the diaconate on January 20, and to the priesthood on January 21. St. Elijah’s is led by Fr. Constantine Nasr. The following images are of the happy event. At the request of Fr. Constantine, Fr. Mark delivered a moving homily in tribute to his group's journey. This homily is available for viewing online here, courtesy of Fr. Mark.