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Diocese of Wichita News

2017 Pascha Letter From Bishop Basil

Bas-relief above the Tomb of ChristBas-relief above the Tomb of ChristPascha 2017

Beloved and Christ-loving Clergy, Monastics and Laity of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America:

I embrace and greet you with a holy kiss in the Name of the Resurrected Theanthropos Jesus Christ, and, together with you and Orthodox Christians throughout the world, I joyfully proclaim that Christ is risen! Christos anesti! Al-Maseeh qaam! Christos Voskresse! Hristos a înviat!

As we prepare to celebrate the most glorious Feast of feasts in our beautifully adorned church temples across the Heartland of America, let us recall and be inspired by another glorious Pascha  − this one celebrated in stark Block 26 at Dachau Concentration Camp in 1945:

Countdown to Miami: 2017 Antiochian Archdiocese Convention FAQ

The community of St. George welcomes you!The community of St. George welcomes you!Summer draws near, and so does the 53rd biennial convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese, July 23-30, 2017 in Miami. The Very Rev. Fouad Saba and the host parish of St. George Cathedral of Coral Gables, Florida took time from their busy schedules to talk about the features of what looks to be a historic gathering of the Archdiocesan clergy and faithful.

Who are the featured and keynote speakers this year?

The Grand Banquet will honor His Grace Bishop Antoun on Saturday night, July 29, where we anticipate our beloved diocesan hierarch will reflect upon his lifetime ministry and experiences in his service to Christ’s Holy Church. Fr. Antoine Melki, professor of computer science and technology at Balamand University in Lebanon, will be the keynote speaker during the General Assembly on Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29, and in other scheduled workshops and events. The host committee is excited to welcome Fr. Melki, who will present interesting insights on the effects of technology in the modern world on the Orthodox Christian family.

Memory Eternal! + Chafica Chamoun-Cohlmia

Mrs. Cohlmia with her sons Dr. Samir and George.Mrs. Cohlmia with her sons Dr. Samir and George.Memory Eternal! + Chafica Chamoun-Cohlmia, 82, mother of Dr. Samir Nouhad Cohlmia, Diocesan Protopsaltis for the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, reposed on the evening of Great and Holy Friday, April 14, 2017. She was preparing to attend the divine service. The Paschal Funeral will be served at St. George Cathedral in Wichita, KS on Bright Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., with interment followed by a meal of mercy on Bright Wednesday beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Condolences may be sent to Dr. Samir and his brother George at SamCohlmia@yahoo.com.

Spring 2017 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Spring 2017 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. The issue contains:

  • A greeting from His Grace Bishop Basil
  • A message from Spiritual Advisor Fr. Christopher Morris
  • A message from the Diocesan President Deana Bottei
  • Profiles of diocesan officers
  • Chapter reports, photos and happenings

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Giving: Answering Grace With Grace

By Fr. Joseph Huneycutt from The Word, April 2017

Years ago, before I was ordained and we held reader services in our home, a frequent visitor would often drop a fifty-dollar or hundred dollar bill in the collection plate. Later, the Council members would giddily gather and pore over icon catalogues wondering how best to spend the money. The salad days of church planting are, in hindsight, the best!

Speaking of salad days, I remember as a layman putting a fifty-dollar bill in the plate as it passed by. I had wanted to give only a twenty, but thought it bad form to make change in the pew. Back then, forgive me, I remember dwelling on just how the parish would spend that increase!

Memory Eternal! + John Roman

John Roman (3rd from left) at the 2015 Archdiocesan ConventionJohn Roman (3rd from left) at the 2015 Archdiocesan ConventionMemory Eternal! John Roman, son of the late Daniel and Olympia Roman of Tucson, AZ, reposed yesterday, February 15, 2017, after a valiant battle with cancer. John, a member of Holy Resurrection parish in Tucson AZ, was a past president of NAC Senior SOYO during the year 1978-1979. 

Winter 2017 Sacred Music Institute in Houston Has Lenten Theme

St. George, HoustonSt. George, HoustonUpdate: The registration deadline has been extended to February 9th.

It's not too late to sign up for the Winter 2017 Sacred Music Institute (SMI), with the theme of "Great Lent: A Church Singer's Guide." This SMI will be held on February 17–19, 2017, at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston, TX. At the same time, teens will have their very own sessions in the Youth Music Ministry (YMM) track, studying Byzantine chant with Rassem El-Massih and choral music with Paul Jabara. Presentations on the Akathist Service and Presanctified Liturgy will be offered and God-willing, the teens will lead one of the services.

Don't miss this opportunity to gain a better understanding of Lenten services, their history and structure, and to learn new music, both Byzantine chant and Western choral. Instructors include Chairman Paul Jabara, Diocesan Directors Mareena Boosamra Ball and Chris Farha, and chanters Rassem El-Massih and Emily Lowe. The Institute will offer instruction in Byzantine chant, vocal and choral technique, conducting, and theology. Private and small group vocal lessons will be available throughout the weekend. Scholarships are available for both teens and adults: contact Chris Farha for more information.

Register now!

Memory Eternal! + Martha Bethancourt

Martha Bethancourt, the mother of Fr. John Bethancourt of Holy Trinity in Santa Fe, NM and the paternal grandmother of Fr. Daniel Bethancourt of St. Nicholas in Shreveport, LA reposed on December 31, 2016. Father James Coles of St. Ignatius in Mesa, AZ was with her, saying prayers. She lived with strength and died at peace with all at the age of 97. For this, and every aspect of her life, the family gives thanks to God. May her memory be eternal!

Youth Music Ministry Teen Scholarships Available

Great Opportunity for Teens who love Music!

The Department of Sacred Music is thrilled to announce the upcoming Youth Music Ministry, in conjunction with the 2017 Winter Sacred Music Institute, to be held from February 17, 2017 at 7 p.m. until February 19, 5 p.m. Hosted by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston, this weekend promises to be informative, inspirational and a lot of fun, Texas style! REGISTER HERE!!

This is the first time a Youth Music Ministry, or YMM, has been organized outside of the Summer Sacred Music Institute at the Antiochian Village. We invite all teens, especially those from the host parish Diocese of Wichita and Mid America, to participate.

Come learn more about Lenten services, their history, theology and of course their music. Think of it as kind of a tune-up before Great Lent begins!

Many Years to His Grace Bishop Basil!

Many years, master! January 1st is the celebration of St. Basil the Great and the namesday of His Grace Bishop Basil. May God grant him many years!

Apolytikion of St. Basil, Tone 1

In all the earth that received thy sayings, thy melody did resound, O righteous father, through which thou didst go about and proclaim, as worthy of God, the nature of creatures, cultivating the character of mankind, O thou of kingly Priesthood, Basil. Wherefore, plead thou with Christ God to save our souls.

Dec. 15 + St. Eleftherios, Patron Saint of Diocese of Wichita

The Holy Hieromartyr Eleftherios

December 15th is also the anniversary of the formal establishment of the Diocese of Wichita in 2004. Click here to read His Grace Bishop Basil's address on the occasion (PDF).

The Passion of the Hieromartyr Eleftherios of Illyria

From a good tree comes good fruit.  This wonderful saint had noble and greatly eminent parents.  Eleutherius was born in Rome, where his father was an imperial proconsul.  His mother Anthia heard the Gospel from the great Apostle Paul and was baptized by him.  Having been left a widow early, she entrusted her only son for study and service to Anicetus the Bishop of Rome. 

Seeing how Eleutherius was gifted by God and illumined by the grace of God, the bishop ordained him a deacon at the age of fifteen, a priest at the age of eighteen, and a bishop at the age of twenty.  Eleutherius's God-given wisdom made up for what he lacked in years, and this chosen one of God was appointed Bishop of Illyria with his seat in Valona (Avlona), Albania.

2016 Nativity Message from Bishop Basil

The Nativity of Christ 2016

To the Right Reverend Archimandrites, the Very Reverend and Reverend Priests and Deacons and their families, the Venerable Monastics, and all the Christ-loving Faithful of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America:

God is with us! God is on earth, God is among us, not now as Lawgiver – for there is no fire, trumpet blast, smoke-wreathed mountain, dense cloud, or storm to terrify whoever hears him – but as one gently and kindly conversing in a human body with his fellow men. God is in the flesh. Now he is not acting intermittently as he did through the prophets. He is bringing back to himself the whole human race, which he has taken possession of and united to himself. By his flesh he has made the human race his own kin, for God is with us!
− St. Basil the Great, Homily 2 on the Birth of the Lord

I send to each of you my paternal love, festal greetings and prayerful best wishes for the merriest of Christmases and a healthy and happy 2017.

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

+Bishop Basil
Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America

Photios Beekman Ordained to Deaconate

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

WORTHY! Photios Beekman of St. Anthony Church in Spring, Texas was ordained to the holy diaconate on Sunday, November 13th, 2016 and is assigned to that parish.

 

 

Fr. Richard Petranek Elevated to Archpriest

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

WORTHY! Fr.  Richard Petranek of St. Paul Church in Katy, Texas was elevated to the rank and dignity of Archpriest on Sunday, November 6th, 2016.

 

Community of St. George Cathedral Celebrates 50 Years in the Gables

View the photo gallery

While Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Coral Gables, FL was actually first established on February 23, 1953 in the city of Miami, August 31, 1966 is no less significant a day, as it marks the signing of the contract to purchase Temple Judea, a Jewish synagogue, in the heart of nearby beautiful Coral Gables. This is where the community would build the Saint George Cathedral of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast as a beacon of faith for the Orthodox faithful and the local community. Fifty years later, hearts of the members of the Cathedral beat no less in celebrating this golden jubilee with love; love for their own Faith and their own Cathedral.

Archdiocesan Hierarchs, Lay Leaders Conclude Successful 2016 Fall Meetings

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The Hierarchs, Board of Trustees, Governing Council of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, and Antiochian Village Council, all met the weekend of October 28–30, 2016 in Wichita, KS for the annual Fall Meetings of the Antiochian Archdiocese. They gathered under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and through the hospitality of His Grace Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. They discussed many issues and topics related to the spiritual growth of the Archdiocese and the administration of the parishes in each diocese. All the hierarchs of the Archdiocese were present.

Simultaneously, the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch held meetings to plan new ways to foster growth; the Order is especially concerned about how to encourage new generations of members for the philanthropic work of the Archdiocese. They considered implementing new giving levels such as a junior level, and instituting a new category of a one-time life membership. The Governing Council also held lengthy discussions on the best way to communicate the various projects and charitable giving to both current and prospective members.

Prayers for Our Hierarchs and Board of Trustees at Fall Meetings

Photo credit: stgeorgecathedral.netPhoto credit: stgeorgecathedral.netYour prayers are requested for our Hierarchs and Board of Trustees of the Antiochian Archdiocese who are gathering in Wichita, Kansas for their regular fall meetings from October 28–30, 2016. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph is presiding over the meetings, this year hosted by His Grace Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America.

The assembled hierarchs, clergy, board members and lay leaders will discuss various matters impacting the life of the Archdiocese. The weekend will conclude with a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday at St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas. May God bless all of their endeavors for His glory.

Teacher Training in Lakewood, CO + November 4-5, 2016

The Light of Christ Illuminath All: 
Reading The Old Testament in the Light of Christ
A weekend of fellowship and learning sponsored by the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Christian Education
Download brochure (PDF)

Fri.-Sat., November 4-5, 2016
St. John Chrysostom Mission
9300 West Dartmouth Place, Lakewood, CO 80227
V. Rev. Seraphim Gisetti
Phone: 720-938-1302
Email, Fr. Seraphim: vrevsg@comcast.net
Email, Vasiliki Oldziey: vasiliki1@cox.net

Join Dn. Elisha Long and Vasiliki Oldziey for their presentation on Christ in the Old Testament. Dn. Elisha will help you discover how Christ was proclaimed in the stories of the Old Testament. He will also introduce his curriculum "Promise and Preparation." Vasiliki will provide a teacher training workshop on Saturday morning.

2017 Winter Camp St. Raphael

Wounded by Love
with Fr. James Coles
Download Flyer (PDF)

WHEN: JANUARY 13-16, 2017
WHERE: CAMP ST. RAPHAEL (CAMP TAKATOKA)
WHO: 7TH GRADERS-HIGH-SCHOOL SENIORS
COST: $125 CAMPER $100 ADVISER
REGISTER ONLINE: WWW.WINTERCAMP.EVENTBEE.COM

The Diocese of Wichita Winter Camp 2017 (WAMP) will take place at Camp St. Raphael in Wagoner, Oklahoma from January 13th-16th, 2017, and the guest speaker will be Fr. James Coles. Registration will be online at www.wintercamp.eventbee.com.

Questions? Contact DOWAMA Youth Director Erin Ghata at erin.ghat@gmail.com.

2017 DOWAMA Clergy Brotherhood Retreat

2017 DOWAMA Clergy Brotherhood Retreat
February 7th-10th, 2017
Spiritual Life Center + Wichita, KS
Theme: Witnessing to Our Faith before the World

Featuring guest speaker Metropolitan John (Pelushi) of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania

DOWAMA'S 45th Annual Clergy Brotherhood Retreat will be held at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, Kansas, Tuesday-Friday, February 7th-10th, 2017.

The guest speaker will be Metropolitan John (Pelushi) of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. The theme for the retreat will be "Witnessing to our Faith before the World" which His Eminence will address in seven talks. 

Metropolitan Joseph Presides at Parish Centennial of St. Thomas Church in Sioux City, IA

View the photo album on Facebook

On September 2-5, 2016—Labor Day Weekend— St. Thomas Church in Sioux City, IA celebrated its 100th Anniversary. People came from all over the country to worship, fellowship, dance, and celebrate this auspicious milestone. Perhaps most especially, we were graced beyond measure with the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph for the full weekend. In addition to the formal meals, the hafli, and the grand banquet, participants were given multiple opportunities to connect with God and with one another. Each day brought its own special joys.

Antiochian Archdiocese Mourns Mr. Khalid Jabara

The Antiochian Archdiocese continues to mourn the murder of Mr. Khalid Jabara, a faithful parishioner of St. Antony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma. News coverage of his passing has been extensive. In his letter to the Jabara family, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph said: “We live in a material world that is encouraged to commit evil all the time. ‘Sin no more!’ are the words of Christ’s warning that should be the principle, founding motto, of our human existence.”

Sayidna Joseph has asked the clergy and laity to remember Mr. Jabara in their prayers for the departed for his eternal life, and to remember his loved ones in their prayers for the living, especially within the first 40 days of his falling asleep in the Lord. May God receive Mr. Jabara in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.

Memory Eternal! + Shamassy Janice Marie Bourquin

Memory Eternal! + Shamassy Janice Marie Bourquin

Shamassy Janice Marie Bourquin, wife of Deacon John Bourquin of St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church in Erie, CO, reposed at her home late on the night of August 18, 2016, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Times of services have not yet been finalized, but are tentatively set for Sunday evening, August 21 and Monday morning, August 22.  Condolences may be sent to Deacon John and the Bourquin family at jebourquin@netzero.net.  

2016 DOWAMA Basketball Tournament

September 23rd-25th, 2016
St. Elijah Church + Oklahoma City, OK

The 10th Annual DOWAMA SOYO Basketball Tournament will be hosted at St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma over the weekend September 23rd-25th, 2016. Attached are the flyer, individual registration form and team registration form. If you have any questions, please contact DOWAMA Youth Diretcor Erin Ghata at erin.ghata@gmail.com.

 

 

St. Timon Sunday 2016

Further resources for St. Timon's Sunday:

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

June 29, 2016

Beloved and Christ-loving priests, deacons, monastics and lay folk of DOWAMA:

I embrace and greet you with a holy kiss in the Name of the Lord Christ.

In the Biblical account of the feast of Pentecost (Acts 2) we read of people from a multitude of nations who heard for the very first time and "everyone in his own language" (2:6) the proclamation by the Holy Apostles of the Good News. Among those people were "Arabians" (2:11) which meant people from Rome's frontier province of Arabia Petraea (the area of modern Syria south of Damascus, the Nabataean kingdom in modern Jordan, the Sinai peninsula and the northwestern tip of modern Saudi Arabia).