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Diocese of Los Angeles News

Riverside, CA Parish Hosts Symposium with Metropolitan Kallistos

Metropolitan Kallistos with Archbishop Joseph in Riverside, CAMetropolitan Kallistos with Archbishop Joseph in Riverside, CAOver the weekend of February 23-24, 2013, St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, CA and its Rector The Very Rev. Dr. Josiah Trenham, hosted the first Southern California Symposium of the Saints Cyril & Athanasius of Alexandria Institute for Orthodox Studies. Titled "Prayer in the Church Fathers," the event featured His Excellency the Most Reverend Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, St. Vladimir's Seminary Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, Institute Director The Very Rev. Dr. Irenei (Steenberg) and The Rev. Daniel Meyer (Antiochian Archdiocese, West Chester, PA), addressing the topic "Prayer and the Church Fathers."

On Sunday, His Eminence The Most Reverend Archbishop Joseph concelebrated with Metropolitan Kallistos for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. A photo gallery of His Eminence serving with Metropolitan Kallistos is posted on the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West website.

10th Annual Orthodox Men's Retreat of St. John the Baptist + April 12-14, 2013 in Caroline, Alberta

The 10th Annual Orthodox Men's Retreat of St. John the Baptist will be held on April 12-14, 2013 at Sanctum Retreat Centre in Caroline, Alberta, Canada. This year's speaker is the Very Reverend Archpriest Bohdan Hladio. The theme of this year's retreat will be Father, Brother, Husband, Friend: The Virtues of Christian Manhood in the Image of Christ.

Memory Eternal! + The Very Rev. Fr. Nicholas Habib

From the Diocese of the West:

+ Memory Eternal!

It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, The Very Reverend Father Nicholas Habib, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, December 16, 2012.

His Eminence Archbishop Joseph of Los Angeles and the West presided over the funeral service, which was held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, December 18, 2012, at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in San Francisco.

May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom, and may his memory be eternal!

Memory Eternal! + Rev. Fr. Polycarp Whitcomb

From the Diocese of the West:

It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, Father Polycarp Whitcomb, Pastor of St. Athanasius Church in Sacramento, California, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, January 4, 2013. His Eminence Archbishop Joseph has asked the parishes to remember him in your prayers for the departed for the next 40 days and to hold a special Trisagion for his eternal life. The funeral arrangements will be announced once they are set. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.

His Eminence Archbishop Joseph's Advent Message: "The Orthodox Advent Tradition"

In November, 2012, Archbishop Joseph offered the following Nativity reflections to the faithful.

Contemplating the blessings of the Advent season, at times we ponder whether we have lost our blessings to the material world in which we live. Surrounded by ostentatious displays of wealth and unhealthy indulgences, we realize that they are slowly taking the place of more appropriate preparations for the celebration of Christmas. The very foundation of the Christmas Feast is the birth of an unassuming Child born quietly, humbly. The King of Glory was born of a mother who was turned away from every house, in a cave among the animals who could not speak.

Advent is the time of our preparation to meet the Lord of Lords. Certainly, we desire to offer our best gifts to the Christ Child, but they must be gifts of substance - the gifts of prayer, repentance, forgiveness and love.

Five West Coast Bishops Invite Clergy to Annual Advent Retreat

His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos, His Eminence, Archbishop Joseph, His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill, His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin and His Grace, Bishop Maxim, invite all clergy in the West to the Fourth Annual Pan-Orthodox Clergy Advent Retreat 

 Download the registration form and schedule

  • Topic: “The Sacrament of Confession: Contemporary Pastoral Challenges and Questions”
  • Retreat Master: Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis
  • Location: Sacred Heart Retreat House and St. Joseph Campus, 920 East Alhambra Road, Alhambra
  • Phone: 626.289.1353

St. Athanasius Orthodox Church Hosts Second Annual Liturgical Arts Festival

St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara, California, is hosting their second annual Liturgical Arts Festival on Friday, October 19, and Saturday, October 20, 2012.

The Presenters Scott Cairns—Poet, Author, 2006 Guggenheim Fellow, and Professor; and the Rev. Fr. Andrew Cuneo—C.S. Lewis Scholar (D.Phil, Oxford University), and Professor of English Literature at St. Katherine College, will speak both Friday and Saturday.

The parish will also host an icon exhibit and tours of the church, and both evenings will end with a reception and book-signing offered by the featured speakers.

The festival is produced with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Joseph of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

Details are available here.

Memory Eternal! + Rev. Deacon Howard Shannon

From the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West:

It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, Deacon Howard Shannon of St. Athanasius Church in Goleta, California, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, September 21, 2012. His Eminence, Archbishop JOSEPH has asked the parishes to remember him in your prayers for the departed for the next 40 days and to hold a special Trisagion for his eternal life. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.

New Booklet Presents Church's Teaching about Memorials

In the booklet, “Boiled Wheat Used for Holidays and Memorials in the Eastern Orthodox Church,” Archpriest Alexandros El-Far presents the Church’s essential teaching about the soul or spirit of each human being after death. After describing the meaning of the memorials traditionally kept on the third, ninth, and fortieth days as well as the half year and one year anniversaries after the death of an Orthodox Christian, Fr. Alexandros provides the reader with the patristic and scriptural foundations for understanding death as the doorway to eternal salvation.

Through excerpts from the lives of the martyrs, St. Theodore the Tyro (d. 297 A.D.) and his contemporary St. Barbara (d. 291), Fr. Alexandros tells the story of how wheat was established in the earliest Christian tradition as the symbol of death and resurrection. The booklet concludes with the Church’s admonition against cremation as a substitute for burial and an admonition against modern heretical ideas that can lead astray the Christian believer.

In a letter included as a forward to the booklet, Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West describes the work as “a perfect example of what we seek through our prayers to the departed.”

Order Inductions at Diocese of Los Angeles Parish Life Conference

Seven new members were inducted into the Order of St. Ignatius at the 2012 Parish Life Conference of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West. Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Raymond Rishwain (Past North American Chair), Mazen Manasseh (2012 Inductee), Sheila Veizades (2012 Inductee), Henry Veizades, Zeina Manasseh (2012 Inductee), Mother Pelagia (Mother Superior St. Thekla Convent, Maaloula, Syria), His Eminence Archbishop JOSEPH, Sana Eideh (2012 Inductee), Fr. Samer Youssef, Abraham Ghebremicael (2012 Inductee), Michael Srour, John Mogannam (2012 Inductee), Johnny Khamis (2012 Inductee), Kh. Julianna Youssef, Christian Manasseh, Dania Amireh

Blessed Anniversary to Metropolitan Joseph!

The clergy and the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese extend their prayers and love to our His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph on the occasion of the Anniversary of his consecration to the sacred episcopate (June 30, 1991). May God grant him many years as our Father and Chief Shepherd!

2012 Paschal Greetings from Archbishop Joseph

“And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He is risen, He is not here; see the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His Disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him, as He told you’” (Mark 16:4-7)

Christ is risen!

لمسيح ارتفع! حقا انه زاد!

Хрңстос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе!

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Άληθώς Άνέστη!

Beloved in Christ:
Words of joy are brought to us by this Great and Holy Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we take the time to ponder the depth of the meaning of this wondrous feast, the salvation brought to us through His death and resurrection, let us come together to truly celebrate this day the Lord has made to redeem us. May we experience a deeper renewal of our own faith and may those who need the hope of salvation be brought to say, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death.”

Glory to Thy Holy Resurrection, O Lord!

Yours in the Risen Lord,

+Archbishop JOSEPH

Memory Eternal! + Ruth Cohlmia

His Grace Bishop Basil has passed along the sad news that Ruth Cohlmia, wife of Jim Cohlmia, has reposed in the Lord. The funeral services will be held in Wichita, Kansas at St. George Cathedral; The day and time has not been established. A short memorial service is tentatively scheduled for Thursday evening, April 5, at 7:00 PM at St. Ignatius Orthodox Mission, 3800 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ.

Exemplary new parish website launched

Button for priest's blog on St. Barnabas siteButton for priest's blog on St. Barnabas siteSt. Barnabas Orthodox Church in Costa Mesa has launched a new website to introduce the parish and the Orthodox faith within their Southern California community.

Fr. Wayne Wilson, Senior Pastor of St. Barnabas, writes a greeting for visitors to the parish's new website:

"Welcome to our new parish web site. We designed it to give you a snapshot of our church community and our life together as Eastern Orthodox Christians. I hope that you can join us in worship and also give me an opportunity to meet you and introduce you to our fine parish members."

The new website features an block of professional-quality rotating photos, easy access to information for newcomers, a variety of spiritual writings and Orthodox news of interest on the home page, daily Scripture readings, and "Fr. Wayne's Corner," a priest's blog.

Visit the new site here.

New Inductions in Orinda, CA

His Eminence Archbishop Joseph recently inducted seven new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. John the Evangelist Church in Orinda, California. Pictured above (L to R): Fadwa Samara (sponsor), Hanada Fashieh, Howard Ashcraft, Reene Carr (sponsor), James Potts (Life Member), Najat Nicola (sponsor), His Eminence Archbishop Joseph, Tiffany Kirby Gantus, Brandon Gantus, Khalil Mounzer, Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Nick Nicola, Jr. (Sponsor), Kristin Nicola (Order of St. Ignatius, Diocese Vice Chair).

Order of St. Ignatius Fellowship Dinner Honors Archbishop Joseph's Elevation

On February 12, 2012, the Order of St. Ignatius' Los Angeles area members hosted a fellowship dinner honoring His Eminence Archbishop Joseph's recent elevation to archbishop.

St. Nicholas Cathedral Honors Parishioners

St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles, California continued its tradition this past year of honoring several of its parishioners during its Annual Feast day luncheon. This year's honorees were 2 couples: Ronald and Rose Samore and Edward and Georgette Malouf. These couples were honored for their lifelong service to God's church and specifically for their tireless efforts in serving St. Nicholas Cathedral for the past 30 plus years. They have served the church in such events as community outreach, Sweetheart Ball committees, Creative Festivals committee at Parish Life Conferences, organizing and cooking countless meals, serving the Antiochian Women organizations, serving Camp St. Nicholas, and in many other capacities in their church, as well as on a Diocesan and Archdiocesan level. May the Lord grant you many, many more years!

Order Inductions at St. James Church + Modesto, CA

His Eminence Archbishop Joseph recently inducted six new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. James Church in Modesto, California. Pictured above are His Eminence with inductees Carla Zell (Dame), Paulette Attoun (Dame), Ryan Swehla (Knight), Agnes Enwia (Dame), Nicholas Wright (Knight) and Subdeacon George Hartley (knight), as well as Kimberly Nicola, Dr. Ray Rishwain and Fr. Thomas Zell.

St. Katherine College Hosts President's Gala in Inaugural Year

St. Katherine College hosted the first annual President’s Gala on January 28th. Approximately 300 guests enjoyed hearing the College chorale, readings from prize-winning poet and Visiting Professor Scott Cairns, and the first public performance of a piano composition by music Instructor Nazo Zakkak. The attendees represented clergy and people from all of the Orthodox Christian traditions as well as those of other faiths. Underwriters for the event included corporations, businesses, and individuals who are committed to the vision of an Orthodox Christian college. An Ancient Faith Radio audio summary of the event is available here.  

Saint Katherine College began its second year of operation on January 9, 2012. Classes resumed for 11 traditional and 4 part-time students. The first year was marked by continuing expansion of course offerings and facilities. Most students are taking courses in the College's Core Integration series, mathematics, biological science, and theology, as well as electives in areas ranging from music theory to business ethics. Recently the school was awarded competitive grants to fund original research at the College.

Outreach to the Needy from St. John the Evangelist Church + Orinda, CA

by Fr. George Washburn

In the last two years St. John the Evangelist Antiochian Orthodox Church in Orinda, CA has engaged in several new forms of outreach to needy people. In each case we have learned that when we respond to God’s love shed abroad in our hearts by Christ (Rom. 5:5), we receive back both anticipated and unanticipated dividends from the Lord Himself… and those we serve!

1. Project Mexico: For two summers in a row teams of adults and kids from our parish have spent a week at St. Innocent Orphanage and built a simple new home for a poor family.

Archbishop Joseph Interviewed for Assembly of Bishops Series

His Eminence Archbishop Joseph of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West has been interviewed as part of an ongoing series of interviews with the member bishops of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of North and Central America. Listen to the interview here.

Assembly of Bishops Secretariat Meets at Antiochian Parish in Riverside

Assembly of Bishops SecretariatAssembly of Bishops SecretariatThe Secretariat of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America held its annual "face-to-face" meeting, January 24th and 25th, 2012. The hosts for this year's "face-to-face" meeting were Father Josiah Trenham and the congregation of St Andrew Church in Riverside, CA. An overview of the work accomplished at the Riverside meeting will be included in a soon-to-be issued media release which will report to the Church-at-large on the work of the Assembly during the past year.

The Secretariat, which also meets monthly via teleconference, consists of Bishop Basil (Secretary of the Assembly of Bishops), Archbishop Antony, Bishop Andonios, Bishop Maxim, Father Mark Arey, Father Nicholas Ceko, Father Josiah Trenham, Hierodeacon Benedict (Armitage), Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, and Messrs. Alexei Krindatch, Alex Machaskee, Eric Namee and Constantin Ursache.

Fourteenth Annual Clergy Seminar January 16-20, 2012

All Clergy are cordially invited to the

Diocese of Los Angeles And the West

Fourteenth Annual Clergy Seminar

January 16-20, 2012


Harry Boosalis, Th.D.

Professor of Dogmatic Theology at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary



 Retreat Center

Sacred Heart Retreat House

920 East Alhambra Road

Alhambra, CA 91801-2799

Download flyer

A Special Reception Honoring His Eminence

VERY REVEREND FR. MICHEL NAJIM, Dean of St Nicholas Cathedral, 
the Clergy, the Parish Council and the Organizations of St. Nicholas Cathedral

Cordially Invite You to Attend

SUNDAY, January 8th, 2012
Following the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy Presided by His Eminence ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH.

For information please contact Hend G. Nahas at 818-956-8494 or
Tickets: Adults $25.00---Children $10.00

For reservations and tickets, please Contact Curt Annett or Don Costa at:  or

Please make a Donation to Support Diocesan Youth Projects by contacting Dr. Fred Milkie
By sending your check to St. Nicholas Cathedral
2300 WEST THIRD STREET LOS ANGELES, CA  90057 (Earmarked Archbishop Joseph)
Looking forward to seeing all of you as we honor His Eminence Archbishop JOSEPH!