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Diocese of Miami News

“I Would Fly Away and Be at Rest:" The Last Public Appearance and Funeral of Bishop Antoun

By Subdeacon Peter Samore

On Friday, November 10, the fortieth day of His Grace Bishop Antoun's repose is commemorated, and on Sunday, November 12, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph asks all parishes to hold Trisagion Services.

“Oh that I had the wings of a dove. I would fly away and be at rest.” (Psalm 54:6)

Although the context of the Psalm is tribulation, it holds a different context for His Grace Bishop Antoun, the longest-serving auxiliary bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese who left this world on the morning of Monday, October 2, 2017. For, as Metropolitan Joseph remarked in funeral address, Sayidna Antoun did not fly away to leave the rest of us behind, because he never betrayed us. Rather, His Grace took up his new abode at the throne of Almighty God to intercede with Him for us, and reunite the clergy and laity he loved so dearly on the Last Day.

Every bishop of the Archdiocese, along with dozens of clergy and hundreds of faithful, gathered at St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida – Sayidna Antoun’s cathedral in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast – to mourn the loss of a man who served them in so many ways since his arrival to the United States in 1959. (View the memorial page for His Grace Bishop Antoun, and view the photo album of the funeral.)

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH's Address at the Funeral of His Grace Bishop ANTOUN

Archieratical Address of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH
Delivered at the Funeral of His Grace Bishop ANTOUN

Beloved Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Christ-loving Faithful:

I embrace all of you with paternal love, as we come together this evening to pray for our beloved Bishop ANTOUN and for his eternal rest.

I return to you from the meetings of the Holy Synod of Antioch, and I bear with me the fervent prayers and heartfelt condolences of our Father-in-Christ, His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X, as well as my brothers, the venerable Metropolitans of our Holy Patriarchate. We belong to one Antiochian family, and I can relay to you that the loss of our beloved Bishop ANTOUN is profoundly felt by all. 

I stand before you this evening with great reverence and immeasurable affection for my dear brother and concelebrant, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the years I was blessed to call him a friend and a mentor.

Annual Clergy Wives Weekend to be Held at Antiochian Village, October 20-22, 2017

Byzantine wedding ringByzantine wedding ringDownload the Registration Form

Come to this pan-Orthodox gathering and be refreshed and restored! As always, this weekend offers an opportunity for clergy wives to rededicate ourselves to our own personal spiritual journeys as we participate with our husbands and families in the various vineyards where God has led us. We are reminded of the efforts and the memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah, for whom care and nurturing of clergy wives was always a priority. Likewise this year we will celebrate and remember Kh. Stefanie Yazge, whose dedication to clergy wives and their families will be remembered on Friday evening specifically by her children—Matt, Mark, and Alexis—as we open our session.

Details

Speaker: Mother Christophora, Abbess Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA

Group Facilitator: Deacon Seraphim Moslener: Gifts for the Journey: Faith, Hope and Love

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Mary Sue Henderson Walker

Khouria Mary Sue Henderson Walker, age 84 of Nashville, TN, passed away August 27, 2017. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Preceded in death by her husband, The Very Reverend Gordon Walker, she described herself as "ridiculously happy" to be his faithful wife for 63 years. 

Her surviving family are: son, Gordon Thomas, Jr. (Kibble) Walker; daughters, Deborah (Michael) Amick, Melissa (Dn. Gary) Braun, Grace (Collin) Monk and Jacqueline (Robert) Menish; brothers, George Henderson, Jr. and Ret. Col. Robert L. Henderson, M.D.; sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Beard; sixteen grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at St. Ignatius Orthodox Church, Franklin, TN, with Fr. Philip Begley officiating. Visitation will be 1:00-4:00 p.m. prior to the service at the church. Interment is at St. Ignatius Cemetery and her grandsons will serve as pallbearers. Memorials may be made to St. Ignatius Orthodox Church, 3535 St. Ignatius Lane, Franklin, TN 37064. Williamson Memorial Funeral Home, (615) 794-2289.

Metropolitan Joseph Appoints Bishop Nicholas to Lead the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast

August 3, 2017

The Reverend Clergy of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast:                        

Blessings and greetings to you and your families in the name of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, as we embark on the blessed Dormition Fast.

I would like to start this letter by thanking my dear brother His Grace Bishop Antoun for all the years of hard work in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. He touched all of our hearts with his dedication and support as he earned his gray hair: “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” (Proverbs 16:31)

Convention Audio Now Available at Ancient Faith Radio

Ancient Faith Radio has released several audio recordings from the recently concluded biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention in Miami, in their "Specials" podcast section. Hosted by St. George's Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Coral Gables, the 53rd Convention was held from July 23–30, 2017 and commemorated the ministry of His Grace Bishop Antoun, who was retiring after decades of service to the Archdiocese. The audio recordings include the spiritual talks of Fr. Andrew Damick, the Bible Bowl contest, and the Keynote Address by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

Listen to all five presentations on Ancient Faith Radio.

Be a Part of the Convention Via Facebook Live!

View the Facebook gallery

There has never been a better time to "like" and "share" the Antiochian Archdiocese Facebook page! All week long the Antiochian.org team will be live streaming events from the floor of the 53rd Biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention (#AC2017Miami), hosted by St. George Cathedral and taking place at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood (Miami), Florida.

For the first time ever, Metropolitan Joseph's address to the General Assembly on the state of the Archdiocese will be carried live on Friday, July 28, at approximately 11 am EST. Additionally, watch for the speeches by the seven regional Oratorical Festival diocesan winners on Saturday morning, July 29, at approximately 11 am EST. They will be speaking on the Conference theme, "My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations."

Facebook visitors will also be able to view the live presentations offered at the Grand Banquet on Saturday, July 29, where His Grace Bishop Antoun will be honored for his eight decades of service to the Orthodox Church.

View the Schedule of Events
Watch all Facebook videos from the Convention

Convention Countdown: Events Registration Extended to July 19

 

 

 



Register Online NOW at AC2017Miami.org—the AC2017 Committee does not want anyone to miss out!
ONLINE REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Extended Online Registration Deadline: Wednesday, July 19, 2017
11:59 p.m. (EST)
_________
Register Online NOW at AC2017Miami.org

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.

Archdiocesan Convention to Celebrate Bishop Antoun’s Lifetime of Service

After eight decades of “love, humility and sunshine” in service to the Antiochian Orthodox Church, His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast is retiring from active ministry. This July 23-30, the Antiochian Archdiocese’s biennial convention in Miami will celebrate his remarkable witness to our Lord Jesus Christ as an acolyte, deacon, priest and bishop. The convention’s host, St. George Cathedral of Coral Gables, Florida is preparing exciting festivities.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, the venerable hierarchs and the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese urge all of the clergy and faithful to make plans now to honor Bishop Antoun personally by attending this historic convention. St. George Cathedral will dedicate the “History Journal” to His Grace that will be filled with photos and tributes.

Register for the 53rd Biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention Now!

 

 

 



His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, Fr. Fouad Saba, and all the clergy and faithful at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida, welcome you to South Florida for the 53rd Biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention. You will not want to miss all the exciting events in store for you July 23–30, 2017. It's time to register and make your plans now!

The AC2017 Convention Committee has designed wave after wave of family fellowship events including spiritual growth, educational workshops, and wonderful family fun events and activities.

Please note the following with regard to Ticket Book pricing:

South Florida Clergy Celebrate Namesday and Birthday of Bishop Antoun

Fr. Elia Shalhoub writes:

For the 2017 Feast of St. Anthony, the patron saint of our beloved Bishop Antoun, a few of the clergy of the South Florida Deanery gathered at St. Mary Church in West Palm Beach to celebrate His Grace's namesday and birthday. May God Grant him many years!

 

Blessed Namesdays to Bishops Antoun and Anthony!

January 17th is the celebration of St. Anthony the Great and the namesdays of His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and of His Grace Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo. May God grant them many years!

Apolytikion of St. Anthony the Great, Tone 4 

Thou didst become like the zealous Elijah in his condition, and followed John the Baptist in his upright ways, becoming a dweller in the wilderness and an establisher of the universe by thy prayer, O Father Anthony. Wherefore, intercede thou with Christ God to save our souls.

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!

Vendor Registration for 2017 Archdiocese Convention Now Open

 

 

The 2017 Archdiocese Convention Committee announces with excitement that Vendor Registration is NOW OPEN! The commitment to raise Convention standards is proven once again with the efforts to make vendors proud of being a part of the Antiochian Archdiocese's Convention to be held in July 2017 in Miami, Florida. Vendors will have the opportunity to choose the space of their liking from a convenient layout published alongside the Vendor Registration Form on the 2017 Archdiocese Convention Website. In addition, online Registration also available.

Great exposure awaits all vendors, who will be signed up on a "First come, first serve" basis. With over 2000 attendees expected, this Convention promises to help all the faithful benefit from the great work of the Orthodox vendors in this country and abroad. See you in July 2017, God willing!

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.

Orthodox Young Professionals Hold Successful Conference with Metropolitan Joseph in New Orleans

View the photos on Facebook

The challenges and the stresses of the workplace seem nonstop, but three inspiring speakers reminded the 188 participants in the Orthodox Young Professionals Conference that God does not abandon them there. Rather, He seeks to use them for His glory, to let their light “shine before men” (Matt. 5:16).

Fulfilling a promise he made two years ago at the last OYPC in San Diego, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided over and interacted with the young adults at the conference sponsored by the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Young Adult Ministry from August 18-21, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He congratulated them for “dwelling in unity” (Psalm 133:1) to meet the challenges of managing their lives, caring for their families and succeeding in their jobs. But Sayidna Joseph stressed that they will be empty and unfulfilled without Jesus Christ and His holy Church at the center of all aspects of their lives.

Summer 2016 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2016 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. The issue contains:

  • A message from President Dawn Evancho
  • For All The Saints by V. Rev. Stephen Rogers
  • Profiles of diocesan officers
  • Chapter reports, photos and happenings

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

Orthodox Young Professionals Conference: Interview with Co-Chair Kyra Pelachik

The second Orthodox Young Professionals Conference is coming up on August 18-21, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. After its great success in San Diego in 2014, the conference, designed especially for career-bound and professional young adults, is expecting even more attendees this summer. Hosted by the newly founded Archdiocese Young Adult Ministry, the conference will offer participants the opportunity to network with other Orthodox Christians from across the country. Antiochian.org asked Co-Chair Kyra Pelachik what makes this year different than 2014, and what participants can look forward to in August.

This will be the second conference of its kind.  Why do you think the first one was so successful?

The young professionals who attended the first one were there for all the right and same reasons—to grow spiritually, meet other young professionals from the Archdiocese, and to have some fun together.

Antiochian Priest to Speak at 2016 March for Marriage

Father John Oliver, pastor of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church (Antiochian Archdiocese) in Murfreesboro, TN, has been invited by the National Organization for Marriage to speak at the 2016 March for Marriage. The March will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The peaceful demonstration—convened to express support for traditional marriage and family—will begin at the Capitol Grounds at 11:30 a.m. and end before the U.S. Supreme Court building. In 2015, the March's inaugural year, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph released a letter encouraging the faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America to attend the March.

Postscript: Read Fr. John Oliver's remarks

St. George Cathedral Seeks Youth Director/Pastoral Assistant

Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

Thanks be to God for all things! Due to the many blessings from the Lord and the continued growth He is granting, Saint George Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida, announces a new full-time position, "Youth Director / Pastoral Assistant," beginning this summer 2016. Resumes may be emailed by June 3rd to the Cathedral Office at Office@StGMiami.org. Qualifications for this position are below the signature. Compensation includes a decent salary, health insurance, and other benefits. May the Lord grant you all many years!

Yours in Christ,
V. Rev. Fr. Fouad Saba, Cathedral Dean 
Chris Farha, Cathedral Council Chairman

Qualifications for the Full-Time position of Youth Director / Pastoral Assistant at Saint George Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida:

St. Anthony the Great in Florida Celebrates a Consecration, Ordination, and Elevation

By Deborah Thieme

On May 7, 2016, St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Melbourne, Florida celebrated a Consecration, Ordination, and Elevation. The consecration of a church is a once in a lifetime event for a parish. It was especially eventful for this struggling mission parish, which had been meeting in various rented facilities for its 15-year existence. 

As a convert who only just celebrated my first Pascha as an Orthodox Christian this year, I beheld these events with wide-eyed wonder, and what follows is my feeble attempt to share this wonderful story with you.

But first, you should know how the story almost never came to be…

A Weekend of Memories: The Elevation of Father Fouad Saba

His Grace Bishop Antoun with the newly-elevated Father SabaHis Grace Bishop Antoun with the newly-elevated Father SabaAlthough the actual elevation of a Priest to the dignity of Archpriest may take only a few minutes, the preparations for this sacred event begin far in advance. Ten years in advance. Once a seminarian is ordained to the Diaconate and later to the Priesthood, he then faithfully serves the Church as pastor, teacher, confessor, spiritual father, and other less notable yet equally important roles over the course of ten years before he can be considered for Elevation to the dignity of Archpriest. During each of these ten years, the Priest will lead his parish through the beautiful seasons of the Church calendar, cultivating a spirit of love and unity. There will be scores of homilies delivered during Sunday Liturgies, the joy of baptisms, the sorrow of memorials, countless hours of counsel, discovering a leak in the Church roof, discovering a second leak in the Church roof, fundraising to fix the leaking roof. Through all this the Priest will gain the love and respect of his parishioners. As an outpouring of gratitude and deepest appreciation, those parishioners will in turn voice to their Bishop the desire to have their Priest elevated to the dignity of Archpriest in recognition of his devotion to the Church and Her members.<--break->

Memory Eternal! + Mrs. Selwa Hiresh

Fr. John Hamatie brought Holy Communion to Selwa on her 95th birthdayFr. John Hamatie brought Holy Communion to Selwa on her 95th birthdayThe Central Florida community of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of downtown Orlando is saddened to share the news of the passing into eternal rest of one of the communities eldest and dearest members, Mrs. Selwa Hiresh, originally of Lebanon.

Mrs. Hiresh, aged 95, lived a life focused on her love of Jesus Christ and living in the way that God would have wanted her to have lived.

Selwa had the most beautiful smile and everyone who ever met her instantly became friends with this dear classy lady.

She and her late husband +Michel had been blessed to have had four children: Mitri, (LouLou), Samia (Kamal), Sammy (Karen), and Lillian (Farid). Selwa was blessed with ten grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and the dearest of friends. Selwa for many many years attended St. George's and always wanted to go to church to light a candle. She loved church.

Memory Eternal! + Nicholas Ramacciato

Nicholas Ramacciato reposed in the Lord on November 4, 2015. Nick and his beloved wife Francis had been married for over 52 years. They have a son, Nicholas Jr., a very successful businessman in Central Florida.

Originally from the Bronx in New York City, Nick and Francis had made Orlando home for the last thirty-five years. They had been in the restaurant business for many years, having owned and operated various Italian restaurants, before retiring to Orlando. 

Nick was one of the kindest, most gentle gentleman you could ever meet; at the same time he spoke his mind without any limits. That's how he came to become a part of the St. George family. Almost 25 years ago on a summer afternoon, Nick sparked up a conversation with St. George's pastor, the Very Reverend Fr. John Hamatie. Father John and Nick became friends and some years later Nick and Francis converted to the Holy Orthodox Christian faith.