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Diocese of Miami News

Report on a Joyous Coral Gables Anniversary Celebration

View the Diamond Jubilee celebration photo gallery

View the Diamond Jubilee Video Slideshow

By Ernestine Ede and Justin Sayfie

On November 16-18, 2012, St. George Cathedral of Coral Gables, FL, began a year-long celebration of her Diamond Jubilee (60th Anniversary) with a weekend to remember.

The festivities began on Friday evening. Saint George Cathedral was adorned with long ribbons of red and white satin streaming from the center archway of the altar and the bells were joyously ringing in jubilation at the arrival of the Metropolitan’s motorcade at the front of the Cathedral. Our pastor Fr. Fouad Saba, the members of the parish council, and the faithful of St. George Cathedral had for several months eagerly awaited the arrival of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, His Eminence Archbishop Joseph, His Grace Bishop Antoun and His Grace Bishop Nicholas. The Cathedral was also honored to have in attendance The Very Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi, Fawaz El-Khoury, the vice chairman of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, and Mrs. Mary Winstanley O’Connor, the North American chair for the Order of St. Ignatius.  In addition, a special honor was bestowed on the Cathedral with the arrival of Maronite Bishop Mounir Khairallah of Batroun, Lebanon.

St. George Cathedral in Miami Celebrates 60 Years

St. George CathedralSt. George CathedralA busy Commencement Weekend of November 16-18, 2012 begins a year-long celebration of St. George Cathedral's sixty years of ministry in the Miami community. His Eminence Metropolitan Philip will preside over the weekend's events, which begin Friday evening, November 16, with a welcome reception. On Saturday, November 17th, the Grand Banquet will kick off at 6:00 p.m. at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Distinguished hierarchs and guests will enjoy the music of renowned singer Osama Neimy, and violinist Gaby Dahrie.

Additionally, on Saturday during the day, a Youth Luncheon for His Eminence Metropolitan Philip and visiting hierarchs will be held with the students of Sunday School, members of SOYO and the Fellowship of St. John, in the Cathedral Hall. 

Finally, on Sunday, November 18th, Metropolitan Philip will preside at the Divine Services beginning with Orthros at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:30 a.m. The induction of new members into the Order of St. Ignatius will take place immediately after Liturgy. Everyone is invited to enjoy a Thanksgiving Luncheon to be held following the services, at the Cathedral Hall. 

Memory Eternal! + Paul Saba

MEMORY ETERNAL! Paul Saba, 88, of Largo, Florida, passed away on August 15, 2012. Paul was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 1, 1923 to Gabriel and Pauline (Asha) Saba. Paul was a member of the Order of St. Ignatius and a founding member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, St. Petersburg, Florida. A veteran of the US Air Force, Paul was currently attending Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Safety Harbor, Florida. He was very active in the Orthodox Church and was president of the SOYO club several times.

Read Paul's complete obituary and view the guest book.

Memory Eternal! + Nabiha Nasr

Fr. Fouad Saba writes:

Glory to Jesus Christ who is the Resurrection and the Life! Glory forever!

St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida is saddened to inform you of the passing into eternal life of the handmaid of God, Nabiha Nasr, early this morning, August 29, 2012, at the age of 94. Nabiha, late widow of Jules Nasr, and matriarch of the Nasr family, was mother to five children, twelve grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren. St. George Cathedral offers her sincerest condolences to her children, Michel (Cathedral Council President), Aimee, Mouna, Gretta, Sally, and their families. May the loving God who gave His only Son, grant rest to his handmaiden, Nabiha, with the Saints, and may He bless and comfort the Nasr family with his Grace.

The following arrangements have been made:

Report from the Diocese of Miami Parish Life Conference

The Twentieth Annual Parish Life Conference (PLC) of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, hosted by St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church of Davie, Florida was held from June 13-17, 2012 at the Ocean Sky Resort and Hotel at Fort Lauderdale’s famous beaches. Just under 300 people registered at the Conference, and considering the present state of the economy, the PLC turned out to be a resounding success.

His Grace Bishop Antoun presided over the Conference, joined by the Keynote speaker, His Grace Bishop Anthony, Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest. The Very Reverend Father Elia Shalhoub, Dean of the Clergy in our Deanery, was the Host Pastor, and the Conference was chaired by Deborah Khoury and co-chaired by Diane Perez.

The theme of the conference came from St. John of Damascus, one of the great theologians of the Church who stated: “The Bible Fills us with Eternal Joy”.

Four New Members Inducted at Parish Life Conference

Four new members of the Order of St. Ignatius were inducted at the Parish Life Conference for the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. The PLC was held at the beautiful Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort in Fort Lauderdale.

 Four new members join the OrderFour new members join the Order
L to R: Miguel Perez , John Sedawei, Chris Husson and Aster AfeworkL to R: Miguel Perez , John Sedawei, Chris Husson and Aster Afework 
 New Miami Diocese Order Chair Nicholas Sadaka with Bishops Anthony & Antoun, and Fr. Elia Shalhoub (Spiritual Advisor)New Miami Diocese Order Chair Nicholas Sadaka with Bishops Anthony & Antoun, and Fr. Elia Shalhoub (Spiritual Advisor)
 


Bishop Anthony Speaks to Teens at Miami PLC

The teens of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast ended up their recent Parish Life Conference saying, "Thank you Bishop Anthony!"

The Diocese teens were blessed to have His Grace Bishop Anthony from the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest visit them in Fort Lauderdale during their Parish Life Conference starting June 13. Members of teen SOYO joined His Grace for a Teen Workshop on Saturday (6/16). SOYO captured the audio and key points from this workshop as well as the audio and key points from his keynote during the Grand Banquet Saturday evening, and audio from his sermon during Sunday's liturgy.

His Grace's words of wisdom included these thoughts:

Find pleasure in your purpose. If you pursue pleasure without purpose, your pleasure will become your pain. "Pursue your purpose, and you'll find your person."

Attach yourself to the church so you will be attracted to the right people and the right things.

Do your best at everything so you can find the one thing you are really good at. "That's how you find your balance and your bliss."

Read about, and listen to, all the workshops.

Up Next: Diocese of Miami and the Southeast PLC

Ocean Sky Hotel, site of Diocese of Miami's PLCOcean Sky Hotel, site of Diocese of Miami's PLCParish Life Conference (PLC) season continues as the parishioners of St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church prepare for the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast's PLC, presided over by His Grace Bishop Antoun. The beautiful Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort in Ft. Lauderdale is the site of the event, which will kick off on June 13 and run through the weekend. A packed, family-friendly schedule includes childcare and teen meetings, a Marriage and Family Workshop with Khouria Maggie Hock, the daily cycle of services, the Creative Festival and Bible Bowl events, and much more.

In the meantime, the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America concluded their successful PLC, themed "Cowboys and Cassocks." The busy four day weekend was hosted by the St. Joseph Orthodox Church of Houston; a highlight for attendees was the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of His Grace Bishop Basil's consecration to the episcopacy.

A Picasa photo gallery of the Diocese of Wichita conference may be viewed here.

Summer 2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • A message from His Grace Bishop Antoun
  • The Living Waters of Mid-Pentecost by Diocesan Spiritual Advisor Fr. Stephen Rogers
  • A message from Diocese of Miami Antiochian Women President Dorothy Tampary

...and more! Click here to download (PDF)

2012 Paschal Greetings from Bishop Antoun

His Grace Bishop Antoun writes:

Great and Holy Pascha, 2012

Christ is Risen!

Truly, He is Risen!

To my beloved clergy and laity of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast.

I pray you all have a blessed feast of our Lord's Resurrection and that the next 40 days will bring you all the joys of the risen Lord.

In Christ,

+ANTOUN

Auxiliary, Diocese of Miami and the Southeast

 

Consecration of St. Andrew Church + Pensacola, FL

From the March 2012 edition of The Word:

St. Andrew – Intercessor for the Orthodox in America

St. Andrew the First-called Apostle began work as a fisherman and, as proclaimed by our Lord Jesus Christ, he became a fisher of men particularly through his missionary journeys along the Black Sea. Not only did he work during his life here on earth, but he continued to pray and nurture the seeds he had planted in small villages such as Byzantium and Kiev to such a degree that these areas flourished over the centuries and became glorious and mighty centers of the Orthodox Faith. Thus St. Andrew is recognized as the patron saint of Constantinople, Ukraine, Russia, and Romania, as well as several other places. But to what degree does St. Andrew care for the Orthodox Faith here in America?

God revealed St. Andrew as a powerful intercessor for the Orthodox Church in America on the weekend of December 3–4, 2011, when two church temples dedicated to St. Andrew were consecrated in our Archdiocese – one in Riverside, California, and one in Pensacola, Florida. Both of these consecrations share in the blessings of God’s grace through St. Andrew, overcoming earthly hardships with a heavenly respite; temporary sickness with an eternal hospital; demonic despair with divine glory; and murky sin with the light of salvation. Having an incarnate location in these communities in which to bring such cares to God mercifully provides the spiritual nourishment the body requires.

Order Inductions at St. Philip Church + Davie, FL

On February 26, 2012, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip inducted six new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. Philip Church in Davie (Fort Lauderdale), Florida. Pictured above: to the right of the Metropolitan, Elizabeth Peters Manzini (Life Member), Fr. Elia Shalhoub, Fadi Khoury (Knight), Alfonso Cristofaro (Knight), Mary Winstanley O’Conner (No. American chair of The Order); to the left, Ellena Haddad (dame), Michael Haddad (reinstated), Eddie Sadawie (Knight), Kh. Odette Shalhoub. Dr. Samir Kousa was not present.

Annual Visit of His Grace Bishop Antoun, to St. George's in Orlando

His Grace Bishop Antoun inducts new St. George's Order membersHis Grace Bishop Antoun inducts new St. George's Order membersFr. John E. Hamatie reports:

"His Grace, Bishop Antoun arrived in Orlando on Friday, February 10th 2012, to Bless and visit the faithful of St. George’s. His Grace was met at the airport by Fr. John E. Hamatie and Sub Deacon Charles P. Hill. After checking in at the hotel, His Grace was driven to St. George’s to attend the weekly Church feeding of homeless people. Fr. John gave his weekly homily/address to the 300 people gathered for the feeding, after which His Grace addressed the assembly. Father John explained to Bishop Antoun that St. George’s has expanded its homeless feeding ministry to include daily breakfast and lunch to approximately 200 people. In addition to the Friday dinner put on by the Ephraim Project and Saint George’s; other organizations hold an evening meal every night in the Church’s parking lot.

After the feeding, Sayidna asked to be taken to the Holy Altar to prepare his vestments and such for the Sunday Hierarchal Divine Liturgy. Sub Deacon Charles had previously taken the suitcase with Sayidna’s things to the Holy Altar. After venerating the Holy Altar, Sayidna looked to see if everything was properly laid out – to his surprise his green vestments were not on the table-but rather a new gold and white bishop’s vestment!

Order Inductions at St. Anthony Mission + Melbourne, FL

On Sunday, January 22, 2012, His Grace Bishop Antoun inducted four new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. Anthony the Great Mission in Melbourne, Florida. The inductees pictured above are, from left to right, Kh. Odette Shalhoub (Sponsor), Dr. Donna Soto (Dame Commander), Dr. Enrigue Soto (Knight Commander), Patricia Smith (Dame), and Ted Theodoropoulos (Knight).

New Order Officers Elected for the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast

Fr. Elia Shalhoub, Spiritual Advisor; Terry Rogers, 2nd Vice-Chair; His Grace Bishop Antoun; Debie Khoury, 1st Vice-Chair; Dan Kevorkian, Treasurer; Kh. Betty Randolf, Secretary; Not pictured: Chairman Ibrahim ChalhoubFr. Elia Shalhoub, Spiritual Advisor; Terry Rogers, 2nd Vice-Chair; His Grace Bishop Antoun; Debie Khoury, 1st Vice-Chair; Dan Kevorkian, Treasurer; Kh. Betty Randolf, Secretary; Not pictured: Chairman Ibrahim ChalhoubRecently, the Order of St. Ignatius in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast elected new officers to serve in the region. 

Assistance from Orthodox Christians Helping Tornado-Stricken Areas of Alabama

Residents of Pleasant Grove, Alabama assess damage and search for possessions scattered about after a series of tornadoes destroyed homes. (photo: George Armstrong/FEMA)Residents of Pleasant Grove, Alabama assess damage and search for possessions scattered about after a series of tornadoes destroyed homes. (photo: George Armstrong/FEMA)May 13, 2011

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — A shipment of personal health kits, many of which were donated by Orthodox Christians from across the United States, have been shipped by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to Birmingham, Alabama for distribution to survivors of recent severe storms and tornadoes that devastated the area in late April. The kits, valued at more than $120,000, represent the first of several planned shipments of relief supplies that have been requested following an assessment by one of IOCC's Frontline responders working in Alabama.

The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society also announced its support today for the IOCC response to Alabama and flood areas along the Mississippi River and committed $20,000 from the Society's National Emergency Fund.

"Accommodations are being found for the many affected residents of the stricken areas," reported Deacon Dan Gray, a retired Naval Officer from Eagle River, Alaska and member of the IOCC Frontline who has been in Alabama since May 5. "There are now only about 150 people living in shelters – a good sign considering the scope and severity of this disaster."

IOCC Reaches Out in Aftermath of Storms and Earthquakes

Photo by David Fine/FEMAPhoto by David Fine/FEMATwo recent IOCC press releases explain how the pan-Orthodox organization is reaching out to regions battered by storms and earthquakes, both in the United States and abroad.

April 29, 2011

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Following a historic series of storms in the southern United States that claimed the lives of more than 200 people, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has been in contact with Orthodox Christian communities and partner organizations in several U.S. States to assess the needs of survivors.

"While some areas of the United States have been unseasonably dry and experiencing widespread fires, there have been reports of more than 750 tornadoes already this year," says IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou. "We have been contacting Orthodox hierarchs and parishes, ecumenical partners, and local authorities in communities across the South and Midwest to assess the needs and offer our support."

May 4, 2011

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) announced its support for efforts by Christian churches in Japan to provide housing for as many as 1,000 families in the Japanese prefectures hardest hit by the tsunami – Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate.

Working together with Church World Service and in support of the National Christian Council in Japan and the Japan Lutheran Emergency Relief, assistance is being provided to match families with offers of housing made by member churches. The housing service is being administered by the National Christian Council in Japan at its central office in Tokyo and local churches are assisting in matching families who are in need of housing in the affected prefectures.

St. Ignatius Mission in Boca Raton Celebrates First Anniversary and Metropolitan Philip's 80th Birthday

Sun... beach... palm trees... mansions... yachts... Rolls Royces... Rolex… Gucci... Versacci…this is Boca Raton, Florida.

The Divine Liturgy celebrated every Sunday at 10am on a huge college campus… this is the Mission of St. Ignatius of Antioch in Boca Raton, Florida.    

The Mission of St. Ignatius of Antioch is based on Florida Atlantic University (FAU) on Glades Road in Boca Raton, Florida.  FAU is a University which boasts over 28,000 students.  St. Ignatius Boca at FAU may be the first Antiochian Orthodox Christian ministry ever established to serve upon a college campus in the history of this great Archdiocese.  This Orthodox mission maintains unlimited growth potential where the hope is “to bring America home to Orthodoxy!”

Diocese of Miami Teen SOYO Launches Web Site

Teen SOYO of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast has launched a new web site, www.miamisoyo.com. The new site features listings of projects and events, picture gelleries, a blog, resources for the Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals and more!

Bishop Antoun Makes Annual Visit to Orlando, FL

His Grace Bishop Antoun arrived in Orlando, Florida on Friday, January 7th, 2011, to Bless and visit the faithful of St. George Church. Upon arrival, His Grace asked Fr. John E. Hamatie, pastor of St. George’s, to please take him to visit Monk James of the Orthodox Community of Ss. Cosmas and Damian. The Community has a long-standing ministry of housing, helping and caring for homeless HIV-positive men in the Orlando area. Afterwards, His Grace and his dear sister Marie Shaleesh, who accompanied Sayidna for the week-end, drove to St. George’s to attend the weekly Church feeding of homeless people. His Grace was very much impressed with this ministry of St. George’s and with the feeding of over two hundred men, women and children that day.

2011 Diocese of Miami Parish Life Conference

2011 Diocese of Miami Parish Life Conference

Hosted by St. John Church; Memphis, TN

2011 Parish Life Conference Website

June 15-19, 2011

Bishop Antoun Honored for 50 Years of Priesthood

Bishop Antoun Speaks at the 2010 Clergy SymposiumBishop Antoun Speaks at the 2010 Clergy SymposiumDuring the 2010 Clergy Symposium at the Antiochian Village a banquet was held in honor of Bishop Antoun for his 50 years of priesthood.

The evening was chaired by Economos Antony Gabriel. Following are his remarks. There was also a slide presentation by Rt. Rev. John Abdalah and remarks by both Very Rev. Joe Shaheen and Very Rev. George Rados.

Your Eminences,

Metropolitan Philip and Metropolitan Ephraim

Hierarchs of the God-protected Archdiocese

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

This evening I was tempted to recall all the humorous episodes in our life that we shared with you. 

However, it is “serious” business to salute you on the occasion of your 50 consecrated years in God’s holy Priesthood.  Few among this audience know of the Antoun we met in 1959 and the suffering you endured in your early years in North America, miles away from family and friends in a different culture and attending St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York City with professors who at times were difficult to understand with their various accents, living with complete strangers who barely spoke English.

Summer Parish Life Conference Season Launched

The Diocese of Miami, the Diocese of Wichita, and the Diocese of Worcester all launched the season for Parish Life Conferences over the long weekend of June 16-20. St. George of Jacksonville, Florida, hosted the southern conference with the keynote speaker The V. Rev. Fr. Paul Tarazi featured at the Saturday evening banquet. In the meantime, in Oklahoma City, the faithful of DOWAMA met for their "family reunion" at the Marriott; significantly, the Diocese host parish of St. Elijah was celebrating its 90th Anniversary as a community. In a young ladies' sweep, Nora Haddad won the junior division and Melissa LIkiardopoulos won the senior division in the Oratorical Festival. Back east, St. George Cathedral in Worcester hosted a busy schedule at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in the historic city of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in honor of the two new mission parishes that had joined the Diocese in the previous year, Emmanuel Church of Warren, MA and St. Stephen Church of Springfield, MA. See the Archdiocese calendar for information on other parish life conferences coming this summer.

Bishop Basil Reflects on Historic Episcopal Assembly

Recently, Bishop Basil spoke with AFR correspondent Matthew Namee about the historic assembly of bishops which took place in the week following Pentecost. His Grace was elected Secretary of the Assembly. Below are excerpts from the interview, which can be found here in full:  

"The bishops delighted in being together and doing the work of the Church."

"The ultimate task was to prepare the Orthodox (Church) of this region...to constitute itself as a canonical, single Church.…It is a huge task, one that a vast majority of Orthodox Christians in America have been praying for, hoping for, talking about, for a long, long time."

"It’s as if the Mother Churches have said to us, ‘Look, you have been asking for this. Before we give it to you, we would like to know, what is your plan?’"

On SCOBA:

"We were blessed by the work of SCOBA….the work of the Episcopal Assembly was made quite easy by the 50 years of preparation."

"The Episcopal Assembly is comprised of every Orthodox bishop, not just the primates. We had 55 in attendance, (in New York) where the maximum of SCOBA members would have been 8."

Ancient Faith Radio has also posted an extensive interview with Fr. Mark Arey, General Secretary of SCOBA, titled Unraveling the Episcopal Assembly. Additionally, Antiochian.org has compiled a summary of online Assembly articles.