Diocese of Toledo News


51st Archdiocese Convention Kicks Off in Houston

The city of Houston, and Fr. James Shadid and the parish of St. George Orthodox Christian Church, are hosting the Antiochian Archdiocese Convention this week at the Hilton Americas hotel. The largest legislative body of the Archdiocese, the General Assembly meets in convention biennially. In addition to the business meetings, liturgical celebrations, exhibits, youth activities, and department meetings  are central to each convention as well.

There will also be special events that emphasize the uniquely Southern character of this year's gathering. Families will enjoy the Country Western Dinner and Dance on Thursday evening, while on Friday evening convention goers can attend the Mardi Gras Masquerade Dinner/Dance; visits to several of Houston's tourist venues are planned. The culmination of the week is the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday with Metropolitan Philip and all eight Auxiliary Bishops of the Antiochian Archdiocese presiding. 

Memory Eternal! + Helen Thomas

It is with saddened hearts that we inform you of the passing of our sister and aunt, Helen Thomas. Surrounded by family and friends, she died peacefully in her Washington, D.C. home Saturday morning, July 20, 2013.

Helen Thomas devoted her nearly 70-year career in journalism to the pursuit of the public's right to know. She was a champion of the First Amendment, fervently advocating for the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. For years, she proudly occupied her front row seat in the Press Briefing Room at the White House, considering it the people's chair in the people's house. She always acknowledged the privilege of being the eyes and ears of the public, and she boldly and unabashedly asked the hard questions to hold our leaders accountable.

Michigan Parish Administers Successful Summer Programs

Richard Ajalat, Assistant Youth Director, Basilica of St. Mary, reports:

The Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of Saint Mary in Livonia, MI, praises God for all His blessings, as the Lord provides us with multiple opportunities to serve our beloved children—God's inheritance. They are our greatest gift from the Lord.

Every summer, the Basilica of St. Mary hosts both a weekly "Camp St. Mary" ministry program for our children 13-17 years of age, and a one- week Vacation Bible School ministry program for children 3-12 years of age. The goal of the summer programs is to teach the children the meaning of Christ's two greatest commandments: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. All the activities are designed to instill these spiritual truths into the lives of our children by teaching them how to be strong in their faith, and how to represent Christ to the world. 

Parish Life Conference Season Begins June 5

There is still time for you to register for your diocese's "family reunion" this summer, your regional Parish Life Conference (PLC)! The theme for this year, "The End of History...The Last Judgment," will be the focus of the Creative Festivals, a highlight of the conferences. Youth and organizational meetings, spiritually edifying speakers and services, and social events for kids and adults alike, all make the PLCs one of the Archdiocese's most established and popular traditions. Visit the Conventions and Conference Planning page for full information.

First up is the Diocese of Wichita PLC, kicking off on June 5 in Kansas City. St. Basil Orthodox Church hosts the PLC at the Westin Kansas City Hotel in downtown Kansas City, "one of America's Best downtowns" according to Forbes magazine.

OCN Interviews Kh. Maggie Hock, Director of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries

This week on Come Receive The Light, the flagship program for the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN), Executive Director The Very Rev. Chris Metropulos speaks with Khouria Maggie Hock, director of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries for the Antiochian Archdiocese. The June 2013 theme, "Being Heard," deals with the art of listening, and learning to listen to the right voices.

With that as the emphasis, Kh. Maggie Hock offers her thoughts in the first podcast in the series, "Talking without Gossiping," about how to discuss difficult situations without gossiping. "St. Theophan writes about curiosity as a sin—having to know everything without it being useful," notes Kh. Maggie. "Gossip is a form of inappropriate curiosity....This happens so often on the telephone, in emails, in social media—very much!—and just in general in social situations. Wherever a person is tempted to do this, or feels drawn into this passion, it's important that they recognize that, and they find a way to practically stop it."

Listen to the podcast on OCN

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Soad K. Estefan

Khouria Soad K. Estefan, January 29, 1925 - May 26, 2013

Khouria Soad K. Estefan, widow of Archpriest John (Juan) Estefan, passed away peacefully in the comfort of her daughter's home with her family at her side. Now she rests in the everlasting arms of her faithful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Soad Estefan is survived by sons, Salam J. (Sue) and Elias; daughters, Salwa Crosby (Jim), Sanaa Wells (Rick) and Soad Clark (Steve); 14 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends Thursday, May 30 from 7-9 p.m. and a Trisagion service will be held at 8:00 p.m. at the Ofield Funeral Home, 4500 Kalamazoo SE, . Services will be held at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 334 LaGrave Ave. SE, on Friday, May 31st at 11am. Interment Kent Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in memory of Soad K. Estefan. A special thank you is offered to Spectrum Hospice, Fr. John Winfrey of Grand Rapids and Fr. George Shalhoub of Livonia, MI. An online registry book is available at the Ofield Funeral Home's website.

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press on May 28, 2013

Antiochian Women's Retreat, May 17-19

DOWNLOAD RETREAT FLYER (PDF) 

Midwest Antiochian Women’s Retreat

Friday-Sunday May 17-19, 2013

AT DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD ORTHODOX MONASTERY, 3389 RIVES EATON ROAD, RIVES JUNCTION, MICHIGAN.

wor·ship

1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.

2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.

JOIN

FR. JOHN KONKLE from the Dormition Monastery as he discusses Orthodox worship with us.

Metropolitan Philip to Preside at Celebration and Annual Meetings

Download the announcement (PDF)

On October 18-20, 2013, the parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Troy, Michigan will host their Centennial Anniversary Celebration, the burning of the mortgage on the most recent building of their beautiful church and its surrounding facilities (1994-2013), and the annual meetings of the Antiochian Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Governing Council of the Order of St. Ignatius, and the Governing Council for Antiochian Village.

It all began approximately 100 years ago from 1905 thru 1913, when a group of blessed founders emigrated from the Middle East countries to find religious freedom and a new life for their families in America. They met in their homes to celebrate Divine Liturgy and finally organized a small church in Detroit, (1913).

St. George's Fellowship of St. John Ministers in Chicago

Care Packets for the needy of ChicagoCare Packets for the needy of ChicagoOn Saturday, March 2, 2013, under the guidance of Fr. Nicholas Dahdal and with leadership from Fr. Musil Shihadeh, Dn. Saed Rihani and Sdn. Joseph Hazar of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine at St. George Antiochian Church in Cicero, IL, the group pioneered an innovative project in respect to community outreach and humanitarian aid. Titled "Care Packets for the Needy," the program brought Walgreens Drugstore and Einstein Bagels in a creative partnership.

With donated food from Einstein Bagels and well over a thousand dollars worth of goods from Walgreens generously assembled and donated by store employees, Fellowship members were able to assemble and distribute care packets to the needy over the course of the Saturday in early March.

Memory Eternal! + Annah Hackney

Fr. Daniel Hackney, rector St. Ananias Orthodox Mission of Evansville, IN, writes:

Annah Ruth Hackney fell asleep in Christ Friday, March 15, 2013. A founding member of St. Ananias Orthodox Mission in Evansville, she was as active as she could be in its life and work in her latter years.

 Annah was born February 5, 1925 in Providence, Ky. During WWII she was a "Rosie the Riveter" helping grind diesel rods for the war effort. With respect to her church service she served as a Sunday school teacher, sang in choirs, and participated as a member of women's groups throughout her life. In addition Annah served as a lay missionary to Guatemala in 1997. Space does not permit all the other ways in which she served her Lord, family and friends. Most of all she knew that she was a sinner in need of God's forgiveness.

Annah is survived by her daughter Nancy Cagle (James) of Monroe, Michigan, son Robert Hackney (Brenda) of Murray, Ky, and son Fr. Daniel Hackney (Khouria Carole) of Evansville. She had eight grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. She is preceded by her husband Owen Marce Hackney, her parents Charles Owen and Annah Lurah Birchfield, and siblings William, Dorothy, and James.

The Visitation Wake was held Monday, March 18 at St. Ananias Orthodox Mission, 4411 Washington Avenue in Evansville. The Funeral Service was Tuesday, March 19 at the parish as well. The Liturgist was Fr. Nabil Hanna, and the Homilist was Fr. Daniel Hackney. Afterwards, she was buried at Rowland Cemetery in Fredonia, Ky.

Memorial gifts may be made to the "Saint Ananias Building Fund", 4411 Washington Ave., Evansville IN 47714 .

Memory Eternal! + The Very Rev. Gregory Buss

Memory Eternal!

The Very Rev. Gregory Robert Allen Buss of Spring Valley IL, passed away at 10:15 p.m. March 19, 2013 in his home, after a three-month battle with cancer. He was 71.

A Divine Liturgy was held at 10 a.m. Saturday March 23 in St. George Orthodox Church, Spring Valley and was followed by the regular funeral service, conducted by Economos Fr. Nicholas Dahdal, rector of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cicero, IL, and other area priests. The burial followed at St. George Cemetery.

Father Gregory was born April 6, 1941 in Kalamazoo, MI to Robert and Emily (Malmstone) Buss. He married Katherine (Kay) Wedge at St. Luke’s Parish in Kalamazoo in 1965. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Kalamazoo College, a Master of Arts degree from Seabury-Western Theological Episcopal Seminary, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Math from Dickinson State University, and he was ordained in the Orthodox priesthood and served as the priest of St. George Orthodox Church in Spring Valley for 18 years.

Pan-Orthodox Sports Tournament and Fellowship Weekend in Akron, OH + May 17-19, 2013

A pan-Orthodox fellowship weekend for Orthodox Christian youth and young adults is being planned in Akron, OH for May 17-19, 2013.

Download flyer (PDF)

Organized through the efforts of a committee of young adults representing Greek, Serbian, Antiochian, Russian, Romanian, and other parishes throughout the region headed by Michael Pacurar, the event will include a round-robin soccer tournament, ethnic dance competition, corn-hole tournament, and international festival. The event is slated to coincide with the International Festival sponsored by the Presentation of Our Lord Orthodox Church in Fairlawn, Ohio.

In addition to Michael, weekend organizers include William Qaqish, Natalie Jovich, Victor Frunza, Maria Koulioufas, Peter Young, Mark Bleahu, Walid Qaqish, Roger Muresan, Laura Pancoe, Nicole Fatu, Bianca Rebrisorean, Bethany Avramaut and Kyra Tabak.

For additional information please contact Michael at PanOrthodox2013@gmail.com or 330.962.2969.

Bishop Anthony Visits St. Mary Church + Goshen, IN

Newly ordained Subdeacon Charles Bussard leads a procession in St. Mary Church, Goshen, IN, followed by Austin Bickel, altar server, Sbdn. John Bickel and Fr. Matthew Wade. In the back is Bishop Anthony Michaels.Newly ordained Subdeacon Charles Bussard leads a procession in St. Mary Church, Goshen, IN, followed by Austin Bickel, altar server, Sbdn. John Bickel and Fr. Matthew Wade. In the back is Bishop Anthony Michaels.His Grace Bishop Anthony, who oversees the diocese of Toledo and the Midwest in the Antiochian Orthodox church, had the opportunity to attend St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Goshen, Indiana on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. It was the Bishop's first visit to the parish since his consecration in December of 2011. The parish was honored to have Bishop Michaels lead Divine Liturgy at the church, which has seen the recent completion of a two-month beautification project including the installation of several large-scale icons by parishioner Reader Brian Matthew Whirledge.

While in attendance, Bishop Anthony tonsured two parishioners, Adrian Sharp and Charles Bussard. Sharp was ordained a reader and Bussard was ordained a subdeacon.

For more information on the church and the Bishop's visit, go to www.stmarysorthodox.org.

Michigan Parish Hosts Parenting Seminar with Renowned Scholar

Dr. John ChirbanDr. John ChirbanThe Mariam Center, located on the campus of St. Mary Orthodox Church in Livonia, MI, is hosting a public Parenting Seminar, "Meeting the Critical Challenges of Effective Parenting," on March 2, 2013, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The keynote speaker is Dr. John Chirban, a well-known expert and author of several books on the topic. Dr. Chirban maintains special interest in integrative studies of medicine, psychology, and religion and serves as clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School at The Cambridge Health Alliance. In 2003, he was named Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. He also serves as professor of psychology and chairman of the Human Development Program at Hellenic College. Dr. Chirban serves as Director of Cambridge Counseling Associates and Director of the Institute of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion in Cambridge, MA.

There is a $10 registration fee that includes lunch. Register online, or contact Fr. Jim King at 734-422-0010 for more information.

AFR Posts Audio of Fr. Constantine Nasr Marriage Preparation Seminar

On February 8 and 9, 2013, Fr. Constantine Nasr, pastor emeritus of St. Elijah Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the author of Mastering the Art of Marriage published by Conciliar Press, conducted a marriage preparation seminar at the Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, MI. The event was sponsored by the Mariam Center of Marriage and Youth Development, and the audio of all three sessions has been posted to Ancient Faith Radio (AFR).

Second Annual Midwest Young Adult Retreat + April 5-7, 2013

Dear Young Adults,

With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Anthony, we are very excited to announce the 2nd Annual Midwest Young Adult Retreat to be held April 5-7, 2013 at the Maranatha Retreat Center in Muskegon, MI, on beautiful Lake Michigan. This year, we welcome Fr. Michael Nasser, the Pastor of Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, KY, as our guest speaker for the weekend. Many of our young people remember him for his many years of service as the former Camp Director at the Antiochian Village and his mission work at Project Mexico. Fr. Michael is a dynamic speaker, whose talks will surely challenge and inspire us in the faith.

Climacus Conference Theme is "The Poetics of Existence"

The 2013 Climacus Conference is scheduled for February 22-23 at St. Michael Church in Louisville, KY. In its fourth year, the conference is a pan-Orthodox intellectual and spiritual event featuring scholars and voices across the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Patristics, Classical Education, Literature, History and Politics. It is unique in that it provides an opportunity for people to be enriched by thinking well across disciplines. It furthers the life of the mind through scholarly engagement with the classic liberal arts, but approaches such an endeavor through the spiritual nous, the mind of the heart, enabling our ascension "of the ladder" (κλίμακος), as inspired by St. John Climacus and his Ladder of Divine Ascent.

For more information, contact:

David Wright, Climacus Conference Founder and Director
502-296-2095            davidmwright1@hotmail.com

Bishop Anthony Celebrates Ordinations and Theophany at St. Nicholas Church + Cedarburg, WI

The parishioners of St. Nicholas Church in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, enjoyed a multitude of blessings the weekend of January 4-6, with the first visit of our new beloved spiritual leader, Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. Saedna Anthony came to meet his cherished flock for the first time, celebrate with them the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of St. Basil and the Great Blessing of Water, ordain two parish members, and bless the church's beautiful new iconostasis.

Members of parish council enjoyed a dinner with the bishop on Friday evening, and many met with Saedna Anthony on Saturday afternoon for an open, informal meet-and-greet and question-and-answer session. The friendly, edifying discussion covered a wide range of topics, from politics to the place of men and women in the church, to the growth of secularism and radical Islam throughout the world, to genetically modified organisms and the environment, to daily prayers and study. Parish members delighted in and found inspiration in the bishop's gentleness, warmth, wisdom, and good humor.

On Saturday during the celebration of Hierarchical Great Vespers, parish member Curtis John Dowling of Menomonee Falls was ordained as subdeacon, with laying on of hands by the bishop and repeated calls by parishioners of "he is worthy" in English, Greek and Arabic. All celebrated a banquet afterwards in the fellowship hall. On Sunday during Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, Dn. David Moga was ordained to the priesthood with more calls of "he is worthy." With His Grace Bishop Anthony and the Very Rev. Fr. William Olnhausen, the newly ordained Fr. David celebrated the Eucharist as priest for the first time. Bishop Anthony and the clergy and people next celebrated the Great Blessing of the Waters, sanctifying them again through the baptism of our Lord. Finally, the new iconostasis was blessed with holy chrism. A festive coffee hour and reception afterwards was enjoyed by all. Saedna Anthony stayed and presided from the throne as Fr. David celebrated Divine Liturgy on Monday morning.

Memory Eternal! + Linda Simon

Memory Eternal! Linda Simon was the longtime secretary for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and was also involved in numerous other ministries throughout the Diocese and in her church of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Cleveland, Ohio.

Linda was the wife of Richard (deceased); loving mother of Ruth Lynch, Shirley Dheel (Michael), Richard, Jr. (Kathleen) and George (Christine); beloved grandmother of Jason, Nicole, Joseph, Stephanie, Jaclyn, Jenna, Justin, Sara, Michael, Jeremy and Matthew; cherished sister of Joan DuPuis and Sandra Morgan, and Aunt Linda to all. Interment was at St. Theodosius Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Linda's family suggests memorial tributes to St. George's Sunday School.

Leave a message in Linda's Guest Book.

Coalition for Healthy Youth Hosts Parent Breakfast Forum in Chicago Suburb

Des Plaines, IL – More than 60 parents, clergy and youth leaders attended a breakfast forum titled “How To Talk To Your Kids…and save your child from substance use/abuse” on Saturday, December 8 at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, IL, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY), the forum hosted people from seven Orthodox jurisdictions representing fifteen parishes in the Greater Chicago area.

Following a prayer and welcome from OCCHY Director Fr. Nicholas Dahdal, and brief introduction to OCCHY by Project Coordinator Gordana Trbuhovich, the program began with a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) video presentation, featuring Dr. Nora Volkow. Three dynamic speakers followed, beginning with Fr. Athanasios Papagiannis, LCSW, a licensed social worker and assistant priest at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago. Father Athanasios stressed positive and spiritual relationships in his presentation, “You and Your Child."  “The way you bend the young branch,” Father stated, “is the direction in which the tree will grow."

Memory Eternal! + Anthony Michaels

His Grace Bishop Anthony writes:

Your Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Beloved in Christ,

Christ is in our midst!

My father Anthony Michaels fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday December 17th, the commemoration of Daniel and the three holy youths: Ananias, Azarias, and Misail.

Funeral arrangements for Anthony Michaels are as follows:

Friday, December 21st

5:00 - 7:00 pm - Visitation

7:00 pm - Trisagion Prayers

Saturday, December 22nd

11:00 am - Funeral

Lunch to follow

St. Simon Orthodox Church

226 E. Harding Ave.

Ironwood, MI, 49938

I ask your prayers for the repose of his soul and your continued prayers for my family. May his memory be eternal.

Read the obituary for Anthony "Tony" Michaels.

New Temple for Indiana Parish Slated to be Finished in 2013

Bishop Anthony at groundbreaking ceremony for St. George, INBishop Anthony at groundbreaking ceremony for St. George, INFollow the progress on the Construction Updates blog

On Saturday, August 25, 2012, Fr. Nabil Hanna and about 350 parishioners and friends of St. George Orthodox Church, Indianapolis, joined together for the service, "Founding a New Church," and the subsequent groundbreaking ceremony. Presided over by His Grace Bishop Anthony, the service took place on the new property where the parish will relocate once the new building is completed, in the neighboring community of Fishers, Indiana.

On September 19, construction commenced as the big diesel engines fired up in the earth moving machines. Construction continued despite the rain and the foundations were poured and progress was made, all under the able supervision of the construction manager, Mr. David Mouck. Forms for the lower level walls were up and filled with concrete.

On Saturday, November 17, the lower level slab was blessed and the Cross, icons, photos, prayers and mementos were placed into the foundation, under where the altar will be, before the workers poured the concrete for the floor. Next the bell tower was poured. Completion is expected by the summer of 2013. 

Cedar Rapids Iconostasis Project Featured in Local News

Hanna AbouAssaly of Marion (left) hands a shelf to Soleiman Shalhoub of Damascus, Syria (right) while Tristan Stevens assists (Photo: Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)Hanna AbouAssaly of Marion (left) hands a shelf to Soleiman Shalhoub of Damascus, Syria (right) while Tristan Stevens assists (Photo: Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)Read the full Gazette article

On December 10, 2012, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that since mid-November, "piece by piece," Soleiman Shalhoub has been installing a stone iconostasis at St. George Orthodox Church. Last January, he began the project with the aid of fifteen employees, sketching out his designs and then carefully carving the Syrian stone quarried from mountains in the Holy Land.

“There’s no one else who does this kind of work,” Shalhoub said, noting that his technique has been passed down through his family for generations. Six tons of stone traveled by ship to New York in 1,700 pieces, arriving at about the same time as Hurricane Sandy made landfall. It was then transported via truck and train to Cedar Rapids.

Members of St. George's community have assisted with the project, providing meals and labor. The parish will celebrate with an open house in the spring once the icons are mounted in the completed stone iconostasis. "The finished piece, which will include red oak doors also designed by Shalhoub, will be unlike any other piece of art in Iowa," noted the Gazette.

40th Anniversary Celebrations at St. Mary Basilica + Livonia, MI

St. Mary Basilica 40th Anniversary Photo Gallery

On Oct. 12-14th, 2012, the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan celebrated a historic weekend commemorating 40 years of dedicated ministry and service to the greater southeastern Michigan area. The theme for this Ruby Jubilee celebration was “Dare to Dream.” The weekend was filled with moments of joy, reflection, and fellowship, as the community remembered the milestones that had been reached throughout the church’s history. However, it was also a time dedicated to the anticipation of what the future holds for the parish, as we heard from the youth, regarding their hopes and dreams for what lies ahead for this blessed community. Presiding over the event was His Eminence Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, as well as His Grace Bishop Anthony (Michaels), Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest.

15th Annual Basketball Tournament + St. George, Canton, OH

14th Annual Canton Basketball Tournament
January 18-20, 2013
Download Flyer (PDF)
Download Registration Forms (PDF)

Early Registration: $45 by January 11
Registration: $55 (Includes all meals and events)

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1118 Cherry Ave. NE Canton, OH 44704
330-455-8482
stgeorgecanton@sbcglobal.net

Hotel Information: Courtyard by Marriott
4375 Metro Circle NW
N. Canton, OH 44720
330-494-6494
Group Rate: $80/night (Mention St. George Canton)