Diocese of Toledo News
Margaret Abraham, age 83, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 5th 2012. Margaret was born on December 4th, 1928, in Grand Rapids, MI. She was preceded in death by her parents, Nicholas and Rose Howard and her sister, Laurece Kaleel. Margaret will be deeply missed by her husband Wade, an honorary member of the Antiochian Archdiocese Board of Trustees; her children Dan (Kathy) Abraham, former Chair of the Order of St. Ignatius; Marilyn (David) Vaillancourt, Diane (Patrick) Coleman, Linda Abraham, Janet (Mark) Ansara, and her grandchildren, Andrew, Lindsey (Patrick), Maggie, Joseph, Benjamin, George and Rosie. She will also be fondly remembered by her sisters, Mary Howard, Gladys Howard and her brother Dr. George Howard from Charleston, West Virginia, and a large extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Margaret dedicated her life to being a proud and loving wife and mother. She was a life-time member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church where she served in many capacities. As a devoted and loyal friend to many, she touched the hearts of all who knew her. Margaret brought love and laughter to her church family as well as friends in the community and always reached out to those less fortunate.
Funeral Services will be held 11:00 A.M. Monday, October 8, 2012 at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 2250 E. Paris SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Interment is in Woodlawn Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends Sunday at the funeral home from 2-4 & 7-9 pm with a Trisagion Service at 8pm; and also from 10-10:45 am in the chapel at St. Nicholas on Monday. The family wishes that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Nicholas Orthodox Church.
May her memory be eternal!
Fr. George Shalhoub, priest at the Basilica of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Livonia, Michigan, recently offered four "Meditations on Mercy" at the 2012 Antiochian House of Studies Residency Program. The talks were presented each evening after the final benediction of Great Vespers during the first week of the program in early September, and were very well received by the 100 students and faithful present. Ancient Faith Radio has posted each talk, as well as an interview with Fr. George.
"I teach Liturgical Practice and I chose a theme every year and speak from my experience as a priest for over 40 years," Fr. George said. "In my talks, I asked, what does it mean when to use mercy with each other? Mercy is to listen, to comfort, to forgive, to strengthen, to encourage, all set in the context of prayer."
Father urged his audience to avoid becoming "professional" priests or deacons, because in doing so "we lose the art of being priests. And this subject can apply to everyone," he added. "In our world today, we find a breakdown occurs when communication dies; we're wired up but we're still not communicating with each other."
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.
Abe Abraham, the longest serving member of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, celebrated his 100th birthday on August 21. A celebration was held on Saturday August 18 with Vespers at St. Nicholas Church in Grand Rapids and a gala dinner at The Cultural Center at St. Nicholas. Almost 300 guests attended the tribute to Abe.
Abe was born in 1912 in Rashaya Al Wadi in Lebanon. At the age of nine, he and his mother, Zahia, crossed the Atlantic to meet up with his father, Sleyman, who had established a home and business in Towanda, KS. Abe three siblings were born in Kansas, the family returned to Lebanon for several years before returning to America and settling in Grand Rapids, MI. There, Sleyman established a retail candy and “five and dime” store. With the help of his sons, the business grew into a tobacco and candy wholesale distribution company. Today the company distributes groceries to convenience stores in eight Midwestern states.
The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth [OCCHY], a national alliance offering communities an opportunity to heighten awareness of how to combat substance abuse, prevent bullying, encourage sexual abstinence outside of marriage, and encourage respect for the sanctity of the human body, recently established headquarters in Cicero, IL.
Founded by the Department of Youth Ministries of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, in conjunction with Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, OCCHY was awarded a five-year Drug Free Community matching grant of $125,000.00 per year, according to Archpriest Nicholas Dahdal, OCCHY Director.
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip
The V. Rev. Archpriest Joseph Antypas of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Troy, Michigan, has released the book Reflections on The Kingdom of God, as Experienced in the Local Parish. Fr. Joseph has been a faculty member in the Antiochian House of Studies, and a mentor at St. Stephen Course of Theological Studies.
Reflections consists of four chapters dealing with theological and pastoral topics as follows: 1) Emulating Christ's Life of the Kingdom, 2) A time to build our souls and bodies, 3) the modes of Christian being and 4) sharing the glory of the Kingdom. Each chapter is broken down into short, focused articles, making it easy to pick up in spare moments.
“How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
From June 27th thru July 1st, the clergy and laity of the Midwest gathered in Chicago for the 65th Annual Parish Life Conference of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, hosted by St. Mary Orthodox Church of Palos Heights, IL. His Grace Bishop Anthony was warmly welcomed to his very first PLC as Bishop of the Midwest by over 750 participants, eager to meet their new Bishop.
The fellowship, camaraderie, and positive spirit were apparent throughout the entire Conference. The beautifully designed chapel was filled to capacity for church services, the meetings and workshops were well attended, the Friday Night Dinner & Comedy Show and the Saturday Grand Banquet were sold out, and the long awaited Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival did not disappoint: 24 Bible Bowl teams and 11 oratorical participants competed in two of the most anticipated PLC events, with avid supporters cheering on, with the help of drums and trumpets (literally!).
Archpriest Peter E. Gillquist, retired chairman of the archdiocese's department of missions and evangelism, chairman of Conciliar Press, speaker, and the author of numerous books including Becoming Orthodox, reposed on Sunday evening July 1, surrounded by his family.
Fr. Peter and his wife of 52 years, Kh. Marilyn, had lived for many years in Santa Barbara, California, but as of June 2009 they relocated to Bloomington, Indiana, where their son Fr. Peter Jon Gillquist serves as pastor of All Saints Orthodox Church.
Condolences may be posted on the All Saints website, where tributes have been pouring from all over the United States and abroad. A recent Ancient Faith Radio retirement interview with Fr. Peter, Kh. Marilyn and Fr. Peter Jon, is available here. The schedule of services is as follows:
Over the long weekend of June 28-July 1, the Dioceses of Toledo and Ottawa will enjoy worship and fellowship as they gather for their Parish Life Conferences. His Grace Bishop Anthony and His Grace Bishop Alexander will preside over the full slate of activities which include meetings for organizations such as SOYO, and events unique to the local settings.
St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Chicago is hosting the Midwestern attendees at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Oakbrook, Illinois. Bishop Anthony is the keynote speaker and event highlights include a Friday comedy show, tours of Chicago and Oakbrook, and an offsite teen service project.
Further north, the parish of Ss. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, has planned a SOYO Nature Walk and an Antiochian Women's tour and luncheon which includes stops at the Anne of Green Gables House and a gallery/cafe. Featured Speaker Carole Buleza, Director of the Department of Christian Education for the Archdiocese, will discuss "Ideas for Lively Bible Studies."
The website for the All Saints Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, has announced that former Department of Missions and Evangelism Chair Fr. Peter Gillquist (who is retired and attached to All Saints) was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. Read the full story and post greetings and prayers for Fr. Peter and the Gillquist family on the All Saints website.
***For Immediate Release***
June 14, 2012
The Very Rev. Fr. Peter E. Gillquist has been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma. Fr. Peter survived a diagnosis of stage 3 melanoma in 1999 and another bout in 2010. He, Kh. Marilyn, and family await test results to determine treatment options in the management of this aggressive cancer.
The Gillquists request your prayers as they continue a lifelong journey of faith in the Great Physician, remembering that our communal prayer is for the healing of soul and body, and in the Lord’s time, a Christian ending to life, that is painless, blameless and peaceful.
Fr. Peter retired from 25 years of service to the Antiochian Archdiocese as Director of the Department of Missions and Evangelism in January. He is attached to All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, where his son, Fr. Peter Jon, serves as pastor.
A further update explains:
June 20, 2012
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Akron, Ohio, celebrated 95 years and dedicated its new Family/Youth Center the weekend of April 27. Presiding over the busy schedule of events, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip joined parishioners at the hafli on April 27, at a banquet on April 28, and also celebrated liturgy with the community on Sunday, April 29.
Reporter Kathleen Folkerth of Akron Leader Publications, noted that "Mimi Hicks, president of the Ladies Society, gave Mahashie (Fr. Louis Mahshie) a $25,000 check for the Family/Youth Center building fund, bringing its total donation to $100,000." The Center was built to accomodate the growing and active youth group of St. George, recently named the Teen Club of the Year during a recent youth convention.
Fr. Nabil Hanna writes:
William George Kafoure was a faithful member of St. George Church [in Indianapolis, IN]. Over the years Bill served on the Parish Council, the Building Committee, and he was our Church Historian. Bill was a founding member of the SOYO youth movement and was President of Midwest SOYO from 1955-56. He was also a member of the Archdiocese Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch.
Bill was the inspiration behind our 85th Anniversary musical, entitled "He's been there the whole time!," which was dedicated to his memory this past weekend.
Bill is survived by his children, William Paul (Coleen) Kafoure, Steven George (Dory) Kafoure, and Leslie Ann (Thomas) Kafoure Baas, grandchildren, Kelly C. Baas, William S. Kafoure, Lynne Herendeen, and Brett Herendeen and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in departure from this life by his wife, Frances H. Risk Kafoure, siblings Richard, Michael and Isabel Kafoure.
Great and Holy Pascha
April 15th, 2012
Dear Beloved clergy, brothers and sisters in Christ:
Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!
May God's blessings and my joy at His Resurrection be given, first, to our beloved Metropolitan Philip and to the local Synod of this God-protected Archdiocese!
I wish I could be with all of you in person, but I am with you in the Spirit and in my heart.
St. Macarius the Great has written: "When God created Adam He did not give him bodily wings like the birds, but prepared for him in advance the wings of the Holy Spirit - the wings He desires to give him in the Resurrection to lift him up and carry him wherever the Spirit wishes."
Yes, in the great prophesies of Isaiah concerning the Savior, we read: "The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. . . . They that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. (Is. 40. 28b, 29, 31)"
When we grow faint and weak and die, He comes to us to carry us up to Him, because He will not lose the loved ones who He has made to be like Him.
After the Fall Fellowship of St. John Gathering in 2011, His Grace Bishop Anthony (then Bishop-elect) encouraged the young adults that were at the Fall Gathering to continue to meet on a regular basis. With no spring meeting scheduled, we decided to plan a Spring Retreat to focus on spiritual renewal and fellowship with other young adults from our Diocese. The weekend of March 30-April 1, 2012 was chosen, and the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, MI, graciously offered their facility as the host location. Over 60 young adults from 13 parishes in our Diocese came together for our Young Adult Spring Retreat, sponsored by the Diocese of Toledo Fellowship of St. John the Divine.
The weekend began as we prayed the Akathist service with the parishioners of St. Mary’s. Following the service, His Grace Bishop Anthony began the retreat by introducing the topic “Following in the Footsteps of Christ.” The evening concluded with a Coffee House social in the church's Activity Center so we could relax from the long drive and to get to know each other. We thank Tom and Lillian Saba for planning and organizing the evening social.
St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church once again has the honor of hosting the Anne & Theodore Phillips Lecture Series. This year’s lecture will be on April 28th from 3-5pm.
Our speaker, Archimandrite Meletios Webber will address the topic, "Finding Silence in a Noisy World: The Role of the Monastery in Modern Day Orthodoxy in America."
Archimandrite Webber holds a Masters degree in theology from Oxford University and the Thessalonica School of Theology in Greece and an earned doctorate in psychotherapy from the University of Montana. His two most recent books, Bread and Water, Wine and Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God (2007) and Steps of Transformation: An Orthodox Priest Explores the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (2003) are published through Conciliar Press.
On February 10-12, 2012, The Basilica of St. Mary, in Livonia, Michigan hosted their annual Marriage and Family Encounter weekend, led by Father Constantine Nasr, pastor emeritus of St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City. This was Fr. Constantine’s second visit to the Basilica for this retreat, and he once again shared with the participants his extensive research on what he’s learned over the years as a priest, regarding what it takes to maintain a successful and faithful marriage. Fr. Constantine is the author of the Conciliar Press book entitled, Mastering the Art of Marriage: Staying Together When the World Pulls You Apart, and much of his research is documented within the pages of this spiritually enlightening and engaging book.
The Diocese of Toledo Fellowship of St. John the Divine invites all young adults (ages 18-40) to our spring Young Adult Retreat hosted at St. Mary Basilica in Livonia, MI, the weekend of March 30-April 1, 2012. His Grace Bishop Anthony will be our guest speaker for the weekend leading us in workshops about our faith, along with church services, good food, activities and fellowship time together to enjoy each others company. We invite all young adults (married or single) from our diocese and beyond to join us for this retreat. It is going to be a fun and spiritually fulfilling retreat in which we hope all young adults from our diocese will participate.
The retreat will take place at St. Mary Basilica in (18100 Merriman Road, Livonia, MI). Out of town guests may book lodging at the Detroit Marriott Livonia (17100 Laurel Park Drive North, Livonia, MI) where a block of rooms is reserved under the group code: FSJFSJD at a special rate of $96 per night.
The weekend will begin at 7pm on Friday March 30 with the Akatahist/Madeyeh service at St. Mary's, and conclude with a light luncheon after Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday April 1. The final schedule is attached.
On February 24 and 25, St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky will host the 2012 Climacus Conference, titled "Byzantium, You Are Not Forgotten." Authors, academics and broadcasters will speak to the enduring legacy of Byzantium and its continuing impact on the Church today.
The conference is billed as "a pan-Orthodox event featuring scholars and voices across the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Patristics, Classical Education, Literature, and History/Politics." The flyer explains, "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 achieves such by placing the mind in the noetic heart, where freedom, knowledge, and vision exist, enabling our ascension 'of the ladder'."
Early Registration: $45 by January 13
Registration: $55 (Includes all meals and events)
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1118 Cherry Ave. NE Canton, OH 44704
Hotel Information: Courtyard by Marriott
4375 Metro Circle NW
N. Canton, OH 44720
Group Rate: $75/night (Mention St. George Canton)
Fr. Thomas Zain writes:
On Sunday, December 11, 2011, three new auxiliary bishops were consecrated for the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Balamand, Lebanon. Their Graces, JOHN, ANTHONY and NICHOLAS were consecrated as bishops of Worcester, Toledo, and Brooklyn and will serve as auxiliaries to His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP.
Editor's Update, December 9, 2011:
We ask that our faithful pray for the delegation currently travelling to Lebanon for the consecrations of our new bishops. May God grant them many, many years!
The Middle Eastern media resource Noursat will be broadcasting online the consecration services with His Beatitude Ignatius IV. See this link for additional information. More details will be added as they are made available.
Original Post, October 11, 2011:
His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East has confirmed the date and location for the consecration of our three newly-elected Auxiliary Bishops, namely:
Bishop-Elect John (Abdalah) – Auxiliary Bishop for Worcester and New England
Bishop-Elect Anthony (Michaels) – Auxiliary Bishop for Toledo and the Midwest
Bishop-Elect Nicholas (Ozone) – Auxiliary Bishop for Brooklyn and assisting the Metropolitan in Englewood, NJ
from the December 2011 issue of The Word:
The Very Reverend Father John Estephan, retired priest of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, completed his earthly journey on May 1, 2011, at the age of 92. He has left behind hundreds of families forever grateful to him for his strength, compassion, commitment and love.
He is survived by wife of 62 years, Khouria Soad, and their five children: Salam, Salwa, Sanaa, Soad, and Elias, and their families, including 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. He faithfully served St. George from 1962 to 2002, during which period he led our parish through two major renovations and the addition of a stunning, award-winning banquet and conference center.
As the leader of the oldest Orthodox church in West Michigan, Father John was always a forward thinker, encouraging women to read the epistle and serve as ushers at St. George. In addition to being our spiritual leader, Father John was a well-known leader in Grand Rapids, where he was often interviewed for news articles about our faith and the Middle East.
Beloved in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our incarnate God and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ!
When Augustus became supreme ruler of the earth, the multiplicity of rule among men ceased. And when Thou becamest human from the spotless one, the worship of many heathen gods also ceased. Then the cities came under one worldly rule; and the nations believed in one divine supremacy. The nations were enrolled by an order of Caesar; but we believers were enrolled in the name of Thy Divinity, O our incarnate God. Wherefore, great are Thy mercies, glory to Thee. (Vesperal Doxastikon for the Nativity)
We are once again reminded by this beautiful hymn that the Good News of the coming of the God-man Jesus Christ into the world is a message not just for certain people, but for all people. We are also reminded that Christ’s Gospel is what unites us all together, no matter what our color, culture, birthplace or language may be. Likewise, the incarnation calls us forth from all our former delusions and idolatry to worship only the one true God, Who has become incarnate as a human being just like us, yet without sin.
As we celebrate the great feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, let us be again inspired to become evangelists and apostles bearing the Gospel to everyone around us; to pray and work together in true unity with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what they look like or where they are from; and most especially always to turn away from anything that keeps us from dedicating ourselves totally to the worship and service of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Yours in Christ,
Rt. Rev. Bishop THOMAS (Joseph)