Diocese of Toledo News


Phillips Lecture is Titled "Silence in a Noisy World"

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.

Download Retreat flyer.

Fr. Constantine Nasr Leads Marriage and Family Encounter Weekend

Marriage retreat participantsMarriage retreat participantsOn 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.

FSJD Young Adult Retreat in Livonia, MI

Download Final Retreat Schedule

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.

Climacus Conference to Examine the Legacy of Byzantium

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'."

Bishop Anthony's Calendar Available Online

His Grace Bishop Anthony's schedule is now available online at www.antiochian.org/bishop_anthony_calendar. It may also be found in the Diocese Information and Resources sidebar on the Antiochian.org Diocese of Toledo page.

14th Annual Basketball Tournament + St. George, Canton, OH

14th Annual Canton Basketball Tournament
January 20-22, 2012
Download Flyer (PDF)
Download Registration Forms (Word)

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
330-455-8482
stgeorgecanton@sbcglobal.net

Hotel Information: Courtyard by Marriott
4375 Metro Circle NW
N. Canton, OH 44720
330-494-6494
Group Rate: $75/night (Mention St. George Canton)

Three New Auxiliary Bishops Consecrated, Bishop Joseph Elevated to Archbishop

Editor's Update, 12/15/11:

Video of the consecration service is available online.

View a YouTube video of consecration service excerpts.

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.

Consecration of Three Newly Elected Auxiliary Bishops

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

Memorial Tribute to Fr. John Estephan

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.

2011 Nativity Greetings from Bishop Thomas

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)

St. John Chrystostom Academy Offers Fall Course on Romans

The Fall Session for the St. John Chrysostom Academy will start on Wednesday, October 19th and last until December 14th. This Fall's course is the "The Letter to the Romans," and will be offered on Wednesdays from 7:30-9:30pm at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 1220 S. 60th Court, Cicero, IL 60804. The St. John Chrysostom Academy is an Adult Lay Educational Ministry of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine at St. George.

Download the Registration Form, attached here, and please feel free to distribute to your parishioners. Thank you!

Also, for more information about ongoing Biblical studies and resources, visit the newly redesigned website of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS).

Midwest Diocesan Fall Gathering

St. George Orthodox Church, Flint, MISt. George Orthodox Church, Flint, MIBishop-Elect for the Diocese Toledo, Archimandrite Anthony MIchaels, has announced that St. George Orthodox Church of Flint, Michigan will be the host for the fall diocesan gathering.

The event, described by the flyer as "Midwest Fellowship and Fun," will take place over the weekend of October 28-30, 2011, with an informal clergy gathering kicking off the weekend on October 28th.

A full schedule of services will be observed, and SOYO, Christian Education, Antiochian Women and the Fellowship of St. John will all hold meetings.

Download the flyer.

Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth Receives Five-Year Grant

WESTWOOD, Massachusetts - The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY), Very Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura and Kathleen A. Purpura announce the award of a five-year grant for its Greater Chicago Coalition. OCCHY – Cicero/Greater Chicago was awarded a $125,000 Drug Free Communities Support Program FY 2011 grant by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Coalition serves the Villages of Lincolnwood, Niles, and Skokie, IL, as well as the eighty-plus Orthodox parishes of the Greater Chicago area. ONDCP and SAMHSA offer the potential of an additional five-year extension of the grant. Under the excellent guidance of the Very Rev. Nicholas Dahdal, Pastor, the Grantee is St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Cicero, IL.

Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth is a national alliance founded by the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of the Department of Youth, and Kathleen Purpura, Youth Consultant and Executive Director of OCCHY, trained with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), worked with the White House Director of Drug Free Communities and also the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Synergy Symposium Features Fr. Thomas Hopko Speaking on "Orthodoxy and Homosexuality"

CICERO, IL [Synergy] — Orthodox Christian Synergy, the Chicago-area Pan-Orthodox association, will host its 17th annual Symposium at Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cicero, IL, on Saturday, October 15, 2011. Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko will address the symposium theme, “Orthodoxy and Homosexuality.”

According to Michele Hagerman, Synergy President and member of the Diocese of the Midwest’s Holy Resurrection Church, Palatine, IL, “the scope of this symposium is a frank presentation about homosexuality as an issue of Orthodox faith and life facing the faithful. The intention is to focus on how Orthodoxy understands the phenomena of homosexuality, how Orthodox Christians with same-sex attractions are to deal with their condition, and how Orthodox Christians, especially clergymen and family members, are to relate to Orthodox Christians and all people who are same-sex attracted, rather than focusing on related cultural, social, or legal issues.”

Father Thomas will offer two presentations: “Theological Vision: Orthodox Christian Faith and Human Sexuality” and “Spiritual Practice: Orthodox Christian Life and Homosexual Attraction and Behavior.”

St. George Church of Cicero, IL, Holds Convention Kick-Off Celebration

Thursday, July 21, proved to be a day of celebration for many reasons.  In addition to being the last day of a sizzling heat wave across the Midwest, an excitement filled the air in the courtyard of St. George Church, Cicero, Host Parish of the historic 50th Archdiocese Convention beginning this Sunday, July 24th.   Balloons and banners, posters and streamers, food and music, people young and old, witnessed a great announcement!  Fireworks lit up the sky brightening the smiling faces as they all heard: 

The Convention begins this weekend!  

The Committee gathered to celebrate several years of tireless planning and a very anticipated week-long journey called the Archdiocese Convention.  The full schedule is available at www.archdioceseconvention2011.org and awaits the entire Archdiocese.  

Camp Season is Here!

Children enjoying Antiochian Village, 2011Children enjoying Antiochian Village, 2011Now that summer is in full swing, His Grace Bishop Thomas reminds all families that camp season is here! Urges His Grace, "Visitors to Antiochian.org should be linking onto the Camp website in order to see the children of their Diocese enjoying the Antiochian Village Camp."

Go here for regular Camp updates and new photos.

Reflections Book Examines the Spiritual Life

Fr. Joseph Antypas, the Archpriest of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Troy, Michigan, has released Reflections on the Field of a Local Parish. In his book, Fr. Antypas speaks not only from a deep theological knowledge of the Church, but also from a lifetime of pastoral experience of over 35 years of ministry. The book tackles various theological, liturgical, pastoral and contemporary topics of interest for every clergy and laity. Fr. Antypas examines such topics, not only in a theologically profound approach, but also in pastoral and practical manners.

Says His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip, "The topics which the V. Rev. Father Joseph Antypas discusses in his book...are of utmost importance. St. Ignatius of Antioch, in his letter to the Ephesians, speaks about the harmony and perfect Christian relationship among the members of the Church. As a matter of fact, the congregation must work together, like a symphony, in order to ascend harmoniously to the Throne of God and bask in His Eternal Light. It is not enough to be baptized in the Church. Your baptism is a process of renewal which must permeate your soul all your life."

Go here to order a copy of Reflections on the Field of a Local Parish.

Read a review of the book here.

Metropolitan Philip Consecrates Church of the Virgin Mary, Alsip, IL

By Rev. Deacon Saed Rihani

May 27-29 was a weekend like no other! For months we prepared for this holy consecration event…not knowing what to expect. But we knew we had to be ready! We built a new iconostasis! We had new icons written for the occasion! We re-constructed the altar area to be suitable for Orthodox worship! And we built a new altar table! And now the weekend was upon us. Sayidna Philip was to consecrate the Church of the Virgin Mary in Alsip, Illinois!

Words cannot express the extent of our happiness at having His Eminence, Sayidna Philip consecrate our Holy Church. It was the wishes of our Pastor, the Rev. Father Mousa Haddad, and the entire congregation that he visit us. Also, since this would be his first visit to our community, it was befitting that he would consecrate our house of worship. Committees worked hard to prepare for this holy and historic visit. We welcomed Sayidna Philip and we were honored to have Sayidna Antoun also join us for this historic weekend. Also, we were grateful for the presence and assistance of Archdeacon Hans El-Hayek.

Creative Festival 2010: Diocese of Toledo

Take a moment for an audio visual meditation on the theme, "The earth is the Lord's and its fullness, the world and all who dwell therein," Psalm 23. This presentation of the photos, artwork, and words of the children in the Diocese of Toledo from the Creative Festivals 2010 is brought to you by the Department of Christian Education, and the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.

The Pascha Homily of St. John Chrysostom

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast.
If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.
If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.

 

If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.
If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast.
If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in no wise be deprived therefore.
If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing.
If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

Paschal Greetings from Bishop Thomas

GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA 2011

Beloved brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, God-fearing Monastics, and all my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ our True God:

Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!

We are again drawn to contemplate and stand in awe at the holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-man and our Savior. This year, I pray that we will not mark Pascha as a mere remembrance on the calendar, a happy annual festival that is anticipated and enjoyed but whose power does not provoke us to a radical change in ourselves, a challenge toward holiness and perfection in the Holy Trinity. Indeed, I think many times we enjoy these delightful feasts but have so “institutionalized” them within ourselves that we do not actually let them touch us.

Fundamentally, Christ’s Resurrection is a cataclysmic event. It marks not merely the beginning of a religious movement, but truly the utter reversal of history, the moment that death itself was turned back, when the ultimate catastrophe befell the powers of darkness and bright hope came again into the world. When the God-man died, as St. Basil tells us, “the Author of life could not be held by corruption.” And so He rose again! And so we can be saved from death and from all corruption.

May we ourselves be not simply emotionally moved or cheered by this Gospel; may we never be the same! If even time and history could not stand to remain as they were, how can we ever be content with a mere recollection of past events? Let us once again shout out in victory to the Conqueror of death, casting aside all of our earthly entanglements and entering with Him into that glory that will never fade.

Yours in Christ,

Midwest Antiochian Women's Retreat + May 13-15, 2011

The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest invite women to their sixth annual retreat Friday-Sunday, May 13-15, 2011 at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery, located at 3389 Rives Eaton Road in Rives Junction, Michigan.  On Saturday, Kh. Maggie Hock will present the retreat program on the Holy Myrrhbearing Women.  She will talk about who the Myrrhbearing Women are, what they did in the early Church and how we can be “Myrrhbearing Women” today.  Kh. Maggie is North American Director of the Antiochian Department of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries.

For more information, including schedule and registration form, please download the retreat flyer (PDF).

2011 Midwest Diocese Clergy Retreat

Bishop Thomas and the clergy pose for a commemorative photo in the Monastery refectoryBishop Thomas and the clergy pose for a commemorative photo in the Monastery refectory

Twenty-six presbyters and three deacons from the Midwest Diocese enjoyed three stimulating days of prayer, reflection and rejuvenation March 1-3 at the Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan.

As we kept with the nuns—and their heavenly, harmonious Byzantine chant—the full monastic cycle of offices, His Grace, Bishop Thomas, led the gathered clergy with his wit and words of encouragement. We also drew inspiration from the nuns as they radiated their joy in the Lord. They also gave us a tour of the new temple, presently under construction, standing at the center of the Monastery quadrangle. The nuns astounded us as they related how they have been doing much of the work themselves, including making forms and pouring concrete.

Diocese of the Midwest Teen SOYO Launches New Website

Teen SOYO of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest proudly announces the launch of its newly designed Website: www.midwestSOYO.org.

Faithful Attend Third Annual Pan-Orthodox Sanctity of Life Prayer Service and Presentation

Burr Ridge, IL – The Third Annual Pan-Orthodox Sanctity of Life Prayer Service and Presentation was attended by Orthodox Clergy and faithful from the Chicago area.  The event was held on Sunday, January 30th, 2011, at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church and was organized by the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Greater Chicago (OCCA).

After the prayer service, the Church community hosted a fellowship for all those in attendance which was highlighted by a presentation, given by Linda Couri, a former employee of Planned Parenthood, who has both professional and personal experience with abortion issues, who presented an inside perspective on the Pro Choice mindset.

She eloquently spoke about this approach which more often than not has become the manner in which society is run.  What are the values, goals and motivations behind those who are Pro-Choice and what can we do to best address this complex and often hostile audience?