Diocese of Toledo News
The 2010 Diocese of Toledo Fall Gathering took place over the weekend of October 1-3, and was hosted by St. Nicholas Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pictured are Kareemeh Simon, His Grace Bishop Mark, Rose Mary Sears (daughter of Fr. Philipou Abou-Assasaly, the first priest ordained in Grand Rapids, MI by St. Raphael of Brooklyn in 1908) and Margaret Simon.
St. Nicholas Church traces its history back to the early 1900’s, when Orthodox immigrants from the part of the Ottoman Empire then known as “Syria” began to come to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many of these immigrants made their living initially as “peddlers,” selling their wares door-to-door as the city grew into a center of commerce and industry. As they became more prosperous, they opened stores of their own. Others found employment in the city’s well-known furniture industry.
As early as 1906, the community was visited by traveling priests who served the recently arrived Orthodox immigrants scattered around the Midwest and concentrated in growing cities like Toledo and Fort Wayne. At least twice, Grand Rapids was visited by St. Raphael Hawaweeny, who encouraged the faithful to establish a church and who ordained and trained St. Nicholas’s first pastor, Father Philipous Abu-Assaley. Father Philipous was ordained in 1908. His youngest daughter, Rosemary Sears, still faithfully attends St. Nicholas.
Midwest Clergy Brotherhood Retreat
November 30-December 2, 2010
Holy Dormition Monastery + Rives Junction, MI
Pastoral Integrity: The Path towards Theosis
Dr. Albert Rossi, Presenter
Attention all Priests and Deacons of the Diocese:
We are pleased to announce at this time initial details regarding our Annual Clergy Brotherhood Retreat with His Grace, Bishop MARK, for the Midwest Diocese.
Saidna Mark has discussed with his Presbyters’ Council the importance of continuing to develop this Clergy Retreat to encourage our clergy to gather for a focused time of prayer, renewal, and fellowship, and to support us in the many spiritual and ethical challenges we face in our priestly ministries.
Please mark your calendar to attend this important event, and e-mail reply to register and reserve accommodation at the Monastery (first-come-first-served).
Bishop Mark writes:
Dear to God, Christ is in our midst! As our faithful continue to raise money to support the Missions of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, I want to forward you these notes of thanks and gratitude for the strong support our diocesan faithful have shown for missions. Our giving to missions has increased from a few thousand in 2004 to $40,000 for this year alone. Well done good and faithful servants. Well done!
Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky:
Greetings from Bowling Green, KY! As the southern-most community in the Diocese, autumn has not arrived here yet, but we hope you are all enjoying this beautiful time of year in good health.
We have just received the funds offered to our community by the Mission Endowment Fund, and words cannot express the appreciation our Mission family has for your love and support.
All Saints Orthodox Church, with the co-sponsorship of the Early Music Institute of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Department of Sacred Music of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, is presenting “The Musical Heritage of the Orthodox Church: Music, Liturgy, and Beauty in Orthodox Christianity” on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus on Saturday, 16 October 2010 from 8:30am until 2:30pm. This first-ever symposium on Orthodox sacred music at Indiana University will feature lecture recitals from the following:
-John Michael Boyer, protopsaltis of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, artistic director of the Koukouzelis Institute for Liturgical Arts, and principal singer for Cappella Romana
-Alexander Khalil, PhD, psaltis of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego, CA, postdoctoral fellow at University of California at Riverside, author of the dissertation “Echoes of Constantinople: Oral and Written Tradition of the Psaltes of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople”, singer for Cappella Romana and the Mt. Lebanon Choir
-Kurt Sander, DM, psalomchik and choir director at St. George Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, OH, Professor of Music and Department Chair at Northern Kentucky University, composer of many liturgical works in the Slavic style, author of the dissertation “The Musical Icon”
-Richard Toensing, DM, Professor Emeritus of Music at University of Colorado at Boulder, choir director emeritus of St. Luke’s Orthodox Church in Lafayette, CO, composer of Kontakion for the Nativity of Christ and other Orthodox liturgical works in English
SOUTH CANAAN, PA [OCA/STOTS] -- Archpriest Alexander Atty will be formally installed as Dean and Chief Operating Officer of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary here on Saturday, October 30, 2010.
The formal installation Service of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at Saint Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Wilkes Barre, PA, at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow at the parish center.
Father Alexander brings with him over 30 years of experience as a parish priest and chief administrator. For years, he served as pastor of one of the nation’s largest pan-Orthodox parishes, Saint Michael the Archangel Antiochian Orthodox Church, Louisville, KY.
Father Alexander is joined at the seminary by his wife, Khouria Olga, and their two children, Katherine and Alexander. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Philadelphia, a Master of Divinity from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, and a Doctorate in Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
As reported on the OCA web site on March 25, 2010, STS Board of Trustees gave its approval to the recommendation of a search committee to engage Father Alexander on March 12, 2010. The Holy Synod of Bishops gave its blessing at its Spring Session March 16-18, 2010, along with a decision to permit Father Alexander to remain attached to the Antiochian Archdiocese while serving as the Dean of the Seminary, an institution of the Orthodox Church in America.
Father Alexander officially assumed duties on July 1, 2010.
On Tuesday, September 21st His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received the Officers of the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. His All Holiness had invited the Officers through the cooperation of Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Chairman of the Assembly, who also led the delegation to the Phanar for the substantive and detailed meeting. The other Officers included Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk (Moscow Patriarchate, Vice-Chairman), Archbishop Antony of Hierapolis, (Ecumenical Patriarchate-UOCUSA, Treasurer) and Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America (Patriarchate of Antioch–Antiochian Archdiocese, Secretary). Also in attendance at the meeting were Archimandrite Bartholomew Samaras, Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archpriest Igor Vyzhanov of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Frs. Mark Arey and John Chryssavgis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
Come join us for a Retreat with Fr. Meletios Webber on the themes of Orthodox Spirituality and Prayer
“Stop listening to your thoughts – not the thoughts you have, but the thoughts that have you. They have nothing beneficial to offer you, and besides you have heard them all before. Brush them aside, and gently continue to brush them aside. Beyond their clamor and din there is available to you a level of greater awareness – a place of love, joy, peace and compassion. At first, it is difficult to “hear” it (since it is expressed in silence) but with practice you will start to recognize its voice, and a deeper state of presence will be yours.” ‐ Fr. Meletios
A pan-Orthodox gathering of spiritual refreshment and fellowship in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah
Kh. Joanne Abdalah served as an inspiration in her life as the wife of a priest and as a counselor to many. She understood the joys and trials of this life, and the need for finding strength in Christ and each other. She believed that every clergy wife needs to discover and develop her own Christian vocation. In her memory, her family and several clergy wife friends planned the first Clergy Wives Weekend in 2009 as a fitting tribute and way to carry on her work and commitment to clergy wives.
Last November more than 70 Orthodox clergy wives from jurisdictions across the United States enjoyed the inaugural Clergy Wives Weekend at the Antiochian Village. The schedule reflected Joanne’s holy and holistic approach to life – we need to pray; we need to play. We need to enjoy the fellowship for this short time without parish responsibilities, family responsibilities or other cares of this world. The Weekend was a tremendous success, and so we announce the 2010 Clergy Wives Weekend!
- Date: October 29-31
- Theme: Everywhere present and filling all things: The Holy Spirit or the Clergy Wife?
The Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of Truth, is everywhere filling all things. But do clergy wives with the best of intentions get caught trying to do that, too, juggling marriage, family, parish, education and job beyond realistic expectations? How do we listen to hear what the Spirit is leading us to do in life? How can we nurture our relationship with God? What do the gifts and fruit of the Spirit look like in our lives and situations? How do we discern? And what do we do with all our life includes?
Fr. Athanasius Dresdow writes from St. Barnabas Mission in Columbus, OH:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
We want to extend our most sincere thanks to all of you for your generous support of our mission through the Mission Endowment Fund. The $18,000 that we received over a period of several years has helped us to be able to get our own building which, God willing, we will eventually be able to purchase. We would also like to thank the many churches and individuals who have donated liturgical items for our use. We greatly appreciate your generosity and thank God for the blessing that you all are to us. May the Lord bless and keep you all in His loving care, and may He grant you all many years!
By early 1989, an Episcopalian priest named Father Bill Olnhausen and about twenty of his parishioners had discovered the wonders of Orthodoxy. They left their former church and, guided by Fr. Peter Gillquist, began preparations for a new Orthodox mission in the northern suburbs of Milwaukee. In September 1989, when His Grace Bishop Antoun came to chrismate us and ordain Father Bill, he looked at our little group and whispered to Father Peter, “Is this all?” But we were quickly joined by about fifteen “cradle” Orthodox, and so our Orthodox Mission began.
For five years we rented space: first at a women’s club which was sold giving us only three weeks notice to move out, then since nothing else was available, in a dingy basement in a former schoolhouse out in the country. We had to set up and take down everything each weekend; even drinking water had to be carried in. Our first thought was that we must get out of here quickly; we’ll never grow here. But we did grow. One of our members said, “This basement is more ‘church’ to me than anywhere I’ve ever attended.” During those five years, all of us learned what the Church really is - the people, not the building.
In December 1994 we purchased a spacious old former Lutheran church building in downtown Cedarburg. Saint Nicholas of Myra had been intimately involved in our founding, and as it turned out our first services in the new building were on Saint Nicholas Day. Then, to our delight, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip named us Saint Nicholas Church.
by His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Recently a historic event took place in New York: a pan-Orthodox Assembly of the Fullness of God’s Church on the North American continent, represented by the Hierarchs of the local Orthodox dioceses. The most important goal of this body is to witness Orthodox unity in a “new world” and to secure a more effective organization of mission, witness and cooperation of the local Orthodox Churches in diaspora.
In accordance with the decision of the Fourth Pre-conciliar pan-Orthodox conference held June 6-12, 2009 in the Orthodox center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland, and at the invitation of Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the first Assembly of canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America was held in New York May 26-28, 2010. Of sixty-six hierarchs of this region, fifty-five were present at this historic gathering.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios presided over this Episcopal Assembly, having Metropolitan Philip (Antiochian Orthodox Church) and Russian Archbishop Justinian (Moscow Patriarchate) as co-chairs. Bishop Basil of Wichita (Antiochian selfruling Archdiocese) was elected secretary. His Eminence Metropolitan Christopher of Libertyville/Chicago and His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western American diocese represented the Serbian Orthodox Church. (The other three Serbian hierarchs here did not attend this historic event because of prior commitments).
St. Paul the Apostle Church in Dayton, Ohio, is hosting an exhibition of more than ancient and new 100 icons. Located at 4451 Wagner Road, St. Paul will allow viewing of the free exhibition from August 20-22, 2010, 10 AM to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 12-5 p.m. on Sunday.
Forty of the icons in the Exhibit are historic, dating from 1650 on, and hailing from Russia, Greece, Ukraine and Ethiopia. Among them are a 17th century Russian miniature iconstasis with more than 20 individual figures, as well as a large 18th century Icon of the Virgin Mary, "The Joy of All Who Sorrow."
Viewers will also be able to see the 36 large new icons that respected Russian-American iconographer Dmitri Shkolnik of San Francisco has recently installed on the walls of St. Paul’s, including icons detailing scenes from the life of Christ, the life of St. Paul, as well saints of the 20th century - including several martyrs from the Midwest who were executed in Russia for their faith during the years of Soviet oppression.
Explains oca.org, "In keeping with the theme, 'The Gift of Transfiguration: Changed Life and Lives', the exhibition also concludes with a number of recent icons by Daryl Cochran, an American iconographer who is currently an inmate at the London Correctional Institute in London, Ohio. 'Daryl became an Orthodox Christian a few years ago while in prison,' explains Fr. Ted Bobosh, rector of the parish. 'A talented artist, Daryl is in the process of becoming a unique iconographer as well.'"
For the Dioceses of Toledo, Ottawa, Charleston and New York, and Los Angeles and Eagle River, the Fourth of July holiday weekend ushered in the long-planned for Parish Life Conferences. With the Creative Festivals, liturgical worship, fellowship, and special speakers as the reward, the faithful of each diocese traveled long distances to convene over the holiday weekend. The Cathedral of St. George in Perrysburg, Ohio hosted the Diocese of Toledo faithful at the Hilton Garden Inn, where the teens participated in a community project, and attendees gained insights through the talks given by the special speaker, St. Vladimir's Seminary professor Dr. Albert Rossi. As an additional treat, M*A*S*H actor Jamie Farr was in Toledo for a golf tournament and he made a special appearance at the Saturday night banquet. He welcomed the faithful to his hometown, and his home parish, and did a short standup comedy routine. Afterwards, many of the PLC attendees enjoyed chatting with him and having their photos taken with him.
On the 31st year anniversary of the establishment of St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church in Fort Wayne, IN, we were blessed to have Bishop MARK of Toledo with us to open the doors of our new church. This new church was the fulfillment of a commitment that the families of St. John Chrysostom Church made in 1979, when Sub-deacon (now Archimandrite) Michael Evans was sent to help coordinate the people into a Mission of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America.
Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the efforts of Sdn. Michael, Fr. Joseph Rahall (then pastor of St. George – Indianapolis), and several founding families, the parish of St. John Chrysostom was opened in a small building purchased from a local Presbyterian church. From the beginning, this building was referred to as our “temporary church." Our parishioners, with their own hands, tore down walls and repaired others; they replaced flooring, and duct work and electrical lines, but the building continued to fall short of the needs of the parish.
(From the June 2010 WORD magazine)
By Camille Patrick
“Flip-Flops for Haiti”? That’s a popular phrase at St. Matthew’s of North Royalton and all around Cleveland, since one of our parishioners, Josephine Katzbach, ventured on a four-day trip to Haiti in early March with a friend of hers, to help build a clinic for the mountain people.
The ladies made the trip to work with a nun and a priest afﬁliated with a church in Chicago called Fraternité Notre Dame. Josie returned from Haiti with an ambitious goal of raising 2,000 ﬂip-ﬂops for the 1,500 or so impoverished inhabitants who live around a primitive camp at the top of a mountain near Port-au-Prince. She and her friend plan to return sometime in July to distribute the ﬂip-ﬂops to the people there.
Just around the corner!
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry
Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM
Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM
At the Embassy Suites, Philadelphia Airport Hotel, Pennsylvania
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the official prison ministry of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) announces its 2010 Convocation. The convocation will bring together the many Orthodox clergy and laity from throughout North America who are participating in prison ministry or are interested in participating in prison ministry, for a time of fellowship, education, encouragement, communal worship and the free exchange of ideas.
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?’"
"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.
Message of the Episcopal Assembly Of the Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America, May 26-28, 2010
We glorify the name of the Triune God for gathering us at this first Episcopal Assembly of this region in New York City on May 26-28, 2010 in response to the decisions of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference held at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland, from June 6-12, 2009, at the invitation of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Gathered together in the joy of the Feast of Pentecost, we humbly recognize our calling, in our unworthiness, to serve as instruments and disciples of the Paraclete, who “holds together the whole institution of the Church” (Hymn of Vespers of Pentecost).
We honor and express gratitude to the Primates and Representatives of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches who assembled at the Ecumenical Patriarchate from October 10-12, 2008 to affirm their “unswerving position and obligation to safeguard the unity of the Orthodox Church” (Chambésy Rules of Operation, Article 5.1a) and emphasized their will and “desire for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements” (Message of the Primates 13.1-2)
We call to mind those who envisioned this unity in this region and strove to transcend the canonical irregularities resulting for many reasons, including geographically overlapping jurisdictions. For, just as the Lord in the Divine Eucharist is “broken and distributed, but not divided” (Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom), so also His Body comprises many members, while constituting His One Church.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Dear to God,
Christ is in our midst! By the grace of God we have completed our First Episcopal Assembly, chaired by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America and attended by 57 of the 65 Hierarchs of North and Central America. He is truly a gracious, loving and patient man and certainly a gift to our Church in North America. May God grant him good health and many years!
Recommendations were made to separate Mexico and Central America from our Episcopal Assembly as their needs linguistically and culturally are quite different. Hopefully, Mexico and Central America will be absorbed into the Episcopal Assembly of South America. Likewise the Bishops of Canada asked to form their own Episcopal Assembly and both requests will be forwarded to the Ecumenical Patriarch per the procedures out-lined in the Chambésy Documents.
The agencies of SCOBA were received by the new assembly which considers itself the successor of SCOBA. Monthly updates to a data base will assist in identifying Canonical Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Parishes. Joint Committees have been identified to ad-dress the common needs of the Orthodox Church here in the United States which will assist us in uniform articulation, discipline and expression of the One Orthodox Faith.
Also, click here for a selection of articles on this historic gathering.
Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky has received heavy damage to its mission chapel from the recent flooding in the region. No further services are planned in the current location. Weekly Bible studies and Vespers on Saturday evening will be held in members' homes. The Mission is currently working to secure a new location for services.
Donations to may be sent directly to the Mission:
c/o Kevin Burt (Mission chairman)
357 Cedar Ridge Rd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Dear to God,
Christ is in our midst! I trust you had a blessed Pascha. Now that we have enjoyed the blessings of the Great Fast and the Feast of Feasts, let us begin to look towards the next Great Feast, Pentecost. Traditionally in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest we take an offering to support our Diocesan Missions. Given the reversals in the economy and the various missions we are supporting we need your help even more so that the message of the Holy Gospel may continue to spread in our Diocese. Sadly, our missions may end up choosing between paying their rent/mortgage and being able to support a priest. Our mission priests make great sacrifices and we will need to revisit the current level of support offered at the Parish Life Conference due to our adverse economy. We do not want one mission to fail, especially in our college towns.
By the grace of God some parishes have added a line item to their parish budget and already sent a check. For this we are most grateful. Other parishes have sponsored fund raisers to support our mission fund as well as a local mission they adopted. Most importantly, we are incredibly blessed and we have a responsibility to support the work our Lord.
On the Great and Holy Feast of Pentecost please take a special offering to support our missions. Every parish can do something. You may send your checks to the “Midwest Mission Fund”, c/o Keith Haddad, St Elias Orthodox Church, 4940 Harroun Rd. Sylvania, OH 43560. Have a blessed Feast and may the Lord bless you as you remain faithful to him.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest
The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest invite women to the fifth annual retreat Friday-Sunday, May 14-16, 2010 at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery located at 3389 Rives Eaton Road in Rives Junction, Michigan.
Mother Abbess Alexandra of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village will present the retreat, “Create in Me a New Heart,” focusing on the Holy Spirit in our lives. She will bring together reflections on the actions of the Holy Spirit through salvation history from the Scriptures and the Fathers with emphasis on our practical, daily synergy with the Holy Spirit.
Many years to His Grace Bishop MARK!
We extend our prayers and love to His Grace, Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest on the occasion of his Name's Day on April 25 (Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark). May God grant him many years!
Let Mark, that most excellent of men, be extolled by us with songs and with divine hymns as Egypt’s fair and brightly shining light, as the all-wise preacher of the Father’s Son and Word, and also the divine author of the Holy Gospel of the Lord; for he intercedeth with Christ God that He grant peace and Great Mercy to our souls.
--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 1