News About His Eminence Metropolitan Philip
On December 22, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip hosted His Eminence Archbishop Justinian, the Administrator of the Parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the United States for a visit to the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, NJ.
Attending the meeting (and pictured in the accompanying photo from left to right were):
The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch from The Diocese of New York gathered with His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, North American Chair, Dan Abraham and his wife, Membership Co-Chair Kathy Abraham, at St. George Parish Hall in Little Falls, New Jersey for an annual Christmas reception on the evening of Saturday, December 18, 2010. The reception was hosted by V. Rev. Elias Bitar, the Parish Council and the Members of The Order from St. George Church.
On December 21, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP hosted the Annual Christmas visit of the Choir from St. George in Little Falls, NJ at the Archdiocese Headquarters. This visit has become an annual tradition, and always fills the headquarters with the joy of music, and good fellowship.
The choir began the singing of Christmas hymns outside the front entrance of the house and then made its way into the house to greet His Eminence. They were led by the pastor, Very Rev. Elias Bitar, and Mrs. Christine Lynch, the choir director. After receiving a blessing from His Eminence, the choir continued their beautiful singing in the living room. At the conclusion of the musical program, everyone gathered in the chapel for evening prayers.
Finally, the choir was treated to dessert and coffee in the dining room.
As always, it was an evening of joy and good fellowship during this most blessed season of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On Tuesday, December 7, 2010, His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip met with Mother Alexandra at the Archdiocese office in Englewood, New Jersey to discuss Mother’s recent trip to Syria and Lebanon and important future developments regarding the progress of the plans for the new buildings and candidates for the Convent of St. Thekla in Bolivar, Pennsylvania.
On October 19, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip hosted the Annual Seminarian Dinner at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey. In attendance were all of the Antiochian seminarians and their spouses from St. Tikhon, St. Vladimir, and Holy Cross seminaries. The evening began with the Vesper service for St. Artemios in the Chapel of St. John Chrysostom at the Archdiocese Headquarters. Following the Vesper service, everyone gathered in the large dining room for the group photo, which was then followed by dinner. After dinner, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip addressed the gathered seminarians and their spouses, discussing matters which are important to their future priesthood. He spoke about the importance of liturgical uniformity, of correctness and beauty of the liturgical music, and of the approach which a pastor must have toward his flock. After his remarks, His Eminence met privately with any third-year seminarian who desired to discuss important matters regarding his future.
On the weekend of September 17-19th, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip consecrated St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. St. John Chrysostom was founded by His Eminence in 1978 as a Pan-Orthodox Mission in northeast Indiana. After over 30 years of growth in the Fort Wayne community, the parish erected a new church complex with a grand worship space, classroom education facilities and a large family room area for fellowship of the Orthodox Community. The new church's altar was consecrated on September 19th by Metropolitan Philip, with Archdeacon Hans Elhayek; parish priest Fr. Anthony Michaels; Fr. Nabil Hanna, dean of the Indiana deanery; Fr. George Smith, priest in residence; Fr. Joseph Rahall, founding priest of the mission; and clergy friends from around the Midwest.
Chesterton, IN — Ancient Faith Radio is pleased to announce a new Illumined Heart interview with Metropolitan Philip Saliba:
The past few years have seen their controversies within the Self Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. On September 30, 2010, Kevin Allen, host of The Illumined Heart, and John Maddex, co-founder and president of Ancient Faith Radio, traveled to Englewood, New Jersey to visit the headquarters of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the home of its Archbishop, Metropolitan Philip Saliba. Their purpose was to seek clarification on several key areas that have become a concern to many and fodder for the blogosphere. His Eminence warmly welcomed them and gave Kevin the freedom to ask any question he thought would be helpful to the AFR audience in understanding several critical issues.
Four specific topics addressed include:
- The meaning and future of self rule in the Antiochian Archdiocese.
- The status of the Bishops in North America and the meaning as well as the ramifications of the title “Auxiliary Bishop.”
- The finances of the Antiochian Archdiocese and in particular the status of an audit.
- The view point of His Eminence on the Episcopal Assembly, SCOBA, and the future of administrative unity in North America.
AFR has left the Metropolitan’s remarks intact and unedited to make them available to the audience for their own evaluation and conclusions.
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip will depart today, August 9, for the Middle East, where he will attend the upcoming meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch which is scheduled to begin on August 17th, 2010.
We ask all of the faithful to pray that His Eminence will have a safe and productive journey. We also ask for prayers for all of our beloved hierarchs of the See of Antioch as they gather together in brotherly love to do the work of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit.
The weekend of June 4th through the 6th proved to be a joyful and historic event for the community of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. Starting with the arrival of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, His Grace Bishop THOMAS and Archdeacon Hans on Friday, June 4, a weekend of celebration was set in motion for the groundbreaking of the new St. George Church.
On Saturday, June 5, our beloved Hierarchs began the day by meeting with some of the parents, teachers and children of our parish. The morning consisted of a dialogue between Metropolitan PHILIP and our children, and a special arts and crafts project. The groundbreaking Ceremony was celebrated at 11:30 a.m. on the land where the new St. George Church will be constructed. Metropolitan PHILIP and Bishop THOMAS blessed and planted a wooden cross on the land where the church will be built.
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.
EPISCOPAL ASSEMBLY - MAY 26, 2010
"Your Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and Brother Bishops:
My opening remarks this morning are taken from the Vespers of Palm Sunday, “Today the Grace of the Holy Spirit has gathered us together.” How wonderful and pleasing to God for all of us to meet and discuss matters related to the life of our Church on this particular continent. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman of SCOBA for his hard work to make this gathering possible.
The literature which we received from Chambesy via the Greek Archdiocese of America, raises some important questions.
ONE, Despite the vitality and the dynamic nature of Orthodoxy in North America, no member of SCOBA, not even the chairman of SCOBA, was consulted about what was discussed in Geneva. We received rules from our brothers in Switzerland which we have nothing to do with. We have been on this continent for more than two hundred (200) years. We are no longer little children to have rules imposed on us from 5,000 miles away. Orthodoxy in America has its own ethos. We have our own theological institutions, and we have our own theologians, authors, publications and magazines. We do not intend to be disobedient to the Mother Churches; we just want to dialogue with them and give them the opportunity to know us and understand us.
The founder of the Al-Kafaat Foundation, Mr. Nadim Shwayri, with his wife Lily and daughter Myriam, visited His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP on Monday, May 24th for dinner. The Al-Kafaat Foundation in Lebanon provides services and housing for people with disabilities from all backgrounds; the word Al-Kafaat itself means "abilities." Mr, Shwayri has dedicated most of his life and finances to establishing the foundation that cares for these "least of my brethren" free of charge, from the cradle to the grave.
By Elisabeth Lourie
St. George Church in Boston was doubly blessed and honored the weekend of April 17th and 18th with a visit from His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, and the ordination of Subdeacon Stephen Mathewes to the Holy Diaconate. For as long as anyone can remember, His Eminence has visited St. George to celebrate the feast day of our patron saint, St. George.
The weekend, coordinated by St. George Weekend Chairperson Douglas Howdy, began Saturday morning with Youth Day at the church. Children and teens of all ages gathered for fun and games in the church hall, and enjoyed lunch with Sayedna PHILIP. His Eminence took time to meet with the youth answering their questions and asking a few of his own. “It’s always a delight to see our Father in Christ with the children gathered around him,” said V. Rev Timothy J. Ferguson, pastor of St. George, “as an image of the icon of Christ gathering the children to Him.”
On Wednesday April 14, 2010, His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, on behalf of the faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, presented a check for $150,000 to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Executive Director and CEO Constantine M. Triantafilou, in the presence of His Grace Bishop ANTOUN, Order of St Ignatius of Antioch chair Dan Abraham, and IOCC board members the Very Rev. Michael Ellias and Anne Glynn Mackoul at Antiochian Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, N.J. The gift was a result of the generous response of the Antiochian Orthodox faithful to the appeal that was made by His Eminence immediately after the earthquake struck Haiti.
"Christ is Risen!" "Al-Maseeh Qam!" This joyous refrain could be heard in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn New York, in the early morning hours of April 4. After a long and cold winter in the Northeast this year, the dark and short days of the season gave way to the day that knows no night and the celebration of our Lord's resurrection from the dead. Once again, our father in Christ, His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, returned home to celebrate the Feast of Feasts and the season of seasons in his cathedral, the mother church of the North American Archdiocese. The Cathedral was filled to capacity on the beautiful New York evening.
Following the Paschal services His Eminence joined the Cathedral dean, Archpriest Thomas Zain and all the faithful in breaking the fast in the church hall and cracking eggs with many of the children and adults in celebration of the Feast.
Metropolitan PHILIP Writes His Holiness KIRILL, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, with Prayers in Wake of Moscow Terrorism
March 30, 2010
His Holiness, KIRILL
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia
Greetings to you during these all holy days as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God give you strength!
We were horrified to learn of the barbaric attack yesterday on the beloved citizens of Moscow by a group of terrorists. This was especially disturbing as it took place during the Great and Holy Week of the Church. On behalf of all the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, please accept our sincere and deep sympathies to Your Holiness, the Russian government and the Russian people. May the innocent blood which was shed on Calvary wash away our sins and the sins of the entire world.
Joined by co-celebrants the Very Reverend Elias Bitar and Deacon Michael Ibrahim, along with Archdeacon Hans El Hayek and Deacon Jason Blais from St. Vladimir’s Seminary, His Eminence began the day with the ordination of two Subdeacons from St. George parish – Peter Yazgi and Matthew Chatri. St. George Church was packed to capacity, with an overflow crowd viewing the Liturgy from our large parish hall via a large video screen.
Sayidna PHILIP spoke about the events in the Gospel of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and while this was not the first time Christ gave life to the dead, it was the most famous. Comparing it to today's world, His Eminence suggested that the event would be on "the headline biggest... the first item of news on TV!"
Valentine’s weekend is usually a time for sweethearts to get together and celebrate their love for each other. Here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during this time, parishioners of St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church and members of the Archdiocese were celebrating love as well, but love for the Church in the form of stewardship. The ground breaking ceremonies for the new John and Hooda Germack Hall took place over this wonderful weekend with lots of events and fun.
The events started Friday night with a dinner welcoming His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP where the plans and the model for the new hall were presented by Architect Alex Khoury to the Metropolitan, Parish Council, and a few Archdiocese Board of Trustees members. This event was hosted by Salim and Deborah Khoury at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club. There was a short question and answer session about the new hall which was very informative. At the same time, the weekend chairman, Richard Zakka, Spoke about the new St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church Home for Children Program, which will “serve a greater cause than ourselves”, to help orphaned children in need. He stated that “There are over 1 million homeless children in the United States and someone has to take the initiative of changing that number”. Mr. Zakka, who is spearheading this effort, asked “If we don’t do it, who will? If not now, then when?”
March 1, 2010
TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:44-45)
Once again we are confronted with the images of destruction, death and human tragedy in the wake of the severe earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday, February 27th, 2010. More than 700 are confirmed to have died, with the toll expected to be higher. More than 1.5 million people are homeless or without shelter. I have been in touch with my brother, Metropolitan SERGIOS (Abd), the Primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese of Chile. His Eminence is personally safe and sound, but several of his churches have suffered damage from the earthquake, and the status of some of the faithful is still to be determined. As the quote above from the Book of Acts reminds us, it has always been the tradition of the Church to help any brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. As such, we are asking all of our parishes and missions to appeal for prayers and donations in order to assist those who are in need in Chile.
There will be an official visit to South Florida by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP on the weekend of February 12th -14th, 2010 at St. Philip Orthodox Church. Metropolitan PHILIP will be accompanied by His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN, Bishop of Miami and Assistant to the Metropolitan. His Eminence will preside over a weekend of activities celebrating:
- The official Ground Breaking of the new Germack Hall which is named after the late Mr. and Mrs. John and Hooda Germack, who left $1,000,000 to St. Philip Church for the construction of the new Hall.
- The launch of the St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church Home for Children Program. This program was spearheaded by Mr. Richard Zakka, Chairman of the Ground Breaking Committee.
On Friday night, February 12th 2010, His Eminence will preside over a private meeting with the Pastor, Parish Council, and Building Committee members of St. Philip Orthodox Church at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Waterway. The dinner is hosted by Salim Khoury, Chairman of the Parish Council, and his wife Deborah.
On Saturday, February 13th, 2010, His Eminence will preside over a luncheon with the parish children at St. Philip Orthodox Church, 4870 Griffin Road, Davie, FL 33314, while the Parishioners and guests from around the country will enjoy a Golf Tournament, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. David and Terri Dorta, at the Bonaventure Country Club. David Dorta is the Chairman of the Building Committee and his wife, Terri, is the Choir Director at St. Philip Orthodox Church.
January 13, 2010
TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT
"You who are strong, help the weak. You who are rich, help the poor. You who stand upright, help the fallen and the crushed. You who are joyful, comfort those in sadness. You who enjoy all good fortune, help those who have met with disaster. Give something in thanksgiving to God that you are of those who can give help, and not of those who stand and wait for it." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus)
Beloved in Christ:
We are all aware of the disastrous earthquake which struck the country of Haiti on Tuesday that destroyed many homes and reduced much of their land to rubble and took many innocent lives. Thousands of homes were destroyed and thousands of people are still missing amid the heaps of ruins. Even the center of the city of Port au Prince, was heavily damaged, including the capital that was completely destroyed. With faith in God, these victims of this disaster are trying to restore some order to their shattered lives.
On Monday January 4th, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America hosted a meeting with His Beatitude Metropolitan JONAH, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Antiochian Archdiocese in Englewood, New Jersey. Also attending was Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, the OCA Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations.
The two hierarchs discussed several topics of utmost importance to the Orthodox faithful in America. Among the topics discussed were the following two items of special significance:
November 16, 2009
The Most Reverend Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER
Serbian Orthodox Church in North & South America
The Venerable Hierarchs and the Clergy and Laity
of the Holy Serbian Orthodox Church
We are deeply saddened by the news of the falling asleep in Christ of His Beatitude, +PAVLE, Patriarch of the Holy Orthodox Church of Serbia. We were blessed to receive his blessings during one of his visits to the United States of America. His Beatitude, PAVLE has lived a holy, long and fruitful life. His contribution to education and the monastic life will never be forgotten.
We will never forget his courageous voice against the unfortunate wars between Orthodox Serbs, the Catholic Croats, and Bosnian Muslims. He was a catalyst for peace and understanding amongst all these groups. “Blessed are the peacemakers.” His departure from this temporal life is a great loss, not only to the God-loving people of Serbia, but to Orthodox Christians all over the world.
On behalf of myself, our venerable hierarchs, the clergy and laity of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, we convey to you, your venerable hierarchs, clergy and laity and the Holy Synod of our sister Patriarchate of Serbia, our deepest sympathy. May our gracious Lord receive His Beatitude, PAVLE in His holy mansions where the faces of the saints shine like the stars of heaven. May his soul rest in peace. Surely his memory will be eternal.
+ Metropolitan PHILIP, Primate
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
St. Vladimir's Seminary’s Board of Trustees, under the leadership His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and Board Chairman, met on the seminary campus November 5–7, 2009 for their 61st annual meeting. A highlight of the trustees’ decisions included appointments and elections to the board in accordance with the Seminary’s vision for cooperative effort and exchange among Orthodox Christian jurisdictions and churches globally. The board concluded its meeting looking optimistically toward the future.
Metropolitan Philip re-appointed as trustee
Exemplifying the pan-Orthodox vision of its founders, the seminary Board of Trustees is comprised of episcopal appointments and elected trustees from the wide spectrum of students who historically have graced the classrooms at St. Vladimir's Seminary. His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah has re-appointed to the seminary's Board of Trustees His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, whose presence on the board since 1967 continues fifty-one years of tradition of having the metropolitan archbishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese counted among the seminary's trustees, beginning with the appointment of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony (Bashir) in 1958. The longest serving trustee of the seminary, His Eminence was re-elected by the Board of Trustees to the office of Vice Chairman of the Board, an office His Eminence has held since 1981, and an expression of his commitment to the vision of pan-Orthodox unity for North America and the role of St. Vladimir's Seminary in fostering cooperation among Orthodox Churches in North America and beyond.
Archbishop Hilarion and Thomas Zedlovich join board