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Fordham University Announces New Book Series: Christian Arabic Texts in Translation

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University is proud to announce its latest initiative: the new book series Christian Arabic Texts in Translation (CATT).

Editor: Stephen J. Davis, Yale University

Advisory Board:

Jimmy Daccache, Yale University (formerly of CNRS, Paris)

Mark Swanson, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Alexander Treiger, Dalhousie University 

The goal of this new series is to provide a forum for making the Christian Arabic literary heritage more widely available in the English-speaking world.

St. Anthony the Great in Florida Celebrates a Consecration, Ordination, and Elevation

By Deborah Thieme

On May 7, 2016, St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Melbourne, Florida celebrated a Consecration, Ordination, and Elevation. The consecration of a church is a once in a lifetime event for a parish. It was especially eventful for this struggling mission parish, which had been meeting in various rented facilities for its 15-year existence. 

As a convert who only just celebrated my first Pascha as an Orthodox Christian this year, I beheld these events with wide-eyed wonder, and what follows is my feeble attempt to share this wonderful story with you.

But first, you should know how the story almost never came to be…

Memory Eternal! + Adele Helen Abraham

Adele Helen Kaleel Abraham, age 95, fell asleep peacefully in the Lord at her home on Thursday May 19, 2016. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 66 years, Abe, her parents Nicholas and Shafica Kaleel, sisters Mabel and Regina Kanag (George), brothers Naseeb (Elsie), Ernest (Laurece), and George, brothers-in-law Wade Abraham (Margaret), James Abraham (Georgette) and Dr. Thomas Bander.  Adele is survived by her four loving children Alan (Debbie), Cheryl (Sam) Barkett, Carol (Peter) Assaly, Kaye (Mike) Powell, ten very special grand-children Kristen (Fadi) Baradihi, Philip (Mindy) Abraham, Jeffrey (Nicole) Abraham, Brittany Abraham, Lauren Barkett, David (Kate) Barkett, Allison Assaly, Meredith Assaly, Melissa Powell and Rick Powell, nine great-grandchildren who she cherished Maya, Natalie, Alexa, Lea, Allie, Elise, Mark, Rita and Sammy, brother Thomas (Eva) Kaleel, sister-in-law Dolores Bander and many godchildren, nieces and nephews.

Adele was born in Spring Valley, Illinois on February 23, 1921. She graduated from Hall High School. Adele proudly worked for Westclox, a company that during World War II converted from making clocks to grenades to support the war effort. In 1947, Adele married the love of her life, Abe and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Adele embraced her role as a wife and mother; she loved being involved in her children’s school activities. She served as a Girl Scout troop leader and as PTA President.

Saint Katherine College is Awarded Regional Accreditation

Saint Katherine College(SKC), an Orthodox institution of higher learning in San Marcos, CA, has been awarded regional accreditation by WASCUC (WASC Senior College and University Commission). This represents the highest standard of accreditation in the United States. The WASCUC Commissioners commended the College for its outstanding interdisciplinary curriculum, focus on student-centered teaching and learning (9:1 student faculty ratio), and integration of faith and learning.

SKC is the first Orthodox Christian institution of higher education to earn regional accreditation in over 50 years, and is the only undergraduate Orthodox Christian institution of liberal arts and sciences in the nation.

Holy Trinity Seminary Press Releases Major Contribution to Middle Eastern Christian Studies

A comprehensive study of the history of the Orthodox Churches under Ottoman rule is now available. Arab Orthodox Christians under the Ottomans: 1516-1831 focuses on the middle period of the Ottoman Empire spanning the years from the Ottoman conquest of Syria in 1516 to the Egyptian invasion of 1831. It offers a vivid and compelling account of a vital but still little known and frequently misunderstood spiritual and political culture. The book is illustrated with full color pictures and maps. A glossary of terms is also provided.

The new English language edition is complemented by a Foreword from His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and all the East. He writes:

The Church of Antioch has faced many challenges throughout its two thousand year history, but through such hardship firm and unshakeable faith in the Lord is produced. As much as this was the case in the past it is true today, when our Antiochian people in the Middle East are enduring countless trials that cause some to even call into question their continued existence in the land of their ancestors.

Sign up Now! Metropolitan Joseph's Archpastoral Directive Regarding the Sacred Music Institute

On March 9, 2016, Metropolitan Joseph issued this Archpastoral Directive. Please note that the early bird deadline is June 8: rooms are going fast so book soon!

Dear Reverend Pastors of this God-Protected Archdiocese,

Greetings and Blessings during this Holy Triodion Season!

The Department of Sacred Music has been charged to elevate the beauty of our liturgical music in our parishes and missions. The Sacred Music Institute (SMI) provides necessary instruction, education and tools to our choir directors, singers and chanters, without which we cannot properly glorify the Lord with our chanting and singing. With a history of over thirty years, the Sacred Music Institute has a proven track record of helping church musicians of all ages and levels progress in their ministry.

Becoming Truly Human Webinar Update: Second Session is May 18

Webinar link

Christ is risen! Last week's webinar about the Becoming Truly Human program presented some technical difficulties for some who wished to watch, so we decided to move the hosting of our webinar for May 18th at 1 PM Eastern to a new software company. 

The webinar works in all browsers and also works on all smartphones. If you use a desktop computer, such as PC or Mac, you will be prompted to install a small plugin to view the webinar. No registration is required, to make it easier on our viewers.

Also, we will be joined by Nathan Jacobs, who was not on the previous webinar because he was in the middle of filming the new feature film on the Orthodox Church. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and we acknowledge with gratitude the guidance of our Metropolitan in this fruitful ministry.

2016 Metropolitan Anthony Bashir Memorial Scholarship Applications are Available

Metropolitan Anthony BashirMetropolitan Anthony BashirThe Diocese of Toledo announces that the 2016 Fellowship of St. John Divine Metropolitan Anthony Bashir Memorial Scholarship is now available. Scholarships are awarded to worthy and needy Orthodox youth of the Antiochian Archdiocese who have resided within the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest for at least one year prior to awarding of the scholarship. Scholarships will be awarded to students of outstanding excellence in any field of study toward a baccalaureate degree in an accredited college or university.

A board of judges has the duty of selecting scholarship recipients on the basis of scholastic achievement, participation in religious life, need, character and worthiness. Two scholarships will be awarded based on academics and two will be awarded based on academics and need.

Download the scholarship application form

Memory Eternal! + Gloria D. Armistead

Gloria Diane Armistead: August 4, 1928 – April 27, 2016
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants." (Psalm 116:15)

Memory Eternal! Gloria Diane Farah Armistead, after a decade-long struggle with lymphocytic leukemia, peacefully fell asleep in our Lord Jesus Christ during the late evening of Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at the Good Life Senior Living Center in El Paso, Texas. 

Gloria was born on August 4, 1928, in Beaumont, Texas. She was christened as Gloria Dian Farha, the spelling of her middle and last names later modified to "Diane" and "Farah." She was the second youngest of six children born to Amelia and John Farah, Jr., who had emigrated to the U.S. from the port city of Tripoli, Lebanon. 

Gloria graduated from Beaumont High School in 1945 and undertook additional studies at Angelo's Business College in Beaumont, Texas. In 1965, Gloria moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and began working at Louisiana State University. She remained at LSU for next 13-years, before moving to El Paso in 1978. In El Paso Gloria found employment at the University of Texas at El Paso where she worked as an Administrative Assistant in the UTEP's Department of Economics and Finance under the direction of the Department Chair, Professor Timothy P. Roth.

His Grace Visits St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Washington, D.C.

On the weekend of Palm Sunday, 2016, His Grace Bishop Nicholas visited the community of St. George of Washington, D.C. On Lazarus Saturday, April 23, he presided over the Divine Liturgy, during which the chant of "Rejoice, O Bethany..." was rendered by Jannica Sophia Porcu, Noelle Cozbar, and Eyvonka Rizkallah.

Following the Liturgy, His Grace held a retreat for the teens, led by President Nicholas Saliby. 

In the afternoon, the parish ladies with their president, Ms. Nicolette Aftimos, served a marvelous lunch to all present. His Grace Bishop Nicholas held a retreat with the ladies of St. George following lunch.

Save the Date! Annual SOYO Meeetings

The Annual SOYO Summer Meetings and SOYO Leadership Training at Antiochian Village are scheduled for Friday July 22-27, 2016.

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Mary Ellen Braun

Memory Eternal! Khouria Mary Ellen Braun
September 8, 1931—April 29, 2016 (Holy Friday)

Mary Ellen was born to Ernest and Mabel Risell on September 8, 1931 in Turlock, CA, the second of four children. After graduating from Turlock High School in 1949, she attended Modesto Junior College and then San Jose State University, from which she graduated in 1953 with a degree in Elementary Education.

In 1951 Mary Ellen met her future husband, the Very Reverend Jon Braun, at Mt. Herman Christian Conference Center, located in the Santa Cruz mountains, where they were both on the summer staff. They were married in 1953 in San Jose, CA. From 1954 to 1970, they labored together in Christian youth ministry in Pasadena, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Lake Arrowhead, CA and Leavenworth, WA as a result of their strong commitment to Christian service.

Metropolitan Joseph Offers Prayers After Tragic Cathedral Fire

Interior of St. Sava Cathedral after fireInterior of St. Sava Cathedral after fireChrist is Risen!

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, along with the bishops, clergy, Archdiocese Board of Trustees, and faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, share our prayers and love with His Grace Bishop Mitrophan and all the faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese as they deal with the tragedy of the fire that destroyed St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City. As we just finished celebrating the Holy Fire of the empty tomb of our risen Lord and Savior, a different, terrible fire was destroying this historic cathedral in Manhattan. May our risen Lord and Savior grant peace and healing to the Cathedral community as they move forward and begin anew.

For more information, visit the St. Sava Cathedral website.

 

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for Great and Holy Pascha

May 1, 2016

Christ is Risen! Indeed he is Risen!

We greet you with great joy and love as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.  I wish to share with you this beautiful Paschal Oration by St. Gregory the Theologian as my pastoral message for Pascha:

Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him.  
Yesterday I died with Him; Today I am made alive with Him.
Yesterday I was buried with Him; today I am raised up with Him.
Let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us…ourselves, the possession most precious to God and most proper.
Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us.
Let us become divine for His sake, since for us He became man.
He assumed the worse that He might give us the better.
He became poor that by 
His poverty we might become rich.

Metropolitan Joseph honors Fr. Paul Doyle and Fr. George Aquaro

Following Bridegroom Orthros on Holy Monday night at St. Matthew Church in Torrance, California, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph surprised two faithful priests of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America with special honors for their service to Christ’s holy Church. As Protopsaltis Kenneth Woolsey put it, “It was like the joy of Pascha came early.”

Sayidna Joseph bestowed upon the Very Rev. Paul Doyle the high honor of the Gold Order of St. Raphael for his more than four decades of priestly ministry in a variety of capacities. To name but a few: founding pastor of St. Matthew Church, dean of the Southern California Deanery, and Protosyngellos of the Archdiocese. Father Paul has retired from those ministries, but he remains an active and trusted spiritual father to countless clergy and laity. He received his award with his typical humility. Sayidna Joseph remarked that Fr. Paul’s sole agenda has always been to serve the Lord and His people.

2016 Paschal Letter From Bishop Thomas

GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA 2016

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!

Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him; yesterday I died with Him; today I am quickened with Him; yesterday I was buried with Him; today I rise with Him. But let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us— you will think perhaps that I am going to say gold, or silver, or woven work or transparent and costly stones, the mere passing material of earth, that remains here below, and is for the most part always possessed by bad men, slaves of the world and of the Prince of the world. Let us offer ourselves, the possession most precious to God, and most fitting; let us give back to the Image what is made after the Image. Let us recognize our Dignity; let us honor our Archetype; let us know the power of the Mystery, and for what Christ died. (St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 1.4)

The great sacrifice that Christ our High Priest has made for us on the Cross, the sacrifice which enables our sanctification when we partake of it worthily, has been fulfilled for us in the resurrection of Jesus, the first-born from the dead (Col. 1:18).

What has been offered is shown to be a perfect Offering well-pleasing to God, as Jesus Christ is both Offerer and Offering, the One Who both distributes and is distributed in this sacrifice given for us.

2016 Paschal Letter From Bishop Anthony

Pascha 2016

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! !قام حقا !قام المسيح

Our Church has given us the sacred sacrament of Holy Baptism to guarantee our personal resurrection from the dead. St. Paul clearly taught this when he writes: We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life. (Romans 6:4) Just as Jesus rose bodily from the dead and stayed with His Apostles for forty days to teach and deliver them the practices of our faith, we will rise bodily with the same recognizable features and personality traits which now and forever will identify, distinguish, and define us: only in a most purified and perfected way: I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ‘For no eye has seen, nor ear heard, no heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.’ (Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4) Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)

We realize the Great Lent and Holy Week purifying discipline of prayer and fasting is to tame the flesh and give power to the soul in preparation to become the beautified body of the resurrection, all in anticipation of the glory to come when Christ returns at the end of time. But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (at the Second Coming), who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20) We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)

Metropolitan Joseph Honors Archdeacon George Shishim on His Fortieth Anniversary in the Diaconate

Palm Sunday of 2016 marked a special day for the senior-most deacon of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America: the fortieth anniversary of the ordination of Archdeacon George Shishim to the holy diaconate. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph led a special celebration after the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles, where Archdeacon George has faithfully served for all four decades of his ministry. (View the St. Nicholas Cathedral photo gallery)

Since his ordination on Palm Sunday in 1976 by Bishop Elia Saliba (now Metropolitan of Hama, Syria), “Arch” – as Sayidna Joseph calls him – has trained dozens of men to serve at the holy altar. Many of them started as altar boys and would later become lay leaders, subdeacons, deacons and priests.

Joint Prayer Service Held for Aleppo Bishops

On Thursday, April 21, 2016, a joint prayer service was held at St. Gabriel Syriac Orthodox Church in Haworth, NJ, on the occasion of the third anniversary of the kidnapping of Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo and Archbishop Youhanna of Aleppo. The event, sponsored by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCH), was well attended by faithful from the surrounding area.

Special speakers included His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, who serves as First Vice-Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Delegate, Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of the Eastern USA; His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Chairman of SCOOCH and Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church; and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. After the prayer service a Lenten meal was served in the fellowship hall.

A Joint Statement: Three Years on the Abduction of Metropolitans Paul and Youhanna

On April 21, 2016, a joint statement was issued by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, and the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, marking the three year anniversary of the abduction of Metropolitans Paul and Youhanna.
 
 
Balamand, 21 April, 2016
 
Beloved Spiritual Children, Our Compatriots, Brothers and Sisters in Humanity,
 
On this day, three years ago, the Bishops of Aleppo, Metropolitans Paul Yazigi and Youhanna Ibrahim were kidnapped near Aleppo. This incident occurred while they were in a humanitarian mission to help save others. Since then, we have not heard any official news about them. No governments, associations, or great or small powers have provided us with any information about them. Since three years, their case became a miniature of the great human suffering coming from terrorism: massacres, abductions, deracination, takfir, and explosions. This is done under the pretexts of slogans and clichés. All this was done with no empathy to tearful mothers from Syria and the whole world and the broken hearts of many people who have prayed and worked to end this great human tragedy that has been going on for the last five years under false pretexts.

Memory Eternal! +Metropolitan Constantine (Papastephanou)

+Metropolitan Constantine (Papastephanou), 1924 – 2016

It was with great sadness that we learned of the falling asleep in our Lord Jesus Christ of His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine (Papastephanou) on Sunday April 17th, 2016.  I was personally blessed to know Metropolitan Constantine during my time in Damascus, and I can certainly testify to his holiness, and prayerfulness.  It can truly be said that he was a man of God. 

Metropolitan Constantine was born in 1924 in Damascus, Syria where he was educated in the city's parochial schools. Desirous of entering upon an ecclesiastical career, His Eminence was blessed to study in Greece before he was ordained to the holy priesthood in 1951 by Patriarch Alexander III (Tahan) of Antioch.  He then served as a priest in Damascus and its vicinity for eighteen years. During the late 1950s he was appointed as the director of the Balamand Clerical School in north Lebanon, and in 1964 was assigned by Patriarch Theodosios VI (Abourjaily) VI as abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of the Great-martyr George al-Humayra in the "Valley of the Christians" in Syria.

AV Bookstore Announces Pascha Sale

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Publications Center & AV Bookstore announces a sale, in time for Pascha purchasing.

Sale items include:

  • The Myrrh-bearing Women icon, 10 x 8 photo print on wood (commissioned in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah by the Antiochian Women)
  • Wood budded Cross, with inset 3-bar cross; Laser cut detail, 8” tall, 6.75” wide
  • And more!

 

Spring 2016 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Spring 2016 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West, and the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest. The issue contains:

  • Pastoral Message from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph
  • Photos and first person stories
  • Profiles of diocesan officers

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Upcoming BeeTreat for Youth: From YouTube to You!

BeeTreat: From YouTube to You!

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Youth & Parents / Youth Workers start time: 9:30 a.m. 
Young Adults start @ 7:00 p.m.

Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral
24 W. Preston St.
Baltimore, MD  21201

Register here
Visit us on Facebook

 

Memory Eternal! + Rose Mousi Yazigi, Mother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His holy ones" (Psalm 116:5).

Memory Eternal! Rose Mousi Yazigi, the mother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, has reposed in the Lord. In a letter of condolence to His Beatitude, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph wrote: "It is with a sadness that we have learned of the falling asleep in Christ of your beloved mother, Rosa. On behalf of myself, my brother bishops, the clergy, the members of the Board of Trustees, the heads of the departments and organizations, and all of the faithful of this Archdiocese, we offer our prayers and condolences as you struggle with the departure of your beloved mother, especially at a time when so many events are weighing so heavily on your shoulders."

Service information will be published as it becomes available.

Read Metropolitan Joseph's Letter of Condolence

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