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An Invitation to be a Signatory of the Manhattan Declaration

On Friday, November 20, 2009, His Grace Bishop Basil sent an invitation to his flock, inviting them to sign a statement affirming the historic Christian teaching on life, marriage, and religious freedom. He wrote:

"Dear to Christ:

We invite you to join with other Christians across the nation who support the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty by endorsing the Manhattan Declaration.

Chaplain's Corner: And On Earth, Peace

Chaplain's Corner

by Fr. George Morelli

During the season celebrating the Birth of Christ, also called Christmas, a line from the scriptures is frequently quoted. It is actually from the Gospel of St. Luke (2:14): “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace ....” Some may notice I truncated the scriptural verse and some may have filled in the rest of the verse based on their memory of how they have heard or read the verse in the past.

Orthodox Educators Announce Registration for Online Spring Classes

The Classical Learning Resource Center is offering 4 new classes for Spring Semester (January 11th – May 14th 2010). In addition to new Latin 1 and Greek 1 classes the CLRC will offer two new high school level courses for the Spring Semester: “Critical Thinking”, and “God and the Philosophers”. Noted Christian author Matthew Gallatin (Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells) will be the instructor for both classes. These will complement current CLRC courses for Middle School and High School students in Latin and Greek, as well as Greek Mythology and Homer. Students with some previous background in Latin or Greek may be eligible to join ongoing CLRC classes in these subjects. New sections of Homer and Greek Mythology are also being offered. Registration for the Spring Semester (January 11- May 14) opened on November 5. Class sizes are limited for the purpose of quality instruction so early enrollment is encouraged.

The Classical Learning Resource Center, founded by Subdeacon John and Anne Van Fossen and Reader Matthew Gallatin is an online Resource Center for teachers and homeschoolers, dedicated to Christian education through Classical Learning. A classical education not only prepares students for the practical responsibilities of life, but also opens the door to a deeper understanding of humanity and faith.

To learn more about the school and/or to register for classes, visit the CLRC online at http://www.facebook.com/l/53825;www.clrchomeschool.com.

FOCUS Launches Youth Equipped to Serve Website

FOCUS North America has announced the launch of a new website and video for its youth-based domestic outreach program “Youth Equipped to Serve” (YES). The website can be found at http://www.yesnorthamerica.org/  The video can be found at www.yesnorthamerica.org/yesvideo.

"We are so excited for you to get to know the YES Program through our new website and YES video! Read testimonies from students, view videos that they made and hear firsthand how God is working in the lives of the youth that become His hands and feet in service to the poor," said Katrina Bitar, FOCUS North America YES Program Director.

Feedback from student participants has been enthusiastic.

“The website is fantastic and lively. The new YES video does an excellent job showing the many encounters that happen on a YES trip.” - Peyton Powers

“The website is awesome! The bright colors are great and show how fun these trips are. The video perfectly captured our trip!” - Grace Farha

FOCUS North America believes that engaging all of the faithful, especially our youth, in the Gospel work of serving the poor in our own communities is essential in keeping the youth faithful to Christ and active in the Church for a lifetime. The YES Program has dramatically influenced the spiritual lives of its hundreds of participants. For more information on the YES program or to schedule a trip, visit: www.FOCUSNorthAmerica.org/YES.

FOCUS North America and its programs are committed to serve those in need, support Orthodox Christian social action ministries and supply parishes and others with the education, resources and training to initiate social action ministries in their own communities. In all of this, FOCUS North America continues its work in Restoring Living Icons.

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Re-appointed as St. Vladimir's Seminary Trustee

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

Board Announces 2009-2010 Project: Convent of St. Thekla

Mother Alexandra and Cindy NimeyMother Alexandra and Cindy Nimey"We are all very excited about our new North American Board project—contributing to the building of St. Thekla Convent—and the arrival of Mother Alexandra to the Antiochian Village," NAB President Cindy Nimey said. “Mother Alexandra is a dynamic person and we will all learn very much from her.”

Five elected officers, the immediate past president, and six appointed coordinators comprise the NAB. “We have all been elected or appointed to positions to be leaders and provide programs and information about our projects to the seven Dioceses of our Archdiocese,” Cindy wrote in a encouraging letter to the board and to officers and coordinators of the Dioceses.

“We had a wonderful meeting this summer (at Archdiocese convention in Palm Desert, CA); thanks to the hard work and love from all the Antiochian Women chapters we were able to give Metropolitan PHILIP a check in the amount of $112,800.00 for the support of the Al K'afaat Foundation in Lebanon.

Orthodox InterSeminary Movement Meets at Holy Cross

The Orthodox InterSeminary Movement will meet on the campus of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology this weekend, November 6 and 7. Seminarians from Holy Trinity Seminary, Christ the Savior Seminary and St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York, St. Tikhon's Seminary in Pennsylvania, and a seminarian from St. Herman's in Alaska, approximately 25 in all from outside Holy Cross, will attend.

The keynote address will be given on Saturday morning at 11:30 in the Booras Room by the Very Rev. Archimandrite Joachim Cotsonis, PhD, Director of the Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Resource Center at Holy Cross. The talk is entitled "The History of the Image of and devotion to St. Nicholas".

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Receives Distinguished Russian Guests

YONKERS, NY—St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomed two prestigious guests from Russia to its campus this fall: the Minister for Justice of the Russian Federation and the President of The International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations (IFUOCN). Both Russian visitors were drawn to campus because of the seminary’s global influence in theological circles, including the 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide that share its creed.

In November 2009, the seminary administration welcomed The Honorable Alexander V. Konovalov, the minister for justice, and his wife, Maria Suslina, to chapel services and gave them a campus tour. Mr. Konovalov—whose U.S. counterpart would be the Attorney General—is a devout Orthodox Christian, with a long-standing interest in the works of the former dean of St. Vladimir’s, Father Alexander Schmemann, particularly his views on the challenge of secularism. Father Schmemann, who died in 1983, had enormous religious influence on Russian society during the Soviet Era, through Radio Liberty Broadcasts and samizdat writings—including capturing the notice and admiration of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The seminary has the distinction of the being the first place Solzhenitsyn visited after his 1974 expulsion from the Soviet Union.

Metropolitan Philip Presents Ecumenical Patriarch with Engolpion of Ss. Peter and Paul

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip joined other American Orthodox Primates in an audience with His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Most of the Primates had also attended the Ninth Annual Orthodox Prayer Service for the United Nations Community the previous evening. Present at the audience were Archbishop Demetrios of America (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Philip (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Christopher (Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Nicholas (Carpatho- Russian Diocese); Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America), Metropolitan Constantine (Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA); Bishop Ilia (Albanian Orthodox Diocese) and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA). Archbishop Demetrios welcomed His All Holiness on behalf of the Primates.

The remarks of His All Holiness follow:

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Visits United States October 20 - November 6, 2009

Orthodox Christians in America are anticipating an historic visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch, who will be traveling throughout the United States in late October and early November. Called "The Green Patriarch," His All Holiness Bartholomew has convened several symposia of scientists, religious and humanitarian leaders, to discuss critical worldwide environmental issues. In New Orleans, the Patriarch will draw attention to the importance of the Mississippi's ecosystem, and in New York he'll gather the SCOBA bishops, and will meet with other national leaders such as former president Bill Clinton, and His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.


A website dedicated to the Patriarch and his visit will include photos and updates of his meetings and travels, and can be found at:


http://www.patriarchate.org/

OCMC Announces Registration for 2010 Mission Teams

“I am surrounded by love. It's not the kind of love you see on TV or in the movies, but love in its most true and simple form. It is the love that can only come from God ... I have already found that love in abundance everywhere I look.” - A 2009 Team member


Now is the time for you to have a Mission Teams experience! In 2010, Teams will be offered during more times of the year and for varying amounts of time (as few as 9 days and as long as 3 weeks) and there will be opportunities for families as well! Be a living witness of your Faith on a Teaching team; provide labor on a Construction team; engage the future of our Church on a Youth team; or take part in the holistic mission of the Church on a Health Care team. Develop deep relationships with others, have a cultural learning experience, and live in response to the Lord’s command to “make disciples of all nations”.


For over 20 years, Team members have proudly served through OCMC to participate in the Holy Orthodox Church’s unending mission effort to bring the saving message of salvation to the ends of the earth. Join the thousands of Orthodox Christians from North America who have been witnessing to the hope and good news of the risen Christ with the world. There will be at least 14 opportunities to participate on a Team in 2010: Alaska – Teaching and Outreach; Albania – Youth camp; Guatemala – Youth camp; India – Teaching; Kenya – Teaching; Korea – Youth camp (ESL); Madagascar – Teaching; Romania – Youth camp; South Africa – Teaching; Tanzania – Construction and Teaching; Uganda – Health Care and Zimbabwe – Teaching.


 Team applications and more detailed information are available online at http://teams.ocmc.org or you can call the OCMC at 1.877.463.6787 (ext 142) for more information.

St. Raphael Clergy Brotherhood Directory

Current as of November 1, 2016
Download PDF Version

# = Full-time Chaplain (military, prison, hospital, etc.)
* = Retired Clergy of DOWAMA
: = On-loan to DOWAMA
< = Attached
> = Leave-of-Absence
+ = Deceased Spouse

Bishop

(ESSEY), Bishop BASIL – St George Cathedral/Wichita KS BpBasil@aol.com

Archimandrites

GRIFFITH, Archimandrite Daniel – All Saints/Salina, KS frdanielg@gmail.com
*KELLER, Archimandrite Daniel – Our Lady of Walsingham/Mesquite, TX FrDanKeller@att.net
MANGELS, Archimandrite John – St Augustine/Denver, CO ajammn@aol.com

Hieromonks

(DAVIS), Hieromonk Jeremy – Holy Ascension/Norman,, OK frjeremydavis@gmail.com
* (VREELAND), Hieromonk Philip (+Lilija) St Silouan Monastery House/Wichita, KS frphilipvreeland@hotmail.com

Protopresbyter

O'CALLAGHAN, Protopresbyter Paul (Jeannie) St George Cathedral/Wichita, KS vrev@stgeorgecathedral.net

Archpriests

SYNERGY Hosts Symposium

On Saturday, October 17, the Chicago area Orthodox organization SYNERGY is hosting a seminar entitled, “The Future of Orthodoxy in America.” Speakers include the Rev. Dr. Stanley Harakas, Professor Emeritus and renowned author, and the Rev. Dn. Nicholas Belcher, Dean of Students at Holy Cross Seminary.


SYNERGY consists of lay and clergy members from Chicago-area parishes who seek to make Orthodoxy known to the broader community. Working together with its parent organization, the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Greater Chicago, SYNERGY operates with the blessings of the Chicago hierarchs.


The conference is going to be held at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 1220 S. 60th Court in Cicero. Prior to October 9, 2009, individuals may register for $35.00, and married couples for $50.00; afterwards, the fee is $40.00. High school and college students are discounted at $20.00. Registration includes coffee service and lunch, and attendees may register at the door.


For more information go to: chicagosynergy.org/symposium.html or call: (847) 647-8889 or (630) 230-0079.

OCF Launches Improved Podcast

SYOSSET, NY [OCA-Youth] -- Jonathan Bush of Saint Anne Mission, Knoxville, TN, a student at the University of Tennessee, and Andrew Boyd, a first year student at Saint Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY and a member of Saint Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Church, Clinton, CT, were the driving force behind a revamped ministry of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship -- the OCF podcast.

Featuring music, interviews, and other recorded presentations, the OCF podcast helps keep Orthodox Christian students connected to the Church.

The first episode of the podcast discusses the transition to college life and features clips of an interview with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah and an excerpt from a sermon by the Rev. Stephen Freeman, rector of Saint Anne's.

The podcast may be downloaded here.  http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ocf/transitions_and_new_beginnings

The revamped podcast is the product of the recent New Media in College Ministry workshop hosted in Chicago in August 2009 by the Orthodox Church in America's Department of Youth, Young Adults and Campus Ministry, which cooperates closely with OCF. [Read about the workshop here.]

The OCF podcast is a free ministry of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, the official campus ministry of the Standing conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas [SCOBA]. For more information please contact Jonathan Bush at ocfpodcaster@gmail.com or Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak at jmatusiak@oca.org.

Chaplain's Corner: The Blame Game

Chaplain's Corner, October 2009


By Fr. George Morelli


Do you notice that many times when looking for the causes of unhappiness, people frequently believe it is other individuals or external events that make them distressed? The idea is carried around that if these “outside forces,” as psychologist Albert Ellis (1962) calls them, were different, all their problems would go away and they would not be so miserable. Accompanying this outlook is the idea that, because it is just these nefarious persons or events over which they have no control which produce their wretchedness, they cannot help but be upset. Instead of working at the problem they are capable of solving, or devolving meaning in what they are able to accomplish, they feel they are justified in wallowing in their misery.


Obviously there are events that are realistically hurtful. Someone in the military who is permanently injured in battle, or a civilian who suffers lasting physical debilitation in an accident certainly are two common examples. In such cases there are two options, accept, but not condone, the untoward injury-causing event move on coping with the situation and creating a meaningful life in the face of the injury, or do as many do with non-realistic events, wallow in misery.

OCN Introduces Customized Online Radio Stations for Parishes

Ft.Lauderdale, Fl.- The Orthodox Christian Network (The OCN) is pleased to announce a new service to Orthodox parishes and ministries world wide—Customized Online Radio Stations! As the over the air radio market begins to shrink and the online radio market grows, OCN has strategically positioned itself to take advantage of the growing audience accessing online radio programming while maintaining a strong land base presence as well. Since recently acquiring new online radio server software, we can now offer completely customized 24/7 online radio stations in a cost effective and efficient way allowing parishes to stay connected to their parishioners more so than ever before.


With offerings ranging from personalized radio players to managed custom radio stations, OCN's online radio stations allow parishes of all sizes to provide Orthodox Christian programming aimed to their parish. The Branded National Radio Solution creates a custom radio station on OCN and the parish website utilizing the already existing content of the Ark or Rudder channels. Self managed and OCN managed stations are completely customizable. With the self managed option, parishes and ministries can upload their own sermons, liners, announcements and pod casts to their customized radio station. With an OCN managed station, we provide weekly updates to your station and provide the recording equipment so that your sermons, commercials, announcements and other programs can be seamlessly integrated with the OCN music of your choice.

IOCC Responds to String of Disasters in Asia Pacific Region

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) – International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding to a string of disasters that are affecting millions of people in the Asia Pacific region and have already taken hundreds of lives.


Damaging floods and mudslides caused by Typhoon Ketsana struck the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, causing hundreds of deaths and displacing thousands of families on September 26. Meanwhile, whole villages in Samoa have been devastated by a tsunami that was triggered by a massive 8.0 earthquake on September 29. A second earthquake measuring a magnitude 7.6 on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has killed hundreds and injured thousands, and caused significant damage.


Two other typhoons appear to be moving towards the Philippines later this week and significant aftershocks are being experienced in Indonesia.


IOCC has mobilized its disaster response team and is coordinating with our Orthodox and Ecumenical partners to monitor and respond to the emerging needs.


“We pray for those who have perished, their families and those who have been affected by these disasters,” says IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou. “We are working with our partners to provide emergency relief and the long-term care that will be necessary to restore the many countries and communities that have been affected.”


You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the Asia Pacific Disasters, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift please visit www.iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225.

FOCUS sponsors Youth Equipped to Serve (YES) Weekend in Kansas City

September 29th, 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


This past weekend, a team of 20 youth participated in FOCUS North America’s YES Program (formerly known as OYO), serving our most needy neighbors in Kansas City.


They arrived from parishes in Wichita, KS, Oklahoma City, OK, and Kansas City, eager to be used by God to meet the fundamental needs of His people. They did not expect, however, that they would receive much more from the experience than they would give. After three intense days, the youth gained a new perspective on the poor and homeless: they came expecting to serve them, but, instead, found their own lives forever changed by the encounter.


“They are just like us,” one participant said. Another said, “I don’t know how anyone can come on a FOCUS North America YES trip and not be changed.”


Living out Matthew 25, the youth engaged in several social action projects throughout the weekend. They served and ate dinner with many homeless and working poor in the city, listening to their stories and enjoying fellowship with them. They distributed clothing to mothers who had no means to clothe their children. They walked around the famous outdoor Country Club Plaza in Kansas City with newly opened eyes, looking beyond the glamour to perceive and meet the needs of the homeless on the streets. But, as the youth realized, they themselves were fed and clothed by the face-to-face encounter with real living icons of Christ, with the poor of the city. As one participant said, “They really open themselves to you; they’ll sit and talk to you forever, when most people in school will never give their time to you like that.”

Meeting Summary: His Eminence Metropolitan Philip and St. Vladimir Seminary Leadership

Summary of the Special Meeting of the Leadership Team of St. Vladimir Seminary and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America


September 15th, 2009


Englewood, New Jersey


On Tuesday September 15th, 2009, a meeting was held in Englewood, New Jersey between the leadership team of St. Vladimir Seminary and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The purpose of the meeting was to review the recent events that have transpired, especially with regard to the redirection of two seminarians (one from St. Tikhon and one from St. Vladimir) to Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA


The meeting was attended by the following:


His Eminence Metropolitan Philip


His Grace Bishop Antoun


Very Rev. Joseph Allen


Very Rev. Paul Tarazi


Very Rev. Elias Bitar


Very Rev. Thomas Zain


Very Rev. John Behr


Very Rev. Chad Hatfield


Mrs. Anne Glynn Mackoul


Rev. George Kevorkian – Secretary


His Eminence Metropolitan Philip led the participants in opening prayers.


His Eminence welcomed everyone to the meeting and made introductions. He reviewed the history of the relationship between St. Vladimir Seminary and the Antiochian Archdiocese, with a focus on the very close and positive working relationship that has been built.


His Eminence reviewed the sequence of events surrounding the recent redirection of two students (one from St. Vladimir, and one St. Tikhon) to Holy Cross.

Meeting Summary: His Eminence Metropolitan Philip and SVS Leadership

Summary of the Special Meeting of the Leadership Team of St. Vladimir Seminary and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America


September 15th, 2009


Englewood, New Jersey


On Tuesday September 15th, 2009, a meeting was held in Englewood, New Jersey between the leadership team of St. Vladimir Seminary and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The purpose of the meeting was to review the recent events that have transpired, especially with regard to the redirection of two seminarians (one from St. Tikhon and one from St. Vladimir) to Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA


The meeting was attended by the following:


His Eminence Metropolitan Philip


His Grace Bishop Antoun


Very Rev. Joseph Allen


Very Rev. Paul Tarazi


Very Rev. Elias Bitar


Very Rev. Thomas Zain


Very Rev. John Behr


Very Rev. Chad Hatfield


Mrs. Anne Glynn Mackoul


Rev. George Kevorkian – Secretary


His Eminence Metropolitan Philip led the participants in opening prayers.


His Eminence welcomed everyone to the meeting and made introductions. He reviewed the history of the relationship between St. Vladimir Seminary and the Antiochian Archdiocese, with a focus on the very close and positive working relationship that has been built.


His Eminence reviewed the sequence of events surrounding the recent redirection of two students (one from St. Vladimir, and one St. Tikhon) to Holy Cross.

SCOBA Hierarchs Convene For Special Session

Press Release


September 25, 2009


SCOBA Hierarchs Convene For Special Session


New York, NY— A Special Session of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) met on September 25, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., hosted by the Chairman of SCOBA, Archbishop Demetrios of America, at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in Manhattan. The session was attended by the following Members of SCOBA: Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Philip, Vice-Chairman (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Christopher, Secretary (Serbian Orthodox Church), Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Joseph (Bulgarian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America), Archbishop Antony (proxy, Ukrainian Orthodox Church), and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA).


Also present were the General Secretary and members of the SCOBA Study and Planning Commission representing the SCOBA member Churches.


The entire discussion was focused on the documents related to the “Organization of Episcopal Assemblies” in the regions of the world that are outside the borders of the Autocephalous Churches. These Episcopal Assemblies have been authorized by the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference which met at the Orthodox Center of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland from 6 – 13, June 2009. It was decided unanimously by the Hierarchs that the first such Episcopal Assembly shall be convened during Post-Pentecost Week of 2010, which will fall in the last week of May. The likely days of the Assembly will be May 26-27, 2010. There was also discussion as to the location of the Assembly, with a specific venue to be decided after investigation of locales and resources.

Reflections on the 2009 Archdiocese Convention

By Fr. Patrick Reardon

In response to a popular wish for more information on the subject, it will be useful, I believe, to share my impressions of the recent Archdiocesan Convention. By way of organizing these reflections, I want to consider the varying expectations of those who attended the Convention. After all, those sundry expectations necessarily established the individual criteria for judging whether or not the Convention was a success.

I begin with Metropolitan Philip, who has presided over several such conventions during his long service as our Archbishop. As a steady listener and reader of everything he has to say, I was able to identify only one personal expectation mentioned by the Metropolitan---to wit, that everything at the Convention be public and transparent. He several times spoke of “the light of the sun” to describe what he wanted to prevail at that gathering.

By that criterion, Metropolitan Philip must be pleased by what transpired. He not only insisted on total openness of information at the Convention; he also took direct and effective steps to insure that such a policy would prevail. Chief among these was his provision that each part of the Convention would be broadcast over Ancient Faith Radio.

Metropolitan Philip should receive proper recognition and credit on this point, because the provision for radio coverage required a measure of resolve on his part. I violate no confidences by mentioning there were influential individuals at the Convention who endeavored to undermine the Metropolitan’s policy.

I am very glad he resisted those efforts, because scores of Antiochian Christians all over the country are already listening to those radio recordings and drawing their own conclusions about the Convention. Indeed, I encourage everyone to do so.

Q & A with Jane Meyer, Author of The Life of St. Brigid

The Life of St. Brigid was recently published by Conciliar Press. To order your copy, click here.

1. Tell us about what sparked your interest in St. Brigid, and inspired you to write the book.

Working with illustrator and seminarian Zachary Lynch on The Life of Saint Patrick: Enlightener of the Irish, I learned about Saint Brigid. After diving into research on Brigid, I absolutely fell in love with her. Her story is not well known outside of Europe and I felt that more folks should be inspired by the life she lived.

2. St. Brigid inspires us all, but what can today’s young girls especially learn from St Brigid’s life?

Saint Brigid is just the kind of example we should be putting before our children, and their children. She was better than a superhero--she was the epitome of goodness and giving. In a world where we are taught to work hard--so that we might have more, we find Saint Brigid showing us how we can gain all we need by giving some of what we have away. She loved her neighbors with such ferocity that she, in the wake of Saint Patrick, helped evangelize an entire land for Christ. I wrote The Life of Saint Brigid: Abbess of Kildare to inspire others to walk in her footsteps—I wrote it that I might be inspired myself, and reach out more—every day, even if that simply means baking an extra loaf of bread-one for me, and one for the man next door.

3. Tell us about your involvement locally in your parish and community in a group inspired by the saint.

Lest We Forget: Keeping Traditions

To hear Mother Victoria of the St. Barbara’s Monastery tell it, growing up in the Ukranian Orthodox Church was a rich and memorable experience at special times of year. On Christmas Eve, for instance, she remembers looking for the first star in the sky, which would signal the start of the Nativity meal. Before eating, she and her family always fed the animals first, in honor of their role on the night of Christ’s birth. Then the family would go to the table, where the meal consisted of twelve dishes ranging from appetizers to desserts, all honoring the Twelve Apostles. Under the tablecloth, her mother would place straw or hay as a reminder of the manger, and they would interrupt their meal from time to time to sing a carol.


We are all familiar with the Holy Tradition, of course, which is composed of our liturgies, the Scripture, the Ecumenical Councils, the writings of the Fathers and Mothers of the Church, the body of doctrines we subscribe to, and the teachings about fasting and feasts. These are traditions with a capital “T.” Yet also woven into the tapestry of our vibrant Faith, are numerous small “t” traditions practiced by faithful Orthodox down through the centuries. Layer upon layer, these have been added, differing from culture to culture and evolving over time. We bless fruit at Transfiguration, decorate with flowers in our homes and churches on special days, bake and eat breads which hide pennies, cross ourselves before leaving our homes or going to bed, bake prosphera according to certain prayers and instructions, dispose of icons using certain guidelines.


Why do we do these things? What difference does it make whether our dyed eggs on Pascha are red or blue? What meaning is there to eating a special recipe in remembrance of our departed loved ones? And why should we teach our children what these things mean?

May 13, 2009 + History of the Missionary Growth of the Church (Part 1)

By Fr. Daniel Griffith
From The Word, February 1979
Click here to read Part 2
Click here to read part 3

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

These are the parting words to His Apostles of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ just before His ascension in glory to the right hand of the Father. It is interesting that our Lord did not make His final words words of comfort but, rather, a summons to action. However, this great commission to proclaim the Gospel awaited one further divine action, which was to occur on the day of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles says that on that day, as a result of the preaching of St. Peter, “So those who received his words were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (2:41)

Initially the mission of the Church confined itself mainly to Palestine and was limited exclusively to the Jews. The reason for this is that the Jews, even those who had heard and responded to the Gospel, were accustomed to see themselves as God’s chosen people, not only in an explicit sense, but in an exclusive one. It would take a few years before the infant Church could come to terms with the fact that she herself was the means by which the prophecy of Joel would be fulfilled, “And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.” (Joel 2:28)

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