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Bishop MARK: Russian Photo Albums

Please enjoy these collections of photographs from Bishop MARK's pilgrimage to Russia in August 2008. Accompanied by a group of pilgrims, Bishop MARK spent eight days in St. Petersburg and six days in Moscow.

Visit a gallery on Bp. MARK's Diocesan Family Photo Album

See a slideshow with more photos by clicking here!

Bp. MARK with Patriarch ALEXI II & Bp. NIPHON Visit to St. Catherine's Church

Divine Liturgy with Bp. NIPHON
Part I

Featured Mission: Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission, Bowling Green, KY

Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission

Bowling Green, KY

Holy Apostles Mission is a mission of the Midwest Diocese of the North American Antiochian Archdiocese.  The mission's congregation, which currently consists of Americans, Greeks, Serbians, Egyptians, and a growing compilation of other ethnicities, first began working toward a mission in the spring of 2008, with a small group of diverse and dedicated Orthodox Christians who long to see Holy Orthodoxy brought to southern Kentucky. Holy Apostles held its first Vespers service in April 2008, and celebrated its first Liturgy in June, the first Divine Liturgy ever to be held in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It received the name Holy Apostles in July 2008.

From Metropolitan PHILIP: New Policy Regarding Archdiocesan Seminarians

September 29th, 2008
To: Diocesan Bishops
From: His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP
re: Future Seminarians

 

Beloved Brothers in Christ,

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you are all in good health.

After much discussion and thought, I have decided to extend the period that a person must be Orthodox before being considered to be accepted as an Archdiocesan seminarian from three to five years. This decision was based on many factors including the ever-increasing number of seminarians applying each year to the Antiochian Archdiocese, the reality that the more time they spend in the parish before coming to the seminary, the better seminarians and pastors they will likely be, and the mere fact that we want them to be deeply rooted in the life of the Church and the local parishes before embarking on this journey. This decision is retroactive to August 15th, 2008 as we are already getting requests for next fall and we want to be fair to everyone.

Please communicate this new policy to your respective clergy as soon as possible.

Your Brother in Christ,

Fundraising for Balamand University Scholarships + The Word, Oct. 2008

"Although the Balamand University was established by Orthodox Christians, it is for all people and it is bridging the gap between people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Many students are being helped by scholarships provided by the University. To contribute to this University is to contribute to needy and worthy students. St. John Chrysostom, one of our great church fathers once said ‘feeding the hungry is more important than raising the dead’."

These words of our beloved Father-in-Christ, Metropolitan PHILIP, effectively underscore the importance of an historic event that our God-protected Archdiocese is about to host. In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the University of Balamand, and with the blessings of His Beatitude, IGNATIUS IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, the Balamand Educational Foundation is pleased to announce “An Evening of Celebration” on Saturday, November 1, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The purpose of this Celebration is not only to welcome His Beatitude, IGNATIUS IV, but for the establishment of the Metropolitan PHILIP Educational Scholarship Fund to benefit in-need students at the Balamand University. The University is a private, non-profit, independent institution of higher learning that performs its mission through teaching, research and service to the community. As Metropolitan PHILIP says, “The Balamand University is located on a beautiful hill which overlooks the Mediterranean from the West, Tripoli from the North, and the Cedars of Lebanon Mountain from the East. It is very significant to Orthodox and Non-Orthodox people. It has been a center of education and spirituality for many centuries since its inception as a monastery. I spent three beautiful years as a seminarian on that beautiful hill and one year as a teacher of Arabic language and literature. Those were the most cherished years of my life in the Middle East.”

The Hauran Connection Sister Diocese Program Online

The Hauran Connection The Department of Internet Ministry has recently created a dedicated web page for The Hauran Connection, the Sister Diocese program between the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran in Syria and the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. The Sister Diocese program aims to provide material support and prayer and to foster increased awareness of the circumstances of our fellow Orthodox Christians in Syria.

In the words of His Grace, Bishop BASIL:

"One of the most venerable Archdioceses of our Patriarchate, the Archdiocese of Bosra now finds itself facing very difficult times. Due to the frequency of warfare in that area, the occupation of much of its territory by a neighboring unfriendly nation, and the resultant unemployment and poverty, most of its people are economic refugees, having relocated to Damascus or departed for the Americas, Australia, Europe or the Gulf States.

In a gesture of Christian love and support for Metropolitan SABA and his flock, the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America has committed itself to a “Sister Diocese” relationship with the Archdiocese of Bosra."

Visit to St. Catherine the Great Martyr OCA Representation Church in Moscow

During his August 2008 pilgrimage to Russia, Bishop MARK and a group of pilgrims visited St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church, the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America.

Clergy and Laity Fall Meeting, October 16-19, 2008

Antiochian Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

Clergy and Laity Fall Meeting

Indianapolis, Indiana + October 16-19, 2008

 

Special guests include:


Met. ISAIAH Fr. Kevin Scherer Jeff George

  • Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver SCOBA Overseer of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive Director of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • and special Teen SOYO Speaker, NFL quarterback Jeff George


The meeting will be hosted by St. George Church in Indianapolis. Accommodations are available at the Best Western Castleton Inn.

Scheduled highlights of the meeting include the dedication of new OCF offices, Teen SOYO activities and meeting, meetings of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine and the Antiochian Women, music, multi-ethnic dance, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday.

Bishop THOMAS' Visits St. George in Upper Darby

Bishop THOMAS' visited St. George Church in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania on September 28, 2008.

4th Annual Diocesan Clergy Retreat

4th Annual Diocesan Clergy Retreat of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York

Clergy Group Photo

His Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER, invited the clergy of his diocese to gather at the Manoir D’Youville, a retreat and conference center located south of Montreal on the Ile Saint-Bernard, for a time of spiritual renewal, theological education, and companionship on September 16-19, 2008.

The special guest lecturer was Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristics and Liturgical Theology at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.   His presentation was based on readings from the collection of letters and spiritual counsel of St. Silouan the Athonite, compiled by St. Silouan's spiritual son Elder Sophrony of Essex.  Archimandrite Sophrony, the spiritual elder of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist at Tolleshunt Knights, England, was also the spiritual father of Dr. Veniamin.  Dr. Veniamin spent much of his adolescent years visiting and praying with the brothers at St. John’s, seeking the true theology of praxis during his school holidays and summer vacations.  In our retreat, he used the technique of reading passages from the book St. Silouan the Athonite to the gathered clergy as a way of encouraging discussion of the deep spiritual meanings which underlie the seemingly simple words of the text.

Archbishop Demetrios Receives Holy Relics of Saint Seraphim of Sarov

From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:

NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios of America received yesterday, September 22, 2008, at the Archdiocese headquarters, the Holy and Sacred Relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov, one of the best known Russian Orthodox saints of the 19th century and a popular saint in Greece.

Bishop Mercurius of Zaraisk, the head of the Representation of the Patriarchate of Moscow in the United States presented to Archbishop Demetrios the relics, sent directly from Moscow and by the express wish of Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia.

The bestowal of the Relics came as the culmination of a request from the St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, Ariz. The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate, observing the canonical order of the Church, transferred the Relics to the Archbishop, who will make provision for the bequest to the Monastery.

Bishop Mercurius and his staff, Fr. Alexander Abramov and Mrs. Yulia McGregor, were received by the Archbishop, Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, and the clergy and staff of the Archdiocese in the Archdiocesan Chapel of the Apostle Paul with a Doxology. In presenting the Relics to the Archbishop, Bishop Mercurius expressed the fervent desire of the Russian Orthodox Church that this bestowal be a token of fraternal love and a cooperative spirit. Archbishop Demetrios received the relics, venerating them and the Icon of St. Seraphim in which they are embedded. After the ceremony, Archbishop Demetrios again expressed his thanks to the Russian Orthodox Church and spoke of his own love for St. Seraphim of Sarov, noting the joy and welcome that the Saint had for all people.

Bishop THOMAS Visits St. George Church in Houston, TX

Bishop THOMAS visited St. George's Church in Houston, Texas on September 7, 2008:

Diocese of Toledo Featured Parishes

Featured Parish: St. Mary Church + Berkley, MI

A new command I give you:  Love one another.   As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  (John 13: 34-35.)

St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church is located in Berkley, MI.  We are a small community known for welcoming others.  We are a family, and as a family care about each other, and are very supportive of one another.  For the past fifteen years St. Mary's has been blessed with the ministry of Father George Baalbaki and his wonderful wife, Khouriye Iman. During their ministry the church has grown and been energized.

Featured Parish: St. George Church + West St. Paul, MN

The History of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of West St. Paul, Minnesota

Adapted from our history compiled by Dr. George Droubie

The first Syrian and Lebanese immigrants arrived in Minnesota in the 1890's. In the St. Paul area they settled primarily on St. Paul's West Side. Dating from the arrival of the first Orthodox immigrants in St. Paul, they were informally organized as a religious group. Visiting priests held services in private homes. St. George Syrian Orthodox Church was formally organized and founded in 1913 on St. Paul's West Side. An Episcopal Church located at Clinton and Isabel streets was purchased and adapted for Orthodox liturgical needs. The church was officially dedicated in 1915 by Metropolitan Germanos Shehadi, at which time our first parish priest was ordained. Since then eighteen priests have served our parish, among them, V. Rev. Essa Kanavati and V. Rev. John G. Khoury. As the church building on the West Side began to deteriorate and parishioners moved out of the area surrounding the church, five acres of land in our current location were purchased in 1968 for a future complex. A multi-purpose hall was constructed during 1973 and our first service was held in February 1974.

Featured Parish: St. Nicholas Church + Grand Rapids, MI

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.

Featured Parish: St. Nicholas Church + Cedarburg, WI

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. 

Featured Parish: St. Mary Church + Iron Mountain, MI

Fr. Thomas Begley offers this account of the community of St. Mary Church in Iron Mountain, MI.

Recently, I traveled to Iron Mountain, Michigan for the deanery meeting with the clergy. Our Father in Christ, Bishop MARK, was there as well. His Grace has been with us for at least one of the two deanery meetings we have each year. Having the bishop present was an honor. His wisdom helped guide our discussions giving support to our clergy and our churches. What stood out, however, was His Grace and the clergy came for an additional purpose, which was to bless the soccer field the church built for the community.

St. Mary’s is a small parish in the western part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is an economically depressed area with city and county budgets stressed to the limit. Their priest, Fr. Mark Hagan, saw their parish losing members and unknown in the community. His answer to their dire situation was to reach out in Christ’s love to their community. Fr. Mark looked for a serious need that his church could help address in their community.

Fr. Mark discovered that there were 2,500 kids in and around Iron Mountain who were signed up for soccer. However, there were not enough soccer fields. The fields they used were in poor condition. Some of the kids played on a field given by a local company that had to have toxic gas vented out from beneath the field. Other fields were filled with rocks and had little or no grass. The church’s solution was to give property owned by the church to be leased by the soccer foundation for one dollar!

Featured Parish: St. George Church + Troy, MI

St. George is a parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The mission of St. George Church is to serve God and the Greater Detroit Area by commitment to the Gospel Command and to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ through faith, hope, and love. St. George Church follows the faith and practice of the Apostles and Disciples of Christ handed down by the ancient Christian fathers and twenty centuries of Church tradition. Genuine Christian life nurtures and stimulates our spiritual and moral development.

Featured Parish: St. George Church + Indianapolis, IN

St. George Orthodox Church of Indianapolis was established and a church building erected and consecrated in 1926.

As a charter member, St. George Progressives contributed greatly to the SOYO movement. St. George parishioners Nick Coba and John Daniluck, who had been founders of the Federation of Russian Orthodox Clubs (FROC), were instrumental in guiding the SOYO movement of their adopted parish and Archdiocese. In the fall of 1947, the newly organized group met in Indianapolis to complete a draft of the constitution and by-laws.

Featured Parish: St. George Church + Terre Haute, IN

St. George Orthodox Church of Terre Haute, Indiana, was founded by a few immigrants from Syria, more especially from Ein el Charra, a small village which nestles at the foot of Mount Hermon, southwest of Damascus. A constitution was drawn up and notarized on May 6, 1927 under the guidance of our first pastor, Metropolitan ANTONY (Bashir) of Thrice-Blessed Memory. Located seventy miles from any other Orthodox community, the years have allowed for the diversification of our Church. We are a warm and welcoming community made up of many of the original ancestors from Ein el Charra as well as others from Romanian, Greek, Russian ancestry as well as a formidable representation of those who have converted to the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Our Church family is loved and recognized throughout our community as being a place where people are welcomed and treated as family. Striving as we are commanded by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'...and to 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Should you ever find yourself visiting the "High Ground" (Terre Haute) come and worship with us!

Featured Parish: St. Mary Church + Iron Mountain, MI

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)

History

St. Mary’s Church was founded in Iron Mountain, Michigan in the mid 1930’s by immigrants of many nationalities.  It is a jewel of the north, in what the Archdiocese could call “America’s Midwest Alaska.”  It was visited by St. Raphael himself on regular occasions.  It has deep snowy winters, scenic wilderness, unlimited wildlife and short picturesque summers.  Our church serves people of all backgrounds and nationalities in a 48,000-square-mile area.  Michigan's Upper Peninsula contains almost one-third of the state's land area, but just three percent of its total population. Parishioners travel as far as 100 miles on any given Sunday (even in deep snow) to attend Liturgy.

Featured Parish: St. Andrew Orthodox Church + Lexington, KY

St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Lexington, KY had its beginnings with 5 pioneering families meeting at a members home on the Feast of St. Andrew Nov. 30, 1979. Later the community asked the Archdiocese for the patronage of St. Andrew due its founding significance. From the beginning St. Andrew has been a Pan Orthodox, multi ethnic, English speaking, and mission minded community desiring to share the Orthodox faith with the greater Lexington area. From its humble origins of 5 families it has grown to serve a community of more than 100 familles with origins in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Greece, and converts from many Western European roots. Its diversity in ethnicity's are united by its Christ centered allegiance and the mission to both live out and spread the teachings of the Gospel.

Featured Parish: St. James + Loveland, OH

St. James Church in Loveland, Ohio is composed of several Arabic nationalities. The majority of its congregation are Jordanians. Prior to 1993 the Arabic Christian Orthodox community in Greater Cincinnati attended services at different churches in the area. Following the urge to found their own church, the community sought the aid of the Antiochian Archdiocese. In turn the Archdiocese provided Fr. George Shaheen as a temporary priest. Thanks to the commitment and dedication of the parishioners, the former Branch Hill elementary school was bought in 1995. The school's gym was converted to house the new church and Father Shaheen performed the dedication service in the presence of the parishioners and the media.

Featured Parish: St. George + Cedar Rapids, IA

Founded by a Saint

The parish of St. George of Cedar Rapids, Iowa has a long and rich history. Started in 1914 by a group of 25 Syrian and Lebanese immigrant families, St. George has evolved over the years into a multi-ethnic parish serving close to 200 families. The founding families had gathered in Cedar Rapids from several nearby farms and small towns and sought to build a church in order to help them raise their children in the Faith. Under the spiritual guidance of our Father among the Saints, RAPHAEL of Brooklyn, who presided at the first Divine Liturgy, those founding families managed to collect $4,000 in donations and borrow an additional $6,000 to finance the construction of their beloved St. George Church. Today, a shrine housing the icon of St. RAPHAEL, along with his Holy relic, stands along the north wall of the church sanctuary in recognition of his role in the founding of our parish.

Featured Parish: St. Mary's Church + Goshen, IN

In 1993 a group of Episcopalians lead by Reverend Father Antony Bell were chrismated in Toledo and soon formed St. Mary’s of the Dormition in Goshen, Indiana. For years the young group of Orthodox converts met in various places, including homes, the upper room of a local funeral home, and store-front rental facilities. The parish grew with their beloved priest Father Antony. Eventually they were able to purchase property in Topeka, Indiana, where they stayed for several years. Many of the faithful drove many miles to attend services out in the country area surrounding the small town of Topeka. The beloved people remained faithful and believed.
 
Unfortunately, their beloved leader and priest became ill with an aggressive form of cancer. After a long but gracious battle with cancer, the beloved Father Antony reposed in June of 2006. His wife Kh. Melanie moved on to Pennsylvania and settled there with family. Soon after, Father George Smith and his wife Kh. Anna (Charlotte) faithfully pastored the church until His Grace Bishop MARK would appoint another priest.

Featured Parish: Church of the Virgin Mary + Alsip, IL

In the summer of 2003, due to the large number of faithful living in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Metropolitan PHILIP blessed the faithful in this area to move forward and establish the mission of the Church of the Virgin Mary. In December 2004, we purchased the property where we currently worship, in Alsip, Ilinois. In the spring of 2007, His Grace Bishop MARK assigned Fr. Mousa Haddad as the first full-time pastor of the Church of the Virgin Mary in May.

At the Church of the Virgin Mary, our mission is to serve God in all that we do, and to make Jesus Christ a real presence in the hearts of the faithful in Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs. The Virgin Mary is our protector, and she intercedes on our behalf to her Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She stands as our example of faith and commitment to serve the Lord. As she received the calling of the angel Gabriel to bear the Son of God, and to commit her life to the Lord, so we too must receive the word of God, accept His Will, and serve Him to the best of our ability. As we pray in the Divine Liturgy, “Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us!”

Featured Parish: Holy Transfiguration + Warrenville, IL

Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in Warrenville, Illinois began in 1988 through the mission work of Fr. William Caldaroni, who during his seminary years became committed to the fullness of the Faith in the Orthodox Church. Under the guidance of Fr. Peter Gillquist, Mission Director of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and Fr. Nicholas Dahdal, pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in Cicero, Illinois, the work of establishing a parish in the Wheaton, Illinois area began. From the first location rented on the campus of Wheaton College to our present location in Warrenville, Holy Transfiguration has offered the vision of the salvation through Jesus Christ to hundreds of people: some who came without faith, some who were Orthodox from infancy and some who came to Orthodoxy from Evangelical, Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions.

Featured Parish: All Saints + Bloomington, IN

All Saints Orthodox Christian Church traces its roots to the early 1970s and the pioneering effort of a small group of Orthodox Christians to bring a place of worship to their home in Bloomington. Greeks, Arabs, Russians, Romanians, Serbians and Americans met together in rented rooms on Saturdays to continue in the tradition of the Faith. The Antiochian Archdiocese welcomed the worshipers as a mission in 1989 and as a church in 1997. That original handful of families has now grown to over 187 members.

While various priests and deacons have served the community on a part time basis since its inception, in 1994 V. Rev. Fr. Athanasius Wilson became the first full-time priest. Fr. Athanasius served faithfully until his retirement in the summer of 2006, when Fr. Peter Jon Gillquist was assigned to pastor All Saints. The community has continued to grow and develop under Fr. Peter Jon’s leadership.

Featured Parish: St. Nicholas + Urbana, Illinois

Pascha 2007 at St. Nicholasby Fr. James Ellison

St. Nicholas Church in Urbana, Illinois began in 1995 with the chrismation of two families who wanted to be Orthodox Christians, share the faith with others, worship in English, and not have to uproot their families to do it. We began meeting in a living room with priests visiting us, initially for catechism and later for Sunday evening liturgies. We moved first to a rented chapel on the University of Illinois campus, and three years later to our present location, a remodeled existing church building.

An astute observer of church growth once noted that planting a church is a lot like life as a pioneer in the American West. First the explorers come, the individuals who are venturing out into areas where no one has been before. Then the pioneers who move into unsettled territory and have to establish the initial structures that support those who will hopefully follow. And then the settlers come, the ones who turn a wide place in the road into a place to live and work for generations to come. Our experience was not unlike this. Two families who wanted to be Orthodox because they believed it to be the fullness of the faith but really didn’t know what they were getting into came first. Then a few others joined them who could see the outline of liturgical life because of the priests that traveled through and who could tolerate the conditions of inconsistent pastoral care, no choir music, no one to teach church school, or bake the bread except them. They did the work of setting up and tearing down while we met in temporary space. They dealt with dance music blaring in the next room while we sat in the dark, hoping the secular party would end, so we could start the Paschal Nocturnes. And now those who are more like settlers, with the gift of a place to meet, teach, and worship are being added to our number. There are those who are drawn by the ancient worship and centuries-old doctrine, who are working to establish a more complete witness to the kingdom of God. There are those who come from traditionally Orthodox lands, yet because of conditions there have had little opportunity to know why they believe and worship the way they do. God-willing these will become our teachers and singers and servants as God entrusts with even more good work which He has prepared for us.

Featured Parish: Holy Resurrection + Hobart, Indiana

Holy Resurrection + Hobart, INFrom the Holy Resurrection web site:

The faithful of Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church now worship at the corner of 6th and Water in Hobart, Indiana, under the loving care of Fr. Gregory Owen.  In this story, our former pastor, Fr. Gregory Rogers (St. Catherine Mission) recounts a time when we worshipped at 45th and Harrison in Gary, Indiana. We thank God for those early years and the love and dedication that Fr. Gregory displayed for his parish.

On the outside the building wasn't beautiful. It looked like an old brick warehouse, having gone through numerous incarnations and transformations. Originally built as an auto repair garage, it became a printing business, a hot dog stand and video arcade, a warehouse for storage, and finally, an empty and vacant monument to a more prosperous era. The brick didn't match, old with new, white with red, in spite of the tuck pointing and repair that had been done. The neighborhood itself was dreary, across the street to the north, a cemetery, to the east, a convenience store with its transient clientele, to the south, an eighty year old house long past its prime. Like most early spring days in Gary, IN, this one, March 21, 1987, was chilly and overcast, and a trifle gloomy.

Inside, though, was a different story. The building had been stripped to the walls and redone...new studs, new wiring, new drywall, painted, carpet on the floor, new furnishings, redone windows. The accoutrements of worship had been added - a wooden altar, a cross suspended on the wall behind it, huge icons of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God. In the rear of the church an old Russian icon of the Resurrection of Christ hung, candles burning before it, calling down the grace of God upon the people gathered there.

Featured Parish: St. George Church + Cicero, Illinois

The Miraculous Lady of Cicero, IllinoisFrom the St. George Church web site:

Orthodox Christians from the Middle East began to arrive in Illinois in the early part of the 20th century. At first, they were served by itinerant priests from Michigan City, Indiana, and later from Spring Valley, Illinois. However, for decades, there were never enough families in Chicago to constitute their own parish. Many in the Chicago area worshipped in the local Greek Churches or belonged to the common Melkite/Maronite parish of St. John the Baptist.

In 1960, several families petitioned the late Metropolitan ANTONY (Bashir) to send them a priest to serve the Divine Liturgy. Services were held at the Syrian-Lebanese Club House on Washington Boulevard and Laramie Avenue on Chicago's West Side or in rented quarters. Among the first priests to serve on a weekend basis was the Rev. Fr. Philip Giffin, who commuted from Buffalo, New York. Later, priests from the Greek Diocese of Chicago served periodically at St. George. The Rev. Fr. John Newcombe served as the first resident priest for the parish from 1965 to 1966.

Featured Parish: St. Elias Orthodox Church, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

St. Elias, LaCrosse, Wisconsin 

St. Elias Orthodox Church

LaCrosse, Wisconsin

***

Founded by St. Raphael of Brooklyn in the early 1900’s, St. Elias Orthodox Church in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, is a parish renewing, rebuilding, and seeking to grow as vital Orthodox community in the scenic “God’s country” of southwestern Wisconsin.

Originally a parish comprised of immigrants from the Middle East and Greece the community, which went without a resident Priest for decades, was reborn in the 1970’s through the care and devotion of Orthodox Christians who desired to see the Faith reestablished where three rivers meet and over 100,000 people work and live.

While we cherish our heritage and the distinct honor of being founded by a Saint of the Church we believe the best expression of that heritage is to be a living, thriving, and life giving Orthodox Church. To that end we are currently repairing and expanding our facilities and seeking, as well, to grow in our Faith in preparation for inviting our friends and neighbors to experience the joy and life of Orthodoxy.

Featured Parish: St. Elias Orthodox Church, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

St. Elias, LaCrosse, Wisconsin 

St. Elias Orthodox Church

LaCrosse, Wisconsin

***

Founded by St. Raphael of Brooklyn in the early 1900’s, St. Elias Orthodox Church in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, is a parish renewing, rebuilding, and seeking to grow as vital Orthodox community in the scenic “God’s country” of southwestern Wisconsin.

Originally a parish comprised of immigrants from the Middle East and Greece the community, which went without a resident Priest for decades, was reborn in the 1970’s through the care and devotion of Orthodox Christians who desired to see the Faith reestablished where three rivers meet and over 100,000 people work and live.

While we cherish our heritage and the distinct honor of being founded by a Saint of the Church we believe the best expression of that heritage is to be a living, thriving, and life giving Orthodox Church. To that end we are currently repairing and expanding our facilities and seeking, as well, to grow in our Faith in preparation for inviting our friends and neighbors to experience the joy and life of Orthodoxy.

Printable Documents

The Hauran Connection

 

Download printable PDF versions of Hauran Connection brochures to distribute in your parish!


Adobe Reader is required to view these PDFs. Download Adobe Reader here.

2008 Parish Life Conference for the Eastern Dioceses

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP and presided over by His Grace Bishop THOMAS, the 2008 Parish Life Conference for the Eastern Dioceses was held July 2-6 at the Embassy Suites, in Charleston, West Virginia. The conference was hosted by St. George Orthodox Cathedral, located across the street from the hotel.

On Wednesday evening, the clergy and their families enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner hosted by Phil & Gigi Michael. The meal was graciously prepared and served by members of the parish.

Bishop Basil's Comments on the Western Rite

By His Grace Bishop Basil, Courtesy of St. Paul Church, Houston, Texas

My observations begin with my own experience with Western Rite. Some of you who have known me since I’ve been consecrated have heard this confession before. Before I was thoroughly exposed to the Western Rite by attending services, I was very leery. I knew that philosophically and historically it was legitimate. But I couldn’t believe that it could be authentic. And that was because I hadn’t experienced it. So the confession is that you have a convert here.

The second observation is that among the clergy of our Diocese in general—there’s always going to be one or two who can’t be included in the generalization—there does not seem to be an identification process going on. When the clergy are meeting each other I don’t see any separation by rite, i.e. that you’re Western Rite and we’re Eastern Rite.

I saw this clearly at a clergy retreat in the Southwest region. A priest and deacon were ordained at that retreat for a new Western Orthodox parish. That region had been expanding, so many of the clergy had not met each other before. Some had just joined us from another region of the Archdiocese. Others, like the ordinands who had just come in from the Episcopal church, were new to the diocese. By the end of the first day it was like a class reunion. This happened not just by the end of the retreat, but on the first day. Even for the two new men, at the moment they were ordained they were brothers right away. The sense of unity in the Diocese is for the faith, not the rite.

Diocese of Los Angeles Order of St. Ignatius

Diocese of Los Angeles and the West

Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest

 


 

The Goals of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch

  • To promote and propagate the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the welfare of the Orthodox faith.
  • To strengthen the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese as a spiritual, administrative and functional entity.
  • To financially support the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese through a lifetime commitment.
  • To enhance the spiritual commitment of its members.

The Order of St. Ignatius contributes to Antiochian Archdiocesan departments and projects such as Missions and Evangelism, Youth Ministry, Campus Ministry, Camp Scholarships, Antiochian Village, Heritage Museum and Learning Center, Prison Ministry, Education, and the Clergy Benefits Fund. The Order has also responded to special needs outside the Archdiocese such as Special Olympics, Project Mexico, Lebanon Relief, Mexico Earthquake Relief, Montreal Ladies Aid Society, Holy Trinity Orthodox Nursing Home, the Task Force on Jerusalem and International Orthodox Christian Charities, to name a few. The Order has donated over $16 million since it’s inception, and its annual budget exceeds $1,500,000. Currently, The Order donates 26% of the Archdiocese budget.

 


 

For more information, please visit the Diocese of Los Angeles' Order web site, or write to:

The Order of St. Ignatius

PO Box 5238

Englewood, NJ 07631-5238

 


 

Governing Council of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West

Antiochian Women: Five Major Events to Remember

But first remember...

Meet together often.

Together, read the scripture, read the lives of the Saints, read a book, prepare your cards to “our friends” and plan your acts of mercy.

Then, take care of your business.

Remember

I. Dues:  Money that helps our local Diocese and money that helps our Archdiocese. $75.00 of the dues from every parish is sent on to the Archdiocese and the rest remains in our Diocese for our expenses and ministry.

Dues are to be sent by October 15, 2008 to the Treasurer of the AW of our Diocese:

Hurricane Ike Threatens Texas Parishes

From Fr. John Mefrige of St. Ephraim Church in San Antonio, TX:

The oncoming projections of Hurricane IKE places its path DIRECTLY over San Antonio.  Despite being 150 miles from the ocean  it is possible that we could experience 100 mile an hour winds should this make landfall as a category 4 or 5. Presently it is predicted to make landfall between Port O'Connor and Corpus Christi as a category 3 on early morning this Saturday. At present there is a 40% chance of Tropical Storm Force winds hitting us. For more information and up to the minute coverage see:

http://www.stormpulse.com/hurricane-ike-2008

Despite the incoming track of Hurricane Ike, we WILL have Saturday Great Vespers and Sunday morning Services at the usual time. However you are urged to pay close attention to the weather and follow appropriate emergency measures, especially all evacuation orders. Services are only going to be held because Fr. John does not need to drive to the Church as the parish house is next door.

If there are any parishioners that feel that their homes will not be able to weather the storm they are directed to follow official evacuation orders or to PORT SAN ANTONIO where FEMA and Emergency Authorities are holding evaquees. Fr. John Khouriee Janet and the girls will be riding out the storm in the church which is a concrete structure.

From Deacon Elias of St. John the Divine Church in Lake Charles, LA:

The Hauran Connection

A Sister Diocese Program
Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran and the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America

The Orthodox who today live in much of the territory once known as Arabia Petraea – descendants of those converted to faith in Christ Jesus by St. Timon – comprise the faithful of the Archdiocese of Bosra, Hauran, Jabal al-Arab and the Golan. The present “angel of Bosra and successor to St. Timon” is Metropolitan Saba (Esper). One of the most venerable Archdioceses of our Patriarchate, the Archdiocese of Bosra now finds itself facing very difficult times. Due to the frequency of warfare in that area, the occupation of much of its territory by a neighboring unfriendly nation, and the resultant unemployment and poverty, most of its people are economic refugees, having relocated to Damascus or departed for the Americas, Australia, Europe or the Gulf States.

In a gesture of Christian love and support for Metropolitan Saba and his flock, the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America has committed itself to a “Sister Diocese” relationship with the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran.


“Warfare, destruction, drought, spiritual neglect, lack of job and educational opportunities.”

A Prayer for September 11

From Bishop BASIL:

St. Nicholas Church

O almighty and everlasting Father, King of kings and Lord of lords, Thou Who art the unfailing Protection of the faithful and the sure Hope of all who trust in Thee: As we mourn the sudden violence and deaths occasioned by the evil and barbarous attacks on our nation of September 11th, 2001 and celebrate the selfless heroism of the first-responders, we humbly beseech Thee to reveal unto us the immense power of Thine own goodness. Come swiftly to our aid, and have mercy upon all who call upon Thee. In Thy boundless compassion do Thou comfort those who mourn this day, bestow healing of body and soul to the survivors, and grant blessed repose in the bosom of Abraham to the souls of those departed this life. Vouchsafe unto us that peace which passeth all understanding that we may ascribe glory and thanksgiving unto Thee, together with Thine only-begotten Son and Thine all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, September 11, 2001

Frederica Mathewes-Green discusses September 11th.

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