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The Diocese of Eastern Canada and Upstate New York hosts Bishop BASIL of Wichita

IMG_3820-web During the weekend of August 17, 2008, His Grace Bishop BASIL of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America visited St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa, Canada. His Grace was invited to co-officiate along with our Bishop ALEXANDER at the wedding of Camille Baba and Ramia Ibrahim. Bishop BASIL presided over vespers at the cathedral on Saturday and concelebrated the divine liturgy on Sunday with Bishop ALEXANDER. They were assisted by Fr. Ghattas Hajal, the dean, deacon Dimitri Choueiry and several clergy in attendance for the wedding. The liturgy was chanted by the Byzantine choir of the cathedral, headed by Nader Hajjar, guest chanter Rasim Almaseeh and others who came for the wedding.

Three Inducted into The Order of St. Ignatius at St. John Chrysostom in York, PA

Bishop THOMAS Inducts Three from York, Pa.

Bishop THOMAS inducts Bill "Paul" Bennett (left), Darrel Bender (center) and Heather Dorian Bender (right) into the Order of St. Ignatius following the Sunday of Orthodoxy vespers on March 16, 2008.

Diocese of Worcester Welcomes 3 New Members to The Order

July 1, 2007: Plymouth, MA: Diocese of Worcester Parish Life Conference

By His Grace Bishop ANTOUN

Michael Marge, Leanne Plouffe and Marlene Lupaczyk, being inducted by Bishop ANTOUN to The Order


(L-R) Mary Winstanley O'Connor (North American Secretary of The Order), Kh. Erin Kimmett, Marlene Lupacyzk, Bishop Antoun, Leeann Plouffe, Michael Marge, Christine Bezreh (Diocese of Worcester Chair of The Order) and Jamil

Diocese of Los Angeles Honors Out-going Chair and Welcomes 2 New Members to The Order

June 29 - July 1, 2007: Portland, OR: Diocese of Los Angeles Parish Life Conference  

By His Grace Bishop JOSEPH

Bishop JOSEPH delivers his message to the members of The Order at its annual dinner.


(L-R) Bill Tsoukalas (Vice Chair), Very Reverend Alban West (Spiritual Advisor), Bishop JOSEPH, Fred Milkie, Jr. (Out-going Chair) and Michael Srour (Vice Chair)


Brian and Nancy Korb being inducted to The Order by Bishop JOSEPH


Nancy Korb receives her cross from Bishop JOSEPH

Diocese of Toledo Welcomes 9 New Members and 1 Life Member into The Order

By His Grace Bishop MARK

(L-R) Nuha Mashni, Dr. Lisa Cassis, Brandon Skaff, Dr. David Skaff (Life Upgrade), Very Reverend Thomas Galloway, Robert Fulton, Fred Deeb and Connie Schenkenberger (Not Present David Mashni and Mary Jean Ciresci)

The Order on the Road

The Order of St. Ignatius held its first meeting "On the Road" on January 27, 2007 at St. George Church in Jacksonville, FL, in conjunction with the Southeast Diocese mid-winter meetings. The Southeast Diocese Order chair, Hikmat Saoud worked diligently and enthusiastically along with The Order members of her parish to host this first informational meeting. Bishop ANTOUN, an ardent Order supporter and the presiding hierarch, and over 100 people participated in this event.

Historically, the Governing Council meets twice a year, coinciding with the Archdiocese Board of Trustee meetings. The spring meeting alternates between the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood N.J. and the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Pennsylvania. The fall meeting is held at the invitation of a parish, generally in conjunction with an event pertinent to that community. As a result very few members and non-members actually get to see the Governing Council at work. Consequently, the concept of additional informational meetings held in communities that have not seen the work of the Order was developed.

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry or a Gentle God?

by Fr. George Morelli

In 1965 Roger Brown made perhaps the most important discovery of modern linguistic theory. He reported that whenever we speak, the tone of voice and the manner in which words are spoken (technically called the pragmatics of communication or onomatopoeic analysis) do more to determine meaning of words than the definitions of the words themselves.

Brown concluded that if something is said in an angry or mean tone, the tone is communicated rather than the words. For example, if someone came into the room and the host said softly, "sit down," the words would be heard as an invitation. The guest would feel welcomed and perhaps appreciated and certainly open to listening to his host.

On the other hand, if the host barked out, "sit down!" in a harsh and inconsiderate manner, the guest would most likely respond emotionally, perhaps experience some hurt or confusion, and would likely infer the host was mean-spirited. The guest will close himself off to any forthcoming messages. Psychological research confirms this conclusion (Morelli, 2006).

How we preach the Gospel influences how it is heard

Brown's discovery has important implications including how we hear the Gospel. Take the title of the fiery sermon preached by the early American preacher Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God for example. Consider too the tone of Edward's message illustrated in this brief quotation:

The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow.

The Orthodox Understanding of Sin

by Fr. George Morelli

In the first chapter of Genesis we read that man is made in God's image and called to be like Him. The image, the Church Fathers say, is mainly our intelligence and free will. God so loved us, He sent His only begotten Son for our salvation (John 3:16).

If we put on Christ at baptism and continue to wash ourselves through repentance, then we are able to reflect the light of Christ. Our constant prayer is "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me the sinner." We are creatures. We have no independent existence. We depend on God for all and by his mercy we can have the light of Christ indwell in us. This is a spiritual reality revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The value of this is unfathomable.

Bishop Hierotheos Vlachos (1994, 1998) refers to the worth human beings can have:

It is said that God has essence and energy and that this distinction does not destroy the divine simplicity. We confess and believe that 'uncreated and natural grace and illumination and energy always proceed inseparably from this divine energy' And since, according to the saints, created energy means created essence as well . . . God's energy is uncreated. Indeed the name of divinity is placed not only upon the divine essence, but 'also on thee divine energy no less'. This means that in the teachings of the holy Fathers, 'this (the essence) is completely incapable of being shared, but by divine grace the energy can be shared.

This is a reality and truth. Based on the illuminative teaching of St. Gregory Palamas, Bishop Hierotheos tells us this is available to us "through God's benevolence towards those who have purified their nous." Bishop Hierotheos (1994) calls the Church a hospital that can cure our infirmities so our nous can be purified and this life in Christ can take place in us.

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