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Saints Constantine and Helen + May 21

O Lord, thy disciple Emperor Constantine, who saw in the sky the Sign of Thy Cross, Accepted the call that came straight from Thee, as it happened to Paul, and not from any man. He built his capital and entrusted it to Thy care. Preserve our country in everlasting peace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, for Thou art the Lover of mankind.

+ Troparion of Ss. Constantine and Helen, Tone 8

"Constantine's legacy can be seen in Christianity's transformation from a private sect into a public church that encompassed the whole of society. He put it on an institutional footing, which enabled the Church to be the leading cultural force in the ancient world."

(From Robert Arakaki's Constantine The Great: Roman Emperor, Christian Saint, History's Turning Point)

Blessed Namesdays to Bishops Antoun and Anthony!

January 17th is the celebration of St. Anthony the Great and the namesdays of His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and of His Grace Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo. May God grant them many years!

Apolytikion of St. Anthony the Great, Tone 4 

Thou didst become like the zealous Elijah in his condition, and followed John the Baptist in his upright ways, becoming a dweller in the wilderness and an establisher of the universe by thy prayer, O Father Anthony. Wherefore, intercede thou with Christ God to save our souls.

Blessed Namesday to Bishop Thomas!

His Grace Bishop Thomas' namesday is October 6, Thomas the Apostle of the Twelve. Many years, Master!
Readings and Inspiration from the Diocese of Charleston
Read about St. Thomas the Apostle

Thomas, the faithful servant and disciple of Christ, filled with divine grace, cried out from the depth of his love: "You are my Lord and my God!"
Kontakion — Tone 4

October 2016: Archdiocese Youth Month

October is the month when the Archdiocese introduces teens to the many opportunities to minister in the Church. The youth "are encouraged to read the Epistle, chant and sing in the choir, assist in church school, and give sermons approved by the priest," explains Department of Youth Chairman The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura. 

Another way teens can get involved in their parishes is to participate in the Creative Arts, Bible Bowl, and Oratorical Festivals. This year’s theme, selected by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, is "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Mark 11:17)

Nativity of the Forerunner St. John the Baptist + June 24

O Prophet and Forerunner of the coming of Christ, we honour thee lovingly but cannot extol thee worthily; for by thy birth thy mother's barrenness and thy father's dumbness were unloosed; and the Incarnation of the Son of God is proclaimed to the world.
-Troparion, Tone 4

Read Fr. Joseph Huneycutt's thoughts on the importance of the feast
Listen to Fr. Patrick Reardon's homily

August 30: Blessed Namesday to Bishop Alexander!

Many years to His Grace Bishop Alexander!

Set aflame by the love of Christ, O glorious ones, you took up the yoke of His precious Cross revealing yourselves as followers in His footsteps by your way of life, and you became partakers of His divine glory, divinely-wise Alexander, with wonderful John and glorious Paul. As you stand before His throne, earnestly pray for our souls.

Troparion, Tone 8

August 2014 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:


Celebrating the Prophet Micah
(Chapter 4 and 5, OSB Septuagint)

Chapter 4 of Micah, is a marvelous example of our lasting hope in the Lord, even when we're our own worst enemy. This prophecy of Micah concerns the Jews being both dispersed and exiled for their disobedience, while at the same time, Micah's words are of hope to the "remnant". Chapter 4 also confirms the Lord interacting with the most humble of His people, as Micah was known to be an everyday farmer, with no specific reputation. Yet those knowing Micah, listened intently, for his words were true and sincere. Interestingly, the name Micah means, one likened unto the One God, the I AM. He reminds one of St John the Baptist.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching, and to order The Fathers Speak.

Deadline for House of Studies Registration Nears

Archdeacon Peter Boulukos of the Antiochian House of Studies has been interviewed by Ancient Faith Radio in advance of the approaching 2014 deadline for new students to apply for the next round of programs. 

Listen to Archdeacon Peter speak about the St. Stephen's course and the programs of the House of Studies here.

Learn more about the school, based at Antiochian Village, here.

With affordable tuition and flexible scheduling, the House of Studies offers students, parents, or full-time professionals the ability to pursue an Orthodox theological education.

Middle Eastern Violence and the Place of Christians in the Region Addressed in Patriarchal Statements

The Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East has issued two statements regarding, first, the violence in Iraq, Syria, and Gaza, and second, the place of Christians throughout the region.

The first statement, dated July 23, 2014, reads (official Arabic versionofficial English version):

At a time when Syria's wounds have been bleeding for more than three years, amidst the wounds of Iraq, which has experienced conflict since the 1980's, amidst the unrest that is sweeping countries near and far, and amidst the world's indifference to Palestine's wounds, which have not healed in almost seventy years, these days in particular we are witnessing a multiplication of these wounds in the expulsion of Mosul's Christians and the all-out assault on Gaza amidst a disgraceful international silence.

The cycle of violence sweeping Iraq and Syria, expelling peaceful citizens has not let up, as recent events in Iraq and specifically in Mosul have completed the series of murder, religious prejudice, and terror.

We strongly condemn attacks on any segment of society in this Middle East and we especially condemn the attack on the Christians of Mosul and their being compelled by force of arms to change their religion under the penalty of paying the Jizya or abandoning their homes and having their property confiscated.

Metropolitan Joseph Speaks at the 2014 Clergy Symposium

Update July 23: A full written transcription of His Eminence's speech is available below.

At the closing banquet of the 2014 Clergy Symposium, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, gave a speech including his initial vision for the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America (beginning at 11:20 in the recorded audio). These remarks are available as an audio recording from Ancient Faith Radio

His Eminence says in part:

Tonight, I am going to utilize my time by sharing with you my vision for the future of this Archdiocese. I truly believe that each and every one of us is an important and integral part of this body. We are grateful for everything that our beloved Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory created over the past 48 years. We humbly accept the fruit of his labor, as well as the labor of the faithful who worked alongside him and the legacy upon which we will now build. We have serious work ahead of us. We don’t have time to waste. ...

Unity in Antioch

This past June 25 to the 28th, 2014, the North American Archdiocese participated in a conference at the Balamand University entitled: UNITY IN ANTIOCH. On Sunday, June 29th, the conference culminated with a massive Hierarchal Liturgy under a large tent celebrating the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, the Patrons of our Patriarchate.

This worldwide Conference of Antiochians was called by His Beatitude John X to bring together Antiochians to engage in dialogue, exchange ideas, and to unite the Family of Faith. Consistent with the theme "Unity in Antioch," His Beatitude invited all the Patriarchs of Antioch and All the East: the Melkite, Syriac Orthodox, the Maronite and the Syriac Catholic. Each spoke about the need for unity among the Christians of the Middle East, especially in view of the tumult in their region, and as well as the command of Jesus. This was certainly a gracious act on the part of His Beatitude, and most likely the first such event! They also met before the Holy Synod, demonstrating their desire to pursue unity.

In the Synod itself there were interesting presentations, each called an “Axis,” which dealt with the following themes:

Statement of the July 2014 Meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch

The following official translation has been provided by the Patriarchate of Antioch:

The Third Ordinary Session of the Holy Synod of Antioch was held between 1 and July 4, 2014. His Beatitude Patriarch John X presided over the meeting, with the participation of Their Eminences, the Metropolitans: Spiridon (Archdiocese of Zahleh and dependencies), Georges (Archdiocese of Mount Lebanon and dependencies), Youhanna (Archdiocese of Lattakia and dependencies), Elias (Archdiocese of Beirut and dependencies), Elia (Archdiocese of Hama and dependencies), Elias (Archdiocese of Tyre, Sidon and dependencies), Antonio (Archdiocese of Mexico, Venezuela and dependencies), Sergios (Archdiocese of Chile), Damaskinos (Archdiocese of Brazil and dependencies), Saba (Archdiocese of Houran and All Jabal Al Arab), Paul (Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand), Georges (Archdiocese of Homs and dependencies), Silouan (Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and all Argentina), Basilos (Archdiocese of Akkar and dependencies), Ephrem (Archdiocese of Tripoli, El- Koura and dependencies), Ignatius (Archdiocese of France, Western and Southern Europe) and Isaac (Archdiocese of Germany and Central Europe). 

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Speaks at 2014 San Francisco Parish Life Conference

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, newly-elected Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, presided over the 2014 San Francisco Parish Life Conference of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Eagle River, shortly after his return from the Antiochian Unity Conference held in Balamand, Lebanon.

Two recordings are available below, of Metropolitan Joseph's first remarks after his arrival (18 minutes) and of his homily delivered on Sunday, July 6 (23 minutes). A written transcription of Metropolitan Joseph's initial statement is available here from Ancient Faith Radio.

Metropolitan Joseph says in part in his first remarks:

"Before anything, we have to think of the Holy Spirit who is leading the Church. … Thank you for your love, thank you for your patience, thank you for your endurance, thank you for your prayers and your tears as well. There is no reason to have any fear. … The Holy Spirit is leading this Archdiocese, is leading this Church. ... All of us, clergy and laity, laity and clergy ... the Archdiocese is all of us. We have to believe in this. And we have to have faith."

Economos Antony Gabriel Attends Antiochian Unity Conference at Balamand

Economos Antony Gabriel and Mr. Khalil Kardous attended the historic Antiochian Unity Conference held at beautiful Balamand, Lebanon, from June 23-30, 2014, to represent the Antiochian Heritage Foundation. The V. Rev. Fr. Gabriel met with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East at his Balamand residence, representing North American Archdiocese clergy with V. Rev. Fr. Thomas Zain, Vicar General, and V. Rev. Fr. Timothy Ferguson, Protosyngellos (pictured). 

Archbishop Joseph Elected Metropolitan of All North America

His Eminence Archbishop Joseph has been elected Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America by the Holy Synod of Antioch, led by His Beatitude Patriarch John X, meeting in Balamand, Lebanon on Thursday, July 3, 2014. Axios!

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on June 30, 1991 at the St. Mary Cathedral in Damascus, after many years of serving as a deacon and a priest. His Eminence was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1950. He was consecrated with the title, Bishop of Katana in Syria, and served as Patriarchal Assistant and Secretary of the Holy Synod of Antioch. In 1995, he was sent by Patriarch Ignatius IV of blessed memory to America. Here in our Archdiocese, Bishop Joseph was assigned to the West Coast Chancery by Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory. After self-rule status was awarded to our Archdiocese, Bishop Joseph was enthroned at St. Nicholas Cathedral by Metropolitan Philip as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West on September 12, 2004. On December 11, 2011, at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand in Lebanon, Patriarch Ignatius elevated Bishop Joseph to the rank of Archbishop, in honor of his many years of service as a bishop both in our Archdiocese and in the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Read A Message from Metropolitan Joseph today, with instructions for services.

Read Metropolitan Joseph's full biography here.

View photo galleries of Metropolitan Joseph from the Diocese of the West, including the ongoing 2014 Parish Life Conference.

A Message from Metropolitan Joseph

Venerable Hierarchs, Brother Clergy, Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees:

Christ is in our Midst!

It is with joy that we confirm the election of Archbishop Joseph by the Holy Synod of Antioch to be the new Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of New York and all North America.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph asked me to convey to all of you his love and prayers. He said that he stands ready to lead this Archdiocese with the support and assistance from each and every one of you, and looks forward to working together for the Glory of God.

He is on his way to San Francisco where he will preside over the Parish Life Conference of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

URGENT – The commemoration of Metropolitan Joseph should begin immediately at all divine services as follows:

Our father and Metropolitan Joseph and our bishop (name of your local bishop, whether he is present or not).

Yours in the Service of the Lord,

Fr. George Kevorkian

Archdiocese Delegation to the Antiochian Unity Conference in Lebanon

Update Tuesday June 24: The official Archdiocese delegation to the Antiochian Unity Conference has arrived safely in Lebanon, and has begun meeting in preparation for the beginning of the conference tomorrow. His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan met today with the delegation to encourage them and share his wisdom in the formation of their common witness on behalf of the Church in North America.

Metropolitan Silouan Visits Archbishop Demetrios

June 19, 2014: His Eminence, Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina and Patriarchal Vicar of North America visited His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, before departing for Lebanon for the Antiochian Unity Conference and Holy Synod meeting. His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios welcomed Metropolitan Silouan and the Vicar-General, Fr. Thomas Zain, at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Manhattan.

After a brief tour by the Ecumenical Officer, Archimandrite Nathaniel Symeonides, the two Metropolitans discussed many issues including the two abducted bishops and the situation of Christians in the Middle East. Archbishop Demetrios thanked Metropolitan Silouan for the Holy Synod of Antioch's decision to resume participation in the Assembly of Bishops around the world.

Photos from the Special Convention

A selection of photos from the June 5 Special Convention in Chicago is available, selected by His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan. Additional photos will be added as they are received.

Pastoral Letter of His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan at the Conclusion of the Special Convention in Chicago

Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Honorable Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees and Beloved Faithful Of this God-protected Archdiocese

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).

As the Special Convention is over, I would like to share with you my gratefulness to our Lord and to each of you for the atmosphere in which everything took place. Indeed, comprehension and sense of responsibility dominated the Convention, with a kind of acceptance of our "imperfectness", accompanied with the commitment to continue implementing best practices at all levels while serving our Church.

In addition, I would like to congratulate you for such a blessed conclusion of the nomination process and I thank the Hierarchs and the members of the Board of Trustees for their valuable contribution in this regard, because their approval of the procedures guaranteed that transparency and professionalism be the cornerstone in such an important event in the life of this Archdiocese.

Prayers for the Archdiocese Special Convention

Your prayers are requested for the clergy and laity preparing to convene in Chicago as delegates for the Archdiocese Special Convention on Thursday, June 5. This sacred occasion will nominate three clergymen to be submitted to the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch for the election of our new Metropolitan. 

Announcement of Special Convention

Report on the May 2014 Meetings of the Local Synod and Board of Trustees, including names of Eligible Candidates for the office of Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America

Special Convention Hotel and Registration Information

Update: Special Nominating Convention Hotel and Registration Information

The Department of Conventions and Conference Planning has released the following details regarding the Archdiocese Special Nominating Convention being held June 5th in Chicago, IL. (See here for introductory information on upcoming May and June leadership meetings and the convention.)

June 3 Update from Raed Sweiss, Department of Conventions and Conference Planning

Rev. Fathers, Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees and Delegates,

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago on Wednesday, June 4th and Thursday, June 5th, 2014 for the Special Convention. Below are a few items to note for your upcoming meeting:

1) Registration will be open from 6 pm – 9 pm on Wednesday, June 4th and from 7 am – 10 am on Thursday, June 5th. We encourage everyone to pick up their badges on Wednesday night to elevate any rush on Thursday morning.

2) A GOVERNMENT ISSUED PHOTO ID is required to pick up your badge and needs to be shown whenever you enter the General Assembly along with your badge.

3) A continental breakfast will be provided on Thursday morning at 8 am as part of your registration.

Wishing you safe travels to Chicago!

Patriarch John X Receives Metropolitan Silouan and Hierarchs' Delegation

On Thursday, May 22nd, Metropolitan Silouan led the delegation of the Hierarchs of the Archdiocese to the meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch at his patriarchal residence in Balamand (Lebanon).

The delegation was formed of the following hierarchs: Archbishop Joseph, Bishop Basil, Bishop Thomas, Bishop Alexander, Bishop John, Bishop Anthony and Bishop Nicholas.

After the meetings that lasted for almost two and a half hours, the delegation visited new installations at the residence, mainly the new conference room where the Synod will be hosted from now on, and the Chapel of Pentecost where the Metropolitans will elect a new metropolitan. Afterwards, they visited the patriarchal Media Center.

Patriarch John X Receives Metropolitan Silouan and Delegation from Archdiocese Board of Trustees

On Tuesday, May 20th, Metropolitan Silouan led a delegation of members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese to the meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch at his residence in Balamand (Lebanon).

The delegation was formed of the following members: Vice President Fawaz El Khoury, Dan Abraham, George Madanat, Mansour Rayan, Dan Braun, Salim Abboud, Majed Nesheiwat, and Edward Assile.

His Beatitude received Metropolitan Silouan in private before meeting the entire delegation. The delegation gave to His Beatitude a letter on behalf of the Board of Trustees unanimously approved at its last meeting on Thursday, May 14th in Chicago. They also presented him with a check of $125,000 as a contribution in the name of the Archdiocese to the humanitarian relief efforts that our Patriarchate is undertaking, especially in the dramatic situation in Syria.

At the end of the interview, before sharing lunch together with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Silouan gave His Beatitude an icon of the Savior that he was given at Saint George Church in Montreal.

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