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Memory Eternal! + Kathy Meyer

WALTERBORO: Katharina Louise Welge (Kathy Meyer) passed away Friday evening at Trident Medical Center in Charleston. She was 77 years old and a resident of the Village at Summerville.

Katharina was born in Butler, Illinois on November 24, 1934, and a daughter of the late William Welge Sr. and Annie Katherine Kunz Welge. A graduate of Rubicam Business College, she spent the early years of her adult life working in St. Louis, the Bahamas and San Francisco. Later, she became the Secretary for Metropolitan Philip, a position she held for over 42 years. Kathy was adored and loved by the Priests and the Church Hierarchy throughout North America and the Middle East.

She is survived by her sister Dorothy W. Kaiser and husband Eugene of Walterboro and by her brother John Vance Welge and wife Nancy of Layton, Utah. There are many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her siblings William Welge Jr. and Margaret May Landry.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, at 11:00 am at Parker Rhode Chapel in Walterboro, SC. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 7-8 p.m., with Trisagion prayers at 7:30 p.m., in the chapel of the funeral home. The burial will take place later in the week at Ware’s Grove Cemetery in Butler, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Antiochian Village, c/o the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, 358 Mountain Road, POB 5238, Englewood, NJ 07631-5238. Condolences may be sent to her sister Dorothy (Mrs. Gene) KAISER at genemac@lowcountry.com. Online condolences may also be left for the family at www.parkerrhodenfuneralho.... The Parker-Rhoden Funeral Home, 117 Paul Street in Walterboro, SC is in charge of arrangements.

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Announces New Appointments for the Offices of Vicar General and Protosyngellos

Effective January 1, 2012, Very Rev. Thomas Zain, Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York is appointed as the Vicar General for the Archdiocese, and Very Rev. Timothy Ferguson is appointed as the Protosyngellos. We ask our Lord to greatly bless these two men as they assume their new offices and we have no doubt that both of these men will serve these offices with zeal and distinction.

The office of Vicar General was previously held by Very Rev. Elias Bitar, pastor of St. George Church in Little Falls, New Jersey. Fr. Elias has served in this capacity for 15 years, as has distinguished himself in his service to this office. We thank Fr. Elias for his exemplary service and ask the Almighty God to grant every blessing to him, Khourieh Joanne, and their family.

The office of Protosyngellos was previously held by Rt. Rev. Paul Doyle who resides in Torrance, California. This is a position of honor that is granted to a senior priest who has served with distinction, and who is called upon to use his communication skills on behalf of his brother clergy. Fr. Paul has certainly fulfilled these duties with much respect and admiration from his brother clergy, and we ask the Lord to bless him and grant him Many Years!

Fr. Peter Gillquist to Retire as Head of Department of Missions and Evangelism, Fr. Michael Keiser Appointed as New Head

Fr. Michael KeiserFr. Michael KeiserEffective December 31, 2011, Fr. Peter Gillquist will retire as the Head of the Archdiocese Department of Missions and Evangelism, and Fr. Michael Keiser is appointed as the new Head of this Department.

We extend our most heartfelt thanks to Fr. Peter Gillquist for the exemplary service which he has given to this effort for more than 23 years. It is safe to say that the entire missions program of this Archdiocese has been founded by his efforts, and his work leaves a strong base upon which we can build. We also acknowledge Khourieh Marilyn Gillquist for the support which she has given over these many years.

Three New Auxiliary Bishops Consecrated, Bishop Joseph Elevated to Archbishop

Editor's Update, 12/15/11:

Video of the consecration service is available online.

View a YouTube video of consecration service excerpts.

Fr. Thomas Zain writes:

On Sunday, December 11, 2011, three new auxiliary bishops were consecrated for the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Balamand, Lebanon. Their Graces, JOHN, ANTHONY and NICHOLAS were consecrated as bishops of Worcester, Toledo, and Brooklyn and will serve as auxiliaries to His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP.

Consecration of Three Newly Elected Auxiliary Bishops

Editor's Update, December 9, 2011:

We ask that our faithful pray for the delegation currently travelling to Lebanon for the consecrations of our new bishops. May God grant them many, many years!

The Middle Eastern media resource Noursat will be broadcasting online the consecration services with His Beatitude Ignatius IV. See this link for additional information. More details will be added as they are made available.

Original Post, October 11, 2011:

His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East has confirmed the date and location for the consecration of our three newly-elected Auxiliary Bishops, namely:

Bishop-Elect John (Abdalah) – Auxiliary Bishop for Worcester and New England

Bishop-Elect Anthony (Michaels) – Auxiliary Bishop for Toledo and the Midwest

Bishop-Elect Nicholas (Ozone) – Auxiliary Bishop for Brooklyn and assisting the Metropolitan in Englewood, NJ

Troy and Theodora Polamalu, faithful Orthodox Christians, have joined FOCUS North America to “tackle” poverty

The online and texting TacklePoverty.org campaign, which runs from Sept. 26, 2011 to Feb. 5, 2012, hopes to inspire 10,000 people to take action and help those in need.

“We’ve kicked off to a solid start in an effort to reach 10,000 now let’s go further,” Troy Polamalu said. “Together we can tackle poverty!”

Here’s how it works: Visit TacklePoverty.org to learn about the many ways FOCUS NA is working to help the poor nationwide. Watch Troy and Theodora’s video messages, make a donation, and put together a team of friends to tackle poverty. Tacklers will win cool prizes while creating much needed awareness about the plight of the working poor. Get 25 friends to donate and win a Tackle Poverty T-shirt. Inspire 43 friends to donate and get a signed Polamalu poster. With 100 friends donating, you get a signed Polamalu jersey (#43) and have your name put in the drawing to win Steelers home game tickets! You can also text “Troy” to 52000 to make a $10 donation.

You can see the Tackle Poverty campaign on Troy’s Facebook and Twitter sites. Check in with Troy each week as he reminds fans of the importance of this worthwhile effort to help the poor. With over 1.8 million Facebook fans and 275,000 Twitter followers, the response could make a huge difference in the lives of working poor individuals!

"This is a great opportunity to inspire friends, coworkers, and others you know to join with you in helping the poor at a time when 15% of our neighbors in America are below the poverty line,” FOCUS NA Executive Director Fr. Justin Mathews said. “If you have a heart to help the poor, you can inspire others too.”

Antiochian Delegation to Damascus, Syria

Antiochian Delegation with President Assad of Syria, September 2011Antiochian Delegation with President Assad of Syria, September 2011His Eminence Metropolitan Philip writes:

Brother Hierarchs, Beloved Clergy, Esteemed Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees and Faithful Laity of our God-Protected Archdiocese:

Greetings to you and your families in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ!

As you are all aware, there has been a lot of turmoil throughout many of the countries of the Middle East since the beginning of the year. Many of these uprisings coined “the Arab-spring” have resulted in changes of governments in places like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and unrest in other Gulf and North African nations. Since the spring, this phenomenon has supposedly spread to Syria, the country of the seat of our Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. The reports we receive on an almost daily basis from our Patriarch and various Metropolitans of the See of Antioch, together with our many contacts in Syria do not agree with the reports we see and hear in Western media such as CNN, Fox News, and others. Likewise, many of the gulf sponsored Arabic news channels like Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya seem to portray a dire situation in Syria when the reality based on our many contacts there appears to be something quite the contrary.

Because of this contradiction, and because our office has been inundated with letters, emails and phone calls about the situation in Syria, we felt it necessary to send a delegation made up of a group of some of our convert priests, other religious leaders from non-Orthodox communities, and an international lawyer to see first-hand the situation and report back to me and to all of you, the faithful of our God-protected Archdiocese.

Delegation to Syria

Delegation to Damascus Meets President Assad of SyriaDelegation to Damascus Meets President Assad of SyriaClick here to read Introductory Remarks from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

by Patrick Henry Reardon

During this past September 13-18, I was part of a delegation sent to Syria by Metropolitan PHILIP to investigate the internal political situation in that country, particularly with respect to its Christian minority. Our group consisted of six priests of the Antiochian Archdiocese: Fathers Dimitri Darwich (our guide and the only Arabic-speaker), Timothy Ferguson, Joseph Honeycutt, John Winfrey, David Bleam, and myself; two Protestant pastors: Bonn Clayton and Norman Wilson; and an expert in international law, James Perry, accompanied by his wife, Mardi, who served as the delegation’s secretary. Attached to the delegation as a reporter for Ancient Faith Radio was John Maddex, its executive director.

The following narrative is my own assessment of that experience, along with some account of what I learned.

Let me begin by expressing a deep, sincere gratitude to Metropolitan Philip, both for the golden opportunity to visit Syria and for the confidence he placed in myself and the others he sent.

Video Salute to Metropolitan Philip

The following video salute to Metropolitan Philip was presented at the 2011 Archdiocese Convention in Chicago, IL, to honor him for his 45 years of episcopal leadership and his 80th birthday. These introductory remarks were made by Fr. Anthony Gabriel:

Your Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Metropolitan Paul, Metropolitan Silouan, the hierarchs of this God protected Archdiocese, Reverend Clergy, esteemed members of the Board of Trustees, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen:

I have been honored by Economos Nicholas Dahdal with a request, for which I thank him from the bottom of my heart, as one who journeyed for 45 years with His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, to share a few reflections on the life of our Chief Shepherd and Father in Christ. With the business of this convention now completed, it is time to celebrate at this concluding banquet.  This evening we joyously commemorate two milestones in the life of our beloved Primate: Saidna Philip’s 45th anniversary to the Holy Episcopacy and his 80th birthday.

Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing

 By His Grace Bishop Basil 

Mary the Theotokos is very close to my heart, and, I am certain, close to the hearts of all who love her Son, Jesus. I can hardly think of her name without tears.

Metropolitan Philip Announces Election of New Auxiliary Bishops

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Saturday, July 30, at the 50th Convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip announced that the Synod had elected three archimandrites of the Archdiocese for elevation to the episcopacy.

They are: the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite John Abdalah, who will serve as the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Worcester and New England; the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Anthony Michaels, who will serve as the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest; and the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Nicholas Ozone, who will serve as the auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and assist His Eminence at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, NJ.

Please remember these servants of our Lord in your prayers, and may God grant them many years!

Convention General Assembly Concludes

The official business of the General Assembly of the 50th Convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese concluded Friday, July 29. Much fruitful work was conducted during the two days of the Assembly, highlighted by the announcement Friday by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip that the Synod of the Antiochian Archdiocese will be expanding with the addition of not two (as previously announced) but three new auxiliary bishops. Metropolitan Philip declared that our Synod would be electing auxiliary bishops to serve the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest and the Diocese of Worcester and New England, with a third auxiliary bishop serving to assist His Eminence at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, NJ.

Reports from the various departments and organizations of the Archdiocese were presented and accepted with great enthusiasm, and a number of invited guests honored the gathering with special presentations, including Ms. Myriam Shwayri of the Al-Kafaat Foundation of Lebanon and Mr. Michael Homsey of International Orthodox Christian Charities. Ten new members were elected by general proclamation to the Archdiocese Board of Trustees. Seven timely resolutions were introduced and passed, and will be made public via this website as soon as possible.

The extensive exhibit halls continued to be a popular attraction, the teens of the Archdiocese warmed the hearts of all in attendance with their comings and goings to the program of youth activities, and all benefitted from the opportunity to fellowship with old and new friends alike. Ancient Faith Radio continues to add to their collection of recordings from the Convention, available here for those who would like to listen online.

St. George Church of Cicero, IL, Holds Convention Kick-Off Celebration

Thursday, July 21, proved to be a day of celebration for many reasons.  In addition to being the last day of a sizzling heat wave across the Midwest, an excitement filled the air in the courtyard of St. George Church, Cicero, Host Parish of the historic 50th Archdiocese Convention beginning this Sunday, July 24th.   Balloons and banners, posters and streamers, food and music, people young and old, witnessed a great announcement!  Fireworks lit up the sky brightening the smiling faces as they all heard: 

The Convention begins this weekend!  

The Committee gathered to celebrate several years of tireless planning and a very anticipated week-long journey called the Archdiocese Convention.  The full schedule is available at www.archdioceseconvention2011.org and awaits the entire Archdiocese.  

Orthodox Inspirational Posters

Immortal Conqueror Poster SampleImmortal Conqueror Poster SampleThe Holy Land Poster Project

by Carole Buleza, Chair, Department of Christian Education

Connecting us to Jesus Christ

When I was young, I found a book about the Holy Land; the images of the holy sites fascinated me—Bethlehem, Golgotha, Cana—these were the places where Jesus walked and lived! He was real!

Images of all sorts surround us today. If your children text, tweet, and Facebook, they live in a world of distraction—is Jesus even on their radar? Let’s get back to basics—our faith, and our life itself, rests in a person who lived 2,000 years ago and lives still. Donate a poster to your church school and begin to surround the children with images that remind them of the reality of Jesus!

The Department of Christian Education plans to offer a few posters each summer for homes, classrooms, church hallways, and offices. A limited amount has been printed. They are available for a donation of $5, and come safely to you in a mailing tube. The smaller poster photo prints will be sent in a cardboard mailing envelope. Please print out the order form and send a check to the Antiochian Department of Christian Education. The address is on the form.

Click here for the order form.

July 2011 Newsletter: Love Of Our Neighbor - Love Of Our Holy Church

As we approach the heat of summer, when nerves and patience are tested, let us live and remain in the words of St. Paul. Let the spirit of Christ and His Law love, guide us in our relationship with our neighbor and those in our Church. For it is through our fellowship with Him, and His Grace, we find His mercy, compassion, and forgiveness we seek and need. And with this spirit, we find brotherly fellowship with one another.

What follows are Academy study notes for Romans 13: 8-10. The depth of this love beckons us to live our lives in the grace and love of Jesus Christ. Let us leave behind earthly fears and cares, seeking instead the guiding spirit of Sts. Athanasius, Ignatius, Chrysostom, and St. John of Damascus: The Spirit of Grace and Truth.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

June 29, 2011 + Who We Are To Become; Who We Can Be

By Archpriest Steven Rogers – Word Magazine, June 1999

There are perhaps no two men more greatly revered yet so seemingly different than Saints Peter and Paul.

Commemorated by the Orthodox Church on June 29, Saints Peter and Paul, “the heads of the Apostles” as described throughout the hymnody of the feast, are especially loved by the Church of Antioch, where Peter served as its first bishop and Paul set forth on his great missionary travels. Peter, who preached on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 were converted to the faith, and Paul, the greatest missionary the world has ever known and author of over half of the New Testament, were two of the most powerful instruments ever raised up by God to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to found This holy Church. Their preaching and the power of God within them literally transformed the world. Both lived completely for Christ and both died a martyr’s death in Rome by order of the evil Roman emperor Nero.

Their power and end were the same, and yet when we first meet them in scripture, they are so seemingly different. There is Peter, the fisherman, simple and uneducated. There is Paul (then Saul), the Pharisee, brilliant and educated, learned in Jewish, Greek and Roman thought. There is Peter, emotional and impulsive, often speaking and acting hastily but always remorseful. There is Paul, seemingly cold and calculating, a powerful and even ruthless intellect, able to persecute and kill without remorse.

No two men could be more different than Peter and Paul — one driven by fire and emotion, the other by coldness and intellect.

June 22, 2011 + The Purpose and Power of Prayer

By Rev. Fr. Theodore E. Ziton – Word Magazine, Nov. 1959

The world’s present mood is not conducive to prayer and meditation. Mechanism and speed dominate all departments of our present day civilization. We race through life and we hardly have time to read the sign posts and to learn whether or not we are on the right road of life. No wonder that so many lives end in ruin and misery. Even in our leisure we are dominated by action and controlled by schedule and thus can hardly experience total relaxation of body and complete serenity of mind.

Yet in this highly stimulated society in which we find ourselves, we are all the more in need of meditation, prayer and communion with God.

The fact that we pray doesn’t mean that everything we pray for will immediately be ours or that everything we pray against will immediately be wiped away. Let it be clear that prayer is not magic, a force by which we coax God to change the Laws of the universe. Through prayer we rather change ourselves by the resolution to order our lives in such a manner that we do God’s will and obey God’s moral law. Fathers, however fond and affectionate, don’t always give their children all they ask for — not even if they are able. Wise fathers know that children must do many things of their own effort. A wise father may show us other ways to get what we think we want; or He may show us the wisdom of waiting — or He may show us the wisdom of changing our wants. Obviously all men cannot (and should not) have everything they pray for.

Correction: Order of St. Ignatius Scholarship Funding

Correction to a statement in an article by Fr. Peter Gillquist in the May 2011 issue of The Word magazine: The Order of St. Ignatius does not provide financial aid to students, including students of the St. Stephen's Course. It does provide aid, however, for children to attend sessions at Antiochian camps each summer.

Memory Eternal! + Ernest Alexander Younes

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

MEMORY ETERNAL! ERNEST ALEXANDER YOUNES, a longtime member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, reposed on Saturday, June 4th at the age of 93 and was buried on Tuesday, June 7th from his parish church of St George/Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. He was preceded in death by his wife YVONNE and a son ADEL, and is survived by his children MONA and Albert Gorab, NADIA Younes, RAMI and Joanie Younes, MAGDA and Richard Zakaib. Please join me in praying a rope for the repose of Ernest's soul, saying, "O Lord Jesus Christ, grant rest to the soul of Thy departed servant." May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life.

Memory Eternal! + Dn. Robert Polycarp Sherwood

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

MEMORY ETERNAL! DEACON ROBERT POLYCARP SHERWOOD formerly of St Mark/Denver, CO and, at the time of his repose, assigned to the Church of the Glastonbury Icon of the Mother of God (ROCOR) in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, fell asleep in Christ and was buried June 9 by FATHER JOHN CONNELY from the Basilica of St Laurence/Tallahassee Creek, CO. He is survived by his wife DIACONISSA LILLIAS to whom condolences may be sent c/o john.connely@gmail.com. Please join me in praying a rope for the repose of Deacon Robert's soul, saying, "O Lord Jesus Christ, grant rest to the soul of Thy departed servant." May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life.

Memory Eternal! + Walter Parhamovich

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

Walter Parhamovich, a longtime member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, reposed on Sunday, May 29th and was buried from his parish church of St Michael/Las Vegas, NV on June 4th. He is survived by his wife Grace Mary to whom condolences may be sent: 8425 Apple Hilly Court - Las Vegas, NV 89128-7635. Please join me in praying a rope for the repose of Walter's soul, saying, "O Lord Jesus Christ, grant rest to the soul of Thy departed servant." May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life.

About Bishop Nicholas

Bishop Nicholas was born in Damascus, Syria, in January 1963 to an Antiochian Orthodox family. He attended the French Lycée Laïque elementary and middle school, and the Omia High School. For the first 18 years of his life, he attended the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary in Damascus.

In February 1981, Bishop Nicholas emigrated to the United States, where he began a course of study at Northeastern University. He earned several degrees, including Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Master of Science in Computer Engineering, and a Specialization Certificate in Object-Oriented Design, Architecture, and Coding. He has also attended many professional engineering conferences, as well as courses and conferences on psychology and human behavior.

Bishop Nicholas worked for nearly 20 years as a Computer Engineer at several companies in the Electronics Design Automation industry, such as ViewLogic Systems and Synopsys Co. He was also promoted to the highest technical ranks as a Lead Software Architect, Principal Software Engineer, and Software Engineering Manager. He represented his companies to many conferences in Sweden, France, England, Germany, Italy, and USA, and also served as a lecturer in Electronics Circuitry, Circuit Theory, and Digital Computers at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA.

Bishop Nicholas also holds a Master of Divinity degree, awarded with Highest Distinction, from studies undertaken between September 2002 to May 2005 at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He speaks Arabic and English fluently. His second language in Syria was French, which he had used, along with Hebrew, Ancient Greek, New Testament Greek, and Modern Greek, to conduct research on theological subjects.

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