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Welcome to the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic, part of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The Diocese of Oakland is led by His Grace Bishop Thomas and includes more than 30 churches and missions in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

 

The Fast and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

By Bishop Thomas Joseph and Peter Schweitzer

Having celebrated the feast of feasts, the Lord’s Pascha, and Pentecost fifty days thereafter, we are about to embark upon the Apostles’ Fast, which this year begins on June 12, 2017, and ends with the commemoration of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul on June 29. 

The Apostles’ Fast is a prescribed fasting period of the Church, lasting from the day after the Sunday of All Saints to the 29th of June, the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

It is a sad truth that many neglect this particular fast for a variety of reasons inconsistent with the apostolic and patristic tradition.  Prior to reflecting upon the importance of the Apostles’ Fast, a review of the ancient history of this particular fast may help us to recognize its integral place in the life of each and every Orthodox Christian.

Memory Eternal! + Kh. Helen Kahle

Memory Eternal! + On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Kh. Helen Kahle reposed in the Lord. She was 87. Khouria Helen was the wife of Fr. John Kahle, the founding pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, PA.  She is the mother of seven children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Saint Paul was formed in 1984 as a mission parish, dedicated to providing a pan-Orthodox parish of the Archdiocese, respecting and embracing a variety of cultures. Father John and Khouria Helen started with forty-five founding members. In 1992 a search for new property commenced, and in 1997 the new church property was dedicated. The couple retired from active ministry in May of 1999.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Sunday, July 30: Viewing 3-5 pm at Bachman Kulik Reinsmith Funeral Home in Emmaus, PA (225 Elm St.), with a Trisagion Memorial at 4:30pm

Monday, July 31: Viewing 10-11 am, Funeral 11 am at St. Paul Orthodox Church in Emmaus (156 E. Main St.)

May her memory be eternal!

Care for the Elderly and Infirm in an Orthodox Setting

Bp Thomas Joseph and Peter Schweitzer 

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. (Psalm 71:9)

Proper and loving care for the elderly should be a Christian concern for each of us.  Whether we have aged or infirm parents or loved ones, we all know elderly people who need our attention.  As Orthodox Christians, we have a duty to them before God.  We have a duty to look after their physical and most importantly, their spiritual needs.

While elected officials grapple with the financial and moral questions concerning healthcare, the elderly population continues to grow. In 2010, one-sixth of the adult U.S. population was older than 65; by 2030, about one-fourth will be.  This presents a pastoral challenge for the Orthodox clergy and laity.  All too often our elderly, infirm, and dying are isolated, in some cases abandoned.  They may be found in nursing homes where no one visits them and they are unable to attend church services.  In many instances, priests are not aware of their circumstances and they are left without confession and the other salvific Mysteries of the Church.  When they repose, they may even be cremated as opposed to given a proper Orthodox burial.  This may be the result of a family’s ignorance of Church teaching or a desire to reduce the costs of a funeral.  (An Orthodox funeral does not have to be an expensive affair.  There are Orthodox resources available that substantially defray costs while at the same time remaining faithful to our spiritual traditions.)

Diocese of Charleston News Archive