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OCN Announces New Radio Affiliate in Massachusetts

Come Receive the Light, the national Orthodox Christian radio program produced by Orthodox Christian Network, is now being broadcast on the radio throughout Central Massachusetts.

Thanks to the leadership and support of St. Michael Orthodox Church in Southbridge, Mass., listeners can hear Come Receive the Light every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. on WESO 970 AM. The station covers the Central Massachusetts area, including the second-largest city in New England, Worcester, as well as parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Come Receive the Light is the flagship radio program of Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) and is dedicated to spreading joy, hope and salvation in Jesus Christ while exploring Orthodox Christianity in contemporary society.

"It is important for us in this media age to stay ahead of the curve," Fr. Peter Preble, pastor of St. Michael Church, said. "We are in a unique position to offer something to this fallen world and that is the light of Christ. We need to harness all modes of communication and use them for the glory of God and the spreading of the Kingdom. Orthodoxy is the best kept secret in the United States, and it is time we get the word out."

Fr. Peter spear-headed the effort to bring Come Receive the Light to the area. His parish, which is part of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada, is not one of the largest parishes in the region, but it agreed to sponsor this cutting-edge ministry as part of its evangelistic outreach to the greater community.

Orthodox Schools Plan Second Conference

image The 2008 Conference on Orthodox Schools will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 1 and 2, 2008.  This is the second conference on Orthodox schools and we are pleased to again offer this opportunity for educators to meet.  We thank the Virginia H. Farah Foundation for funding to support this second conference.  The Orthodox School Association can be contacted at 617-850-1315 or  Conference information is posted on the Association web site

We ask you kindly to pass this information along to anyone you know is interested in the Orthodox School Association effort. 

Sacred Music Institute Date Set

The Department of Sacred Music of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese Announces the "East Coast" Sacred Music Institute for 2008. The event will be held at Antiochian Village July 30 to August 3, 2008. The Keynote Speaker will be His Grace, Bishop BASIL.

The Theme is: Baptism, Wedding, Funeral Music: Orthodox Outreach.

Visit the Department of Sacred Music's website for details and to register.

OCN Matching Gift Pascha Appeal

“After years of being away from the Orthodox Church, my youngest brother invited me to attend the Paschal Liturgy. Like the Prodigal Son, I had come home. I listened to ‘Come Receive the Light’ and other OCN shows non-stop. The Orthodox Christian Network is an invaluable resource for the spread of Holy Orthodoxy, and I am a proud monthly supporter.” — S.F. from Las Vegas, NV

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It’s no secret that many young people drift away from the Church. Do you ever feel like that unfortunate trend is simply unstoppable? It’s easy to get discouraged, but I have good news for you: More and more people like this young listener from Las Vegas are “coming home” to Orthodoxy. And YOU can make a difference in the lives of others just like him by joining with the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) in its mission to:

• CALL BACK the wayward
• INSPIRE the faithful
• CONNECT teens, young adults and families to Christ’s Church

Memory Eternal: Albert Joseph

The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch mourns the passing of the servant of God, Albert Joseph, into eternal life this past weekend at the age of 90.  Albert Joseph served as the first North American Chair of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch in the Archdiocese for eight years. May his memory be eternal!

New Distance Learning Program Begins

The Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is beginning a pilot distance learning program. Living Great Lent taught by Rev. Dr. Alkiviadis Calivas will be available on-line at beginning February 19. Participants will need to register on-line to have access to the five video presentations by Fr. Calivas, a series of readings, and questions for discussion. The course will be facilitated by Dr. Anton C. Vrame, Director of the Department of Religious Education, and Rev. Dn. Markos Nickolas, a doctoral candidate in pastoral theology at Boston University. While an individual can register for the course, the course is designed for groups that can meet to discuss the presentations and readings. The course material will be available from February 19 to April 4 to encourage learners and groups to complete the five session program within seven weeks. Fr. Calivas is Professor emeritus of Liturgy at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. After the course has ended, the pilot program of the GOA Department of Religious Education will be evaluated in order to begin a larger distance learning program in the fall. For more information contact the GOA Department of Religious Education at 617-850-1218.

Bishop MARK Celebrates Sunday of Orthodoxy in Chicago

On Sunday March 16, 2008 Bishop MARK of Toledo joined with his brother hierarchs, Metropolitan IAKOVOS of Chicago (GOA), Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER (Serbian), Archbishop NICOLAE (Romanian), Archbishop JOB (OCA), Bishop ILIA of Philomelion (Albanian EP) and Bishop PETER of Cleveland (ROCOR), at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Palos Hills, IL. Over 40 priest and a dozen deacons joined in this year's celebration.

Site Down Morning of March 26 was unavailable for several hours on Wednesday morning due to technical issues with our server configuration. We're grateful to all the people who emailed and called to let us know. Thank you for looking out for us!

DOWAMA Gives Update on 2008 Parish Life Conference

An important note from the hosts of DOWAMA's 2008 Parish Life Conference: "This is to inform all of you that we have already exceeded our room block for Wednesday night June 18th, and are getting close to the same for the rest of the Conference!!!  We have spoken with the Hilton Hotel management team and they are about to release some more rooms today.  But please get on the PLC web site TODAY at, click on the 'Accommodations' link and make your reservations by phone or online.  We are expecting a record crowd at our 2008 DOWAMA PLC this June 18th-21st in Dallas, and would like your cooperation in registering early.   Also, please remember to send in your PLC registration forms and ads for the Souvenir Journal.  You can save money by registering early.  In addition, we need to get your ads in so that we can help offset the tremendous costs associated with this blessed event.  You can do all this online, or download and print the form at the web site mentioned above.  And don't forget, even though the Conference officially ends after the concelebrated Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Brunch on Saturday the 21st, we encourage you to stay for our exciting "Denim and Diamonds Gala" on Saturday evening.  It will be loads of fun for all. Thank you all so much for supporting our church and our Diocese. We wish you a blessed Great Lent and ask for your God-pleasing prayers.  With love in Christ, Father Antony Bahou (Parish Priest) and Kelli Kouri Neagle and Robin Cohlmia Simon, (PLC Co-Chairs)."  Questions?  Contact Fr. Antony at

Archbishop of Baghdad, Kuwait, and Dependencies Recovers in London Hospital


Your prayers are requested for Metropolitan CONSTANTINE (Papastephanou) of the Archdiocese of Baghdad, Kuwait and Dependencies, a senior and highly esteemed member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch, who has been in hospital in London, England.

Many thanks to Fr. Samir Gholam, dean of the Cathedral of St George in London, who sends us the following update concerning His Eminence: "Dear Fellow Servants of the Lord:  May this period of Great Lent be for us a source of all blessings tailored to each one of us.  Sayyidna Constantine is improving continuously and now is in a very encouraging situation.  All our gratitude is rendered to the Loving Lord who shows His extreme mercy to His beloved and loyal hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine.  May our God and Saviour Jesus Christ's will be done.  Amen.  Asking for your prayers, I remain your brother in Christ - Father Samir."  Messages may be sent to His Eminence c/o Father Samir at

Submitted by Bishop BASIL.

Sunday of Orthodoxy in the Heartland

A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, concelebrated by the three Orthodox hierarchs with oversight for parishes in the Heartland, held at St Seraphim Cathedral (OCA), on Sunday, March 16th.  The hierarchs are His Eminence DMITRI, Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South (OCA), His Eminence ISAIAH, Metropolitan of the Denver Metropolis (GOA), and His Grace BASIL, Bishop of Wichita and the Diocese of Mid- America (AOCA). 

The three hierarchs also presided at the Vespers of the Triumph of Orthodoxy served yesterday evening at Dallas' Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at which dozens of priests and hundreds of laity were present from the 15 parishes through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Next year the three hierarchs will serve together on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at St George Cathedral (AOCA) in Wichita, KS.

Article provided by Bishop BASIL. Photos courtesy of OCA's Chancery of the Diocese of Dallas and the South.

Memory Eternal, Metropolitan LAURUS

3mldeath His Eminence, Metropolitan LAURUS
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR)

It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, His Eminence, Metropolitan LAURUS, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, March 16, 2008. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.


Adapted from

Discover Georgia: Monastery Tour to the Eastern Caucasus


Tour Dates: June 26th – July 6th, 2008 *LIMITED SPACE!!

Seeking: World travelers, medievalists, musicians, self-educators, spiritual pilgrims, and adventurers of all varieties for an immersion experience at the crossroads of Europe and Asia: welcome to Caucasus Georgia!

Explore Georgia's oldest monasteries, founded in the sixth century by Christian ascetics from Syria. Be among the first westerners to rediscover the ancient architecture, frescoes, and acoustics of these remarkable monuments, set amidst rolling vineyards, towering peaks, and the desert vistas of the Caspian basin. Led by chant team Luarsab Togonidze, John A Graham, and Aurelia Shrenker, this unique tour seeks to investigate the sounds and wonders of medieval Georgia, while presenting the world-famous hospitality and charm of modern Georgia.

Read more about the trip at

St. John Chrysostom Church Hosts Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers

On Sunday, March 16, 2008, 20 priests, 3 deacons, and more than 250 worshipers from 18 parishes in at least five jurisdictions gathered at St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church in York, Pa., to celebrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

The chanting and responses were led by the Pan-Orthodox Mixed A Capella Choir, comprised of choir members and singers of various participating parishes. This year the choir director was Khouria Pam Pier of St. John's. The guest speaker was Dr. Tristan Engelhardt, Jr., a professor at Rice University. George Vafeas, an 11th grade student of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Lancaster, Pa., spoke on "Bearing Witness to the Light of God." Three members of St. John's were inducted into the Order of St. Ignatius. After Vespers, an offering was received to support Orthodox ministries and a meal was served.

The parishes comprise the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central Pennsylvania. In addition to yearly Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers (this was the 43rd), the group also meets for a yearly summer picnic in the area.


Bishop THOMAS Celebrates Sunday of Orthodoxy in York, PA

Bishop THOMAS joined the parish of St. John Chrysostom in York, Pa., for Divine Liturgy on Sunday, March 16, the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The children of the parish joined in the procession with icons.

Later in the afternoon, the parish hosted the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central Pennsylvania for vespers (see separate article, to be posted on Tuesday).


St. Anthony's To Present Speakers Series

St. Anthony Orthodox Church in Bergenfield, NJ, presents The Voice of the Orthodox Christian in Today’s Religious Dialogue, a series of public events that highlight and focus Eastern Orthodox thinking on today’s issues. The series is open to all Orthodox Christians from every denomination and to the public at large, to explore critical issues in today’s world and understand the sometimes quiet, sometimes disparate, Orthodox Christian perspective.

Friday, March 21, 2008 at 8:30pm, Fr. Daniel Zelinsky

Recently conferred as Bishop-elect of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Fr. Zelinsky’s perspective on Orthodox theology and its place in the wider realm of Christian thought have made him a popular speaker and lecturer. Fr. Zelinski will offer his perspective and insight on the Ukrainian city of Chernoble since the disastrous nuclear meltdown over 20 years ago.

Friday, March 28, 2008 at 8:30pm, Prof. Nicolae Gavriliu

Prof. Gavriliu is a specialist in Fine Arts and Director of the Byzantine Iconology Course at the Antiochian House of Studies and a member of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate. His presentation on “Icons and Orthodox spirituality” will provide a fascinating insight into the faith through the history and “writing” of holy icons.

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:30pm, Prof. Kyriacos C. Markides

IOCC Helps To Dedicate Louisiana Homes

iocc4 IOCC staff and Habitat for Humanity volunteers recently attended a dedication ceremony for “Faith Village,” a cluster of six homes in Covington, Louisiana. Sixteen faith-based organizations, including IOCC, provided the materials, supplies and volunteers to build the new homes. IOCC also contributed $150,000 towards material costs and mobilized 200 volunteers in 2007 to help work on these and other homes on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

In an emotional ceremony, the families were presented with hammers, representing their own volunteer days, Bibles, representing their faith in God, and keys, symbolizing their ownership of their own homes. IOCC board member Fr. Michael Rosco of Perth Amboy, NJ, on his third tour as a volunteer with the program, offered the opening prayer for the ceremony.

Visit IOCC.

IOCC Continues Relief and Recovery Effort in Greece

iocc3 In February, International Orthodox Christian Charities was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to continue and expand its current relief and recovery work for Greek farmers who lost livestock and pasturelands to last summer’s wildfires. This latest grant will enable IOCC to reach an estimated 2,000 farming families with emergency supplies of animal feed and forage seed. For many farmers, IOCC’s help will mean the difference between saving their family farm or having to return to Athens to find work.
The Greece program is the latest example of IOCC’s ability to respond to emergencies. We mobilized IOCC headquarters staff and members of our Belgrade and Athens offices to make assessments, oversee distributions, and also to consult with scientists in order to identify forage seed that will allow the Peloponnese to begin recovering its damaged pasturelands — a long-term solution for farmers.

Visit IOCC.

Midwest Antiochian Women Plan Retreat

The Midwest Antiochian Women’s third annual spring weekend retreat will be held May 2-4, 2008, at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan.  Following Bright Saturday services on May 3 Father Steven Kostoff of Cincinnati, Ohio, will speak on “how we now live, following the light of the Resurrection.” 

Download flyer.

Saint Basil the Great Antiochian Mission Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

archpriest 2
Bishop THOMAS with Father Nicholas Sorenson, Deacon Philip, Fathers Gordon Walker, Gregory MacGregor, and Thomas Zain.

On the weekend of January 12-13, 2008, the Mission of St. Basil the Great, York County, Virginia, hosted numerous guests and clergy along with His Grace, Bishop THOMAS of the Diocese of Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Tidewater Mission, now known as St. Basil the Great. The southeastern portion of Virginia is known locally as the Tidewater Region, or more popularly, as Hampton Roads.

The region has many military bases, and is known as a summertime vacation haven; therefore, over the past twenty years, there have been several failed attempts at starting and sustaining an Antiochian mission that would be pan-orthodox in nature, with an all English Liturgy.

In 1997, approximately five local families planted the seeds of the mission, along with the help of the Very Reverend Fathers Boniface Black, Gordon Walker, and Nicholas Sorensen. The mission now has thirty-six pledging families. St. Basil the Great is located in Poquoson, Virginia, a mere twenty minute drive from historic colonial Williamsburg.

Department of Christian Education Presents the first Orthodox Institute Southern States

Kovalak Invest in your faith!

The Institute, an abbreviated version of the event held each fall at Antiochian Village, is a pan Orthodox event that encompasses teacher training as well as education on topics of Orthodox believe in an enjoyable atmosphere of fellowship and sharing. The 2008 Theme is "Sharing Your Faith." The keynote address is, "Do Orthodox Evangelize?" presented by V. Rev. Daniel Kovalak, Missions and Evangelism Department, Orthodox Church in America.

Friday evening, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, 2008

St. George Antiochian Church, Vicksburg, MS

Contact: Fr. John Morris,

Pre-registration REQUIRED.

Download brochure

Download flyer

New England Antiochian Women Hold Pre-Lenten Retreat

DSC01347On Saturday March 1st a retreat was held at St. George Church of Norwood for the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England. 

The day started with Divine Liturgy followed by registration. Deacon Seraphim Solof then led us in the topic of the retreat; Church Teaching and Contemporary Bioethical Issues.  The talk focused on such topics as stem cell research, cloning, organ transplant and other current issues.  Deacon Seraphim started the session with a survey of stem cell research and cloning before we broke for lunch.  Following a lunch prepared by the women of St. George we heard about issues regarding organ transplants and euthanasia.  Deacon Seraphim serves at Saint George Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester, Mass., and has graduated with a BS degree from MIT and a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

The presentation was very informative and many women commented on how pleased they were to have attended.  Many questions were asked to which Father answered with expertise. 


Louise Ferguson, Religious Coordinator

Antiochian Camps Remind Priests of Scholarship Deadline

February 27, 2008

Dear Brother in Christ,

Christ is in our midst!

This is just a last second reminder regarding camp scholarships through the generosity of the Order of St Ignatius.  Each parish was mailed a form for awarding up to $700 in camping scholarships.  The scholarships may be applied to any of our eight camps:

  1. Antiochian Village - Pennsylvania
  2. Camp St George - Iowa
  3. Camp St Nicholas - California
  4. Camp St Raphael - Oklahoma
  5. Camp St Thekla – South Carolina
  6. Camp Transfiguration - Canada
  7. St John Summer Camp - Alaska
  8. St Mary of Egypt Camp - Washington

The forms that were mailed to you in early January must be postmarked by March 1st and returned to our office.  All of our camps are receiving numerous requests for additional scholarship assistance.  We are unable to provide such assistance until we know what scholarship funds remain.  It is for this reason we must insist that the St Ignatius Scholarship forms be returned this week.  If you have a camper who has a particular need for additional scholarship assistance that your parish is unable to provide, please have them write to the camp director of the camp they wish to attend stating their specific circumstances and needs.  To contact our camps, please follow the link to our website:

If you have already sent in your scholarship form, I thank you for assisting us and more importantly taking care of your youth who so desperately need our attention and care.

May our Lord bless you with a fruitful Lenten journey to the empty tomb!

Yours brother in Christ,

YOCAMA Plans Youth Mission Trips to New Mexico and Montana

clip_image002[4]As result of previous successful mission experiences with the Navajo Indians in New Mexico and a blessing of his Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of the Greek Archdiocese, a new non-profit organization has been formed. Young Orthodox Christian American Mission Adventures, or YOCAMA, is pleased to announce the scheduling of two mission trip experiences for Orthodox youth.

  • Thursday, June 19 to Saturday, June 28, 2008: Thoreau, New Mexico, to work with the Highland Navajo Outreach, a non-profit organization, to provide help for the Navajo people via home improvement projects, vacation Bible school, medical services, and food delivery.
  • Thursday, July 24 to Saturday, August 2, 2008: Browning,  Montana,to work with the Blackfeet Community hospital and housing authority to provide help for the Blackfeet people via home improvement projects, lunches and activities for local children, medical services, and food delivery.

"We think that this will be an exceptional experience for all those who wish to give of themselves to improve the conditions of the Navajo and Blackfeet people," say YOCAMA organizers.

Download Cover Letter

Teen SOYO hits the airwaves!

Teen SOYO Joins with OCN to Undertake Media Outreach for Teens

You can download the first SOYO episode - (MP3 format) Teens and abortion.

SOYO has joined with the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) to offer a new podcast for Orthodox Christian teens and their peers.

The show, called Orthodox Teen Talk Online (OTTO), features a pan-Orthodox group of teens from around the country, who discuss real-life issues in an open and honest manner with at least one Orthodox priest. One of the unique characteristics of the show is that the teens themselves develop the topics for discussion, contribute their own opinions and share their own life experiences related to the discussion. This allows Orthodox young people to find their own voice and develop their own Orthodox Christian response to some of the most pressing issues of the day.

"The young people of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America are deeply committed to living the Orthodox Faith in Christ daily," V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of Department of Youth Ministry, said. "It is with joy that our young people join with OCN and other Orthodox teens in expressing their Orthodox Christian Faith and its profound effect on their daily choices."

OTTO is a collaborative effort of the Antiochian Youth Department, NAC Teen SOYO, OCN and the Youth Department of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Several episodes of OTTO have already been recorded.

In the first SOYO episode, Fr. Antony Bahou spoke with several officers of the NAC Teen SOYO, including Christopher Shadid and Amanda Sahawneh, about the sanctity of life and how Orthodox teens respond to related issues, such as abortion, stem cell research and euthanasia.