News


Fr. Joseph Purpura Releases 2011 Archdiocese Convention Youth Report

Fr. Joseph Purpura, the Antiochian Archdiocese Chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries, has released his Convention report for 2011 here.

He reminds Convention-goers that the “Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth” (OCCHY) booth in the vendor area of the Convention will be offering materials free of charge for parents, clergy, teachers, teens and young adults. Read about OCCHY here or visit the Coalition for Healthy Youth website here.

Antiochian SVS Trustees Attend Conference on Christian Witness in the Middle East

Anne Glynn-MacKoul, SVS Board ChairAnne Glynn-MacKoul, SVS Board Chair[SVOTS Communications/Yonkers, NY] —Two Antiochian trustees from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Board Chair Anne Glynn-Mackoul and The Rev. Dr. Philip LeMasters, recently attended an international conference titled “Christian Presence and Witness in the Middle East Today: Theological and Political Challenges." The conference was held June 19–23, 2011 in Volos, Greece at the invitation of the World Council of Churches and the Volos Theological Academy and was hosted by Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias. The thirty participants included theological scholars, social scientists, politicians, and church representatives, primarily from Orthodox churches in the Middle East but also including representatives from other Christian bodies in that region.

At the Volos conference, participants first examined the relevance and the different aspects of the “Kairos document” issued in December 2009 by Palestinian Christians from all church traditions. Second, they analyzed the socio-political challenges facing the Christians in the Middle East against the background of the recent uprisings in the Arab World. And finally, they listened to Christian witnesses from different parts of the region.

During his presentation, Fr. Philip, priest of the Orthodox Antiochian Archdiocese of North America and dean of Faculty of Social Sciences at McMurry University, spoke on "Orthodox Approaches to Non-violent Resistance." After first reviewing the roots of the conception in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, he turned to the martyrs and confessors who, with their non-violent resistance, confronted and refused to obey the secular powers’ demands that they abandon their faith.

House of Studies 2011 Registration Form & Schedule for Seminarian Track

The House of Studies has released the schedule and registration form for the Seminarian Track.

Download the Schedule.

Download the Registration Form.

Recent Ordinations and Elevations Posted

From The Word, May and June editions:

Ordained

SNOWDEN, Matthew, to the holy diaconate by Bishop Thomas, on February 20, 2011, at the Church of St. Ignatius, Antiochian Village. Dn. Matthew is completing his studies at St. Tikhon’s  Seminary and is currently assigned to the parish of St. Mary’s in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 

MATTHEWS, Dn. Stephen to the holy priesthood by Bishop Antoun May 8, 2011 at St. George, West Roxbury, MA. Fr. Stephen is completing his final year of seminary.

BUDICA, Dn. Adrian to the holy priesthood on May 22 at St. Nicholas Cathedral by Bishop Antoun. He is attached to the Cathedral.

KISHLER, Dn. Andrew to the holy priesthood on May 29 at St. George Church in Cicero, IL by Bishop Joseph. He is attached to All Saints Church, Chicago, IL.

Elevated

MASSOUH, Fr. Michael, to the dignity of Archpriest by Bishop Antoun, on February 20, 2011, St. Nicholas Church, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

ZITON, Fr. Elias, to the dignity of Archpriest by Bishop Joseph, on February 6, 2011, at St. George Church, Phoenix, Arizona. 

Creative Festival Entries Featured in Videos

Creative Festival Contest EntryCreative Festival Contest EntryThe Department of Christian Education and the Fellowship of St. John the Divine have co-sponsored video presentations of the photos, artwork, and words of the children in the Dioceses of Toledo, Ottawa and Los Angeles. Originally created for the Creative Festivals of 2010, these visual renderings vividly illustrate the year's theme, which was "The earth is the Lord's and its fullness, the world and all who dwell therein," Psalm 23. 

View all of these presentations on the Antiochian Archdiocese's Vimeo site.

 

2010 OCMC Annual Report Available Online

Dear Faithful Supporters and Friends of international Orthodox missions,

Greetings in Christ on this blessed Feast Day of the Twelve Apostles! We are pleased to announce that the 2010 OCMC Annual Report is now available online here.

We invite you to review this report so that you can know how your time, prayer and support has helped share the message of love, hope, and salvation with people around the world. Please prayerfully consider renewing your support for the ministries of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, so that we might continue to participate in the work begun by the Holy Apostles of making disciples of all nations.

Please know that you are in our prayers. On behalf of the OCMC staff, board, missionaries, and volunteers, we thank you for your continued prayers as well.

In Christ,

The Orthodox Christian Mission Center

Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch Announces Election of 12 New Auxiliary Bishops

Holy Synod of Antioch meetsHoly Synod of Antioch meetsA statement released by the Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch at the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand on June 23, 2011, announced that the Holy Synod of Antioch has elected 12 new Auxiliary Bishops. Its regular session convened on June 21, 2011, and subsequent statements were released announcing the elections. The translation of the official communique reads, in part:

After prayer and calling upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, especially because we are still in the atmosphere of Glorious Pentecost, and asking the blessing of Our Lady the Virgin, protectress of the monastery, the fathers of the Synod began discussion of the agenda covering various ecclesial, local, national, and ecumenical topics.

The fathers gave their attention to all the issues that concern the faithful from spiritual, pastoral, social, and national perspectives. Together they carefully studied pastoral needs in the home countries and the diaspora in order for the Church to have an effective presence in serving her children, paying heed to their needs and concerns.

Read the complete Arabic version on the Balamand website.

Read the statement in English translated by Notes on Arab Orthodoxy here.

New! Updated Orthodox Institute Page Features Interview and Letters

Just posted!

In anticipation of a particularly dynamic Orthodox Institute season, the Department of Christian Education and Director Carole Buleza invite you to browse the new features of the Orthodox Institute page. First, read Catherine Sullivan's new interview with Fr. Thomas Hopko about the importance of Scripture and the ministry of Christian Education. Then browse through the letters of Maria Khoury, as she describes her life in the Holy Land.

Antiochian Archdiocese of Mexico's Archbishop Appoints New Auxiliary

Archimandrite Ignacio and Archbishop AntonioArchimandrite Ignacio and Archbishop AntonioThe Antiochian Archdiocese of Mexico's website reports, "With the grace of God and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, to which His Eminence Archbishop Antonio Chedraoui is representing and taking part in our Archdiocese as a Reverend person protected by God, has appointed Reverend Archimandrite Ignatius Samaan to the episcopal dignity as auxiliary bishop, with the Archdiocese itself under the instruction of S. E. Archbishop Antonio Chedraoui.

Rev. Archimandrite Samaan Ignacio was born in 1975 in Damascus, Syria. In 1996, he studied a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Damascus, and later a degree in Theology from St. John of Damascus Institute, University of Balamand, Lebanon, in 2001. He was director of Sacred Music Byzantine Choir of the institution during the years 1997-2000. He also completed studies in the Department of Liturgy at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

He received the diaconate on December 20, 1999 by the hand of His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, the September 12, 2001, was ordained a priest, together with the appointment of Archimandrite. The same year he was appointed Episcopal Vicar of His Eminence, Metropolitan Anthony Chedraoui, Archbishop of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean, a role that he has played to date, besides being the Dean of the Cathedral of St. George City Mexico.

OCF Relocates to Hellenic College

Hellenic CollegeHellenic CollegeBROOKLINE, MA -- OCF is delighted to announce it has relocated to Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts. This partnership will result in exciting opportunities for Orthodox students across North America.

First on the agenda is creating semester exchange programs for Orthodox students interested in studying in an Orthodox environment. The rich tradition of Hellenic College and the excitement of its student body will provide OCF with greater capacity to reach OCF students.

More information about our relocation and future partnership possibilities with Hellenic College will be made available in the upcoming months.

Our new address is:

50 Goddard Avenue

Brookline, MA 02445

1-888-919-1OCF

IOCC Emergency Response Team Weathers Challenging Spring

IOCC frontliner Dn. Dan Gray with volunteers in AlabamaIOCC frontliner Dn. Dan Gray with volunteers in AlabamaBy Constantine M. Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO of IOCC

What would you do if you only had a few minutes warning before disaster struck? Gather your family? Grab your valuables? Or just find a safe place to take shelter? Those were the split second, life changing decisions that faced the tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri, Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Springfield, Massachusetts. The Spring of 2011 will go down in US history as one of the most devastating tornado seasons ever, and a sobering reminder that we must be ever vigilant and ever prepared.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has trained 60 Orthodox clergy and lay persons in the U.S. in disaster preparedness and emergency management. They now form the backbone of the Emergency Response Network and have the concrete skills needed to deal with communities and parishioners in times of crisis, such as the 2011 tornadoes that have killed more than 500 people and left thousands more homeless.

Memory Eternal! + Victor Mihalca

MEMORY ETERNAL! VICTOR MIHALCA fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, June 19th, at the age of 64. He is the father of Khouryieh Delia Haddad and the father-in-law of Fr. Mousa Haddad of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Alsip, IL. He is survived by his wife Terezia, his daughter Delia, and his grandchildren Anthony and Philip. May the Lord give rest to the soul of His servant Victor, and may his memory be eternal with all the Saints!

Condolences may be sent to the family at fr.mousa@gmail.com

+May his memory be eternal!

Memory Eternal! + Mother Christina Baz

Fr. Charles Baz, Pastor of St. John Orthodox Church, Levittown, New York, writes:

I have received the sad news of the falling asleep in the Lord of His handmaid, Mother Christina Baz, Abbess of the Patriarchal Convent of our Lady of Saidnaya in Syria. Not only was Mother Christina related to me (her mother and my grandfather were siblings), she was known to several people in our Archdiocese, to priests and bishops, to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, and to all who visited Saidnaya Monastery in the past. She reposed on All Saints Sunday, most fitting for a nun who lived the monastic life all her life, especially when we heard the Gospel on Sunday, the Lord Jesus saying: "And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundred-fold, and inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:29).

Among the Clergy Brotherhood in our Archdiocese, I am her only living relative.

+++ May her memory be eternal +++

And may God have mercy on us, Amen.

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.

Fr. Constantine Nasr Interviewed by Ancient Faith Radio

Ancient Faith Radio writes: "On a new Ancient Faith Presents, we interview the Very Reverend Constantine Nasr, priest at St. Elijah Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City and the author of the new Conciliar Press book Mastering the Art of Marriage: Staying Together When the World Pulls You Apart."

Click here to listen to Fr. Constantine!

Read the book's first chapter here.

Good Guys Wear Black Website Launched for Prospective Priests

June 1, 2011 – Today marks the launch of a unique new website in the Orthodox Christian world: Good Guys Wear Black.

“This is a vocations website,” says Fr. John A. Peck, the designer and maintainer of the site. “It is geared specifically for young men discerning a calling. There is almost no other information out there to help them discern, to show them how to think about such a vocation. Good Guys Wear Black fills that void.”

The site contains a multitude of challenging and provocative articles about the Holy Priesthood, pastoral work, front line challenges in parish ministry, and more. Information about the life, education, formation and struggles of taking on the Priesthood of Christ will be a regular feature. There are sections on each of the seminaries and theological schools which will hopefully expand with the cooperation of each school. A workbook for prospective theological students, to help them better discern their calling, will be available shortly.

Good Guys Wear Black is one of several websites built and maintained for general use by the Church by Fr. John A. Peck. Journey To Orthodoxy won last years “Best Domestic Site” award from the Eastern Christian Media awards, and Preachers Institute remains the world’s premier online Orthodox homiletics resource.

Media resources, graphic links, tiles and banners are also available here for inclusion on Orthodox blogs and websites. For more information, contact: Fr. John A. Peck at 928-777-8750 or frjohnpeck@yahoo.com.

IOCC Responds To Joplin And Heartland Tornadoes With Emergency Cleanup And Early Recovery

(photo: George Armstrong/FEMA)(photo: George Armstrong/FEMA)May 27, 2011

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — From Joplin, Missouri to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, International Orthodox Christian Charities, IOCC, is working to deliver relief items such as clean up buckets and blankets to victims of one of the deadliest tornado seasons to strike the U.S. heartland in half a century.

Joplin, Missouri was the hardest hit, with at least 125 people killed and hundreds more still unaccounted for after the deadliest single twister ever recorded leveled a six mile swath of the town last Sunday night. IOCC and partner agency, Church World Service, are working closely with local churches from the affected area to identify and meet immediate needs such as food and shelter, and services like laundry and property clean up.

Conciliar Media Offers Unique Catechism Program

Conciliar Media Ministries is offering, for the first time in the American Orthodox context, the highly regarded evangelism and catechism tool called The Way. An offspring of the British Alpha courses first pioneered in England, The Way is "the catechism and adult education program of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies based in the United Kingdom in Cambridge," says Conciliar's website. Billed as an "Introduction to the Orthodox Christian Faith," the course is a boxed set of 1 CD and 4 DVDs, consisting of 12 sessions which run for approximately the same number of weeks. Speakers in the series include Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Professor David Frost, Fr. Michael Harper, Miss Gladys Bland, Dr. Christine Mangala Frost, Fr. Raphael Armour, Fr. Demetrios Bathrellos, and Mr. John Bazlinton.

Important elements of the program include the provision of a community meal by the host parish, followed by the presentation of a DVD talk on a core aspect of Orthodox Christian belief. Open small group discussion follows, with a question and answer session hosted by a panel.

Explains Conciliar, "The course aims to present the basics of Orthodox Christian faith in an atmosphere of friendship, free exchange and trust, where no question or opinion is treated as unworthy of attention."

Listen as Bobby Maddex interviews  David and Mangala Frost of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS) about the new program.

Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday, May 29

In order to observe May 29 as Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday, Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry is encouraging parishes to visit the OCPM website for useful resources including a downloadable poster as well as inserts for parish bulletins, websites and newsletters.

The faithful are also requested to share their resources with OCPM by donating to prison ministry through a designated special offering within the parish after liturgy. A secure link to donate via PayPal is also available here.

Noted Author Speaks at Village Men's Retreat June 17-19

Bread & Water, Wine & Oil, by Fr. Meletios WebberBread & Water, Wine & Oil, by Fr. Meletios WebberAll men, single, married, and of all ages are welcome to join us for an Orthodox Men’s Retreat led by Fr. Meletios Webber. Antiochian Village will host this popular event, on the weekend of June 17-19.

Participants will enjoy a weekend of fellowship, learning, worship and relaxation (not to mention Chef Tim’s Fabulous Grilled Salmon cookout on Saturday evening!) with a schedule that is intentionally designed to provide a balance of all of these elements.

The atmosphere is casual and there will be free time to explore the woods, shoot some hoops, or even take in a round of golf at nearby Champion Lakes Golf Course.

Here’s what one of our guests had to say, “These retreats are a perfect mix of structure, content, connection, support, and enjoyment. They have a profound effect on participants; my personal experience included. Thank you for producing this and other retreats. They are life changing!!”

~ John, attendee at Men’s Retreat

Consider bringing your parish men’s group! Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

Download brochure and registration here.

Contact Barli Ross at Antiochian Village:

Phone: 724.238.3677 x425

Fax: 724.238.2102

E-mail:barli@antiochianvillage.org

Seven Antiochians Graduate from St. Vladimir's Seminary

Seven Antiochian students were among the 26 students who graduated from St. Vladimir's Seminary on May 21, 2011. diplomas were awarded in three programs: 1 Master of Theology, 20 Masters of Divinity, and 5 Masters of Arts degrees were conferred.

This year's seven Antiochian graduates were:

Master of Divinity Degree

  • Fr. Raphael Barberg
  • Fr. Jason Blais
  • Fr. Lucas Rice (cum laude)
  • Fr. Michael Sakran (cum laude)
  • Fr. Ignatius Warren (cum laude)
    Ecclesiology in Diaspora

Master of Arts (Theology) Degree

  • Maggie Rachelle Downham (cum laude)
    Teaching the Whole Child: An Examination of Education in Orthodox America

Master of Theology Degree

  • Fr. David Alexander
    Resiliency Through Morality: Augustinian Jus Ad Bellum and Its Relevance in “Operation Enduring Freedom”

To see more photos from the graduation and to read the Commencement Program booklet, please visit the St. Vladimir's Seminary website.

Memory Eternal! + George Anton Saba

George Anton Saba of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the father of Kh. Diana Saba of St. George Church in Cicero, Illinois, fell asleep in Christ this past Thursday, May 19, 2011.  The body will be flown to Palestine on Monday for burial. Condolences may be sent to Kh. Diana, and her husband, Fr. Fouad Saba, at frsaba@gmail.com.

May his memory be eternal!