News


Mother Alexandra Interviewed on Come Receive the Light

Recently, Mother Alexandra was interviewed by Come Receive the Light about her pilgrimage to Syria and Lebanon.  That interview, which also includes thoughts on monasticism and the spiritual life, is now available.

Click here to listen.

Memory Eternal! + Kh. Cynthia Scott

Kouria Cynthia Scott died of cancer at age 68 at her home in Wainfleet on Saturday, February 26. She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Fr. David Scott, pastor of St. Ignatius Mission, St. Catherine's, Ontario; by her son Raymond of Mindemoya and daughter Sarah MacGregor of Barrie; by her grandchildren William, James and Marjorie Scott, and Megan and Alexander MacGregor; by her sisters Joyce Ireland of Ottawa and Joan Patten of Wellesley Hills, MA; and by other nieces, nephews and cousins.

Cynthia taught English at North Toronto Collegiate, Noranda High, Sudbury Ecole Secondaire, and St. Catharines Grantham High, and Special Education at Eden High School. She received a Volunteer Recognition award from the City of St. Catharines in 2004. She was a Member of St. Ignatius of Antioch Orthodox Church in St. Catharines.

Visitation will be at Davidson Funeral Home, 135 Clarence St., Port Colborne, ON, Tuesday, March 1, 7:00-9:00 PM; Wed., March 2, 2:00-4:00 and 7:00-9:00 PM with Trisagion Prayers at 7:00 PM. The funeral service will be at Saints Cyril & Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church, 14 Rolls (Niagara & QEW), St. Catharines, Thu., March 3, 11:00 AM, followed by interment at Morgan’s Point Cemetery, Wainfleet.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Ignatius of Antioch Orthodox Church or to the Inter-Church Food Bank of Port Colborne & District or to the charity of your choice.

Memory Eternal! + Archimandrite Elias (Morcos)

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

MEMORY ETERNAL!  Your prayers are requested for the repose of Archimandrite Elias (Morcos) who reposed on February 23rd, 2011.  Father Elias - founder, retired abbot, and spiritual father of the Monastery of the Holy Greatmartyr George in the village of Deir el-Harf, Lebanon - was one of a mere handful of persons who inaugurated the renaissance of authentic monasticism throughout the Patriarchate of Antioch beginning in the 1940s.

Father Elias translated into Arabic many books on the spiritual life, including The Ladder of St John Climacos, The Triads of St. Gregory Palamas, and The Fundamentals of the Spiritual Life, and he authored several soul-profiting works such as Christian Worship, In Order to Understand the Liturgy and to Live It, and Thoughts on the Bible, and others.

May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life!

Diocese of Miami Teen SOYO Launches Web Site

Teen SOYO of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast has launched a new web site, www.miamisoyo.com. The new site features listings of projects and events, picture gelleries, a blog, resources for the Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals and more!

Western Rite Featured on OCN

The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) recently featured several Antiochian priests in a new installment in their "Special Moments In Orthodoxy" podcast series. "What is Western Rite Orthodoxy and where did it come from?" asks OCN's website. "To learn more please join Fr. Chris and Emmy for this episode of Special Moments in Orthodoxy as they welcome Archpriest Fr. Paul Schneirla, Vicar-General of the Western Rite in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and Fr. Michael Keiser, author of The Children of the Promise: Introduction to Western Rite Orthodoxy to the program, as they will discuss the differences and similarities between Western Rite Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy." The full episode is available here.

Memory Eternal! + Benny R. Homsey

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

MEMORY ETERNAL! Benny R. Homsey, 91 of St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City, OK, a senior honorary member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, reposed this past Sunday, February 20th.  Trisagion Prayers of Mercy were held on the evening of February 22nd. The Funeral is scheduled for February 23rd.  Condolences may be sent to his wife Dolores and the Homsey family c/o stelijah@stelijahokc.com. May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life.

Ancient Faith Radio Announces Survey Results

Bobby Maddex, AFR Operations ManagerBobby Maddex, AFR Operations ManagerAncient Faith Radio Operations Manager Bobby Maddex, reports on results from their recent listener survey: 

Thanks so much for participating in the 2011 Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) listener survey. We had a record number of respondents and learned so much about who you are and how you use our radio station. For example, we discovered that a sizable portion of our listening audience (11.1%) is comprised of Orthodox inquirers. We learned that most of you (52.4%) listen to AFR for our podcasts, and that in addition to our beloved daily features—The Path, Saint of the Day, and Coffee Cup Commentaries—the most popular of these programs are Speaking the Truth in Love, The Illumined Heart, At the Intersection of East and West, Frederica Here and Now, and The Names of Jesus. And we discovered that most of you (56.1%) initially heard about the station from either a friend or a search engine. Here are a few of the other things we learned (top answers only):

What is your Orthodox jurisdiction?

Antiochian 31.0%

OCA 24.3%

Greek 20.1%

ROCOR 6.1%

Russian 5.4%

Marriage Enrichment Weekend at Antiochian Village

Department of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries Director Kh. Maggie Hock encourages couples to enjoy a weekend away at Antiochian Village on February 18-20, attending the retreat "Crowned with Glory and Honor." Retreat leaders Fr. Don and Kh. Maggie have been married for thirty-eight years, have five children and six grandchildren, and will be focusing on romance, expectations in the marriage relationship, and building intimacy. Participants will fellowship with other Orthodox couples and learn more about the Church's teaching about the ingredients of a healthy marriage. Go here for information and to register.

St. Vladimir's Seminary Summer Programs Announced

[SVOTS Communications/Yonkers, NY] Besides its annual offering of an Iconography Workshop and the Diaconal Liturgical Practicum, St. Vladimir’s Seminary is adding to its June 2011 summer programs two specialized workshops: one addressing Internet pornography and one examining missiology. Additionally, it will host a major conference, “Women Disciples of the Lord,” which is open to women and men. The seminary invites participants to explore all of its upcoming summer programs:

June 7-8: Missiology and Evangelism Workshop: outreach to people of African heritage and Spanish-speaking cultures; led by Fr. Moses Berry of St. Louis, Missouri, and Fr. Antonio Perdomo of Pharr, Texas.

June 9-11: Workshop on Internet Pornography and Chastity: a dual focus workshop for pastors, youth ministers, and educators, concerning 1) pastoral counseling for adults with Internet pornography problems; and 2) chastity for youth and young adults; led by Dr. Albert Rossi.

June 17-19: Women Disciples of the Lord: an exploration of the potential ministries of Orthodox Christian women within the home, the parish, the workplace, and society to build up Christ’s Church. Co-coordinators, Tanya Penkrat, tpenkrat@svots.edu, and Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff, pcb@svots.edu, are inviting feedback to help shape the conference.

June 19-23: 5th Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum: practical liturgical training for deacons and lay diaconal candidates, supported by celebration of liturgical services and intensive workshops; led by Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov, Fr. Sergius Halvorsen, and seminary faculty.

First American Orthodox Historical Symposium to be Held at Princeton University

The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA) is pleased to announce:

Pilgrims and Pioneers
The Growth of Orthodox Christianity in 20th Century America

Friday, September 30 – Saturday, October 1, 2011
Princeton Theological Seminary

Click here for more information or to register

This symposium will examine some of the people and movements that contributed to the growth of Orthodox Christianity in 20th century America. We will pay special attention to the role of missionaries, immigration and conversion, the emergence of Orthodox theological scholarship in English, and Orthodox engagement in American civic and political life.

Interested scholars and members of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA) are invited to submit abstracts of papers related to the symposium’s theme(s), which will also be considered for publication in the symposium’s proceedings. Abstracts should be submitted via e-mail to Fr. Oliver Herbel no later than June 1, 2011. All abstracts will be reviewed by a committee comprised of leadership from the symposium’s co-sponsors.

The event is co-sponsored by the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA), the School of Christian Vocation and Mission at Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Fr. Georges Florovsky Orthodox Christian Theological Society at Princeton University.

Featured Lecturers

Support the Antiochian Village through the Department of Planning

“…And we may know the depth of the valley only when we look at it from the peak of the mountain.”

-Metropolitan Philip Saliba

Currently the Department of Planning and Development is focusing on the Holy Mountain of the Antiochian Village. Examples of projects in need of support at the Village include an infirmary, the Convent of St. Thekla, the Cultural Center, church expansion, an arts and crafts building and sponsorship for needy children and college students.

We are striving to accomplish the dreams of Metropolitan Philip and his visions of the growing needs of our North American Archdiocese.  More than ever, we need to build and protect our future, to ensure our children’s ability to express their faith and live a spiritual life.

This informational pamphlet will give you an insight in the work we are trying to accomplish.  You may email us directly at planninganddevelopment@antiochian.org to receive our personalized package or you may choose to print and fill out the Donor Card and mail it directly with your donation to the address indicated.

Through your participation and generosity, we will go forth, build and be strong for all generations to come. 

“To those who much has been given, much is required.”  Luke 12:48

Spring 2011 Conference on Orthodox Schools + Wichita, KS

Update: Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances this event has been cancelled.

Memory Eternal! + Shamseh Dalack

The handmaiden of God Shamseh Dalack departed this life in the early hours of the morning of February 3, 2011 following a prolonged illness. Shamseh was a Dame Commander of the Order of St. Ignatius and was one of the founding officers of Antiochian Women, as well as the wife of Archdiocesan Trustee Dr. John Dalack and mother of Dr. Gregory Dalack and Khouriya Laila Ellias of St. Mary Church in Brooklyn, NY.

May her memory be eternal!

The viewing will be held at McLaughlin's Funeral Home on Third Avenue and 97th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Sunday Feb. 6, 2011. The funeral will be at 10:00 AM on Monday Feb. 7, 2011 at St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church located at 192 81st Street in Brooklyn, NY.

2011 Special Olympics Coach Applications Now Available

Application forms for volunteer coaches at the 2011 NAC SOYO Special Olympics are now available. Members of Teen SOYO between 16 and 19 years of age may apply to serve as coaches at this year’s camp. The Special Olympics will be held from August 12-20, 2011 at Antiochian Village. The deadline for completed application forms is April 1, 2011.

Click here to download the Special Olympics Volunteer Coach Application Form (PDF).

For more information, applicants may contact Fr. Anthony Yazge at franthony@antiochianvillage.org.

NYC Premiere of St. Matthew Passion, February 7

YONKERS, NY [SVOTS] -- Tickets to the English-language US premier of the St. Matthew Passion -- a concert of sacred music by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion [Alfeyev], renowned Russian Orthodox composer and churchman -- are on sale on the web site of St. Vladimir's Seminary HERE.

The performance will be held at the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle, 405 West 59th Street, New York, NY at 7:30 p.m. on February 7, 2011. Proceeds from ticket sales will be used to benefit the seminary.

Performers include the Salomé Chamber Orchestra; famed soloists soprano Mary Mackenzie, mezzo-soprano Ana Mihanovic, tenor Blake Friedman, and bass Aaron Theno; and the New York Virtuoso Singers prepared by Harold Rosenbaum. The principal baritone part of the "Evangelist" will be sung by Protodeacon Vadim Gan. As a prelude to the season of Great Lent, the composition will convey the Gospel account -- using scriptural texts interspersed with texts of the liturgical services of the Orthodox Church that are normally sung during Holy Week --in the forms of music recitative, choruses, fugues, and arias. Additional details may be found on the OCA web site.

The composer, Metropolitan Hilarion, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department of External Church Relations and a member of the seminary’s Board of Trustees, will be present at the premiere.

Further information may be obtained by contacting events@svots.edu or 914-961-8313 X323.

Winter 2010-2011 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2010-2011 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue features the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and contains:

  • A Message from Fr. Daniel Daly, Spiritual Advisor for Midwest Antiochian Women
  • Midwest women sell baby bibs to raise funds for Convent of St. Thekla
  • Mother Abbess Alexandra spoke at Midwest Antiochian Women’s annual retreat
  • Rejoice in Theophany from Orthodox Way of Life blog

Click here to download (PDF)!

Opening of the Doors at Holy Resurrection Church + Tucson, AZ

On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 1-2, 2011, His Grace Bishop Joseph visited the newly-constructed temple of Holy Resurrection Church in Tucson, Arizona. Following the service for the opening of the doors of the temple, His Grace celebrated a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation. His Grace remained in Tucson on Wednesday to meet with the faithful and the parish council of Holy Resurrection.

Click here to view more photos of Bishop Joseph's visit and of Holy Resurrection's new church building on the Diocese of Los Angeles web site.

CrossRoad Summer Institute Accepting Applications from High School Juniors and Seniors

Brookline, MA - High school juniors and seniors, before you decide what to do with the rest of your life, decide what to do with your summer! The Office of Vocation & Ministry (OVM) at Hellenic College is now accepting applications from high school juniors and seniors for its CrossRoad summer institute. Orthodox Christian students from the United States and Canada are invited to take part in an exciting summer vocations exploration program designed to help them discern their life callings and match their God-given gifts with the needs of the world. Each accepted applicant receives a full scholarship and is only responsible for travel costs to/from Boston.

Now in its eighth year, CrossRoad combines the greatest gifts of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (HC/HC) through faculty instruction and participation, an enthusiastic staff of graduate students, the beautiful campus overlooking Boston and of course the exciting city of Boston itself. Students participate in daily classes with Orthodox faculty from HC/HC and other institutions, and attend Vespers each evening at neighboring parishes in the Boston area. To accommodate the overwhelming interest, CrossRoad runs two sessions of 30 students each. This year’s sessions are June 18-28 and July 5-15, 2011.

OCMC Launches New Hunger Strike Program for Youth

By Carolyn Kouracos

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

Hunger Strike is a new youth ministry of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC). Launched this year on a national level, Hunger Strike is already becoming a growing youth movement. Started at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine, CA three years ago, this vibrant ministry has already raised more than $10,000 and has Orthodox Christian teens striving to make a difference in the world by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and giving to those in need.

Hunger Strike is coordinated by local parishes, where teens fast for 30 hours while they participate in activities which raise both awareness and money for the needs of those throughout the world who suffer the effects of poverty and who hunger for the hope found in Christ.

"Souper Bowl of Caring" Sunday is February 5

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) 

Dear Reverend Fathers, Youth Leaders, and Church School Directors, 

Souper Bowl Sunday 2012 is coming! Team up with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and SOYO in our 14th annual Souper Bowl of Caring. Rally your parish and church youth to champion this social service ministry by feeding the poor and caring for those in need around the world. 

It's easy! Just follow the simple guidelines to lead your youth towards recognition as Souper Bowl MVPs! Your youth can collect donations on or near February 5, 2012 and direct the collected donations to IOCC or a local charity of their choosing. 

Let's carry the excitement of Super Bowl Sunday into the homes and lives of people in need throughout the world: $200 collected from your parish youth can provide a refugee with vocational training; $100 can help provide a child in a developing nation with a much needed wheelchair or help bring books to inner city schoolchildren across the United States.  It's a simple but significant act that reminds us what is truly important. Your parish youth have the power to make a positive difference. Join hundreds of other Orthodox Christian parishes around the country participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring as an opportunity to demonstrate your concern for the hungry. 

IOCC Names Michael Homsey New Board Chairman

February 1, 2011

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — Oklahoma City attorney Michael S. "Mickey" Homsey was named as the new chairman of the Board of Directors for International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), a humanitarian relief and development organization of Orthodox Christians based in Baltimore, Maryland. Homsey succeeds Alex Machaskee who served two two-year terms as the chairman of the board, the maximum allowed by the organization's charter.

"The IOCC Board, staff and volunteers have shown an extraordinary dedication in their response to people in times of need and to addressing human suffering and poverty in more than 30 countries over the past twenty years," said Homsey. "I am honored to have been elected as the new chairman and look forward to the opportunity to build on Alex Machaskee's leadership as we look to expand our work in service to the poor."

Under Machaskee's leadership IOCC expanded operations in Africa, including new programs in Cameroon where he recently visited to observe a growing initiative to provide educational opportunities for public school children. IOCC programs also continued in southeastern Europe where Machaskee led an effort to fund vital education and agriculture projects in Kosovo. During his tenure, IOCC also expanded services to disabled children in Serbia and launched major programs with the Romanian Orthodox Church to strengthen their capacity to deliver social services.

Scout Sunday to be Observed on February 6

NEW YORK – goarch.org   Scout Sunday will be observed this year on February 6. It is always observed on the Sunday immediately preceding the 8th of February, unless the 8th falls on a Sunday.

The observance of Scout Sunday tradition was started years ago to make people in the Church aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out of what is pledged each week. The Scout Law says that a “Scout is Reverent” and the Scouts of all ages promise to do their “Duty to God." These values strengthen youth character in their family, community and faith.

In 1960, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas [SCOBA] created and endorsed the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting [EOCS] as part of their youth ministry. This was the first agency created by SCOBA.

The EOCS Executive Board encourages all Eastern Orthodox Churches to recognize and celebrate this Boy Scout Centennial even if their church does not sponsor a Scout unit.

Some Scout Sunday Ideas:

Camping Scholarship Applications Now Available

The Order of St. Ignatius Camping Scholarship Forms have been mailed to every parish of the Antiochian Archdiocese.  Each parish is provided the opportunity to assign $700 in camping scholarships to the young people of their respective parish.  The Order of St. Ignatius commits $175,000 annually to camp scholarships.  More than 700 young people received scholarships from the Order of St. Ignatius in 2010.  The scholarships may be used at any of the eight camping programs in the Antiochian Archdiocese.  For more information regarding the Order of St. Ignatius Camping Scholarships, please speak with your parish priest.

The Quiet Cradle Interview Features Antiochian Writer

Janice BidwellJanice BidwellAncient Faith Radio (AFR) podcast The Illumined Heart has released an interview with lifelong Antiochian Christian Janice Bidwell titled "The Quiet Cradle."   Asks host Kevin Allen in the podcast's description, "Are converts to Orthodox Christianity dominating the media with their 'journey stories' and 'fast-paced, high-energy' perspectives, while the more quiet, perhaps lumbering, but deeply-rooted faith of cradle-born Orthodox is obscured in the process? Are traditions and customs being introduced by some convert clergy and laity that feel new and even strange to those with deep Orthodox roots? Is there a growing 'cradle - convert gap' in the Orthodox Church in North America?"

Janice Bidwell attends St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church in La Jolla, California, an active and diverse parish in a suburb of San Diego. A blogger who writes under the name Prudence True, Janice is also a wife, homeschooling mother, and a professor of nursing at San Diego State University. As she explains in her interview with Kevin Allen, Bidwell began to write reflections about growing up Orthodox when she noticed that most of the writers on websites and blogs were converts to the faith. In pieces such as Beyond My Eyes, Janice began to explore the meaning of her heritage, passed from generation to generation in her family, and what it had been like to grow up Orthodox in the midst of an American culture dominated by other Christian traditions.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship Launches Strategic Development

Fishers, IN – January 26, 2011

Founded in 1960, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) supports fellowships on college campuses, whose members experience the Church and witness to Christ through community life, prayer, service to others and study of the Faith.  At a time when so many young people are separated from their Church, OCF transforms lives through its local chapters, programs and national conferences.  

OCF has grown tremendously over the past decade and now has over 300 college chapters in the United States and Canada.  A cadre of trained regional chaplains helps to further OCF’s ministry, which  sees students from throughout North America participating in service programs around the globe and graduates reinvigorating parish life here at home. 

As is appropriate for an organization at a pivotal time such as this, the OCF Board of Directors is taking a thoughtful look at its achievements, goals, and challenges in order to prepare a course for the future.  To do this, the Board and Staff of OCF feel it necessary to know what OCF means to some of those who have worked so hard to make OCF a reality, those who have been impacted by its efforts, and those students who are active in the ministry today. 

Over the next six months, OCF will study its reach, impact and effectiveness to determine future goals and objectives.  Brigham Nahas Research Associates (BNRA), an independent research firm based in Massachusetts, has been engaged to gather data and perspective, using both stakeholder interviews and a survey of students and alumni involved in OCF.