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Are You a Descendant of New York City’s “Little Syria” Community?

If you, your parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents once lived in Little Syria on Manhattan's Lower West Side, the Arab American National Museum is interested in connecting with you! As part of their effort to tell the story of the "Life and Legacy" of the neighborhood, the museum is collecting photos and stories about those who lived there, and their descendants.

You can send high resolution (at least 600 dpi) photos of Little Syria residents and descendants to Elizabeth Chilton at echilton@accesscommunity.org. Please include the names of the people in each photo, their connection to Little Syria, and any stories you would like to share about them.

Some of the photos and stories may be added to the museum's Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community's Life and Legacy exhibition which opens at Ellis Island on October 1, 2016. 

Thank you!

Bishop Thomas Ordains Dn. David Jacobs to Holy Priesthood

Deacon Evangelos Prieston writes:

In 2016, the parish community of St. Mary in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, did not have the usual amount of time to prepare for the annual visit of our shepherd, Bishop Thomas. It has become somewhat of a tradition that Bishop Thomas conduct his visit with us over the weekend before Thanksgiving. However, in late May our pastor Fr. Theodore Pulcini received word from the Archdiocese that one of our deacons, Dn. David Jacobs, had been approved for ordination to the Holy Priesthood to fill a pastoral vacancy in our diocese. It just so happened that because Bishop Thomas was not scheduled for a parish visit over the weekend of June 25-26, he arranged to come to Chambersburg then to ordain the new priest.

Accompanied by Subdeacon Todd Mokhiber , the manager of the AV Bookstore, Bishop Thomas arrived at the church on Saturday afternoon, where he was met by Fr. Ted, who helped him and the subdeacon to set up for the next day's hierarchical liturgy.

Need for Charity after West Virginia Flooding

Fr. Christopher Eid, Dean of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Charleston, West Virginia, writes:

Your Eminence, Yours Graces, Reverend Clergy and Esteemed faithful,

Master bless,

Greetings to you all and your families in the name of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ; I pray you all had a blessed feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

The entire state of West Virginia has undergone, recently, heavy rain which caused a deadly and devastating flood. Most of the counties in the State of West Virginia were severely affected by this flood disaster. At least eight counties are eligible to receive federal assistance by FEMA. Roads, houses, farms, businesses, malls and schools were, if not destroyed, at least damaged by water, sewage or mud. Many of the infrastructure is no longer qualified to be reoccupied or repairs will cost more than clean up and rebuild. Many of these areas lost power and drinking water. In addition to that sad situation, it was reported that in some areas there were looting incidents. To say the least it is an extremely sad and difficult situation.

Some newscasts report that the state is back in business after the rain has seceded. That is far from the truth. Large numbers of lives have not gone back to anything close to normal and may never go back to what was normal. Roads are not passable. Houses are not on even ground anymore. Cars destroyed. Trees have been uprooted and electrical wires destroyed. Supermarkets are no more. Water is not available for drinking or washing.

OYPC 2016: Antiochian Young Adult Ministry Hosts Second National Conference on August 18-21

The Orthodox Young Professionals Conference is a four day conference hosted by the Young Adult Ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Young Orthodox Christians from across the country and all jurisdictions are invited to join together in fellowship and fun. The conference committee has been working since 2015 to plan an amazing opportunity for spiritual growth, future friendships, lasting memories and more. The gathering will be held in New Orleans at the Drury Inn and Suites, from August 18-21, 2016.

What is a Young Professional?
A young adult who is beyond the college years navigating through the daily struggles of life as an Orthodox Christian in their mid-twenties through thirties. You are a Young Professional if you want to:

-Grow Spiritually
-Meet other young Orthodox Christians
-Learn practical ways to connect your daily work with Christ and His Church
-Explore your vocation, or
-Find Inspiration from the witness of speakers and other young adults

Visit the Conference website

Antiochian Priest to Speak at 2016 March for Marriage

Father John Oliver, pastor of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church (Antiochian Archdiocese) in Murfreesboro, TN, has been invited by the National Organization for Marriage to speak at the 2016 March for Marriage. The March will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The peaceful demonstration—convened to express support for traditional marriage and family—will begin at the Capitol Grounds at 11:30 a.m. and end before the U.S. Supreme Court building. In 2015, the March's inaugural year, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph released a letter encouraging the faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America to attend the March.

Postscript: Read Fr. John Oliver's remarks

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Gregory Heers

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

Memory Eternal! Fr. Gregory Heers, retired in Simpsonville, South Carolina, fell asleep in Christ on June 12, 2016. May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life.

Now Available! 2016 Christian Education Materials and Order Form, and 2016 Liturgical Books Order Form

The 2016 Christian Education Materials and Order Form (PDF) is now available! Download and use this new form to order materials for your parish programs. Shipping options are available. Call for more information.
 
Also, the 2016 Liturgical Books Order Form is now available! The Antiochian Village Bookstore now carries all of the titles formerly stocked at the Archdiocese. Here is the 2016 Order Form, including special Services and English/Arabic Service books.  Fax or email the form to the AV Bookstore, or call with your order! Note that Shipping options are now available. Credit cards are also accepted!
 
Visit the Antiochian Village Bookstore and Gift Shop for gift ideas for Church School and home.
Phone: 724-238-3677 x406
Fax: 724-238-2102
bookstore2@antiochianvillage.org

Summer Specials from Antiochian Village Bookstore

It's time to shop for summer resources from the Antiochian Village Bookstore! For kids, there are the new Magic Cubes that fold and unfold to tell the Story of Creation and Life of St. Nicholas. Great for car rides, playing inside or Church School! And there is a new Prayer Book for even the youngest of the faithful.

It’s also time to enjoy summer reading! New books for youngsters, young adults, and young at heart! A good read for young people is a new book about the life and work of Nikola Tesla. The new “it” car is named after this inventor and scientist who was the son of a priest. Emmy winner Jonathan Jackson has written about using creative gifts that always glorify God, even in and especially in “the world.” For those who love gardens, Vigen Guroian presents the great biblical themes of the granduer of God's creation, the senses as "paths" to experiencing God, and the garden as a place of birth, death, and renewal. And Abbot Tryphon offers daily messages to start and keep one mindful of God…even on vacation!

Check out the flyer! Click on the images, and they will take you directly to the Bookstore!

Visit the Antiochian Village Bookstore   

Ancient Faith Radio Special Features Podcasts on Antiochian Saints

Five talks on Antiochian saints were given at the Annual Conference of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. Held at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire, UK, from May 23-25, 2016, the Conference featured the theme, "Lights from Antioch," and was recorded for Ancient Faith Radio. The saints featured are: Hieromartyr and God-bearer, Ignatios of Antioch, St. John Chrysostom, St. Ephrem the Syrian, St. John of Damascus, and St. Raphael of Brooklyn.

Listen to Lights from Antioch

Important Information Concerning Registration for the 2016 Summer Sacred Music Institute and Youth Music Ministry

We have had an extraordinary response for the Sacred Music Institute this year. Antiochian Village is nearing maximum capacity for lodging and is in the process of arranging off-property lodging (which will include shuttles to and from the Village).

Registration, as a result, has been put on hold. To be put on a waiting list please e-mail Paul Jabara at sacredmusic@antiochian.org. You will then be contacted via email once registration reopens. Thank you for your patience and understanding and please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

To accommodate this inconvenience, the early bird deadline has been further extended to July 2.

Please rest assured that there will be enough rooms to accommodate everyone.

Fr. Meletios Marx Ordained to Holy Priesthood

Fr. Meletios MarxHis Grace Bishop Basil writes:

AXIOS! Fr. Meletios Marx of St. Joseph Church in Houston, Texas was ordained to the holy priesthood at St. Joseph Church this past Sunday, May 29th, 2016, and is assigned second priest at that parish. He is currently serving his "Week of Liturgies" at St. Joseph Church.

St. George Cathedral Seeks Youth Director/Pastoral Assistant

Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

Thanks be to God for all things! Due to the many blessings from the Lord and the continued growth He is granting, Saint George Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida, announces a new full-time position, "Youth Director / Pastoral Assistant," beginning this summer 2016. Resumes may be emailed by June 3rd to the Cathedral Office at Office@StGMiami.org. Qualifications for this position are below the signature. Compensation includes a decent salary, health insurance, and other benefits. May the Lord grant you all many years!

Yours in Christ,
V. Rev. Fr. Fouad Saba, Cathedral Dean 
Chris Farha, Cathedral Council Chairman

Qualifications for the Full-Time position of Youth Director / Pastoral Assistant at Saint George Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida:

Fordham University Announces New Book Series: Christian Arabic Texts in Translation

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University is proud to announce its latest initiative: the new book series Christian Arabic Texts in Translation (CATT).

Editor: Stephen J. Davis, Yale University

Advisory Board:

Jimmy Daccache, Yale University (formerly of CNRS, Paris)

Mark Swanson, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Alexander Treiger, Dalhousie University 

The goal of this new series is to provide a forum for making the Christian Arabic literary heritage more widely available in the English-speaking world.

St. Anthony the Great in Florida Celebrates a Consecration, Ordination, and Elevation

By Deborah Thieme

On May 7, 2016, St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Melbourne, Florida celebrated a Consecration, Ordination, and Elevation. The consecration of a church is a once in a lifetime event for a parish. It was especially eventful for this struggling mission parish, which had been meeting in various rented facilities for its 15-year existence. 

As a convert who only just celebrated my first Pascha as an Orthodox Christian this year, I beheld these events with wide-eyed wonder, and what follows is my feeble attempt to share this wonderful story with you.

But first, you should know how the story almost never came to be…

Memory Eternal! + Adele Helen Abraham

Adele Helen Kaleel Abraham, age 95, fell asleep peacefully in the Lord at her home on Thursday May 19, 2016. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 66 years, Abe, her parents Nicholas and Shafica Kaleel, sisters Mabel and Regina Kanag (George), brothers Naseeb (Elsie), Ernest (Laurece), and George, brothers-in-law Wade Abraham (Margaret), James Abraham (Georgette) and Dr. Thomas Bander.  Adele is survived by her four loving children Alan (Debbie), Cheryl (Sam) Barkett, Carol (Peter) Assaly, Kaye (Mike) Powell, ten very special grand-children Kristen (Fadi) Baradihi, Philip (Mindy) Abraham, Jeffrey (Nicole) Abraham, Brittany Abraham, Lauren Barkett, David (Kate) Barkett, Allison Assaly, Meredith Assaly, Melissa Powell and Rick Powell, nine great-grandchildren who she cherished Maya, Natalie, Alexa, Lea, Allie, Elise, Mark, Rita and Sammy, brother Thomas (Eva) Kaleel, sister-in-law Dolores Bander and many godchildren, nieces and nephews.

Adele was born in Spring Valley, Illinois on February 23, 1921. She graduated from Hall High School. Adele proudly worked for Westclox, a company that during World War II converted from making clocks to grenades to support the war effort. In 1947, Adele married the love of her life, Abe and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Adele embraced her role as a wife and mother; she loved being involved in her children’s school activities. She served as a Girl Scout troop leader and as PTA President.

Metropolitan Joseph Celebrates Liturgy at Balamand Monastery

On Sunday May 15, 2016, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided over a Divine Liturgy in Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery in Lebanon. Also present was His Eminence Metropolitan Antonio Chedraoui Tannous, Archbishop of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean. 

Saint Katherine College is Awarded Regional Accreditation

Saint Katherine College(SKC), an Orthodox institution of higher learning in San Marcos, CA, has been awarded regional accreditation by WASCUC (WASC Senior College and University Commission). This represents the highest standard of accreditation in the United States. The WASCUC Commissioners commended the College for its outstanding interdisciplinary curriculum, focus on student-centered teaching and learning (9:1 student faculty ratio), and integration of faith and learning.

SKC is the first Orthodox Christian institution of higher education to earn regional accreditation in over 50 years, and is the only undergraduate Orthodox Christian institution of liberal arts and sciences in the nation.

Holy Trinity Seminary Press Releases Major Contribution to Middle Eastern Christian Studies

A comprehensive study of the history of the Orthodox Churches under Ottoman rule is now available. Arab Orthodox Christians under the Ottomans: 1516-1831 focuses on the middle period of the Ottoman Empire spanning the years from the Ottoman conquest of Syria in 1516 to the Egyptian invasion of 1831. It offers a vivid and compelling account of a vital but still little known and frequently misunderstood spiritual and political culture. The book is illustrated with full color pictures and maps. A glossary of terms is also provided.

The new English language edition is complemented by a Foreword from His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and all the East. He writes:

The Church of Antioch has faced many challenges throughout its two thousand year history, but through such hardship firm and unshakeable faith in the Lord is produced. As much as this was the case in the past it is true today, when our Antiochian people in the Middle East are enduring countless trials that cause some to even call into question their continued existence in the land of their ancestors.

Blessed Name's Day to Metropolitan Joseph!

We extend our prayers and love to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph on the occasion of his Name's Day on April 30, 2017 (St. Joseph of Arimathea, Second Sunday after Pascha). May God grant him many years!

Learn more about Joseph of Arimathea
Read about Metropolitan Joseph

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Theodore Mikovich

On May 5th, 2016 the Very Rev. Archpriest Theodore J. Mikovich, formerly of St. Paul Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, reposed in the Lord. May his memory be eternal!

From the St. Paul Church website:

The Very Rev. Archpriest Theodore J. Mikovich (affectionately known as “Fr. Ted”) was born on September 18, 1945, to Orthodox parents, John and Anna (Goida) Mikovich in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, with two sisters, Helen (Berezniak) and Dorothy (Macenka). He was baptized by the Rev. John Zeliniak in St. John’s American Russian Orthodox Church (American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese) in Nesquehoning. It was in this church that as a young boy he served as an acolyte. It was also at St. John’s that he began a life long career in teaching when he became a student religious education teacher. There he received the Boy Scouts of America “God and Country” Award, known in the Orthodox Church as the Alpha Omega Award.

Becoming Truly Human Webinar Update: Second Session is May 18

Webinar link

Christ is risen! Last week's webinar about the Becoming Truly Human program presented some technical difficulties for some who wished to watch, so we decided to move the hosting of our webinar for May 18th at 1 PM Eastern to a new software company. 

The webinar works in all browsers and also works on all smartphones. If you use a desktop computer, such as PC or Mac, you will be prompted to install a small plugin to view the webinar. No registration is required, to make it easier on our viewers.

Also, we will be joined by Nathan Jacobs, who was not on the previous webinar because he was in the middle of filming the new feature film on the Orthodox Church. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and we acknowledge with gratitude the guidance of our Metropolitan in this fruitful ministry.

Announcing the 2016 Western Rite Vicariate Conference

August 9 -12, 2016 
St. Patrick Orthodox Church,
 Bealeton, Virginia
westernriteconference2016.wordpress.com

Registration Form (PDF)
Hotel Information (PDF)

The biennial conference of the Western Rite Vicariate will be held Tuesday, August 9 through Friday, August 12, 2016 at St. Patrick Orthodox Church in Bealeton, Virginia.

The theme for this year's conference will be based on these words from the Canon of the Mass:

"Remember, O Lord, ... all here present, whose faith and devotion are known and manifest unto thee: for whom we offer, or who them­selves offer to thee, this sacrifice of praise."

Presentations will focus on participating in and assisting at the Mass.

Bishop John (Abdalah), Vicar Bishop for the Western Rite Vicariate, will preside at all liturgical services, and will be one of the presenters. He will also address the clergy and laity on various Vicariate matters. Other presenters will include the V. Rev. Michael Keiser, the V. Rev. John Mangels, the V. Rev. John W. Fenton, and V. Rev. Edward Hughes, Vicar General for the Vicariate.

Photos from Metropolitan Joseph's Pascha Celebration

On April 30 and May 1, 2016, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided over the Paschal Services at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. Concelebrating with him were Cathedral Dean, the Very Rev. Thomas Zain; the Rev. Adrian Budica; and Deacon Andre El Hajj.

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Mary Ellen Braun

Memory Eternal! Khouria Mary Ellen Braun
September 8, 1931—April 29, 2016 (Holy Friday)

Mary Ellen was born to Ernest and Mabel Risell on September 8, 1931 in Turlock, CA, the second of four children. After graduating from Turlock High School in 1949, she attended Modesto Junior College and then San Jose State University, from which she graduated in 1953 with a degree in Elementary Education.

In 1951 Mary Ellen met her future husband, the Very Reverend Jon Braun, at Mt. Herman Christian Conference Center, located in the Santa Cruz mountains, where they were both on the summer staff. They were married in 1953 in San Jose, CA. From 1954 to 1970, they labored together in Christian youth ministry in Pasadena, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Lake Arrowhead, CA and Leavenworth, WA as a result of their strong commitment to Christian service.

Metropolitan Joseph Offers Prayers After Tragic Cathedral Fire

Interior of St. Sava Cathedral after fireInterior of St. Sava Cathedral after fireChrist is Risen!

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, along with the bishops, clergy, Archdiocese Board of Trustees, and faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, share our prayers and love with His Grace Bishop Mitrophan and all the faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese as they deal with the tragedy of the fire that destroyed St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City. As we just finished celebrating the Holy Fire of the empty tomb of our risen Lord and Savior, a different, terrible fire was destroying this historic cathedral in Manhattan. May our risen Lord and Savior grant peace and healing to the Cathedral community as they move forward and begin anew.

For more information, visit the St. Sava Cathedral website.