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Summer 2016 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2016 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. The issue contains:

  • A message from President Dawn Evancho
  • For All The Saints by V. Rev. Stephen Rogers
  • Profiles of diocesan officers
  • Chapter reports, photos and happenings

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Memory Eternal! + Archpriest Fr. Boniface Black

His Grace Bishop Thomas writes:

Earlier today (August 7, 2016) the Archpriest Fr. Boniface Black reposed in the Lord. Father Boniface was the founding pastor of St. Philip Church in Souderton, PA, the Missions Coordinator for the Diocese of Charleston, pastor of St Andrew Church in Lewes, DE, and of the Eastern Shore Mission in Easton, MD.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the comfort of his family.

For more information, visit


At St. Andrew Church, 33384 Mackenzie Way, Lewes, DE 19958

Letters from Metropolitan Joseph Regarding Mr. Theodore Daoud

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph recently sent the following communications to Mr. Theodore Daoud:

July 25, 2016

Mr. Theodore Daoud

Dear Mr. Daoud,

Blessings and greetings to you in the name of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.

On March 11, 2016, we sent you a letter informing you of your immediate suspension from the active priesthood. The letter (attached) had specific information on our decision.

Our decision of your suspension was necessary for you in order to concentrate on your repentance and spiritual growth as a priest. However, instead of taking this decision as an opportunity for you to focus on your salvation, you continued to manipulate people including some parishioners of St. Mary Church, Hunt Valley, MD, by calling them and visiting them despite my strict directive to you to refrain from doing so. Furthermore, on July 24, 2016, you visited the Patriarchate of Jerusalem with which we are not in Communion and celebrated a Divine Liturgy at the monastery of St. Elias, Bethlehem, Palestine. Mr. Daoud, you knowingly and completely ignored the decisions of the Patriarchate of Antioch, our directives, and certain Apostolic Canons.

Therefore, after many prayers, reflections, and thoughts about your persistent disobedience, you leave us with no choice except to return you to the rank of the laity (i.e. you are laicized) effective immediately. We pray that you will be close to God and His Church, as you continue your life as a layperson in prayer and repentance.

Father George Shalhoub Offers Homily at Ecumenical Vigil Service

Feast of St. Anne
Ecumenical Vigil Service
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Monday, July 25, 2016
"Community in Communion": Homily offered by Fr. George H. Shalhoub 

Your Eminence Archbishop Vigneron, Your Graces, Brother Clergy and my beloved neighbors,

I wish to thank you on behalf of our Metropolitan Joseph and our local bishop, Bishop Anthony.

What an awesome moment as we come together at this Holy Cathedral, celebrating Vespers in honor of a special grandmother, wife, mother and aunt, St. Anne on the occasion when the Holy Church honors her memory.

West Virginia Flood Victims Express Gratitude to Metropolitan Joseph for Support During June Disaster

Flood victims in West Virginia have expressed their gratitude to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph for offering prayers and support in relief of wide-spread devastation to the state on June 23, 2016.

The V. Rev. Samuel Haddad of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Beckley addressed those assembled at the Archdiocesan Clergy Symposium this week to offer to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, His Grace Bishop Thomas, all of the hierarchs, and our clergy for their support for the suffering people in West Virginia who were devastated by the recent flood. Twenty six lives were lost and as many as 4,000 homes were catastrophically damaged; 2,000 homes were completely destroyed. The storm has been called a "once in 1,000 year meteorological event."

News from Our Youth: SOYO Members Record CD, Scholarships Awarded to Students

The V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, Department of Youth and Parish Ministry, notes that the 32 Teen SOYO members attending the Youth Music Institute at Antiochian Village from July 13–17 recorded many beautiful Orthodox hymns for their upcoming SOYO/SMI Music CD. The CD is a joint project of Teen SOYO and the Department of Sacred Music: watch this fall for more details!

In other youth news, the following young people were awarded a Francis Maria Scholarship in the amount of $2,500, on July 23, 2016 at the Archdiocese Convention Oratorical Festival in Bolivar Pennsylvania.

Basilica of St. Mary Hosts Diocese of Toledo PLC

By Fr. Joseph Abud and Fr. Andrew Kishler

The Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan, hosted the Diocese of Toledo’s annual Parish Life Conference, June 22–26, 2016.  We had an edifying, successful, and enjoyable conference this year, with over 800 registered attendees!  Our beloved Bishop Anthony continued to inspire us with his teaching, encouragement, and words of wisdom.  Many of our priests preached homilies and taught Bible studies, and of course our youth gave us much hope for the future of our church at the Bible Bowl, Oratorical Festival, and other events. 

Special thanks to the host priests Fr. George Shalhoub and Fr. Jim King, to the conference co-chairs Mr. Walid Matta and Mrs. Arwa Ansara, and their committee, whose tireless efforts, along with the loving and hospitable community of the Basilica of St. Mary, helped make this year’s Parish Life Conference a blessing for all who attended.

Archdiocesan Clergy Symposium Begins July 18

Every two years, the Antiochian House of Studies host a symposium for Orthodox bishops, priests, and deacons. This year, the Antiochian Clergy Symposium is being held at Antiochian Village from July 18-22, 2016.

Priests and deacons of the Antiochian Archdiocese, in addition to invited clergy and laity, attend lectures and forums relevant to the theory and practice of Orthodox ministry, rooted in the spiritual and historical roots of the Church.

Read about the 2014 Symposium

Memory Eternal! + Viola Ada Marizian

Viola Marizian, wife of Nicholas Sayegh, fell asleep in the Lord on July 7, 2016 in Montreal at the age of 75. Besides her husband, she is survived by her two children Mona and Mazen - Nicolas, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, relatives and friends.

The family will receive guests Wednesday July 13 for viewing at 11am at St. George Church in Montreal, 555-575, Jean-Talon Street East, Montreal, followed by the funeral at 12 o'clock. Burial will be at the cemetery located at 5505 Laval row from bottom St-François, Laval.

Donations in her memory to be made at St. George Church of Montreal would be appreciated.

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 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

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 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 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.