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Longest Serving Board Member Celebrates 100th Birthday

Abe Abraham, the longest serving member of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, celebrated his 100th birthday on August 21. A celebration was held on Saturday August 18 with Vespers at St. Nicholas Church in Grand Rapids and a gala dinner at The Cultural Center at St. Nicholas. Almost 300 guests attended the tribute to Abe.

Abe was born in 1912 in Rashaya Al Wadi in Lebanon. At the age of nine, he and his mother, Zahia, crossed the Atlantic to meet up with his father, Sleyman, who had established a home and business in Towanda, KS. Abe three siblings were born in Kansas, the family returned to Lebanon for several years before returning to America and settling in Grand Rapids, MI. There, Sleyman established a retail candy and “five and dime” store. With the help of his sons, the business grew into a tobacco and candy wholesale distribution company. Today the company distributes groceries to convenience stores in eight Midwestern states.

New OCMC Videos Highlight African Ministry

The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) recently uploaded a variety of videos to YouTube featuring the ongoing growth and progress of Orthodox churches in Africa.

Viewers can catch glimpses of African Orthodox Christians worshipping in liturgy, singing welcome greetings to visiting missionaries and clergy, dancing in community celebrations, and working on construction teams for church buildings.

Fifteen OCMC mission teams from May through December of this year will serve in Africa as well as other far flung locations such as Albania and Mongolia.

View the OCMC YouTube page here.

Byzantine Chanting Workshop, Sept. 27-30

One of the most beautiful aspects of our Orthodox worship is the hymnography that is sung by chanters and choirs to lead the congregation in prayer. Antiochian Village's Byzantine Chant Workshop is designed for beginner and intermediate levels. Time will be spent chanting exercises / melodic formulas and liturgical hymns from music and text. This emphasis on learning and practicing formulas provides a learning environment for people with basic knowledge or no knowledge of the Byzantine Tones. All music is presented in western notation and will focus on the following three components:

The Diatonic Tones: Heirmologic/Brief Melodies

In this workshop participants will study the Byzantine Diatonic Scale and the Heirmologic / Brief melodies for Tone 4, Tone 8 (Plagal Four), Tone 1 and Tone 5 (Plagal One). Emphasis will be placed on learning to sight read western notation using the Greek scale (Ni, Pa, Vou, Gha, Dhi, Ke, Zo, Ni), chanting liturgical text appropriately and changing between Tones.

Memory Eternal! + Archimandrite Constantine Atanas Yanney

V. Rev. Timothy J. Ferguson, Protosyngellos of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in West Roxbury MA, writes:

We regret to announce the repose in the Lord of the Servant of God Archimandrite CONSTANTINE Atanas Yanney, Pastor Emeritus of our community. Fr. Constantine was born in Antioch on January 26, 1926. He studied in Damascus and Greece, where he obtained a degree from the Theological Faculty at the University of Athens. He was ordained as Deacon and Priest in Damascus in 1968 by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodosius. From 1968, Fr. Constantine served as pastor at Holy Cross Church in Damascus before being appointed as pastor of St. George Church in Bagdad, Iraq in 1989. In 1989, Fr. Constantine was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by Metropolitan Constantine of Bagdad.

In 1990, Archimandrite Constantine came to Boston to visit his sisters. While he was here, the first Gulf War broke out and he was unable to return to Bagdad. Father was officially attached to St. George of Boston and served as our ‘Pastor Emeritus’ during these past twenty-two years. A humble, peaceful and saintly priest, Fr. Constantine was deeply loved by the parishioners and by his fellow clergy. We will dearly miss his prayerful presence at the altar. He is survived by his beloved sister, Joslene Hajj and her husband Tony and by many nephews and nieces and their children. Fr. Constantine suffered a heart attack the evening of August 21 at his home in West Roxbury and reposed at the Falkner Hospital during the night.

His Grace Bishop +John will preside over the funeral services for Fr. Constantine:

Friday August 24th - at 1 p.m. Bishop +John and the clergy of the Diocese will assemble at the Kfoury Funeral Home – 8 Spring Street, West Roxbury to anoint and vest the body of Fr. Constantine in preparation for the procession to the Church.

Orthodox School Opens its Doors in Wichita

Faculty and students, Christ the Savior AcademyFaculty and students, Christ the Savior AcademyHis Grace Bishop Basil writes:

Christ the Savior Academy opened Monday morning at St. George Cathedral/Wichita, KS. This is the second classical day school in the Diocese of Wichita, the first and oldest being St. Peter's Classical School at St Peter/Fort Worth, TX. Mrs Trent (Jennifer) Sebits, a member of the Cathedral and President of the Academy's Board of Trustees, wrote of Monday's opening: "Thanks be to God! Today marks the fulfillment of the fervent prayers and feverish work of so many people, namely each one of you. As I write this email, the story of our little school opening its doors is reaching online newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Bee, San Antonio Express and the Palm Beach Post, not to mention some in Kansas: The Wichita Eagle, Topeka Capital Journal and the Hutch News. After Susanne Tobias of the Wichita Eagle wrote the story, the Associated Press picked it up and newspapers around the country have posted it on their web sites. Please find the story here.

Coalition for Healthy Youth Establishes Chicago Headquarters

Archpriest Nicholas Dahdal, OCCHY DirectorArchpriest Nicholas Dahdal, OCCHY DirectorCicero, IL [OCA Diocese of the Midwest Communications]

The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth [OCCHY], a national alliance offering communities an opportunity to heighten awareness of how to combat substance abuse, prevent bullying, encourage sexual abstinence outside of marriage, and encourage respect for the sanctity of the human body, recently established headquarters in Cicero, IL.

Founded by the Department of Youth Ministries of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, in conjunction with Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, OCCHY was awarded a five-year Drug Free Community matching grant of $125,000.00 per year, according to Archpriest Nicholas Dahdal, OCCHY Director.

Memory Eternal! + His Holiness Abune Paulos of Ethiopia

His Holiness Abune PaulosHis Holiness Abune PaulosAs reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch and Catholicos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Archbishop of Axum and Ichege of the See of St. Teklehaimanot, fell asleep in the Lord in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on August 16, 2012.

The BBC noted, "Abune Paulos was chosen to lead the church in 1992 - a year after the overthrow of the communist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam. 'He brought the church in line to meet the challenges of the 21st Century,' Mr Mulugeta (a close friend of the Patriarch) said."

St. Vladimir's Seminary's tribute to the Patriarch noted that he was an alumnus of the Seminary, where he studied from 1962 to 1965. "As Patriarch, Abune Paulos took great pride in the history of the Ethiopian Church, noting the continuous 3,000 year-old Jewish and Christian presence in his country and its astounding size with 45 million faithful and 50,000 church buildings," the Seminary's retrospect explains.

Fellowship of St. John Hosts September Retreat

“Run to Receive the Prize”

The 6th Annual Inter-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat

September 14-16, 2012


St. George Orthodox Church

                                           55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury, MA 02132

                                             Keynote Speaker: His Grace Bishop +Anthony Michaels

Youth Music Ministry Program Premiers at Annual Institute

Youth participants in Sacred Music InstituteYouth participants in Sacred Music InstituteBy Regina Roum

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Christmas in July? Absolutely! With joy, the Sacred Music Department hosted the 27th Annual Sacred Music Institute July 25-29 as the sounds of the Nativity resounded throughout the Antiochian Village’s Heritage and Learning Center. Bishop Thomas of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid- Atlantic, and one hundred participants from the United States and Canada, celebrated the Feast in song and chant through workshops, rehearsals and concerts. Sacred Music Chairman, Christopher Holwey added, “It was an inspiring and moving week for everyone involved.”

Event Chairman, Paul Jabara of St George, Montreal in Quebec, Canada, Sacred Music Coodinator of Los Angeles and the West, Mareena Boosamra Ball, and Diocese of Wichita and Mid America Music Coordinator, Chris Farha, coordinated the premiere of a Youth Music Ministry (YMM) program for 20 teens representing each Diocese. After completing an application and writing an essay, each Diocesan Music Coordinator selected qualified teen singers to participate in a pilot program funded by scholarships from Antiochian Hierarchs and individual donors. The teens chosen attended classes in vocal techniques, basic conducting, sight singing and music theory, taught by Los Angeles and the West Diocese Sacred Music Coordinator, Mareena Boosamra-Ball.

Many Years! August 14 is the Anniversary of Metropolitan Philip's Consecration

August 14 is the Anniversary of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip's Consecration to the Sacred Episcopate. We the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese offer our prayers and love to Sayedna. May God grant him many years as our Chief Shepherd!

Fr. Joseph Antypas Releases "Reflections on The Kingdom of God"

Father Joseph Antypas in his book, has dealt with very important pastoral and theological issues…(he) is serious in his writing. I recommend this book to all members of our clergy and laity.

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

The V. Rev. Archpriest Joseph Antypas of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Troy, Michigan, has released the book Reflections on The Kingdom of God, as Experienced in the Local ParishFr. Joseph has been a faculty member in the Antiochian House of Studies, and a mentor at St. Stephen Course of Theological Studies.

Reflections consists of four chapters dealing with theological and pastoral topics as follows: 1) Emulating Christ's Life of the Kingdom, 2) A time to build our souls and bodies, 3) the modes of Christian being and 4) sharing the glory of the Kingdom. Each chapter is broken down into short, focused articles, making it easy to pick up in spare moments.

Bishop Demetri Khoury Releases Prophetologion E-Book

His Grace Bishop Demetri Khoury has released an extensive book (available in electronic PDF format) titled Prophetologion, containing the Old Testament readings for the ecclesiastical year.

The full text of the book is available here. You can follow Bishop Demetri through his personal website, Al Moutran.

From the Introduction:

"The Prophetologion is a companion to the Book of Epistles and the Gospel to provide the Church with a complete set of readings for all occasions and celebrations of the year and for special blessings and prayers. Because the only exposure most Eastern Christians had to the Old Testament was from the readings during services, the Prophetologion can be called the Old Testament of the Byzantine Church."

OCF Gearing Up for Fall Outreach

OCF Student Advisory Board, 2012-2013OCF Student Advisory Board, 2012-2013August, 2012

Brookline, MA (OCF)

Orthodox Christian Fellowship's Executive Director Jennifer Nahas writes:

I hope all of you are having a restful, but fun summer. We here at the North American office look forward to working with all of you to engage in fellowship, fun, service, and spiritual growth during the 2012-2013 school year.

To kick things off, your student leaders participated in a five day Summer Leadership Institute here at Hellenic College, the home of the North American Office. This year's Student Advisory Board is full of diversity, energy, and passion; they are from all over the country, from different schools and different Orthodox jurisdictions. Their jobs are to serve you by supporting local chapters and leading OCF's North American programs. Since chapter outreach is a high priority, I wouldn't be surprised if some of you have already heard from the regional representatives in your regions to find out what your chapter's plans are for the upcoming school year.

New Booklet Presents Church's Teaching about Memorials

In the booklet, “Boiled Wheat Used for Holidays and Memorials in the Eastern Orthodox Church,” Archpriest Alexandros El-Far presents the Church’s essential teaching about the soul or spirit of each human being after death. After describing the meaning of the memorials traditionally kept on the third, ninth, and fortieth days as well as the half year and one year anniversaries after the death of an Orthodox Christian, Fr. Alexandros provides the reader with the patristic and scriptural foundations for understanding death as the doorway to eternal salvation.

Through excerpts from the lives of the martyrs, St. Theodore the Tyro (d. 297 A.D.) and his contemporary St. Barbara (d. 291), Fr. Alexandros tells the story of how wheat was established in the earliest Christian tradition as the symbol of death and resurrection. The booklet concludes with the Church’s admonition against cremation as a substitute for burial and an admonition against modern heretical ideas that can lead astray the Christian believer.

In a letter included as a forward to the booklet, Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West describes the work as “a perfect example of what we seek through our prayers to the departed.”

Spotlight: on Facebook

The team at recently updated the Archdiocese Facebook page with posts and highlights. For those of you who are Facebook users, you can keep track of news and articles from the Archdiocese by liking us on Facebook.

As time goes on, we'll be adding improvements to our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions! A link to Facebook is available in the Featured Links section of's home page.

IOCC: Humanitarian Need Grows For Syrian Families

A Syrian woman carries her daughter as their family seeks refuge in a safer part of Syria.  REUTERS/Zohra BensemraA Syrian woman carries her daughter as their family seeks refuge in a safer part of Syria. REUTERS/Zohra BensemraAugust 2, 2012

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Syrians who received more than a million refugees fleeing from conflict in Iraq now face the same fate as more than one and a half million Syrians seek refuge from the spreading violence in their own country. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has redoubled its efforts to provide food and essential items – blankets, stoves and hygiene supplies – to the rapidly growing number of displaced and vulnerable Syrian families. IOCC aid is reaching areas in and around Homs, the epicenter of the uprising that began 16 months ago, and other regions of the country.

"There is a palpable sense of urgency and people are worried about the growing violence throughout the country," said Mark Ohanian, IOCC director of programs, who just returned from Damascus where he met with staff and relief partners. IOCC is working closely with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all The East and Syrian relief partner, Al Nada Association, in an effort to reach as many people as it can and to determine what the most immediate needs are for the growing number of displaced and vulnerable families.

"The situation remains unstable and we know that there are at least a million and a half people within the country who are in need of essential food and other assistance including those who have been displaced and others who have been trapped in their homes. Despite the humanitarian efforts underway, hundreds of thousands of people require immediate food assistance in order to survive."

Bishop Alexander Audio Interview Available

His Grace Bishop Alexander of the Diocese of Ottawa has been interviewed as part of an ongoing series produced by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. The interview is available here. His Grace mentions:

"The best thing for the meeting was that we all got together, we got to meet each other, we got to speak to each other face-to-face and to know each other. And at that point in time I thought that if the Assembly accomplished anything it would be to bring us all together."

New Collection of Writings from Fr. George Morelli

Antiochian author, psychologist, chaplain and priest Fr. George Morelli has recently released Healing Vol.2: Reflections for Clergy, Chaplains and Counselors. This new collection of writings anthologies many of Fr. Morelli's Chaplain's Corner columns, as well as several articles concerning anxiety, despression, suicide and end-of-life ministry. Healing Vol. 2 is available to order from the Eastern Christian Publications website.

From the preface:

For the past several years I have been writing a monthly column, Chaplain's Corner, that has appeared in The Beachcomber, the newsletter of the V.A. Healthcare Hospital of La Jolla, California, and was then edited for the general reader for publication in The North County Times, a San Diego newspaper. These columns comprise the Chapters in Part I of this book. All have in common that they deal with issues that are important in the lives of contemporary mankind in the 21st century, especially military personnel, veterans and their families.

New Resource for Sunday School and Catechism Class

A new Orthodox Christian education resource, the website, recently launched in anticipation of the 2012-2013 church school year.

Created for children between the ages of 7 and 13, the site provides free downloadable Catechetical School lessons especially designed for parents and teachers to help children learn "the rich religious and spiritual heritage of our Orthodox faith, a set of values to better equip them to face life’s challenges, and a spiritual framework to help give focus and meaning to their lives."

All lessons on the site have been developed by parents, godparents, Orthodox youth and Catechetical School teachers, and have been reviewed by clergymen. The materials are written in everyday language and include colorful illustrations, word play and coloring activities to reinforce the main lesson themes. A Teacher’s Edition is included to make sure young students get the most out of every lesson. Content is subdivided into the categories: Fasting and Prayer, Church and Feasts, Holy Scriptures, and Faith and Sacraments.

Browse the new site.

New Church Lost to Fire: Prayers Requested for Virginia Parish

Photo/Wayne HarnePhoto/Wayne HarneHis Grace Bishop Thomas asks that we remember the community of St. Patrick Orthodox Church of Warrenton, VA  in our prayers. A fire burned down the new temple that was still in the process of being built by the congregation. Thanks be to God, no one was harmed. Local news has covered the story in the July 25 piece,  "Fire destroys future home of church near Bealton."

"The congregation of Saint Patrick Orthodox Church had spent about $80,000 on renovations which started four months ago," Fr. Patrick Cardine explained to the Fauquier Now reporter.

OCN Addresses Colorado Tragedy

The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) E-Newsletter reports that its flagship podcast Come Receive the Light will feature Fr. Chris Margaritis, Dean of the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, Colorado, with Fr. Chris Metropulos, OCN's Executive Director, as they discuss the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. On the podcast, they will speak candidly of the shootings, the healing, and the theology of life after death from an Orthodox Christian perspective. OCN's theme for the month of July has been dealing with violence.

"Everyone at OCN expresses profound sorrow to the people who lost their loved ones in this tragedy and offers prayers for those who are still recovering," notes the newsletter. "We encourage all of our listeners to offer prayers as well. The recent horrific shooting spree in an Aurora movie theater is the springboard for a much broader conversation about the changing mores of our society, the church's view of tragedy in God's bigger plan, and whether we can reverse this incredibly negative trend, as we wrap-up a month-long series on violence. The power of collective and directed prayer should never be underestimated."

Several Orthodox reflections about the Colorado event are posted to The Sounding, OCN's interactive home for bloggers and discussion.

Ancient Faith Radio Releases New and Improved App

Chesterton, IN  Ancient Faith Radio is pleased to announce the release of a new application for tablets and smart phones, in both Apple and Droid formats. This cutting edge app was developed as a partnership between Ancient Faith Radio and The Church App by Subsplash, developers of applications for other national ministry organizations.

The new app allows phone and tablet users to listen to AFR Music and AFR Talk live streaming stations, as well as all AFR podcasts and specials. Additionally listeners can keep up with the latest AFR news, see recent play lists, purchase music, make donations, and contact AFR. Once content has been downloaded listeners can share content via Twitter, Facebook and email. "Though they've been a long time coming, we really believe that these apps are worth the wait. They're comprehensive, elegant, and user friendly. Listening to Ancient Faith Radio 'on the go' is now a simple and enjoyable experience," says Bobby Maddex, Operations Manager for Ancient Faith Radio.

The app is free and is ready for download from the Ancient Faith Radio site, as well as the Apple and Droid app stores.

Dr. Samir Cohlmia Releases CD of Chants for the Dormition

Dr. Samir Nouhad Cohlmia, Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Wichita and of S. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas, has produced an  audio CD of the chants for the great feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. Chanted in both English and Arabic, the CD includes the hymns for Great Vespers (including the doxastikon on the Litiya), Orthros (including the special Marian Polyeleos - Psalm 44 - "A Good Word"), select verses from all three stases of the Lamentations at the Tomb of the Mother of God, and the famous arrangement of the Megalynarion for the Divine Liturgy composed in melismatic tone 1 by the late maestro Andraos Mouaikel (1890-1964), Protopsaltis of St. George Cathedral in Beirut, Lebanon. The CD is available through the Wichita Chancery (1559 N. Woodlawn Street - Wichita, KS 67208-2429) for $15 a copy (which includes postage & handling); check payable to "Dr Samir N. Cohlmia" and ear-marked "Dormition CD."