The annual Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Convocation will be held at the Sheraton Centre Downtown Toronto June 28 - July 2, 2011.
This year's Convocation will gather Orthodox clergy and laity from around the world who are currently involved in prison ministry or are looking to begin outreach to prisoners. These convocations allow clergy and laypeople to exchange ministry ideas, gather for fellowship, and attend presentations on prison ministry.
Scholarships are available on OCPM's website.
OCPM is the official prison ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Antiochian priest Fr. Stephen Powley, experienced prison chaplain and Assistant Director of OCPM, regularly shares his thoughts regarding prison ministry and the spiritual life in his OCPM blog, An UpWord Glance.
In March, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology hosted a conference for graduate students from the United States and abroad. Scholars from Boston College, Notre Dame University, Fordham, Baylor, the Oxford university system and other notable schools, converged on the Boston campus of Holy Cross from March 10 to 12 for presentations during the Annual Archbishop Iakovos Graduate Student Conference in Patristics. Explains the Pappas Patristic Institute website, "The Spring conference is an opportunity for graduate students to present their own work, dialogue, and meet their colleagues in the field." This year more than 70 students met over the course of the three days, hailing from over 30 different colleges, universities and institutes.
Notes the Holy Cross news page, "Dr. Bruce Beck, Director of the Institute, was very pleased with the turnout and the proceedings of the latest conference. Each summer the Institute sponsors a week long program of intensive study, offfering courses in various patristic studies. This summer the program will run from July 18 through July 23. Another conference is held each fall that is thematic in nature. This year's theme is 'Family and Children in the Patristic Period.' The conference will be held at Holy Cross from October 13 to October 15."
A groundbreaking medical conference, "Health Care in a Secular Culture: The Conscience of Physicians & Nurses at Risk," will be held during Bright Week, April 29-30. An ecumenical effort co-sponsored by Houston Baptist University, Pope John Paul II Forum, University of St. Thomas, Orthodox Clergy Association of Southeast Texas, and Touchstone Magazine, the series of meetings will feature Orthodox medical ethicist Dr H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr.
"What determines the scope of 'health care rationing'?" asks Antiochian priest Fr. Joseph Huneycutt. "These and a host of other issues fall under the scope of Bioethics. Given the current challenge -- and the challenge of the future -- all of us should be concerned and involved. What are the issues? What is at stake? What (or WHO) determines our stance?"
Held at Houston Baptist University, the conference general registration is $50, clergy registration is $30, and student registration is $30. Registration includes admission to a day-and-a-half conference of panels, breakouts, and discussions, including three plenary addresses. Go here for more information and to register.
Reports the OCA's Diocese of the South website, "Dr. Jeffrey and Caryn Macdonald have been accepted as Missionary Candidates by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, to serve the Orthodox Church in Albania. Dr. Macdonald will be assisting the Holy Resurrection Seminary outside of Durres as a long-term missionary.
Christianity, and indeed all religious life, was outlawed in Albania under communist rule. With the end of communism in 1992, the Church has begun to rebuild both Church buildings and the Christian community. To help to rebuild Church life and provide teachers of the Gospel, the Holy Resurrection Seminary in Durres was established to train local Albanian clergy and Church workers.
Dr. Macdonald previously taught Church History and Old Testament at St. Herman’s Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska, helping to prepare Native Alaskans for service in their local Church. Dr. Macdonald studied at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, following an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies and Archaeology. He later completed a Ph.D. in Early Christian Studies.
The Macdonalds and their five children live in Texas and attend an Antiochian parish, St. John the Forerunner Orthodox Church in Cedar Park. They are now raising support for their future work in Albania."
Biographical information available here.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America released a photo gallery this week of the March 13 Sunday of Orthodoxy observances held from New Jersey to California, and points in between. Additionally, at the start of the week, the Assembly website announced that "with the addition of the parish communities of the Patriarchate of Georgia resident in the United States, the Directory of Parishes used by the Assembly of Bishops now includes all of the parishes of the twelve jurisdictions which participate in the Assembly." Browsers can now access the comprehensive directory here.
Also on Monday March 21, the Assembly announced the release of an OCN interview with Fr. Mark Arey, the Executive Secretary to the Chairman of the Assembly. Listen to Fr. Mark's interview about the Assembly's work and progress.
Fr. Thomas Zain, Dean of St. Nicholas Antiochian Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY, writes:
"The following is a decision taken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding Vassula Ryden and her organization 'True Life in God (TLIG).' As she has spoken in various cities around the North America (and all over the world) over the years and may have adversely influenced either some of our clergy or laity, we want it to be known that the Archdiocese endorses the following decision taken by the Church regarding her heretical teachings as well as the teachings of those who follow her. None of our clergy or laity should be involved with Vassula Ryden or her organization 'True Life in God.'"
The Orthodox Church, following strictly the shining example and teaching of the Holy Apostles, the teaching of the Fathers of the Church who have their succession, and the divinely-inspired decisions of the Ecumenical Synods, safeguards as a pearl of great price the faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which the Christian plenitude experiences through their participation in the Sacraments and entire spiritual life of the divinely-founded ecclesiastical body.
Hence, whatever movement and improvised tension, personal or collective, in contempt or in breach of the dogmas of the Orthodox Christian faith and life in Christ within the Church as the only path for the salvation of our souls, all the more the self-proclaimed “supposedly charismatic” personality, is rejected always as an unacceptable innovation.
As we near the mid-point of this year's Great Lent, the faithful may wish to remember that the giving of alms to those in need is an important part of our Lenten practice. To that end, please remember the Food for Hungry People program. Through your generosity and prayers, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been distributed to the hungry and poor in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. All of the funds collected have been used to meet the needs of hungry people.
Updated brochures, bulletin inserts, fundraising ideas and the 2011 Food for Hungry People Lenten Calendar are available at the Food for Hungry People web page. Please take a look and remember the poor!
“When you see a poor person, remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ by which He declared that it is He, Himself who is fed. For though that which appears be not Christ, yet in that person’s form, it is Christ Himself who receives and begs.”
-St. John Chrysostom, “Homilies on Mathew” #78.
Teen SOYO of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest proudly announces the launch of its newly designed Website: www.midwestSOYO.org.
Edward “Philip” A. Haddad died peacefully in his sleep with his beloved wife by his side.
Philip and Guinevere Haddad were married 64 years.
Philip was born and raised in Charleston and his parents were Andrew Haddad and Maheba Howard Haddad.
While in school, he served as a page in the West Virginia Senate. Philip always gave credit to Charles Lively, who arranged for him to serve in the Senate. He considered this experience an honor and very valuable later in life.
At an early, age Philip's father passed away and he left school to help his mother support the family. He went to work for his uncle in the produce business. Philip worked there until he enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry. He obtained the rank of sergeant and was on Normandy Beach, France, the day following D-Day. While in the military, he was wounded and received two Purple Hearts. Part of his recuperation time was done at Ashford General Hospital, which is now The Greenbrier.
Many years later, Philip, his wife, and several friends visited Normandy, France, and met with the superintendent of the cemetery. When the superintendent learned that Philip had been on the beach, he presented him with an American flag similar to the ones placed on a fallen soldier's grave; a few pebbles from the beach; and Taps was played on his behalf.
After returning from the war, he married Guinevere Elias and they worked together as owners of a fruit stand, and later as owners of The Medicine Shoppes. They retired from The Medicine Shoppe at the age of 52. After that, he developed an interest in the real estate business, thus forming the Haddad Land Company. Gene Embrogno, a personal friend, became his mentor and Philip found his expertise invaluable.
This year’s Midwest Basketball Tournament was by far the largest ever with over 400 teens and young adults from across the Midwest gathering together in Canton, Ohio. 16 churches sent a total of 30 teams that competed in 3 divisions: junior (12-15), senior (15-18) and young adult (19-26). On Friday night, the participants gathered for the Midwest Teen SOYO delegates meeting and for a lively discussion led by guest speaker Alex Younes from Toronto, Canada. The topic of his discussion was ‘A New Commandment.’
After Morning Prayers on Saturday morning the teams embarked from the hotel to 4 different basketball gyms where they competed throughout the morning and afternoon. Following Great Vespers, the Awards Banquet and Hafli was held with over 500 in attendance. A Farewell Brunch was held after Sunday Divine Liturgy and the participants departed for their homes with no doubt a few more friends than they had when they arrived. A special thank you to all the volunteers from St. George in Canton who take pride in hosting this annual tournament and to all the participants who journeyed from 7 different states to be with us on this special weekend.
Don’t forget about the upcoming Midwest Parish Life Conference from June 15-19 in Cleveland, Ohio! Visit www.stgeorgecleveland.com for more information. We hope to see everyone in attendance!
Ft. Lauderdale - The Orthodox Christian Network is excited to offer a new travel blog that will take you to the Holy Land for Lent, Holy Week, Pascha and Bright Week. Join host Justin Daniel as he visits Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth and many other sites. The blog will feature not only descriptions of important sites and services, but also testimonies of Orthodox Christians currently living in or worshiping at the locations.
Services attended will include Betrayal of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Russian Convent in Gethsemane; Crucifixion Service and Descent from Cross Service at Golgotha; Service of the Holy Light/Fire @ the Holy Sepulcher; and visiting the authentic site of Christ's Baptism on the Jordan during Bright Week. The blog is entitled "Lenten Journey through the Holy Land" and can be found by going to www.myocn.net and clicking on “Blog” or by visiting here.
The time has come to expand on the Taste & See cookbook and we’re looking for recipes to be included in the new cookbook!
The original cookbook, Taste & See: American Orthodox Cooking was published in 1999 by the Women of St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Franklin, Tennessee. A couple thousand copies were sold, raising more than $8000 for the Antiochian Women's Orphanage Fund. It has become a favorite cookbook of Orthodox cooks all over America.
Now in 2011, three of the original cookbook committee members, along with several other contributors, attend a mission parish in Murfreesboro, Tennessee started by St. Ignatius Church. Founded in 2005, St. Elizabeth Orthodox Christian Church ( http://www.stelizabethtn.org/) is the only Orthodox Church in Rutherford County, just outside Nashville and one of the largest and fastest-growing counties in the southeast. The mission has outgrown its current rented space and needs its own building to continue to grow. The Women of St. Ignatius have given the Women of St. Elizabeth their permission and blessing to revive the Taste & See project with a sequel cookbook to raise money for the mission's building fund.
March 14, 2011
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has been in contact with the Holy Autonomous Orthodox Church in Japan and our ACT Alliance partners to assess the emerging needs following the massive earthquake and tsunami which devastated north eastern Japan on March 11. IOCC is also reaching out to the Metropolis of Korea which is also the Exarchate for Japan under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. As the Orthodox Church in Japan works to assess the needs of survivors, it reports that one priest in Tohoku, Japan is missing.
"Most of the church buildings in Tohoku parish along the Pacific coast are severely damaged and one priest is missing," reports Fr. Demitrios Tanaka of the Holy Autonomous Orthodox Church in Japan. "However, we confirmed that the clergy of Sendai Orthodox Church, including Bishop Seraphim, are safe."
Given that most of the communications infrastructure was damaged, the Orthodox Church of Japan is still assessing the safety and exact needs of parishioners in the affected areas.
Fishers, IN: www.ocf.net
Real Saint Patrick's Day is a program of Orthodox Christian Fellowship aimed at bringing the focus of St. Patrick's day back to St. Patrick and away from the traditional excessive partying that typically takes place. St. Patrick was a slave in Ireland who escaped and later returned as a bishop to teach the people of Ireland about the true faith.
Chapters should do all that they can to use St. Patrick as an example to learn, teach, and serve others. OCF is providing some approaches your chapter can take, based on the life of the Saint, to dedicate the day to prayer, serving and learning. These suggested activities would encourage your OCF and possibly those on your campus to spend the day in more appropriate pursuits given the celebration of a Saint's feast and being in the midst of Great Lent.
Real St. Patrick's Day activites and supplemental materials may be found here at the OCF website link.
We are not attempting to "be better" than our fellow students or show them "how to really live". We are hoping to provide an alternative to our Orthodox students for their own journey--and if by their simple choices to not participate in certain activities affects someone else--then glory be to God!
Please email Irene Papas (email@example.com) or Pete Simko (GreatLakesRep@gmail.com) with any questions or concerns about your Real St. Patrick's Day, and God bless you and your chapter on your Lenten journey.
St. Ignatius Mission in Boca Raton Celebrates First Anniversary and Metropolitan Philip's 80th Birthday
The Divine Liturgy celebrated every Sunday at 10am on a huge college campus… this is the Mission of St. Ignatius of Antioch in Boca Raton, Florida.
The Mission of St. Ignatius of Antioch is based on Florida Atlantic University (FAU) on Glades Road in Boca Raton, Florida. FAU is a University which boasts over 28,000 students. St. Ignatius Boca at FAU may be the first Antiochian Orthodox Christian ministry ever established to serve upon a college campus in the history of this great Archdiocese. This Orthodox mission maintains unlimited growth potential where the hope is “to bring America home to Orthodoxy!”
Antiochian Village announces a "Weed and Feed Weekend" with guest speaker and author Vigen Guroian, April 29-May 1, during Bright Week.
Bring your gardening gloves, tools, and friends for a great weekend getaway that promises to feed your body and soul while you provide much needed help sprucing up our gardens. It's a $50 PER PERSON WEEKEND PACKAGE which includes 5 meals, 2 nights of lodging, speaker sessions, a day of gardening work, liturgical services, and great fellowship!
March 1, 2011
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — As survivors begin to piece back their lives in the New Zealand city of Christchurch following a 6.3 magnitude quake that struck on February 22, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New Zealand has initiated efforts to provide assistance to those who have lost homes and places of work. The death toll in Christchurch stands at 148, but authorities expect it to rise to near 200.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is working to support relief efforts personally led by His Eminence Archbishop Amfilochios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New Zealand and Exarch of Oceania who visited Christchurch just days after the initial quake to assess the damage and the needs of the people. Emergency supplies such as water, blankets, food and other essential items are being provided for families affected by the earthquake.
The IOCC response is being coordinated through the Chancellor of the Archdiocese in New Zealand, Fr. Christodoulos Papadeas, who previously served at Brotherhood of St. George in Denver, Colo. Also providing support is Fr. Amphilochios Basiltiotellis of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary parish in Christchurch.
Fr. Paul Patitsas, who previously served parishes in Rocky River, Ohio and Albuquerque, New Mexico, is part of IOCC's Emergency Response Network and is working with IOCC directly to manage the response. The "Frontline" as the network is known, is made up of Orthodox clergy and laity volunteers who are trained and experienced in emergency response.
Chesterton, IN —Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, professor emeritus in Eastern Orthodox studies at Oxford University and Bishop of Diokleia, visited North Park University in Chicago last week as a guest lecturer. The Metropolitan presented “Word and Silence in the Philokalia” and “What Can Eastern Orthodox and Evangelicals Learn From Each Other” in the 2011 Kermit Zarley Lecture Series. The Bible and Theology Department at North Park hosts the annual lecture series.
Ancient Faith Radio was present to record both lectures which can be found the Specials section on the website. In addition, as a special edition of “The Illumined Heart” John Maddex, president and CEO of Conciliar Media Ministries, sat down for a private in-depth interview with His Eminence called “Metropolitan Kallistos Ware on the Record.”
Please visit www.ancientfaith.com to download or listen to these wonderful recordings.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
This past week the Chairman of the Assembly of Bishops, Archbishop Demetrios, sent out a formal notification to all the member bishops for the next plenary session of the Assembly. The first meeting was held in New York; this meeting will be held in Chicago, and will convene on May 25-27, 2011. The Chairman encouraged each committee to begin its work, with the hope of having at least one meeting (via telephone, video conference, or in person) before the Assembly. It is also expected that time will be made available in Chicago for committees to meet, to allow them to prepare their reports to the Assembly. Read the full announcement on the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops website.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life.