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Encountering the Mystery - New Book by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Now Available

encountering Written with personal warmth and great erudition, ENCOUNTERING THE MYSTERY illuminates the rich culture and soul of Orthodox Christianity. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I traces the roots of Orthodox Christianity to its founding 2000 years ago, explores its spirituality and doctrine, and explains its liturgy and art. More especially, in a unique and unprecedented way, he relates Orthodox Christianity to contemporary issues, such as freedom and human rights, social justice and globalization, as well as nationalism and war.  Order your copy from the Greek Orthodox Marketplace at

The Principal's Story from Lebanon

A Dedicated Educator And New Equipment From IOCC Make the Difference for A Lebanon Public School

Beirut, Lebanon — In Ain al Remaneh, an East Beirut suburb, there is a public school principal who will do anything for her 300 students. On a day of heavy winter rains, Principal Marie Chahine, bundled in a heavy coat, relates to visitors in her office some of her exploits at the K-9 Chiah Public School for Girls. She convinced her optician son to give the girls free eye exams. She wouldn't admit a development organization into the school until they first repaired all 16 dilapidated bathrooms. And her connections with the municipality have ensured electricity for the school, even during Beirut's now frequent blackouts.

Chahine's creative maneuvering is "survival of the fittest" in a country whose crumbling public schools are hobbled by bureaucracy and a lack of investment by the central government. "If I so much as want to purchase pencils it requires a special letter of permission to the Ministry of Education," says Chahine. A lover of learning, Chahine began her 34-year teaching career in Ain al Remaneh and continued teaching "under the bombs" when Lebanon's civil war began, and the school found itself along the notorious Green Line which separated the eastern and western sectors of Beirut.

During recess in the school's courtyard her visitors see veiled and unveiled teenage girls dressed in sweat pants line up to run a race. First graders dressed in pink uniforms stand huddled together against the cold as they watch the older girls. Ain al Remaneh had been a predominantly Christian area, but many families fled the civil war. "Today, you will find students of all faiths here,” says Chahine, “Shi’a, Sunni, Orthodox, Druze, Maronite — and, thank God, no conflicts between them."

Frederica To Speak in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. - Event Postponed


Frederica's speaking event at St. Mary's in Wilkes-Barre for April 5th has been canceled. The event will be rescheduled for the fall 2008. Date and time to be announced.

St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, 905 S. Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., announces a Lenten speaker event. Frederica Matthews-Green, will share about an Orthodox Lenten Journey on Saturday, April 5, 2008.

Reception: 5 PM
Vespers: 6 PM
Speaker: 7 PM

For more information please contact event coordinator Freida Skaff at email address: or phone number 570-824-5016.

Bishop MARK Attends Funeral for ROCOR Hierarch

At the request of Metropolitan PHILIP, Bishop MARK of Toledo represented the Archdiocese at the funeral of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR, Metropolitan LAURUS on Friday March 21, 2008 in Jordanville, NY.

For more information on Metropolitan LAURUS please visit


OCN Announces New Radio Affiliate in Massachusetts

Come Receive the Light, the national Orthodox Christian radio program produced by Orthodox Christian Network, is now being broadcast on the radio throughout Central Massachusetts.

Thanks to the leadership and support of St. Michael Orthodox Church in Southbridge, Mass., listeners can hear Come Receive the Light every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. on WESO 970 AM. The station covers the Central Massachusetts area, including the second-largest city in New England, Worcester, as well as parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Come Receive the Light is the flagship radio program of Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) and is dedicated to spreading joy, hope and salvation in Jesus Christ while exploring Orthodox Christianity in contemporary society.

"It is important for us in this media age to stay ahead of the curve," Fr. Peter Preble, pastor of St. Michael Church, said. "We are in a unique position to offer something to this fallen world and that is the light of Christ. We need to harness all modes of communication and use them for the glory of God and the spreading of the Kingdom. Orthodoxy is the best kept secret in the United States, and it is time we get the word out."

Fr. Peter spear-headed the effort to bring Come Receive the Light to the area. His parish, which is part of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada, is not one of the largest parishes in the region, but it agreed to sponsor this cutting-edge ministry as part of its evangelistic outreach to the greater community.

Orthodox Schools Plan Second Conference

image The 2008 Conference on Orthodox Schools will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 1 and 2, 2008.  This is the second conference on Orthodox schools and we are pleased to again offer this opportunity for educators to meet.  We thank the Virginia H. Farah Foundation for funding to support this second conference.  The Orthodox School Association can be contacted at 617-850-1315 or  Conference information is posted on the Association web site

We ask you kindly to pass this information along to anyone you know is interested in the Orthodox School Association effort. 

Sacred Music Institute Date Set

The Department of Sacred Music of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese Announces the "East Coast" Sacred Music Institute for 2008. The event will be held at Antiochian Village July 30 to August 3, 2008. The Keynote Speaker will be His Grace, Bishop BASIL.

The Theme is: Baptism, Wedding, Funeral Music: Orthodox Outreach.

Visit the Department of Sacred Music's website for details and to register.

OCN Matching Gift Pascha Appeal

“After years of being away from the Orthodox Church, my youngest brother invited me to attend the Paschal Liturgy. Like the Prodigal Son, I had come home. I listened to ‘Come Receive the Light’ and other OCN shows non-stop. The Orthodox Christian Network is an invaluable resource for the spread of Holy Orthodoxy, and I am a proud monthly supporter.” — S.F. from Las Vegas, NV

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It’s no secret that many young people drift away from the Church. Do you ever feel like that unfortunate trend is simply unstoppable? It’s easy to get discouraged, but I have good news for you: More and more people like this young listener from Las Vegas are “coming home” to Orthodoxy. And YOU can make a difference in the lives of others just like him by joining with the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) in its mission to:

• CALL BACK the wayward
• INSPIRE the faithful
• CONNECT teens, young adults and families to Christ’s Church

Memory Eternal: Albert Joseph

The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch mourns the passing of the servant of God, Albert Joseph, into eternal life this past weekend at the age of 90.  Albert Joseph served as the first North American Chair of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch in the Archdiocese for eight years. May his memory be eternal!

New Distance Learning Program Begins

The Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is beginning a pilot distance learning program. Living Great Lent taught by Rev. Dr. Alkiviadis Calivas will be available on-line at beginning February 19. Participants will need to register on-line to have access to the five video presentations by Fr. Calivas, a series of readings, and questions for discussion. The course will be facilitated by Dr. Anton C. Vrame, Director of the Department of Religious Education, and Rev. Dn. Markos Nickolas, a doctoral candidate in pastoral theology at Boston University. While an individual can register for the course, the course is designed for groups that can meet to discuss the presentations and readings. The course material will be available from February 19 to April 4 to encourage learners and groups to complete the five session program within seven weeks. Fr. Calivas is Professor emeritus of Liturgy at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. After the course has ended, the pilot program of the GOA Department of Religious Education will be evaluated in order to begin a larger distance learning program in the fall. For more information contact the GOA Department of Religious Education at 617-850-1218.

Bishop MARK Celebrates Sunday of Orthodoxy in Chicago

On Sunday March 16, 2008 Bishop MARK of Toledo joined with his brother hierarchs, Metropolitan IAKOVOS of Chicago (GOA), Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER (Serbian), Archbishop NICOLAE (Romanian), Archbishop JOB (OCA), Bishop ILIA of Philomelion (Albanian EP) and Bishop PETER of Cleveland (ROCOR), at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Palos Hills, IL. Over 40 priest and a dozen deacons joined in this year's celebration.

Site Down Morning of March 26 was unavailable for several hours on Wednesday morning due to technical issues with our server configuration. We're grateful to all the people who emailed and called to let us know. Thank you for looking out for us!

DOWAMA Gives Update on 2008 Parish Life Conference

An important note from the hosts of DOWAMA's 2008 Parish Life Conference: "This is to inform all of you that we have already exceeded our room block for Wednesday night June 18th, and are getting close to the same for the rest of the Conference!!!  We have spoken with the Hilton Hotel management team and they are about to release some more rooms today.  But please get on the PLC web site TODAY at, click on the 'Accommodations' link and make your reservations by phone or online.  We are expecting a record crowd at our 2008 DOWAMA PLC this June 18th-21st in Dallas, and would like your cooperation in registering early.   Also, please remember to send in your PLC registration forms and ads for the Souvenir Journal.  You can save money by registering early.  In addition, we need to get your ads in so that we can help offset the tremendous costs associated with this blessed event.  You can do all this online, or download and print the form at the web site mentioned above.  And don't forget, even though the Conference officially ends after the concelebrated Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Brunch on Saturday the 21st, we encourage you to stay for our exciting "Denim and Diamonds Gala" on Saturday evening.  It will be loads of fun for all. Thank you all so much for supporting our church and our Diocese. We wish you a blessed Great Lent and ask for your God-pleasing prayers.  With love in Christ, Father Antony Bahou (Parish Priest) and Kelli Kouri Neagle and Robin Cohlmia Simon, (PLC Co-Chairs)."  Questions?  Contact Fr. Antony at

Archbishop of Baghdad, Kuwait, and Dependencies Recovers in London Hospital


Your prayers are requested for Metropolitan CONSTANTINE (Papastephanou) of the Archdiocese of Baghdad, Kuwait and Dependencies, a senior and highly esteemed member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch, who has been in hospital in London, England.

Many thanks to Fr. Samir Gholam, dean of the Cathedral of St George in London, who sends us the following update concerning His Eminence: "Dear Fellow Servants of the Lord:  May this period of Great Lent be for us a source of all blessings tailored to each one of us.  Sayyidna Constantine is improving continuously and now is in a very encouraging situation.  All our gratitude is rendered to the Loving Lord who shows His extreme mercy to His beloved and loyal hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine.  May our God and Saviour Jesus Christ's will be done.  Amen.  Asking for your prayers, I remain your brother in Christ - Father Samir."  Messages may be sent to His Eminence c/o Father Samir at

Submitted by Bishop BASIL.

Sunday of Orthodoxy in the Heartland

A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, concelebrated by the three Orthodox hierarchs with oversight for parishes in the Heartland, held at St Seraphim Cathedral (OCA), on Sunday, March 16th.  The hierarchs are His Eminence DMITRI, Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South (OCA), His Eminence ISAIAH, Metropolitan of the Denver Metropolis (GOA), and His Grace BASIL, Bishop of Wichita and the Diocese of Mid- America (AOCA). 

The three hierarchs also presided at the Vespers of the Triumph of Orthodoxy served yesterday evening at Dallas' Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at which dozens of priests and hundreds of laity were present from the 15 parishes through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Next year the three hierarchs will serve together on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at St George Cathedral (AOCA) in Wichita, KS.

Article provided by Bishop BASIL. Photos courtesy of OCA's Chancery of the Diocese of Dallas and the South.

Memory Eternal, Metropolitan LAURUS

3mldeath His Eminence, Metropolitan LAURUS
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR)

It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, His Eminence, Metropolitan LAURUS, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, March 16, 2008. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.


Adapted from

Discover Georgia: Monastery Tour to the Eastern Caucasus


Tour Dates: June 26th – July 6th, 2008 *LIMITED SPACE!!

Seeking: World travelers, medievalists, musicians, self-educators, spiritual pilgrims, and adventurers of all varieties for an immersion experience at the crossroads of Europe and Asia: welcome to Caucasus Georgia!

Explore Georgia's oldest monasteries, founded in the sixth century by Christian ascetics from Syria. Be among the first westerners to rediscover the ancient architecture, frescoes, and acoustics of these remarkable monuments, set amidst rolling vineyards, towering peaks, and the desert vistas of the Caspian basin. Led by chant team Luarsab Togonidze, John A Graham, and Aurelia Shrenker, this unique tour seeks to investigate the sounds and wonders of medieval Georgia, while presenting the world-famous hospitality and charm of modern Georgia.

Read more about the trip at

St. John Chrysostom Church Hosts Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers

On Sunday, March 16, 2008, 20 priests, 3 deacons, and more than 250 worshipers from 18 parishes in at least five jurisdictions gathered at St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church in York, Pa., to celebrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

The chanting and responses were led by the Pan-Orthodox Mixed A Capella Choir, comprised of choir members and singers of various participating parishes. This year the choir director was Khouria Pam Pier of St. John's. The guest speaker was Dr. Tristan Engelhardt, Jr., a professor at Rice University. George Vafeas, an 11th grade student of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Lancaster, Pa., spoke on "Bearing Witness to the Light of God." Three members of St. John's were inducted into the Order of St. Ignatius. After Vespers, an offering was received to support Orthodox ministries and a meal was served.

The parishes comprise the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central Pennsylvania. In addition to yearly Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers (this was the 43rd), the group also meets for a yearly summer picnic in the area.


Bishop THOMAS Celebrates Sunday of Orthodoxy in York, PA

Bishop THOMAS joined the parish of St. John Chrysostom in York, Pa., for Divine Liturgy on Sunday, March 16, the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The children of the parish joined in the procession with icons.

Later in the afternoon, the parish hosted the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central Pennsylvania for vespers (see separate article, to be posted on Tuesday).


St. Anthony's To Present Speakers Series

St. Anthony Orthodox Church in Bergenfield, NJ, presents The Voice of the Orthodox Christian in Today’s Religious Dialogue, a series of public events that highlight and focus Eastern Orthodox thinking on today’s issues. The series is open to all Orthodox Christians from every denomination and to the public at large, to explore critical issues in today’s world and understand the sometimes quiet, sometimes disparate, Orthodox Christian perspective.

Friday, March 21, 2008 at 8:30pm, Fr. Daniel Zelinsky

Recently conferred as Bishop-elect of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Fr. Zelinsky’s perspective on Orthodox theology and its place in the wider realm of Christian thought have made him a popular speaker and lecturer. Fr. Zelinski will offer his perspective and insight on the Ukrainian city of Chernoble since the disastrous nuclear meltdown over 20 years ago.

Friday, March 28, 2008 at 8:30pm, Prof. Nicolae Gavriliu

Prof. Gavriliu is a specialist in Fine Arts and Director of the Byzantine Iconology Course at the Antiochian House of Studies and a member of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate. His presentation on “Icons and Orthodox spirituality” will provide a fascinating insight into the faith through the history and “writing” of holy icons.

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:30pm, Prof. Kyriacos C. Markides

IOCC Helps To Dedicate Louisiana Homes

iocc4 IOCC staff and Habitat for Humanity volunteers recently attended a dedication ceremony for “Faith Village,” a cluster of six homes in Covington, Louisiana. Sixteen faith-based organizations, including IOCC, provided the materials, supplies and volunteers to build the new homes. IOCC also contributed $150,000 towards material costs and mobilized 200 volunteers in 2007 to help work on these and other homes on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

In an emotional ceremony, the families were presented with hammers, representing their own volunteer days, Bibles, representing their faith in God, and keys, symbolizing their ownership of their own homes. IOCC board member Fr. Michael Rosco of Perth Amboy, NJ, on his third tour as a volunteer with the program, offered the opening prayer for the ceremony.

Visit IOCC.

IOCC Continues Relief and Recovery Effort in Greece

iocc3 In February, International Orthodox Christian Charities was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to continue and expand its current relief and recovery work for Greek farmers who lost livestock and pasturelands to last summer’s wildfires. This latest grant will enable IOCC to reach an estimated 2,000 farming families with emergency supplies of animal feed and forage seed. For many farmers, IOCC’s help will mean the difference between saving their family farm or having to return to Athens to find work.
The Greece program is the latest example of IOCC’s ability to respond to emergencies. We mobilized IOCC headquarters staff and members of our Belgrade and Athens offices to make assessments, oversee distributions, and also to consult with scientists in order to identify forage seed that will allow the Peloponnese to begin recovering its damaged pasturelands — a long-term solution for farmers.

Visit IOCC.

Midwest Antiochian Women Plan Retreat

The Midwest Antiochian Women’s third annual spring weekend retreat will be held May 2-4, 2008, at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan.  Following Bright Saturday services on May 3 Father Steven Kostoff of Cincinnati, Ohio, will speak on “how we now live, following the light of the Resurrection.” 

Download flyer.

Saint Basil the Great Antiochian Mission Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

archpriest 2
Bishop THOMAS with Father Nicholas Sorenson, Deacon Philip, Fathers Gordon Walker, Gregory MacGregor, and Thomas Zain.

On the weekend of January 12-13, 2008, the Mission of St. Basil the Great, York County, Virginia, hosted numerous guests and clergy along with His Grace, Bishop THOMAS of the Diocese of Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Tidewater Mission, now known as St. Basil the Great. The southeastern portion of Virginia is known locally as the Tidewater Region, or more popularly, as Hampton Roads.

The region has many military bases, and is known as a summertime vacation haven; therefore, over the past twenty years, there have been several failed attempts at starting and sustaining an Antiochian mission that would be pan-orthodox in nature, with an all English Liturgy.

In 1997, approximately five local families planted the seeds of the mission, along with the help of the Very Reverend Fathers Boniface Black, Gordon Walker, and Nicholas Sorensen. The mission now has thirty-six pledging families. St. Basil the Great is located in Poquoson, Virginia, a mere twenty minute drive from historic colonial Williamsburg.

Department of Christian Education Presents the first Orthodox Institute Southern States

Kovalak Invest in your faith!

The Institute, an abbreviated version of the event held each fall at Antiochian Village, is a pan Orthodox event that encompasses teacher training as well as education on topics of Orthodox believe in an enjoyable atmosphere of fellowship and sharing. The 2008 Theme is "Sharing Your Faith." The keynote address is, "Do Orthodox Evangelize?" presented by V. Rev. Daniel Kovalak, Missions and Evangelism Department, Orthodox Church in America.

Friday evening, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, 2008

St. George Antiochian Church, Vicksburg, MS

Contact: Fr. John Morris,

Pre-registration REQUIRED.

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