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Second Sunday in Lent: St. Gregory Palamas

Planting the doctrines of Orthodoxy, uprooting the thistles of wicked opinion, O blessed one, and growing well the plant of faith with the rain of thy sayings, thou didst offer to God, like a good farmer, ears a hundred fold.

+ Orthros of the Feast, Tone 1

On the second Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the teachings of St. Gregory Palamas, who upheld the Orthodox doctrine that humans can know God not only through the intellect but through experience of His uncreated energies. 

... every day we should stand in awe of Him, as He is with us, and do what is pleasing before Him. If we are unable now to perceive Him with our physical eyes, we can, if we are watchful, see Him continuously with the eyes of our understanding, and not just see Him, but reap great benefits from Him. This vision destroys all sin, demolishes all evil, and drives away everything bad. It gives birth to purity and dispassion, and bestows eternal life.   + St. Gregory Palamas

Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches to Hold Common Prayer Service

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Public Invited to Gathering on Evening of Thursday, April 21, in Haworth, N.J.

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches in America (SCOOCH) are pleased to announce that a “Common Prayer Service” will be held on the evening of Thursday, April 21, 2016, at St. Gabriel Syriac Orthodox Church (750 Sunset Avenue) in Haworth, N.J.  The service will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This service is meant to bring people together as they pray for the safety of two Syrian hierarchs held in captivity—Syriac Orthodox Archbishop John Ibrahim, and Antiochian (Greek) Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi—and for all suffering calamities in the Middle East. This gesture of solidarity between the Assembly of Bishops and SCOOCH also marks the commencement of the organizations’ shared work.

The distinguished speakers during the service will include His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of the Assembly of Bishops and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Eastern Armenian Church of America and Chairman of SCOOCH; His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese; and Archbishop Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Delegate of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of the Eastern U.S.A.

The Assembly of Bishops and SCOOCH invite all residents and visitors of the Tri-State Area to join our communities in prayer on the evening of April 21st.

Media Contacts:

Armenian Diocese – Mr. Chris Zakian
chrisz@armeniandiocese.org  (212-686-0710) 

Antiochian Publications Center & AV Bookstore Sale: Holy Week and Pascha

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Publications Center & AV Bookstore SALE!
Holy Week and Pascha service books, icons and CDs
Download flyer (PDF)

Services of Holy Week and Pascha Hardcover, 3rd edition and Holy Unction service booklet 4th edition, 2009
Resurrection icons by the hand of Erin Kimmet

AND

Byzantine Hymns, 2nd edition: “Let my Prayer Arise”
Father Elias Bitar singing from his heart the hymns of Holy Week, and other liturgical hymns of the Church
plus "Lamentations," an excellent recording of the best loved hymns of Holy Week, drawing from Byzantine (Antiochian, Greek, & Romanian), Serbian, Russian, and Bulgarian traditions, by the mixed ensemble “Archangel Voices”

Click on the items in the flyer for direct links to the Bookstore pages.

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Marguerite Shaheen

Memory Eternal! Khouria Marguerite Shaheen, wife of Archpriest George F. Shaheen (reposed), fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday March 20, 2016, surrounded by her family. 

Service information is as follows:

  • Tuesday, March 22 - Visitation and Trisagion prayers at St. George Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids  5:00-7:00 pm
  • Thursday, March 24 - Visitation at the Cathedral of St. George in Toledo 2:00-4:00 pm; and 5:00-7:00 pm with Trisagion prayers at 7:00 pm
  • Friday, March 25 - Visitation at 10:00 am; Funeral Service at 11:00 am at the Cathedral of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral; Entombment at Toledo Memorial Park and Mercy Meal following.

If any clergy would like to serve at the funeral, they should contact Fr. Michael Shaheen, Dean of the Cathedral, at frmich@gmail.com.

Marguerite was born July 21, 1933 in Montreal Quebec, Canada. She married Fred Shaheen on November 15, 1959. With her husband they served parishes in Montreal, Toledo, Charleston, West Virginia, Syracuse, Louisville, Cambridge, Worcester as well as several Mission Parishes.

Letter From Metropolitan Joseph Regarding the Second Anniversary of Metropolitan Philip's Repose

March 16, 2016

Beloved Hierarchs and Clergy of this God-protected Archdiocese:

Greetings and Blessings during this First Week of the Great Fast!

Saturday March 19, 2016 will mark the second anniversary of the repose of our beloved Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory. As such, all of the parishes and missions of this Archdiocese are directed to do the following on Sunday March 20, 2016, the Sunday of Orthodoxy:

1. During the Proskomedia, the priest shall commemorate His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory as the first among the departed.

2. During the Great Entrance, the priest shall commemorate His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory as the first among the departed.

May his memory be eternal and may your journey through the Great Fast be spiritually rewarding.

+Joseph
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Orthodox Center at Eastern University Announces New Summer Program

Advanced High School students and recent graduates can earn college credit while studying Orthodox literature
July 7-14, 2016
Application deadline: May 2, 2016
Program website
Download Brochure (PDF)

March 14, 2016 (St. Davids, Pa.) — What do Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Gogol, and Alexandros Papadiamantis all have in common?

They are some of the celebrated Orthodox Christian authors whose works students will read and discuss during a new honors program offered this July at Eastern University in suburban Philadelphia.

The Summer Program for Young Orthodox Scholars, sponsored by the Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture, will provide promising High School and transfer students the opportunity to earn college credit while challenging themselves intellectually and spiritually. Participants will live in residence on the university's campus from July 7th to the 14th with a select group of peers, engaged in rigorous coursework and discussion of Great Books by Orthodox Christian literary figures.

Teen SOYO Day of Service is Saturday, March 19

SOYO Day of Service is set for this Saturday March 19, 2016.  Teens are asked across the Archdiocese to plan and carry out service activities in their local communities on Saturday March 19th, and then to share photos and comments on their SOYO service activities on Social Media that day, utilizing the tag @NACSOYO and hashtag #SOYOservice on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Teen SOYO Members are also asked to share their Lenten Journey in words and in photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #JourneytoPascha, as a way our sharing their journey and encouraging other teens to do the same.

Teens are also offered the #JourneyToPascha Social Media Exercise explained in this YouTube video. Other YouTube videos for preparation for Pascha may be found here.

Click here for the flyer and please share this with the teens of your parish.

 

Ancient Faith Ministries Launches Orthodox Christian Ebooks

Ancient Faith Ministries has announced the launch of Orthodox Christian Ebooks. The collaborative website features Orthodox ebooks from multiple publishers, all in one place.

"We are excited about this new web site which will provide a convenient online destination for the best in Orthodox ebooks," said John Maddex, CEO of Ancient Faith. "It will especially be helpful to international readers who are often discouraged by high shipping costs from the U.S."

Byzantine Menaion Project by Basil Kazan to be Made Available Online

The music for the Byzantine Menaion Project by Basil Kazan is now being made available in the Department of Sacred Music's PDF Library. Additions have begun with January (PDF), and will continue to be uploaded from there. Each month includes the music for the major feasts and saints of the month, for Vespers and Matins, and occasionally for the changeable parts in the Divine Liturgy.

PDFs will be offered in the Sacred Music Library's section M, for Menaion. The music is type-set, properly accented and barred, with ison, and rubrics and instructions added in, along with special melodies noted. The music was previously out of print, but is now available here in PDF format. May it help us all in our chanting of the liturgical services, as we praise our God and glorify His holy Name, honor His saints, and celebrate the Feasts of the Holy Orthodox Church!

Memory Eternal! + Chehade Zeidan Zeidan

Chehade Zeidan Zeidan fell asleep in the Lord in Lebanon on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Beloved husband of Georgette Wakim Zeidan, he was also the cherished father of Dimitri (Susanne Saikaly) of Ottawa; Rafic (Maha) of Montreal; Pierre (Connie Saikaly) and Regina Hurd (Michael) all of Roanoke, Virginia; Gihad (Marlene) and Therese all of Lebanon. He was loving Jiddo of Katya, Krista, Marcus, Elias, Jessica Dib (Jamil), Jean Paul, Dylan, Michael, Angelina, Elias, Jane, Joanne, Stephanie and Serena, and great grandfather to Michael and Mia Dib.

Chehade, most tender of hearts, loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren so dearly. The Zeidan family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 1 and 2, 2016 between 6:00 and 9:00pm at their home, 7009 Aldergrove Way, Greely, Ontario, Canada  K4P 1A4.

In Chehade's memory, a two week memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 10:00 am at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, 2975 Riverside Dr., Ottawa, Ontario.

Just Released: God is Wonderful in His Saints, a Unique Collection of Akathist Hymns

Father Michael Shanbour, pastor of Three Hierarchs Orthodox Christian Mission in Wenatchee, WA, reports that their "small mission church in Wenatchee, WA is honored to offer a beautiful, new compilation containing Akathist Hymns to thirty beloved Orthodox saints, many published for the first time (see complete list below)." God is Wonderful in His Saints is a handsome 6" x 9" hard case volume with sewn binding printed by Thomson Shore (536 pages). Each Akathist is preceded by an icon and brief life of the saint. Instructions are also provided on how to pray an Akathist.

God is Wonderful in His Saints has the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita has also recommended this "very fine publication" to his Clergy Brotherhood.

Order online; shipping is free! 

A Lenten Opportunity: Second Annual NAC Teen SOYO Day of Service is March 19, 2016

(View a video about the 2015 Day of Service)

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, the second Annual NAC Teen SOYO Day of Service will be hosted by SOYO chapters across the United States and Canada.

In reverence to the fundamental virtue of love, NAC Teen SOYO has asked that its chapters across the country dedicate this common day to the service of their local communities. SOYO members are being encouraged to organize an event on this date that will enable you to show Christ-like charity to your neighbors. 

We want to see what you are doing, so tag @NACSOYO and use the hashtag #SOYOservice in your posts on social media! Enter your local SOYO in a contest to win a beautiful icon by simply including your parish's name in one of your posts.

View the flyer for more details

St. Emmelia Homeschooling Conference at Antiochian Village + April 7-10, 2016

Does your family homeschool? Are you considering homeschooling? If so, plan now to attend the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference, scheduled for April 7-10, 2016 at the Antiochian Village Conference and Retreat Center outside Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

This year, keynote addresses will be delivered by Fr. Noah Bushelli, Pastor of St. Philip Orthodox Church in Souderton, PA, homeschooling dad, and Director of the Department of Homeschooling for the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. Fr. Noah will present the topic of Homeschooling and the Marriage Relationship.

Costs are as follows:

Early Bird - Before March 15th
Single Adult/Married couple - $82
Each child 3 and over - $32

Regular Pricing - March 16 to 28
Single Adult/Married Couple - $92
Each child 3 and over - $37

Conference schedule
Registration

Rooms and meals are separate - click here for pricing.

The conference offers workshops for both experienced and beginning homeschoolers alike, with simultaneous activity sessions for children ages 3 and up.

Our weekend is both educational and retreat-like, with many opportunities for worship and fellowship with other Orthodox homeschooling families. Workshops cover topics of interest to inquiring, beginning, veteran homeschoolers and supporting spouses. If your entire family cannot attend, we welcome solo attendees, as well!

From the Archdiocese Publications Center & AV Bookstore: Lenten Sale for our Youth

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Publications Center & AV Bookstore is holding a sale on Lenten materials for our youth. Among the items on sale are:

My Lenten Journey
An interactive poster for kids! "My Lenten Journey" is a large full-color poster designed to help children understand how they can participate in Great Lent, with the opportunities to "do," "give," "give-up," or "think" each day during Lent as a
way of making his/her own offering. It's filled with fun and interesting tasks and projects, marking the way with colorful stickers.

Lenten Lotto
A matching game set of icons and other drawings on easy to use boards, this is for Grades K-3 . Good for use in class or at home, this Lotto game teaches the liturgical services of Great Lent and Holy Week with basic Biblical and historical events.

Winter 2016 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2016 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of New York, the Archdiocesan District and the Diocese of Charleston! The issue contains:

  • The Sanctification of Our Parish Life by His Grace Bishop Thomas
  • A message from St. Barbara's Monastery
  • Profiles of diocesan officers

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

Antiochian Professor Moderates "Engaging Orthodoxy" Inaugural Event

On Saturday, March 5, 2016, Dr. Bradley Nassif—Antiochian author, speaker, professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, and member of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Christian Church in Warrenville, IL—will be moderating a new speaker's series titled, "Engaging Orthodoxy." Metropolitan Kallistos Ware is the keynote speaker for this first event, and the Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, along with other notable Orthodox leaders, will be the respondents. 

The event will be streamed live on Ancient Faith Radio, and more information about the event is posted on the website of North Park University in Chicago, IL, the host of the conference. 

Memory Eternal! + Osama Khoury

Osama Khoury, 47, of Poughkeepsie, NY, passed away on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. Osama was born on March 30, 1968 in Palestine to the V. Rev. Fr. Michael and Khourieh Amal Khoury of Taybeh, Ramallah. He was married to Rula El Kawaneh Khoury, on May 30, 1993.

Osama received a Bachelor of Science Degree at Long Island University and served as a pharmacist at CVS in Pleasant Valley, NY. A resident of the Hudson Valley for over 20 years, Osama was previously employed at Rite Aid Pharmacy. He had accomplished his goal of opening his own pharmacy in Gibsonia, PA, named Gibsonia Pharmacy and Health Center. 

Osama loved the outdoors. He enjoyed camping and loved serving the community. He was an active member of Saint James Orthodox Church in Hyde Park, NY.

In addition to his mother, Khourieh Amal, Osama is survived by his loving wife Rula, his sons, Michael and Gabriel, as well as his daughter Amal, his brother Ibrahim (Rula) Khoury of Pittsburgh, PA, and his sisters Hannan (V. Rev Fr. Yacoub) Khoury, Ramallah Palestine and Iman (Issam) Muaddi.

His Grace Bishop Demetri, Osama's uncle, will preside at the funeral service at Saint James Orthodox Church in Hyde Park, NY, assisted with Fr. Hisham Nimri, pastor, and the local Orthodox clergy.

The viewing will be held at Saint James Church, 441 Violet avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY on Friday, February 26 at 5pm-8pm and Saturday, February 27 at 4pm-7pm. The Funeral Services will be on Sunday, February 28 at 4 o'clock.

A Weekend of Memories: The Elevation of Father Fouad Saba

His Grace Bishop Antoun with the newly-elevated Father SabaHis Grace Bishop Antoun with the newly-elevated Father SabaAlthough the actual elevation of a Priest to the dignity of Archpriest may take only a few minutes, the preparations for this sacred event begin far in advance. Ten years in advance. Once a seminarian is ordained to the Diaconate and later to the Priesthood, he then faithfully serves the Church as pastor, teacher, confessor, spiritual father, and other less notable yet equally important roles over the course of ten years before he can be considered for Elevation to the dignity of Archpriest. During each of these ten years, the Priest will lead his parish through the beautiful seasons of the Church calendar, cultivating a spirit of love and unity. There will be scores of homilies delivered during Sunday Liturgies, the joy of baptisms, the sorrow of memorials, countless hours of counsel, discovering a leak in the Church roof, discovering a second leak in the Church roof, fundraising to fix the leaking roof. Through all this the Priest will gain the love and respect of his parishioners. As an outpouring of gratitude and deepest appreciation, those parishioners will in turn voice to their Bishop the desire to have their Priest elevated to the dignity of Archpriest in recognition of his devotion to the Church and Her members.<--break->

Memory Eternal! + Kh. Jedonne Rhudy

February 23, 2016, Memory Eternal! + Kh. Jedonne Rhudy

Word has been received of the falling asleep in Christ this past weekend of Khouria Jedonne Rhudy, wife of F.r Stephen Rhudy, formerly of St John the Forerunner in Cedar Park, TX. Condolences may be sent to Fr. Stephen and family at frstephenrhudy@gmail.com

Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries Released by the Assembly of Bishops

The first-ever complete guide to monasteries in the United States, Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries, has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. The Atlas can be purchased ($ 19.95) on Amazon.com or directly from the publisher, the Holy Cross Orthodox Press, and was made possible by a grant from the Virginia H. Farah Foundation and the Cottonwood Foundation.

Drawing on extensive research, as well as fascinating stories and "insider" anecdotes, the Atlas offers readers:
·a scholarly introduction into traditions of Eastern Christian monasticism and a history of Orthodox monasteries in America,
·a full and comprehensive directory of nearly 80 American Orthodox Christian monasteries, and
·an enticing travel guide for those seeking to visit American monasteries and to "sample" monastic life.

In addition, twenty-three featured monasteries share their "personal stories" and offer a glimpse in the surprising spiritual appeal of monastic life in 21st century America.

Edited by Alexei Krindatch, the book's 150 pages of text are accompanied by four sets of color maps and more than one hundred photographs depicting everyday lives of America's Orthodox monasteries. The Atlas is "album size," or 9 x 11.

Purchase the book:

Holy Cross Bookstore
50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA, 02445
Phone: 1-800-245-0599
Fax: 617-850-1430, or
Email: bookstore@hchc.edu

Memory Eternal! + Sherry Abraham Morrow

Memory eternal! Sherry Abraham Morrow, December 4, 1948 - February 17, 2016

Sherry was born on December 4, 1948 and raised in Woodward, Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Shortly after graduation, she married Don Abraham and moved to Wichita, Kansas. They had two daughters, Candace and Ginger. Don and Sherry owned and operated Ali Baba Bakery for 19 years. The bakery specialized in pita bread, but eventually made over 100 different varieties. She worked full time at the bakery with Don until he was diagnosed with cancer in 1994, and they sold their business. Sherry worked on weekends at Abe's Steak House, a restaurant owned by Don's family. Don passed away on February 28, 1995.

In November 2003, Sherry married Mark Morrow. Their blended family consists of two sons, three daughters, two sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law, five granddaughters and four grandsons. Mark and Sherry split their time between Wichita and Oklahoma City and were active in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian churches in both communities – St. George Cathedral in Wichita and St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City. At St. George Cathedral, Sherry served as the Chairman of the annual Lebanese dinner and was the Baklawa Chairman for many years, perfecting the process of making enough baklawa to serve more than 5,500 people!

Texas Newspaper Article Features Antiochian Orthodox Christians

"They grew up in Damascus in a time before Syria was a synonym in the Western mind for chaos and religious extremism. Reem Hoff and Rouba Heckenlively grew up a half-hour's walk from each other, both in families that practiced their Syrian Orthodox Christian faith openly among Muslims. Rouba's mother and Reem's aunt were friends. By coincidence, both women met American travelers who were visiting monasteries. Both women ended up living as American citizens in a suburb of Waco."

So begins a recent Waco Tribune-Herald article featuring the extraordinary story of two families from St. Andrew Orthodox Church, an Antiochian mission in Waco. In November 2015, investigative reporter J.B. Smith began contacting Syrians in Central Texas to get their take on the provocative words of a Texas state official, who had likened Syrians entering the U.S. to "rattlesnakes" ready to strike. Smith soon found there were a number of Syrian Christians in the area, a fact which defied the simplistic and false stereotype of all Middle East immigrants as "extremists" and "radicals" – this led him to contact St. Andrew parish priest Fr. John Ballard, who put the reporter in touch with the Hoff and Heckenlively families.

Words of Wisdom: Reflections From Notable Antiochian Priests on Love, Faith, and Ministry

As we anticipate the start of the Lenten season in March, three of the senior statesmen in the ranks of Antiochian clergy have offered reflections for our spiritual edification: Archpriest George Shalhoub, Economos Antony Gabriel, and Archpriest Joseph Antypas.

Fr. George and Kh. Nourhad ShalhoubFr. George and Kh. Nourhad ShalhoubThe Gospel and the Orthodox Family: The Christian Meaning of Love

"As our nation celebrates the feast of love, Valentine’s Day," writes Fr. George Shalhoub, pastor of The Basilica of St. Mary, Livonia, MI, "it brings with it the measures of marketing and the things that most of us have come to believe will make the wrong right, and the right better. Valentine’s Day will be celebrated by the exchanging of love with flowers, candy, dinner or surprise trips. It has become one more thing to do because others are doing it, and many find it is easier to purchase something than act." Read more

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Lucia Neustrom

Memory Eternal! Kh. Lukie Neustrom with the late Fr. ThomasMemory Eternal! Kh. Lukie Neustrom with the late Fr. ThomasMemory Eternal! Khouria Lucia "Lukie" Neustrom, retired from All Saints Orthodox Church, Salina, KS, peacefully fell asleep in Christ on February 12, 2016, at the age of 95. Condolences may be sent to Khouria Lukie's family via Fr. Daniel Griffith of All Saints in Salina, at frdanielg@gmail.com. Divine services for Khouria Lukie will be held at All Saints, and funeral arrangements are as follows: Visitation at All Saints, Tuesday, February 16, from 5:00-8:00PM with Trisagion Prayers of Mercy at 7:30PM, and the Funeral at All Saints on Wednesday, February 17, at 10:00AM.

St. Tikhon's Announces New Scholarships for Antiochian Seminarians

February 11, 2016 (South Canaan, PA) — St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary has announced the creation of three new scholarships for students who attend the seminary with the blessing of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

“It is a great joy to announce the creation of these three new full scholarships,” His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, said. “The scholarships will cover tuition, room, and board, allowing these seminarians to focus on their priestly formation and enter ministry in the Holy Orthodox Church without any debt.”

The scholarships, named in honor of three current hierarchs in the Antiochian church, are: The Patriarch John X Scholarship, The Metropolitan Joseph Scholarship, and The Bishop Thomas Scholarship.