News


Memory Eternal! + George Ansara

George Ansara fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at the age of 82. Mr. Ansara will lie-in-state at the Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of St. Mary, located at 18100 Merriman, Livonia, Michigan on Friday, April 16th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Trisagion prayer service begins at 8 p.m. On Saturday, April 17th, Mr. Ansara will lie-in state at the Basilica from 10:00-11:00 a.m. The Funeral Liturgy begins at 11:00 a.m. followed by a private burial.

George Ansara migrated from Aita El-Fokhar, Lebanon. He was married to the late Geraldine Ansara. With his brother Andrew, they became the largest franchise owners of the Big Boy Restaurants. An entrepreneur who also brought the Red Robin Restaurants to our state, he employed thousands of people. He started the mission of St. Mary in Livonia in 1972 with a handful of parishioners and lived to see the Basilica built to reflect what he admired most – his family, his faith and his work. George's greatest passion was that in order for family and community to survive, they must have a place to worship. George was a great dad to Lewis Ansara and Denise (Shaheen) Boumaroun, and the late Debra Ansara. He was blessed with his brother Andrew Ansara, his sisters Marie Ansara, Violette Matta and Nazik Kehdy, He was the loving grandfather of Joe, Mac, Lauren, Deanna, George, Lewis and Daniel. He is survived by many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to the Basilica of St. Mary Building Fund. Please leave the family condolences and cherished memories at harryjwillfuneralhome.com. May his memory be eternal!

Annual Meeting of the Archdiocese Department of Finance on April 13, 2010

Members of the Department of FinanceMembers of the Department of FinanceThe Archdiocese Department of Finance held its annual budget meeting on Tuesday April 13th, 2010 at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, NJ.

The main order of business was the development of the Archdiocese budget for the Fiscal Year 2012 (Feb. 1 2011 through Jan. 31 2012).

This budget was successfully developed by the members of the Department, and it will be submitted to the Archdiocese Board of Trustees for approval at their May meeting in New York City. The final step will be to submit the budget for approval to the assemblies of the Diocesan Parish Life Conferences as they meet this year.

Pictured: Mr. Paul Finley, Director of the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center, Very Rev. Anthony Yazge, Director of the Department of Camping, Mr. Robert Laham, Treasurer, His Grace Bishop ANTOUN, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, Dr. George Farha, Vice Chairman of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Mr. Peter Dacales, Assistant Comptroller, and Mr. George Nassor, Assistant Treasurer. (NOTE: Dr. Farha and Mr. Nassor were unable to attend the meeting due to personal matters. Mr. Dan Abraham, North American Chairman of The Order of St. Ignatius, also attended the meeting but is not shown in the photo.)

Memory Eternal! + Orthodox Church Grieves Death of Archbishop Miron of Poland

On April 10, Saturday, Archbishop Miron, Bishop of Hajnówka, Poland, was killed in the crash of the presidential aircraft Tu-154, reports the official website of Orthodox Autocephalous Church in Poland. Archbishop Miron was a member of a presidential delegation headed to Smolensk, Russia. All eighty-eight passengers, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, many other senior Polish officials and eight crew members all perished in the crash as the plane burst into flames while landing in dense fog.

Stefan Dmitruk reports:

"Miroslaw Chodakowski was born on October 21, 1957 in Bialystok. He graduated from primary school in Bialystok, then from the Orthodox Seminary in Warsaw and the Higher Orthodox Seminary in Jableczna.

On December 17, 1978 he was tonsured a rassophore monk, and nine days later was ordained a deacon. On February 15, 1979 he was ordained to the rank of hieromonk. In November of 1979, the Metropolitan of Warsaw, Metropolitan Basil, tonsured him in the small schema as a hieromonk, giving him the name Miron.

Hieromonk Miron served as governor of the monastery church, St. Humphrey the Great, in Jableczna. He was also Rector of the Orthodox Theological Seminary. In 1984 he was elevated to the dignity Ihumen, adopted as part of the clergy Bialystok-Gdansk diocese, and appointed pastor of the parish church of Annunciation of Our Lady in Supraśl. In 1990, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite and was appointed governor of the monastery in Supraśl.

On May 11, 1998, in accordance with the decision of the Council of Bishops of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church in Poland, Bishop Miron was appointed to the Hajnówka diocese, and on August 15, 1998, the Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski appointed bishop Miron Brigadier General and Orthodox Ordinary of Polish Army.

Antiochian Village Seeking a Camp Program Director

Antiochian Village is seeking a full time Camp Program Director, who will report to the Village Director. He or she will be responsible for a year round program which includes the development and oversight of the summer camp program staff (i.e. morning program, evening program, arts and crafts, etc).

The essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following (in no particular order) listed below. Other duties may be assigned as well:

o Planning, execution and development of VillEdge Adventures (Road Trip and Extreme VillEdge) and Sacred Arts (Iconography and Byzantine Chanting) programs.

o Training, mentoring and supervision of summer program staff

o Database entry, basic bookkeeping, general correspondence

o Facilitate program registration

o Development and Marketing of new Village-sponsored programs: Specialized Family Camps (Daddy/Daughter, Single Parent, Home School Families, etc.), Adventure Weekends (Whitewater rafting, caving, backpacking, skiing), Youth Leadership Retreats, Altar Boy Retreat, etc.

o Customized programs for Parishes, Youth Groups, Clergy Brotherhoods, Seminarians, etc.

o Marketing of the Antiochian Village Camp for rental to youth groups, sports groups and family programs.

o Forming alliances with school districts and youth programs for grant-funded Adventure programs and Environmental Education.

o Marketing and programming of Challenge Course

o Attending regional and/or national conferences (2-3 times/year)

o Promotional visitations to parishes (4-10 times/year)

For more information, or to send a résumé, please contact:

V. Rev. Anthony G. Yazge 

Antiochian Village Camp

201 St. Ignatius Trail

Bolivar, PA 15923

franthony@antiochianvillage.org

Beginning Byzantine Chant Workshop Hosted by Antiochian Village

"Have you ever met a stichera you didn’t like?" reads the brochure. "Do you know your eison from your apichema?" In conjunction with the St. Romanos Chanting Course, Antiochian Village is sponsoring a beginner's chant class from April 21-24. Taught by noted liturgical expert V. Fr. David Barr, Pastor of St. Elias Antiochian Church in Austin, Texas, the class promises to give new learners a foundation that will enable them to chant hymns in tones by the second day of the course. No prior knowledge of chant or of reading a musical score is required since the course emphasizes singing from text. Registration begins on Wednesday afternoon and classes wrap up by midday Saturday. Click here for registration information.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Publishes Iconography Article with Mother Alexandra

The icon illustrates an ancient understanding of Jesus' resurrection as the gift he offers to all humanity on a renewed Earth. While all Orthodox churches are filled with icons, the Resurrection icon in the camp chapel at Antiochian Village retreat and conference center is one of the largest in Pennsylvania and possibly the United States.

"An icon is theology in color," said Mother Alexandra, founder of the Convent of St. Thekla, which also is on the grounds of Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Westmoreland County. The center, which also houses a museum and bookstore, is a ministry of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

On Pascha Sunday the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published Orthodox Icons Are Seen As "Theology in Color", with extensive comments from Antiochian monastic Mother Alexandra. Click here to enjoy the article in full.

International Holy Week Photo Galleries from OBL News

Palestinian Orthodox Christian children hold palm fronds on Orthodox Palm Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday March 28, 2010.Palestinian Orthodox Christian children hold palm fronds on Orthodox Palm Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday March 28, 2010.Recommended by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt on his Orthodixie blog, the OBL News website has assembled several galleries of powerful images of Holy Week from around the Orthodox world.

Click here for Palm Sunday photos.

Click here for Holy Thursday photos.

Click here for Holy Friday photos.

Click here for photos of the Holy Fire Pascha services of Jersusalem.

Click here for photos of Pascha celebrations around the world.

Metropolitan PHILIP Writes His Holiness KIRILL, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, with Prayers in Wake of Moscow Terrorism

March 30, 2010
His Holiness, KIRILL
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

Your Holiness:

Greetings to you during these all holy days as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God give you strength!

We were horrified to learn of the barbaric attack yesterday on the beloved citizens of Moscow by a group of terrorists. This was especially disturbing as it took place during the Great and Holy Week of the Church. On behalf of all the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, please accept our sincere and deep sympathies to Your Holiness, the Russian government and the Russian people. May the innocent blood which was shed on Calvary wash away our sins and the sins of the entire world.

Very Rev. Alexander Atty to Serve as Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary

The Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Atty has received the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP to accept, and has accepted, an appointment as Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, PA. The appointment will be effective on July 1, 2010. Fr. Atty is currently a member of the seminary's Board of Trustees. He is a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese who has served as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church of Louisville, KY, since 1980.

Fr. Alexander was born August 7, 1951 in Johnstown, PA, and holds a BS in engineering. After earning his MDiv at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, he earned his DMin from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Ordained a priest on December 9,1979 at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn NY, he was elevated to the rank of archpriest in 1988. Fr. Atty is married to Khourieh Olga, whose father is the retired OCA priest, Fr. John Nehrebecki.
 
We pray that our Lord will bless this appointment, and that St. Tikhon's Seminary will continue to make great forward strides under the leadership of Fr. Alexander.

Click here for the announcement from the Orthodox Church in America.

OCN Posts Colorful OCMC Mission Team Kenya Blog

Fr. Martin Ritsi, Executive Director of OCMC, recently led a mission team to Kenya, and readers can follow their adventures and see the colorful photos of the trip, at www.myocn.net.

A typical blog entry reads:

Day 3

IOCC Joins in Launch of ACT Alliance

Homeless families in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince who survived Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake enjoy safe water provided through a water system installed by Norwegian Church Aid with the support of IOCC.Homeless families in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince who survived Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake enjoy safe water provided through a water system installed by Norwegian Church Aid with the support of IOCC.March 24, 2010

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has joined the ACT Alliance, one of the world's largest humanitarian bodies, which officially launches March 24.

With more than 100 members globally, the ACT Alliance works in 125 countries with a combined operating budget of approximately $1.5 billion. The new alliance of churches and church-based humanitarian groups combines and builds on the former ACT International and its longtime disaster relief and rehabilitation focus, and the former ACT Development and its sustainable development focus. In addition, the ACT Alliance will also be involved in advocacy work.

Land and Covenant in the Bible Seminar, April 9-10, 2010 + Chicago, IL

Two-Day Scriptural Seminar with V. Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi
Professor of Scripture at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Friday, April 9 at 7:30PM
Anderson Chapel Auditorium
North Park University
3225 W. Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
Saturday, April 10 from 10:00AM — 1:00PM
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1220 South 60th Court
Cicero, IL 60804
Refreshments will be served

Fr. Paul will also celebrate the Divine Liturgy at St. George’s on Sunday, April 11, at 10:30 AM. For more information, please contact St. George Church at 708-656-2927.

Anthony Baba Ordained to Priesthood

Bishop BASIL writes:

HE IS WORTHY! Fr. Anthony Baba of St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas and DOWAMA Youth Director was ordained to the holy priesthood at his home parish of St. George in Houston, Texas on the Fifth Sunday of the Fast, March 21st, 2010. He will be assigned to the pastorate at St. Anthony Church in Spring, TX effective Monday, April 12th. He will begin his "Week of Liturgies" at St. George in Houston and will conclude it at St. George Cathedral in Wichita.

Jail and Prison Ministry 101 Training + Indianapolis, IN

April 10, 2010

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Presents

Jail & Prison Ministry 101 Training
Training for any Orthodox Christians who are Interested in Jail and Prison Ministry

When:    Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time:     9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Where:   St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
              4020 N. Sherman Dr.
              Indianapolis, IN 46226-4464

Special Guests include:

His Grace, the Right Reverend Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Mid-West, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Stephen Hall, D.MIN, Director of Religious Services, Indiana Department of Corrections.

More information will be forthcoming. Please check the OCPM web site for future updates.

Diocese of Wichita to Organize Consortium of Professional Counselors

His Grace Bishop BASIL has appointed Fr. John Mefrige of St. Ephraim the Syrian Church in San Antonio, Texas to begin the process of organizing a "DOWAMA Consortium of Professional Counselors" to be a resource for clergy in the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. Professional counselors in the Diocese are encouraged to download and submit a registration (PDF). For more information, please contact Fr. John Mefrige at FrJohnMefrige@aol.com.

Blackout at Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood (Update: Power Restored)

Due to the severe storm that hit the Northeast on Saturday, March 13, there has been no power or telephone service at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey since Saturday. At this point, there is no reliable estimate as to the restoral time. We apologize to all those who have been unable to contact the office since Saturday.

Update Thursday, March 18: Electricity and phone service have been restored, and communications can return to normal. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage.

An Unusual Visitor to Antiochian Village

On March 3, 2010, an unexpected and out of the ordinary visitor arrived at the edge of the Antiochian Village property. A small black bear was sighted in a tree. A Game Comissioner was called in. He sedated the bear and gave it a mask to protect its eyes and mouth while being moved.

The Game Comissioner confirmed that this is out of the ordinary. After examination, it is clear that this young bear is ill and thin. He came out of hibernation early, and finding no food, he tried to locate some in the neighbor's garbage.

The Game Commission assured Mother Alexandra that sleeping beauty will be medicated, fed, and released somewhere good for bears.

Second Annual Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy Conference at Hope College, Holland, MI

April 12-13, 2010 + Hope College + Holland, Michigan

The 2nd Annual Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy Conference presents…

Let God Arise (and let His enemies be scattered):

The RESURRECTION of CHRIST in Eastern Orthodox Theology & Worship
with Deacon Nicholas V. Belcher, M.Div., Dean of Students, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology - Boston, MA, and guests, including His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest

+For complete description & campus map, please visit www.hope.edu.

Click here to download flyer (PDF)

NBC Network To Air "Pascha: The Resurrection Of Christ"

NEW YORK – The video presentation of “Pascha: The Resurrection of Christ,” a program highlighting Orthodox Christian Pascha, or Easter, will broadcast on NBC affiliates nationwide this April. The program, produced by Greek Orthodox Telecommunications and sponsored by FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, highlights Holy and Great Week, focusing on the deeply moving and ancient services that recount the Gospel narrative leading to the Death and Resurrection of Christ. Archbishop Demetrios of America leads a procession of the faithful around the church and outside where, following the reading of the Gospel of the Resurrection, they proclaim the joyous hymn “Christ is Risen!”

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is working with affiliates nationwide, urging them to broadcast the program within their local area. Broadcast information will be posted as soon as it becomes available from affiliates. 

For more information on coverage please log on to www.goarch.org/special/paschatv.

DVD copies of the program available for pre-sale ($25, plus $6 shipping). To pre-purchase please contact the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Communications at 212.774.0244 or email gotel@goarch.org.

Announcing "Romans: A Commentary" from OCABS Press

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies is pleased to announce publication of the latest addition to the Chrysostom Bible Series, Romans: A Commentary.  In this volume, the author, Paul Nadim Tarazi, explains that Romans, "the one gospel meant for all the nations living in the Roman empire East and West," was addressed to the capital city and positioned at the beginning of the Pauline corpus to emphasize the universality of St. Paul's teaching. Not only Romans, he argues, but all of Paul's epistles were meant to be read at church gatherings everywhere, "together with the Old Testament." The book is available in both e-book and paperback versions.

The V. Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi is Professor of Biblical Studies and Languages at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He is the author of a three volume Introduction to the Old Testament, a four volume Introduction to the New Testament, Galatians: A Commentary, I Thessalonians: A Commentary, Land and Covenant, and the Chrysostom Bible, Genesis: A Commentary and Philippians: A Commentary. His Audio Bible Commentaries on the books of the New Testament are available online through the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS).

Memory Eternal! + Jean Miriam Card Walker

Mrs. Jean Miriam Card Walker, 100, died on March 1, 2010, at the Little Flower Assisted Living Community in Charlotte, NC.  Mrs. Walker was born in Dora, AL, on April 15, 1909, and lived in Palmerdale, Alabama, for 50 years before moving to Charlotte in 1986.  She is survived by two sons, Fr. Gordon Thomas Walker, Sr. (Mary Sue) founding priest and pastor emeritus of St. Ignatius Church in Franklin, TN; and Phillip Jackson Walker of Charlotte; a daughter, Mary Exa Walker Crew (Steve) of Charlotte; and numerous grand-,great-, and great-great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Mrs. Walker was preceded in death by her loving husband of 50 years, G. T. Walker, Jr.; a daughter, Alice Jean Walker; and a son, David Richard Walker, Sr. (Carol).  Jean personally cared for Alice, a loving special needs child, for over 60 years.  Jean and G. T. were charter members of First Baptist Church of Palmerdale, where Jean sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, and served in many other capacities.  She later taught the Sonshine special needs Sunday school class at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte.  Jean’s life was marked by service and quiet giving to those in need. 

A service of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, March 6, at 10 AM at Roebuck Chapel, 9012 Parkway East, Birmingham, AL, 35206, the Rev. B. J. Strickland of Huntsville officiating.  The family will receive friends from 4:30-8 PM on Friday, March 5, at Roebuck Chapel.  Younger family members will serve as pall bearers.  Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Palmerdale, AL, 35123. 

Metropolitan PHILIP Presides Over Groundbreaking and Surprise Elevation in Florida

Groundbreaking Ceremony:  from left to right The Very Reverend Fr. Joseph Rahal, The Right Reverend Fr. Nicholas Ozone, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, The Very Reverend Fr. Elia Shalhoub, and Mayor of the Town of Davie, Judy Paul.Groundbreaking Ceremony: from left to right The Very Reverend Fr. Joseph Rahal, The Right Reverend Fr. Nicholas Ozone, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, The Very Reverend Fr. Elia Shalhoub, and Mayor of the Town of Davie, Judy Paul.By Charles Weber

Valentine’s weekend is usually a time for sweethearts to get together and celebrate their love for each other. Here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during this time, parishioners of St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church and members of the Archdiocese were celebrating love as well, but love for the Church in the form of stewardship. The ground breaking ceremonies for the new John and Hooda Germack Hall took place over this wonderful weekend with lots of events and fun.

The events started Friday night with a dinner welcoming His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP where the plans and the model for the new hall were presented by Architect Alex Khoury to the Metropolitan, Parish Council, and a few Archdiocese Board of Trustees members. This event was hosted by Salim and Deborah Khoury at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club. There was a short question and answer session about the new hall which was very informative. At the same time, the weekend chairman, Richard Zakka, Spoke about the new St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church Home for Children Program, which will “serve a greater cause than ourselves”, to help orphaned children in need. He stated that “There are over 1 million homeless children in the United States and someone has to take the initiative of changing that number”. Mr. Zakka, who is spearheading this effort, asked “If we don’t do it, who will? If not now, then when?”

St Vladimir’s Seminary Offers Summer Academic Course, June 2010

Fr. John BehrFr. John BehrIn a new summertime venture, St Vladimir’s Seminary will be offering an intensive weeklong academic course for the public, June 13–19, 2010, with an option for academic credit.

Archpriest John Behr, renowned professor of Patristics and dean of St Vladimir’s, will lead a rigorous and rewarding academic class titled “From Gospel to Creed.” The course will examine key Christian figures and explore the historical and thematic paths that led to the formulation and promulgation of the Creed of Nicaea.

“I’m thrilled to offer a course to the general public this summer,” said Fr John. “And, I’m always eager to share what so energizes me—learning about Christ and the origins of my church, and all the providential quirks of history that make that study so fascinating, enduring, and decidedly life-changing.”

Read more about the academic program on the seminary’s Website.

 

Antiochian House of Studies Announces Certificate Program for Pastoral Marriage and Family Counseling

  • For men and women serving in parish ministry with at least three years of experience as clergy, chaplains, Christian Education Staff  who have completed a M.Div. or diploma though the St. Stephen’s or like program.
  • For Orthodox and non-Orthodox Clergy and staff who desire to be more competent in counseling individuals, couples and families.
  • Program will take 2 years and the first session is projected to begin in August of 2010 Classes will meet for two weeks in August, (September) and May at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Class size limited to 15 students.

Year one - Fall Session
The Foundations of Marriage and Family Ministry
Christian Anthropology and Human Development in the Family Life Cycle

Spring Session
Pastoral Care and Professional Ethics
Pastoral Counseling: Skills and Models

Year two - Fall Session
Pastoral Marital Counseling: Skills and Models
Pastoral Family Counseling

Spring Session
Psychopathology
Marriage and Family Counseling Practicum