News


Bishop John Returns to Alma Mater for Festal Liturgy

Bishop John addresses students at St. Vladimir's SeminaryBishop John addresses students at St. Vladimir's SeminarySt. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York, reports:

In his first visit to campus as a hierarch, His Grace The Right Rev. John Abdalah, auxiliary bishop for the Antiochian Archdiocese's Diocese of Worcester and New England, presided over the liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos at Three Hierarchs Chapel on campus.

Bishop John received his Master of Divinity degree with the Class of 1984. For 33 years, he served as a priest of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, before being consecrated as Auxiliary of the Diocese of Worcester and New England on December 11, 2011. He also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care from Pittsburgh Theological School, a Master's equivalency certificate in Pastoral Counseling from Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a late summer storm blew through the Westchester County campus, bringing wind and rain that relentlessly pounded the chapel, His Grace calmly and joyfully served alongside other Antiochian and seminary clergy.

Memory Eternal! + Paul Saba

MEMORY ETERNAL! Paul Saba, 88, of Largo, Florida, passed away on August 15, 2012. Paul was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 1, 1923 to Gabriel and Pauline (Asha) Saba. Paul was a member of the Order of St. Ignatius and a founding member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, St. Petersburg, Florida. A veteran of the US Air Force, Paul was currently attending Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Safety Harbor, Florida. He was very active in the Orthodox Church and was president of the SOYO club several times.

Read Paul's complete obituary and view the guest book.

Fall 2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York, and contains:

  • The Cross in Our Lives by His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • News from St. George Church of Montreal

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Bishop Basil Blesses Residence for the Disabled

Bishop Basil blesses Sheltering Tree building siteBishop Basil blesses Sheltering Tree building siteOn Saturday August 18, eight Orthodox clergy, future residents and their families, and friends of the Sheltering Tree gathered in an open lot in Bellevue, Nebraska--despite the threat of rain--to pray with His Grace, Bishop Basil of The Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, as he blessed the building site for The Sheltering Tree I, a communal residence for developmentally disabled persons.

The Sheltering Tree I is the result of much faith and prayer and hard work. This first Sheltering Tree will be a home for 10 developmentally disabled persons who will enjoy independence in their own distinct apartments, surrounding common areas for community life. Live-in managers will provide support for the residents. The two-acre site was secured with funding via a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant, The Topeka Federal Home Loan Bank, and many personal offerings--totaling over $2 million.

God’s presence was evident at the blessing when the rainy clouds dispersed and warm rays of sunshine accompanied His Grace’s arrival at the site.

2012 Orthodox Institute Mid-America

The 2012 Orthodox Institute Mid‐America

Saturday, September 29, 8:30‐4:30
St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church
9302 Riverview Ave., Kansas City, KS
Pre-registration required by September 21
Download Brochure (PDF)

The Orthodox Institute Mid‐America is a pan‐Orthodox endeavor for continuing education of the faithful and is coordinated by the Orthodox Christian Education Commission Department of Teacher Training, Myra Kovalak, Director (mekovalak@gmail.com). Fr. Elias Issa, of the host parish, and event chairperson, Kathy Kelly cordially invite you to the 2012 Institute which will include an exhibit of the Holy Land. You may register by phone, email, or mail. Contact Kathy Kelly, e‐mail: teacheromara@aol.com, phone: 816.853.9998. The cost of the event, $35, includes lunch and materials.

The presenters will be Mat. Valerie Zahirsky, Al and Dee Kacere, and Carole Buleza. Participants can choose from three tracks of courses, “Scripture,” “Teacher Training II for Elementary,” or “Teacher Training II for MS/HS.”

For more information and a registration form, please download the event brochure (PDF).

OCF Announces Fr. Michael Ellis Selected As North American Chaplain

Fr. Michael Ellis and familyFr. Michael Ellis and familyBrookline, MA (August 21, 2012) 

The North American OCF Office announces the recent appointment of Fr. Michael J. Ellis to the position of North American Chaplain.

The North American Chaplain works across all Orthodox jurisdictions, providing resources and assistance to the chaplains who work directly with the students on campus. Fr Michael will be coordinating the OCF Chaplaincy Network of regional,district and local OCF chaplains and handling ecclesiastical/spiritual issues brought to his attention from both the staff of the OCF North American Office and the local OCF chapters.

Fr. Michael and his wife Presvytera Jesica, both originally from upstate New York, currently reside in Mansfield, OH with their two children Alexander and Sophia.

Fr. Michael is a graduate of the State University of New York, College at Brockport where he completed his undergrad work, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications Studies, emphasis Interpersonal and Organizational Communications.

Sunday, Sept. 2: Ancient Faith Today Looks at "Evangelical Orthodox" Legacy

On Sunday, September 2, the live, call-in radio program of Ancient Faith Radio featured the theme, "Back to the Future: A Reflection on the Past and Future Legacy of the 'Evangelical Orthodox' in Canonical Orthodoxy."

The guest was the V. Rev. Jon Braun, ex-Campus Crusade for Christ Regional Director and former leader of the Evangelical Orthodox Church. Fr. Peter Gillquist of blessed memory was originally scheduled to be interviewed on this program as well. As a tribute to his life and legacy, Conciliar Press has made Fr. Peter's booklet Finishing the Race available as a free download.

The call-in number for Ancient Faith Today is: 1-855-AFRADIO (1-855-237-2346), and it streams live at 5:00 pm Pacific, 7:00 pm Central, and 8:00 pm Eastern every other Sunday.

Listen to the complete podcast with Fr. Jon.

Memory Eternal! + Nabiha Nasr

Fr. Fouad Saba writes:

Glory to Jesus Christ who is the Resurrection and the Life! Glory forever!

St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida is saddened to inform you of the passing into eternal life of the handmaid of God, Nabiha Nasr, early this morning, August 29, 2012, at the age of 94. Nabiha, late widow of Jules Nasr, and matriarch of the Nasr family, was mother to five children, twelve grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren. St. George Cathedral offers her sincerest condolences to her children, Michel (Cathedral Council President), Aimee, Mouna, Gretta, Sally, and their families. May the loving God who gave His only Son, grant rest to his handmaiden, Nabiha, with the Saints, and may He bless and comfort the Nasr family with his Grace.

The following arrangements have been made:

2013 Archdiocese Convention in Houston Open for Registration

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston, TX is honored to be the convention host! The site of the convention is Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston. 

EVENTS WILL INCLUDE:

  • International Welcome Reception
  • Country Western BBQ & Dance
  • Mardi Gras Masquerade
  • 21/40 Camp Reunion
  • Daily Kid's Club
  • AND MORE!!!

ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW AVAILABLE FOR:

  • Events
  • Hotel Reservations
  • Souvenir Journal
  • Vendor Tables
  • Sponsorship Opportunities

Visit the Convention website to register today!

Longest Serving Board Member Celebrates 100th Birthday

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

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

New OCMC Videos Highlight African Ministry

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

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

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

View the OCMC YouTube page here.

Byzantine Chanting Workshop, Sept. 27-30

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

The Diatonic Tones: Heirmologic/Brief Melodies

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

Classical Learning Resource Center Begins 4th Year of Online Classes

Anne van Fossen of the Classical Learning Resource Center writes:

We’re excited about the new academic year beginning Monday August 27th.  We’ve opened new sections of all of our introductory Latin classes and our introductory Literature and Composition classes in order to accommodate all the registered students.  We have several new Literature and Composition classes this year and have expanded our Homer classes to include a variety of additional ancient Greek Literature including Plato, Herodotus, Hippocrates, and Aesop.

Here are a few excerpts from some emails we received last year:

  • "Thank you for everything.  We love, love, love the class.  I am in awe of your patience and your lovely presence via the web." Amy M., New Hampshire
  • "Thank you for a great term.  The kids have learned so much. They have expanded their vocabulary in both English and Latin, learned how to interact in an online classroom, how to prepare for a teacher who is not their parent, and how to learn academically from someone else with confidence." Alicia V., New Zealand
  • "I've taken foreign language classes at the high school, college and graduate school level - you are the best by FAR." Mary K., Texas
  • "She is really enjoying your class and is working hard on it.  I am very glad we made the decision to enroll her this year." Jennifer C., Tennessee

We enjoy teaching at least as much as our students enjoy learning (and probably learn as much too).

Classical Greek and Latin for all ages!

Memory Eternal! + Archimandrite Constantine Atanas Yanney

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

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

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

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

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

Orthodox School Opens its Doors in Wichita

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

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

Coalition for Healthy Youth Establishes Chicago Headquarters

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

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

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

Memory Eternal! + His Holiness Abune Paulos of Ethiopia

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

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

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

Fellowship of St. John Hosts September Retreat

“Run to Receive the Prize”

The 6th Annual Inter-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat

September 14-16, 2012

at

St. George Orthodox Church

                                           55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury, MA 02132

                                             Keynote Speaker: His Grace Bishop +Anthony Michaels

Youth Music Ministry Program Premiers at Annual Institute

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

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

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

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

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

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

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

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

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

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

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

Bishop Demetri Khoury Releases Prophetologion E-Book

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

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

From the Introduction:

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

OCF Gearing Up for Fall Outreach

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

Brookline, MA (OCF)

Orthodox Christian Fellowship's Executive Director Jennifer Nahas writes:

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

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

New Booklet Presents Church's Teaching about Memorials

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

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

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

Spotlight: Antiochian.org on Facebook

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

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