Pastoral Letter of His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan at the Conclusion of the Special Convention in Chicago
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
As the Special Convention is over, I would like to share with you my gratefulness to our Lord and to each of you for the atmosphere in which everything took place. Indeed, comprehension and sense of responsibility dominated the Convention, with a kind of acceptance of our "imperfectness", accompanied with the commitment to continue implementing best practices at all levels while serving our Church.
In addition, I would like to congratulate you for such a blessed conclusion of the nomination process and I thank the Hierarchs and the members of the Board of Trustees for their valuable contribution in this regard, because their approval of the procedures guaranteed that transparency and professionalism be the cornerstone in such an important event in the life of this Archdiocese.
June 5, 2014
Certification of the Results of the Voting that Occurred at the Special Convention for the Purpose of Nominating Three Candidates for the Office of Metropolitan of this Archdiocese
On June 5th, 2014, the Special Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America was duly convened in Chicago, Illinois, and voted to nominate three candidates who will be eligible for election as the metropolitan of this Archdiocese.
The list of eligible candidates was the one approved pursuant to the Archdiocese Constitution, Section 5, paragraph [D. (1)] by the “Local Synod in agreement with the Board of Trustees” as a result of the meetings of the Local Synod and Board of Trustees that occurred from May 13-14 in Chicago, Illinois.
The delegates attending this convention, pursuant to the Archdiocese Constitution Section 5, paragraph [D. (2)], “did select, by secret ballot, three candidates from the list of eligible candidates”. The specific procedures that were followed were according to the Procedures for Voting, Counting of Votes and the Announcement of the Results of Voting, as approved by the Board of Trustees at its meeting of May 14th, 2014 and which is completely consistent with the Archdiocese Constitution.
Your prayers are requested for the clergy and laity preparing to convene in Chicago as delegates for the Archdiocese Special Convention on Thursday, June 5. This sacred occasion will nominate three clergymen to be submitted to the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch for the election of our new Metropolitan.
Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar-General of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, has announced that His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, has called for a conference on June 26-28, 2014 entitled: "Antiochian Unity: Its Dimensions and Exigencies."
Hierarchs and delegates representing the various Antiochian Archdioceses throughout the world have been invited by the Patriarch to participate in this conference to be held at the Balamand in North Lebanon. Each archdiocese is allotted five delegates; however the North American archdiocese is allotted ten because of its size. The delegations of each archdiocese will participate in one of five major areas of concentration:
On Wednesday May 28, 2014, His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan received His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Joined by Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, the OCA's Director of External Affairs, and Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor, the two hierarchs discussed various issues related to the transition of the Archdiocese and current topics of interest in the Orthodox world. They shared lunch together and continued their discussion.
The visit ended with the singing of "Christ is Risen" for the final time of the Paschal season in the archdiocesan chapel of St. John Chrysostom. Metropolitan Tikhon assured His Eminence and the whole Archdiocese of his prayers and those of the entire OCA during the period of transition. Along with Metropolitan Silouan, also present from the Antiochian Archdiocese were Vicar General Archpriest Thomas Zain, and Archpriest George Kevorkian, Episcopal Assistant.
As the angels, O Savior, wondered at Thy strange elevation, and the Disciples were amazed at Thy dread rising, Thou didst ascend in glory, being God, and the gates were lifted up for Thee. Wherefore, the heavenly powers were surprised, shouting, Glory to Thy condescension, O Savior; glory to Thy reign; glory to Thine Ascension, O Thou Who alone art the Lover of mankind.
--Orthros of the Feast
On the fortieth day after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He was taken up into the heavens in a cloud.
2014 Orthodox Institute for Continuing Education in the Faith
Theosis: Your Life With God
A Weekend of Spiritual Renewal
October 30—November 2, 2014, at Antiochian Village
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, (717) 747-5221
Intro to Event
Course Descriptions: PDF | Word
Course Schedule: PDF | Word
Event Schedule: PDF | Word
Download Registration Form: PDF | Word
PLEASE NOTE: ALL LODGING AND MEAL RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE SEPARATELY WITH THE ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE. CALL (724) 238-3677 ext. 404.
Since last year our Orthodox Institute topic was the Church, with "Blessed is the Kingdom," as the theme, it seemed fitting to then address the spirituality and "renewing" of the persons who make up this Kingdom. We welcome you to join us as our presenters help us explore the meaning of Theosis. Through discussion of such topics as the Jesus Prayer and fasting, we will strive to acquire the proper tools to achieve our greatest potential as Christians: Communion with God.
On Thursday, May 22nd, Metropolitan Silouan led the delegation of the Hierarchs of the Archdiocese to the meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch at his patriarchal residence in Balamand (Lebanon).
The delegation was formed of the following hierarchs: Archbishop Joseph, Bishop Basil, Bishop Thomas, Bishop Alexander, Bishop John, Bishop Anthony and Bishop Nicholas.
After the meetings that lasted for almost two and a half hours, the delegation visited new installations at the residence, mainly the new conference room where the Synod will be hosted from now on, and the Chapel of Pentecost where the Metropolitans will elect a new metropolitan. Afterwards, they visited the patriarchal Media Center.
Who shall declare Thy might, O Christ? And who shall number the multitude of Thy wonders? For as Thou wast doubly seen in Thy goodness on earth, so didst Thou doubly grant healing to the sick; for not only didst Thou heal the bodily eyes of the man born blind from the womb, but the eyes of his soul also. Wherefore, he confessed that Thou art a hidden God, granting all the Great Mercy.
--Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 8
On Tuesday, May 20th, Metropolitan Silouan led a delegation of members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese to the meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch at his residence in Balamand (Lebanon).
The delegation was formed of the following members: Vice President Fawaz El Khoury, Dan Abraham, George Madanat, Mansour Rayan, Dan Braun, Salim Abboud, Majed Nesheiwat, and Edward Assile.
His Beatitude received Metropolitan Silouan in private before meeting the entire delegation. The delegation gave to His Beatitude a letter on behalf of the Board of Trustees unanimously approved at its last meeting on Thursday, May 14th in Chicago. They also presented him with a check of $125,000 as a contribution in the name of the Archdiocese to the humanitarian relief efforts that our Patriarchate is undertaking, especially in the dramatic situation in Syria.
At the end of the interview, before sharing lunch together with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Silouan gave His Beatitude an icon of the Savior that he was given at Saint George Church in Montreal.
On Tuesday and Wednesday May 13th and 14th, His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan presided over the meetings of the Local Synod and Board of Trustees in Chicago, respectively.
In both meetings, the principal issue was the preparation for the Special Convention to be held in Chicago on June 5th. At the end of the deliberations, the Patriarchal Vicar and the Local Synod in agreement with the Board of Trustees announced the list of Eligible Candidates for the office of Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America.
They also approved the text of the call, the procedures to be followed prior to the Special Convention and at the same, regarding the eligibility of voting candidates, the process of voting, counting of votes and announcements of results.
In these meetings, Metropolitan Silouan gave a thorough reading of the legal, ecclesiastical and pastoral aspects of the issues to be treated in preparation of the Special Convention. At the close of the meeting, Metropolitan Silouan congratulated the members of the Board of Trustees for the results, their speedy way in discussing the issues, and the spirit of responsibility that they have demonstrated during the deliberations and upon taking the decisions. Indeed, they have shown a beautiful icon of cooperation and unity between all.
O almighty Savior, Who didst pour forth water for the Hebrews from a solid rock, Thou didst come to the land of Samaria, and addressed a woman, seeking of her water to drink, whom Thou didst attract to faith in Thee, and who hath now attained life in the heavens everlastingly.
--Exaposteilarion of the Feast, Tone 2
On this day, the fifth Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the feast of the Samaritan Woman. When thou camest to obtain corruptible water, O woman,
Thou didst draw forth living water that washeth away the soul’s stains.
In the midst of this Feast, O Savior, give Thou my thirsty soul to drink of the waters of true worship; for Thou didst call out to all, saying: Whosoever is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Wherefore, O Christ our God, Fountain of life, glory to Thee.
+ Apolytikion of the Feast, Tone 8
On the Wednesday of the Paralytic, we celebrate the Feast of Mid-Pentecost.
Standing in the midst of the teachers, Christ the Messiah teacheth at Mid-Feast.
Mid-Pentecost is the midpoint of the fifty days between the Feasts of Pascha and Pentecost. In the Divine Liturgy Gospel passage, we read that “in the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught” (John 7:14).
His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan writes on May 12:
Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy,
Honorable Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, and
Beloved Faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Christ is risen!
I wholeheartedly greet you in this paschal season, accompanied by the “fresh air” of the Spirit that stems from our daily reading of the Acts of the Apostles where the witness of the first apostles and their “fresh air” reaches us, the apostles to this modern time.
After celebrating Holy Week and Holy Pascha with your brothers and sisters in Argentina, I returned to North America in order to start the second period of pastoral visits across this Archdiocese. From April 22 to 29, I visited Wichita, KS, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, and from May 2 to 4, I visited Washington, DC, Baltimore and Potomac, MD. Then from May 8 to 11, I visited Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.
O Thou Who holdest the ends of the earth in the palm of Thy hand, O Jesus our God, Who art co-beginningless with the Father, and Who, together with the Holy Spirit dost rule over all things: Thou didst appear in the flesh, healing infirmities, driving away passions, and giving sight to the blind. And, by a divine word, Thou didst raise up the paralytic, commanding him to walk straightway and to take up upon his shoulders his bed, which had carried him. Wherefore, together with him we all praise Thee and cry: O Compassionate Christ, glory to Thy dominion and might.
--Oikos of the Feast
On this, the fourth Sunday of Pascha, we make commemoration of the Paralytic and, as is meet, we celebrate the miracle wrought for him.
The word of Christ was strength for the paralytic;
And thus this word alone was his healing.
His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan writes on May 7:
Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy,
And Beloved Faithful
of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Christ is risen!
I would like to inform you that the Holy Synod of Antioch, after convening on April 29th, 2014, decided that the participation of the Antiochian Archdioceses around the world in the Assembly of Bishops be restored to its status prior to the decision taken by the same in its session held in October 2013.
After receiving from the Secretariat of our Holy Synod the text of the aforementioned decision, I notified the Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, that the participation of this Archdiocese in the Assembly is effective from the moment that our Holy Synod issued its resolution.
On May 7, Hierarchical Assistant Fr. George Kevorkian released the following letter:
Venerable Hierarchs, Brother Clergy, and Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees:
Christ is Risen!
I send this message on behalf of Metropolitan Silouan and with his approval.
As you all know, the Archdiocesan Synod will meet in the evening on Tuesday May 13th, 2014, and the Board of Trustees will meet all day on Wednesday May 14th, 2014, with both meetings being held in Chicago, Illinois.
Upon completion of these meetings, Metropolitan Silouan will issue the following items in an email message, which will be sent no later than Thursday May 15th:
His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan writes:
The Heart of a High Priest
“I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn't fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers”
Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy,
Honorable Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees,
and Beloved Faithful
of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:
Christ is risen!
With a peaceful heart, I am writing these lines upon commemorating the 40th Day memorial service for the eternal repose of the soul of His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of New York and all North America.
On this occasion, I am wondering about the most precious thing that God ever granted to man: his heart. If any of us watches himself, he realizes what kind of “work” takes place there, a work of love and unity. Parents are aware of such work, because life and experience shape them in such a way that they are called to overcome themselves, be attentive, take care, be responsible, and be able to sacrifice themselves for another's sake. They learn to love and understand, to some extent, what love is about.
As per the instructions from His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina, Patriarchal Vicar for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:
Since the fortieth day of the repose of Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory coincides with Thomas Sunday (a day on which memorials may not be served), Fortieth Day Trisagion Prayers of Mercy for Metropolitan Philip are to be prayed (with kollyva) in all cathedrals, parish church temples, and monasteries of our Archdiocese on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women, May 4, 2014.
Visit the Metropolitan Philip Memorial Section for photographs, video, and written resources commemorating the life and work of our beloved Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory.
The April 2014 issue of The Word is devoted to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory:
Christ is Risen! Editorial, pg. 3
by Bishop John
Memorial Homily on His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, pg. 5
by His Beatitude Patriarch John X
Memorial Address for the Repose of Metropolitan Philip Saliba, pg. 12
by Archbishop Joseph
We Bid You Farewell: Eulogy, pg. 14
by Economos Antony Gabriel
Memory Eternal, Master, pg. 17
by Fr. Timothy Ferguson, Protosyngellos of our Archdiocese
The Life of Metropolitan Philip, pg. 22
Letters of Condolence, pg. 30