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West Coast Sacred Music Institute, Jan. 19-22

The West Coast Sacred Music Institute will be held from January 19-22, 2012 at the La Casa de Maria Conference and Retreat Center in Santa Barbara. The theme "The Theotokos and Mother of Light, Let Us Magnify in Song!" will be carried out over the course of the full weekend of workshops. Topics include the role of the Theotokos, hymns to the Theotokos, beginner’s theory and sight-reading courses, Byzantine chant, conducting, choral rehearsal techniques and vocal techniques.

The lovely grounds of the Catholic retreat center, the La Casa de Maria in Santa Barbara, California, boast fountains and rare shrubs, organic vegetable gardens and woodland paths. For more information, contact MaryFaith Woods at, or (831)331-8323.

Download the Institute Agenda.

Download the Registration Form for those staying at La Casa, or a separate form for commuters.

The Consecrations of Our New Hierarchs, Bishops John, Anthony and Nicholas

From The Word, January 2012:

On Sunday, December 11, 2011, three new auxiliary bishops were consecrated for the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, in Balamand, Lebanon. Their Graces John (Abdalah), Anthony (Michaels) and Nicholas (Ozone) were consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop for Worcester and New England, Auxiliary Bishop for Toledo and the Midwest, and Auxiliary Bishop for Brooklyn and Assistant to the Metropolitan in Englewood, New Jersey, respectively.

January 2012 Edition of The Word Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

The January 2012 issue contains the following articles:

The Consecration of Our New Hierarchs: Bishops John, Anthony and Nicholas, pg. 4

Metropolitan Philip Hosts the Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, pg. 10

Translation as a Means of Grace, pg. 14
by Professor Anthony Gythiel

Spiritual Struggle and the Christian, pg. 18
by Fr. Daniel Morton

Postmodern Young People and the Liturgy, pg. 22
by V. Rev. Fr. David J. Randolph

...and more!

Fr. Peter Gillquist Reflects on Years of Ministry in AFR Interview

John Maddex, CEO of Conciliar Media Ministries, recently visited the home of Fr. Peter and Kh. Marilyn Gillquist to talk about the announcement by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of Fr. Peter's retirement as Chairman of the Department of Missions and Evangelism for the Antiochian Archdiocese. In a roundtable discussion, John Maddex reminisced with Fr. Peter, Kh. Marilyn, and their son and Antiochian priest, Fr. Peter Jon Gillquist, about past years of ministry. Fr. Peter also shared his vision and hopes for the next generation of evangelists.

Listen to the interview.

View a retrospective photo gallery.

Fr. Peter Gillquist to Retire as Head of Department of Missions and Evangelism, Fr. Michael Keiser Appointed as New Head

Fr. Michael KeiserFr. Michael KeiserEffective December 31, 2011, Fr. Peter Gillquist will retire as the Head of the Archdiocese Department of Missions and Evangelism, and Fr. Michael Keiser is appointed as the new Head of this Department.

We extend our most heartfelt thanks to Fr. Peter Gillquist for the exemplary service which he has given to this effort for more than 23 years. It is safe to say that the entire missions program of this Archdiocese has been founded by his efforts, and his work leaves a strong base upon which we can build. We also acknowledge Khourieh Marilyn Gillquist for the support which she has given over these many years.

The Nativity Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

Behold a new and wondrous mystery.

My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of justice. And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed; He had the power; He descended; He redeemed; all things yielded in obedience to God.

Three New Auxiliary Bishops Consecrated, Bishop Joseph Elevated to Archbishop

Editor's Update, 12/15/11:

Video of the consecration service is available online.

View a YouTube video of consecration service excerpts.

Fr. Thomas Zain writes:

On Sunday, December 11, 2011, three new auxiliary bishops were consecrated for the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Balamand, Lebanon. Their Graces, JOHN, ANTHONY and NICHOLAS were consecrated as bishops of Worcester, Toledo, and Brooklyn and will serve as auxiliaries to His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP.

Consecration of Three Newly Elected Auxiliary Bishops

Editor's Update, December 9, 2011:

We ask that our faithful pray for the delegation currently travelling to Lebanon for the consecrations of our new bishops. May God grant them many, many years!

The Middle Eastern media resource Noursat will be broadcasting online the consecration services with His Beatitude Ignatius IV. See this link for additional information. More details will be added as they are made available.

Original Post, October 11, 2011:

His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East has confirmed the date and location for the consecration of our three newly-elected Auxiliary Bishops, namely:

Bishop-Elect John (Abdalah) – Auxiliary Bishop for Worcester and New England

Bishop-Elect Anthony (Michaels) – Auxiliary Bishop for Toledo and the Midwest

Bishop-Elect Nicholas (Ozone) – Auxiliary Bishop for Brooklyn and assisting the Metropolitan in Englewood, NJ

December 2011 Edition of The Word Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

The December 2011 issue contains the following articles:

Finding Refreshment at the St. Thekla Pilgrimage, pg. 4
by Mother Alexandra

The Syrian Regime, pg. 10
by Dr. Najib E. Saliba

Arabic Culture, pg. 16
by Odeese M. Ghassa-Khalil

...and more!

2012 Special Olympics Fund Grows; There's Still Time to Give

Special Olympics Coaches and CampersSpecial Olympics Coaches and CampersFr. Joseph Purpura, Chair of the Department of Youth Ministry, reports that through the diligent efforts of SOYO members, nearly $33,000.00 has been collected since October for the Special Olympics Sports Camp at Antiochian Village. Every summer, hundreds of Special Olympic campers and SOYO counselors convene for a unique week of activity and growth.

Fr. Joseph notes, "We are very grateful to the many parishes that have contributed to the NAC SOYO / PASO Special Olympics. Browse the list of contributions here.

Groundbreaking SVS Press Biography of Metropolitan Antony Bashir to be Released

St. Vladimir's Press is now taking orders for a new biography about Metropolitan Antony Bashir, the visionary Orthodox leader who was Metropolitan Philip's predecessor. Authored by Fr. Constantine Nasr, the book is the third volume in the Press'  Orthodox Profiles series. Fr. Constantine explains that "the election of Metropolitan Antony Bashir in 1936 gave birth to the Antiochian Archdiocese....The turbulent years of the splintering of immigrant orthodoxy into multiple ethnic jurisdictions are all but forgotten today. This is a behind the scenes look at a metropolitan who brought order out of chaos, as he fought for a single archdiocese for Arabic-speaking Christians in America, and laid a foundation upon which others would achieve the unity he so desperately sought."

"An Event Like No Other:" 2011 Institute is a Pan-Orthodox Success

Fr. Thomas Speaks to Institute ParticipantsFr. Thomas Speaks to Institute ParticipantsReport and Photos by Shelley Pituch

View Photo Gallery

The 2011 Orthodox Institute, held at Antiochian Village, near Ligonier, PA, over the weekend of November 3 – 6, was advertised as “an event like no other” and it proved to live up to its claim in more than one way. The theme was “Scripture through the Lens of the Holy Land” and this was the first time that the Orthodox Institute was a multi-jurisdictional collaboration between the host of the event, the Antiochian Department of Christian Education, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Orthodox Church in America Department of Christian Education, and the Orthodox Christian Education Commission.

Antiochian Departments to Host Historic Youth Worker Conference, Jan. 25-28

A historic January 2012 Orthodox Christian Youth Worker Conference, endorsed by the Committee for Youth of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, is planned for all Youth Workers, Camp Directors and Staff, and OCF Chaplains. The conference runs from Wednesday January 25 to Saturday January 28, 2012 at the Antiochian Village Conference Center and will be hosted by the Departments of Youth Ministry and of Camping of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

Village Alumni Weekend Marks Ten-Year Memorial of Fr. John Namie

Khalil Samara with Fr. John Namie's sisters, Jane and JoanKhalil Samara with Fr. John Namie's sisters, Jane and JoanThe weekend of November 4-6, 2011 was indeed a very special weekend at the Antiochian Village. Coming together with old and new friends and reminiscing about our memories of camp would have been quite enough to make it a full weekend, but there was even more. Alumni Weekend coincided with St. Raphael of Brooklyn’s feast day, so we were able to celebrate the Great Vespers, Matins and Divine Liturgy at St. Ignatius Church, praying at the site of his holy relics. November 5, 2011 marked the 10 year memorial of our first Camp Director, the Rt. Rev. Archmandrite John Namie of blessed memory. Campers and staff that have been influenced by Fr. John’s guidance and love, both directly and indirectly, came together for Alumni Weekend to remember his ministry at the Village, to pray for him, and to still learn from him through videos of him.

Read the complete report.

Watch the videos and view the photo gallery.

November 2011 Edition of The Word Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

The November 2011 issue contains the following articles:

Editorial, pg. 3
by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

Delegation to Syria, pg. 4
by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

50th Antiochian Archdiocese Convention: General Assembly Reports, pg. 13

What is the Difference between a Cradle Orthodox Person and a Convert?, pg. 70
by Fr. Stephen Powley

Sharing Hope and Happiness, One Car at a Time..., pg. 73

...and more!

Clergy Wives Weekend Inspires and Refreshes

by Kh. Stefanie Yazge

“Clergy Wife: Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend” was the theme of the third annual Clergy Wives Weekend, held at Antiochian Village, from October 28-30. This year’s Weekend was not only successful, but will probably go down in history as unique, thanks to Saturday’s snow storm! (See a snow photo in the photo gallery here.) Fifty one wives of priests, deacons and seminarians, from as far away as Texas and Colorado, came together for this pan-Orthodox weekend of prayer, reflection and informal fellowship. However, five of our “commuters” did not make it because of the unseasonal storm that dumped 6-8 inches of snow at the Village.

Saturday morning’s speaker was Mother Christophora, abbess of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City. Her encouraging words began with reminding us that we are first and foremost daughters of God our father and the Church our mother. In that relationship we find our true selves, and our salvation.  

Metropolitan Philip Hosts Dinner in Honor of His Beatitude Mar Bechara Al-Raa’i

On Saturday October 22nd, 2011, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, hosted a dinner in honor of His Beatitude Mar Bechara Al-Raa’i, Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, at the headquarters of the Antiochian Archdiocese in Englewood, New Jersey.

Among the guests who were in attendance were the following dignitaries:

Dr. Bashar Ja’afari, Ambassador for Syria to the UN

His Excellency Antoine Chedid, Ambassador for Lebanon

His Excellency Antoine Azzam, Consul General for Lebanon

Youth Month Interview: Fr. Anthony Yazge

Since October is Youth Month in the Antiochian Archdiocese, the editors at caught up with Fr. Anthony Yazge, who heads up the College Department for the Archdiocese, as well as the camping program at Antiochian Village. (Read this 2006 Word interview with Fr. Anthony and browse his Ask Abouna column.)

Fr. Anthony has been serving teens, college students and campers since 1981, and after thirty years he still approaches his ministry with dedication and enthusiasm.

1.  How many years have you been working in youth ministries, and what kind of roles have you filled?

I basically went from my teenage years to being involved in youth ministry. As a seminarian I was involved in planning and leading teen retreats. A few years after ordination, I was appointed as the Midwest Teen SOYO Spiritual Advisor and served in that position for fourteen years before being appointed as the NAC Teen SOYO Spiritual Advisor for the last six years. As the Spiritual Advisor of Teen SOYO, I participated with our teens in many outreach projects over twenty years. In 2001 I was assigned to be priest in charge of Teen SOYO’s Special Olympics Camp and am currently still part of this ministry.

In addition to serving as a Spiritual Advisor for Teen SOYO the past twenty years, I have served the Antiochian Village for many years. I was a camp counselor in 1981 and was a session priest for thirteen years prior to my current assignment as Camp Director in 2006. I have also led a team of teens on a short term mission trip to Project Mexico.

St. George Cathedral Hosts Board of Trustees Meeting, October 14 & 15

During the weekend of October 14th through 16th, the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees held their Spring meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, Massachusetts, hosted by St. George Cathedral of Worcester. In addition, the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch held their meeting during that same weekend.

The Archdiocesan Board of Trustees dealt with many important issues, including a review of the financial report as of September 30, 2011. By the grace of God, and through the most careful fiscal management, the financial report shows a surplus on a year-to-date basis; however, the budget anticipates that there will be a small deficit for the entire year.

Click here to see photos from the meeting.

St. Luke the Evangelist + October 18

Source: St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church, Palos Hills, ILSource: St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church, Palos Hills, ILWith Sacred Songs, let us praise the holy Apostle the Narrator of the Acts of the Apostles and Author of the Bright Gospel of Christ  the All-Hymned Luke Whose Fame is not Confined to Christ's Church for He is the Physician who Heals Men's Ills Nature's Frailties and the Soul's Injuries and he Prays Unceasingly, for our souls.

+ Troparion of St. Luke the Evangelist, Tone 5

The Holy Disciple and Evangelist Luke, was a native of Syrian Antioch, a Disciple from amongst the Seventy, a companion of the holy Apostle Paul (Phil. 1: 24, 2 Tim. 4: 10-11), and a physician enlightened in the Greek medical arts. Hearing about Christ, Luke arrived in Palestine and here he fervently accepted the preaching of salvation from the Lord Himself. Included amidst the number of the Seventy Disciples, Saint Luke was sent by the Lord with the others for the first preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven while yet during the earthly life of the Saviour (Lk. 10: 1-3). After the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Saints Luke and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.