by Maral Joulouyan/IOCC Lebanon
Brummana, Lebanon — Located twelve miles east of Beirut, this sleepy mountain town swells in population from 15,000 to 60,000 when tourists from Gulf Arab nations visit during the summer months. Tourism has picked up again in Lebanon since the 2006 war, but families are still struggling to recover.
Wala, 13, used to attend a private school in Brummana, but her father’s restaurant wages were cut and she and her two sisters had to attend the town’s public school. “When we’re short for cash, I try not to be too demanding so that I can help my Dad get the basics for our family,” said Wala. Most poor and lower middle class families in Lebanon are forced to send their children to the nation’s public schools, which are woefully underfunded by the central government and lack basic supplies and proper facilities.
Metropolitan ILYAS (Kurban) Archbishop of Tripoli and al-Koura (i.e. "the countryside"), former proistamenos at St. George Church in Boston and the senior-most member of the Holy Synod of Antioch (having served as a Metropolitan from 1962 until the present), fell asleep in Christ on Thursday, July 30th, 2009. Sayyidna ILYAS was affectionately known as "The Nightingale of Antioch" because of the beauty and compunctionate character of his chanting (click here for video). May his memory be eternal!
Update: His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP has written and sends this loving obituary of the man about whom he writes "the echo of his voice will remain in the ears of the present Orthodox generation, and in many generations to come. His memory indeed is eternal!" More photos of Metropolitan ILYAS may be found here.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his righteous ones” Psalm 115:5
Metropolitan ILYAS (Kurban) was born in Ain-Sindyaneh in the late 1920’s. He lost his father when he was a child. He and his brothers and sisters were raised by his late mother of blessed memory. He began his life in the Church at a very early age at Saint Elias Monastery of Showaia and subsequently he enrolled at the Balamand Seminary near Tripoli, Lebanon. He was gifted with an angelic voice and excelled in Byzantine Music. After he left Balamand Seminary, he enrolled at the Asiya Orthodox School in Damascus where he received his Baccalaureate Degree. From Damascus he came to Beirut to live at the Orthodox Bishopric under the Omophorion of the late Metropolitan ELIA (Saleeby).
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl – The Orthodox Christian Network is excited to announce its newest addition to its already dynamic and ever evolving list of Podcast Channels – a series dedicated to Orthodox Parenting. Rev. Dr. Christopher T. Metropulos, the Executive Director of the SCOBA Agency said, “We are truly excited to offer this new channel dedicated to assist parents raising children in the Orthodox Christian way. OCN welcomes with pride Ginny Nieuwsma, a dedicated mother of six along with the professionals who will be asked to appear on the program”.
Archpriest James Kenna, 74, of St. Sophia in Dripping Springs, TX, was fatally injured in an automobile accident on Sunday, July 26th 2009. Services for Fr. James will be held at St. Sophia on Tuesday July 28 and Wednesday July 29th; see below for further details, or visit St. Sophia's web site.
From the Austin American Statesman:
The Rev. James Kenna was an energetic Dripping Springs pastor who founded several Orthodox Christian parishes in Central Texas and, even in retirement, was looking to establish more.
"He never wanted to quit," said the Rev. David Barr, the pastor of St. Elias Orthodox Church in Austin. Kenna, 74, died Sunday afternoon in a car wreck on his way home from lunch with a parishioner after attending church in Dripping Springs. Austin police officials said Kenna's PT Cruiser left Texas 45 for an unknown reason, crashed into a fence and flipped over into a retention pond.
The 2009 Antiochian Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, California concluded over the weekend of July 25-26. After Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, the day was taken up with events such as the Oratorical Festival and other youth activities. Attendees enjoyed a banquet and dance on Saturday evening, followed by a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.
Click here to view more photos of the final days of the convention. The entire Oratorical Festival and the closing banquet program may be heard on Ancient Faith Radio.
Click here to listen to Ancient Faith Radio's broadcast His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP's address to the general assembly at the 2009 Archdiocese Convention on Friday, July 24.
The address ran for well over 45 minutes, and covered a wide range of topics, including Metropolitan PHILIP's response to what he termed criticisms of his leadership, particularly those involving finances.
The 2009 Antiochian Convention in Palm Desert coincided with the announcement by Conciliar Media Ministries that the ministry is discontinuing AGAIN and The Handmaiden magazines in their current printed forms, as well as moving the base of operations for Conciliar to the Chicago area.
Said CEO John Maddex, “We are embracing new technology that will reduce our costs by utilizing digital and audio formats where possible. While such decisions are difficult, these adjustments represent a necessary pruning and will result in a new lean model of operations with a continued strong evangelistic emphasis.”
Ancient Faith Radio is on the job at the 2009 Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, California. Visit AFR's site to listen to key speeches, events, divine services and other gatherings. Highlights so far include a pre-convention interview with Co-Chairman Don Meena about the work that went into planning and preparing this year's conference; an interview with Fr. Consantine Nasr of St. Elijah in Oklahoma City; plus recordings of Vespers and Divine Liturgy.
The 2009 Archdiocese Convention began on the morning of Sunday, July 19 in Palm Desert, California. Events commenced with the celebration of orthros and Divine Liturgy, as well as a Teen SOYO leadership workshop. Divine Liturgy commemorating the Prophet Elias was celebrated on Monday morning, and Monday's schedule also contained a variety of youth activities.
The Convention will continue through Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 26. Please check our 2009 Convention page here on Antiochian.org for continuing updates and images. For any registration and logistical information, please click here.
“HOLY WOMEN OF THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH” contains:
Over 500 women saints, with icons & troparia & kontakia for each
Major feast days devoted to Our Most Holy Theotokos & Ever-Virgin Mary
Miracle-working icons to the Theotokos
Compiled & Edited by Dianne O’Regan, 2007-2009 NAB Religious Coordinator
For two thousand years, the Orthodox Christian Church has been blessed with a plethora of materials on women who have been called by God to a life of holiness. Now, for the first time, the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America has compiled this information into one, easily accessible resource – Holy Women of the Orthodox Christian Church. Each copy is priced at $5.00 to cover reproduction and postage costs.
The Antiochian Archdiocese is home to a range of ministries laboring for the sake of our youth and our families. Although all of these programs together encompass a broad range of activity and age groups, all share the same goal: to encourage full participation in the life of the Church through worship, witness, service, and fellowship. All of these ministries are looking for ways to build up our youth and help Orthodox parents navigate the challenging parenting climate of today.
Conciliar Media Ministries under the direction of CEO John Maddex coordinated an evangelism project in Oklahoma City June 19 and 20 with funding provided by the Antiochian Archdiocese as well as Charles Ajalat of the Orthodox Vision Foundation. Central Oklahoma was saturated with a four-week media blitz that included newpaper, radio, television, billboards, yard signs, and internet advertising. The advertising campaign was led by St. Elijah members Richard Yeager, John and Kathi Larson, and Mark Loftis.
His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP Announces the Establishment of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village
It is with great joy that His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP announces the establishment of the Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village. The Acting Superior of the convent will be Mother Alexandra (Magan), and we welcome her with joy to the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.
Mother Alexandra will take up residency at the Antiochian Village during the first week of July, and will live in temporary housing until such time as the residence building is constructed on the proposed site for the convent, which is on the main property at the Antiochian Village. This will allow her to experience a good part of the camping season, and to interact with our children.
She also has plans to attend the Archdiocese Convention in late July, and to have a presence at the St. Thekla Pilgrimage which will be held at the Antiochian Village in September.
There will soon be a website established for the convent, where all important news and information will be posted.
Click here to read a brief biography of Mother Alexandra.
The Dept. of Sacred Music has long maintained one of the most popular sections of this website, a library of hundreds of pieces of official liturgical sheet music for use by our parishes. Now this library has been improved with a new interface for users, and many other changes to the software supporting the catalog. The new design will make it possible in the future for the department to work in collaboration with Antiochian.org to add audio tracks to accompany the sheet music, and more.
Currently, the library is highlighting the music for the upcoming Archdiocese Convention.
Click here to visit the Department of Sacred Music, chaired by Christopher Holwey.
Our 49th Antiochian Archdiocese Convention will take place July 19 to 26, 2009, in Palm Desert, CA. Hosted by St. Michael Church of Van Nuys, the theme of the convention is: "Be mindful, O Lord, of those who bear fruit and do good works in thy Holy Churches, and who remember the poor."
This important gathering of our faithful from across North America will be reported on via a variety of new media sources. The editors at Antiochian.org will be posting daily from the convention, and we have prepared a special section ready for this reporting, where you can also learn about the official website for the convention, other media ministries who will be in Desert Springs, and more.
In particular, we want to note that for the first time the convention planners have made available in advance online the official reports prepared by each department and ministry for delivery at the Convention. To take advantage of this valuable resource, you can download the reports as a single PDF file from the Convention website here.
It has been the tradition of the Holy Synod of Antioch that all official resolutions that have been duly adopted at a meeting of the Holy Synod are published with the signatures of the Patriarch, as well as all of the Metropolitans who were present at the meeting. In this way, the will of the Holy Synod is expressed in a most powerful way by the presence of all of the signatures of the attending hierarchs. The most recent example of this was the communication of the decision of February 24th, 2009, which was distributed with all of the signatures of the hierarchs who were in attendance (the Arabic version may be viewed here by way of example).
The Holy Synod of Antioch met from June 16 through 18, 2009, to consider the status of bishops across the See of Antioch and other matters. However, the Archdiocese has not received any document that contains the signatures of all of the hierarchs who were in attendance at that meeting. When we do receive such a document, we will publish it as the official decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch.
The theme of the upcoming 2009 Archdiocese Convention is charity: "Be mindful, O Lord, of those who bear fruit and do good works in thy holy Churches, and who remember the poor." In that spirit, Antiochian.org will begin publishing additional content on the charitable work being done across the Antiochian Archdiocese and the ministries we support, including those of SCOBA (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas), like OCN.
The Orthodox Christian Network is excited to announce another addition to its already dynamic and ever evolving list of Radio on Demand Programming (Podcast), The FOCUS North America Podcast.
The Focus North America Podcast will feature engaging commentary and timely updates on Orthodox Christian social action volunteers, agencies and ministries of the Orthodox Church reaching out to the poor and needy here at home.
Rev. Dr. Christopher Metropulos, the Executive Director of the OCN, an agency of SCOBA, said, “Serving the poor and needy in North America should be a priority for every Orthodox Christian. We are proud to partner with FOCUS North America and to support their dynamic and growing ministry on behalf of the whole Church.”