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February 2012 Edition of The Word Now Available Online

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The February 2012 issue contains the following articles:

A Personal Tribute to Kathy Meyer, pg. 4
by Economos Antony Gabriel

Visit to Al-Kafaat, pg. 6
by V. Rev. Fr. George Alberts

Book Review: A Second Round of Soul Searching, pg. 8
by Carole Buleza

Works of the Order in Action, pg. 13
by V. Rev. Michael Ellias

Let Us Pray, pg. 14
by John Truslow

The Armor of God: Putting on Christ!, pg. 18
by Rammy I. Zanayed

...and more!

We are experimenting with a different, double-page spread format for The Word Magazine PDF files. We hope that this change will provide a better view of the layout and design of the magazine. We welcome reader feedback regarding the readability and usability of this format! Please send comments to

OCN Announces New Blog Chief and Writers

Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) has announced its appointment of Melinda Johnson to the post of blog chief for "The Sounding," and the addition of new writers and topics to the blog. Ms. Johnson is the author of Letters to Saint Lydia (Conciliar Press, 2010) and founder of the popular “Orthodox Writers, Readers, and Artists” series.

Notes Fr. Chris Metropulos, Executive Director of OCN, "Our new writers come to us from many places and perspectives. They're travelers, artists, parents, authors, teachers, and priests.  Some of them are well known, and others have just been discovered. But all of them are eager to begin with you, a wonderful conversation. Let us start our worldwide conversation of the issues today."

The content of “The Sounding” has been significantly expanded to address a wide range of topics such as popular culture, education, spiritual journeys, children’s literature, adoption and infertility, Biblical commentary, health and nutrition, and Orthodox poetry. Writers range from well known theological authors such as Fr. Lawrence Farley, to seasoned bloggers such as Sylvia Leontaritis.

Antiochian Women Leadership Profiled in DIAKONIA

Incoming and outgoing NAB officers at Chicago convention, 2011Incoming and outgoing NAB officers at Chicago convention, 2011The recently released issue of the DIAKONIA, the quarterly newsletter of the Antiochian Christian Women of North America, features profiles of all of the women serving as officers on the North American Board, as well as their Hierarchical Overseer, the Most Reverend Archbishop Joseph, and their Advisor, the Right Reverend Bishop John.

Violet Robbat - President

"I was born in Boston, MA and am a former member of St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham, MA, where I was active as a Sunday School teacher, Teen SOYO Advisor and President of Senior SOYO (known today as St. John the Divine). I graduated from Northeastern University with a Degree in Cytology, and became a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Cytology is the study of cells, and my job at Massachusetts General Hospital entailed diagnosing Cancer. In 1973, I married my husband Richard (38 years) and we are members of St. Mary Orthodox Church, Cambridge, MA."

Read more about Violet and all the officers in DIAKONIA. (PDF)

Antiochian Village Hosts Assembly of Bishops Youth Committee

The Committee for Youth of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America held its semi-annual meeting on January 24th and 25th, 2012. The meeting convened at the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center, Bolivar, PA, in conjunction with the Committee for Youth’s Consultants Meeting and was followed by the annual Camp and Youth Worker Conference (January 25-28, 2012).

Climacus Conference to Examine the Legacy of Byzantium

On February 24 and 25, St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky will host the 2012 Climacus Conference, titled "Byzantium, You Are Not Forgotten." Authors, academics and broadcasters will speak to the enduring legacy of Byzantium and its continuing impact on the Church today.

The conference is billed as "a pan-Orthodox event featuring scholars and voices across the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Patristics, Classical Education, Literature, and History/Politics." The flyer explains, "It is unique in that it provides an opportunity for people to be enriched by thinking well across disciplines. It furthers the life of the mind through scholarly engagement with the classic liberal arts, but achieves such by placing the mind in the noetic heart, where freedom, knowledge, and vision exist, enabling our ascension 'of the ladder'."

Antiochian Village to Host Marriage Retreat, February 17-20

On February 17-20, the weekend following Valentines Day, Antiochian Village is sponsoring a pan-Orthodox marriage retreat, titled “Orthodox Marriage: Forgiveness, Enrichment, and a Path to Holiness.”

The retreat is billed as a way for couples to attend to their marriages through small group discussions, marital assessment instruments, and inspiring lectures all set within the context of the liturgical life of the Church. In addition to participating in these more serious activities, couples will also enjoy a wine and cheese night, a candlelight dinner and dance, and a movie night.

This year’s speakers are: Drs. David and Mary Ford, Associate Professors at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and co-authors of the book, Marriage as a Path to Holiness: Lives of Married Saints; Fr. John Mefridge, a marriage and family therapist and founding priest of St. Ephraim the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Church in San Antonio, TX; and Dr. David Weaver-Zercher, professor at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. 

For more information, contact Barli Brown, Antiochian Village’s Orthodox Program Development Director, at, or download the retreat brochure.

Orthodox Scout Sunday is February 5

Orthodox Scout receives St. George medalOrthodox Scout receives St. George medalOn Sunday, February 5, 2012, Scouts all over the United States will celebrate Scout Sunday, and as such, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops has simultaneously designated the day as Orthodox Scout Sunday. Scouts will wear their uniforms to their local parishes, as a visible sign of their membership both to the Scouting program and to the Orthodox Church.

Through the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting, the Assembly and its predecessor, SCOBA, have actively supported Boy and Girl Scouts of the USA since the 1960's.

Orthodox Scouts can earn one of three age-appropriate awards: St. George for the youngest children, Chi-Rho for the middle years, and Alpha Omega for the oldest Scouts.

Mission and Evangelism Conference Audio Available

Fr. Joseph Huneycutt and Dn. Gregory Norris at conferenceFr. Joseph Huneycutt and Dn. Gregory Norris at conferenceHow do we communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to those around us? On January 20-22, 2012, the Dallas/Fort Worth area hosted a Missions and Evangelism Conference that examined how the historical Church approached evangelism, and discussed how to put ancient proven methods into modern practice locally.

Audio for the conference is now available on Ancient Faith Radio.

The lineup of speakers included author and missions expert Fr. Peter Gillquist, Antiochian author and speaker Fr. Joseph Huneycutt, and Fr. Evan Armatas, a Greek Orthodox mission priest from northern Colorado.

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.

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

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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.