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Diocese of New York and Washington, D.C. News

Metropolitan Joseph Issues Letter in Support of March for Marriage

On April 25, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington D.C., people will be gathering from around the U.S. for the March for Marriage. This year's March will include an Orthodox Gathering, sponsored by the group Crown Them With Glory. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has released a letter encouraging the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese to participate. (Download the PDF of His Eminence's letter.)

March 26, 2015

To our Beloved Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy and all of the Faithful of this God- Protected Archdiocese:

Blessings to you during this Holy Season of the Great Fast! On January 16th of this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex "marriage," and "rule on the power of the states to ban same-sex "marriages" and to refuse to recognize such "marriages" performed in another state." More details on the announcement can be found at the Supreme Court's website.

We are writing to communicate the newly established date for the third annual March for Marriage in Washington D.C. on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The march is a peaceful rally and quite comparable to the March for Life. We ask that you would make every effort to attend the rally, and encourage others to do likewise.

Memory Eternal! + Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko

Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, 75, dean emeritus of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, New York, and noted Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, preacher, and speaker, fell asleep in the Lord on March 18, 2015.

Father Thomas was the beloved husband of Matushka Anne [Schmemann] Hopko. They were married on June 9, 1963. Together, Fr. Thomas and Anne are the parents of five children, sixteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

"Father Thomas was a good friend of the Archdiocese," reflected Vicar-General and St. Nicholas Cathedral Dean Fr. Thomas Zain. "He helped educate many of our clergy over the years, and often gave lectures and led retreats in our parishes throughout the country."

Eastern Dioceses Fellowship of St. John the Divine Scholarship

The Eastern Dioceses Fellowship of St. John the Divine offers scholarships to qualified college students from parishes in the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, and the Diocese of New York and Washington D.C.  For more information, contact Maria Abdalah at:

Send all completed applications to:
Maria Abdalah
2 Lydia's Path
Westborough MA 01581

Deadline for all materials: June 1, 2015

For questions on this application:
Call 412-916-4772
E-mail Laxg25@yahoo.com

Download the 2015 Scholarship Application (PDF)

8th Annual Lenten Retreat: March 21, 2015

Announcing: the 8th Annual Lenten Retreat for the Diocese of NY and DC
Hosted by St. Stephen the Protomartyr Antiochian Orthodox Church Women Group
609 Lane Ave, South Plainfield, NJ 07080 - www.ststephenchurch.net
"Overcoming Worrying and Anxiety"

With Guest Speaker His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn
Diocese of New York and Washington D.C. and Assistant to the Metropolitan

March 21, 2015 - 10:00 am
Breakfast 9:30- 10:00 am, 10:00 – 12:00 noon 1st Session, Lunch 12:00 – 1:00 pm
1:00 – 3:00 2nd Session- 3:00 pm 3rd session (General Questions & Answers)
Followed by Great Vespers

This event is free and open to all adults and teens
Please RSVP by 3/10/2015

For more information and to RSVP, please contact
Carmen Elsabee (732) 548-4947 or Relsabee@hotmail.com
Rosemary Kattas (973) 270-0256 or rkattas@optonline.net

 

Bishop Nicholas Delivers Schmemann Lecture on the Ministry of St. Raphael

On January 30, 2015, His Grace Bishop Nicholas engaged his audience in a fascinating historical look at "The Life and Ministry of St. Raphael of Brooklyn" during the 32nd Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture, held in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium at St. Vladimir's Seminary. Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), attended the evening lecture.

Bishop Nicholas holds several engineering degrees as well as a Master of Divinity degree awarded with Highest Distinction from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He speaks Arabic and English fluently and has a working knowledge of French, Hebrew, Ancient Greek, New Testament Greek, and Modern Greek. His Grace administers the Diocese of New York and Washington, D.C. and also serves as the assistant to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

February 8 is National Scout Sunday

The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting, an endorsed agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, released the following letter announcing this year's annual recognition of Scouting programs.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

On Sunday, February 8, 2015, Scouts all over the United States will celebrate National Scout Sunday. Scout Sunday is an annual event among all faiths which recognize the good work that is done by Scouts in our religious communities. The observance of Scout Sunday tradition was started years ago to make people in the church aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out of what is pledged each week, The Scout Law says that a "Scout is Reverent" and the Scouts of all ages promise to do their "Duty to God". These values strengthen youth character in their family, community and faith. That is why this Sunday is set aside to honor God and to remind us that we are all His Creatures and made in His Image or more precisely - to image (reflect) Him to the world.

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishop of the Americas has designated this also as Orthodox Scout Sunday. Through the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting [EOCS], the Assembly and its predecessor, SCOBA, have been actively supporting both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the USA since the 1960's.

Assembly Delegation to Participate in March for Life

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America will send a delegation to the annual March for Life, Thursday, January 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. The date marks the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Metropolitan Methodios will lead the delegation. He will be joined by Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Michael, and Bishop Demetrios Mokissos. Metropolitan Tikhon will deliver the invocation at the annual Rose Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington DC on the evening of the 22nd. On the evening before the March, Metropolitan Methodios will attend the National Prayer Vigil for Life at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

The rally begins at noon on the National Mall at 12th Street. Orthodox Christian marchers will gather to the right of the stage under the "Orthodox Christians for Life" banner and signs. The march begins at 1 PM and processes down Constitution Avenue to the US Supreme Court, where prayers for the victims of abortion will be offered.

Bishop Nicholas to Speak on St. Raphael at Schmemann Lecture

His Grace Nicholas (Ozone), auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and resident assistant to Metropolitan Joseph, will speak at the 32nd Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture, Friday, January 30, at 7 p.m., on "The Life and Ministry of Saint Raphael of Brooklyn." In 2015, the Antiochian Archdiocese will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Falling Asleep of St. Raphael with many commemorations related to the Centennial Jubilee.

The free lecture will take place in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707, and a public reception will follow. (Listen to an interview about the Lecture on Ancient Faith Radio.)

Saint Raphael was born Raphael Hawaweeny in Beirut, Lebanon of Damascene Syrian parents of Greek Orthodox Antiochite-Byzantine origin. Father Raphael was sent to New York City in 1895 by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia to administer the local Orthodox Christian community, which included both Russians and people of the Levant. In 1904 Archbishop (Saint) Tikhon of Moscow and Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky) consecrated him as Bishop of Brooklyn, a position he held until his death.

Bishop Raphael was glorified by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in its March 2000 session. He is commemorated by the Antiochian Orthodox Church on the first Saturday of November. Originally buried in New York, Bishop Raphael's body was translated in August 1989 to the Antiochian Village Camp in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

2015 Dioceses of Charleston and New York Parish Life Conference

The 2015 Dioceses of Charleston and New York Parish Life Conference will be hosted by St. John the Baptist Church of Levittown, New York. Dates are Thursday to Sunday, July 1-5, 2015.

www.stjohnorthodoxchurch.com/plc
Download Flyer (PDF)
2015 Diocese of NY PLC on Facebook

Accomodations are at:
Upsky Long Island Hotel
110 Motor Parkway
Happauge, NY
631-231-1100

Please visit stjohnorthodoxchurch.com/plc for more information.

Vicar General Interviewed Regarding Plight of Middle Eastern Christians

Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese and Dean of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY, was interviewed by Jeanine Pirro of Fox News recently, about the plight of Christians in the Middle East. The interview was part of an ongoing series, "Christians Under Attack: A Justice Investigation." Noted Fr. Thomas, "Extremism is affecting all of the minorities in Syria, not just Christians."

Metropolitan Joseph Elected Vice Chairman of St. Vladimir's Seminary Board

Metropolitan Joseph with St. Vladimir's Dean The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr (L) and The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield (R)Metropolitan Joseph with St. Vladimir's Dean The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr (L) and The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield (R)At its annual meeting on November 13–14, 2014, the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY elected His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph as Vice Chairman of the Board, to be effective immediately. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) serves as the Board Chairman. 

The Seminary's Dean, The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, and Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, recognized Metropolitan Joseph's new position by presenting him with an icon of St. Vladimir during their visit to the Archdiocese Chancery in Englewood, NJ, on December 5. During that same meeting, the St. Vladimir's leaders also presented Patriarch John X with a check for $8000.00 designated for Syrian's suffering Christians. The gift was a tithe from the seminary's December 2 "Giving Tuesday" fund raising campaign.

Since its founding in 1938, St. Vladimir's has enjoyed a fruitful and reciprocal relationship with the Antiochian Archdiocese. About 16% of all of the seminary's alumni have gone on to serve in the Archdiocese, and most of today's North American Antiochian bishops are seminary alumns.

 

 

Patriarch John Concludes North American Visit with Maryland Patriarchal Liturgy

Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA) and Patriarch John XMetropolitan Tikhon (OCA) and Patriarch John XOn Sunday, December 14, 2014, the final day of his visit to the United States before flying home from Washington, D.C.'s Dulles Airport, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, alongside His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, presided over a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at Ss. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, MD

Joining them was His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America. (See the OCA's account of the joyous celebration here.) His Eminence Metropolitan Sabba and His Eminence Metropolitan Vasileios also concelebrated at the Liturgy.

Prior to Sunday's Liturgy, the parish of Ss. Peter & Paul hosted Patriarch John X and Metropolitan Joseph for several events. A concert of Orthodox liturgical Christmas music on Friday, December 12, featured selections from Sergei Rachmaninoff's Vespers, and Byzantine Nativity selections sung by Archmandrite Elias Bitar, George Theodoritis, and Raseem El Massih. On Saturday night, Patriarch John X and Metropolitan Joseph presided over Great Vespers, and then attended a banquet held in their honor.

Patriarch and Metropolitan Visit St. George, Little Falls, NJ

Photo: Michael KarasPhoto: Michael KarasHis Beatitude Patriarch John X and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided at Vespers Service on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, NJ. The service was followed by an open reception. NorthJersey.com reported that the evening "was a night of simple joy in the church's North Jersey community."

Staff writer Jeff Green noted that His Beatitude "John X spoke for about 20 minutes about building unity between the church in the U.S. and abroad, as well as about peace in the Middle East, notably war-devastated Syria.

“'We are one church, we are one community and the distances do not divide us, do not separate us,'" said the Patriarch. 

Patriarchal Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Sunday, December 7

On Sunday, December 7, His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY, broadcast live around the world by Noursat television.

View a Photo Gallery of the Patriarchal Liturgy

See our enthronement section for all information regarding the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of Patriarch John X.

Many Years to His Grace Bishop Nicholas!

Apolytikion of St. Nicholas, Tone 4

The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

December 6th is the celebration of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and the name's day of His Grace Bishop Nicholas. May God grant him many years!

His Grace will be concelebrating the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at the St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, along with His Eminence, Metropolitan Niphon, Antiochian Patriarchal Representative to the Church of Russia.

In January, 2015, His Grace will be the guest speaker for St. Vladimir's Seminary's 32nd Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture, to be held in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building on January 30, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Bishop Nicholas will be speaking on "The Life and Ministry of St. Raphael of Brooklyn." In 2015 the Archdiocese will be marking the 100th anniversary of the beloved saint's repose with a year-long series of events commemorating the milestone.

Bishop Nicholas Visits St. Ignatius Mission

On Sunday, November 9, 2014, we had the pleasure of having His Grace Bishop Nicholas visit with our parish, St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Florida, NY. Bishop Nicholas spoke to us about prayer and faith. It was a beautiful Hierarchal Liturgy, with our pastor Fr. George Kevorkian serving alongside His Grace. During coffee hour, we were blessed as our bishop sat with our Sunday School children and youth, talking with them about the importance of fasting, prayer and attending church every Sunday.

In other youth news, we took our young people to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls NJ on Saturday, November 9, for a retreat on the topic of miracles. Our small parish also raised $220.00 last month during the Archdiocese's Youth Month; each of our kids participated in the readings, offerings, and greetings for Special Olympics.  

Although we are a small parish we are doing great things in and around our community. From collecting food for the local food pantry to serving at the food kitchen, our kids and congregation as a whole have a heart for our neighbors.

By Destiney and John Sanchez, Youth Advisors for St. Ignatius

Middle School Winter Retreat at Antiochian Village

Registration is open for the annual St. Herman Middle School Retreat, convening at Antiochian Village on the feast day of St. Herman of Alaska.

  • Who: Students in grades 5-8
  • Where: Antiochian Village Conference Center, December 12-14, 2014
  • What: interactive presentations and discussions, weekend liturgical services (with an outdoor supplication service to St. Herman), games, crafts, meals and snacks, sledding, geocaching, stargazing, guided night hike, a campfire
  • Why: The distraction-free environment of the Village and the spiritual emphasis of the retreat offer a wonderful opportunity for middle schoolers to focus on their faith 
  • How much:  $100/person for lodging and meals; $120 if postmarked after November 15  
  • Download the registration form
  • Download the Consent Form
  • Visit the Antiochian Village's website

Metropolitan Hilarion to Speak at St. Vladimir's Seminary

On Saturday, November 8, 7:00 p.m., His Eminence The Most Reverend Hilarion (Alfeyev), metropolitan of Volokolamsk and chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, will deliver a free and public lecture at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. His Eminence will speak on "Primacy and Conciliarity from an Orthodox Perspective," a topic discussed at the 13th plenary session of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, of which Metropolitan Hilarion was a key participant.

Prior to the lecture, His Eminence will receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, bestowed by the seminary's Board of Trustees and faculty. Metropolitan Hilarion is an appointed member of the seminary board and the author of the SVS Press Orthodox Christianity Series.

The event will be held in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building on the seminary campus, and a public reception will follow. Because of the special convocation and lecture, the seminary's normal Saturday evening liturgical schedule has been changed: Great Vespers will be celebrated at 5 p.m.

Saturday, October 18: Blessing for St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center

October 18, 2014

A Ground Blessing ceremony for the Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center is set for Saturday October 18, 2014 at 12:00 noon. The ceremony will include a combined prayer service of blessing of the site (agiasmos), and a doxology (a service of thanksgiving).

Established in 1916, the small Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas was the only house of worship destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001 when the South Tower fell and completely obliterated the old church edifice. The new Saint Nicholas National Shrine will be rebuilt only a short distance away from its original location, at 130 Liberty Street and will be overlooking the 9/11 Memorial.

Archbishop Demetrios of America, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America stated: "Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine, although destroyed in the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 is now, with the grace of God, being resurrected at the new World Trade Center and it will soon rise like a glorious phoenix as a National Shrine and a place of pilgrimage for our Nation. It will be a place of faith, a place of peace and a place of solace and hope."

Bishop John Leads Clergy Retreat

From September 30 to October 3, 2014, over two dozen priests from the diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic and the diocese of New York and Washington met at the Antiochian Village for a clergy retreat led by His Grace Bishop John. There were lectures and discussion groups in addition to the Divine Services.

Bishop John opened the retreat with a session about the role of a pastor in the solving of problems found in parishes. Questions such as: What is my role? What is appropriate? Who are we ministering to (or who do we need to minister to)? What are my boundaries? What are my obligations? Am I competent here? What is the will of God here?

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Paul Schneirla

The Very Reverend W.S. Paul Schneirla, longtime pastor at St. Mary Church in Brooklyn, New York, fell asleep in Christ on Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at the age of 98. May his memory be eternal!

Father Paul was ordained an Antiochian priest in 1943, and served parishes in Iron Mountain, MI and Allentown PA, before moving to New York to serve at St. Mary's in Brooklyn from 1951 until his retirement in August, 2002. He served in many capacities within the Archdiocese for 71 years, including: the first chairman of the Department of Christian Education, the dean of the Atlantic Deanery, the first editor of The Word magazine, and as the Archdiocese's Ecumenical Officer.

As a young man, Fr. Paul had converted to Orthodoxy from a Protestant background, and thus years after his ordination, his interest in the Western Rite was kindled by a visit to one of the Rite's parishes within the Romanian Orthodox jurisdiction in Paris, France.

St. Vladimir's Seminary Announces Fall Events

St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, in Yonkers, NY, announces the following public events for Fall, 2014:

Thursday, October 2, "Coffee with Sister Vassa," Sister Vassa (Larin), ryassofor nun, author of many scholarly articles and a monograph on Byzantine liturgy and theology, and outspoken public intellectual on current issues of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), will be on campus; time TBA.

Saturday, October 4, 9:00 am–5:30 pm, Orthodox Education Day 2014: Divine Liturgy begins the day. "Do Books Still Matter? A Celebration of Orthodox Christian Publications" is this year's theme, and several Orthodox Christian publishers will be on hand, with books galore for sale. The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr will deliver the keynote: "From Scroll to Book to Net: the Web of Knowledge." Enjoy workshops, children's activities, and ethnic food.

Friday, October 24, 7:00 pm, Orthodox Christian Laity, Public Forum: Join an enlivened public discussion on the topic: "The History and Future of the Assembly of Bishops and the Proposed Great and Holy Council in 2016," sponsored by Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL).

Just Around the Corner: St. Thekla & St. Raphael Pilgrimage, Sept. 26-28

Download the Pilgrimage brochure and registration form

Registration is open for the Annual St. Thekla & St. Raphael Pilgrimage, with His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic presiding. Lodging for both adults and children is available for the weekend, which is an annual event at the Antiochian Village Conference Center and camp in Bolivar, PA.

"Did you know that the Antiochian Village is one of the few places places in the United States where you can visit the grave and shrine of a saint of the Church?" notes Bishop Thomas. Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, the first Orthodox bishop to be consecrated in the United States, reposed in the Lord in 1915 and was later canonized by the Orthodox Church in America in 2000. Appropriately, since St. Raphael is buried on the grounds of Antiochian Village, the pilgrimage includes a Service of Supplication to him. Other activities include small group workshops, a panel discussion with Bishop Thomas, a special movie showing, and the full cycle of liturgical services.

Hotel Information and General Schedule Now Available for the Enthronement Weekend and Patriarchal Visit

UPDATE OCTOBER 31:

Our block of hotel rooms at the Brooklyn Marriott is sold out for Friday and Saturday evening. You can try booking directly at marriott.com. You may continue to check the link below as rooms may pop up from time to time if people cancel. You can also check other hotels in the area including the Sheraton Brooklyn.

 

Archpriest Thomas Zain, Archdiocese Vicar-General, writes on September 2:

Greetings to you and your families as we begin a new ecclesiastical year. Preparations are underway for the visit of His Beatitude, Patriarch John X and the upcoming enthronement of our new Metropolitan. As we finalize the schedule for the weekend and work out details for the banquet, I wanted to share with you the link to make your hotel reservations at the Brooklyn Marriott. The rate is $299.00 a night plus tax. The deadline for reservations is November 7, 2014. Further detailed information regarding the weekend and the banquet will be forthcoming sometime in the near future. 

The following is the general schedule. Times and banquet information will be added in later in the month and we will post them on the archdiocese website as they are confirmed. 

Over 500 Attend Parish Life Conference at the Village

Read more reports and view more photos at the St. George Orthodox Church Website

Over 500 faithful from the Eastern Dioceses of New York and Washington, D.C. and Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic participated in the historic 2014 Parish Life Conference (PLC).  Held at the Antiochian Village (AV) in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, it was a testament to the vision of Metropolitan Philip, who founded AV to foster fellowship and spiritual growth in the Orthodox faith. The grace of the Holy Spirit emanated throughout the conference, which was focused on the theme of loving God and neighbor, and was hosted by St. George Orthodox Christian Church of New Kensington, PA, with Fr. Meletios Zafaran.

Participants at the PLC had the unique opportunity to pray at the gravesites of St. Raphael and Metropolitan Philip.  Father Anthony Yazge, the AV host priest and camp director, guided the group on an uplifting tour of the St. Raphael and St. Thekla shrines, and led a Supplication Service to St. Raphael.