Diocese of New York and Washington, D.C. News
Sebastian Maximillian Sakakini, age 16, of Trumbull, CT, beloved son of Gus Sakakini and Tiina Larmala Sakakini, passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday with his devoted and caring family by his side. Born in Bridgeport on February 4, 1998, he was a graduate of Booth Hill Elementary and Hillcrest Middle Schools and attended Trumbull High School. He was a loving and caring person who enjoyed being outdoors and loved to garden and travel. Sebastian was an avid hockey fan and enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics, especially the Finland National Hockey Team. His Make-a-Wish to go to the Sochi Winter Olympics was granted in February and he was overjoyed to have been able to see the Finnish hockey team play there.
Sebastian loved to laugh and spend time with his family and friends. He will truly be missed by all who knew him. He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Hanna and Alice Sakakini. In addition to his loving parents, Gus and Tiina, survivors include a brother, Jonathan Sakakini and a sister, Siina Sakakini, both of Trumbull; maternal grandparents, Paavo and Eeva Larmala of Helsinki, Finland, his godparents, Johnny Sakakini and Vivian Sakakini of Trumbull, Antti Larmala of Helsinki, Finland and Betoul Sakakini of Manchester, England as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins. He also leaves others to cherish his memory, his dear family friends the Seaman, Stanton and El-Haj families, as well as many other dear friends.
On April 5, 2014, His Grace Bishop Nicholas, representing the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, participated in receiving the newly-elected Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church. His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II (Syriac for His Holiness Kyrios Kyrios Ignatius Aphrem II) was received at St. Mark's Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, NJ by a multitude of Orthodox hierarchs from all jurisdictions.
His Holiness was elected Patriarch and Supreme Primate of Antioch and All the East for the Syrian Orthodox Church soon after the funeral and burial of his predecessor, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. Bishop Nicholas spoke on behalf of His Beatitude Patriarch John X and Metropolitan Silouan, conveying their congratulations to the Syrian Orthodox Church for His Holiness’ election. They offered their prayers for the Patriarch, for the difficult job ahead of him to help rebuild Syria and rebuild the Christian Community in Syria, as he prepares to move back to Damascus.
[St. Vladimir's Seminary / Yonkers, NY] Just four years ago, membership in the Orthodox Church figuratively exploded in Latin America when tens of thousands of Guatemalan natives of Mayan ancestry turned to the ancient faith. On Sunday, May 18, 2014, 7 p.m., St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary will host a public presentation entitled "Mayan Orthodoxy: Explosion of Faith" to explain this striking and unprecedented phenomenon.
Jesse Brandow, St. Vladimir's alumnus ('13) and long-term missionary candidate to Guatemala, will give the free and public presentation in the Bashir Auditorium of the Metropolitan Leonty Education Building, and his talk will be recorded by Ancient Faith Radio and appear as a "Voices from St. Vladimir's" podcast. His presentation is being sponsored by the Student Council of the seminary.
The Archdiocese communicates with a heavy heart as we struggle with the news of the falling asleep in Christ of Metropolitan Philip. May his memory be eternal!
We express our sincerest appreciation to our Father in Christ, His Beatitude Patriarch John X, for his pastoral care and love. His Beatitude was in continual contact with us, and with Metropolitan Philip during his hospital stay, and showed his love and concern for his spiritual children in North America. For this, we are most grateful. May the memory of Metropolitan Philip be eternal, and may God grant many years to His Beatitude Patriarch John.
The schedule for all events associated with the falling asleep of Metropolitan Philip is available here. All events will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York unless another location is specified. In lieu of flowers for the funeral, donations can be made to the Archdiocese for the benefit of the Retired Clergy Fund.
Both letters appoint Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina as the Patriarchal Vicar until such time as a new Metropolitan is elected by the Holy Synod of Antioch. The Patriarchal Vicar is responsible for the administration of the Archdiocese until a new Metropolitan is elected. Archbishop Joseph will serve as the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese. Archbishop Joseph will arrive in New Jersey on Friday March 21, and Metropolitan Silouan will arrive on Monday March 24.
Visit the Metropolitan Philip Memorial Page of Antiochian.org for information on the life, work and passing of our beloved Primate. A biography, news archives, reflections on and by Metropolitan Philip, links to video and audio, photo galleries and more are currently available or being prepared.
Listen to a historic Ancient Faith Radio interview from 2009 of Metropolitan Philip conducted by Fr. Peter Gillquist, of blessed memory. Metropolitan Philip talks candidly about such things as Orthodox unity, music, our witness to the world, and his most memorable accomplishments.
Read a tribute to Metropolitan Philip's life and legacy from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, where His Eminence served as Board of Trustees Vice President and Vice Chairman.
The Archdiocese is grateful for this account of the prayers of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on behalf of Metropolitan Philip. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, presided at the Panikhida celebrated for the repose of Metropolitan Philip’s soul.
The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, with great sadness, announces the passing unto life eternal of His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America. May his memory be eternal! Details are forthcoming. Read a biography of Metropolitan Philip here. See all information on His Eminence here.
NEW YORK, NY — The Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir's Seminary presents two concerts from May 31 to June 2 devoted to the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, an Orthodox Christian. The concerts will take place in New York City at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall (May 31) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (June 2), and will feature performers closely associated with Mr. Pärt's music. Traveling from Estonia for these events are the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, with their conductor Tõnu Kaljuste.
During this tour the ensembles will perform repertoire specially selected by Mr. Pärt and the seminary to evoke the spirituality of Mr. Pärt's music. The all-Pärt program at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street and Seventh Ave., New York, 8 p.m., Saturday, May 31, includes the works Fratres, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Adam's Lament, Salve Regina, and Te Deum.
Master Class with The Boston Byzantine Choir
Saturday, March 15th, St. Anthony's Orthodox Church, Bergenfield, NJ
Join us for a Workshop/Master Class with the renowned Boston Byzantine Choir, directed by Protocantor Charles R. Marge.
- Learn how to sing Byzantine Chant in a mixed SATB choir setting using Western Notation.
- Gain techniques that make the Melos (melody) sound angelic even in a large choir with little training in Byzantine Chant.
- Work with English hymn texts so that the phrases dance just as they do in Greek and Arabic.
- Apply your newfound knowledge with the BBC during the celebration of Great Vespers.
- Enjoy a concert featuring music from their newly released CD, Lenten Journey.
- Enjoy a Meet and Greet Dinner Reception with Maestro Marge and the Boston Byzantine Choir.
A Registration fee will be charged to help defray costs:
15.00 per person
12.00 per person for 5-8 participants registering together from one parish (use code CHOIR5 when registering)
10.00 per person for 10 or more participants registering together from one parish: use code CHOIR10 when registering
All music materials, lunch, dinner are included.
Registration Fee will increase $5.00 after March 8 and at the door.
8th Annual Lenten Retreat
St. Stephen the Protomartyr Antiochian Orthodox Church Women's Group
609 Lane Ave, South Plainfield, NJ 07080
Guest Speaker: His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn & Assistant to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip
Topic: Overcoming Worrying and Anxiety
"Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled about many things..." Luke 10:41
Date: March 29th, 2014 - 10:00 am followed by Great Vespers
MEMORY ETERNAL! The Very Rev. John Elias was born in 1939 in Hafa, Latakia, Syria. He passed away on February 11, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida. Father John faithfully served the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese in America for 40 years in the following parishes:
St. Mary's Yonkers, NY; St. Thomas in Sioux City, Iowa; St. George in Akron, OH; St. George in El Paso, Texas; St. Mary in Omaha, NE; and St. George in Jacksonville, FL, where he served from 1992-2001.
Archpriest John was preceded in death by his parents: Nassim and Badia; his sisters Yvonne, Azizeh, and Mother Antonina. He is survived by his wife, Kh. Nawall Elias; his children Yvonne, Jany (husband), Azizeh, Zaharia (husband), Nassim, Dana (wife); his grandchildren: Reema, Nicole, John, Alina, Michael, Christopher; his brothers Aziz and Spiro, and his sisters Hind and Nadia. Father John was a beloved priest, son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. May his memory be eternal. Christ is Risen!
[St. Vladimir's Seminary, Yonkers, NY] In the month of February, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, is offering two talks for the general public. Both will be held in the John G. Rangos Family Building on the seminary campus.
On Monday, February 10, 7:00 p.m., Archimandrite Zacharias, disciple of Fr. Sophrony (of blessed memory) who was a disciple of St. Silouan of Mount Athos, will present "On the Spiritual Life." Presently, Fr. Zacharias is a monk at St. John the Baptist Monastery, Tolleshunt Knights by Maldon, Essex, England. He was born and raised in Cyprus, within an Orthodox Christian family. He holds two degrees in theology, one from the Theological Institute of St. Sergius in Paris, and the other from the University of Thessalonica, where he wrote a doctoral dissertation entitled "The Actualization of the Hypostatic Principle in the Theology of Archimandrite Sophrony," later published as a book, Christ, Our Way and Our Life, by St. Tikhon's Monastery Press.
Dr. Christopher Veniamin, professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA, will deliver the keynote addresses at the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference at the Antiochian Village in March. Children's workshops will be held for ages three and up. Presentations are meant to cover the spectrum of interests and concerns of parents from "Homeschooling 101" beginners to veterans who are homeschooling teens. Three tracks are offered at each session, focusing on "big picture" questions, ages and stages, and practical tips and techniques.
Registration fees, lodging, and meal packages are offered as economically as possible, with a special pricing cap so families will pay food expenses for their four oldest family members only. Register before February 27 for an early-bird price! In addition to the sessions, which cover homeschooling topics from theological and practical, general and specific perspectives, attendees will participate in services and have beautiful opportunities to experience works from photographer Jocelyn Mathewes, artist Leila Chokheli, illustrator Niko Chocheli, and author Chrissi Hart. Family photo sessions with Jocelyn Mathewes are also offered.
Submitted by By Fr. Joseph Landino
The Blessed Nativity of our Lord reminds us that God's only Son came to earth in a humble white cloth through the young maiden who said "Yes!" and followed the will of her Creator. We at St. George Antiochian Church, Allentown, PA on this blessed Nativity of 2013 were so grateful and humbled to have shared in this Feast by hosting our humble and beloved Sayidna Nicholas Ozone.
His Grace Nicholas arrived on Saturday, December 21 in the late afternoon and greeted the Sunday School children and their teachers for their Nativity Party. There were approximately 150 people in attendance. We also had another special visitor, St. Nicholas of Myra, who brought the children gifts and encouraged them all to remember the saints. Afterwards, we celebrated Great Vespers and then joined the Very Rev. Father Anthony and Kh. Minerva Sabbagh and family to their home for a delicious meal and conversation.
[SVOTS Communications] St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, is offering its second public continuing education course in Byzantine Music, beginning Monday, January 27, and ending Monday, April 7, 2014, in collaboration with The Axion Estin Foundation of New Rochelle, NY. Eleftherios Eleftheriadis, the highly regarded Protopsaltis of St. Nicholas Shrine Church in Flushing, NY, who previously served on the faculty of the Music School of Thessaloniki, Greece, will instruct students in chanting the services of Great Lent, as well as the Sunday Orthros and Divine Liturgy.
Classes will be held every Monday evening, with the exception of Monday, March 3, and will be divided into two sections: Beginner/Refresher Class, 6:45 pm–7:30 pm, and Regular Class (Beginners welcome), 7:30 pm–8:45 pm. Classes will be conducted in the Greek language, with translation, and will be held in Classroom 307 of the Metropolitan Leonty Education Building on campus. Course materials include original music texts in Byzantine notation and the Greek language.
On December 24, 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip presided over the celebration of the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ at his cathedral, St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. He was assisted by Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar-General of the Antiochian Archdiocese and dean of the Cathedral, Priest Adrian Budica, assistant priest at the Cathedral, Archdeacon Hans Elhayek, assistant to the Metropolitan, and Dn. Andre El-Hajj, the Cathedral's deacon. Protopsaltis Sub-deacon Rassem El Massih served as chanter for the feast.
From the St. Vladimir's Seminary Website:
Second-year Seminarian Burke Vair was ordained as "Deacon Mark" on November 3, 2013, by His Grace Nicholas (Ozone), auxiliary bishop for Brooklyn. The ordination took place at St. Stephen's Antiochian Orthodox Church in South Plainfield, NJ, where Dn. Mark is fulfilling his parish assignment requirement as a seminary student. The Very Reverend Fr. Stephen Tawfik, rector of the parish, and a third-year seminarian, Dn. Scott Miller, served alongside His Grace.
Earlier this year, on March 17, 2013, Bishop Nicholas blessed Dn. Mark to be a sub-deacon at St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Brooklyn, NY, where The Very Reverend Fr. Michael Elias is pastor. The newly ordained deacon considers both Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church in Linthicum, MD, pastored by The Very Rev. Gregory Mathewes-Green, and St. Ephraim the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Church in San Antonio, TX, pastored by The Very Rev. John Mefridge, as his home parishes.
Deacon Mark earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies from Towson University in Maryland and worked for seven years in hospital administration before deciding to attend St. Vladimir's Seminary in the fall of 2012. His wife, Shamassy Vasilia Jankovich, holds a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland and currently practices as an Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) for a high school in the Bronx.
On Sunday, December 8, 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip inducted eight new members into the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch. Order of St. Ignatius Chairwoman Mary Winstanley-O'Connor traveled to Brooklyn for the Cathedral's Patronal Feast weekend to join His Eminence Metropolitan Philip and the Cathedral Dean and Vicar-General Archpriest Thomas Zain as eight new members of The Order were inducted from the Cathedral community, including one life member.
Pictured from left to right: Mr. Nicholas Roberts, Life Member; Miss Rose Faris, Dame; Mr. Ghandi Moussa, Knight; Mr. Issam El-Achkar, Knight Commander; Mr. Jiries Khoury, Knight; Mrs. Siham Cabbad, Dame; Khourieh Claudia Zain, Dame; Dr. Naim Mansuroglu, Knight.
The video below of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip's teaching on December 8, 2013, and remarks on the abducted nuns of Maaloula, has been provided by St. Nicholas Cathedral:
On Tuesday, November 12, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn, and Antiochian Archdiocese Vicar-General Archpriest Thomas Zain, visited His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian, Archbishop of Naro-Forminsk and Administrator of the Patriarchal parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA. The purpose of the visit was to present Archbishop Justinian with a letter and substantial monetary donation from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip on behalf of the clergy and laity of the Antiochian Archdiocese for St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which had been damaged by fire the evening of October 4, 2013. While the church proper was not damaged, the electrical fire caused severe damage and destruction to the basement area that houses the refectory and offices. Archpriest Georgy Roschin was also present at the meeting and served as the translator.
The two bishops discussed many topics of interest in the Orthodox world and especially regarding the situation of Christians in the Middle East and the ongoing war in Syria.
The St. George parish of Danbury, CT has celebrated two major events over the past few months.
A special Luncheon was held in August to honor The V. Rev. Fr. George Alberts on his 40th Anniversary as a priest. Father George and Kh. Carol have been a beloved part of our parish ever since they came to Danbury in 2002. Father is a noted scholar and teacher throughout our Diocese. We feel privileged to have him as our spiritual leader and to have Kh. Carol as our Church School director. God Grant Them Many Years!
On September 22nd, our own Bishop Nicholas graced us with his presence for the culmination of a year long celebration of 25 years at our present location. St. George Church has been an integral part of the community since 1924, with our new Church being consecrated in 1987 by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip.
On November 7, 2013, His Grace Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America addressed the 430 guests gathered for St. Vladimir's Seminary's 75th Anniversary Gala, a black tie dinner hosted by the Board of Trustees at Glen Island Harbour Club, New Rochelle, NY. A 1973 alumnus of the Seminary, Bishop Basil noted that in speaking for the event, he had come home to "the place that made me all that I am."
The Seminary, he continued, has had a "sustained impact in Orthodoxy throughout the world." Most of the Archdiocese's hierarchs are alumni of St. Vladimir's Seminary, and the current student body numbers many Antiochian students as well.
St. Vladimir's launched the "Bishop Basil Program in Byzantine Liturgical Music" in 2010, when the Board of Trustees presented His Grace with an honorary doctorate and announced the creation of the program in his name. The Seminary's Alumni Association Board Chair Gregory Abdalah (Class of '08) has noted that, "Bishop Basil has had a great influence on the development of Byzantine Music in English.
On Friday evening, November 1, 2013, the St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York commemorated our father among the Saints, Raphael (Hawaweeny) the Bishop of Brooklyn, good shepherd of the lost sheep in America. A series of services for his feast day included Great Vespers with Artoklasia, the Festal Matins, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with The Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn.
A conference titled "Divine Compassion: Orthodox Christians in Service of 'Perfect Love'" is being held next month at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology on Thursday November 14 through Saturday November 16, 2013. The conference is being co-sponsored by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, and Saint Catherine's Vision, a pan-Orthodox association of women theologians and other lay-leaders.
The gathering will provide the opportunity for Orthodox Christians to understand more deeply the reality of Divine Compassion, the eleos of God, and how we are called to bear witness to it within the Church and society.
The Conference will bring together persons who relate a theocentric and philanthropic theology with the real needs of persons. These include clergy, theologians, philanthropists, educators, pastoral care-givers, counselors, first-responders, chaplains, Philoptochos members, health care providers, and students.
On November 11, 2013, at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC, the Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration will sponsor a conference with the theme “On Earth as it is in Heaven: Putting Orthodox Theology and Ecology into Practice.”
The conference brings together Orthodox hierarchs, clergy, and informed laity to explore the many facets of this issue. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese will be the first keynote speaker. Dr. James Hansen, famed scientist and director emeritus of the National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA), will open up the afternoon program with a second keynote address.
The title of the conference reflects a striving to align lifestyle and actions with Orthodox theology. Registration is a sliding scale of $20 to $200, and participants may contribute according to their ability. Scholarships are available for those who need assistance. For further information, visit the Website of the Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration or contact the OFT office at (707) 573‑3161 during afternoon and evening hours.