Diocese of New York and Washington, D.C. News
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:
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!
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.
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.
The faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese offer our prayers and love to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, our Father and Chief Shepherd, on his name's day. May God grant him many years!
Your disciple and friend, emulator of Your passion, the divinely eloquent Philip, proclaimed You to the world as God. By his entreaties, and through the Theotokos, keep Your Church from lawless enemies, O most merciful!
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
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.
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 13-15, 2013
- 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: $96/person for lodging and meals
- Download the registration form or visit the Antiochian Village's list of upcoming events for more information.
As the autumn sets in each year, one annually thinks of a new Ecclesiastical and school year, football season, and the changing colors of leaves. For our Antiochian seminarians, another staple of the fall every year is their annual dinner with His Eminence Metropolitan Philip. Each year Sayidna welcomes his spiritual children to the Archdiocese headquarters, where they pray, eat and talk together. This year, seminarians and their wives from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, St. Tikhon's Seminary, and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary were in attendance, along with the archdiocesan clergy who teach them at the various seminaries.
Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese and Dean of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY, was interviewed at length on September 14 on the situation in Syria by Archimandrite Eugene Pappas of Hellenic Public Radio. The interview is available for listening below in its entirety.
The clergy and faithful of Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church in Linthicum, Maryland, welcomed His Grace Bishop Thomas to our Patronal Feast of the Elevation of the Cross from September 13-15, 2013. Along with His Grace Bishop Melchizedek (Orthodox Church in America), over twenty visiting clergy and many other well-wishers joined us in commemorating both the 20th Anniversary of the founding of Holy Cross as well as Sayedna Thomas' 25th year of ordination. The weekend also saw the ordinations of Lt. Col. Kelvin Gardner (chaplain, USAF). In total, four services and a banquet were held. Also included in the weekend was the annual retreat of the deacons of the Eastern dioceses with renowned scholar Dr. Christopher Veniamin, professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary.
An important reminder from Bishop Thomas for all clergy:
Next week is the Annual Clergy Retreat for the Dioceses of Charleston/Oakland and New York/Washington. This retreat is open to all Orthodox clergy, regardless of diocese or jurisdiction. The speaker will be His Grace Bishop Anthony (Michael) of the Diocese of Toledo. To register, please call (724.238.3677) or email Fr. Anthony Yazge, Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center, Ligonier, PA.
Antiochian Delegation Receives Relics of St. Tikhon of Moscow from Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
View a photo gallery, courtesy of Fr. Thomas Zain and the Photographer for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
From August 13-27, 2013, His Grace Bishop Nicholas and Vicar-General Fr. Thomas Zain led a group of 22 pilgrims from throughout the Antiochian Archdiocese (along with two from Damascus) on a two week pilgrimage of Russia. After the majority of the group returned home on August 27th, Bishop Nicholas, Fr. Thomas, Fr. Mousa Haddad from St. Mary Church in Palos Heights, IL and Bishop Nicholas' mother, Nadia Ozone, remained until August 30 to celebrate the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 28 (old style) with His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.
The Divine Liturgy took place in the main historical Cathedral for all Russia, the Dormition Cathedral inside the Kremlin walls. It was in this Cathedral that the Patriarchs and Metropolitans of Russia were enthroned and Czars were crowned prior to the dark years of Soviet rule. Thanks to the efforts of our Antiochian representative in Moscow, His Eminence Archbishop Niphon, the delegation was invited to participate in the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy with His Holiness.
[SVOTS Communications/Yonkers, NY] "This fall, as we conclude our 75th Anniversary year, we will bring some innovative events to our campus," remarked The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY. "Our fall schedule is quite full, and it will hold some surprises, in honor of our Jubilee.
"Most notably," he continued, "Father John Erickson, former dean of our school and professor emeritus of history, will present our inaugural Father John Meyendorff Annual Memorial Lecture in September; and in October, we will host a college conference with the theme 'For the Life of the World,' titled after the phenomenal book by Father Alexander Schmemann.
"With these two events," he concluded, "we plan to give special honor to two former deans who had immeasurable impact upon our seminary during their tenures."
[SVOTS Communications, Yonkers, NY] Dr. Bruce Foltz, an Orthodox Christian and Professor of Philosophy at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, will offer a free and public lecture, Sunday, September 1, 2013, 7 pm, at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, on "The Truth of Nature." The talk will contrast today's post–modern assumptions regarding the environment with patristic and historic Christian understandings of what it means to care for God's creation.
The lecture is being sponsored by St. Herman's Society for Orthodox Ecology (a seminarian-led group established in 2010 to address issues of ecological stewardship) and the Orthodox Fellowship of Transfiguration. Preceding the lecture, at 6 pm, members of St. Herman's Society will plant a new tree on seminary grounds to beautify the campus, which will be followed by an "Akathist in Praise of God's Creation" in Three Hierarch's Chapel.
The Patriarch Tikhon Choir, a unique choral ensemble made up of professional singers from Russia and North America, under the direction of renowned Moscow conductor Vladimir Gorbik, will perform a premiere concert of Orthodox sacred choral works entitled "Their Sound Hath Gone Forth," Monday, September 16, 2013, at St. Malachy's Roman Catholic Church: The Actor's Chapel, 239 West 49th St., The Actor's Chapel, in New York City, at 7:30pm. Tickets (General: $35, Students: $15) can be purchased in advance and at the door.
The program includes works from the Orthodox All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy ranging from austere, centuries-old Znamenny Chants to sumptuous polyphonic works by such Russian masters as Dmitry Bortniansky, Alexander Kastalsky, Pavel Chesnokov, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Sergius Trubachev. Also featured on the program are compositions and arrangements by contemporary American Orthodox composers; several will be concert premieres. In keeping with the choir's multi-cultural approach, the program will be sung in both Church Slavonic and in English.
Educating Ourselves and Our Children in Godliness
St. John Orthodox Church
80 Water Lane North
Levittown, NY 11756
Saturday, August 10, 2013
8:30am-4:30pm (lunch provided)
Pre-Registration Required by August 4
The Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC) and St. John Orthodox Church are proud to present an exciting workshop that will enhance the quality of teaching in our church schools.
The city of Houston, and Fr. James Shadid and the parish of St. George Orthodox Christian Church, are hosting the Antiochian Archdiocese Convention this week at the Hilton Americas hotel. The largest legislative body of the Archdiocese, the General Assembly meets in convention biennially. In addition to the business meetings, liturgical celebrations, exhibits, youth activities, and department meetings are central to each convention as well.
There will also be special events that emphasize the uniquely Southern character of this year's gathering. Families will enjoy the Country Western Dinner and Dance on Thursday evening, while on Friday evening convention goers can attend the Mardi Gras Masquerade Dinner/Dance; visits to several of Houston's tourist venues are planned. The culmination of the week is the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday with Metropolitan Philip and all eight Auxiliary Bishops of the Antiochian Archdiocese presiding.