Skip to Navigation

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

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.

Metropolitan Joseph Makes His First Visit to His New Cathedral

On Sunday, July 27, 2014, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph visited St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY for the first time since his election. Saint Nicholas is the Mother Cathedral of the Archdiocese and the seat of the new metropolitan. Although many of the Cathedral faithful were out of town for summer vacations and travels to visit family overseas, a large crowd nevertheless came to greet Metropolitan Joseph.

During his homily, Sayidna Joseph told the congregation that while this was his first visit to the historic Cathedral as metropolitan, it would not by any means be his last. At the end of the Hierarchical Liturgy, Cathedral Dean and Vicar-General Archpriest Thomas Zain, and Vice-Chairman of the Cathedral Council Mr. Samir Khoury, presented His Eminence with an engolpion (an episcopal medallion) of the Theotokos, offered as a gift from all the Cathedral clergy and faithful. Many years to our new metropolitan!

Additional photographs follow below.

Gallery Features Highlights from Unity Conference

From June 25–28, 2014, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East His Beatitude John X joined with the Fathers of the Holy Synod to call the faithful from around the world to the Hill of Balamand for a conference on Antiochian unity. Appropriately, the Conference concluded with the joyous celebration of the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, patron saints of the Antiochian Church. (Read the text of Patriarch John's homily.) 

Antiochian.org has assembled a collection of photographs highlighting the Unity Conference. Additionally, the Patriarchate of Antioch's website has published photo galleries and written reports of the historic events in both Arabic and English, and galleries are also available on the Patriarchate's Facebook page. The sizable North American delegation, pictured here with Patriarch John X, was composed of bishops, priests, key department heads, and organization leaders. Members of the group will begin returning home on Monday, June 30.

St. Vladimir's 2014 Orthodox Education Day is October 4

[SVOTS Communications/Yonkers, NY] St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, has chosen as its theme for Orthodox Education Day 2014, "Do Books Still Matter? A Celebration of Orthodox Christian Publications." This year’s traditional open house will be held Saturday, October 4, and will pay tribute to the importance of Orthodox Christian authors, illustrators, and publishing houses throughout the world.

The dean of the seminary, The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, author of academic, popular, and spiritual works, will be the keynote speaker. The seminary’s own publishing house, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press (SVS Press), will receive special recognition on reaching its 50th Anniversary and will invite many other Orthodox Christian publishers onto campus to help it mark the occasion.

Parish Life Conference Season Begins with a Splash

The first two Parish Life Conferences (or PLCs) for the Antiochian Archdiocese have kicked off the summer PLC season with a splash! From June 11-14 in San Antonio, Texas, host parish St. Ephraim the Syrian Antiochian Church is overseeing a lineup of events for attendees from the Diocese of Wichita, including talks by Keynote Speaker Sister Vassa Larin, as well as excursions to local attractions such as the River Walk and Sea World San Antonio. Also enjoying water access are the faithful of the Diocese of Miami, who are being hosted on June 11-15 by the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Orlando at the Crown Plaza Hotel, with its proximity to lakes and the Atlantic coast. 

D.C. Area Clergy Offer Vespers in Support of Suffering Middle East Christians

The Antiochian clergy of the Capital Deanery (the Greater Washington, D.C. / Baltimore area) were invited by the Franciscans of Washington D.C. to offer Orthodox Vespers on Sunday, May 18, 2014, at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, as part of the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the meeting of Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagorus in Jerusalem in 1964. The 50th anniversary was also marked in Jerusalem this year by the meeting of Pope Francis I and Patriarch Bartholomew on May 25, 2014, where they prayed together for peace in the Middle East.

Prior to his repose, Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory received a request from the Franciscans asking for his blessing for this service, emphasizing the need to join together in support of the suffering Christians of the Middle East.

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Met. Silouan, Bp. Nicholas, and St. Vladimir's seminariansMet. Silouan, Bp. Nicholas, and St. Vladimir's seminariansCongratulations and many years to all the Antiochian Archdiocese graduates in the Class of 2014! 

Special commendation to the following graduates, who have completed their course of study at an Orthodox seminary this spring:

Fr. Joseph Landino, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary 

Dn. Scott Miller, George Katrib, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, with Metropolitan Silouan and Bishop Nicholas in attendance

Peter Kavanaugh, Majd Akkawi, Christopher Kies, and Nicholas Mamey, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, with Bishop John in attendance

Bishop Thomas visits St. Gregory Parish in Washington D.C.

The people of St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church in Washington D.C. were happy to welcome His Grace Bishop Thomas on the weekend of May 10-11, 2014. The occasion for this visit was to celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of our church building. In 2006 St. Gregory's congregation bought a townhouse which had been converted to a Protestant church. The community subsequently renovated it and made it suitable for Orthodox worship. On May 5 and 6 of 2007, Bishop Thomas performed the ceremonies for dedication. This year was the first that he was able to return for this annual celebration.

2014 PLC Theme is Love the Lord - Love Your Neighbor

It's time to register for your diocese's regional Parish Life Conference (PLC)!

This year's conferences are spread out across five weekends in June and July. On June 11-15, the Diocese of Wichita and the Diocese of Miami will kick off the PLC season in San Antonio, TX and Orlando, FL. Shortly thereafter on June 19-22, the Diocese of Worcester will convene in Boston, MA. Fort Wayne, IN, will be the site for the final June conference with the Diocese of Toledo's PLC on June 25-29. Finally, the Dioceses of Los Angeles and Eagle River, Charleston and New York, and Ottawa, will all meet from July 2-6, combining Fourth of July celebrations with Parish Life Conferences.  

Visit the Conventions and Conference Planning page for full information.

As always, this year's theme, love for God and neighbor, will be the focus of the Creative Festivals, a highlight of the conferences. Youth and organizational meetings, spiritually edifying speakers and services, and social events for kids and adults alike, all make the PLCs one of the Archdiocese's most established and popular traditions.

To facilitate your parish participation in the Creative Arts, Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals, all resources are available in the Festivals 2014 section of Antiochian.org. Additionally, ads for the souvenir journals can be purchased and registrations can be submitted through the Department of Conventions and Conference Planning's Antiochian Events pages.

 

 

Metropolitan Silouan Visits Washington, D.C.

On Friday, May 2, 2014, the Very Rev. Joseph Rahal of Washington, D.C. hosted a Luncheon/meeting with His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan, His Grace Bishop Nicholas and several Antiochian clergy from the area. The above picture was taken at St. George Church of Washington, DC.

Memory Eternal! + Abraham Brown

Memory Eternal!

Abraham Brown (Brownie or Abe to his family and friends), died on March 28, 2014, after a long illness. The most important things in his full life were his family, church, country and his love of music. He was born to Sam Brown and Mary (Corey) Brown in Homestead, PA on May 5, 1925. After graduating from the Homestead Public Schools in June, 1943, he entered the United States Army/Air Corps in July 1943 where he obtained training and education as a medical surgical technician. He is a proud American Veteran. Upon his discharge in February, 1946 he returned to Homestead where he purchased Donald Duck Cleaners. The following year he moved to Greensburg, PA. and entered Saint Vincent's College in Latrobe as a music major. After graduating with a B.A. in music in May 1951 he began his teaching career in Coalport, PA where he shared his love of music with students from elementary school through High School. He continued to pursue his education at Penn State University, Duquesne University, Bowie State College and received his Master's Degree in Education from Towson State College in 1969. 

On June 11, 1950 he married Lula Mary Nassif in Altoona, PA. Their love produced four children; Samuel J. Brown (Donna) of Annapolis, Deborah A. Brown of New York, Dr. Stephen D. Brown (Jennifer) of Annapolis, and George E. Brown (Chris) of Annapolis. His 15 grandchildren (Sarah, Sammy, Anna, Lexi, Georgi, Helena, Laila, Catherine, Giselle, Stephen, Jenna, Mickey, Johnny, Annie and Georgia) were an endless source of his pride. Until his illness he never missed an event or activity for the children or grandchildren. He videoed every event so they could have their memories. In 1962, he made a permanent move to Annapolis, where for three years he taught music at Southern High School. He was then promoted as an administrator to the Board of Education for Anne Arundel County.

Memory Eternal! + Sebastian Maximillian Sakakini

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.

Bishop Nicholas, Hierarchs Receive His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II

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 to present "Mayan Orthodoxy: Explosion of Faith"

[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.

On the Passing of Metropolitan Philip

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.

Attached you will find letters from His Beatitude Patriarch John X, both the Arabic original and an English translation in two parts (Letter to Archbishop Joseph; Patriarchal Decision).

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.

Remembering His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

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.

MEMORY ETERNAL! HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN PHILIP

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.

 

The Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir's Seminary presents NYC concerts

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 Boston Byzantine Choir

Master Class with The Boston Byzantine Choir

Saturday, March 15th, St. Anthony's Orthodox Church, Bergenfield, NJ

REGISTER NOW

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.