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

Metropolitan PHILIP Celebrates Pascha at St. Nicholas Cathedral + Brooklyn, NY


Photo by James Demaria
Photo by James Demaria

As has been the custom every year of his episcopacy, we were blessed to have our father in Christ, His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP with us to celebrate the feast of feasts in his cathedral. St. Nicholas Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY, the mother church of the archdiocese, was filled to capacity on what was a beautiful spring evening in New York. Following the resurrection services His Eminence joined the Cathedral dean, Archpriest Thomas Zain and all the  faithful in breaking the fast in the church hall and cracking eggs with many of the children (and adults) as they celebrated the feast. Please enjoy the pictures as we celebrate our Lord's resurrection from the dead.

Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen!


Paschal Greetings from Metropolitan Philip

“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to His own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)

“O Christ Saviour, we were but yesterday buried with Thee, and we shall rise with Thee in Thy Resurrection. We were but yesterday crucified with Thee: glorify us with Thee in Thy kingdom.”
(Verse from the Third Ode of the Paschal Canon)

Beloved Hierarchs, Clergy, Trustees, Parish Council Members, and All Faithful of our God-Protected Archdiocese:

Christ is Risen!

Metropolitan PHILIP Celebrates Palm Sunday at St. George + Little Falls, NJ

On a beautiful Palm Sunday, April 12, 2009, the parish of St. George in Little Falls, NJ was blessed to have Metropolitan PHILIP to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with us. Celebrating the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Eminence was host pastor The Very Reverend Elias Bitar and Deacon Michael Ibrahim, along with Archdeacon Hans El Hayek and Fr. Stephen DeYoung from St. Tikhon's Seminary. As always on Palm Sunday, the St. George Church was packed to capacity, with an overflow crowd of an additional 250 viewing the Liturgy from the Church Hall via a large video screen.

Fr. John Behr to Speak at St. Anthony Church, Bergenfield, NJ

Tomb to Womb:  The Liturgical Linkage between Christ's Annunciation, Nativity & Passion

On Friday, March 20, 2009, Fr. John Behr, Dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, will speak on the liturgical linkage between the Feast of the Annunciation and Christ's Nativity and Passion. The event will be held at St. Anthony Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey. The program will begin after the Celebration of the Salutations to the Mother of God service at 7:30 PM. Refreshments will be served.

Some thoughts from Father John on the topic:

"On Holy Friday, as we bury the body of Christ, we read from Isaiah about the suffering servant, but conclude with the joyful words about the barren woman giving birth to many children. How is it that we come to know that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of the Living God, through his Passion, his Crucifixion and Resurrection, and how do we come to share in this, by dying to ourselves and our passions, to be reborn as sons of God, as the body of Christ?

As we approach the feast of the Annunciation, learn why we celebrate it on this day, its connection to the Passion and the Nativity of Christ... how we go from the tomb to the womb."

Brotherhood of St. Joseph of Damascus Clergy Retreat + Sep. 24-26, 2008

brotherhood Over twenty strong male voices filled Ss. Peter and Paul chapel with a heavenly sound as the clergy of the Diocese of New York and Washington DC, and the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid Atlantic gathered with Bishop THOMAS in late September for their fourth annual clergy retreat at the Antiochian Village.

The retreat’s theme was the spiritual development of our youth, as well as ministering to our parishioners with special needs. The retreat was led by the Village’s own pastor - the Very Rev. Anthony Yazge. During our first session, Father Anthony reminded us of St. Clement of Alexandria’s words that the Church must implant within each child’s soul an ability to know God from the earliest age possible. This is the activity that must animate the children’s ministries within all our parishes. Fr. Anthony also discussed the differences in how children within various age groups understand the Church, God and prayer, and what these differences mean from a pastoral perspective. The session ended with the clergy discussing the challenges and the rewards they face in establishing an environment within their parishes that nurtures the spiritual growth of their children.

A Message from Metropolitan PHILIP


Beloved Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Esteemed Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Members of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, The Antiochian Women, Members of St. John the Divine and SOYO, and all faithful of our God-protected Archdiocese:

I am delighted  to inform you that we have received news that our Father in Christ, His Beatitude, IGANTIUS IV, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East [pictured left], will be visiting our Archdiocese this autumn.  His Beatitude will arrive at Newark Liberty Airport on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and will travel to Boston on Thursday, October 30.  In Boston, he will preside over a fund-raising banquet on Saturday evening, November 1, 2008, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the University of Balamand in Lebanon.  During this auspicious occasion, the members of the Balamand Educational Foundation have decided to establish a scholarship fund in honor Metropolitan PHILIP (Saliba) for needy and worthy students.

Please Pray for Joanne Bitar

His Grace Bishop Thomas requests the prayers of the faithful for Joanne Bitar, the wife of Fr. Elias Bitar of St. George Church in Little Falls, NJ, who is undergoing serious medical treatments this week. May our Lord and His saints be with her and her physicians as they labor for her healing!

Metropolitan Philip Visits St. Stephens

Church Pics 2008 229 His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP visited St. Stephen the Protomartyr Chuch in South Plainfield, NJ on Sunday, July 6. His Eminence presided over the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of St. Stephen's and to elevate Fr. Stephen Tewfik, to the dignity of Archpriest. His Eminence also ordained David Alexander to the Holy Order of Diaconate.  Fr. Joseph Allen, Fr. Stephen Tewfik, Archdeacon Hans El Hayek and Dn. Peter Boloukos assisted His Eminence during the service. The congregation then gathered in their newly-built parish hall to celebrate with a home cooked luncheon. CIMG0707-web The event was co-chaired by Brian and Christeen Scarpa. Ted Mandalakis, Parish Council chairman, gave an overview of the recent achievements of St. Stephen’s and presented Fr. Stephen with new vestments. Parishioner Lou Kattas spoke about the history of St. Stephen's from its founding 30 years ago by Orthodox converts. The newly elevated Archpriest, the Very Reverend Father Stephen Tewfik, delivered a moving speech which recounted the many “miracles” that led to the founding of St. Stephen’s and thanked all who were a part of it, especially Kh. Beba and their two sons, George and Paul.

Photos of Pascha Service at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn with Metropolitan PHILIP

His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP presided over the Paschal Liturgy on April 27, 2008 at the Archdiocese Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, New York. A recording of the service and His Eminence's homily are being prepared for release. Learn more about Metropolitan PHILIP here.