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

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.