The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch is an organization of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America with the objective of financially supporting the departments, programs and charitable works of the Antiochian Archdiocese, Patriarchate of Antioch and the Orthodox Christian faith. The Order assists the Antiochian Archdiocese in its continued effort to reach out to all in need and bring to them the message of the Gospel.
The membership of the Order is comprised of clergy and lay individuals who make a lifetime financial commitment and pledge to work together in harmony to promote the spiritual and financial well-being of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Orthodox Christian faith.
The month of December every year is designated as Order of St. Ignatius month, in conjunction with the feast day of St. Ignatius on December 20. The Order is the philanthropic arm of the Antiochian Archdiocese and one of its most vital lay ministries, under the guidance of Metropolitan Philip and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees. Currently, there are nearly 3,000 active members supporting approximately 38% of the Archdiocese's budget, as well as a host of other worthy causes including: camping and college conference scholarships, married seminarian assistance, Antiochian Village, Teen SOYO Special Olympics, theological and religious education, clergy retirement, Project Mexico, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), The Treehouse Family Ministry, and Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF).
Dr. Elias K. Hebeka, the North America Vice-Chair for the Order, wrote in December 2012's The Word magazine that the Order's Governing Council "is a group of volunteers, elected or appointed members of our Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, that has the responsibility to make many of the important decisions for the Order.
On Sunday, October 20th, 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip inducted several new members into the Order of St. Ignatius during the 100th anniversary celebrations at St. George Church in Troy, Michigan. Shown in the photo, from left to right: Raina Khalife, Sue Hajal, Dr. Simon Katrib, Rita Fakhouri, Metropolitan Philip, Awni Fakhouri, Fr. Joseph Antypas, Anita Pollock, Ziad Fakhoury, Fr. Ayman Kfouf, Christine Antypas Valijan, Dolla Khalife, Fadia Mokbel Shedid, Dr. Mitchel Salhany.
A ministry supported by The Order of St. Ignatius and many individual Antiochian parishes, Project Mexico is in the midst of its busy summer in Tijuana, Mexico. Home building crews have been working each week since May.
Two types of homebuilding groups participate each summer: small groups, and Orthodox Basic Training (OBT) groups. During small group weeks, teams from one, two, or three parishes construct a single home for a needy family and spend the afternoons interacting with the boys of St. Innocent Orphanage. During OBT weeks, larger groups travel to Tijuana to construct between four to seven homes in one week, and evening speakers each evening discuss a variety of Orthodox Christian topics. Two of this year's presenters are Antiochian priests Fr. Michael Nasser from Bowling Green, KY and Fr. John Bethancourt from Santa Fe, NM.