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.
by Fr. Joseph Antypas
...for just as there are two coinages, the one of God, and the other of the world, and each has its own stamp impressed on it, unbelievers that of this world, believers (with love) the stamp of God the Father through Jesus Christ; and unless we voluntarily choose to die in relation to his passion, his life is not in us.
-St. Ignatius of Antioch, to the Magnesians
The Patron saint of our honorable Order wrote his pastoral letters as he was heading to Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, on his way to martyrdom. St. Ignatius is not an intellectual philosopher who dealt with spiritual issues on a rational scale, as we sometimes do. His short letters are radiated with love for Jesus Christ who came to our world in order to save us.
We, as members of the holy church, are bonded with the Lord, Jesus Christ, through our baptism and the Holy Eucharist. The Christian believer inherits the gift of the resurrection when he/she makes the right choice and when the human person becomes sealed by the Spirit of God. We become alive with Christ, and we share in His death and resurrection. While we are subject to death, we are capable also to embrace the gift of eternal life from our resurrected Lord. As members and partakers of the death and resurrection of Christ, Baptism pulls away the old man of corruption and sin, renewing in us the image of the risen Lord.
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 Joseph 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.