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Diocese of Ottawa News

2017 Diocese of Worcester Parish Life Conference

The 2017 Diocese of Worcester Parish Life Conference will be hosted by St. George Cathedral, Worcester, MA. The dates are June 17, 2017 and June 23–25, 2017.

Please check back for more information.

2017 Diocese of Charleston/New York Parish Life Conference

The 2017 Diocese of Charleston/New York Parish Life Conference will be hosted by St. George Church in Little Falls, NJ. Dates are Thursday to Sunday, June 29–July 2, 2017.

Please check back for more information.

Fall 2016 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2016 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada & Upstate New York. The issue contains:

  • Holding onto the Truth by His Grace Bishop Alexander
  • Be Heavenly as Your Father is Heavenly by Fr. Maximos Saikaly, DOECUNY-AW Spiritual Advisor
  • A message from the Diocesan President Géhane Ephtimios Zahran
  • Profiles of diocesan officers
  • Chapter reports, photos and happenings

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Ancient Faith Radio Interviews Antiochian Heritage Foundation Chair Fr. Antony Gabriel

Bobby Maddex, Operations Manager of Ancient Faith Radio, recently interviewed Fr. Antony Gabriel, the Chairman of the Antiochian Heritage Foundation. As the retired rector of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Montreal, Quebec, and the author of "Reflections on the Priesthood," Fr. Gabriel reflects back on his fruitful and active years of ministry that commenced when he was ordained in his early twenties. 

If you love God, you'll love people; and if you love people, you'll love God," says Fr. Antony in the interview. "My life has been about people." Father Gabriel is also the author of the forthcoming book Silence: A Diary of Suffering and Redemption, published by Westbow Press.

 

Department of Christian Education to Host Fall Conferences

Where might you find teacher training, support for your church school director, and continuing education on topics of Orthodox interest? At the Regional Pan-Orthodox Education Conferences! Beginning in September, 2016, the Department of Christian Education will host several pan-Orthodox conferences. Each conference will feature a guest presenter, in addition to church school training, all in an enjoyable atmosphere of fellowship and sharing.

The schedule is as follows:

  1. Ottawa, ON, Friday & Saturday, September 23 & 24 – Matushka Jennifer Mosher's topic will be "Christian Education: Forming the Whole Person." Contact: Leslie Atherholt, aodce_events@outlook.com
  2. Brier, WA, Saturday, October 8 – Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick will discuss "Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy." Contact: Anne Beach, anne.slp.11@gmail.com
  3. York, PA, Friday & Saturday, October 14 & 15 – Melissa Tsongranis will speak on "Living the Faith in an Orthodox Home." Contact: Rebekah Yergo, orthodoxyorkedu@outlookcom.

Memory Eternal! + Viola Ada Marizian

Viola Marizian, wife of Nicholas Sayegh, fell asleep in the Lord on July 7, 2016 in Montreal at the age of 75. Besides her husband, she is survived by her two children Mona and Mazen - Nicolas, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, relatives and friends.

The family will receive guests Wednesday July 13 for viewing at 11am at St. George Church in Montreal, 555-575, Jean-Talon Street East, Montreal, followed by the funeral at 12 o'clock. Burial will be at the cemetery located at 5505 Laval row from bottom St-François, Laval.

Donations in her memory to be made at St. George Church of Montreal would be appreciated.

Sunday of Orthodoxy 2016 at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Ottawa

The First Sunday of Lent marks the celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the triumph of the Orthodox faith. As usual, St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Ottawa celebrated this beautiful day with much hope and prayer that the righteous faith dwells in the hearts of all the children of God.

Following the Divine Liturgy, on Sunday March 20, 2016, The Very Rev. Fr. Ghattas Hajal and Assistant Pastor The Rev. Fr. Nektarios Najjar led the faithful of St. Elias, the altar boys, and church school students through a procession with the holy icons, remembering the procession of the year 843 led by Empress Theodora, Emperor Michael and Patriarch Methodius.

Memory Eternal! + Chehade Zeidan Zeidan

Chehade Zeidan Zeidan fell asleep in the Lord in Lebanon on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Beloved husband of Georgette Wakim Zeidan, he was also the cherished father of Dimitri (Susanne Saikaly) of Ottawa; Rafic (Maha) of Montreal; Pierre (Connie Saikaly) and Regina Hurd (Michael) all of Roanoke, Virginia; Gihad (Marlene) and Therese all of Lebanon. He was loving Jiddo of Katya, Krista, Marcus, Elias, Jessica Dib (Jamil), Jean Paul, Dylan, Michael, Angelina, Elias, Jane, Joanne, Stephanie and Serena, and great grandfather to Michael and Mia Dib.

Chehade, most tender of hearts, loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren so dearly. The Zeidan family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 1 and 2, 2016 between 6:00 and 9:00pm at their home, 7009 Aldergrove Way, Greely, Ontario, Canada  K4P 1A4.

In Chehade's memory, a two week memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 10:00 am at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, 2975 Riverside Dr., Ottawa, Ontario.

Words of Wisdom: Reflections From Notable Antiochian Priests on Love, Faith, and Ministry

As we anticipate the start of the Lenten season in March, three of the senior statesmen in the ranks of Antiochian clergy have offered reflections for our spiritual edification: Archpriest George Shalhoub, Economos Antony Gabriel, and Archpriest Joseph Antypas.

Fr. George and Kh. Nourhad ShalhoubFr. George and Kh. Nourhad ShalhoubThe Gospel and the Orthodox Family: The Christian Meaning of Love

"As our nation celebrates the feast of love, Valentine’s Day," writes Fr. George Shalhoub, pastor of The Basilica of St. Mary, Livonia, MI, "it brings with it the measures of marketing and the things that most of us have come to believe will make the wrong right, and the right better. Valentine’s Day will be celebrated by the exchanging of love with flowers, candy, dinner or surprise trips. It has become one more thing to do because others are doing it, and many find it is easier to purchase something than act." Read more

Liturgical Texts Posted for Canadian Thanksgiving, October 12

The Divine Liturgy at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.The Divine Liturgy at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.Each year, on the second Monday of October, Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving holiday as “a day of general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” Its origin dates to 1578.

The Antiochian Archdiocese has 18 Canadian parishes. For the holiday, they are encouraged to open and offer worship and thanksgiving to God for all of His gifts. To that end, the Online Liturgical Guide has provided Liturgical Texts of Great Vespers with special hymnography for the holiday, as well as Glory to God for All Things: An Akathist of Thanksgiving, composed in Russia under Communistic oppression as a reminder to the suffering clergy and faithful of God’s blessings in this life and the life to come. Parishes can offer one or the other service on Sunday night, October 11. 

St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa Celebrates the 85th Anniversary of the Parish and 15th Anniversary of the Cathedral

by Rev. Fr. Nektarios Najjar

The Most Reverend Metropolitan Joseph, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, blessed the Clergy and faithful of St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Ottawa by presiding over the celebrations for the 85th anniversary of the parish and the 15th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral that took place from September 9-13, 2015.

This historical visit was the first visit of His Eminence to Ottawa after his election as the new Metropolitan. His Eminence arrived in Ottawa on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015. The Very Rev. Fr. Ghattas Hajal, Pastor of the Cathedral, alongside Assistant Pastor Fr. Nektarios Najjar, the parish council, a representative of Ottawa's mayor and the organizing committee of the event welcomed our Father in Christ Metropolitan Joseph at the airport's V.I.P. Salon. 

Metropolitan Joseph Inducts New Order Members in Ottawa

During celebrations for the 85th anniversary of St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph inducted 22 new members in to the Order of St. Ignatius, including three life members. Celebrations at the Cathedral and the inductions took place over the weekend of September 12-13, 2015.

August 30: Blessed Namesday to Bishop Alexander!

Many years to His Grace Bishop Alexander!

Set aflame by the love of Christ, O glorious ones, you took up the yoke of His precious Cross revealing yourselves as followers in His footsteps by your way of life, and you became partakers of His divine glory, divinely-wise Alexander, with wonderful John and glorious Paul. As you stand before His throne, earnestly pray for our souls.

Troparion, Tone 8

A Pascha of Love: Celebrating the Ministry of Economos Antony Gabriel

Although the date for the retirement of Economos Antony Gabriel and his last day of service at St. George Orthodox Church in Montreal, Quebec, was set for July 19, the celebration of the Paschal love began since the first minute of the announcement, even though it did not cease all the years of his ministry at our parish.

The announcement raised the congregation to a mystical celebration; private calls, events, lunches and dinners, but the most important was the celebration of Fr. Antony’s 75th Birthday. A private dinner was organized by the Parish Council headed by Ms. Diane Nemer and was held at 40 Westt in Pointe-Claire, Montreal. The attendees who were honored and blessed by the presence of His Grace Bishop Alexander and the Rev. Mark Wyatt of our sister parish St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, felt the ambiance of the peace from above; a peace of spirit and mind, tenderness, and grace, mutual love and respect. Joyful laughter mixed with sadness and tears were in the hearts of the attendees and filled their conversations.

2017 Diocese of Ottawa Parish Life Conference

The 2017 Diocese of Ottawa Parish Life Conference will be hosted by St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa, Ontario. Dates are Thursday to Sunday, June 29–July 2, 2017.

Please check back for more information.

Economos Antony Gabriel of Montreal Retires After 54 Years of Parish Ministry

Fr. Antony receives a medal from Queen Elizabeth IIFr. Antony receives a medal from Queen Elizabeth IIEconomos Antony Gabriel, longtime pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in Montreal, Quebec, has retired after nearly 54 years of priestly ministry in the Antiochian Archdiocese. In Fr. Antony's farewell address to St. George's Annual General Meeting on Tuesday June 16, 2015, he thanked the many dedicated people who worked alongside him to create a cohesive community in the heart of this vibrant Canadian city. "I may have led the parade, but you were the marchers...in the life of St. George," he said gratefully.

In September of 2012, Fr. Antony was honored for his dedication and commitment, when His Eminence Metropolitan Philip presided over a weekend of festivities hosted by St. George in commemoration of Father's 50 years of holy priesthood. Although Fr. Antony is retiring from active parish ministry, he will continue to serve as Chairman of the Antiochian Heritage Foundation.

 

Memory Eternal! + Eleanor A. Kinan

Eleanor A. Kinan fell asleep in the Lord on April 24, 2015, in Niagra Falls, NY., and was a member of St. George Orthodox Church, Niagara Falls, NY.  She was the daughter of the late Norman and Emmaline Mackarous, sister of Allan Mackarous, Jeffrey (Helen) Mackarous and Norma (Kurt) Schmoelz.  Eleanor was the wife of the late Charles A. Kinan and the mother of Mark (Christina) Kinan and Neal Kinan.  
 
Fr. Paul Sohlberg said Trisagion Prayers on Sunday, April 25, 2015 and presided at the Funeral Service on Monday, April 26, 2015 at St. George Orthodox Church in Niagra Falls, NY.  
 
Eleanor served as President of the Antiochian Women North American Board from 1995 - 1997.  As President, she oversaw the publication of a leadership guide and the design and distribution of the Antiochian Women's pins.  Under her leadership the Antiochian Women successfully raised monies in support of two projects given to them by Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory.  The first from 1995 - 1997 for the Antiochian Village Camp Expansion, and the second, from 1996 - 1997 for Theological Education.
 
Eleanor was also very active holding positions of leadership in her parish, was Director of the Church School and involved in her Antiochian Women's chapter, as well as holding many offices on the Diocesan Level. Professionally, she had been a tax preparer and tax teacher.
 
May God grant her peace and may her Memory be Eternal.

Building a Dream in Mississauga

"Unless the LORD BUILDS THE HOUSE, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalm 127:1)

On behalf of Rev. Fr. Elias Ayoub and St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, we are honoured and excited to announce the first-time visit of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, along with our diocesan Bishop, His Grace Alexander, over the Victoria Day weekend (May 16–17). This hierarchical honour is scheduled especially for the Ground-Breaking Ceremony and the Fundraising Gala.

Twenty years ago, our parish purchased a 3.2-acre property, centrally located in Mississauga, just west of Toronto. We continued to rent a local church, and were permitted to offer our Divine Liturgies on Sunday evenings only. We had to endure extra rental fees for all other liturgical ceremonies, and spiritual and social activities. Our parishioners always say "al kaneesa mesh men hajjar, al kaneesa men basher," an Arabic saying that translates roughly to "the Church is not made out of stones; the Church is made out of people." How true that is! While we firmly believe that we are His Church, all members of Christ's Body, we also recognize the practical needs of our community here in Mississauga. Every parish needs a physical church in which to carry out its liturgical, pastoral, educational, and social activities. Therefore we have been working very hard, determined to realize our community's dream: building our own St. Mary's Church.

Youth Equipped to Serve (YES): Fall Ministry Dates

A ministry of FOCUS North America, the Youth Equipped to Serve program, or YES, provides opportunities for junior high and high school students to participate in formative weekends of service in urban environments across the U.S. and Canada.

Weekend service trips scheduled for the fall are as follows:

YES OTTAWA, ON- October 4th
YES DETROIT, MI- November 7-9
YES PHOENIX, AZ- November 21-23
YES AKRON, OH- December 5-7
YES PROVIDENCE, RI- December 12-14

A list of upcoming YES trips and information is provided on their website. For more information about the program, read an interview with North America Program Director, Katrina Bitar, or contact her via email.

Fall 2014 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2014 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights The Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York, with special dedication to our new Metropolitan Joseph! The issue contains:

  • Metropolitan Joseph's Vision for the Archdiocese
  • Message from Diocesan Spiritual Advisor V. Rev. Iskander Younes
  • A message from Diocesan President Susanne Zeidan
  • Highlights from the 2014 Mid-Summer Meetings at Antiochian Village
  • Introductions to the Diocese of Ottawa's Board
  • Happenings around the Diocese of Ottawa
  • Antiochian Women Visit the Grave of Metropolitan Philip
  • Miracles Are Still Happening by Lianne Nimey

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Memory Eternal! + The Very Rev. Dr. Daniel Matheson

The Very Rev. Dr. Daniel Matheson reposed in the Lord peacefully on July 5, 2014, surrounded by love. He was 99.

Father Daniel was born on the family farm in Pictou county, Nova Scotia. He was the youngest of four children born to Charlie and Annie Matheson. He was predeceased in 2010 by his beloved wife of 68 years, Presbytera Vera. He is survived by his devoted children Mary (Crawford), Neil (Donna) and Peter (Cindy). He was blessed with four grandchildren, Rawni, David, Heather and Danielle. He took much delight in being the great-grandfather of Kate, Sam, Will, Jack and Cullen. Father Daniel received his B. A. in 1940 from Dalhousie University in Halifax. He received his M. Div. degree from Pine Hill Divinity Hall (now Atlantic School of Theology) also in Halifax. In 1967 The United Theological College of Montreal conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa.

He was ordained into the ministry in the United Church of Canada in 1942 and faithfully served congregations in Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Ontario. In 1985 Fr. Daniel was received into the Evangelical Orthodox Church where he founded and served the Holy Epiphany Evangelical Orthodox Mission in Ottawa. In 1987 he was ordained to the priesthood of the Orthodox Church. In 1991 he began his ministry in St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Ottawa. He was blessed with the love and fellowship of the St. Elias Christian community until the end of his life on earth.

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.

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. 

Metropolitan Silouan Visits St. Elias Cathedral + Ottawa, ON

On the weekend of May 11-12, 2014, His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan visited St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Memory Eternal! + George T. Mahshie

Memory Eternal!

George T. Mahshie, 87 of Syracuse NY, passed away at home on May 5, 2014. Mr. Mahshie, a lifelong resident of Syracuse, was the son of Towfick Mahshie and Malakie (Atallah) Mahshie. Mr. Mahshie attended public and parochial schools in Syracuse, graduating from Eastwood High School in 1944. He served from 1944 to 1946 in the U.S. Navy. Upon his release Mr. Mahshie attended Syracuse University where he received his bachelor's degree in 1949. He engaged in various employments and received his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1955. George was an attorney and counselor at law practicing law in New York State Courts, Federal Courts, and United States Supreme Court, maintaining a general practice of law until October 1988. Mr. Mahshie was a member of the Onondaga County, New York and American Bar Associations.

After his law practice Mr. Mahshie maintained a real estate brokerage business during which time he was President of Mahshie Realty and then on a part time basis, until his death working with his wife, Laraine, in the brokerage firms of Mincom 5 Star Realty and eL-M Real Estate. Mr. Mahshie was a member of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors, the New York State Association of Realtors as well as the National Association of Realtors.