Diocese of Ottawa News
Recently, Bishop Basil spoke with AFR correspondent Matthew Namee about the historic assembly of bishops which took place in the week following Pentecost. His Grace was elected Secretary of the Assembly. Below are excerpts from the interview, which can be found here in full:
"The bishops delighted in being together and doing the work of the Church."
"The ultimate task was to prepare the Orthodox (Church) of this region...to constitute itself as a canonical, single Church.…It is a huge task, one that a vast majority of Orthodox Christians in America have been praying for, hoping for, talking about, for a long, long time."
"It’s as if the Mother Churches have said to us, ‘Look, you have been asking for this. Before we give it to you, we would like to know, what is your plan?’"
"We were blessed by the work of SCOBA….the work of the Episcopal Assembly was made quite easy by the 50 years of preparation."
"The Episcopal Assembly is comprised of every Orthodox bishop, not just the primates. We had 55 in attendance, (in New York) where the maximum of SCOBA members would have been 8."
Ancient Faith Radio has also posted an extensive interview with Fr. Mark Arey, General Secretary of SCOBA, titled Unraveling the Episcopal Assembly. Additionally, Antiochian.org has compiled a summary of online Assembly articles.
St. George Church in Niagara Falls, New York was truly blessed to welcome His Grace Bishop ALEXANDER during the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.
A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was concelebrated on Sunday by Bishop ALEXANDER, with four priests, five deacons and two subdeacons in the nave of the church, which was filled to capacity with the faithful. During the Liturgy, the parish celebrated three joyous events: Fr. Paul Solberg was elevated to the dignity of Archpriesthood, Deacon Raphael Barberg was ordained into the Priesthood and Kevin Boddecker was tonsured as a Reader.
Sayedna Alexander's visit also included meetings with the Order of St. Ignatius, the Antiochian Women, and Teen SOYO and concluded with a banquet luncheon at Antonio's Restaurant in Niagara Falls.
Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York
57th Annual Parish Life Conference
St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church
Montreal, Quebec CANADA
July 1st to July 4th 2010
Online information and registration is now available at the conference web site. For more information, please contact PLC2010@STNICHOLASMTL.ORG.
On August 17-18, 2009, His Grace Bishop ALEXANDER visited Camp Transfiguration, which was held this year at a new location central to our diocese, at Camp Kenebec in Arden, Ontario. On Wednesday, August 19, His Grace celebrated the Divine Liturgy assisted by Fr. Joseph Purpura and Fr. Iskandar Younes. Other clergy from our Diocese that were present that day are Fr. Boulos Moussa, Fr. Gregory Murphy, Fr. Mark Arsenios Wyatt and of course Fr. Michael Shaheen who stayed at Camp Transfiguration throughout the whole duration of camp (August 16 to 22). Fr. Ghattas Hajjal also visited the camp later on Friday. Fr. Anthony Bahou from Dallas, Tx, made a surprise visit from Wednesday to Friday.
4th Annual Diocesan Clergy Retreat of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York
His Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER, invited the clergy of his diocese to gather at the Manoir D’Youville, a retreat and conference center located south of Montreal on the Ile Saint-Bernard, for a time of spiritual renewal, theological education, and companionship on September 16-19, 2008.
The special guest lecturer was Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristics and Liturgical Theology at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. His presentation was based on readings from the collection of letters and spiritual counsel of St. Silouan the Athonite, compiled by St. Silouan's spiritual son Elder Sophrony of Essex. Archimandrite Sophrony, the spiritual elder of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist at Tolleshunt Knights, England, was also the spiritual father of Dr. Veniamin. Dr. Veniamin spent much of his adolescent years visiting and praying with the brothers at St. John’s, seeking the true theology of praxis during his school holidays and summer vacations. In our retreat, he used the technique of reading passages from the book St. Silouan the Athonite to the gathered clergy as a way of encouraging discussion of the deep spiritual meanings which underlie the seemingly simple words of the text.
During the weekend of August 17, 2008, His Grace Bishop BASIL of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America visited St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa, Canada. His Grace was invited to co-officiate along with our Bishop ALEXANDER at the wedding of Camille Baba and Ramia Ibrahim. Bishop BASIL presided over vespers at the cathedral on Saturday and concelebrated the divine liturgy on Sunday with Bishop ALEXANDER. They were assisted by Fr. Ghattas Hajal, the dean, deacon Dimitri Choueiry and several clergy in attendance for the wedding. The liturgy was chanted by the Byzantine choir of the cathedral, headed by Nader Hajjar, guest chanter Rasim Almaseeh and others who came for the wedding.
On August 5, 2008, the eve of the Feast of the Transfiguration, Bishop ALEXANDER visited Camp Transfiguration, in its new location about an hour and 20 minutes from Montreal. It is nestled in the Laurentian mountains on the banks of a lake, and His Grace has provided the pictures below to share the beauty of this uplifting visit. By the grace of God, the direction of Alex Younes and Khalil Samara and the spiritual guidance of Fr. Michael Shaheen the camp has 108 participants, a good number of counselors and volunteers. The kitchen is headed by Salome Tannis, whose family donated the food. The campers are having a good time praying, fishing, sailing, playing ball and doing arts and crafts. Endless thanks go to every one who made this camp happen.
Inshallah next year we can increase the numbers and build more fellowship among our young ones. Pictures follow below.
On Thursday afternoon August 9, 2007, Bishop Alexander, accompanied by Deacon Dimitri Choueiry, made his annual visit to Camp Transfiguration which is the official camp for the Diocese of Eastern Canada and Upstate New York.
The camp is located about an hour drive north west of the city of Montreal. Bishop Alexander was met by Fr. Michael Shaheen, Khalil Samara, Alex Younes, David Jacobs and Gregory Abdallah along with a number of campers and counselors who rushed to take his blessing. His Grace then proceeded to the guest house for some refreshments prepared by the matron of the camp, Salomeh Tannis. This was followed by a lenten supper with the campers and then vespers. " Bishop Alexander had to forfeit a canoe trip offered by Alex Younes due to the lateness of the hour but took a raincheck for the following year.
His Grace was delighted to be with the youth of the diocese who came mostly from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. All in all, it was a wonderful trip on a beautiful afternoon.
A la prochaine....
Between June 6 and 25, 2007, Bishop Alexander went on pilgrimmage to Russia. Bishop Alexander visited Moscow, St. Petersburg and the ancient city of Novgorod. In Moscow His Grace was guest of Bishop Niphon, the representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch in Moscow. On June 10, along with over 75 metropolitans and bishopsfrom the Russian Church, Bishop Niphon and Bishop Alexander served the Divine Liturgy with His Holiness Alexei II, Patriach of Russia, at Christ the Savior Cathedral.
Enthronement of His Grace Bishop Alexander
Bishop of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York
St. Elias Cathedral, Ottawa