Remaining true to our roots as a mission church, Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church continues to grow by the grace of God to meet the demands for Orthodoxy in Lafayette, Louisiana. It has only been a few years since the church welcomed her first full-time pastor in the persons of Father Philip and Khouria Kathryn Rogers. Under their leadership, we have extended our reach into the community, beautified our sanctuary, and increased our numbers. God has allowed us to establish a choir, a Sunday school program, and a local chapter of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at the nearby university. While still looking ahead to the future, we paused on the last weekend in February, 2010 to remember all that God has already given us. We were honored and delighted to host a visit from our spiritual father Bishop ANTOUN, who would help us consecrate a new Holy Table.
HE IS WORTHY! Fr. Anthony Baba of St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas and DOWAMA Youth Director was ordained to the holy priesthood at his home parish of St. George in Houston, Texas on the Fifth Sunday of the Fast, March 21st, 2010. He will be assigned to the pastorate at St. Anthony Church in Spring, TX effective Monday, April 12th. He will begin his "Week of Liturgies" at St. George in Houston and will conclude it at St. George Cathedral in Wichita.
Valentine’s weekend is usually a time for sweethearts to get together and celebrate their love for each other. Here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during this time, parishioners of St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church and members of the Archdiocese were celebrating love as well, but love for the Church in the form of stewardship. The ground breaking ceremonies for the new John and Hooda Germack Hall took place over this wonderful weekend with lots of events and fun.
The events started Friday night with a dinner welcoming His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP where the plans and the model for the new hall were presented by Architect Alex Khoury to the Metropolitan, Parish Council, and a few Archdiocese Board of Trustees members. This event was hosted by Salim and Deborah Khoury at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club. There was a short question and answer session about the new hall which was very informative. At the same time, the weekend chairman, Richard Zakka, Spoke about the new St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church Home for Children Program, which will “serve a greater cause than ourselves”, to help orphaned children in need. He stated that “There are over 1 million homeless children in the United States and someone has to take the initiative of changing that number”. Mr. Zakka, who is spearheading this effort, asked “If we don’t do it, who will? If not now, then when?”
In the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010, His Grace, Bishop THOMAS, celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy service with His Grace, Bishop TIKHON of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania (OCA) at the Church of St. Nicholas (OCA) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Numerous area clergy and laity celebrated this service together, including a proclamation of the common faith of the Orthodox Church, as well as the traditional anathemas which Orthodoxy levels against dangerous, heretical doctrines. Five different SCOBA jurisdictions were represented among the clergy, including (besides the two bishops) eighteen priests and five deacons.
Sayidna THOMAS presented a homily before the service in which he stressed that Orthodox Christians are icons of Christ, that each of us is an ambassador of the Kingdom of God in this world, no matter our circumstances. After the liturgical service, the clergy and faithful heard a short presentation on the work of the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood which sponsored the event and then together shared a Lenten meal.
St. George Orthodox Church of Indianapolis was established and a church building erected and consecrated in 1926.
As a charter member, St. George Progressives contributed greatly to the SOYO movement. St. George parishioners Nick Coba and John Daniluck, who had been founders of the Federation of Russian Orthodox Clubs (FROC), were instrumental in guiding the SOYO movement of their adopted parish and Archdiocese. In the fall of 1947, the newly organized group met in Indianapolis to complete a draft of the constitution and by-laws.
The weekend of February 19-21, 2010, Mother Alexandra visited St. Nicholas Church in St. Petersburg, Florida. She presented two talks, “Monasticism and St. Thekla Convent,” explaining the history of monasticism, the monastic presence, and the monastic life, ministry and plans for construction of the Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania; and “Great Lent: Renewing Our Hearts and Minds,” discussing our journey as Orthodox Christians as a whole throughout our lives and also on a daily basis, highlighting Lenten themes, the sacramental life, personal prayer, and communion with God and each other.
During her visit, she was able to reconnect with some Antiochian Village campers and looks forward to seeing them this summer. She attended the services at St. Nicholas Church and also traveled with parishioners to Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers in Tarpon Springs. Mother Alexandra thanks Fr. Michael and Kh. Virginia Massouh and the faithful of St. Nicholas for their friendship and hospitality.
Coming this Friday and/or Saturday to hear Frederica? Bring a spare small mounted icon for a soldier in Afghanistan!
We will be collecting small icons that can be carried by Orthodox Christian Service men and women who are deployed presently in Afghanistan.
If you do not have an icon to donate, we will also be taking donations to provide prayer books, bottles for carrying holy water and Slavic and Greek Pascha breads for the service people to share as they celebrate the Resurrection.
On Friday and Saturday March 12-13, 2010, well-known Antiochian author Frederica Mathewes-Green will speak at St. Anthony Orthodox Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey. On Friday night, the topic of discussion will be The Lost Gospel of Mary: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts. Saturday's presentation topic will be The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer That Tunes the Heart to God.
The faithful of St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana invite all to attend their opening weekend celebration as they move into a new facility. The opening weekend will take place March 13-14, 2010. His Grace Bishop MARK will attend and celebrate Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. For more information, please contact St. John Chrysostom Church.
On Saturday, January 30, 2010, over 70 faithful gathered at St. George in Norwood, Massachusetts for a day of retreat, “Back to the Future with St. Ignatius of Antioch” sponsored by the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England. Attendees included not just the women of AOCWNA, but even some of the teens who met Mother Alexandra at camp at the Village this past summer. The day began with Divine Liturgy followed by refreshments and included a fine Middle Eastern luncheon prepared by the women of St. George. Mother Alexandra presented two talks, drawing from the life and experiences of St. Ignatius of Antioch to provide reflections for daily Orthodox Christian living. The wisdom of the Saint provides real and practical direction for us today, if we take the time to read and hear his words.
On Sunday, January 31, Mother Alexandra attended the post holiday gathering of the Order of St. Ignatius at the Sheraton Four Points. As the afternoon’s speaker, she gave an overview of the plans for the Convent of St. Thekla, which have been fermenting over many years as a part of the growth of the Antiochian Village. Numerous women have contacted her since last summer, and some have come to visit, both encouraging signs for the blossoming of a monastic community. Presently, the site survey has been completed and now the work with architects can begin, so that by God’s grace the convent might begin construction of its new home.