September 26th, 2012
To our Esteemed Hierarchs, Clergy, Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, and Faithful of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:
Greetings and Blessings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We wish to inform you that His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East will soon visit the United States. His Beatitude will arrive in New Jersey on Tuesday October 16th, 2012, and will reside at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey while he is here. On Thursday October 18th, His Beatitude will preside over a meeting of the executive staffs of the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology of the University of Balamand, and the Antiochian House of Studies. The goal is to finalize a plan by which a cooperative effort will offer the opportunity for students to earn advanced theological degrees. On Friday October 19th, 2012, His Beatitude will attend a ceremony in New York where he will bestow the honor of the Order of Saints Peter and Paul upon His Excellency Issam Fares, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon. This is the highest award granted by the Patriarchate of Antioch. He may be in attendance at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York on Sunday October 21. Following his short stay in New Jersey he will depart for Houston Texas for his regular medical exam and then return home.
We welcome him with joy, and pray that God will grant him many years!
Your father in Christ,
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America