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Welcome to the Western Rite Vicariate, a part of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese in America. Effective May 18, 2012, by appointment of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory, His Grace Bishop John serves as the only Auxiliary Bishop to oversee the Western Rite Vicariate. Assisting His Grace is the V. Rev. Edward Hughes, Vicar General of the Western Rite Vicariate. The Vicariate includes more than 20 churches and missions located throughout the United States.

The Western Rite Vicariate announces the publication of ORDO 2016. This booklet is the official liturgical guide for all Western Rite parishes in the Vicariate. It contains directions for reciting the Divine Office and celebrating the Mass according to the calendar and use of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. It contains rubrics for both the Rite of St. Gregory with the Monastic Diurnal, and the Rite of St. Tikhon with The English Office.

The ORDO 2016 is available in both print and electronic formats. Copies may be purchased at the St. Luke's Priory Press Store on Lulu:

Bishop John Visits Holy Trinity in Lynchburg, VA

Bishop John with Holy Trinity clergyBishop John with Holy Trinity clergyHis Grace Bishop John visited Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Lynchburg, Virginia on the weekend of December 11–13, 2015. He first visited Fr. Alban Waggener's secular employment, Givens Books and Little Dickens, where Fr. Alban manages the used book department during the week. Holiday retail was in full swing. Father Alban then took His Grace for a look at the facility that Holy Trinity is currently leasing, the former Tabor Retreat Center. Bishop John had supper with Fr. Alban and Kh. Helen on Friday evening and an early retirement, in preparation for a full weekend.

On Saturday, His Grace and Fr. Alban had lunch at a local Jordanian restaurant and then walked the property and brainstormed about future possibilities. Bishop John was formally received at Vespers, and then dinner followed at the Waggeners for His Grace and some of the parish leadership.

Newly Ordained Western Rite Priest

On Sunday January 3, 2016, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus in the Western tradition, Deacon Peter Andrew Kavanaugh was ordained to the holy priesthood by Bishop John, Auxiliary Bishop for parishes in the Western Rite Vicariate.  The ordination occurred at Saint Patrick's Western Rite Orthodox Parish in Bealeton, Virginia, where Father Peter was serving as Deacon.

Father Peter is a graduate of Holy Cross Seminary. He married Zoe Doss on May 7, 2014 at Saint Ignatius Orthodox Church in Franklin, Tennessee. On October 31, 2015 their twins (Kevin and Eva) were born.

Effective January 15, Father Peter will be the new Pastor of Saint of Nursia Church, a Western Rite parish in Wichita Falls Texas. The Very Reverend James Rooney, who has been the pastor of St. Benedict since its founding in 1994, is retiring.

May God grant Father Peter and Archpriest James many years!

In Praise of New Martyrs

New Martyrs of Batak, Bulgaria, glorified in April, 2011New Martyrs of Batak, Bulgaria, glorified in April, 2011By Fr. John Fenton, from the October 2014 issue of The Word

Life comes from death. Virginity gives birth to Life. Weakness perfects strength. Defeat leads to victory. Wisdom begins with fear. Humility overwhelms pride. Sorrow turns into joy. The dead become immortal. 

The Christian faith is filled with many seeming contradictions. Our Lord's Passion not only teaches but instills and inculcates in us this key truth. Yet it is a truth that we too quickly forget, and which our lives too easily deny. This truth alone is able to sustain us in our darkest hours, when all hope seems lost, when faith seems pointless. This is why we must continually hear, and take to heart, the stories of the saints, especially the martyrs.

Consider St. Venantius. At the age of 15, because he confessed Christ, Venantius was scourged, imprisoned, tortured with torches, dangled head-down over smoke to suffocate, beaten so that both jaws were broken and he lost all his teeth, thrown into a dungpit and then fed to the lions. All these things he suffered without complaint. During all these afflictions holy Venantius was strengthened by angels. And his quiet patience and longsuffering, his firm constancy and conviction, his meek endurance and lack of complaint – this impressed all who saw and heard, so that these gruesome tortures did not frighten, but rather fortified the faithful and attracted the unknowing. When Venantius was finally beheaded, so were many new Christians who desired the certain hope and the strong faith that he evinced.

Dept. of Western Rite News Archive