Diocese of Los Angeles News
Fr. Thomas Zain writes:
On Sunday, December 11, 2011, three new auxiliary bishops were consecrated for the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Balamand, Lebanon. Their Graces, JOHN, ANTHONY and NICHOLAS were consecrated as bishops of Worcester, Toledo, and Brooklyn and will serve as auxiliaries to His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP.
The Department of Sacred Music reminds all parish musicians that now is the time to plan to attend the Antiochian Archdiocese's annual Sacred Music Institute, held at the lovely La Casa De Maria Retreat Center in Santa Barbara, California. Over the long weekend of January 19-22, 2012, Institute participants will benefit from hearing the Keynote Speaker, His Grace Bishop Joseph, as well as noted podcaster and Biblical expositor Dr. Eugenia Constantinou. The theme, “The Theotokos and the Mother of the Light, Let us Honor and Magnify in Song!” will set the tone for the weekend of workshops and worship.
For the agenda and registration form, go to "Did You Know?" on the Department of Sacred Music page.
St. Athanasius Church in Goleta, California hosted its first Liturgical Arts Festival on October 21-22, 2011. This year's festival focused on the theology, history, meaning and technical process of writing icons. Visitors from throughout the county and the central California coast attended three different lectures by iconographer and wood carver, Fr. Jerome Sanderson from Nashville, Indiana (and a priest in the OCA Bulgarian Diocese). Guests also viewed the dozens of hand-crafted icons which hang in the sanctuary of St. Athanasius Church, nearly all of them written in the late 1980s by renowned iconographer Jan Isham. In addition, an exhibit of rare and unusual icons on loan from private collectors was presented in the church's fellowship hall. The Central California Guild of Iconographers presented a fascinating and educational display demonstrating each part of the process of writing an icon, from preparing the board to putting on the final protective coating of oil. On Friday, October 21 during the day, groups of local high school students attended separate sessions taught by Fr. Sanderson and Fr. Nicholas Speier, the Senior Pastor of St. Athanasius parish.
The new temple built in honor of St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle in Riverside, California is now complete. St. Andrew Orthodox Church is hosting an Open House for the community (and anyone who is able to come from far and near) in just a few days, on October 15 & 16. We would be honored to have you join us for a tour of the new temple and a light snack.
The crown of our holy work of church building is the Divine Service of Consecration. This sacrament, performed only by the Orthodox episcopate, is scheduled for Saturday, December 3rd, 2011. It is the culmination of our parish’s history thus far, and will be the pinnacle of all our efforts for the last twenty years.
The Service of Consecration will be followed by our once in a lifetime Consecration Banquet. It will be both a unique celebration and our most significant parish fundraiser ever. One of the central ways that we will raise funds through the consecration banquet is the printing of the St. Andrew Consecration Souvenir Journal. This book will be professionally printed and contain letters of commendation from our Archbishop and Bishop, from civil officials, as well as a photo collage and history of the parish, together with individual ads of greeting, celebration and memorial from individuals and families in our parish as well as our friends from our sister parishes.
Please read our open house invitation. We hope to see you there!
Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage is a pan-Orthodox ministry that operates with the blessing of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. Our orphanage for teenage boys is based in Rosarito, Mexico and is currently home to thirty-one boys who have histories of abuse and abandonment. During the summers, our homebuilding ministry builds sturdy, weather-proof homes for impoverished Mexican families in the area surrounding our orphanage.
This past summer over 300 volunteers from all over the U.S. and Canada built 14 homes for needy families in our area. Many came to serve the poor, yet received far more in return than that which they gave, calling their trip "life-changing" and "spiritually rejuvenating". We are currently planning our trips for next summer, and we ask that your parish consider participating in a homebuilding trip with our ministry. We can accomodate groups of any size and welcome high schoolers and college students as well as adults.
From the Diocese of Los Angeles:
Very Reverend Father Michael Lewis
It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, Father Michael Lewis, Pastor of St. Luke Church in Garden Grove, California, fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, August 15, 2011. His Grace, Bishop Joseph has asked the parishes to remember him in your prayers for the departed for the next 40 days and to hold a special Trisagion for his eternal life. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.
The funeral service will be on Thursday, August 18 at 7:00 PM at St. Luke Church in Garden Grove.
From the Diocese of Los Angeles:
It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, Father Basil Steiger from Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Ben Lomond, California, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, July 24, 2011. His Grace, Bishop Joseph has asked the parishes to remember him in your prayers for the departed for the next 40 days and to hold a special Trisagion for his eternal life. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.
From the Diocese of Los Angeles:
It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, Father Thomas O'Dea, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, July 10, 2011. His Grace, Bishop Joseph has asked the parishes to remember him in your prayers for the departed for the next 40 days and to hold a special Trisagion for his eternal life. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal. The funeral information will be announced once it has been determined.
Please join in praying for his repose and remembering his dear family: Khouirye Marcia, Sean & Robin, Dillon, Kiera and Brian O'Dea.
Saint Katherine College issues an invitation to their Inaugural Open House on Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm.
The afternoon will include a full schedule of mini- lectures from members of the faculty, performances from choirs and folk-dance troupes of local Orthodox Churchs, informational booths from Project Mexico/Saint Innocent Orphanage, FOCUS San Diego, tours of our campus and student housing, plus a catered reception.
Take a moment for an audio visual meditation on the theme, "The earth is the Lord's and its fullness, the world and all who dwell therein," Psalm 23. This presentation of the photos, artwork, and words of the children in the Diocese of Los Angeles from the Creative Festivals 2010 is brought to you by the Department of Christian Education, and the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.
From Arizona Orthodox: "The Jesus Prayer: A Pan Orthodox Lenten Seminar with guest speaker Khouria Frederica Mathewes-Green, will take place this April 9, sponsored by the Arizona Council of Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Kh. Frederica is a wide‐ ranging author, whose work has appeared in such diverse publications as the Washington Post, Christianity Today, Smithsonian, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. She writes regularly for the multi‐faith web magazine Beliefnet.com, and movie reviews for National Review Online and Christianity Today Movies.
She has published 9 books, including Facing East: A Pilgrim’s Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy (HarperCollins, 1997) and The Illumined Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation (Paraclete, 2001). In the past, her commentaries have been heard on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition."
On behalf of the Orthodox Oblates of St. Benedict from St. Michael Orthodox Church in Whittier, we cordially invite you to attend our annual Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 19, 2011, at the church property - 3333 Workman Mill Rd. Whittier, CA. 90601. The Retreat Conductor will be Rev. Fr. Paul Olson from St. Nicholas Cathedral in L.A. Fr. Paul will speak on the topic: "COMMUNION DEVOTIONS - What Do They Teach Us."
The retreat will be held from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., and it will include the Office of Oblates, Western Rite Liturgy, several sessions with our speaker, time for question and answers, quiet time to reflect and read, and time to meet with clergy if you so desire. In keeping with the Western Rite, this retreat will be in silence, so please be prepared for that. Snacks and lunch will be served, and there is no charge for the day.
In order to be properly prepared for the day, please RSVP to the church, (562) 692-6121. Please spread the word and invite your friends and family to join us for this special day. Fliers will be mailed this week to the local parishes. We encourage everyone to take time away from their busy lives so that this Lenten Season will bring you much peace and joy.
The Oblates support the Whittier Pregnancy Crisis Center, which assists mothers in crisis pregnancies and helps them to either keep their babies or find adoptive families for them. We are collecting newborn diapers, and if you would like to contribute some, that would be most appreciated.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 1-2, 2011, His Grace Bishop Joseph visited the newly-constructed temple of Holy Resurrection Church in Tucson, Arizona. Following the service for the opening of the doors of the temple, His Grace celebrated a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation. His Grace remained in Tucson on Wednesday to meet with the faithful and the parish council of Holy Resurrection.
Click here to view more photos of Bishop Joseph's visit and of Holy Resurrection's new church building on the Diocese of Los Angeles web site.
Below are the deadlines and contact information for the 2011 Creative Arts Festivals, Oratorical Festival and Bible Bowl for the Dioceses of Los Angeles and Eagle River. For more information and resources pertaining to the Creative Festivals, please visit www.antiochian.org/festivals.
On December 7-9, clergy from all over the west gathered for their second annual retreat at the Holy Monastery of the Theotokos, the Life Giving Spring, in Dunlap, California. Led by four bishops, His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos [Greek Archdiocese]; His Grace, Bishop Joseph [Antiochian Archdiocese]; His Grace, Bishop Benjamin [OCA]; and His Grace, Bishop Maxim [Serbian Patriarchate], clergy of all jurisdictions enjoyed the beautiful facilities of the St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center, listened to speakers, and worshipped together. Clergy came back to their parishes refreshed and edified by the teaching on the topic "Physician Heal Thyself--Orthodox steps of spiritual transformation" with Retreat Master Archimandrite Meletios (Webber), Abbot of the St. John the Wonderworker Monastery in Manton, CA.
Fr. Josiah Trenham, priest at St. Andrew Orthodox Church of Riverside, California, recently launched a website "dedicated to sharing the sweet teachings and timeless traditions of the early Christian writers." States the site' introduction, "Patristic Nectar Publications is a non-profit California business created to advance the cause of the Orthodox Christian faith by the publication of materials for catechesis designed both for the edification of Orthodox believers and the illumination of a wide array of non-Orthodox inquirers. Our publications are marked by zealous fidelity to the mind of the Orthodox Church as expressed in the writings of the Holy Fathers and produces a wide range of patristic audio books in order to bring the wealth of Sacred Tradition to a generation attuned to listening rather than reading."
At Patristic Nectar Publications, browsers can listen to audio presentations of timely topics such as "An Address on Vainglory and the Proper Upbringing of Children" by St. John Chrysostom, and "The Soul After Death," by St. John Maximovitch of San Francisco. The site also hosts sacred music selections, Fr. Josiah's Arena blog, the Arena podcasts, and information about St. Andrew parish.
On December 4, an article in the esteemed Los Angeles Times featured St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral, see of His Grace Bishop Joseph. The piece, titled "At 60, a church blends Arabic, English and Spanish," described the Cathedral's outreach into the community of Latino families that live in the parish's neighborhood, and the adaptive liturgical schedule that includes an 8 a.m. Spanish liturgy, followed by the 10 a.m. Arabic and English liturgy.
"We are in this neighborhood, we want to do outreach to our neighbors," Father Michel Najim, Cathedral Dean, explained to the Times reporter. "When you live in a community that has a cultural background, [we] need to open up to other cultures and other denominations."
The article describes how at the Cathedral's Mediterranean festival in June, tacos are sold alongside the traditional Middle Eastern foods of falafel, shawarma and kebabs. About 1,500 families are members at St. Nicholas.
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever." (Psalm 107:1)
Beloved in the Lord:
Greetings and blessings in the Name of our Lord.
I wanted to wish all of you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. I thank God for all of you, and for your commitment to His Holy Church. May our time together this week with family and friends give us the opportunity to thank God for all that we have.
Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving, I remain,
In His Service,
+ Bishop JOSEPH
St. Mark Church, Irvine & St. Barnabas Church, Costa Mesa
June 29 – July 3, 2011
Schedule of Upcoming Parish Life Conferences
By the grace of God, a pilgrimage led by His Grace Bishop Joseph, has arrived safely in Damascus, Syria, where it will begin a journey spanning three countries over the next two weeks. Upon arriving in Damascus, the delegation was received in the VIP reception room at the airport and then proceeded to St. Christophoros Monastery in Saydnaya. The group had dinner and celebrated Sayidna's 60th Birthday.
The sixteen delegates will first visit Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition (“al-Mariamiyeh”) and Headquarters in the “old city.” Over the course of the trip, the group will travel throughout Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey. The delegates will visit various monasteries, churches, and historic sites in these countries, including Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Antioch (present-day Antakya in Turkey), where “the Disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:26). This pilgrimage will be documented daily with text and photos, HERE.
Orthodox Christian Laity's website reports that the Antiochian parish in Salt Lake City hosted OCL's 23rd Annual Meeting on October 15-16. Notes the site, "Following Friday 6:00 pm Vespers at Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church hosted by Father Justin and his community, a joyous and informative fellowship and pot luck discussion followed. The topic was: 'The Impressions of His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah and His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel concerning the completion of the gathering of all Canonical Orthodox Bishops in May 2010 in New York to begin the process of developing a unifed Orthodox Church in the United States.'
Friday night program speakers included His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah and His Eminence Archbishop, providing their impressions of the May meeting of Bishops and the work that needs to be done...(towards) a unified Orthodox Church in the United States. The audience was attentive and asked good questions. Many were amazed on how difficult it is to become Orthodox Christians."
Orthodox Christians living in what was known then as the Western Region of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America witnessed a new dawn in 1995. For the first time in its existence, the Western Region had a permanent auxiliary bishop to pastor the immediate needs of the clergy and laity in a closer, more personal proximity. This bishop took up residence in the Los Angeles Chancery to make regular visits to then 40-some (now nearly 60) parishes and missions in eight American states and three Canadian provinces, covering the largest geographic and diverse territory of the Archdiocese. When he was asked to come to North America, and eventually the West Coast, His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH (Al-Zehlaoui) did not question it for two reasons: his obedience to the Holy Orthodox Church; and because, he says, his new assignment came about so quickly there was no time for inquiry.
Click here to read more, and to visit the Diocese's extensive photo galleries of His Grace.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
St. Michael Church + Van Nuys, CA
Carole Buleza, Archdiocese Director of Christian Education, writes:
Dear Pastor and Church School Director,
I am writing to give you early notice of a not-to-miss opportunity! The parish of St. Michael’s in Van Nuys will be hosting an educational day very soon after the new Church School year begins--the Orthodox Institute Southern California. The Institute is a pan-Orthodox continuing-education event sponsored by the Antiochian Department of Christian Education, and the Orthodox Christian Education Commission. “Sharing Our Faith,” the theme of the upcoming event, will be presented by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick who originates the Ancient Faith Radio podcasts, “Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy,” and “Roads From Emmaus.” Fr. Andrew is a priest of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic. We are inviting all who are interested in the faith, and especially those involved in church school ministry to join us for the day--
Saturday, September 18, 2010, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A selection of more than 30 recorded homilies by V. Rev. Fr. Jon Braun have been made available on the website Prudence True. Fr. Braun is Pastor Emeritus of St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church of La Jolla, CA. He also serves as dean of the Southern California Deanery of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.
Click here for Fr. Braun's homilies. We particularly recommend the sermon, "Today's Meaning of Antioch," which highlights the Church of Antioch's roots as a mission-minded, multicultural Church born from persecution.