Diocese of Toledo News
February is a season for conferences, as Orthodox Christians go indoors to escape the cold while enjoying fellowship and spiritual enrichment.
In a cyberspace gathering on February 11 and 12, the organization Illumination Learning ("Bringing Together Orthodox Christian Resources to Share with Each Other") will be hosting "Orthodoxy in the Home" in the first annual Orthodox Christian Online Education Conference. The line-up of speakers includes Fr. Luke Veronis, who will talk about how to teach children about missions; the sister singers of Eikona, who will discuss "Teaching Our Families the Hymns of Our Church"; and Antiochian priest Fr. Joseph Huneycutt, who will expound on how humor and the funny moments of family life are teachable moments too. Go here to register virtually, for this virtual conference!
The following weekend, February 18 and 19, The Climacus Conference will tackle great themes in philosophy, theology and literature in their series of lectures held at St. Michael Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Clothing, food, Plato, marriage, Dostoevsky, a movie screening and more, will be discussed by academic notables such as Vigen Guroian and by popular authors such as Conciliar Press writer Molly Sabourin.
That same weekend, the pan-Orthodox coalition North Texas Orthodox Missions, is sponsoring the 2011 Festival of Orthodoxy Conference in two Texas cities, Fort Worth and Dallas. Featured guests Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green and Dr. H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr. will speak to the theme, “From Conception to Dying: Orthodox Christian Views in Today’s World.” Go here for information and registration.
PITTSBURGH, PA (Jan. 25, 2011)—Speaking to over 450 people at the Jan. 25 FOCUS Pittsburgh fundraising dinner, Theodora Polamalu challenged those present to put their hope and desire to help those in need into action.
Theodora and her Super Bowl-bound Pittsburgh Steelers husband, Troy Polamalu, are committed to caring for those in need. Theodora, FOCUS North America Advisory Board Member, said during her address to the crowd, “to treat every person as an icon of Christ is the foremost principle of FOCUS, the heart of its mission.”
Seeing that mission realized is what brought such a large crowd to the event, which was hosted by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church’s Philoptochos Chapter and sponsored by the Pittsburgh Clergy Brotherhood. Through tickets sales, auction items, sponsorships and general donations, the event raised nearly $65,000 to further the good work of serving those in need.
DESCENDENT OF DANIEL BOONE SPEAKS AT THIRD ANNUAL EVENING IN THE EAST
Iowa City, IA – January 19, 2011 – On Saturday, February 5, St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Mission is hosting their third annual Evening in the East at Old Brick, 26 Market Street, Iowa City. The benefit runs begins at 5:30 PM, includes authentic cuisine from Greece, the Middle East, Romania, Georgia, and Russia, prizes, silent auctions, a performance by St. Raphael Church Choir, and this year will feature speaker Fr. Moses Berry presenting “Linking Ancient African Christianity to the African American Experience.”
Fr. Moses Berry is President of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black and founder of the Ozarks Afro-American Heritage Museum. Fr. Moses is a descendent of frontier legend Daniel Boone through his son Nathan Boone and Nathan's slave Marie Boone. At a moment of crisis as a young man, Fr. Moses began a search for his religious heritage that took him from the church of his youth to the Orthodox Christianity found throughout northern Africa.
The Theophany celebrations of Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky were recently featured in the local newspaper, the Bowling Green Daily News:
A centuries-old ceremony was performed in Bowling Green on Thursday as members of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission gathered on the banks of the Barren River to participate in the Blessing of the Waters.
“We come here today to celebrate the Blessing of the Waters and in so doing, we join with our brothers and sisters around the world,” said the Rev. Michael Nasser, pastor of Holy Apostles....
“What we’re celebrating is the baptism of Jesus,” Nasser said. “For us, it’s not just an event that happened 2,000 years ago. It still affects us.”....
“This beautiful service reminds us that as Christ was a blessing to the waters of the Jordan and to the whole world, we should also be a blessing to our planet and not a curse, and especially to that part of the world right around us,” Nasser said.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13: 34-35.)
St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church is located in Berkley, MI. We are a small community known for welcoming others. We are a family, and as a family care about each other, and are very supportive of one another. For the past fifteen years St. Mary's has been blessed with the ministry of Father George Baalbaki and his wonderful wife, Khouriye Iman. During their ministry the church has grown and been energized.
Greetings in the name of our incarnate God and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ!
As we turn our thoughts once more to the birth into this world of the God-man Jesus, let us consider what God has given us to witness. While His conception at the Annunciation to the Virgin was in secret, His birth reveals Him openly. And what is revealed?
It is that our God, the Maker of all things, eternal, invisible, untouchable and incomprehensible to mortal man has now become one of us, a member of the human race. He retains His eternality while stepping into time. He remains the invisible God while becoming visible. He is beyond touching yet is now touchable. And though His essence as God is forever incomprehensible to us, in His incarnation as man, He has become truly knowable.
DETROIT, MI [COCC] -- A fall benefit concert sponsored by the Council of Orthodox Christian Churches of Metropolitan Detroit [COCC] raised more than $5,000.00 for International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC].
The concert of "Music from the Twelve Great Feasts” was presented by the Orthodox Choir of Metropolitan Detroit on Sunday, October 17, 2010 at Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Troy, MI.
The choir was conducted by Artistic Director Vickie Kopistiansky, who also conducts the choir at Holy Trinity Church [OCA], Detroit. Archpriest Paul Jannakos of Saint Mary Magdalene Church [OCA], Fenton, MI, provided commentary.
Burr Ridge, Illinois – A Prayer Service marking National Sanctity of Life Day will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 30, 2011 at the Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Believing that all human life is sacred, the worship service will include prayers addressing issues such as capital punishment, euthanasia and abortion, and will emphasize forgiveness and the tragedy of 50 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. The Service will be sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Greater Chicago, on behalf of the 80 Orthodox Christian Churches in the Greater Chicago area.
13th Annual Canton Basketball Tournament
January 28-30, 2011
Download Event Flyer (PDF)
Division I: Ages 12-15 / Division II: Ages 15-18 / Division III: Ages 19-26
Retreat Leader: Alex Younes
“A New Commandment”
Josephine Katzbach ("Josie"), a parishioner at St. Matthew Orthodox Church in North Royalton, Ohio, has returned from Haiti, where she successfully delivered 2200 flip flops for those in need.
An experience in Haiti was the source for Josie’s idea. Months ago while she worked there in a clinic building project, several aid workers had to escort an ill woman from a clinic in town back up the mountain. Struck by her lack of material possessions, Josie literally gave the woman the clothes off her back, with the exception of her ﬂip-flops, the only shoes that would fit Josie's swollen feet. So when she and her friend returned to Chicago, inspiration struck and Josie said, “Hey, I have an idea. Let’s do ‘ﬂip-ﬂops for Haiti.’”
Josie is no stranger to helping others. She takes food and water to the homeless in Cleveland twice a month with parishioners from St. Matthew’s or St. George of Cleveland. A “life-changing experience”– that’s how Josie describes her first trip to Haiti. Although the city’s poverty and devastation are great, the poverty is even more extreme in the mountains. “They are the poorest of the poor,” says Katzbach. The earthquake did not have as much of an effect on them; instead, poverty is a way of life.
On October 26, 2010, St. Matthew's held a fund raiser: "Flip Flops For Haiti All You Can Eat Italian Dinner." All proceeds went to benefit shipping and the distribution of flip flops. Josie's husband Mark and her sister Antonette chaired the affair, and the people of St. Matthew came forward and ate and gave, enabling Josephine to return to Haiti with several thousand shoes. Josie was able to distribute several hundred, while a Catholic priest and nun offered to deliver the remaining shoes to those in need.
The History of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of West St. Paul, Minnesota
Adapted from our history compiled by Dr. George Droubie
The first Syrian and Lebanese immigrants arrived in Minnesota in the 1890's. In the St. Paul area they settled primarily on St. Paul's West Side. Dating from the arrival of the first Orthodox immigrants in St. Paul, they were informally organized as a religious group. Visiting priests held services in private homes. St. George Syrian Orthodox Church was formally organized and founded in 1913 on St. Paul's West Side. An Episcopal Church located at Clinton and Isabel streets was purchased and adapted for Orthodox liturgical needs. The church was officially dedicated in 1915 by Metropolitan Germanos Shehadi, at which time our first parish priest was ordained. Since then eighteen priests have served our parish, among them, V. Rev. Essa Kanavati and V. Rev. John G. Khoury. As the church building on the West Side began to deteriorate and parishioners moved out of the area surrounding the church, five acres of land in our current location were purchased in 1968 for a future complex. A multi-purpose hall was constructed during 1973 and our first service was held in February 1974.
Urgent Communication from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Regarding the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT AND PUBLISHED IN THE CHURCH BULLETIN
October 27, 2010
To: The Clergy of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
From: His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP
Re: Appointment of His Grace, Bishop THOMAS as Locum-Tenens of the Diocese
Beloved in the Lord:
Greetings in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you are in good health. As you are no doubt aware, our Local Synod of the Archdiocese met on Friday, October 22, 2010 in Jacksonville, FL. Among the things we discussed was the deteriorating situation in the diocese. As such, it was determined that the best thing was to transfer His Grace, Bishop MARK to the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest. A majority of the bishops of the synod agreed with the decision that this was in the best interest of the Archdiocese so that both the Diocese of Toledo and His Grace, Bishop MARK could have a fresh start. Citing health reasons, Bishop MARK said he could not live in that part of the country and subsequently requested to be released to the Orthodox Church in America. The synod agreed to his request and, at present, he is working out the details of his release with His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH. During this interim period, Bishop MARK asked to remain in the Toledo chancery until the end of the year. I agreed to this request and we will continue to pay Bishop MARK his stipend until the end of December.
Now Available, Hot Off the Press!
A Modern, American Orthodox Pastor
Bishop Mark writes: “Without reservation, I recommend this wonderful collection of homilies.”
- What are the qualities of “the best priest” in the Antiochian Archdiocese?
- Does St. Nectarios find keys, fill gas tanks and manage travel itineraries?
- Does the icon of St. Nicholas of Myra “speak?”
- How does a pastor equip his people to relate to other Christian and non-Christian faiths?
- What does it mean to “enter eternity” in the Liturgy?
- Can a pastor be vulnerable about his own sins?
- What does one say to a mother and her five young children who just lost their husband and father?
- Does modern psychotherapy have anything to do with Orthodox spirituality?
Proceeds benefit St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Cedarburg, WI
In a special, limited first print run, St. Nicholas church is offering a set of five (5) copies of A Modern, American Orthodox Pastor for just $14 per copy —for a total of five (5) for $70. Single copy retail price is $20. With the purchase of set of five (5) copies, shipping is FREE!
On the weekend of September 17-19th, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip consecrated St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. St. John Chrysostom was founded by His Eminence in 1978 as a Pan-Orthodox Mission in northeast Indiana. After over 30 years of growth in the Fort Wayne community, the parish erected a new church complex with a grand worship space, classroom education facilities and a large family room area for fellowship of the Orthodox Community. The new church's altar was consecrated on September 19th by Metropolitan Philip, with Archdeacon Hans Elhayek; parish priest Fr. Anthony Michaels; Fr. Nabil Hanna, dean of the Indiana deanery; Fr. George Smith, priest in residence; Fr. Joseph Rahall, founding priest of the mission; and clergy friends from around the Midwest.
For more information, including schedule, hotel reservations, event and vendor registration, souvenir journal entries and downloadable forms, please visit the St. George Church web site.
15471 Royalton Road
Strongsville, OH 44136
Room rate: $90.00/night
Queen-double or King
Mention “St. George” block code SGA when making reservations, or visit our website at stgeorgecleveland.com to reserve online.
This is advance information. Please make your plans to be in Strongsville in June 2011. More details on the St. George, Cleveland website.
The 2010 Diocese of Toledo Fall Gathering took place over the weekend of October 1-3, and was hosted by St. Nicholas Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pictured are Kareemeh Simon, His Grace Bishop Mark, Rose Mary Sears (daughter of Fr. Philipou Abou-Assasaly, the first priest ordained in Grand Rapids, MI by St. Raphael of Brooklyn in 1908) and Margaret Simon.
St. Nicholas Church traces its history back to the early 1900’s, when Orthodox immigrants from the part of the Ottoman Empire then known as “Syria” began to come to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many of these immigrants made their living initially as “peddlers,” selling their wares door-to-door as the city grew into a center of commerce and industry. As they became more prosperous, they opened stores of their own. Others found employment in the city’s well-known furniture industry.
As early as 1906, the community was visited by traveling priests who served the recently arrived Orthodox immigrants scattered around the Midwest and concentrated in growing cities like Toledo and Fort Wayne. At least twice, Grand Rapids was visited by St. Raphael Hawaweeny, who encouraged the faithful to establish a church and who ordained and trained St. Nicholas’s first pastor, Father Philipous Abu-Assaley. Father Philipous was ordained in 1908. His youngest daughter, Rosemary Sears, still faithfully attends St. Nicholas.
Midwest Clergy Brotherhood Retreat
November 30-December 2, 2010
Holy Dormition Monastery + Rives Junction, MI
Pastoral Integrity: The Path towards Theosis
Dr. Albert Rossi, Presenter
Attention all Priests and Deacons of the Diocese:
We are pleased to announce at this time initial details regarding our Annual Clergy Brotherhood Retreat with His Grace, Bishop MARK, for the Midwest Diocese.
Saidna Mark has discussed with his Presbyters’ Council the importance of continuing to develop this Clergy Retreat to encourage our clergy to gather for a focused time of prayer, renewal, and fellowship, and to support us in the many spiritual and ethical challenges we face in our priestly ministries.
Please mark your calendar to attend this important event, and e-mail reply to register and reserve accommodation at the Monastery (first-come-first-served).
Bishop Mark writes:
Dear to God, Christ is in our midst! As our faithful continue to raise money to support the Missions of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, I want to forward you these notes of thanks and gratitude for the strong support our diocesan faithful have shown for missions. Our giving to missions has increased from a few thousand in 2004 to $40,000 for this year alone. Well done good and faithful servants. Well done!
Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky:
Greetings from Bowling Green, KY! As the southern-most community in the Diocese, autumn has not arrived here yet, but we hope you are all enjoying this beautiful time of year in good health.
We have just received the funds offered to our community by the Mission Endowment Fund, and words cannot express the appreciation our Mission family has for your love and support.
All Saints Orthodox Church, with the co-sponsorship of the Early Music Institute of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Department of Sacred Music of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, is presenting “The Musical Heritage of the Orthodox Church: Music, Liturgy, and Beauty in Orthodox Christianity” on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus on Saturday, 16 October 2010 from 8:30am until 2:30pm. This first-ever symposium on Orthodox sacred music at Indiana University will feature lecture recitals from the following:
-John Michael Boyer, protopsaltis of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, artistic director of the Koukouzelis Institute for Liturgical Arts, and principal singer for Cappella Romana
-Alexander Khalil, PhD, psaltis of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego, CA, postdoctoral fellow at University of California at Riverside, author of the dissertation “Echoes of Constantinople: Oral and Written Tradition of the Psaltes of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople”, singer for Cappella Romana and the Mt. Lebanon Choir
-Kurt Sander, DM, psalomchik and choir director at St. George Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, OH, Professor of Music and Department Chair at Northern Kentucky University, composer of many liturgical works in the Slavic style, author of the dissertation “The Musical Icon”
-Richard Toensing, DM, Professor Emeritus of Music at University of Colorado at Boulder, choir director emeritus of St. Luke’s Orthodox Church in Lafayette, CO, composer of Kontakion for the Nativity of Christ and other Orthodox liturgical works in English
SOUTH CANAAN, PA [OCA/STOTS] -- Archpriest Alexander Atty will be formally installed as Dean and Chief Operating Officer of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary here on Saturday, October 30, 2010.
The formal installation Service of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at Saint Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Wilkes Barre, PA, at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow at the parish center.
Father Alexander brings with him over 30 years of experience as a parish priest and chief administrator. For years, he served as pastor of one of the nation’s largest pan-Orthodox parishes, Saint Michael the Archangel Antiochian Orthodox Church, Louisville, KY.
Father Alexander is joined at the seminary by his wife, Khouria Olga, and their two children, Katherine and Alexander. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Philadelphia, a Master of Divinity from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, and a Doctorate in Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
As reported on the OCA web site on March 25, 2010, STS Board of Trustees gave its approval to the recommendation of a search committee to engage Father Alexander on March 12, 2010. The Holy Synod of Bishops gave its blessing at its Spring Session March 16-18, 2010, along with a decision to permit Father Alexander to remain attached to the Antiochian Archdiocese while serving as the Dean of the Seminary, an institution of the Orthodox Church in America.
Father Alexander officially assumed duties on July 1, 2010.
On Tuesday, September 21st His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received the Officers of the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. His All Holiness had invited the Officers through the cooperation of Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Chairman of the Assembly, who also led the delegation to the Phanar for the substantive and detailed meeting. The other Officers included Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk (Moscow Patriarchate, Vice-Chairman), Archbishop Antony of Hierapolis, (Ecumenical Patriarchate-UOCUSA, Treasurer) and Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America (Patriarchate of Antioch–Antiochian Archdiocese, Secretary). Also in attendance at the meeting were Archimandrite Bartholomew Samaras, Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archpriest Igor Vyzhanov of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Frs. Mark Arey and John Chryssavgis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
Come join us for a Retreat with Fr. Meletios Webber on the themes of Orthodox Spirituality and Prayer
“Stop listening to your thoughts – not the thoughts you have, but the thoughts that have you. They have nothing beneficial to offer you, and besides you have heard them all before. Brush them aside, and gently continue to brush them aside. Beyond their clamor and din there is available to you a level of greater awareness – a place of love, joy, peace and compassion. At first, it is difficult to “hear” it (since it is expressed in silence) but with practice you will start to recognize its voice, and a deeper state of presence will be yours.” ‐ Fr. Meletios
A pan-Orthodox gathering of spiritual refreshment and fellowship in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah
Kh. Joanne Abdalah served as an inspiration in her life as the wife of a priest and as a counselor to many. She understood the joys and trials of this life, and the need for finding strength in Christ and each other. She believed that every clergy wife needs to discover and develop her own Christian vocation. In her memory, her family and several clergy wife friends planned the first Clergy Wives Weekend in 2009 as a fitting tribute and way to carry on her work and commitment to clergy wives.
Last November more than 70 Orthodox clergy wives from jurisdictions across the United States enjoyed the inaugural Clergy Wives Weekend at the Antiochian Village. The schedule reflected Joanne’s holy and holistic approach to life – we need to pray; we need to play. We need to enjoy the fellowship for this short time without parish responsibilities, family responsibilities or other cares of this world. The Weekend was a tremendous success, and so we announce the 2010 Clergy Wives Weekend!
- Date: October 29-31
- Theme: Everywhere present and filling all things: The Holy Spirit or the Clergy Wife?
The Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of Truth, is everywhere filling all things. But do clergy wives with the best of intentions get caught trying to do that, too, juggling marriage, family, parish, education and job beyond realistic expectations? How do we listen to hear what the Spirit is leading us to do in life? How can we nurture our relationship with God? What do the gifts and fruit of the Spirit look like in our lives and situations? How do we discern? And what do we do with all our life includes?
Fr. Athanasius Dresdow writes from St. Barnabas Mission in Columbus, OH:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
We want to extend our most sincere thanks to all of you for your generous support of our mission through the Mission Endowment Fund. The $18,000 that we received over a period of several years has helped us to be able to get our own building which, God willing, we will eventually be able to purchase. We would also like to thank the many churches and individuals who have donated liturgical items for our use. We greatly appreciate your generosity and thank God for the blessing that you all are to us. May the Lord bless and keep you all in His loving care, and may He grant you all many years!