Diocese of Toledo News


Featured Mission: Holy Cross + Dorr, Michigan

“Oh Lord, save thy people ….”

In July 2005, thirty three people made a life-changing pilgrimage from Wittenberg (birthplace of Lutheranism) to Antioch. We spent our first year at St. Nicholas in Grand Rapids, Michigan under the tutelage of Fr. Daniel Daly, aided by Fr. John Winfrey from St. George. Our priest, Fr. Gregory Hogg, was ordained to the holy priesthood in March, 2006 at St. James/Williamston (see picture at left) and a few months later we began services as Holy Cross Mission in Dorr, Michigan.

By the blessing of God and the prayers of his people, we purchased our first building in the summer of 2007. Several months’ hard work, guided by the wise counsel of Bishop MARK, has given us a home of our own in which to worship God, love each other, and serve our community. We want to be an active and living witness for Orthodoxy in a region of West Michigan that is presently not served by an Orthodox church: to bring the fullness of the faith to people who need to know the life-changing power of the cross of Christ.

Holy Cross is served by Fr. Gregory Hogg, who works as an Affiliate Professor in the Philosophy department of Grand Valley State University. In addition, Fr. Steven Van Bronkhorst is attached to our mission as a priest. Fr. Steven works with the Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority. Both Frs. Gregory and Steven are active in campus ministry, having founded chapters of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship on the campuses of Grand Valley State, Hope College in Holland, and Calvin College in Grand Rapids.

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Announces New Director

The Board of Directors of OCPM with new director Chaplain Patrick Tutella

February 10, 2009

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the official prison ministry of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) announces the appointment by the Board of Directors of its first full-time Executive Director, Chaplain Patrick Tutella. Chaplain Tutella, who has been in prison ministry for thirty years, is a member of the St. Matthew parish (GOA) in Blandon, Pennsylvania. For the past twelve years, he has been the Supervisory Chaplain for the Berks County Prison in Leesport, Pennsylvania.

At a board meeting which took place in Wichita, Kansas February 6 and 7, Chaplain Tutella and the Directors charted a strategic plan for the next twelve months that includes the following key components: 1) development of a training program for parishes that would like to be involved in prison ministry, 2) the expansion of OCPM’s correspondence ministry, and 3) a convocation for Orthodox prison workers and volunteers to be held in the summer of 2009. Also present at the board meeting was His Grace, Bishop Mark of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest of the Antiochian Archdiocese, who provided his spiritual guidance and support.

Featured Parish: St. Nicholas + Urbana, Illinois

Pascha 2007 at St. Nicholasby Fr. James Ellison

St. Nicholas Church in Urbana, Illinois began in 1995 with the chrismation of two families who wanted to be Orthodox Christians, share the faith with others, worship in English, and not have to uproot their families to do it. We began meeting in a living room with priests visiting us, initially for catechism and later for Sunday evening liturgies. We moved first to a rented chapel on the University of Illinois campus, and three years later to our present location, a remodeled existing church building.

An astute observer of church growth once noted that planting a church is a lot like life as a pioneer in the American West. First the explorers come, the individuals who are venturing out into areas where no one has been before. Then the pioneers who move into unsettled territory and have to establish the initial structures that support those who will hopefully follow. And then the settlers come, the ones who turn a wide place in the road into a place to live and work for generations to come. Our experience was not unlike this. Two families who wanted to be Orthodox because they believed it to be the fullness of the faith but really didn’t know what they were getting into came first. Then a few others joined them who could see the outline of liturgical life because of the priests that traveled through and who could tolerate the conditions of inconsistent pastoral care, no choir music, no one to teach church school, or bake the bread except them. They did the work of setting up and tearing down while we met in temporary space. They dealt with dance music blaring in the next room while we sat in the dark, hoping the secular party would end, so we could start the Paschal Nocturnes. And now those who are more like settlers, with the gift of a place to meet, teach, and worship are being added to our number. There are those who are drawn by the ancient worship and centuries-old doctrine, who are working to establish a more complete witness to the kingdom of God. There are those who come from traditionally Orthodox lands, yet because of conditions there have had little opportunity to know why they believe and worship the way they do. God-willing these will become our teachers and singers and servants as God entrusts with even more good work which He has prepared for us.

Featured Mission: St. Mary of Egypt + Greenwood, Indiana

St. Mary of Egypt MissionSaint Mary of Egypt Mission is located in Greenwood, Indiana, a city south of Indianapolis. The mission is supported by our offerings and the prayers and assistance of our sister church, St. George of Indianapolis and the guidance of their pastor, the V. Rev. Fr. Nabil Hanna. Our pastor is the V. Rev. Fr. Athanasius Wilson, formerly of All Saints Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana. We are presently worshiping in a rented facility at the Knights of Columbus in Greenwood.

The Saint Mary of Egypt mission began on April 22nd, 2007 with seven souls. Since the early nineteen-seventies, when Fr. Athanasius was a member of St. George, he had always dreamed of an Orthodox parish on the south side of Indianapolis. All of the area's five other parishes were on the north side of Indianapolis. After his retirement the Lord afforded Fr. Athanasius the opportunity, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Mark, to begin a mission there. There has never been an Orthodox parish in this area, and the opportunities for witness to the Holy Faith are unlimited.

2009 Parish Life Conference

Diocese of Toledo Parish Life Conference 2009


Come Spend the 4th of July weekend with us in the Greater Cincinnati area for the 2009 Midwest Parish Life Conference.  Activities include  Fellowship, Christian Education, workshops, and many fun activities for everyone to bond with family, friends, and loved ones.

For complete details, please visit St. James' Parish Life Conference web site by clicking on the links below:

 


Area Attractions


Enjoy your stay at Sheraton Cincinnati North ($99 per night including free parking).  Sheraton Hotel has one of the newest indoor water resorts in Ohio: CocCo Key Indoor Water Resort (Resort rates: $15 per day conference guest special).

Spend fun times at  Paramount Kings Island, The Beach Water Park, Newport aquarium (Sharks), Cincinnati Zoo, OmniMax, Museums (Creation, Natural, Children's, Art),  and Theaters.  Restaurants, shopping centers are within walking distance.

Please Pray for the Aramouni Family

Click here to read more Please offer prayers and help for the Aramouni family in their present crisis. Their 16-year-old son Andrew recently suffered severe brain damage in an accident, and the family is in great financial need.

Donations of any size would be greatly appreciated.

Read more...

Update from fr. Andrew Harmon (Dec. 6th, 2008):

Andrew continues to improve, thanks to everyone’s prayers.  He is now home and is 100% physically recovered.  He will have to be readmitted to the hospital in January for a follow-up surgery to insert a steel plate in his head.  He is continuing to go back to the hospital very frequently for speech therapy.  The doctors have said full speech recovery may be as long as 6 months to two years, but we hope it will be quicker as there is good progress.  He is now beginning to use some simple sentences and it seems to be continually improving.

The doctors have recently told Andrew’s parents, Roger and Lisa, that no one thought Andrew would survive and that it is nothing short of a miracle.  Thanks be to God for his miraculous healing power.  Please keep praying for a full and quick recovery of his speech.  And it looks like Andrew won’t be able to play in the Diocese basketball tournament in Canton this winter, but he plans being back on the St. Matthew team in 2010---he’s eager for another trophy!

----Father Andrew Harmon

Spring Delegate Meeting and Clergy Gathering

Diocese of Toledo Spring Delegate Meeting Diocese of Toledo Spring Delegate Meeting

Bishop MARK writes:

Dear to God:

Our Spring Gathering is rapidly approaching.  We look forward to seeing you all as we prepare to enter the Lenten Season of Repentance, Forgiveness, Prayer and Fasting.  In anticipation of this wonderful journey, let us gather as a Diocesan Family to be reconciled one with another so that we might draw ever nearer to Christ.

Please publish the flyer in your weekly bulletin and on your parish web sites.

 


Spring Delegates Meeting and Clergy Gathering


Featured Speaker Dr. Harry Boosalis
"Knowing God, Suffering for Him and Loving His People: The Personal
Experience of the Parish Priest"

St. George Canton's 11th Anniversary Retreat and Basketball Tournament

Friday, February 6—Sunday, February 8

This exciting weekend includes:

+ Friday

  • Retreat

+ Saturday

  • Basketball Tournament
  • Vespers
  • Dinner and Hafli

+ Sunday

  • Divine Liturgy
  • Brunch

We look forward to seeing you for this weekend of spiritual growth, worship, athletic fun and fellowship!

Come and help make this our best one yet!

Click here to download registration forms (Microsoft Word format).

Click here to download a printable event flyer (Microsoft Word format).

Click here to download a printable weekend agenda (Microsoft Word format).

IMPORTANT - CHANGE IN HOTELS

PLEASE NOTE: Because of circumstances beyond our control we had to change hotels.

NEW HOTEL:

Courtyard by Marriott
4375 Metro Circle NW
N. Canton, Ohio 44720
Phone: (330) 494-6494

Featured Mission: Cape Girardeau Mission + Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Some of the group The Cape Girardeau Orthodox Mission is a new eastern-rite mission of the North American Antiochian Archdiocese, under the direction of Bishop MARK in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. The endeavor to establish a mission in southern Missouri began in the spring of 2008 when Father Steven Salaris of All Saint of North America began developing contacts.

The effort took a big step forward in June 2008 when Jim Mackoul (now Deacon) began traveling to Cape Girardeau to investigate the possibility. Contacts were made with several Orthodox Christians living in the surrounding area. It was easy to see that there was high level of interest among the faithful. We hit the ground running. By early July 2008 we offered daily Vespers on Wednesday evenings. By late July, we had found a location in which we could hold services and began scheduling Great Vespers, Orthros, and Divine Liturgy. The mission consists of American, Syrian, Greek, and Bulgarian Orthodox. Everyone is welcome, inquirers and non-Orthodox alike. We’re here to serve. With God’s help we’ve planted our little mission. By the grace of God, we’ll nurture it and make it grow. By spring of 2009, we hope to make the next step and move into a semi-permanent location near the downtown in Cape Girardeau, somewhere close to the university.

Featured Parish: Holy Resurrection + Hobart, Indiana

Holy Resurrection + Hobart, INFrom the Holy Resurrection web site:

The faithful of Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church now worship at the corner of 6th and Water in Hobart, Indiana, under the loving care of Fr. Gregory Owen.  In this story, our former pastor, Fr. Gregory Rogers (St. Catherine Mission) recounts a time when we worshipped at 45th and Harrison in Gary, Indiana. We thank God for those early years and the love and dedication that Fr. Gregory displayed for his parish.

On the outside the building wasn't beautiful. It looked like an old brick warehouse, having gone through numerous incarnations and transformations. Originally built as an auto repair garage, it became a printing business, a hot dog stand and video arcade, a warehouse for storage, and finally, an empty and vacant monument to a more prosperous era. The brick didn't match, old with new, white with red, in spite of the tuck pointing and repair that had been done. The neighborhood itself was dreary, across the street to the north, a cemetery, to the east, a convenience store with its transient clientele, to the south, an eighty year old house long past its prime. Like most early spring days in Gary, IN, this one, March 21, 1987, was chilly and overcast, and a trifle gloomy.

Inside, though, was a different story. The building had been stripped to the walls and redone...new studs, new wiring, new drywall, painted, carpet on the floor, new furnishings, redone windows. The accoutrements of worship had been added - a wooden altar, a cross suspended on the wall behind it, huge icons of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God. In the rear of the church an old Russian icon of the Resurrection of Christ hung, candles burning before it, calling down the grace of God upon the people gathered there.

Many Years to our Brother and Concelebrant His Beatitude JONAH

His Beatitude Met. JONAH Bishop MARK writes:

As an honored guest of the OCA Hierarchs I was blessed to be with my brother Hierarchs of the OCA and witness the Lord moving in their midst!  Thank God our brother and sisters in Christ have remained unified through their struggles and emerged, strong, steadfast and full of hope.  May our Lord grant unto His Beatitude JONAH, Many, Many, Many Years.  May He also grant unto each of their beloved Hierarchs many years! 

Expansion Opportunity for St. Raphael Mission + Iowa City, IA

St. Raphael Mission FaithfulFr. Ignatius Valentine writes:

Dearly beloved by the Lord,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever! The community of St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Mission in Iowa City, IA has a very urgent opportunity that we would like to share with you. As you will see in the accompanying pamphlet, we have a wonderful chance to purchase a building that would allow us to continue to grow and serve God in our Midwestern college town. I cannot speak highly enough regarding the generosity and sacrificial giving that has characterized our own members, but I rejoice that we are not in this alone. We are, perhaps, a little toe on the Body of Christ. You are part of that Body as well. We are all connected to the Head through our common baptism and the reception of the same Eucharist.

Simply put, we have 75 days to raise $275,000. This will allow us to complete the purchase and renovate the interior so that it is a fitting place for Orthodox worship.

Featured Mission: Holy Incarnation + Lincoln Park, Michigan

Holy Incarnation is a Western Rite mission serving metropolitan Detroit, Michigan under the leadership of Fr. John Fenton. Prior to the spring of 2008, Holy Incarnation had been leasing space from a local Episcopal church, but in February the mission concluded the purchase of a building to serve as its permanent home.

The new church building is an important step in the re-establishment of a Western Rite Orthodox parish in metropolitan Detroit. From 1975-2001, Incarnation Orthodox Church in Detroit served the liturgical needs of Western Rite Orthodox Christians in and around Detroit, and was the cornerstone of the Western Orthodoxy in the Midwest. Fr Fenton explained that Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church builds on the legacy of the former Incarnation parish. “We are the beneficiaries of years of sacrificial giving,” said Fr. Fenton, “because the funds held in trust after the closing of Incarnation have helped finance the new facility for Holy Incarnation.” Fr. Fenton stated the new building will further the permanent re-establishment of a Western Rite presence in Detroit.

Featured Parish: St. George Church + Cicero, Illinois

The Miraculous Lady of Cicero, IllinoisFrom the St. George Church web site:

Orthodox Christians from the Middle East began to arrive in Illinois in the early part of the 20th century. At first, they were served by itinerant priests from Michigan City, Indiana, and later from Spring Valley, Illinois. However, for decades, there were never enough families in Chicago to constitute their own parish. Many in the Chicago area worshipped in the local Greek Churches or belonged to the common Melkite/Maronite parish of St. John the Baptist.

In 1960, several families petitioned the late Metropolitan ANTONY (Bashir) to send them a priest to serve the Divine Liturgy. Services were held at the Syrian-Lebanese Club House on Washington Boulevard and Laramie Avenue on Chicago's West Side or in rented quarters. Among the first priests to serve on a weekend basis was the Rev. Fr. Philip Giffin, who commuted from Buffalo, New York. Later, priests from the Greek Diocese of Chicago served periodically at St. George. The Rev. Fr. John Newcombe served as the first resident priest for the parish from 1965 to 1966.

Why Does the Church Exist?

On Saturday, Nov. 15, Fr. Alexander Atty will conduct a workshop at St. George Church, Indianapolis, IN. All are encouraged to attend and learn about the work that Christ gave His Church to do and about the role of clergy and laity in this work. Note that attendance in at least one parish council workshop is a prerequisite for nomination for parish council. However, attendance is encouraged regardless of whether participants intend to seek to serve on the council. As we learn more about the work Christ calls us to do and role each is to play, we have the potential to work together in peace and harmony for the building up of the Body of Christ.  The workshop will start at 10 a.m. and will finish by 3 p.m.

Bishop MARK's Russian Photo Albums Updated

Bp. MARK's Russian Photo AlbumsMany images have been added to Bishop MARK's collection of photographs from his pilgrimage to Russia in August 2008.

Please stop by and take a look!

Bishop MARK: Russian Photo Albums

Please enjoy these collections of photographs from Bishop MARK's pilgrimage to Russia in August 2008. Accompanied by a group of pilgrims, Bishop MARK spent eight days in St. Petersburg and six days in Moscow.

Visit a gallery on Bp. MARK's Diocesan Family Photo Album

See a slideshow with more photos by clicking here!

Bp. MARK with Patriarch ALEXI II & Bp. NIPHON Visit to St. Catherine's Church

Divine Liturgy with Bp. NIPHON
Part I

Featured Mission: Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission, Bowling Green, KY

Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission

Bowling Green, KY

Holy Apostles Mission is a mission of the Midwest Diocese of the North American Antiochian Archdiocese.  The mission's congregation, which currently consists of Americans, Greeks, Serbians, Egyptians, and a growing compilation of other ethnicities, first began working toward a mission in the spring of 2008, with a small group of diverse and dedicated Orthodox Christians who long to see Holy Orthodoxy brought to southern Kentucky. Holy Apostles held its first Vespers service in April 2008, and celebrated its first Liturgy in June, the first Divine Liturgy ever to be held in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It received the name Holy Apostles in July 2008.

Visit to St. Catherine the Great Martyr OCA Representation Church in Moscow

During his August 2008 pilgrimage to Russia, Bishop MARK and a group of pilgrims visited St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church, the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America.

Clergy and Laity Fall Meeting, October 16-19, 2008

Antiochian Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

Clergy and Laity Fall Meeting

Indianapolis, Indiana + October 16-19, 2008

 

Special guests include:


Met. ISAIAH Fr. Kevin Scherer Jeff George

  • Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver SCOBA Overseer of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive Director of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • and special Teen SOYO Speaker, NFL quarterback Jeff George


The meeting will be hosted by St. George Church in Indianapolis. Accommodations are available at the Best Western Castleton Inn.

Scheduled highlights of the meeting include the dedication of new OCF offices, Teen SOYO activities and meeting, meetings of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine and the Antiochian Women, music, multi-ethnic dance, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday.

Featured Parish: St. Elias Orthodox Church, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

St. Elias, LaCrosse, Wisconsin 

St. Elias Orthodox Church

LaCrosse, Wisconsin

***

Founded by St. Raphael of Brooklyn in the early 1900’s, St. Elias Orthodox Church in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, is a parish renewing, rebuilding, and seeking to grow as vital Orthodox community in the scenic “God’s country” of southwestern Wisconsin.

Originally a parish comprised of immigrants from the Middle East and Greece the community, which went without a resident Priest for decades, was reborn in the 1970’s through the care and devotion of Orthodox Christians who desired to see the Faith reestablished where three rivers meet and over 100,000 people work and live.

While we cherish our heritage and the distinct honor of being founded by a Saint of the Church we believe the best expression of that heritage is to be a living, thriving, and life giving Orthodox Church. To that end we are currently repairing and expanding our facilities and seeking, as well, to grow in our Faith in preparation for inviting our friends and neighbors to experience the joy and life of Orthodoxy.

Antiochian Delegation Visits Moscow's St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church

Bishop Mark with Archimandrite ZaccheusOn Saturday, August 30, 2008, group of 20 pilgrims, led by His Grace, Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Midwest of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America visited St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church – the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

Read the entire article and see more pictures at St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church's web site.

View more photos of Bishop MARK at St. Catherine's.

Featured Mission: St. Raphael Antiochian Orthodox Mission, Iowa City, IA

image St. Raphael Antiochian Orthodox Mission

Iowa City, IA

Since our beginning in 2002, God has blessed our mission with “growth” in multiple senses of the word.  From an initial handful, our group has grown to include a roster of about 100, with Sunday liturgy attendance averaging 50-60. A large percentage of us are children.  Our members include “cradle” Orthodox and converts, representing many nationalities including Syrians, Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, Greeks, Lebanese, Georgians and Americans, all worshipping together in English. We usually have a group of catechumens and several inquirers.  We are blessed to be truly pan-Orthodox!

Whether you live in Iowa City or elsewhere, we invite you to share in our life of prayer and worship and the building of this church.  If you live far away, you can participate through your prayers and donations, both to our mission and to missions across the archdiocese. We benefit every time you pray for us and commemorate us in the liturgy. And of course, we would welcome you with open arms if you ever happen to pass through our community!

The Fall Gathering of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest to be held October 16-19, Indianapolis, IN

The Fall Gathering of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest will focus on ministering to our teens and college students. His Eminence Metropolitan ISAIAH, SCOBA Overseer of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive Director of OCF, will be present for the dedication of the new OCF offices in Indianapolis.

For more information please see the attached flyer.

Thank You from Bishop MARK

His Grace Bishop MARK sends his appreciation for the outpouring of prayer and support during his father's illness and repose.