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News About His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

Metropolitan Joseph Leads Prayer Service for Kidnapped Metropolitans

On Bright Thursday, April 20, 2017, the Antochian Archdiocese was joined by co-hosts—the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese and the St. John of Damascus Fellowship of New Jersey—in sponsoring a timely prayer service at St. George Antochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, for the abducted Archbishops of Aleppo, Metropolitan Paul and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim. Metropolitan Paul and Metropolitan Yohanna vanished without a trace on April 22, 2013, after they drove together in hopes of negotiating the release of hostages in captivity. Metropolitan Yohanna’s deacon escaped, but his driver was killed. (Read the Paschal Message of His Beatitude John X, in which he issues a call for the liberation of Metropolitans Paul and Yohanna.)

His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph Convenes Second Gathering of Archdiocesan Department Leaders

His Eminence leads the meeting of department and organization heads.His Eminence leads the meeting of department and organization heads.

Following on the success of last year's first-ever exclusive gathering, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph again convened the leaders of the Archdiocesan departments and organizations at the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center in Bolivar, PA, April 5–6, 2017. Together, they examined their ministries and set immediate and long-term goals aimed at building up their ministries, in order to bring the clergy and faithful closer to our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, and His Orthodox Church.

Joining His Eminence were His Grace Bishop Thomas of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic; His Grace Bishop John of Worcester and New England; His Grace Bishop Anthony of Toledo and the Midwest; members of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees; and more than twenty-five department chairpersons and leaders. Each leader reported on his or her current mission and vision for the next several years, accomplishments of the previous year, and any issues that were particular to the specific department in question. Each department head also fielded questions, addressed the audience's concerns, and welcomed new ideas to enhance the work.

Separate one-on-one meetings in which financial projections for the next three years were reviewed were also held between each department head and the Archdiocese finance team, headed by Mr. Salim Abboud, CFO.

The hierarchs, clergy, and lay leaders started each day in Ss. Peter and Paul Chapel with Lenten Daily Orthros, and they partook of Holy Communion on Wednesday night at the Presanctified Divine Liturgy. His Eminence expressed his gratitude to all of the attendees for sacrificing their time to attend this gathering, and he thanked them for all of the good work they do throughout the year.

Metropolitan Joseph Presides at Fifth Annual Syrian Relief Dinner and Prayer Service

Read the article in the Post-Gazette.

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided at the fifth annual Syrian Relief Dinner and Prayer Service, held this year at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh, PA. His Grace Bishop Thomas was in attendance, along with other Antiochian clergy and hierarchs and clergy from other jurisdictions. The International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Pittsburgh Metropolitan Committee organized the service and dinner. 

The money will be distributed to programs that aid displaced Syrians internally, as well as to relief efforts that assist refugees in Lebanon, Greece and Jordan, said IOCC spokeswoman Kristen Fianni.

Memory Eternal! His Eminence Metropolitan Elia Saliba

With sadness, and with hope in the Resurrection, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph conveys the news from the Patriarchate of Antioch of the falling asleep in the Lord of His Eminence Metropolitan Elia (Saliba) of the Antiochian Archdiocese of Hama (or Afamia) in central Syria, which he faithfully shepherded since 1984. Metropolitan Elia reposed on Saturday morning, April 1, 2017, at the age of 95.

Sayidna Joseph recalls Sayidna Elia as a dynamic man of God, a gifted theologian, and highly educated. He was a canonist in both civil law and church law who understood the spirit and the depth of the Orthodox Church's canons. He also fondly remembers Metropolitan Elia as his principal in the Orthodox Christian schools of Damascus in the 1950s and 1960s.

Metropolitan Elia served as secretary to His Beatitude Patriarch Theodosius VI before coming to North America. Many of our clergy and congregations will remember Sayidna Elia from the 1970s when, as Titular Bishop of Salamia, he lived in the Archdiocesan Headquarters and assisted His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory in the administration of this Archdiocese.

Metropolitan Joseph, Bishop Thomas to Attend IOCC Syrian Relief Dinner and Prayer Service

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Pittsburgh Metropolitan Committee will hold a prayer service and fund raising dinner that will benefit our suffering Syrian brothers and sisters. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Grace Bishop Thomas will be in attendance, along with other Antiochian clergy, as well as hierarchs and clergy from other jurisdictions. The Syrian Relief gathering will be held at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh, PA. All Orthodox Christians are cordially invited to attend in support of IOCC's aid efforts in Syria. The recent conflict has been devastating, resulting in the displacement of a substantial percentage of the population which is now hungry, homeless, and lacking essential items. 

During the past four years, four similar Syrian Relief gatherings have been held; approximately 600 people attended last year. These gatherings have been efficient and productive, because the community prepared and donated much of the food and supplies for the events. Over the past four years, $210,000 has been raised, and a net amount of $201,000 has been sent to IOCC. 

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Metropolitan Joseph Celebrates Sunday of Orthodoxy at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY

On March 5, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph celebrated the Divine Liturgy and then in the evening, pan-Orthodox Vespers for the Sunday of Orthodoxy at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY. His Eminence arrived at the Cathedral for Orthros and was greeted by the Cathedral Dean, Archpriest Thomas Zain. Visiting hierarchs included: His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), and His Grace Bishop John of the Antiochian Archdiocese's Diocese of Worcester and New England. (View the photos by Subdeacons Daniel Cripe and Andre Christoforides.)

Archdiocesan Convention to Celebrate Bishop Antoun’s Lifetime of Service

After eight decades of “love, humility and sunshine” in service to the Antiochian Orthodox Church, His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast is retiring from active ministry. This July 23-30, the Antiochian Archdiocese’s biennial convention in Miami will celebrate his remarkable witness to our Lord Jesus Christ as an acolyte, deacon, priest and bishop. The convention’s host, St. George Cathedral of Coral Gables, Florida is preparing exciting festivities.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, the venerable hierarchs and the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese urge all of the clergy and faithful to make plans now to honor Bishop Antoun personally by attending this historic convention. St. George Cathedral will dedicate the “History Journal” to His Grace that will be filled with photos and tributes.

Metropolitan Joseph Hosts Luncheon for Local Law Enforcement Officials

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph welcomed law enforcement officials from the New York City and New Jersey area for a luncheon, to thank them for their help and support throughout the years. The officials who attended were especially helpful during the recent visits of our Patriarch and during the funeral of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory.

After lunch, His Eminence presented each of them with an icon of the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of law enforcement. In thanking them for their efforts and praying for their safety, Metropolitan Joseph also relayed to them that he hoped to make this luncheon an annual event. Those in attendance included the following: Charbel Atie, Chief of Police for Prospect Park, NJ, Sheriff Michael Saudino of Bergen County, Deputy Inspector Amin Kosseim of the NYPD, Commander Nart Hapatsha, Intelligence Division, Wayne, NJ, Mr. Joseph Hakim, and Mr. Johnny Abuissa. Present from the archdiocese were Metropolitan Joseph, His Grace Bishop Nicholas, and Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General.

Metropolitan Joseph Hosts Lunch Honoring His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan

On Monday, January 23, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph hosted a lunch for thirty people honoring His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, NJ. Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs, clergymen, and laymen from the greater New York area were present, including: Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Maronite Catholic Bishop Gregory Mansour, Syriac Orthodox Bishop Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Syriac Catholic Bishop Yousif Habash, Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldo Pathickal of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the USA, and Bishop Nicholas of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Prominent laymen including Mr. Fawaz El Khoury, Vice-Chairman of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Mr. Adib Kassis, Managing Director of Middle East Airlines, and Mr. John Abi-Habib, owner of MSI Net, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY, were also present along with greater New York area members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees. (View more photos.)

Memory Eternal + Right Reverend Protosyngellos Paul Doyle

May his memory be eternal! On December 17, 2016, the Right Reverend Protosyngellos Paul Doyle fell asleep in the Lord. Update: Funeral schedule is now available, please scroll down.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph writes:

"Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

Beloved hierarchs, clergy and faithful laity of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:

It is with a sorrowful heart, lightened only by confidence in the abundant mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, that I announce the passing of the Right Reverend Protosyngellos Paul Doyle. For almost 42 years, Fr. Paul has led an exemplary life as a priest of the Holy Orthodox Church, and, I dare say, one of the most profoundly humble men I have ever met.

Metropolitan Joseph's Message for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday 2016

December 11, 2016
Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

“I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being” Psalm 104:33

Beloved in Christ:

Greetings to you and your families as we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

As is the custom in our Archdiocese, the second Sunday of December is dedicated to our choirs and chanters who work so hard to make our divine services beautiful throughout the year. Our choirs in the Archdiocese resemble our families and parishes. Some are large and strong; some are small and need help. Some have many polished and professional singers; others depend on the goodwill of volunteers with little or no musical training. Some have weekly practices and others less often. The common thread is that they all do what they do out of a love for the divine services and a desire to praise the All-Holy Trinity.

Metropolitan Joseph Presents Posthumous Award to Trustee Sondra Murr Love

On Wednesday, November 23, 2016, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presented Marcia Terry, sister of the late Archdiocesan Trustee Sondra Murr Love, and Sondra's sister-in-law Charlotte Murr, with the Cross of the Gold Order of St. Raphael. The Cross was given as a posthumous honor in recognition of Sondra's "distinguished service of exceptional merit, rendered with generous and unselfish dedication" on behalf of and to the Archdiocese. Sondra reposed in the Lord in September of this year. 

The Cross commemorates the 100th year of the repose of St. Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn (1915–2015), whose life exemplified tireless labor for the Church's mission in North America. While presenting the award, Metropolitan Joseph also visited with Marcia and Charlotte at the West Coast Chancery. The two sisers were accompanied by their pastor, the Very Rev. Timothy Baclig of St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church of Van Nuys, California. Marcia, Charlotte, and Fr. Timothy were grateful for Sayidna Joseph's tribute to their beloved sister.

Metropolitan Joseph Honored at NYC Ecumenical Gathering

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On November 29, 2016, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph was honored along with the recently appointed Syriac Archbishop John Kawak, in an ecumenical gathering at the St. Vartan Armenian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City. The gathering, hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), celebrated the occasion of the enthronements of Metropolitan Joseph and Archbishop John; due to scheduling issues, the event had been postponed several times.

Hierarchs and clergy from throughout the New York area were present, including: His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America; Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Papal Nuncio to the United Nations; Maronite Bishop Gregory Mansour, and many others from various Christian faith communities.

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Presents Archdiocese with $25,000 for Syrian Relief

His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (India) Diocese of Southwest America visited St. Nicholas Cathedral of Brooklyn on the afternoon of November 8, 2016, to present the proceeds of collections in their diocese for Syrian Relief. Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General of the Archdiocese and Cathedral Dean, received the check on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, who was on an archpastoral tour.

Father Thomas welcomed Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius and thanked him on behalf of those who are suffering and displaced as a result of ongoing Syrian war. This generous gift of $25,000 will be used to help educate the children of those new immigrants who have arrived as a result of the war and have come with nothing or very little. Father Thomas then gave the Metropolitan a tour of the Cathedral and hosted him to lunch before the Metropolitan departed for the airport to return to his headquarters in Houston. The hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese are grateful to Metropolitan Alexios and the entire Malankara Diocese for their thoughtfulness and concern for the displaced people of Syria who have found their way to these blessed shores.

Archdiocesan Hierarchs, Lay Leaders Conclude Successful 2016 Fall Meetings

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The Hierarchs, Board of Trustees, Governing Council of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, and Antiochian Village Council, all met the weekend of October 28–30, 2016 in Wichita, KS for the annual Fall Meetings of the Antiochian Archdiocese. They gathered under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and through the hospitality of His Grace Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. They discussed many issues and topics related to the spiritual growth of the Archdiocese and the administration of the parishes in each diocese. All the hierarchs of the Archdiocese were present.

Simultaneously, the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch held meetings to plan new ways to foster growth; the Order is especially concerned about how to encourage new generations of members for the philanthropic work of the Archdiocese. They considered implementing new giving levels such as a junior level, and instituting a new category of a one-time life membership. The Governing Council also held lengthy discussions on the best way to communicate the various projects and charitable giving to both current and prospective members.

Prayers for Our Hierarchs and Board of Trustees at Fall Meetings

Photo credit: stgeorgecathedral.netPhoto credit: stgeorgecathedral.netYour prayers are requested for our Hierarchs and Board of Trustees of the Antiochian Archdiocese who are gathering in Wichita, Kansas for their regular fall meetings from October 28–30, 2016. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph is presiding over the meetings, this year hosted by His Grace Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America.

The assembled hierarchs, clergy, board members and lay leaders will discuss various matters impacting the life of the Archdiocese. The weekend will conclude with a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday at St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas. May God bless all of their endeavors for His glory.

Metropolitan Joseph Offers Encouragement, Solutions for Christians Struggling in Holy Land

Although a shadow of death constantly hovers over them as a religious minority in the Holy Land and the Middle East, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph shared a saying of Christians living there: "We live in a land that has already experienced resurrection, so we always have hope." During his recent visit to Washington, D.C., Sayidna Joseph accepted an award for the Antiochian Archdiocese and gave the keynote address to the 18th International Conference of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF).

On Friday night, October 14, 2016, His Eminence gratefully received the "Living Stones Solidarity Award" as HCEF honored the Archdiocese's long history of caring for Palestinian Christians seeking spiritual support in North America. "This award is not bestowed only upon me as a Metropolitan," Sayidna said, "but upon our Archdiocese, which encompasses faithful believers from all cultures, nationalities, and races."

Metropolitan Joseph to Receive Award for Archdiocese, Present Keynote Address in D.C.

Being hailed as “an ardent advocate for human rights, social justice, and peace throughout the Middle East,” His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph will serve as the keynote speaker this weekend for the 18th International Conference of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) in Washington, D.C. He will also accept an award in behalf of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

On Friday night, October 14, 2016, His Eminence will receive the “Living Stones Solidarity Award” for the Antiochian Archdiocese, which HCEF has deemed a prime example of giving “its full support to Christians throughout the Middle East” and serving “as a home to many Palestinian Christians in North America seeking spiritual support and a place to belong.”

Metropolitan Joseph Hosted by Metropolitan Tikhon at OCA Chancery

SYOSSET, NY [OCA/AOCA] — On Thursday, September 29, 2016, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America welcomed His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America on his first official visit to the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America. (View the photo gallery)

Accompanying Metropolitan Joseph was His Grace, Bishop John of the Antiochian Diocese of Worcester and New England and Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General of the Archdiocese. In attendance from the Orthodox Church in America were His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey and Secretary of the Holy Synod of Bishops; Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of the Office of External Affairs and Inter-Church Relations; Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary; and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to Metropolitan Tikhon.

Letter from Metropolitan Joseph Regarding the Convent of St. Thekla

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph writes:

July 29, 2016

Ms. Loulou Jane Nasrallah
5409 Allison Mill Rd.
Glenville, PA 17329-9115

Dear Ms. Nasrallah,

Blessings and greetings to you in the name of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ. We hope this letter finds you and Sister Kathrina Samaan in good health.

We have received you and Sister Kathrina with open arms for the past three years. We have had high hopes for the Convent of St. Thekla through both of you. In order to prepare for a successful convent, we purchased a car and a 55 acre land that included a large house, a barn, and separate garages to pave the way for a good foundation so that all the convent physical needs are met. On the other hand, we know that starting a new convent is a great spiritual struggle and challenge.

Metropolitan Joseph Presides at Parish Centennial of St. Thomas Church in Sioux City, IA

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On September 2-5, 2016—Labor Day Weekend— St. Thomas Church in Sioux City, IA celebrated its 100th Anniversary. People came from all over the country to worship, fellowship, dance, and celebrate this auspicious milestone. Perhaps most especially, we were graced beyond measure with the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph for the full weekend. In addition to the formal meals, the hafli, and the grand banquet, participants were given multiple opportunities to connect with God and with one another. Each day brought its own special joys.

Antiochian Archdiocese Mourns Mr. Khalid Jabara

The Antiochian Archdiocese continues to mourn the murder of Mr. Khalid Jabara, a faithful parishioner of St. Antony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma. News coverage of his passing has been extensive. In his letter to the Jabara family, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph said: “We live in a material world that is encouraged to commit evil all the time. ‘Sin no more!’ are the words of Christ’s warning that should be the principle, founding motto, of our human existence.”

Sayidna Joseph has asked the clergy and laity to remember Mr. Jabara in their prayers for the departed for his eternal life, and to remember his loved ones in their prayers for the living, especially within the first 40 days of his falling asleep in the Lord. May God receive Mr. Jabara in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.

Nurturing Children for Service

by His Grace Bishop John, from The Word Magazine, September 2016

Metropolitan Joseph strolled into the meeting of the North American Board of the Antiochian Women after spending over an hour with the archdiocese teen leadership. With what at least one of our women described as "a heavy heart," Metropolitan Joseph shared with the women that the Archdiocese will need more clergy to serve when our aging clergy retire, and we need monastics, people to build and maintain homes for the aged, people to take care of the unborn and their mothers, Christian educators for the young, as well as people to do all kinds of other ministries.

Orthodox Young Professionals Hold Successful Conference with Metropolitan Joseph in New Orleans

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The challenges and the stresses of the workplace seem nonstop, but three inspiring speakers reminded the 188 participants in the Orthodox Young Professionals Conference that God does not abandon them there. Rather, He seeks to use them for His glory, to let their light “shine before men” (Matt. 5:16).

Fulfilling a promise he made two years ago at the last OYPC in San Diego, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided over and interacted with the young adults at the conference sponsored by the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Young Adult Ministry from August 18-21, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He congratulated them for “dwelling in unity” (Psalm 133:1) to meet the challenges of managing their lives, caring for their families and succeeding in their jobs. But Sayidna Joseph stressed that they will be empty and unfulfilled without Jesus Christ and His holy Church at the center of all aspects of their lives.

New Leadership Appointed for Department of Missions and Evangelism

V. Rev. John D. FinleyV. Rev. John D. FinleyV. Rev. Joseph HuneycuttV. Rev. Joseph HuneycuttAugust 9, 2016 — Englewood, NJ

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has appointed V. Rev. John D. Finley as the new chairman of the Department of Missions and Evangelism, as well as V. Rev. Joseph Huneycutt as the department’s new vice chairman. Both of these appointments take effect September 1 upon the retirement of the current chairman, V. Rev. Michael Keiser.

Father John is attached to the altar of St. Athanasius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara, California. Ordained to the priesthood in 1997, and elevated to the dignity of archpriest in 2004, he has been an active field staff member of the Department for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America since 1996, establishing and serving many missions and parishes across the United States and Canada.