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News About His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

Statement by Metropolitan JOSEPH on the Recent Announcement by President Trump Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

Englewood, NJ/The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Statement by His Eminence, Archbishop Metropolitan JOSEPH, of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of North America on the Recent Announcement by President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

“Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”. Luke 2:14

We in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church stand with religious and world leaders in expressing concern over the recent announcement by President Trump in which the United States officially recognizes the city of Jersusalem as the capital of Israel and will therefore be moving the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Our main concern is that this is a unilateral decision being made from outside of the framework of the Middle East peace process and that this will serve to undermine an already complex and difficult situation.

Metropolitan JOSEPH'S Letter for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

(To be read from the pulpit and printed in the bulletin)

Beloved Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Christ-loving Faithful of Our God-protected Archdiocese:

Blessings and greetings to all of you in the Name of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ!

One of the hallmarks of our Orthodox Christian faith is the beauty of our worship. Our ecclesiastical music, when done with prayer and skill, can elucidate the rich theology of our hymnography in such a way that worshippers can exclaim – as did the emissaries sent by Saint Vladimir – "we know not whether we are in heaven or on earth!"

Because we owe such a tremendous amount of gratitude to our choirs and our chanters, we set aside the second Sunday of December to honor them for the key role they play in our liturgical life.

Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop NICHOLAS Preside at St. John's 30th Anniversary Weekend

View the photo gallery by Trent Terry

On the weekend of November 17–19, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH and His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS made their first visits to St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis, Tennessee. The occasion was the celebration of the parish's 30th anniversary as well as the blessing of the new St. Raphael Hall which was completed in November.

The joyous weekend included a visit to St. Jude Children's Hospital, a wonderful presentation explaining the vestments of the bishop to the children of the Church, and a banquet on Saturday evening in the brand new parish hall.

Pleading for the Lives of the People of the Middle East: The U.S. Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X


 

 

 

 


By Subdeacon Peter Samore and Sonia Chala Tower

“The world would assist both Christians and Moslems much better if it spreads the culture of dialogue in our East and wipes away the culture of the sword…” Patriarch John X

Although he brought the love of the Orthodox Church of Antioch from the Middle East to the United States, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East said that he also brought the pain and suffering of the brethren in his native land. From October 21–31, 2017, His Beatitude made several key visits with elected officials and world leaders in Washington, D.C. and New York City to continue pleading for peaceful, diplomatic solutions to end the fruitless, 6.5-year-old war in Syria, the land of the Apostles Paul, Barnabas and Ananias, that has negatively impacted the entire region.

“I Would Fly Away and Be at Rest:" The Last Public Appearance and Funeral of Bishop Antoun

By Subdeacon Peter Samore

On Friday, November 10, the fortieth day of His Grace Bishop Antoun's repose is commemorated, and on Sunday, November 12, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph asks all parishes to hold Trisagion Services.

“Oh that I had the wings of a dove. I would fly away and be at rest.” (Psalm 54:6)

Although the context of the Psalm is tribulation, it holds a different context for His Grace Bishop Antoun, the longest-serving auxiliary bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese who left this world on the morning of Monday, October 2, 2017. For, as Metropolitan Joseph remarked in funeral address, Sayidna Antoun did not fly away to leave the rest of us behind, because he never betrayed us. Rather, His Grace took up his new abode at the throne of Almighty God to intercede with Him for us, and reunite the clergy and laity he loved so dearly on the Last Day.

Every bishop of the Archdiocese, along with dozens of clergy and hundreds of faithful, gathered at St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida – Sayidna Antoun’s cathedral in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast – to mourn the loss of a man who served them in so many ways since his arrival to the United States in 1959. (View the memorial page for His Grace Bishop Antoun, and view the photo album of the funeral.)

Metropolitan JOSEPH's Statement on Sutherland Springs, TX

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, on behalf of the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese, laments the tragic loss of life in Sutherland Springs, Texas and offers fervent, broken-hearted prayers for all of the innocent victims and for all of those who are grieving.

His Eminence reflects: “As children of the Church of Antioch, we are no strangers to acts of violence being perpetrated in our churches and know all too well the pain of such tragedies. During his recent visit, our Father-in-Christ, Patriarch John, witnessed to the courage, faith, and steadfastness of his flock in the face of violence and martyrdom, and we were moved by his preaching of love and reconciliation.

As Orthodox Christians of this land, we are similarly called to respond to evil with the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the witness of our martyred Church of Antioch, we offer our countrymen hope in Christ’s Resurrection and His final triumph over evil. We pray for our brothers and sisters of Sutherland Springs, and we beseech the Almighty God to grant eternal rest to the slain, speedy recovery to the wounded, and grace-filled comfort to all those affected.”

Exclusive Interview with His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X and His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York, New York --  In this video, His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X of Antioch and His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America share their thoughts about the last ten days of their meetings, talks and events in Washington D.C. and New York City regarding the future of Orthodox Christians in Syria and the Middle East.

The interview is an exclusive with Subdeacon Peter Samore of the Archdiocesan Department of Internet Ministry.

The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America: Hudson Institute Discussion


On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese, were the guests of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. Video of their 70-minute discussion regarding the future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America is now available. The hierarchs addressed questions about the place of Christians and the Antiochian Church in the future of war-torn Syria, the role the Church has played in humanitarian assistance to the millions of people in need, and why Orthodoxy is finding renewed appeal in Western countries.

Historic Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X to New York

View the livestream! At 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 29, 2017, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East celebrated the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, 355 State Street. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and other hierarchs, clergy, and faithful joined him.

Liturgical Schedule of Livestreamed Services with Patriarch John X: October 21-22, 2017

His Beatitude Patriarch John X will be presiding over Great Vespers and the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy this weekend in the greater Washington, D.C. area, at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, Maryland. Services will be livestreamed here at Antiochian.org on Saturday, October 21, beginning at approximately 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, and Sunday, October 22, beginning at approximately 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. Join us here to enter into the live services!

The schedule is as follows:

AVAILABLE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, PATRIARCHAL DIVINE LITURGY | POTOMAC, MD | 9:30 A.M. EST

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854; (301) 765-3400 
Sunday Orthros is at 9:30 a.m. and Patriarchal Divine Liturgy is at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch John X.
Luncheon to follow, in honor of His Beatitude Patriarch John X.

Patriarch John and Metropolitan Joseph to Speak at D.C. Event: "The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America"

The Orthodox Convent of Our Lady, Seydnaya, Syria (photo: De Agostini/C. Sappa)The Orthodox Convent of Our Lady, Seydnaya, Syria (photo: De Agostini/C. Sappa)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register for the Event

What place do Christians and the Antiochian Church have in the future of Syria? What role has the Church played in humanitarian assistance to the millions in need? Why is Orthodoxy finding renewed appeal in Western countries? For answers to these and many other questions regarding the future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America, Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom will host a conversation with His Beatitude, John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan of All North America and Archbishop of New York. Hudson Senior Fellow Samuel Tadros will moderate the conversation.

His Beatitude Patriarch John to Visit the United States in October, 2017

Patriarch John X (left) and Metropolitan JosephPatriarch John X (left) and Metropolitan JosephEnglewood, NJ   His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, is pleased to announce the visit of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, to the United States on October 21–31, 2017.

(View the full schedule)

The purpose of the visit is to meet with the leadership of the United Nations as well as members of the current administration of the United States to: 1) promote a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, 2) highlight the current humanitarian crisis, and 3) discuss the future of Christians in Syria and the Middle East. His Beatitude will also be an honored guest at the “In Defense of Christians” Summit in Washington, D.C., from October 24–26. The Summit is titled "American Leadership and Securing the Future of Christians in the Middle East."

Official Schedule for the Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X to the United States

Englewood, NJ — The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America's Office of Planning, Policy and Public Affairs has released the schedule for the visit of his Beatitude Patriarch John X to the United States, October 21–31, 2017. (Subject to change.)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, WASHINGTON, D.C. | POTOMAC, MD

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 765-3400 | www.peterpaulpotomac.org
Great Vespers at 5:30 p.m., followed by:
A concert by The Nativity of the Theotokos Choir, St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Hunt Valley, MD
A reception follows the concert

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, WASHINGTON, D.C. | POTOMAC, MD

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 765-3400 | www.peterpaulpotomac.org
Sunday Orthros at 9:30 a.m.
Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch John X

Luncheon to follow, in honor of His Beatitude Patriarch John X
Fundraiser Event for the Patriarchal Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (DERD)
Livestreamed services

Metropolitan JOSEPH Requests Prayers for Those Impacted by California Fires

Englewood, NJ — His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, along with all of the clergy and faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese, is praying fervently for those being impacted by the wildfires raging in northern California. His Eminence has been in constant communication with Father George Baalbaki, the pastor of our parish of Saint Nicholas in San Francisco, who has been in contact with his own parishoners as well as the other parishes in the area. Father George was able to report that the faithful in the area are safe, but many have indeed been forced to evacuate and some have suffered property damage.

Sayidna JOSEPH notes: “We know that our Lord commanded a pillar of fire to protect his people and spoke to Moses from a bush that was burning but not consumed. I ask all of our faithful people to fervently beseech the very same Lord to extend his right hand from His holy dwelling place on high and speedily quench these fires through His divine might. On behalf of all of my brother hierarchs, our clergy, and laity, I offer our prayers and support to those who are being impacted. We will be with you.”

Please continue to monitor Antiochian.org for updates as to how we can help those are suffering from these devastating wildfires.

Metropolitan Joseph Requests Prayers for Las Vegas Victims and Families

Englewood, NJ — His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH sends heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of the victims of the horrific violence that took place in Las Vegas. His Eminence, while overseas for a meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch, reached out to Fr. John Nicholas Ozone, pastor of Saint Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, to offer love and support. Thanks to God, Fr. John was able to report to His Eminence that none of the flock were victims of the atrocity, and that he and his parish were in constant communication with local authorities to offer their assistance if need be.

His Eminence notes: “On behalf of my brother hierarchs, our reverend clergy, and Christ-loving faithful, I ask our Lord to grant rest to the souls of those who lost their lives, healing to those who were wounded, and comfort to those who are grieving. Our hearts break at seeing such acts of evil, and we can never allow ourselves to grow accustomed to their images. We must work more and more fervently in our own lives to model Christ’s love, forgiveness, and compassion and, as St. Seraphim of Sarov taught, acquire the Holy Spirit that thousands around us will be saved – thus to do our own small part to heal the wounds of the society in which we live.”

Metropolitan Joseph Requests Prayers and "Earthquake Appeal" Gifts for Mexico

Leave-taking of the Elevation of the Honorable and Life-giving Cross

Beloved in Christ,

With Archpastoral love, I embrace all of you – my brother hierarchs, reverend clergy, and Christloving faithful. Once again, I write to you in the midst of tragedy, witnessing the results of the devastating earthquake that struck our brothers and sisters in Mexico. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, when "one member suffers, all the members suffer with it."

When I reflect on the heartrending disasters of the last several weeks, I take heart that we have been commemorating the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross. As we raise on high the Cross, we remember the sacrificial love of our Lord Jesus Christ. We remember how He transfigured that instrument of cruel torture and death into a "weapon of peace and trophy invincible." We remember that the tears of mourning shed by the Ointment Bearing Women were transformed into inexpressible joy on the morning of Pascha.

Metropolitan Joseph Urges Prayer and Practical Assistance in the Wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT AND PUBLISHED IN THE CHURCH BULLETIN

Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos+

Beloved in Christ:

Greetings to you and your families on this Feast Day.

We have all witnessed with a heavy heart the catastrophic destruction and massive flooding in Southeast Texas, Western Louisiana and now Florida as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I urge the entire Archdiocese to pray for the safety of the residents of Florida and all those in the wake of Hurricane Irma and direct our parishes to offer up special prayers at Sunday's Divine Liturgy for the safety and quick recovery of those affected. Some of the scenes of suffering have been beyond words. I have been in constant contact with our clergy and the parishes of the affected areas and am waiting for an assessment from them in order to help in any way we can. Although things are still unfolding, we want to be proactive in our appeal to all of you so we can respond as quickly as possible.

As people of God and the Church of Christ, we feel compelled to help our brothers and sisters in need. Therefore, I am asking every parish and mission of the Archdiocese to appeal to their faithful and hold special collections throughout the month of September so that we can alleviate a little of the pain and suffering the good people of that area are enduring.

Letter From His Beatitude Patriarch John X to the Texas Faithful

Damascus, Syria

Your Eminence Metropolitan Joseph,
Beloved brothers and sisters in Texas State:

From the Mariamite Cathedral in Damascus, I greet you in the name of our Lord; and heartily express my deepest sympathy and compassion during this devastating time where the destructive Hurricane Harvey hit Texas State.

Despite the sufferings of your brothers and sisters in Syria and all the Middle East, you are in their thoughts and prayers, and along with St. Paul, we repeat: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulations, be constant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).

You are people of faith, and by God's will, you shall overcome this sad event stronger and united under the parental care of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. You all remain in the heart and prayers of your Patriarch.

May God, the Lord of mercy and compassion protect all of you, help the affected, heal the wounded and bless the souls of those who rested in peace.

Transferring to you all the love, prayer, and compassion of every Antiochian faithful and sending you the Apostolic blessing of the Apostles Peter and Paul, we pray to God to strengthen you and keep you under the maternal protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.

†JOHN X
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Metropolitan Joseph Urges Prayer and Practical Assistance in the Wake of Harvey

TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT AND PUBLISHED IN THE CHURCH BULLETIN

Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

Beloved in Christ:

Greetings to you and your families as we prepare for the beginning of a new Church year.

We have all witnessed with a heavy heart the catastrophic destruction and massive flooding in Southeast Texas (and now Western Louisiana) as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Some of the scenes of suffering have been beyond words. I have been in constant contact with our clergy and the parishes of the area and am waiting for an assessment from them in order to help in any way we can. Although things are still unfolding, we want to be proactive in our appeal to all of you so we can respond as quickly as possible.

As people of God and the Church of Christ, we feel compelled to help our brothers and sisters in need. Therefore, I am asking every parish and mission of the archdiocese to appeal to their faithful and hold special collections throughout the month of September so that we can alleviate a little of the pain and suffering the good people of that area are enduring.

Metropolitan Joseph Appoints Bishop Nicholas to Lead the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast

August 3, 2017

The Reverend Clergy of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast:                        

Blessings and greetings to you and your families in the name of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, as we embark on the blessed Dormition Fast.

I would like to start this letter by thanking my dear brother His Grace Bishop Antoun for all the years of hard work in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. He touched all of our hearts with his dedication and support as he earned his gray hair: “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” (Proverbs 16:31)

Axios! Holy Synod of Antioch Elects New Metropolitan of Archdiocese of Hama, Syria

By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Synod of Antioch, under the presidency of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, elected His Grace Bishop Nicholas Baalbaki as the new metropolitan archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hama and Dependencies in Syria. Sayidna Nicholas succeeds His Eminence Metropolitan Elia Saliba of thrice-blessed memory who reposed in the Lord on April 1, 2017.
 
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph took part in the election at the Patriarchal Monastery and Seminary in Balamand, Lebanon earlier this week, following the great feast of Pentecost. Sayidna Joseph congratulated his new brother Metropolitan Nicholas on behalf of the hierarchs, clergy, board of trustees and laity of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.
 
Metropolitan Nicholas was born to a pious Orthodox Christian family in 1957. His brother is V. Rev. George Baalbaki, the pastor of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in San Francisco, California. In addition to serving as clergyman since 1985, His Eminence was a surgeon and director of the Patriarchal Hospital of St. George in Hosn, Syria.

Metropolitan Joseph Presides Over Joyous Festal Weekend at St. George of Boston

Boston, MA – Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Boston was honored to host our beloved Metropolitan Joseph, as well as Bishop John of Worcester and New England, for a weekend of joyous celebrations from April 28–30, 2017. The patronal feast of the parish wonderfully coincided with the honoring of Mr. Robert Laham for his fifty years of service to the Archdiocese, and with the Nameday of His Eminence. (View the photo gallery)

The weekend began with a special program prepared by the young people of the parish, who enthusiastically greeted Metropolitan Joseph with hugs and shouts of “Christ is risen!” as he entered the parish hall. His Eminence greatly enjoyed the performance of a skit highlighting the life and martyrdom of St. George. The performance was followed by a “pop quiz” where the young people asked questions of the hierarchs and clergy to ensure they were paying close attention!

Metropolitan Joseph Presides at Parish Anniversary of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Canton, Ohio

The community of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Canton, Ohio welcomed His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to preside over the 95th Anniversary of the parish from April 21–23, 2017. On Friday, April 21, a benefactors' reception was held in honor of Sayedna Joseph at the residence of Dr. Kaleel and Rhonia Shaheen, who also faithfully and elegantly served as the 95th Anniversary Chairs. The reception recognized the fundraising efforts of the benefactors who sponsored the weekend festivities. After Sayedna gathered and thanked them all for their ministry to the church, everyone listened to beautiful paschal hymns chanted by the Metropolitan's newly ordained deacon, Dn. John Al-Massih. On Saturday morning, Sayedna was greeted by over fifty beautiful children and teenagers of the church to the sounds of church bells and the chanting of the Paschal Troparion. After delivering his message to the youth and answering their questions, all were invited to a special breakfast chaired by Nina Shaheen, Malakh Bechara, Laura Kibler, and Nahi Kaed. (View the photo gallery)

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, and sign the petition that will be presented to the White House and the United Nations, "Help release the kidnapped archbishops of Syria.") 

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.