Latest News and Articles


Antiochian Women's Month Spotlights Role Models

The month of March is designated as Antiochian Women’s Month by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, and is a time when the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America encourage their sisters in Christ to minister in their parishes and their communities. With this in mind, Khouria Suzanne Murphy, Religious Coordinator for the National Board of the Antiochian Women, wrote this reflection about the women saints of the Church.

When I was a little girl, I loved to read stories about brave knights and lovely princesses. By the time I was a mother, societal sensibilities had broadened so that our children not only read about brave knights, but also brave princesses. The Walt Disney company did a good job of coming up with female characters that were both feminine and brave – and they did this without diminishing the virtues of the male heroes. Our Orthodox saints, however, are not fairy-tale heroes. These brave men and women (and children) faced very real horrors – torture, enslavement, and death – with steadfast resolve. 

March is Antiochian Women's Month

President Violet Robbat and Vice President Dianne O'Regan present check for 2012 project to His EminencePresident Violet Robbat and Vice President Dianne O'Regan present check for 2012 project to His EminenceThe month of March, designated as Antiochian Women’s Month by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, is a time when the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America encourage their sisters in Christ to participate in the Liturgy and minister in their parishes and their communities. Notes President Violet Robbat, "...however large or small our roles, what is important for an Antiochian Woman is that we are focused on our faith and His church."

Resources for Women's Month:

Learn more about Antiochian Women.

Spring 2014 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Spring 2014 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights The Diocese of Los Angeles and the West and The Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest, and contains:

  • A Lenten message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • A message from spiritual advisor Fr. David Hovik
  • A message from Diocesan President Melinda Bentz
  • Happenings Around The Diocese Of Los Angeles & the West, by Diocesan PR Director Charmaine Darmour
  • The Antiochian Women of North America: Who are they? And what is their Focus and Purpose? by Lucy Hanna
  • Embracing Orthodox Lenten Traditions, by Heidi Blair
  • Syrian War Orphans: Their Daily Struggle

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Help the Orphans of War in Syria

from the January 2014 edition of The Word:

Syria! The name itself inspires awe and wonder. Archaeologists have proven that Syria was the cradle of civilization, and where agriculture and trade routes appeared for the first time. Its capital – Damascus – is widely considered to be the world's oldest city. Antioch was also part of early Syria and was invaded by the Roman armies in 64 B.C., making it the third-largest city in the Roman empire. Syria continued to grow and become a major center of trade and industry in the ancient world.

After the ministry, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ, it was in Syria where a young man named Saul (who later took the name Paul) was converted on his way to Damascus. It was in Antioch where St. Paul set off on many of his journeys to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In Antioch, "the disciples were first called Christians" (Acts 11:26).

Register Today for the Mid-Winter Meetings

Holiday Inn Express, Scottsdale, AZHoliday Inn Express, Scottsdale, AZWith the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, the 2014 Mid-Winter Meetings will be hosted by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, and will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona on February 7-9, 2014. The Archdiocese and Diocese officers of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, the Fellowship of St. John Divine, and Teen SOYO will gather to conduct the business of our Archdiocese organizations. Please contact each individual organization's president for specific questions.

Travel, lodging, and registration information:

Hotel Reservations

  • Group rate of $129.00/night at the Holiday Inn Express Scottsdale North
  • Conveniently located just 4 miles (10 minute drive) from the church

Antiochian Women Celebrate 40th Anniversary

In 1972, at the Archdiocese Convention in Los Angeles, California, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip stated, "We must realize once and for all that women have a definite ministry in the life of the Church. Very often we have the tendency to confine women's role to the kitchen. Both the Old and New Testaments testify beyond doubt to the important role which women played in the history of salvation. Time does not permit me to speak in detail about Ruth, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachael, the Virgin Mary, the Ointment-Bearers, the Deaconesses and many others who ministered to the church and Christ. I propose, therefore, that a NATIONAL SISTERHOOD OF CHARITY be organized in the Archdiocese."

Winter 2013-14 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2013-14 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights Diocese of New York and the Archdiocesan District, and the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip
  • A Nativity message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • Sanctified Schooling: Working Out Salvation within Education, by His Grace Bishop Thomas
  • The Church at Home by His Grace Bishop Nicholas
  • A message from Diocesan President Fadia Juzdan
  • A message from spiritual advisor Fr. Don Shadid

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Antiochian Women Announce Project for Syria's War Orphans

By Dianne O'Regan, Vice President/NAB Project Coordinator, North American Board of the Antiochian Women

This summer at the Archdiocese Convention in Houston, Metropolitan Philip announced the new Antiochian Women Project for 2013-2014 (PDF). He has challenged us with a mission that is beyond bricks and mortar, but goes to the very heart and soul of our faith: “Help the Orphans of War in Syria.” His Eminence has asked the Antiochian Women to raise $200,000 towards this worthwhile Project. All monies raised will be distributed directly to the affected areas. 

When asked by His disciples who was the "greatest in the kingdom of heaven," our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ called a little child to Him and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you ... become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:1-5).

Fall 2013 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2013 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the North American Board, and contains:

  • The Antiochian Women and Martyrdom: A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • A message from His Grace Bishop John
  • A 40th Anniversary message from NAB President Violet Robbat
  • An introduction to the 2013-2015 North American Board

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Summer 2013 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

 

The Summer 2013 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Worcester and New England, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • A message from His Grace Bishop John
  • A message from NAB Antiochian Women President Violet Robbat
  • A message from Diocese of Worcester and New England Antiochian Women President Delores George

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Spring 2013 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Spring 2013 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph on the Feast of the Annunciation
  • A message from Diocese of Wichita Antiochian Women President Deana Bottei
  • A message from His Grace Bishop Basil
  • Do Icons Really Matter? by the late Archpriest Peter E. Gillquist

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Antiochian Women’s Project, 2013: Tornado Relief Fund

For 2013, the Antiochian Women have been tasked by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip to continue the ongoing Project: “The Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund.”

On June 1, 2012, a tornado traveled eight miles down Highway 711 through the townships of Ligonier and Bolivar in Western Pennsylvania. At 5:20 p.m., the tornado stuck the Antiochian Village with winds of 110 miles per hour. In a matter of seconds, the tornado damaged or destroyed 50 acres at the Village, including 22 buildings and hundreds of trees. Of these buildings, six were girls’ cabins which were completely destroyed. The remaining buildings have required varying degrees of repair – from new roofs to collapsed walls.

The appraisers have determined the monetary cost of the damage to the Antiochian Village at well over one million dollars. While insurance paid for a portion, the Archdiocese has been required to cover the remainder. There were also many areas that were not covered by insurance, including the removal of downed trees and replacement of these trees for privacy purposes that surround the girls’ cabins.

Winter 2012-13 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2012-13 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and contains:

  • The Orthodox Advent Tradition by His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • News from St. George Church of Indianapolis

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Antiochian Women's New Project is Village Tornado Relief

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip has tasked the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America (AOWNA) with a new fundraising project for 2012-2013, “The Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund.”  Between 2010 and 2012, the AOWNA women in chapters across the U.S. and Canada raised over $315,000 for the Convent of St. Thekla at the Village, and will now turn their attention towards another project to benefit the Archdiocese's "Holy Mountain."

In the late afternoon of June 1, 2012,  a tornado with winds of 110 mph cut a wide swath through the Village grounds in Bolivar, PA, damaging over fifty acres. Thankfully, no camp counselors or staff received injuries, and no outside groups were using the Village at the time. However, the tornado damaged 600 trees and twenty-two buildings; four of the buildings were completely new cabins set to house sixteen girls each.

Fall 2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York, and contains:

  • The Cross in Our Lives by His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • News from St. George Church of Montreal

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Summer 2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • A message from His Grace Bishop Antoun
  • The Living Waters of Mid-Pentecost by Diocesan Spiritual Advisor Fr. Stephen Rogers
  • A message from Diocese of Miami Antiochian Women President Dorothy Tampary

...and more! Click here to download (PDF)

Spring 2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Spring 2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West and the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • An Orthodox University: Higher Education for Orthodox Christians by His Grace Bishop Thomas
  • A message from Diocese of L.A. Antiochian Women President Melinda Bentz

...and more! Click here to download (PDF)

Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall/Winter 2011-2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the North American Board. And The Diocese of New York and the Archdiocesan District, And the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph, Antiochian Women Hierarchical Overseer
  • A message from His Grace Bishop John, North American Board Spiritual Advisor
  • A message from His Grace Bishop Nicholas, Bishop of Brooklyn and Assistant to the Metropolitan

Click here to download (PDF)

Antiochian Women of the East Announce 2012 Lenten Retreat

The Antiochian Women of the East

Announce the

2012 Lenten Retreat

March 30-April 1, 2012

Speaker: Father Paul Tarazi

Theme: The Prototypes of Christ in the Old Testament

Location: Antiochian Village

Download forms and registration here.

"Yes We Do" Video Tells Antiochian Women Story

The North American Board of the Antiochian Women and videographer Joseph Wihbey have produced a promotional DVD, "Yes We Do."  Former president Laila Ferris explains that the leadership wanted to "communicate to all parishes of the Archdiocese, about who the Antiochian Women are, their role in the Archdiocese as well as their parishes, their mission as an organization, and the many ways through which they have served their Faith, this Archdiocese, those in need, and our Lord."

Noting that the the video also aims to reach out to a new audience, Laila continues, "The second purpose is to use the DVD for increasing membership within the Antiochian Women, especially among the younger women so that they will come to know that this is an organization for all women of all ages and not just for our mothers and grandmothers. It is also key for our younger women to understand how much their talents are needed in the organization, especially as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of whom we serve in today's and tomorrow's global community."

Memory Eternal! + Esther Samara

September 8, 1921 - September 5, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Esther Massad Samara fell asleep in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on September 5, 2011. She was born on September 8, 1921 in Drumright, Oklahoma to the Very Reverend George R. Massad and Khouria Bediyah (Hamra) Massad. The family then moved to Oklahoma City in 1937. She attended Classen High School and graduated in 1939. From 1939 to 1941 she attended Hills Business College, earning an Associate's Degree. Concurrently with school, she worked at the "Indian Post," a local mercantile store. On July 29, 1951 she married George R. Samara and together raised 3 children.

Updated and Improved Taste & See Cookbook Released

The authors of the Taste & See Cookbook, parishioners at St. Elizabeth Orthodox Christian Church, have announced that the newly improved version is complete and ready for purchase and shipment.

This cookbook contains 500 all new recipes and is 66% larger than the original Taste & See Cookbook. 85% of the recipes conform to traditional Orthodox fasting guidelines.

The Taste and See website explains that  "a minimum of 10% of the funds raised will be donated to the Antiochian Women and their various charity efforts."

For more information about the project including ordering information, visit the Taste & See website.

Village's Clergy Couples Retreat Featured on AFR

Ancient Faith Radio's newly released podcast in their series "Ancient Faith Presents" features Bobby Maddex interviewing Fr. Charles Joanides and Pres. Kerry Pappas about the upcoming Orthodox Clergy Couples Retreat. Hosted by Antiochian Village, the retreat will take place May 22-24 in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

In the interview, Fr. Charles and Pres. Kerry provide a brief overview of the retreat, titled "Protecting and Growing Our Marriages," with a  description of the sessions and how clergy couples can benefit from the workshops. Couples may still register here.

Mother Alexandra Teaches Children about St. Thekla on AFR

"Let the Children Come Unto Me," a regular podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, is featuring guest homilist Mother Alexandra, the Abbess of the St. Thekla Convent at Antiochian Village. In the podcast, Mother Alexandra speaks to a group of young children about the life and icon of Saint Thekla. Listen to the talk here.