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Welcome to the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, part of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The Diocese of Charleston is led by His Grace Bishop Thomas and includes more than 30 churches and missions in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Pastoral Greetings from Bishop Thomas at the Start of the Ecclesiastical New Year

Blessings be upon you all.

Tuesday, September 1, marks the beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year, when the cycle of liturgical commemorations begins anew. The existence of this separate New Year’s commemoration, distinct from the civil New Year on January 1, serves as a reminder both to Christians and to the World. The Church, it proclaims, is not bound to the institutions of this world, but rather stands apart from them. The Church, existing in the world but never being of the World, celebrates according to its own calendar and its own traditions, and not according to the World’s schedule. It is, thus, fitting, that on this same day the Church commemorates Saint Symeon the Stylite, a fifth-century ascetic who confounded the World by setting up his hermitage on top of a pillar in the middle of the market in Aleppo. By publicly living a vigorously Christian life, separate from the worldly conception of success and prosperity, Saint Symeon gave powerful witness to the Gospel, especially of the command “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”(Matt. 16:24)

May this coming year bring boundless opportunities to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel in our increasingly anti-Christian and worldly society. Let us also resolve, with God’s aid, to increase our personal spiritual striving, in prayer, fasting, and repentance.

Yours in Christ,

Rt. Rev. Bishop THOMAS (Joseph)
Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic

Village to Host Annual Clergy Wives Weekend: October 23-25, 2015

Mother Christophora, speaking at a previous Clergy Wives RetreatMother Christophora, speaking at a previous Clergy Wives RetreatThe 2015 Clergy Wives Weekend will take place October 23-25, 2015 at Antiochian Village. This pan-Orthodox gathering was established in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah, who was concerned about the well-being of women married to clergy. A balanced life was how she envisioned the best way to live in God's grace through all that life brings to clergy wives and their families. In that spirit, the Weekend seeks to provide time for fellowship, time for prayer, time for leaning, and time to just relax.

We are very happy to be welcoming back this year's speaker: Mother Christophora, the Abbess of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, PA.

The information sheet and Registration Form can be downloaded here. Questions can be directed to Kh. Stefanie Yazge, by sending email to

Khouria Gigi Shadid Leads Retreat at St. George Cathedral

Retreatants at St. George: Kh. Gigi, Bishop Thomas, and Fr. Christopher are seatedRetreatants at St. George: Kh. Gigi, Bishop Thomas, and Fr. Christopher are seatedOn Saturday August 8, 2015, Khouria Gigi Shadid led a Sunday school retreat at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral. The retreat was directed towards new horizon for new generation of teachers and Sunday school children. Khouria Gigi is the wife of Fr. James Shadid of St. George Orthodox Church in Houston, TX. She is a mother of three, a school teacher, and former youth director. Her passion is teaching with music, and she has produced five educational music CDs to date. Khouria Gigi enlightened the members of St George Cathedral with her gifts and many decades of experience of youth work and teaching. She shared her music with us, and the hand moves that she had used to teach the Orthodox faith to children. She also instructed our teachers in successful and proven tools and methods to equip and strength the Sunday school staff.

Diocese of Charleston News Archive