Works of the Order in Action: Message from the North American Chairman
37 years ago, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip created The Order of St. Ignatius to enable the laity of our Archdiocese to organize and raise funds for various philanthropic endeavors that would make a difference in the lives of many. As you probably know, there is nothing more humbling in life than to learn that one’s act of charity or philanthropy has made a difference in the life of another person.
Over the past several months, you have had the opportunity to read articles prepared by some of those who have received grants from the Order. This year alone, the Order has given $267,340 towards these four specific projects. From its inception in 1975 to the present, the Order has given $260,000 to International Orthodox Christian Charities; $34,600 in scholarships for Orthodox college students to attend Orthodox conferences; $350,000 to enable our clergy to attend parish life conferences, our Archdiocese conventions and clergy symposiums; and over $2 million in scholarships for our children to attend camping programs. These Orthodox organizations and departments are a mere fraction of those that receive funds from the Order.
The Order has provided every parish and mission in our Archdiocese with some form of assistance, and since its inception has disbursed more than $25 million for various charitable projects. Every Antiochian parish and mission has received scholarships for our children to attend one of the eight camping programs run by our Archdiocese. Our college students receive scholarships for Orthodox college conference programs. The Order provides funds to International Orthodox Christian Charities to help our brothers and sisters around the world suffering from natural disasters or war. The Order helps mothers in need with basic necessities for newborns. It supports missions and evangelism. It makes aid available to married seminarians to ease the financial burden experienced while in seminary, and provides housing stipends to our clergy and their wives as they retire. These are just a few of the projects supported by the Order.
Our ability to come to the aid of Antiochian brothers and sisters in our Archdiocese and in the worldwide Orthodox community depends on our membership – and we humbly thank those 4,500 men and women members. I ask you, as an Antiochian Orthodox Christian, to consider becoming a member of the Order. Richard Baxter, a seventeenth-century English Puritan and poet, wrote, “In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; and in all things, charity.” Help us solidify our Antiochian Orthodox unity and, by your giving, ease the burden of so many. When you choose Orthodox unity and charity, you are working side by side with fellow members of the Order to make a difference in the lives of Orthodox and others, in our Archdiocese and throughout the world.
Mary Winstanley O’Connor
North American Chair
The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch