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St. Emmelia Homeschooling Conference at Antiochian Village + April 7-10, 2016

Does your family homeschool? Are you considering homeschooling? If so, plan now to attend the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference, scheduled for April 7-10, 2016 at the Antiochian Village Conference and Retreat Center outside Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

This year, keynote addresses will be delivered by Fr. Noah Bushelli, Pastor of St. Philip Orthodox Church in Souderton, PA, homeschooling dad, and Director of the Department of Homeschooling for the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. Fr. Noah will present the topic of Homeschooling and the Marriage Relationship.

Costs are as follows:

Early Bird - Before March 15th
Single Adult/Married couple - $82
Each child 3 and over - $32

Regular Pricing - March 16 to 28
Single Adult/Married Couple - $92
Each child 3 and over - $37

Conference schedule
Registration

Rooms and meals are separate - click here for pricing.

The conference offers workshops for both experienced and beginning homeschoolers alike, with simultaneous activity sessions for children ages 3 and up.

Our weekend is both educational and retreat-like, with many opportunities for worship and fellowship with other Orthodox homeschooling families. Workshops cover topics of interest to inquiring, beginning, veteran homeschoolers and supporting spouses. If your entire family cannot attend, we welcome solo attendees, as well!

From the Archdiocese Publications Center & AV Bookstore: Lenten Sale for our Youth

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Publications Center & AV Bookstore is holding a sale on Lenten materials for our youth. Among the items on sale are:

My Lenten Journey
An interactive poster for kids! "My Lenten Journey" is a large full-color poster designed to help children understand how they can participate in Great Lent, with the opportunities to "do," "give," "give-up," or "think" each day during Lent as a
way of making his/her own offering. It's filled with fun and interesting tasks and projects, marking the way with colorful stickers.

Lenten Lotto
A matching game set of icons and other drawings on easy to use boards, this is for Grades K-3 . Good for use in class or at home, this Lotto game teaches the liturgical services of Great Lent and Holy Week with basic Biblical and historical events.

Winter 2016 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2016 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of New York, the Archdiocesan District and the Diocese of Charleston! The issue contains:

  • The Sanctification of Our Parish Life by His Grace Bishop Thomas
  • A message from St. Barbara's Monastery
  • Profiles of diocesan officers

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Antiochian Professor Moderates "Engaging Orthodoxy" Inaugural Event

On Saturday, March 5, 2016, Dr. Bradley Nassif—Antiochian author, speaker, professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, and member of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Christian Church in Warrenville, IL—will be moderating a new speaker's series titled, "Engaging Orthodoxy." Metropolitan Kallistos Ware is the keynote speaker for this first event, and the Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, along with other notable Orthodox leaders, will be the respondents. 

The event will be streamed live on Ancient Faith Radio, and more information about the event is posted on the website of North Park University in Chicago, IL, the host of the conference. 

Memory Eternal! + Osama Khoury

Osama Khoury, 47, of Poughkeepsie, NY, passed away on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. Osama was born on March 30, 1968 in Palestine to the V. Rev. Fr. Michael and Khourieh Amal Khoury of Taybeh, Ramallah. He was married to Rula El Kawaneh Khoury, on May 30, 1993.

Osama received a Bachelor of Science Degree at Long Island University and served as a pharmacist at CVS in Pleasant Valley, NY. A resident of the Hudson Valley for over 20 years, Osama was previously employed at Rite Aid Pharmacy. He had accomplished his goal of opening his own pharmacy in Gibsonia, PA, named Gibsonia Pharmacy and Health Center. 

Osama loved the outdoors. He enjoyed camping and loved serving the community. He was an active member of Saint James Orthodox Church in Hyde Park, NY.

In addition to his mother, Khourieh Amal, Osama is survived by his loving wife Rula, his sons, Michael and Gabriel, as well as his daughter Amal, his brother Ibrahim (Rula) Khoury of Pittsburgh, PA, and his sisters Hannan (V. Rev Fr. Yacoub) Khoury, Ramallah Palestine and Iman (Issam) Muaddi.

His Grace Bishop Demetri, Osama's uncle, will preside at the funeral service at Saint James Orthodox Church in Hyde Park, NY, assisted with Fr. Hisham Nimri, pastor, and the local Orthodox clergy.

The viewing will be held at Saint James Church, 441 Violet avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY on Friday, February 26 at 5pm-8pm and Saturday, February 27 at 4pm-7pm. The Funeral Services will be on Sunday, February 28 at 4 o'clock.

A Weekend of Memories: The Elevation of Father Fouad Saba

His Grace Bishop Antoun with the newly-elevated Father SabaHis Grace Bishop Antoun with the newly-elevated Father SabaAlthough the actual elevation of a Priest to the dignity of Archpriest may take only a few minutes, the preparations for this sacred event begin far in advance. Ten years in advance. Once a seminarian is ordained to the Diaconate and later to the Priesthood, he then faithfully serves the Church as pastor, teacher, confessor, spiritual father, and other less notable yet equally important roles over the course of ten years before he can be considered for Elevation to the dignity of Archpriest. During each of these ten years, the Priest will lead his parish through the beautiful seasons of the Church calendar, cultivating a spirit of love and unity. There will be scores of homilies delivered during Sunday Liturgies, the joy of baptisms, the sorrow of memorials, countless hours of counsel, discovering a leak in the Church roof, discovering a second leak in the Church roof, fundraising to fix the leaking roof. Through all this the Priest will gain the love and respect of his parishioners. As an outpouring of gratitude and deepest appreciation, those parishioners will in turn voice to their Bishop the desire to have their Priest elevated to the dignity of Archpriest in recognition of his devotion to the Church and Her members.<--break->

Memory Eternal! + Kh. Jedonne Rhudy

February 23, 2016, Memory Eternal! + Kh. Jedonne Rhudy

Word has been received of the falling asleep in Christ this past weekend of Khouria Jedonne Rhudy, wife of F.r Stephen Rhudy, formerly of St John the Forerunner in Cedar Park, TX. Condolences may be sent to Fr. Stephen and family at frstephenrhudy@gmail.com

Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries Released by the Assembly of Bishops

The first-ever complete guide to monasteries in the United States, Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries, has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. The Atlas can be purchased ($ 19.95) on Amazon.com or directly from the publisher, the Holy Cross Orthodox Press, and was made possible by a grant from the Virginia H. Farah Foundation and the Cottonwood Foundation.

Drawing on extensive research, as well as fascinating stories and "insider" anecdotes, the Atlas offers readers:
·a scholarly introduction into traditions of Eastern Christian monasticism and a history of Orthodox monasteries in America,
·a full and comprehensive directory of nearly 80 American Orthodox Christian monasteries, and
·an enticing travel guide for those seeking to visit American monasteries and to "sample" monastic life.

In addition, twenty-three featured monasteries share their "personal stories" and offer a glimpse in the surprising spiritual appeal of monastic life in 21st century America.

Edited by Alexei Krindatch, the book's 150 pages of text are accompanied by four sets of color maps and more than one hundred photographs depicting everyday lives of America's Orthodox monasteries. The Atlas is "album size," or 9 x 11.

Purchase the book:

Holy Cross Bookstore
50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA, 02445
Phone: 1-800-245-0599
Fax: 617-850-1430, or
Email: bookstore@hchc.edu

Memory Eternal! + Sherry Abraham Morrow

Memory eternal! Sherry Abraham Morrow, December 4, 1948 - February 17, 2016

Sherry was born on December 4, 1948 and raised in Woodward, Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Shortly after graduation, she married Don Abraham and moved to Wichita, Kansas. They had two daughters, Candace and Ginger. Don and Sherry owned and operated Ali Baba Bakery for 19 years. The bakery specialized in pita bread, but eventually made over 100 different varieties. She worked full time at the bakery with Don until he was diagnosed with cancer in 1994, and they sold their business. Sherry worked on weekends at Abe's Steak House, a restaurant owned by Don's family. Don passed away on February 28, 1995.

In November 2003, Sherry married Mark Morrow. Their blended family consists of two sons, three daughters, two sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law, five granddaughters and four grandsons. Mark and Sherry split their time between Wichita and Oklahoma City and were active in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian churches in both communities – St. George Cathedral in Wichita and St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City. At St. George Cathedral, Sherry served as the Chairman of the annual Lebanese dinner and was the Baklawa Chairman for many years, perfecting the process of making enough baklawa to serve more than 5,500 people!

Texas Newspaper Article Features Antiochian Orthodox Christians

"They grew up in Damascus in a time before Syria was a synonym in the Western mind for chaos and religious extremism. Reem Hoff and Rouba Heckenlively grew up a half-hour's walk from each other, both in families that practiced their Syrian Orthodox Christian faith openly among Muslims. Rouba's mother and Reem's aunt were friends. By coincidence, both women met American travelers who were visiting monasteries. Both women ended up living as American citizens in a suburb of Waco."

So begins a recent Waco Tribune-Herald article featuring the extraordinary story of two families from St. Andrew Orthodox Church, an Antiochian mission in Waco. In November 2015, investigative reporter J.B. Smith began contacting Syrians in Central Texas to get their take on the provocative words of a Texas state official, who had likened Syrians entering the U.S. to "rattlesnakes" ready to strike. Smith soon found there were a number of Syrian Christians in the area, a fact which defied the simplistic and false stereotype of all Middle East immigrants as "extremists" and "radicals" – this led him to contact St. Andrew parish priest Fr. John Ballard, who put the reporter in touch with the Hoff and Heckenlively families.

Words of Wisdom: Reflections From Notable Antiochian Priests on Love, Faith, and Ministry

As we anticipate the start of the Lenten season in March, three of the senior statesmen in the ranks of Antiochian clergy have offered reflections for our spiritual edification: Archpriest George Shalhoub, Economos Antony Gabriel, and Archpriest Joseph Antypas.

Fr. George and Kh. Nourhad ShalhoubFr. George and Kh. Nourhad ShalhoubThe Gospel and the Orthodox Family: The Christian Meaning of Love

"As our nation celebrates the feast of love, Valentine’s Day," writes Fr. George Shalhoub, pastor of The Basilica of St. Mary, Livonia, MI, "it brings with it the measures of marketing and the things that most of us have come to believe will make the wrong right, and the right better. Valentine’s Day will be celebrated by the exchanging of love with flowers, candy, dinner or surprise trips. It has become one more thing to do because others are doing it, and many find it is easier to purchase something than act." Read more

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Lucia Neustrom

Memory Eternal! Kh. Lukie Neustrom with the late Fr. ThomasMemory Eternal! Kh. Lukie Neustrom with the late Fr. ThomasMemory Eternal! Khouria Lucia "Lukie" Neustrom, retired from All Saints Orthodox Church, Salina, KS, peacefully fell asleep in Christ on February 12, 2016, at the age of 95. Condolences may be sent to Khouria Lukie's family via Fr. Daniel Griffith of All Saints in Salina, at frdanielg@gmail.com. Divine services for Khouria Lukie will be held at All Saints, and funeral arrangements are as follows: Visitation at All Saints, Tuesday, February 16, from 5:00-8:00PM with Trisagion Prayers of Mercy at 7:30PM, and the Funeral at All Saints on Wednesday, February 17, at 10:00AM.

St. Tikhon's Announces New Scholarships for Antiochian Seminarians

February 11, 2016 (South Canaan, PA) — St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary has announced the creation of three new scholarships for students who attend the seminary with the blessing of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

“It is a great joy to announce the creation of these three new full scholarships,” His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, said. “The scholarships will cover tuition, room, and board, allowing these seminarians to focus on their priestly formation and enter ministry in the Holy Orthodox Church without any debt.”

The scholarships, named in honor of three current hierarchs in the Antiochian church, are: The Patriarch John X Scholarship, The Metropolitan Joseph Scholarship, and The Bishop Thomas Scholarship.

14th Annual Orthodox Camp and Youth Workers' Conference Meets in Dallas

Over 80 clergy and lay youth and camp workers gathered in Dallas, TX for this year's Orthodox Camp and Youth Workers' Conference. This annual conference is sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Camp Association and the leaders of all the different jurisdiction's youth departments. The Orthodox Church in America hosted at their Saint Seraphim's Cathedral here in Dallas. There was a large delegation representing camping and youth ministry from the Antiochian Archdiocese led by His Grace Bishop Thomas.

Publications Center & AV Bookstore Announces February Pre-Lenten Sale

Attached is the flyer for the Publications Center & AV Bookstore Pre-Lenten Sale that is running in February. The sale features the Little Compline / Akathist books, as well as the Presanctified Liturgy books. There is a considerable quantity discount on them, so parishes can get sufficient copies for their faithful. In addition, there are two books for good Lenten reading.

Visit the Bookstore

Register Now for 2016 West Coast Sacred Music Institute

SACRED MUSIC INSTITUTE

Registration form and schedule for the 2016 West Coast Sacred Music Institute is now available! Make your arrangements today!

February 25-28, 2016,
St. John the Evangelist, Orinda, CA
Download Flyer (PDF)
Download Registration Form (PDF)
Download Schedule (PDF)

February 2016 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The February 2016 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Our Vision of Leadership is Service
by His Grace Bishop John

House of Studies 35th Anniversary

Metropolitan Joseph Addresses the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

Confession: A Mystery of the Church
by V. Rev. Paul O'Callagan

God Is Wonderful in His Saints
by Rev. Fr. Michael Shanbour

...and more!

St. Vladimir's Seminary to Award Honorary Degree to Distinguished Antiochian Layman Charles Ajalat

On Sunday, January 31, 2016 in St. Vladimir's Seminary's Metropolitan Philip Auditorium, the Board of Trustees and Faculty will award a Doctor of Canon Law degree honoris causa to former St. Vladimir's Trustee and Antiochian Archdiocese Chancellor, Charles Richard Ajalat. The ceremony will be followed by the 33rd Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture, offered by the Reverend Dr. John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The academic convocation and lecture will begin at 7 p.m. on the St. Vladimir's Yonkers, NY campus.

Charles Ajalat was born into a pious Antiochian Orthodox family, and as a young man earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, and then a doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

As an outstanding lay leader in the Antiochian Archdiocese, his influence has been felt throughout many Orthodox Christian communities in North America. Charles has been a key figure in many efforts, some of which are:

~the founding of the first conference of canonical Orthodox bishops of SCOBA, at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA, which together with its follow-up conferences are the predecessors to the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America

Parishes in Action: St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Sylvania, OH

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

View the Facebook photo gallery by Rami Yazagi

On December 20, 2015, by the Grace of God and the blessings of Sayidna Anthony (Michaels), bishop of Toledo and the Midwest, the parish community of St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Sylvania (Toledo), Ohio came together in a “Double Celebration” event: the consecration of the new holy utensils for the altar and the consecration of the newly constructed St. Elias Little Miracles Montessori School. Archpriest Ayman Kfouf inaugurated both projects shortly after being assigned to St. Elias as the new pastor in November, 2013. Sayidna Anthony's visit thus represented the successful culmination of over two years of hard work by the people and pastor of St. Elias’ Church. 

His Grace Bishop Anthony presided over a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. The parishioners with friends and families joined the divine services in praises and thanksgiving. During the sermon, Sayidna Anthony affirmed that God took on our humanity out of love for us and to redeem the fallen nature of our humanity and to raise us to new and everlasting life with Him, in communion with His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and by His Holy Spirit.

Blessed Namesdays to Bishops Antoun and Anthony!

January 17th is the celebration of St. Anthony the Great and the namesdays of His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and of His Grace Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo. May God grant them many years!

Apolytikion of St. Anthony the Great, Tone 4 

Thou didst become like the zealous Elijah in his condition, and followed John the Baptist in his upright ways, becoming a dweller in the wilderness and an establisher of the universe by thy prayer, O Father Anthony. Wherefore, intercede thou with Christ God to save our souls.

Metropolitan Joseph Hosts Honorary Retirement Dinner for His Excellency Antoine Chedid

On Friday, January 8, 2016, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph hosted a dinner at the Archdiocesan Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey in honor of His Excellency Antoine Chedid, Ambassador of Lebanon to the United States, on the occasion of his retirement. Ambassador Chedid has distinguished himself as a man of peace and positive action, and is well loved and respected by all who have come to work with him and know him.

The dinner was attended by many members of the clergy from various denominations, as well as members of the diplomatic corps. Metropolitan Joseph honored Ambassador Chedid by awarding him the Medal of the Order of St. Raphael, the highest award given by the Antiochian Archdiocese.

Read the complete address of Metropolitan Joseph
View photos on Facebook

Memory Eternal! + Mrs. Selwa Hiresh

Fr. John Hamatie brought Holy Communion to Selwa on her 95th birthdayFr. John Hamatie brought Holy Communion to Selwa on her 95th birthdayThe Central Florida community of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of downtown Orlando is saddened to share the news of the passing into eternal rest of one of the communities eldest and dearest members, Mrs. Selwa Hiresh, originally of Lebanon.

Mrs. Hiresh, aged 95, lived a life focused on her love of Jesus Christ and living in the way that God would have wanted her to have lived.

Selwa had the most beautiful smile and everyone who ever met her instantly became friends with this dear classy lady.

She and her late husband +Michel had been blessed to have had four children: Mitri, (LouLou), Samia (Kamal), Sammy (Karen), and Lillian (Farid). Selwa was blessed with ten grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and the dearest of friends. Selwa for many many years attended St. George's and always wanted to go to church to light a candle. She loved church.

For Priests, Deacons, Readers, Parishes: AV Bookstore Sale on Liturgical Resources!

For all Priests, Deacons, Readers and Parishes:
The AV Bookstore announces their January White Sale!
Purchase The Liturgikon ($50) and The Book of the Epistles ($60) for $30.00 each, no limit!

Visit the AV Bookstore today!

The Complete Works of St. Raphael are Now Available in Arabic

To the Beloved Faithful of this God-Protected Archdiocese:

Greetings and Blessings in the Name of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ!

We are pleased to present and commend the tireless effort of Dr. Adnan Trabulsi in compiling and editing this monumental work of The Complete Works of St. Raphael Hawaweeny that are being published collectively for the first time in Arabic as a three volume set. By his work, Dr. Trabulsi has assured that the legacy of this great saint will not only be preserved, but will be made known to the many Arabic-speaking people both inside and outside of America who have not yet come to know St. Raphael. 

This set of three volumes is being made available for the first time in Arabic and includes the writings of this Antiochian saint that were originally published in the "WORD" magazine from 1905 to 1915.

January 2016 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The January 2016 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

A Call to Reject All Hateful Speech and Actions against Our Muslim Friends and Neighbors
by His Grace Bishop John

Keeping Christ in Christmas
by Subdeacon Thom Crowe

Keeping the Faith in Taybeh
An Interview with Maria Khoury

Terror, Violence, Fear, and Our Christian Response
by Fr. Luke A. Veronis

Listening to Our Elderly Companions
by Fr. Peter Kavanaugh

...and more!