Bishop Basil writes:
This Saturday, September 11, is the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our nation which claimed the lives of over 3,000 innocent men, women and children. A prayer appropriate to the occasion (which is blessed for our DOWAMA clergy to say before the dismissal of all divine services this coming Saturday) is printed below.
A Prayer for September 11th
O Lord our God, Who art Thyself, the Hope of the hopeless, the Help of the helpless, the Savior of the storm-tossed, the Haven of the voyager, the Physician of the sick; be all things to our land which nine years ago on this date was devastated by the cowardly and hateful acts of false martyrs; who imitated wicked Herod in his slaughter of 14,000 innocents, whose only crime was to be born at the time of Thine incarnation. For those who lost loved ones, grant the comfort you imparted to the Mary and Martha before you raised Lazarus and care for them as Thou didst care for Thy Mother from the Cross, putting her in the care of the Apostle John.
"Icons: Windows to Heaven"
Getting To Know the Iconographers
Cheryl Ann Pituch and Niko Chocheli will be presenting workshops at Antiochian Village for the event, “Icons: Windows to Heaven,” November 4–7, 2010. Vasiliki Oldziey, Christian Education Coordinator for the Diocese of Wichita and the Midwest, interviewed them this summer. The Department of Christian Education sponsors the annual Orthodox Institute, and the theme of this year’s event is iconography. The Institute will include several courses on iconography and provide participants an opportunity to learn how to write icons (“Utilizing Crafts”). Teacher-training courses and the Church School Director Seminar are also scheduled for the Institute. Amateur or professional iconographers are encouraged to bring an icon for our “Festival of Orthodoxy” display. If you love icons, don’t miss this opportunity! For more information or a brochure, please e-mail the department at email@example.com, or visit our website.
Cheryl Ann Pituch
Cheryl Ann has been married for thirty-eight years to Eugene Pituch and is the mother of four children and the grandmother of two. She currently resides in Davidsville, Pennsylvania, a small town in the Laurel Mountains, 92 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Her icons are featured in the current Icon Calendar from Conciliar Press.
1. Icons were not part of your early life. Tell us how icons have changed your life.
I grew up in the Presbyterian Church and was taught that any statues or “pictures” were never to be kissed or prayed before in any way. I struggled to understand icons, in order to embrace the faith. I have been an Orthodox Christian for 32 years and have been painting for about 26 years. Now, I can’t imagine life without icons. The most dramatic change in my life with icons is prayer. Icons open constant opportunities to pray. They have changed my life just by being visible and witnessing (in their silence) their love for God, and stirring my heart to do more.
The Antiochian Women Membership Handbook is now available online!
NAB President Cindy Nimey writes:
"This publication, produced by Khourieh Suzanne Murphy and her husband, Fr. Gregory Murphy, is a wonderful booklet that consists of many works from past membership coordinators, with some new additions that they felt would be helpful to our Antiochian Women groups. It is attractive, easy to read, and has valuable information that will surely aid our chapters in the growth of their ministry as Antiochian Women. Our hope is that you will use it and pass it along to your successors over the next years, remembering that we are always here for one another."
NAB Membership Coordinator Kh. Suzanne Murphy writes:
"My goal in undertaking this project was to make the information contained in the Handbook available to every woman in our Archdiocese. Some of the information may seem quite basic, but part of the purpose of this Handbook is to help those women who may be new to our Archdiocese -- and to our Antiochian Women organization -- to gain a basic understanding of who we are and what we do. This basic introduction is a way of assisting them to build a level of familiarity and comfort with us. There are also some sections like the Constitution, By-laws, and reimbursement policy that are more technical and intended for use by our chapter officers. In short, we want this Handbook to have a little something for everyone, to be interesting and appealing, and to help us in our goal of building a faithful, active, and caring sisterhood-in-Christ."
Have you made your “Bucket List”? Join us at Antiochian Village, Sunday, October 24th through Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 as we look at what God desires for us and from us as we journey into our later years in life. This retreat is geared for our faithful with more life experience (a.k.a. seniors) to join together in discussion about living a vibrant spiritual life in our twilight years, to worship in faith, and to enjoy each other’s fellowship.
Nov. 22, 1924 - Aug. 23, 2010
Charles G. Ofiesh, 85, of St. George Orthodox Church in Altoona, PA fell asleep in the Lord Monday, August 23, 2010. Charlie was a long time member of The Order of St. Ignatius and served many years on the parish council as a member and chair. He initiated an Endowment Fund and worked tirelessly for the good of the parish. In 2005 he was awarded the Antonian Silver Medal by Metropolitan Philip. He was for most of his life in the parish, “always there.” He will be greatly missed. His leadership in the parish, in Altoona and in Pennsylvania is established by the list of organizations and accomplishments of his life as well as his three children, three grand-children and six great grandchildren.
He was born in Albany, N.Y., son of George and Emily (Ofiesh) Ofiesh. He married Helen V. Ajay on Sept. 4, 1949, and she preceded him in death on May 14, 2009.
Charles was a 1942 graduate of Altoona High School. He was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII, serving in the Pacific theater, and the Korean conflict. He retired as a Command Sergeant Major after serving 41 years in the Pennsylvania Army Reserve. He received 26 awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service medals.
He retired as a general contractor and owner of Ofiesh Construction.
Charles was a member of the Altoona Zoning Board for more than 45 years, past president and life director of the Pennsylvania Builders Association, past commander of the local and Pennsylvania Disabled American Veterans, past commander of the American Legion, life member of the VFW, life member of Cooties and parade marshal in Altoona for more than 30 years.
Notice has been received this morning from the Patriarchal Office in Damascus of the falling asleep in Christ of His Grace Bishop Dimitri Ilyan Al-Hosni following a long illness. As a priest His Grace had served at the Patriarchate in Damascus and as a bishop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
May his memory be eternal!
Bishop Thomas writes:
The Antiochian House of Studies has begun to form an Alumni Association. This association will include all those people who have attended or participated in the St. Stephen Course of Study, the Doctor of Ministry program, the Masters degree program, and also the residency program for seminarians at the AHOS. All those people who have been part of these disciplines are encouraged to investigate the good work that will be done by this alumni association. Please e-mail Martie Johnson at MartiePTS@aol.com.
Come join us for a Retreat with Fr. Meletios Webber on the themes of Orthodox Spirituality and Prayer
“Stop listening to your thoughts – not the thoughts you have, but the thoughts that have you. They have nothing beneficial to offer you, and besides you have heard them all before. Brush them aside, and gently continue to brush them aside. Beyond their clamor and din there is available to you a level of greater awareness – a place of love, joy, peace and compassion. At first, it is difficult to “hear” it (since it is expressed in silence) but with practice you will start to recognize its voice, and a deeper state of presence will be yours.” ‐ Fr. Meletios
Matthew Namee, at OrthodoxHistory.org, has posted an alert to a recent New York Times article about an early Syrian American presence in Manhattan, not far from what became the site for the World Trade Center. While it was eventually displaced by the construction of entrance ramps to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the once thriving community called little Syria, hosted three churches. Notes Namee, "...while the article doesn’t directly discuss Orthodoxy, it talks about the very same community into which St. Raphael came in 1895, and which included the first Antiochian parish on the continent."
The Summer 2010 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue features the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, and contains:
A Message from His Grace Bishop Antoun
A Message from Lisa Phillips, President of Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast
A Report from the July NAB Meeting
Did Someone Send a Card? by Khouria Dannie Moore
The Order has published their Statement of Budgeted Project Contributions, for the fiscal years ending January 31, 2011 and 2012. The document is available as a PDF file at Projects Supported by the Order. The Statement from the Order budgets for total project contributions of $1,419,000 in 2011 and $1,233,000 in 2012.
August 25, 2010
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) began providing emergency supplies this week to people affected by fires in the Ryazan region of Central Russia. The response was made possible through a $5,000 gift from the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and a $25,000 matching grant from the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation.
Aid to the region southeast of Moscow will reach 640 people and includes personal hygiene kits, blankets, towels and bed linens. The relief is being provided in cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Round Table, an ecumenical forum for social service in Russia.
The grant from the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation will support IOCC's aid projects in Russia by creating a matching gift program. The Foundation will match every dollar contributed to IOCC for relief projects in Russia up to $25,000. Rangos, a founder of IOCC, was instrumental in one of IOCC's first humanitarian missions – an airlift of relief supplies and medicines to Russia in 1992.
In addition to the gift from the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah called upon parishes to provide support for the relief efforts. "I am also asking that members of the Orthodox Church in America offer financial assistance through IOCC, which will convey our donations to the appropriate Church partners and Church programs in Russia."
"We are grateful for the generous response of the Orthodox Church in America and John Rangos in response to the current urgent needs in Russia," said Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director. "Their steadfast support for our work with the Russian Orthodox Church since the earliest days of IOCC continues to make a difference for those who are suffering."
FISHERS, IN. - August 18, 2010
The OCF Board of Directors will be honoring His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos for his tremendous contributions in establishing Orthodox Christian Fellowship with a celebratory dinner in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 17, 2010.
Beginning in 1960 as a recent seminary graduate, Bishop Dimitrios (James Couchell) was the driving force in establishing what has become the all-important campus ministry arm of the Orthodox Church. Inspired by his dedication and devotion to college students, OCF has been able to build upon the foundation he laid 50 years ago.
In the year 2000, OCF experienced a renewal, which included the strong and continuing support of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in North America. Recognizing these two milestones, this fall marks the 50th anniversary of OCF's creation and the 10th anniversary of its current efforts.
In addition to the dinner, OCF will be holding its annual Board of Directors, Chaplain's Network and Student Advisory Board meetings throughout the weekend. These planning meetings will lead into OCF's annual College Student Sunday on September 19.
Chicago, IL - On Wednesday, August 18, 2010, on the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Old Calendar), His Eminence +Christopher, Metropolitan of Libertyville-Chicago, fell asleep in the Lord.
Funeral arrangements are forthcoming. Updates may be obtained from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America website here.
May his memory be eternal! Вечнаја памјат!
From the Holy Resurrection Cathedral web site:
Born in Galveston, Texas, and baptized Velimir Kovacevich, the future Metropolitan Christopher was the ninth of twelve children of Serbian immigrant parents. After graduation from high school, he attended Nashotah House and graduated from St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Seminary in Libertyville, Illinois. After marriage, he was ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood. Continuing his education, he earned a B.A. (Philosophy), Master of Letters (History) at the University of Pittsburgh; the Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, and completed courses and examinations for the doctorate at the Chicago Theological Seminary.
The Administrative Office of the Diocese of Charleston writes:
Beloved in Christ,
May God be with you always.
The diocesan office of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic is announcing that Bishop THOMAS has been invited as a guest of a group that will be making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP has kindly given his blessing for Bishop THOMAS to make this pilgrimage. The tentative dates for this trip are the first twelve days of June in 2011. Final dates have not been set yet and may vary by a few days earlier or later. The dates will be finalized after the Antiochian Archdiocese announces its dates for the Spring Local Synod Meeting and Board of Trustees Meeting.
This trip is being led by Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky of the Orthodox Church in America in Binghamton, NY. It's our understanding that some people have been approaching Bishop THOMAS about the possibility of joining him on a trip to the Holy Land. This trip is open to you if you choose to accept the invitation. All information regarding location, visitation, fares, etc. are available through Fr. Ilya, whose contact information follows. Please only contact Fr. Ilya. Neither Bishop THOMAS nor the diocesan office will be accepting inquiries about the trip.
August 12, 2010 Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Torrential rains and flooding over the course of July and early August have now affected an estimated 14 million people in Pakistan according to reports from the Government of Pakistan. Widespread flooding has devastated large parts of the country destroying homes, leaving people without food, clean water and shelter and exposing millions to the threat of disease.
In response to the emergency, IOCC has mobilized food assistance to vulnerable people in the flood affected communities of Wazirabad, Gujranwala and Faisalabad, Pakistan. The IOCC response is being coordinated with the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Nektarios of Hong Kong and South East Asia.
"We pray for those who have perished and for the millions of people whose lives are threatened by this ongoing disaster," says IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou. "With rain continuing to fall, the magnitude of this disaster continues to grow and much more aid will be needed."
August 12, 2010 Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Experiencing the worst heat wave in Russia since record-keeping began more than 130 years ago, the Russian people have been suffering from uninterrupted high temperatures for the past 50 days and deteriorating air quality as a result of more than 500 active fires burning nationwide. News agencies have reported that more than 50 people have died so far from the fires and an estimated 5,000 others have died as a result of the heat and poor air quality in Western Russia.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in consultation with the Orthodox Church in America, is working with its partners in the Russian Orthodox Church to formulate an appropriate IOCC response to this latest humanitarian crisis.
Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director, expressed his concern at the situation, stating, "We pray for those who have died. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those mourning the loss of loved ones. We are also steadfast in our prayers for all who have been affected by the wildfires."
In addition to the immediate concern for the loss of life, it is estimated that approximately one third of Russia's wheat crop has burned. One of the world's largest exporters of wheat, Russia has suspended its wheat exports.
On August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, St. Vladimir's Seminary launched a new website.
The Seminary’s Chancellor, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, says of the new site, which took nearly six months to develop, “With so much good happening at SVOTS we wanted to offer you a Website that was easy to navigate, informative, and a pleasure to view, and I believe we have met those goals.” The new site has more audio and video content, and will eventually be hosting some space for interactive exchange.
Site browsers can read reflections from Chancellor Hatfield as well as the Dean, Fr. John Behr, in the "Voices" section: other features are Seminarians Speak, Alumni in Action (currently featuring Antiochian Bishop Basil), and Faculty Footnotes. A new history of the seminary can be found in the About Us section, and a new welcome video is accessible via a homepage button.
Prayers are requested for Salem Ghareeb, who recently reposed at age 90. He is survived by his wife Nabiha Ghareeb and children, Issam (Carol), Michel (Gail), Nouhad (Fr. George) Shalhoub, George (Nabelah) and Elias, ten grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Salem’s greatest virtue was his strong faith in Christ and His Holy Church. He was a great father and a wonderful and loving grandfather. He was the living patriarch of the Ghareeb family. A life time member of St. George Cathedral, Salem was a great painter, enjoyed gardening, reading and woodworking.
He will be greatly missed.
Salem will lie-in-state at St. George Cathedral, 3754 Woodley Rd. in Toledo on Thursday, August 12th from 5-8pm. The Trisaigion Prayer Service will begin at 8pm. On Friday, August 13th, Salem will lie-in-state at St. George Cathedral from 10-11am. The Funeral Liturgy will begin at 11am.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to:
St. George Cathedral
3754 Woodley Rd.
Toledo, OH 43606
The Basilica of St. Mary
18100 Merriman Rd.
Livonia, MI 48152
Hospice of Northwest Ohio
800 S. Detroit Ave.
Toledo, OH 43609
Condolences may be sent to:
- Issam Ghareeb – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Michel Ghareeb – email@example.com
- George Ghareeb – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fr. George and Nouhad Shalhoub – email@example.com
- Elias Gharib – firstname.lastname@example.org
May his memory be eternal!
18th Annual Conference
October 1,2, & 3, 2010
Holy Dormition Monastery
Rives Junction, Michigan
Maria T. Molett, M.A.
"Women the Master Jugglers"
"The Power of Forgiveness in Healing"
OWHM hosts a yearly retreat for Orthodox women who are in the medical and other healing professions. in addition, we recognize that most women minister to others and welcome them to our conference as well. Our fall retreat provides time for prayer, rest, reflection, opportunities for networking, and lectures given by outstanding speakers. Friday's lecture is for women only and Saturday lectures are open to both men and women from all walks of life.
Please visit us at www.owhm.org or call (517) 414-3829.
by Dr. Sebastian Brock
(Oxford University, UK)
In 2006 a new charity, named ‘Antioch’, was set up and registered with the aim of promoting research on the cultural heritage of the Rum Orthodox (Chalcedonian) Patriarchate of Antioch. Although the early period, up to the time of the Arab conquests, is comparatively well known, the subsequent centuries have been very little studied, despite their importance, both for the history of the Orthodox Church as a whole, and for that of the Middle East in general. Discoveries in recent years of medieval wall paintings in Syria and Lebanon, as well as of hitherto unknown manuscripts, forgotten saints, and the identification of new Christian archaeological sites, are just one indication of some of the new and unexpected aspects that are coming to light. At present, however, ‘Antioch’ is concentrating its attention on the very large number of manuscripts of Antiochian Orthodox provenance, written in four different languages, Greek, Syriac, Christian Palestinian Aramaic and Arabic. At the end of many of these, the copyist has provided a colophon with notes stating where, when and for whom the manuscript was written; quite often, further information of a historical or topographical nature is also given. Work on these manuscripts has already brought to light a forgotten saint, besides providing a lot of new and valuable historical information. Once all this information has been collected together, it will make it possible to write a much more authoritative and reliable history of the Rum Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch than is at present available.
A pan-Orthodox gathering of spiritual refreshment and fellowship in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah
Kh. Joanne Abdalah served as an inspiration in her life as the wife of a priest and as a counselor to many. She understood the joys and trials of this life, and the need for finding strength in Christ and each other. She believed that every clergy wife needs to discover and develop her own Christian vocation. In her memory, her family and several clergy wife friends planned the first Clergy Wives Weekend in 2009 as a fitting tribute and way to carry on her work and commitment to clergy wives.
Last November more than 70 Orthodox clergy wives from jurisdictions across the United States enjoyed the inaugural Clergy Wives Weekend at the Antiochian Village. The schedule reflected Joanne’s holy and holistic approach to life – we need to pray; we need to play. We need to enjoy the fellowship for this short time without parish responsibilities, family responsibilities or other cares of this world. The Weekend was a tremendous success, and so we announce the 2010 Clergy Wives Weekend!
- Date: October 29-31
- Theme: Everywhere present and filling all things: The Holy Spirit or the Clergy Wife?
The Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of Truth, is everywhere filling all things. But do clergy wives with the best of intentions get caught trying to do that, too, juggling marriage, family, parish, education and job beyond realistic expectations? How do we listen to hear what the Spirit is leading us to do in life? How can we nurture our relationship with God? What do the gifts and fruit of the Spirit look like in our lives and situations? How do we discern? And what do we do with all our life includes?
Fr. Aidan Wilcoxson of St. John the Forerunner Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cedar Park, TX, was interviewed recently by the Austin Statesman newspaper. The occasion was the publication of his reflection on Orthodox parish life, Aidan's Song: A Year in the Life of a Parish Priest, available from Conciliar Press.
What gave you the idea to write this book?
While there are a lot of spiritual memoirs being written these days, most of them are by people who are either dissatisfied with their particular spiritual tradition and on their way out the door, or they are sampling a number of different spiritual traditions to try and find out what’s right for them, or they are just maintaining an ironic distance from any and all spiritual traditions. I thought that a memoir written by someone who has fully embraced a particular tradition and is finding joy in it would be unique.
The Diocese of Los Angeles and the West has made a set of audio CD's featuring the sessions from the 2010 Clergy Seminar available here. Web browsers may download the CD's for free of charge using the links provided, or the series is available for purchase here. The series features the special guest speaker, His Grace, the Right Reverend Ilia, the Titular Bishop of Philomelion, of the Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. The theme, "'...but make us worthy to approach Thee by mouth and heart…':The Priest, Pastor and Spiritual Father" emphasized the high calling of the priesthood; one CD also features a talk on Albania's Church, titled "From Oppression to Renewal The Orthodox Church in Albania."
A beautiful new website hosting a great majority of the archived works of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, recently launched at masarchive.org. Compiled as a labor of love over twelve years, by Boris K. Khazanov, the archive consists of over 2,000 text files, 800 photographs, 1,600 audio files, and 200 videos in Russian, English, French, and eight other languages. As the website "About" section explains, "For several decades a number of parishioners and disciples of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh (1914-2003) recorded his talks, interviews and sermons on audio tapes, video recordings and photographs. Some of the audio tapes were transcribed. All of these documents, stored on fragile media, were widely spread among many people across the globe – in the UK, France, Russia, USA, Switzerland, etc. Metropolitan Anthony did not prepare an official will, with regard to his works or wordly possessions, however in 1987 he gave his blessing to his spiritual son and friend Boris Khazanov to collect all his works and in 1998, memorialized that blessing in a written statement."
Browsers can spend hours in the Photographs, Texts, Audio, and Video menus. In "Photographs," for instance, galleries display images from the years 1912 all the way up to the year of his repose, 2003.