The Very Reverend Father Constantine Nasr Visits St. Tikhon's Seminary

clip_image001On Thursday, April 3, the Very Reverend Father Constantine Nasr, Pastor of St. Elijah Antiochian Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, visited St. Tikhon's Seminary and offered an evening lecture to the community on the subject of: "The Vision and Mission of the Local Parish."

See photos at

Bishop THOMAS Celebrates Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday at the Cathedral

On Lazarus Saturday, Bishop THOMAS joined  members of the Cathedral of St. George (Oakland, Pa.) who celebrated with donkey rides, and again on Palm Sunday at the Divine Liturgy.

Memory Eternal, Archbishop Gregory

clip_image001YOUR PRAYERS are requested for the repose of the soul of the newly departed servant of God ARCHBISHOP GREGORY (Afonsky), retired bishop of Sitka and Alaska of the Orthodox Church in America.  His Eminence reposed April 16.

May His Eminence's memory be eternal.


Submitted by Bishop BASIL.

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow responds to Muslim theologians

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has published this response to an open letter to Christian leaders written by 138 Muslim theologians:


I would like to thank all the Muslim religious leaders and scholars who sent an open letter to representatives of Christian Churches and organizations including the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Christians and Muslims have many similar aims, and we can unite our efforts to achieve them. However, this unity will not occur if we fail to clarify our understanding of each other’s religious values. In this connection, I welcome the desire of the Muslim community to begin a sincere and open dialogue with representatives of Christians Churches on a serious scholarly and intellectual level.

Christianity and Islam are engaged today in a very important task in the world. They seek to remind humanity of the existence of God and of the spiritual dimension present both in man and the world. We bear witness to the interdependence of peace and justice, morality and law, truth and love.

As you rightly put in your letter, Christians and Muslims are drawn together first of all by the commandment of the love of God and the love of one’s neighbor. At the same time, I do not think it is worthwhile for us to identify a certain minimum that seems to fix our convergences in faith and to be theologically sufficient for the individual’s religious life. Any doctrinal affirmation in Christianity or Islam cannot be viewed in isolation from its unique place in the integral theological system. Otherwise, one’s religious identity will be obliterated to give rise to a danger of moving along the path of blending the faiths. It seems to be more fruitful, therefore, to study the integral faith of each side and to compare them.

Metropolitan Herman To Attend Gathering Marking Pope Benedict XVI's NY Visit (Orthodox Church in America)

April 16, 2008

NEW YORK, NY [OCA Communications] -- His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, will be among the Orthodox Christian hierarchs attending an ecumenical gathering marking Pope Benedict XVI's first US visit at Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, an historic German parish in New York, NY, on Friday, April 18, 2008.

Accompanying Metropolitan Herman will be Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Moderator of Christian Churches Together in the USA and the OCA’s Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations; Priest John Behr, Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY; Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Seminary Chancellor; and Dr. Paul Meyendorff, a member of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation.

Pope Benedict, who arrived in the US on April 15, also is slated to visit Washington, DC before his return to Rome on April 20.

OCMC Mission Specialist Fr. John Erickson Prepares for Service in Tanzania

This month, Fr. John Erickson will journey to Tanzania as an OCMC Mission Specialist to teach seminarians at the Kasikizi Catechetical Center.  Fr. John began teaching at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1973 and is currently the Peter N. Gramowich Professor of Church History.  He is also a well-known expert in Canon Law.

The Orthodox Church in Tanzania has grown tremendously under the leadership of His Eminence Jeronymos, Metropolitan of Mwanza.  In the past 10 years, the number of parishes has more than tripled, and the number of Faithful has more than doubled.  His Eminence has maintained a missionary spirit that helps the Church in Tanzania to thrive.

The increasing growth of the Church has resulted in the need for more qualified priests and catechists.  In 2006, there were only 34 Tanzanian priests serving the more than 41,000 Faithful. The Kasikizi Catechetical Center, located in the Tanzanian Metropolis of Mwanza, seeks to meet this need, offering both seminary classes and seminars for those who desire to learn more about the Faith and to continue the work of the Gospel. 

Fr. John said of his mission in Tanzania, “I expect to learn as much as I am going to teach.”  He went on to describe the importance of not just knowing about Orthodoxy or of doing Orthodox things, but of being Orthodox.  Please pray for Fr. John during his time in Tanzania.

OCMC anticipates future opportunities to support theological education in the field.  There are currently twenty- one open missionary positions to meet immediate needs identified by Hierarchs.  If you are interested in exploring these opportunities further, please contact the OCMC Missionary Department at 1-877-463- 6784.

Memory Eternal, Fr. John Kahle

The V. Rev. John Kahle, the retired pastor of St. Paul Orthodox Church in Emmaus, Pa., departed this life on April 6. (St. Paul's is part of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America.)

The schedule of services for Fr. John follows.  All services will occur at St. Paul's in Emmaus:

Thursday night (April 10) @ 7 PM:  Priest's Funeral Service

Friday morning (April 11) @ 10 AM:  Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts in the presence of Fr. John, followed by the General Funeral Service.  The internment will follow these services.

Letters of condolence may be sent to his family at 172 Harrison St., Emmaus, PA 18049.

Please remember Fr. John in your prayers.  May his memory be eternal.

About Fr. John

Father John Kahle was born July 19, 1928, in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, to James and Rachel (Ludwig) Kahle. He attended the elementary and high schools in his home town, and graduated Class Orator in 1946.

After serving four years with the United States Army, he began a 14 year career with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., serving as Supervisor of Plant Safety, Plant Planning Manager, and Manufacturing and Engineering Estimator. In 1964 he left Air Products and opened Kahle's Music Store in Emmaus, which he owned and operated with his family until 1995 when he retired from business.

Encountering the Mystery - New Book by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Now Available

encountering Written with personal warmth and great erudition, ENCOUNTERING THE MYSTERY illuminates the rich culture and soul of Orthodox Christianity. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I traces the roots of Orthodox Christianity to its founding 2000 years ago, explores its spirituality and doctrine, and explains its liturgy and art. More especially, in a unique and unprecedented way, he relates Orthodox Christianity to contemporary issues, such as freedom and human rights, social justice and globalization, as well as nationalism and war.  Order your copy from the Greek Orthodox Marketplace at

The Principal's Story from Lebanon

A Dedicated Educator And New Equipment From IOCC Make the Difference for A Lebanon Public School

Beirut, Lebanon — In Ain al Remaneh, an East Beirut suburb, there is a public school principal who will do anything for her 300 students. On a day of heavy winter rains, Principal Marie Chahine, bundled in a heavy coat, relates to visitors in her office some of her exploits at the K-9 Chiah Public School for Girls. She convinced her optician son to give the girls free eye exams. She wouldn't admit a development organization into the school until they first repaired all 16 dilapidated bathrooms. And her connections with the municipality have ensured electricity for the school, even during Beirut's now frequent blackouts.

Chahine's creative maneuvering is "survival of the fittest" in a country whose crumbling public schools are hobbled by bureaucracy and a lack of investment by the central government. "If I so much as want to purchase pencils it requires a special letter of permission to the Ministry of Education," says Chahine. A lover of learning, Chahine began her 34-year teaching career in Ain al Remaneh and continued teaching "under the bombs" when Lebanon's civil war began, and the school found itself along the notorious Green Line which separated the eastern and western sectors of Beirut.

During recess in the school's courtyard her visitors see veiled and unveiled teenage girls dressed in sweat pants line up to run a race. First graders dressed in pink uniforms stand huddled together against the cold as they watch the older girls. Ain al Remaneh had been a predominantly Christian area, but many families fled the civil war. "Today, you will find students of all faiths here,” says Chahine, “Shi’a, Sunni, Orthodox, Druze, Maronite — and, thank God, no conflicts between them."

IOCC Expands in Syria

New Program Aids Iraqi Refugees

Damascus, Syria — It was a cold yet sunny day after Christmas when a young Iraqi woman walked to church in central Damascus, Syria where workers were unloading boxes of hygiene supplies to crowds of waiting Iraqi refugees. An American reporter asked Jeanette to comment on her situation. She responded defiantly, "Everyone knows how bad the situation is for Iraqi refugees in Syria." Then, she began to tell her story.
Twenty-eight-years-old and a college graduate, she worked in Baghdad for a foreign organization that provided computer and English language training for disadvantaged children. Her work was fulfilling. She even traveled to Jordan for further training, but like many Iraqis who work with foreigners, she was threatened by insurgents who view such Iraqis as collaborators. When a church near her home was bombed in 2007, her parents decided to send her and her brother to Damascus. Today, jobless and with little chance of finding meaningful work in Syria, she dreams of getting her parents out of Baghdad and migrating to Canada.
On the other side of Damascus, in the predominantly Shi'a neighborhood of Set Zeinab, a man named Kazin tells visitors another dramatic story of escape from Iraq. Kazin, a tailor who once owned his own shop in the holy Shi'a city of Karbala, was imprisoned and tortured during the Saddam years merely because some of his clients were political dissidents.

Frederica To Speak in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. - Event Postponed


Frederica's speaking event at St. Mary's in Wilkes-Barre for April 5th has been canceled. The event will be rescheduled for the fall 2008. Date and time to be announced.

St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, 905 S. Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., announces a Lenten speaker event. Frederica Matthews-Green, will share about an Orthodox Lenten Journey on Saturday, April 5, 2008.

Reception: 5 PM
Vespers: 6 PM
Speaker: 7 PM

For more information please contact event coordinator Freida Skaff at email address: or phone number 570-824-5016.

Bishop MARK Attends Funeral for ROCOR Hierarch

At the request of Metropolitan PHILIP, Bishop MARK of Toledo represented the Archdiocese at the funeral of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR, Metropolitan LAURUS on Friday March 21, 2008 in Jordanville, NY.

For more information on Metropolitan LAURUS please visit


OCN Announces New Radio Affiliate in Massachusetts

Come Receive the Light, the national Orthodox Christian radio program produced by Orthodox Christian Network, is now being broadcast on the radio throughout Central Massachusetts.

Thanks to the leadership and support of St. Michael Orthodox Church in Southbridge, Mass., listeners can hear Come Receive the Light every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. on WESO 970 AM. The station covers the Central Massachusetts area, including the second-largest city in New England, Worcester, as well as parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Come Receive the Light is the flagship radio program of Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) and is dedicated to spreading joy, hope and salvation in Jesus Christ while exploring Orthodox Christianity in contemporary society.

"It is important for us in this media age to stay ahead of the curve," Fr. Peter Preble, pastor of St. Michael Church, said. "We are in a unique position to offer something to this fallen world and that is the light of Christ. We need to harness all modes of communication and use them for the glory of God and the spreading of the Kingdom. Orthodoxy is the best kept secret in the United States, and it is time we get the word out."

Fr. Peter spear-headed the effort to bring Come Receive the Light to the area. His parish, which is part of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada, is not one of the largest parishes in the region, but it agreed to sponsor this cutting-edge ministry as part of its evangelistic outreach to the greater community.

Orthodox Schools Plan Second Conference

image The 2008 Conference on Orthodox Schools will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 1 and 2, 2008.  This is the second conference on Orthodox schools and we are pleased to again offer this opportunity for educators to meet.  We thank the Virginia H. Farah Foundation for funding to support this second conference.  The Orthodox School Association can be contacted at 617-850-1315 or  Conference information is posted on the Association web site

We ask you kindly to pass this information along to anyone you know is interested in the Orthodox School Association effort. 

Sacred Music Institute Date Set

The Department of Sacred Music of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese Announces the "East Coast" Sacred Music Institute for 2008. The event will be held at Antiochian Village July 30 to August 3, 2008. The Keynote Speaker will be His Grace, Bishop BASIL.

The Theme is: Baptism, Wedding, Funeral Music: Orthodox Outreach.

Visit the Department of Sacred Music's website for details and to register.

OCN Matching Gift Pascha Appeal

“After years of being away from the Orthodox Church, my youngest brother invited me to attend the Paschal Liturgy. Like the Prodigal Son, I had come home. I listened to ‘Come Receive the Light’ and other OCN shows non-stop. The Orthodox Christian Network is an invaluable resource for the spread of Holy Orthodoxy, and I am a proud monthly supporter.” — S.F. from Las Vegas, NV

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It’s no secret that many young people drift away from the Church. Do you ever feel like that unfortunate trend is simply unstoppable? It’s easy to get discouraged, but I have good news for you: More and more people like this young listener from Las Vegas are “coming home” to Orthodoxy. And YOU can make a difference in the lives of others just like him by joining with the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) in its mission to:

• CALL BACK the wayward
• INSPIRE the faithful
• CONNECT teens, young adults and families to Christ’s Church

Memory Eternal: Albert Joseph

The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch mourns the passing of the servant of God, Albert Joseph, into eternal life this past weekend at the age of 90.  Albert Joseph served as the first North American Chair of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch in the Archdiocese for eight years. May his memory be eternal!

New Distance Learning Program Begins

The Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is beginning a pilot distance learning program. Living Great Lent taught by Rev. Dr. Alkiviadis Calivas will be available on-line at beginning February 19. Participants will need to register on-line to have access to the five video presentations by Fr. Calivas, a series of readings, and questions for discussion. The course will be facilitated by Dr. Anton C. Vrame, Director of the Department of Religious Education, and Rev. Dn. Markos Nickolas, a doctoral candidate in pastoral theology at Boston University. While an individual can register for the course, the course is designed for groups that can meet to discuss the presentations and readings. The course material will be available from February 19 to April 4 to encourage learners and groups to complete the five session program within seven weeks. Fr. Calivas is Professor emeritus of Liturgy at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. After the course has ended, the pilot program of the GOA Department of Religious Education will be evaluated in order to begin a larger distance learning program in the fall. For more information contact the GOA Department of Religious Education at 617-850-1218.

Bishop MARK Celebrates Sunday of Orthodoxy in Chicago

On Sunday March 16, 2008 Bishop MARK of Toledo joined with his brother hierarchs, Metropolitan IAKOVOS of Chicago (GOA), Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER (Serbian), Archbishop NICOLAE (Romanian), Archbishop JOB (OCA), Bishop ILIA of Philomelion (Albanian EP) and Bishop PETER of Cleveland (ROCOR), at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Palos Hills, IL. Over 40 priest and a dozen deacons joined in this year's celebration.

Site Down Morning of March 26 was unavailable for several hours on Wednesday morning due to technical issues with our server configuration. We're grateful to all the people who emailed and called to let us know. Thank you for looking out for us!

DOWAMA Gives Update on 2008 Parish Life Conference

An important note from the hosts of DOWAMA's 2008 Parish Life Conference: "This is to inform all of you that we have already exceeded our room block for Wednesday night June 18th, and are getting close to the same for the rest of the Conference!!!  We have spoken with the Hilton Hotel management team and they are about to release some more rooms today.  But please get on the PLC web site TODAY at, click on the 'Accommodations' link and make your reservations by phone or online.  We are expecting a record crowd at our 2008 DOWAMA PLC this June 18th-21st in Dallas, and would like your cooperation in registering early.   Also, please remember to send in your PLC registration forms and ads for the Souvenir Journal.  You can save money by registering early.  In addition, we need to get your ads in so that we can help offset the tremendous costs associated with this blessed event.  You can do all this online, or download and print the form at the web site mentioned above.  And don't forget, even though the Conference officially ends after the concelebrated Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Brunch on Saturday the 21st, we encourage you to stay for our exciting "Denim and Diamonds Gala" on Saturday evening.  It will be loads of fun for all. Thank you all so much for supporting our church and our Diocese. We wish you a blessed Great Lent and ask for your God-pleasing prayers.  With love in Christ, Father Antony Bahou (Parish Priest) and Kelli Kouri Neagle and Robin Cohlmia Simon, (PLC Co-Chairs)."  Questions?  Contact Fr. Antony at

Archbishop of Baghdad, Kuwait, and Dependencies Recovers in London Hospital


Your prayers are requested for Metropolitan CONSTANTINE (Papastephanou) of the Archdiocese of Baghdad, Kuwait and Dependencies, a senior and highly esteemed member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch, who has been in hospital in London, England.

Many thanks to Fr. Samir Gholam, dean of the Cathedral of St George in London, who sends us the following update concerning His Eminence: "Dear Fellow Servants of the Lord:  May this period of Great Lent be for us a source of all blessings tailored to each one of us.  Sayyidna Constantine is improving continuously and now is in a very encouraging situation.  All our gratitude is rendered to the Loving Lord who shows His extreme mercy to His beloved and loyal hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine.  May our God and Saviour Jesus Christ's will be done.  Amen.  Asking for your prayers, I remain your brother in Christ - Father Samir."  Messages may be sent to His Eminence c/o Father Samir at

Submitted by Bishop BASIL.

Sunday of Orthodoxy in the Heartland

A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, concelebrated by the three Orthodox hierarchs with oversight for parishes in the Heartland, held at St Seraphim Cathedral (OCA), on Sunday, March 16th.  The hierarchs are His Eminence DMITRI, Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South (OCA), His Eminence ISAIAH, Metropolitan of the Denver Metropolis (GOA), and His Grace BASIL, Bishop of Wichita and the Diocese of Mid- America (AOCA). 

The three hierarchs also presided at the Vespers of the Triumph of Orthodoxy served yesterday evening at Dallas' Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at which dozens of priests and hundreds of laity were present from the 15 parishes through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Next year the three hierarchs will serve together on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at St George Cathedral (AOCA) in Wichita, KS.

Article provided by Bishop BASIL. Photos courtesy of OCA's Chancery of the Diocese of Dallas and the South.

Memory Eternal, Metropolitan LAURUS

3mldeath His Eminence, Metropolitan LAURUS
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR)

It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, His Eminence, Metropolitan LAURUS, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, March 16, 2008. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.


Adapted from

Discover Georgia: Monastery Tour to the Eastern Caucasus


Tour Dates: June 26th – July 6th, 2008 *LIMITED SPACE!!

Seeking: World travelers, medievalists, musicians, self-educators, spiritual pilgrims, and adventurers of all varieties for an immersion experience at the crossroads of Europe and Asia: welcome to Caucasus Georgia!

Explore Georgia's oldest monasteries, founded in the sixth century by Christian ascetics from Syria. Be among the first westerners to rediscover the ancient architecture, frescoes, and acoustics of these remarkable monuments, set amidst rolling vineyards, towering peaks, and the desert vistas of the Caspian basin. Led by chant team Luarsab Togonidze, John A Graham, and Aurelia Shrenker, this unique tour seeks to investigate the sounds and wonders of medieval Georgia, while presenting the world-famous hospitality and charm of modern Georgia.

Read more about the trip at