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The Pre-Nativity Season












Guidelines for the Nativity Fast

We fast faithfully and in secret, not judging others, and not holding ourselves up as an example....  ...read more

 

Temples of the Living God
An excerpt from The Winter Pascha, by Fr. Thomas Hopko

We are all made to be living temples of God. We are all created to be dwelling places of his glory.  ...read more

The Conception of Mary
An excerpt from The Winter Pascha, by Fr. Thomas Hopko

....the faithful rejoice in the event by which Mary is conceived in fulfillment of her parents' prayers in order to be formed in the womb, born on the earth, dedicated to the Lord, and nurtured in holiness to become by God's grace the mother of His Son the Messiah.  ...read more

Metropolitan JOSEPH's Statement on Sutherland Springs, TX

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, on behalf of the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese, laments the tragic loss of life in Sutherland Springs, Texas and offers fervent, broken-hearted prayers for all of the innocent victims and for all of those who are grieving.

His Eminence reflects: “As children of the Church of Antioch, we are no strangers to acts of violence being perpetrated in our churches and know all too well the pain of such tragedies. During his recent visit, our Father-in-Christ, Patriarch John, witnessed to the courage, faith, and steadfastness of his flock in the face of violence and martyrdom, and we were moved by his preaching of love and reconciliation.

As Orthodox Christians of this land, we are similarly called to respond to evil with the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the witness of our martyred Church of Antioch, we offer our countrymen hope in Christ’s Resurrection and His final triumph over evil. We pray for our brothers and sisters of Sutherland Springs, and we beseech the Almighty God to grant eternal rest to the slain, speedy recovery to the wounded, and grace-filled comfort to all those affected.”

Report: Annual Fall Meetings for Trustees and The Order of St. Ignatius

View the photo gallery on the Archdiocese Flickr site.

From November 3–5, 2017, the Archdiocese's Board of Trustees and the governing council of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch held their Annual Fall meeting in Ottawa, Ontario.

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, the bishops of the Archdiocese, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Mr. Fawaz Al Khoury, and all other trustees and departments visited Ottawa to hold their meetings, which were hosted by St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral.

The love and generosity of the host community was evident and the attendees left with a beautiful impression about the God-protected parish of St. Elias. During the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday, His Eminence inducted new members into the Order of St. Ignatius and upgraded some members to Metropolitan and Life Members. His Eminence also acknowledged Fr. Ghattas' 40th Anniversary in the Holy Priesthood, an occasion he missed because of synodical obligations overseas, and wished Fr. Ghattas many years of health.

Fall 2017 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2017 issue of DIAKONIA, the newsletter of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, is now available online. This issue introduces the 2017–2019 North American Board (NAB) Officers and Coordinators. The issue contains:

  • a message from Bishop John, NAB Spiritual Advisor
  • a letter from President Dianne O'Regan
  • information about the Vocations Project
  • an article about St. Macrina

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

Book by Antiochian Scholar Presented to Patriarch JOHN X

The Very Rev. Fouad Saba, pastor of St. George in Coral Gables, FL, presents a copy of the book to Patriarch JOHN X.The Very Rev. Fouad Saba, pastor of St. George in Coral Gables, FL, presents a copy of the book to Patriarch JOHN X.Recently, His Beatitude JOHN X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, honored his American flock by visiting our nation's capital to raise awareness of the plight of Christians in the Middle East. The cradle of our faith—the land that has sustained our families, communities, and churches for centuries—finds itself trapped in the crossfire of international unrest. In the face of spiritual and cultural despair, His Beatitude, accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, took the international podium at the Hudson Institute to stress the permanency of Christians in the Middle East.

It is providential, even as the Patriarch proclaimed his message of hope, that another son of Antioch—one who taught His Beatitude during his studies in the early seventies at the St. John of Damascus Theological Institute in Balamand, Lebanon—released a new book touching on similar themes. In The Rise of Scripture, published by OCABS Press, Fr. Paul Tarazi transports his readers back two millennia, to the people of the same same region, struggling to survive in the face of similar challenges. (Learn more about Fr. Paul's new book.)

The basic point in Scripture, Fr. Paul explains, is reflected in the Bible's lengthy discussion of our liberation from the powers of servitude under Pharaoh: God is our Father and our Shepherd, and under his care we have nothing to fear from our enemies. The hope for our future, Tarazi teaches, is not in the many human powers and civilizations, but in the Scriptural God, who has sustained us in peace since the time of the Apostles, and will forever sustain us through the vicissitudes of human history.

November 2017 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The November 2017 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Christ is in our Midst
by Very Rev. John Fenton

Discerning and Using the Gifts that God Has Given
by Fr. Milad Selim

Whose House Are We Talking About?
by Fr. Anthony Baba

Presentations, Minutes, and Resolutions from the Archdiocese General Assembly, July 2017

...and much more!

The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America: Hudson Institute Discussion


On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese, were the guests of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. Video of their 70-minute discussion regarding the future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America is now available. The hierarchs addressed questions about the place of Christians and the Antiochian Church in the future of war-torn Syria, the role the Church has played in humanitarian assistance to the millions of people in need, and why Orthodoxy is finding renewed appeal in Western countries.

Registration Opens for St. Emmelia Homeschool Conference & Parenting Retreat, South

Glory to God! Registration for the SOUTH St. Emmelia Homeschool Conference & Parenting Retreat is NOW open! Harvey didn't stop us, and we hope nothing will stop you! Registration is limited, and we expect to sell out. Register TODAY by going to the Conference website.

2018 SOUTH Conference
January 19–21, 2018
The Saint Constantine School
Houston, Texas

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Philip Mamalakis

St. Demetrios the Myrrh-streaming + October 26

Verily, the inhabited world found thee a great succor in tribulations and a vanquisher of nations, O fight-bearing one. Wherefore, as thou didst demolish the arrogance of Lahosh, and on the battle-field didst hearten Nestor, beseech, O Saint, Christ God to grant us the Great Mercy.

+Troparion, Tone 3

Verily, God, O Demetrius, who granted thee invincible power hath touched the Church with the live coal of thy blood streams, preserving the city unbreached; for it is established by thee.

+Kontakion, Tone 2

Read about the life of St. Demetrios.

Memory Eternal! + Very Reverend Archpriest George Rados

Fr. George RadosFr. George RadosUpdated, October 17
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

It is with a deep sadness tempered only by the certainty of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we announce the falling asleep in the Lord of the Archpriest George M. Rados on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

His funeral will be held at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road in Potomac Maryland, on Monday and Tuesday, October 23–24. His Grace Bishop Alexander will preside.

The schedule of services is as follows:

Monday, October 23

  • 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Wake
  • 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Service for a Priest

Antiochian Women 2018 Project: "Strengthening the Ministries of our Church--VOCATIONS"

"Vocation" is defined as "a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation; a calling, mission, or purpose." At our 53rd Biennial Convention in Miami, His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH told us that "we are here for a purpose, and that purpose is to bring people together to praise God."

As we think of the definition of “vocation” in relation to the Church, we realize that it does not refer just to ordained or monastic vocations, but that there are many people who are doing holy work by dedicating their lives to ministries of various kinds. These ministries are inspired by the Holy Spirit and instituted by our Lord for the well-being of the Church and the salvation of souls. “And Christ, Himself, gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Our Project this year will focus on these ministries and on supporting those who undertake them as a Godly VOCATION -- Our goal is to inspire and support vocations as well as to raise money to fund and encourage all of the excellent work that is being done throughout our Archdiocese by dedicated and self-sacrificing men and women.

Diocesan Clergy Brotherhood Meets in Fall Synaxis at Antiochian Village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The Clergy Brotherhood of the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic met in Synaxis under the Patronage and prayers of St. Joseph of Damascus, October 16-19, 2017 at Antiochian Village.  We experienced once again the warm hospitality and service of the Village under the excellent direction of Amy Stiffler and her staff, and the exquisite cuisine at the hand of Tim Johnston and his crew.

Two Antiochian Scholars to Participate in Public Forum on Religious Freedom

Livestream Link: tune in Friday night, 7:30 Central Standard Time

Leading religious scholars will explore how Christian identity is shaped by the current culture in a free and public forum, "Religious Freedom in the Culture War," on Friday, October 20, 2017. The event is sponsored by North Park University in Chicago, IL, and is the second such forum in the University’s "Engaging Orthodoxy" Series, being made possible by the John C. Kulis Foundation.

Offering the main address is Princeton’s Dr. Robert P. George; Dr. George holds the Princeton McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is former Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Prominent Antiochian Orthodox New Testament scholar Dr. Edith M. Humphrey of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will offer the reply.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Bradley Nassif, an Antiochian Orthodox theologian and professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University.

Memory Eternal! + Bishop Antoun

 




 

 

 

 

Memory Eternal! + Bishop Antoun of Thrice-Blessed Memory

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Is 40:8

Dear Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Esteemed members of the Archdiocese Board of
Trustees, and Christ-loving Faithful,

Blessing and greetings to you in the Name of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus!

With profound sadness, yet hope in the Resurrection, I announce the passing into eternal life of my beloved brother, Bishop ANTOUN. Words cannot begin to describe our debt of gratitude to His Grace nor our sense of loss at his falling asleep.

Metropolitan JOSEPH Requests Prayers for Those Impacted by California Fires

Englewood, NJ — His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, along with all of the clergy and faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese, is praying fervently for those being impacted by the wildfires raging in northern California. His Eminence has been in constant communication with Father George Baalbaki, the pastor of our parish of Saint Nicholas in San Francisco, who has been in contact with his own parishoners as well as the other parishes in the area. Father George was able to report that the faithful in the area are safe, but many have indeed been forced to evacuate and some have suffered property damage.

Sayidna JOSEPH notes: “We know that our Lord commanded a pillar of fire to protect his people and spoke to Moses from a bush that was burning but not consumed. I ask all of our faithful people to fervently beseech the very same Lord to extend his right hand from His holy dwelling place on high and speedily quench these fires through His divine might. On behalf of all of my brother hierarchs, our clergy, and laity, I offer our prayers and support to those who are being impacted. We will be with you.”

Please continue to monitor Antiochian.org for updates as to how we can help those are suffering from these devastating wildfires.

October 2017 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The October 2017 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Marriage Crowns of Victory, Royalty, and Martyrdom
by Nicholas Mamey

Stewardship: Getting Completely Wet
by John Kaloulis

Principles of Child Rearing
by John D. Dalack, PhD

The Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch
by Julia Ritter

A Ministry of Mentorship
by Thomas G. Saba

Doors Open, Lights On, Floors Swept, Priest Paid
by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt

A Word About a Great Man of God
by Economos Antony Gabriel

Some Thoughts on Orthodox Unity in North America
by Archpriest Michael Laffoon

...and more!

Axios! Axios! Holy Synod of Antioch Elects Two New Metropolitans

His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan)His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan)The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie)The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie)By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Synod of Antioch, under the presidency of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, elected two new metropolitan archbishops in its current session at St. Elias Patriarchal Monastery in Shwayya, Lebanon. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, participated in the elections.

His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan) is the new metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Mexico, Central America, Venezuela and the Caribbean. He succeeds His Eminence Metropolitan Antonio (Chedraoui) who reposed in the Lord this past June, after leading his archdiocese for 51 years. Sayidna Ignacio served as an auxiliary bishop in Mexico for the past six years and as patriarchal vicar of the widowed archdiocese.

Blessed Namesday to Bishop Thomas!

His Grace Bishop Thomas' namesday is October 6, Thomas the Apostle of the Twelve. Many years, Master!
Readings and Inspiration from the Diocese of Charleston
Read about St. Thomas the Apostle

Thomas, the faithful servant and disciple of Christ, filled with divine grace, cried out from the depth of his love: "You are my Lord and my God!"
Kontakion — Tone 4

Metropolitan Joseph Requests Prayers for Las Vegas Victims and Families

Englewood, NJ — His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH sends heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of the victims of the horrific violence that took place in Las Vegas. His Eminence, while overseas for a meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch, reached out to Fr. John Nicholas Ozone, pastor of Saint Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, to offer love and support. Thanks to God, Fr. John was able to report to His Eminence that none of the flock were victims of the atrocity, and that he and his parish were in constant communication with local authorities to offer their assistance if need be.

His Eminence notes: “On behalf of my brother hierarchs, our reverend clergy, and Christ-loving faithful, I ask our Lord to grant rest to the souls of those who lost their lives, healing to those who were wounded, and comfort to those who are grieving. Our hearts break at seeing such acts of evil, and we can never allow ourselves to grow accustomed to their images. We must work more and more fervently in our own lives to model Christ’s love, forgiveness, and compassion and, as St. Seraphim of Sarov taught, acquire the Holy Spirit that thousands around us will be saved – thus to do our own small part to heal the wounds of the society in which we live.”

SOYO Special Olympics Awareness Day is Sunday, October 15

On October 15, 2017, the North American Council of Teen SOYO sponsors the 37th Annual Special Olympics Awareness Day. Every August, Teen SOYO hosts and funds an annual week‐long camp for Special Olympics Athletes at the Antiochian Village. Over the past 36 years, Teen SOYO has fostered a camping experience like no other. Our camp demonstrates a unified environment where teen SOYO members from across the Archdiocese come together with coaches from Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) and enthusiastic athletes for an intense week of sports training and witness to Christ. All resources may be downloaded on SOYO's Special Olympics web page.

Through your generous donations, SOYO Special Olympics Sports Camp has grown immensely through the years. This year, we experienced a record number of athletes in attendance, and have accomplished an astounding 36 years of SOYO Special Olympics Camp. Over these 36 years, we have hosted more than 8,000 athletes and coaches, and over 1,150 of our teens have been blessed by working as SOYO Coaches or Volunteers. It is our pleasure to have the opportunity to serve, pray, and play with these Special Olympics Athletes, and we look forward, with your help, to continuing this important ministry.

Liturgical Texts Posted for Canadian Thanksgiving, October 9

His Grace Bishop Alexander serves Holy Communion during the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Church in Montreal, Quebec.His Grace Bishop Alexander serves Holy Communion during the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Church in Montreal, Quebec.Each year, on the second Monday of October, Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving holiday as "a day of general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed." Its origin dates to 1578.

The Antiochian Archdiocese has 18 Canadian parishes. For the holiday, they are encouraged to open and offer worship and thanksgiving to God for all of His gifts. To that end, the Online Liturgical Guide has provided Liturgical Texts of Great Vespers with special hymnography for the holiday, as well as "Glory to God for All Things: An Akathist of Thanksgiving," composed in Russia under Communistic oppression as a reminder to the suffering clergy and faithful of God's blessings in this life and the life to come. Parishes can offer one or the other service on Sunday night, October 8.

On Monday morning, October 9, parishes can celebrate the Eucharist, which literally means "to give thanks," in the Divine Liturgy. The Variables contain Epistle and Gospel readings that are a call to thanksgiving, as well as the famous Thanksgiving Day sermon "Thank You, O Lord!" delivered by Fr. Alexander Schemann just weeks before his repose in 1983.

In the coming weeks, the Online Liturgical Guide will also post Liturgical Texts for American Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23.

Real Break Registration Opens for College Students

During the 2018 Spring Break, college students have the opportunity to make a real change for those less fortunate through Orthodox Christian Fellowship's Real Break program.

Real Break is an alternative spring break service-learning program designed to provide college students with life-transforming experiences that strengthen their faith and broaden their Christian world-view. OCF offers several trips to locations all around the globe where students have the opportunity to serve and minister to the poor with compassion and humility.

Register today!

Memory Eternal! + Lorraine Husson-Ferris

Memory Eternal! + Lorraine Husson-Ferris, daughter of the late Fr. Nicholas and Kh. Mary Husson, quietly fell asleep at the age of 95 early this morning in Wichita, KS. She was preceded in death by her husband George and her three sisters: Beulah Farha of Wichita, KS, Vivian Coury of Garden Grove, CA, and Virginia Farah of El Paso, TX (whose Virginia H. Farah Foundation has supported numerous Antiochian Orthodox projects for many years).

Lorraine is survived by five children and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. The funeral will be served this Saturday, September 30, 2017 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Wichita, KS. Condolences may be sent to the family at contact@farahfoundation.org.

Midwest Clergy and Laity Fall Gathering + October 12-15, 2017

Download the flyer

Bishop Anthony proudly announces the Diocese of Toledo's upcoming Clergy Retreat and Fall Gathering, hosted by Fr. John Winfrey and the faithful of St. George Church in Grand Rapids, MI.

This event is for all of our clergy, and members of our Antiochian Women, Teen SOYO, and Young Adult ministries.

Please see the flyer for details.

 

Many Years to His Grace Bishop John!

September 26th is the celebration of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist St. John the Theologian and the namesday of His Grace Bishop John. May God grant him many years!

Apolytikion of St. John, Tone 2

O Apostle John, speaker of divinity, the beloved of Christ God, hasten and deliver thy people powerless in argument; for He on Whose bosom thou didst lean accepteth thee as an intercessor. Beseech Him, therefore, to disperse the cloud of the stubborn nations, asking for us safety and the Great Mercy.