On June 5, 2014, hierarchs, clergy, and laity delegates convened in Chicago, IL at the Hyatt Regency Hotel to participate in the historic Archdiocese Special Convention, with the purpose of selecting three candidates whose names will be submitted to the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch for the office of Metropolitan of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America and Canada.
Vicar General for the Antiochian Archdiocese The Very Rev. Thomas Zain was interviewed by Ancient Faith Radio immediately following the vote, announcing that the Special Convention has nominated the following (in alphabetical order): The Right Rev. Bishop Basil, Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America; The Right Rev. Bishop John, Diocese of Worcester and New England; and The Most Rev. Archbishop Joseph, Diocese of Los Angeles and the West and Locum Tenens for the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest.
In the interview, Fr. Thomas also thanked His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina, who has served as the Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America since the repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory on March 19, 2014.
The Antiochian clergy of the Capital Deanery (the Greater Washington, D.C. / Baltimore area) were invited by the Franciscans of Washington D.C. to offer Orthodox Vespers on Sunday, May 18, 2014, at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, as part of the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the meeting of Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagorus in Jerusalem in 1964. The 50th anniversary was also marked in Jerusalem this year by the meeting of Pope Francis I and Patriarch Bartholomew on May 25, 2014, where they prayed together for peace in the Middle East.
Prior to his repose, Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory received a request from the Franciscans asking for his blessing for this service, emphasizing the need to join together in support of the suffering Christians of the Middle East.
The Summer 2014 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights The Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, and contains:
- A Tribute to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory
- Reflections on the services for Metropolitan Philip by Antiochian Women President Violet Robbat
- A greeting from Bishop Antoun
- Reflections from Diocesan Spiritual Advisor Fr. Stephen Rogers
- A message from Diocesan President Dorothy Tampary
- A moving diary by Kh. Kyra Lewis of her husband Archpriest Michael's last earthly days
- Introductions to the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast's Board
...and more! Download (PDF) here.
The Department of Conventions and Conference Planning has released the following details regarding the Archdiocese Special Nominating Convention being held June 5th in Chicago, IL. (See here for introductory information on upcoming May and June leadership meetings and the convention.)
June 3 Update from Raed Sweiss, Department of Conventions and Conference Planning
Rev. Fathers, Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees and Delegates,
We look forward to seeing you in Chicago on Wednesday, June 4th and Thursday, June 5th, 2014 for the Special Convention. Below are a few items to note for your upcoming meeting:
1) Registration will be open from 6 pm – 9 pm on Wednesday, June 4th and from 7 am – 10 am on Thursday, June 5th. We encourage everyone to pick up their badges on Wednesday night to elevate any rush on Thursday morning.
2) A GOVERNMENT ISSUED PHOTO ID is required to pick up your badge and needs to be shown whenever you enter the General Assembly along with your badge.
3) A continental breakfast will be provided on Thursday morning at 8 am as part of your registration.
Wishing you safe travels to Chicago!
Special commendation to the following graduates, who have completed their course of study at an Orthodox seminary this spring:
Fr. Joseph Landino, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary
Dn. Scott Miller, George Katrib, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, with Metropolitan Silouan and Bishop Nicholas in attendance
Peter Kavanaugh, Majd Akkawi, Christopher Kies, and Nicholas Mamey, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, with Bishop John in attendance
On May 29, 2014, Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) released a podcast in their "Ancient Faith Presents" series titled "Tragedy in Isla Vista, California." The program features Antiochian priest Fr. John Finley in an interview he conducted with fellow clergy member Archpriest Jon-Stephen Hedges. Father Jon directs the St. Brigid Fellowship, a ministry started by St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, an Antiochian parish in Santa Barbara, CA. He is also a chaplain with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, and in the interview Fr. Jon discusses with Fr. John Finley his role on the scene at the sites of the recent string of murders in Isla Vista, California.
"We Christians are amphibians-that is, we live in two kingdoms," notes Fr. Jon. "Sometimes we would like to stay in the altar...but when we go forth, we go forth with the scent of heaven. We don't go forth for the privileged or for those who are strong and well. We go forth for those who are broken."
With the blessings of Metropolitan Silouan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, and The Right Rev. Bishop Antoun, Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, The Rev. Fouad Saba and St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Coral Gables, FL are hosting the Archdiocesan Synod and Board of Trustees meetings from October 23-26, 2014.
On Saturday evening, a banquet will be held honoring the newly selected Metropolitan, and offering tribute to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory. A Sunday Hierarchical Liturgy will be followed by "The Stewards Luncheon," with the Board of Trustees as guests of honor.
On Sunday, May 25, 2014, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis will convene at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to commemorate a meeting in the Holy Land held fifty years ago by their predecessors, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America's Website published a joint statement issued by Assembly Chairman Archbishop Demetrios and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "We not only express our appreciation of the work of our North American dialogue, but also our joy that our Churches have increasingly been able to speak with one voice on the pressing issues that our society faces today ... we call our people to pray for the success of the upcoming meeting between Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem for the glory of God and the promotion of Christianity in our wounded world."
The Apostolic Pilgrimage to Jerusalem Website offers further resources, including photo and video galleries, archival and biographical information for the Pope and Patriarch, and access to a live broadcast of the Prayer Service of Thanksgiving to be offered on May 25.
May 16, 2014
Watch the full report on This Week in Orthodoxy, Orthodox Christian Network (OCN)
A broad array of American Christian leaders joined together on Capitol Hill on May 7 to issue a "pledge of solidarity and call to action" on behalf of the suffering churches of Egypt, Iraq, and Syria.
OCN's Executive Director, Fr. Christopher Metropulos, was among the more than 180 Christian leaders who signed the call to action and attended the event. Other Orthodox signatories included Fr. Nathanael Symeonides, Director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese's Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations; Martin Ritsi of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC); and Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, assistant professor in the Department of International Relations at Boston University, among others.
The statement and press conference were organized by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), co-chairs of the bipartisan Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus.
The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) announces that there are still openings available for its 2014 Mission Teams. Two teams will be traveling to Lokichar, Kenya this summer to assist with the construction of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. When completed, this will be the third permanent church in the Turkana region of Kenya that the faithful of North America have sponsored through the OCMC. The first 2014 team will serve from June 17th to July 1st and the second from June 24th to July 11th.
In another opportunity, the OCMC Orthodox Mission Team to Mexico will be laboring at the Mission of San Esteban the first Martyr, outside of Mexico City. This team has been invited to offer youth and adult catechism, and to be part of the life of the Church in Mexico. This is a unique opportunity to engage the faithful of Mexico, share your Faith and be a part of a Christian witness. The dates are July 5 to July 12, 2014. Participants with experience in youth ministry and catechism are urged to apply. Conversational Spanish-speaking ability is recommended.
The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (or OCCHY) is a unique national alliance founded and supported by the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries of the Antiochian Archdiocese, involved in establishing, training and leading substance abuse prevention and intervention coalitions across America. The Healthy Youth initiative, sponsored by OCCHY, offers communities an opportunity to heighten awareness of how to combat substance abuse, prevent bullying, encourage sexual abstinence outside of marriage, and encourage respect for the sanctity of the human body. Recent updates on the Hookah Prevention initiative, the Healthy Youth ministry of Tucson, AZ, and the Cicero/Chicago based group, are available on OCCHY's Website.
OCCHY is developing local community networks to address substance abuse prevention and healthy living in parishes of each diocese. Each local chapter is trained in coalition building in their community. Chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries Fr. Joseph Purpura, and Kh. Kathleen Purpura, Youth Consultant and Executive Director of OCCHY, work with the White House Director of the Drug Free Communities Program, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the staff of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), and local coalition leaders to establish substance prevention coalitions across America.
June 20-21, 2014
Given by Honored Guest
His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
"Divine Compassion and the Ministry of Women"
This conference seeks to cultivate a deeper theological appreciation regarding ways Divine Compassion, the eleos of God, affects the participation of women and men in the life of the Church today. The conference builds upon the work of last year’s inaugural conference, "Divine Compassion: Orthodox Christians in Service of Perfect Love."
More information and registration details are available on the St. Catherine's Vision Website.
The International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) ministers in the United States with emergency response, community development, and supporting literacy and education. Two recent stories are a reminder of this.
Religious leaders gathered at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Chicago to dedicate more than 10,000 new books provided by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). The trove of colorful, age-appropriate reading materials will benefit thousands of schoolchildren participating in after-school enrichment opportunities, mentoring and summer learning programs in the Chicago area. The leaders were joined by wide-eyed youngsters from some of the city's most impoverished Southside neighborhoods who were grateful beneficiaries.
This year's conferences are spread out across five weekends in June and July. On June 11-15, the Diocese of Wichita and the Diocese of Miami will kick off the PLC season in San Antonio, TX and Orlando, FL. Shortly thereafter on June 19-22, the Diocese of Worcester will convene in Boston, MA. Fort Wayne, IN, will be the site for the final June conference with the Diocese of Toledo's PLC on June 25-29. Finally, the Dioceses of Los Angeles and Eagle River, Charleston and New York, and Ottawa, will all meet from July 2-6, combining Fourth of July celebrations with Parish Life Conferences.
As always, this year's theme, love for God and neighbor, will be the focus of the Creative Festivals, a highlight of the conferences. Youth and organizational meetings, spiritually edifying speakers and services, and social events for kids and adults alike, all make the PLCs one of the Archdiocese's most established and popular traditions.
To facilitate your parish participation in the Creative Arts, Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals, all resources are available in the Festivals 2014 section of Antiochian.org. Additionally, ads for the souvenir journals can be purchased and registrations can be submitted through the Department of Conventions and Conference Planning's Antiochian Events pages.
In partnership with Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), Ancient Faith Radio is bringing back the paperback edition of the Orthodox Study Bible New Testament and Psalms. This Bible, which has been out of print for two years, is in high demand among those who prefer a more affordable Orthodox Study Bible and those who serve America's prison population, because the majority of state and federal prisons will not allow inmates to have hardback books/Bibles.
"Recently, OCPM was only able to send 231 Bibles to those in prison because we were out of stock, yet our demand was much greater" said Chaplain Patrick Tutella, Executive Director of OCPM.
On Saturday May 3, 2014, His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese, visited St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Hunt Valley, MD. Deacon Michael Bishop filed a report and a photo gallery to commemorate the eventful day.
When I first received an invitation to meet Metropolitan Silouan, I did not act because of the traveling requirement. Then I heard that he was coming to St. Mary's Orthodox Church, which is a manageable distance from where I live.
When I arrived at the church and went in the Altar, I was immediately introduced to His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan, whom I found to be a very warm and friendly hierarch. My first impression was that he was the bishop's deacon, especially since I saw Bishop Nicholas there and I did not know that another bishop was also coming. Subdeacon Basil also had the same impression and the three of us had a laugh over this when he told us later....I'm pointing this out because many of our bishops are models of humility. They are very approachable and real spiritual fathers. Both the metropolitan and the bishop were very friendly.
Hear the voice of gladness, O women; for I have trodden down rebellious Hades, and raised the world from corruption. Wherefore, hasten ye and proclaim the glad tidings to My beloved; for I desire that joy shall break forth thence upon My creation, whence first came forth sorrow.
--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 2
On this day, the third Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the feast of the holy Myrrh-bearing women. And we also make commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea, who was a secret disciple, and Nicodemus, who was a disciple by night.
The women disciples bring myrrh unto Christ;
And I bring a hymn as it were myrrh unto them.
On April 26-27, 2014, St. George Cathedral of Coral Gables, Florida, welcomed the Patriarchal Vicar His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan for the Blessed Feast Day of St. George, the patron of the community.
His Eminence arrived at Miami International Airport late on Friday night, April 25th, and was welcomed by Fr. Saba, Archdeacon David, and a dozen members of the Parish Council and community. After exchanging greetings at the airport, all enjoyed a nice dinner and a warm conversation at a nearby restaurant.
On Saturday April 26th, the bells rang in jubilation at the arrival of our beloved Patriarchal Vicar along with His Grace Bishop Antoun. The Cathedral was beautifully adorned in red and white satin streams and multi-colored flowers in reverence of this momentous and historic occasion.
On the Feast of the Holy Greatmartyr George, Bright Wednesday, April 23rd, The Most Rev. Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina and Patriarchal Vicar for our Archdiocese of North America, visited the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (DOWAMA) for the patronal feast of our Diocesan Cathedral of St. George, and to bless DOWAMA's newly-acquired St. Silouan Monastery House.
Upon His Eminence's arrival to Wichita (straight from Buenos Aires!) he was feted at a luncheon hosted at the Wichita Chancery and attended by the priests and deacons of Wichita's three parishes: St. George Cathedral, St. Mary Church, and St. Michael Church. A large number of clergy and laity were at the Cathedral to receive His Eminence when he arrived for Paschal Vespers that evening. They were moved by his homily following the service and enchanted by his remarks and the open dialogue that he encouraged during a paschal repast in the Cathedral's fellowship hall.
The team at Antiochian.org is issuing a call for Holy Week, Pascha, and Bright Week photos! Send all photos to email@example.com as JPEG attachments. Please include a caption for each photo you send, and tell us the name of the parish and priest represented by the photo. We can post videos to our Antiochian.org Vimeo account too, so feel free to send us your videos. More questions? For general submission guidelines, read our checklist here.
The Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East has released the following video of the remarks of Patriarch John X on Palm Sunday, April 13 2014, in Arabic with English subtitles.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Together with our Orthodox brethren, Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry reflects on the legacy of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip. He was instrumental in the development and growth of OCPM and has always been close to our hearts.
When OCPM Founder Fr Duane Pederson was ordained into the Orthodox Church in 1991, he had already been active in prison ministry for more than 25 years. It was with the blessing of Metropolitan Philip that Fr Duane continued to work in prison ministry after his ordination. "Usually you're ordained to an altar, to a parish," said Fr Duane. Yet His Eminence ordained Fr Duane to continue ministering to people in prison and on the streets. "His Eminence had the foresight to step out and include the incarcerated as part of the Church."
It was with Metropolitan Philip's blessing that men in prison were catechized. The Virginia H. Farah Foundation played a timely role by funding the costs of Orthodox books and icon cards that were sent into prisons. As a result, said Fr Duane, "All these prisoners started to become Orthodox. We began to find cradle Orthodox who had been hiding in the prisons as well."
Seeing that there were men in prison who wanted to be received into the Church, Metropolitan Philip gave Fr Duane a parish-one without walls-and named it Holy Apostle Silas. He gave Fr Duane an antimins (a consecrated altar cloth necessary for celebrating the Eucharist) to use when celebrating the liturgy in prisons. With his new parish Fr Duane was able to baptize men in prison. "His Eminence was willing to care for those who had no parish," said Fr Duane.