News


OCCHY Offers Videos on Substance Abuse Prevention

The Antiochian Archdiocese's Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY) is a unique national alliance founded and supported by the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries of the Archdiocese. The ministry focuses on establishing, training and leading substance abuse prevention and intervention coalitions across America.

On May 22, 2014,  OCCHY's active Cicero, Illinois Coalition hosted a Town Hall Meeting for parents and teens, titled "Underage Alcohol & Substance Prevention." Sponsored by the federal government's Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration, the meeting featured law enforcement and mental health professionals, who presented talks about how to ensure safety and sobriety for teens. The presentations are available on YouTube and may be viewed on OCCHY's website.

Metropolitan Joseph Elected Vice Chairman of St. Vladimir's Seminary Board

Metropolitan Joseph with St. Vladimir's Dean The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr (L) and The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield (R)Metropolitan Joseph with St. Vladimir's Dean The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr (L) and The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield (R)At its annual meeting on November 13–14, 2014, the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY elected His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph as Vice Chairman of the Board, to be effective immediately. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) serves as the Board Chairman. 

The Seminary's Dean, The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, and Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, recognized Metropolitan Joseph's new position by presenting him with an icon of St. Vladimir during their visit to the Archdiocese Chancery in Englewood, NJ, on December 5. During that same meeting, the St. Vladimir's leaders also presented Patriarch John X with a check for $8000.00 designated for Syrian's suffering Christians. The gift was a tithe from the seminary's December 2 "Giving Tuesday" fund raising campaign.

Since its founding in 1938, St. Vladimir's has enjoyed a fruitful and reciprocal relationship with the Antiochian Archdiocese. About 16% of all of the seminary's alumni have gone on to serve in the Archdiocese, and most of today's North American Antiochian bishops are seminary alumns.

 

 

Patriarch and Metropolitan Visit St. George, Little Falls, NJ

Photo: Michael KarasPhoto: Michael KarasHis Beatitude Patriarch John X and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided at Vespers Service on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, NJ. The service was followed by an open reception. NorthJersey.com reported that the evening "was a night of simple joy in the church's North Jersey community."

Staff writer Jeff Green noted that His Beatitude "John X spoke for about 20 minutes about building unity between the church in the U.S. and abroad, as well as about peace in the Middle East, notably war-devastated Syria.

“'We are one church, we are one community and the distances do not divide us, do not separate us,'" said the Patriarch. 

Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday: December 14, 2014

Metropolitan Joseph's letter for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

Enthronement choir, with Dept. of Sacred Music Chair Chris HolweyEnthronement choir, with Dept. of Sacred Music Chair Chris HolweyThis Sunday is Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday in the Antiochian Archdiocese, which we observe every year on the second Sunday of December. It is a wonderful time to celebrate the ministry and commitment of our choir members and chanters, for all the time and devotion they give to our liturgical services throughout the year. As they sing and chant the hymns of our services, they help us in the worship of our God, and guide us as we all sing praises of joy to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The music is the means by which we pray, whether it be the quicker hymns of the Troparia and Kontakia, or the slower hymns of the Cherubic Hymn in Liturgy and Praises in Matins. Each set of music helps to set the tone for what we are praying and celebrating.

May God continue to bless each of our choir members and chanters in their ministry of love, and grant them many years of continued service to God's Holy Church for the lifting up of our hearts and minds to the heavenly places!

December is Order of St. Ignatius Month

The month of December every year is designated as Order of St. Ignatius month, in conjunction with the feast day of St. Ignatius on December 20. The Order is the philanthropic arm of the Antiochian Archdiocese and one of its most vital lay ministries, under the guidance of Metropolitan Joseph and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees. Currently, there are nearly 3,000 active members supporting approximately 38% of the Archdiocese's budget, as well as a host of other worthy causes including: camping and college conference scholarships, married seminarian assistance, Antiochian Village, Teen SOYO Special Olympics, theological and religious education, clergy retirement, Project Mexico, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), The Treehouse Family Ministry, and Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF).

Dr. Elias K. Hebeka, the North America Vice-Chair for the Order, wrote in December 2012's The Word magazine that the Order's Governing Council "is a group of volunteers, elected or appointed members of our Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, that has the responsibility to make many of the important decisions for the Order. 

Committee Reports from 2014 Assembly of Bishops Meeting Now Available

Metropolitan Joseph and Archbishop Demetrios (center) and fellow bishops at 2014 meeting (photo: GANP/Dimitrios Panagos)Metropolitan Joseph and Archbishop Demetrios (center) and fellow bishops at 2014 meeting (photo: GANP/Dimitrios Panagos)The annual reports of the committees of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, held from September 15-18, 2014 in Dallas, TX, are now available on the Assembly's website. The committee reports provide an overview of each committee's activities between September 2013 and August 2014. The reports were presented to the full Assembly at the annual meeting in Dallas.

Also available on the Assembly's website are official photos from Assembly V.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA Congratulates Metropolitan Joseph

L to R: Metropolitan Antony, Archbishop Demetrios, Patriarch John X, Metropolitan Joseph, Bishop DanielL to R: Metropolitan Antony, Archbishop Demetrios, Patriarch John X, Metropolitan Joseph, Bishop DanielBoth hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel, were present at Metropolitan Joseph's enthronement service at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY on December 6, 2014, and were among the honored guests of the Antiochian Archdiocese at the formal banquet. The hierarchs' congratulatory letter reads:

“On behalf of the clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, we would like to express our best wishes and congratulation upon your election to the great and sacred responsibility of a chief shepherd of the flock of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. We look forward to your service to the Gospel and Body of Christ in United States of America, which with God’s help, will be inspirational, bringing life-giving impulses also to the efforts toward unity in the Holy Orthodox Church on North American continent.

Hierarchs Convene at Archdiocese Headquarters

On Monday, December 8, the Antiochian Metropolitans and Bishops, gathered for the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, met with His Beatitude Patriarch John X at Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, NJ.

View a Photo Gallery of the Meeting

See our enthronement section for all information regarding the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of Patriarch John X.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Features Metropolitan Joseph Enthronement

On the eve of the Enthronement, Peter Smith of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interviewed His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Beatitude John X of Antioch and All the East for an article titled "Antiochan Orthodox installing new leader: N. American diocese celebrates its roots." Published on December 6, 2014, reporter Smith explained that those under 50 years of age cannot remember the last enthronement of an Antiochian metropolitan.

"This event means to us a lot — joy for the faithful in America and the homeland," Patriarch John was quoted as saying in the article, adding, "We are one family."

The Gazette reporter also noted that Metropolitan Joseph believes that he is "on equal footing with the newest of converts. 'Even though I was born in the faith, I have to convert to the faith daily by practicing the faith and doing virtuous and Christian actions,'" His Eminence explained.

Read the full story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bishop Thomas Lists Youth and Education Resources

His Grace Bishop Thomas has reminded the faithful of several important resources for youth.

1. 2015 Orthodox Christian Camp and Youth Worker Conference 
The theme is "Walking Alongside Our Youth" and the keynote addresses will be delivered by Fr. Bogdan Bucur and Dr. Stefanie Yazge. More details will follow. We will also be posting this information to the Orthodox Christian Camping Association.

2. In addition, there will be a College Retreat the weekend of Orthodoxy Sunday, February 27—March 1, 2015. The topic is "Standing at the Foot of the Cross and the speakers are Fr. Anthony Yazge, Marek Simon, & Chris Shadid. Please register online at www.avcamp.org.

St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra + December 6

Troparion, Tone 4

The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion, Tone 3

Thou wast a faithful minister of God in Myra, O Saint Nicholas. For having fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, thou didst die for the people and save the innocent. Therefore thou wast sanctified as a great initiator of the grace of God.

Learn more: 

Many Years to His Grace Bishop Nicholas!

Apolytikion of St. Nicholas, Tone 4

The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

December 6th is the celebration of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and the name's day of His Grace Bishop Nicholas. May God grant him many years!

His Grace will be concelebrating the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at the St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, along with His Eminence, Metropolitan Niphon, Antiochian Patriarchal Representative to the Church of Russia.

In January, 2015, His Grace will be the guest speaker for St. Vladimir's Seminary's 32nd Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture, to be held in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building on January 30, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Bishop Nicholas will be speaking on "The Life and Ministry of St. Raphael of Brooklyn." In 2015 the Archdiocese will be marking the 100th anniversary of the beloved saint's repose with a year-long series of events commemorating the milestone.

Antiochian Priests Offer Teaching, Encouragement to Uganda's Church

Fr. John ChagnonFr. John ChagnonFr. George DahdouhFr. George DahdouhThis reflection was written by Fr. John Chagnon of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in St. Paul, MN, about a missions trip in which he and Fr. George Dahdouh of St. George Orthodox Church in Houston, TX travelled to Africa to minister to the Ugandan Orthodox Church. The article was originally published on November 25, 2014, in the Orthodox Christian Mission Center News.

Uganda is an Oregon-sized country in East Africa, 20 hours away by air and nine time zones ahead of us, and yet, by Faith we are family. Since just after World War II, canonical Orthodoxy has been part of the life of Uganda, spread not by missionaries but rather by Ugandans themselves who sought out and found the apostolic Christian Faith they were seeking, a Faith they chose rather than accept the faiths of the colonial powers that ruled them until the early 1960's.

The Ugandan Orthodox Church is led by His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah, himself the son of the leader of those who discovered Orthodoxy and brought it to Uganda. It is a young church, vital, and working in a culture where old and new are intertwined and some traditional brick houses have solar panels to make sure the cell phones are charged every night.

Ecumenical Patriarch Hosts Pope Francis for Feast of St. Andrew

On November 29 and 30, 2014, His All-Holiness Bartholomew welcomed His Holiness Pope Francis to the Ecumenical Patriarchate during the Pope's three-day visit to Turkey.  Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had extended the invitation to the Pope during His Holiness’ inaugural Mass in March 2013.

This visit followed a tradition established by Pope Francis’ predecessors, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the Thronal Feast of St. Andrew, the first-called of the Apostles and founder of the Church of Constantinople.

In a joint declaration signed by the Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew after the Divine Liturgy commemorating the Feast, the two noted that "Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have been forced violently from their homes." They continued, "It even seems that the value of human life has been lost, that the human person no longer matters and may be sacrificed to other interests. And, tragically, all this is met by the indifference of many."

View the website for the visit

Enthronement Media Alert: Friday, Dec. 5 Interview Availability

Patriarch John X of Antioch, Syria, and Metropolitan Joseph will be available for brief personal interviews Friday Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. NO OTHER INTERVIEWS WILL BE GRANTED BEFORE OR AFTER ENTHRONEMENT EVENTS. If you would like to schedule an interview, please contact John Righetti at information below.

If you would like to attend the enthronement service , you MUST have a press pass from the Antiochian Archdiocese. Again, contact John Righetti to secure a pass. NO MEDIA WILL BE ADMITTED TO THE ENTHRONEMENT WITHOUT A PASS.

Winter 2014-15 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2014-15 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights The Diocese of Toledo & the Midwest! The issue contains:

  • Trusting in the Lord, by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph
  • The Beauty of the Church: Its Place and Purpose, by His Grace Bishop Anthony
  • Do We Need the Church? by V. Rev. Daniel Daly, Spiritual Advisor
  • Who Will Mind Our Children, by Sheryl Vander Wagen, Diocesan President
  • Introducing The 2013 - 2015 Board of Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
  • The Diocese of Toledo & the Midwest Parish Life Conference in Pictures
  • Happenings Around The Diocese Of Toledo and the Midwest

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

Bishop Thomas Pays Pastoral Visit to St. Tikhon's Seminary

His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, paid a special visit to the community at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS) on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. His Grace has been a long-time supporter of St. Tikhon's, and came to meet with the students as well as to meet with STOTS Dean The Very Rev. Dr. Steven Voytovich.

His Grace toured the Seminary and Monastery grounds, and spoke to students during the lunch hour. "I always enjoy coming to St. Tikhon's because every time I visit I see people who are filled with joy," he commented. He also reminded those assembled of the importance of remaining joyful, and asked that they bring that same virtue out into the world as they minister to others for Christ.

(Sourced from Stots.edu—view the original story and more photographs.

Online Liturgical Guide Adds December Texts

The Liturgical Texts for the month of December, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for clergy and laity to download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

This month, Orthodox Christians find themselves in the midst of the forty-day Fast in preparation of the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Fr. Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory called this time of year the "Winter Pascha" because, as Fr. Thomas Hopko puts it, "He was worshipped by wise men that the whole of creation might adore Him in His triumph over death."

Service Texts for American Thanksgiving Posted on the Online Liturgical Guide

In anticipation of many parishes offering divine services on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, the Online Liturgical Guide now features Daily Vespers and Divine Liturgy Variables for the American holiday.

2015 Liturgical Calendar

Warm Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes from our home to you and your beloved parishioners. May the joy and peace of this Holy Season shine in your hearts now and throughout the New Year!

+Metropolitan Joseph
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America

Christ is in our Midst!

As has been the practice each year around this time, we are distributing the attached Sunday Liturgical Calendar for 2015 with a greeting from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

This calendar will be posted on www.antiochian.org but we will not be sending a paper copy through regular mail in order to save some time and money.

This calendar conforms in every respect to the one which was recently sent to us from the offices of the Patriarchate of Antioch. Any discrepancy that may exist in other calendars occurred because they were published before the Patriarchal calendar was made available to us.

Spotlight: New Media Information Section on Antiochian.org

In preparation for the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and the related events planned for December 6–8, 2014, a new Media Information page to aid members of the press is accessible on Antiochian.org. Resources include basic descriptions and links for the Patriarchate of Antioch, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, and the ancient Church of Antioch. Official portraits are available for Patriarch John X and Metropolitan Joseph, as well as biographical information and links to further information about Orthodox Christianity and Christians in the Middle East.

The Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York.  Dignitaries from around the world will be present, include hierarchs, clergy, diplomats, and many faithful. The event will be blessed with the presence of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, who will preside over the weekend.

Enthronement Banquet: Sold Out

Update, 11-26-14: With close to 800 people coming, the Gala Banquet for the enthronement is now sold out! Please do not send in checks for any more tickets or try to purchase online. If there is an emergency situation, please contact Fr. Thomas Zain at abounathomas@me.com. We thank you for your strong support of this event.

Renovations in Preparation for Enthronement

Renovations are underway at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY in preparation for the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. The Enthronement and related events will take place during the weekend of December 5 through 7, 2014, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. The actual enthronement will take place in conjunction with a Prayer of Thanksgiving on Saturday, December 6. We will be greatly blessed by the presence of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, who will preside during this weekend.

OCABS Press Releases New Commentary on Galatians

Torah to the Gentiles, by Fr. Marc Boulos, is the latest release by the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS), a center established to educate, inspire and challenge the faithful to recognize the centrality of sound biblical interpretation for life in Christ. The letter to the Galatians, notes the author, offers a brief but demanding exposition of the teaching of the Older Testament for a Gentile audience. 

Highlighting the Bible's struggle against idolatry, power, and human identity, St. Paul's letter exposes Jerusalem's fatal misreading of biblical circumcision: a practice given to remove social barriers had been co-opted to build the same. By imposing their religious identity and practices on the gentiles, the Pillars of Jerusalem had betrayed the Torah, offering things that pass away as though they were eternal. Worse, they had done so at the expense of the weaker brother. Having been liberated by God from the worship of Caesar, why would the Galatians now turn to another human master?

Father Marc Boulos is pastor of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church, in Eagan, Minnesota. He and Dr. Richard Benton co-host The Bible as Literature Podcast, a weekly discussion of the biblical narrative and its implications for everyday life. He is also co-founder of the Ephesus School, a biblical studies program for children and adults that emphasizes the Bible's self-sufficiency for teaching in lieu of modern theories of religious education. 

Order the book

IOCC Sunday: "A Day of Sharing" is November 23

Every year, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America designates the Sunday before the celebration of Thanksgiving Day as a "Day of Sharing" to benefit the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). The official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly, the IOCC is supported by generous donations from Orthodox Christians. Information about IOCC Sunday, including the Assembly of Bishops encyclical, Sunday bulletin inserts, a donation portal, and links for volunteering with the IOCC, are available on the IOCC Sunday landing page. 

The IOCC has provided emergency aid, development tools, and resources to the needy around the world since 1992, and currently serves over 50 nations. The relief organization has been particularly active in recent years in the Middle East, alleviating the suffering caused by the ongoing strife  in Gaza and in Syria, where people have lived for several years under civil war.