Reporter Billy Shields of Global News, the news and current affairs division of Global Television Network in Canada, posted a news story on April 28, 2013 titled "For Arab Orthodox church, Middle East turbulence hits home." The news post noted that St. George's recent Palm Sunday celebration was dampened by the concerns of the faithful for the kidnapped bishops and the ongoing turbulence in Syria.
The parish, St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, is headed by Economos Antony Gabriel of the Antiochian Heritage Foundation. “Today I asked for the people when they made their procession, to pray for peace, to pray for these bishops,” said Fr. Antony. ”We don’t want to see the church destroyed, and we don’t want Christians to leave the Middle East.” Reporter Shields noted that some of St. George's parishioners "...hail from the area Aleppo, where bishops Paul Yagizi and Yohanna Ibrahim were kidnapped."
The White House has released the following statement:
Statement by the President on the Occasion of Orthodox Easter
This weekend, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to members of the Orthodox Christian community here in America and around the world as they observe Holy Friday and the Feast of the Resurrection.
For millions of Orthodox Christians, this is a joyful time. But it’s also a reminder of the sacrifice Christ made so that we might have eternal life. His decision to choose love in the face of hate; hope in the face of despair is an example we should always strive to follow. But it’s especially important to remember this year, as members of the Orthodox community have been confronted with persecution and violence, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. For centuries, the region and the world has been enriched by the contributions of Orthodox communities in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. As a nation, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting universal human rights including the freedom of religion. And in this season of hope and restoration, we celebrate the transformational power of sacrificial love.
Memory Eternal! + George Chalhoub, 1930 – 2013
The Right Rev. Archmandrite George Chalhoub fell asleep in the Lord on Holy Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
He was born in Douma, Lebanon in 1930 to Wadih and Bahije, the second of eight children. From his childhood he felt the call to the priesthood and was responsible for starting the Youth Movement in Douma. On January 4, 1952, he left his home to enter the Balamand Monastery and school. In that same year, he was tonsured a reader during Great Lent, and on August 6, The Feast of Holy Transfiguration, he was ordained a deacon by the hand of the late Metropolitan Elia Karam of Mount Lebanon at the Church of Holy Transfiguration in Dhour Chweir while spending the summer at St. Elias Patriarchal Monastery.
In 1953, he became the deacon for the late Patriarch Theodosius VI, Metropolitan of Tripoli at that time. In 1956 when the Metropolitan was elected as Patriarch of the see of Antioch, Deacon George accompanied him to the Patriarchate in Damascus to serve as his personal secretary.
On March 12, 1959, he was ordained to the priesthood and elevated to the rank of Archmandrite by the Patriarch at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, and was the given the title of Protosangelos of the Patriarchate.
The Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East reports:
His Beatitude, John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, presided over the Divine Liturgy of Palm Sunday in the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand. His Grace Bishop Ghattas (Hazim) the abbot, Bishop Ephraim (Malouli) and many priests and deacons took part. A large congregation of the faithful, a number of other religious persons, civil dignitaries and the Balmandian family, (that is to say: the university, the school and the Institute of Theology), filled the monastery. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, a precession with the icon of the Palm Sunday took place. His Beatitude, the clergy and the people carried the candles supplicating the Virgin Mary and chanting “to thee O Champion Leader” as an expression of the condemnation of all the Church, in the mother countries and beyond, of the abduction of Metropolitan Paul (Yazigi), Greek-Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo and Alexandretta and their dependencies, and Metropolitan John (Ibrahim), Syriac-Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo and as a supplication for their return and for the return of all kidnapped persons and refugees to their own homes and for the peace and an end to all violence. His Beatitude also invited all the faithful to make the period of the passion and resurrection as a time for expressing the unity of the Church whose members are gathered in fervent commitment to the truth. He also called for the resurrection of the heart as the best expression of the resurrection of humanity in this land. In conclusion, His Beatitude wished that service, love and courage would be a path toward the joy of the resurrection; a joy which cannot be taken away.
To see the Patriarchate's announcement in Arabic, please see the attached PDF.
It was a holy and historic day in Beirut. More than 1,000 hierarchs, clergy and lay people packed the incense-filled nave of Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral on February 17, 2013, including both the President and Prime Minister of Lebanon, as well as government officials from the U.S., Russia, and other countries around the world.
Joining them were International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Board Chairman, Michael “Mickey” Homsey, and IOCC Executive Director, Constantine Triantafilou, who had both traveled from the United States to attend at the invitation of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. All were there to witness the same milestone, the first Divine Liturgy served by His Beatitude, John X, the newly elected Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.
His predecessor, Patriarch Ignatius of Blessed Memory, spent more than three decades serving as the spiritual father of the Orthodox faithful in Syria. Patriarch Ignatius’ leadership provided a wellspring of inspiration and comfort to Orthodox Christians throughout the Middle East, especially during troubled times. Without His Beatitude’s grateful assistance, IOCC's humanitarian efforts in the region would not have been fully realized.
Both Homsey and Triantafilou had met with Patriarch Ignatius during a visit to Syria last year shortly before his repose, during which they were humbled to receive His Beatitude’s blessing for IOCC’s ongoing humanitarian work in Syria, and his praise for the organization serving as a beacon of hope for so many struggling families.
Memory Eternal! + George Amouri, 1919 – 2013
Our brother in Christ, George Amouri, was called to heaven on April 24, 2013.
Most everyone in the Antiochian Archdiocese knew George not only by his quick and ever present smile, but by his devotion to his family, his church and, especially, his music.
George was perhaps the most respected of all choir directors, serving in that role for an amazing 40 years at St. George Church of Washington, D.C. He was recognized by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip for his outstanding contribution to the lifting of joyous sounds for over four decades.
George spent his time on the piano in his family room, trying new music to introduce and teach to the St. George Choir. He organized youth choirs, directed church talent shows and led the choir, every year, to retirement homes at Christmas to spread God’s loving sounds to those who could no longer attend service. And, of course, George always had his choir ready for the big choir competition at the Eastern Region Conventions. He was so proud of his group of singers.
George was a loving dad, grandad, great grandad, uncle, brother, brother in law…he was all of these. But more than that, he was a loving mentor, an inspiration to all who he touched, and a great friend to any and everyone. His actions spoke so much louder than his quiet countenance. He lived a life of compassion, generosity and understanding. He accepted all for who and what they are; always ready to lend a helping hand, a couple of bucks, a quick smile or a song. He brightened everyone’s day….every day. We will truly miss him.
George lovingly joins his wife, Georgette, to sit at the right hand of our Father in Heaven.
Rest in peace, George. We will hear and remember your glorious sounds forever.
Every year on Palm Sunday, a special Patriarchal tray offering is conducted in Antiochian parishes. The Palm Sunday special tray collection is for the benefit of the Patriarchate of Antioch, and is used at the discretion of the Patriarch to benefit people, churches, and programs of the Patriarchate of Antioch in the Middle East.
Now, more than ever, this material support is crucial, as our brothers and sisters in Syria are suffering such great hardship because of the violence that has gripped the country.
A significant portion of the funding that is required by the Archdiocese comes from the assessments and Special Trays which are paid by each parish to the Archdiocese on an annual basis.
For more information go here.
Chesterton, Indiana— Available now at Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) are six reflections on the first three days of Holy Week by Fr. Thomas Hopko. These podcast episodes are brand new to the internet radio station and a perfect way to prepare for the final Orthodox church services prior to Pascha.
Father Thomas is Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and the author of numerous books and articles, including Christian Faith and Same Sex Attraction, published by Conciliar Press. His six reflections examine the significance of the Scripture readings and verses that are the focus of Holy Week. AFR has collected these reflections on a single page of its website.
Seeking to deepen and enrich the faith of Orthodox Christians around the world, AFR offers streaming audio programming and on-demand podcasts. It features liturgical music from a variety of Orthodox traditions, as well as prayers, readings, lectures, and interviews.
From Thursday to Sunday, April 4-7th, Orthodox homeschooling families from across the country traveled to Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA for the fifth annual Saint Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference. The conference kicked off Thursday evening with the Akathist "Service to the Mother of God Nurturer of Children," then dinner followed along with a group photo and ice-breaker games. Workshops for both parents and children (ages 3-18) filled both Friday and Saturday, and the four days ended with Sunday's Hierarchical Divine Liturgy served by His Grace Bishop Thomas, Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday.
Some of the workshop sessions offered were: a series of iconography workshops for the teens with iconographer, Michael Kapeluck; "The Poetic Way of Teaching Classics" for parents by Dr. James Taylor, from St. Raphael Orthodox Online Homeschool; "Saint Brigid and Secret Giving" for the 5-6 year olds with Jane G Meyer, Orthodox children's author; and "Illustrating the New Testament" by author and publisher of the History Portfolio series, Barbara Shukin.
The National Youth Directors of several different Orthodox Jurisdictions, together with the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), have collaborated to offer several resources for clergy and lay people to help minister to our youth and young adults in light of the recent public violence in and around Boston.
The resource packet contains a cover letter from several youth directors, three reflections on the attacks by adults, ten tips for speaking to your youth groups and church school classes about public violence, and ten suggested steps for equipping your youth group or OCF chapter to respond to these tragedies. Additionally, the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) has made available its online study guide “A Christian Response to Terrorism.” This study guide, originally compiled after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, provides prayers, scriptural references, and discussion questions to use with youth and young adults.
In addition to the OCA, these materials have been provided by collaboration between the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, the Ukrainian Church of the USA, and the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia.
[Yonkers, NY/ SVOTS Communications] From May 26 to June 26, 2013, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will be offering six continuing education programs, of varied and unique interest, including a class for academic credit. Register before May 15, 2013, to have the $50 registration fee waived!
Sunday, May 26–Sunday, June 2, 2013
“A Journey in the Sacred Arts: Iconography Workshop for College-Age Youth,” designed for college-age students and endorsed by Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), — Khouria Erin Kimmet, Annunciation Press Icons, iconographer and workshop leader
Friday, May 31–Saturday June 1, 2013
“Conference on Poverty” — The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, SVOTS chancellor/CEO and conference coordinator’ and participants Jay Richards, author of Money, Greed, and God and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and Susan R. Holman, adjunct lecturer at Episcopal Divinity School and senior writer at Harvard Global Health Institute
Midwest Antiochian Women’s Retreat
Friday-Sunday May 17-19, 2013
AT DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD ORTHODOX MONASTERY, 3389 RIVES EATON ROAD, RIVES JUNCTION, MICHIGAN.
1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
FR. JOHN KONKLE from the Dormition Monastery as he discusses Orthodox worship with us.
The Classical Learning Resource Center (CLRC), operating under the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Joseph, Diocese of Los Angeles and the West, has updated its selection of classes for the 2013-2014 school year. The distance-learning school's founders, John and Anne Van Fossen, are Antiochian Orthodox Christians based in Idaho. Read more about the school's philosophy and Orthodox roots in Anne's 2010 Antiochian.org interview.
The CLRC listed the following learning opportunities in their announcement:
Classical Greek and Latin:
Once again, we’ve expanded our Classical Greek and Latin program with more Latin 4 Kids classes and more advanced classes for middle school, high school, and adults. We now teach Latin classes for students as young as 6 years old all the way up to a second year college level. CLRC Greek classes are now available for students as young as 12 years old and continue to a second year college level. We also offer tutoring in both Greek and Latin and a wide variety of study aids and suggestions for all those who wish to acquire proficiency in these wonderful languages and to gain access to the beautiful literature they have been used to write.
April 16, 2013
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Within hours of the deadly series of explosions that left three people dead and more than 100 injured at yesterday's Boston Marathon, His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston called upon International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Frontliners – the emergency response network of IOCC – to be dispatched to several Boston crisis counseling centers set up overnight. Four Frontliners, Orthodox clergy experienced and trained in emergency response, will take on the task of assessing the needs of those affected by the tragedy and providing crisis counseling at local emergency care centers set up throughout the city.
Bishop John Abdalah, Diocese of Worcester and New England, expressed his thanks to Metropolitan Philip and all of the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese for their support and love. "Many of our faithful were running and participating in the marathon while others watched the events develop through the media," he noted. "All of us in New England are grateful for the love and support of our Archdiocese."
"Let us not be deterred by this cowardly act of hatred," said Metropolitan Methodios, "but stand united in the exercise of freedom and justice, as we pray for peace and love to reign in our society."
IOCC Executive Director Constantine M. Triantafilou will continue to coordinate the emergency response; all the Orthodox faithful have been asked to assist in the emergency response by donating blood at the local Red Cross donation centers throughout the region.
Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Christian Church, a Western Rite congregation in the Antiochian Archdiocese, hosted The Right Rev. Bishop Basil (Essey), Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, for its first Divine Liturgy in its new church temple in Park City, KS, on April 7, 2013. This service on the third Sunday in Lent was a significant milestone in the life of the parish which has experienced many challenges and successes in the nine years of its existence.
St. Michael’s began when Fr. John Flora and a group of his former Episcopal parishioners sought to become members of the Orthodox Church. Father John and 37 members were accepted as catechumens by Bishop Basil in the narthex of St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Wichita on Dec. 31, 2003.
During the time St. Michael's parishioners were catechumens, they attended services in the Cathedral and later held morning prayer services in the chapel at St. George. Father John was ordained on Pascha, 2004, and St. Michael’s then celebrated Divine Liturgy in the cathedral chapel until it moved into a rented space of its own in March 2010.
From July 19 to August 1, 2013, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is sending a team comprised of Orthodox families from North America to offer parent workshops, children’s programs, family activities and ministry outreach to Albanian church leaders and their families. Three to four families are still needed to serve on this team that will strengthen and encourage Orthodox Christians in a country that is predominantly non-Christian.
Another immediate need is for support staff to participate on the short-term mission team scheduled to offer healthcare in Uganda from May 29 to June 12, 2013. Two to three nurses, pharmacists, medical students, or those interested in providing much needed health services as a witness to their Orthodox faith are desperately needed for this team.
Those able to share and teach the faith are also needed for teams serving in Kenya and Tanzania in July and August. These are profound opportunities to share Orthodox Christianity with our African brothers and sisters who may be new to the faith.
On October 18-20, 2013, the parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Troy, Michigan will host their Centennial Anniversary Celebration, the burning of the mortgage on the most recent building of their beautiful church and its surrounding facilities (1994-2013), and the annual meetings of the Antiochian Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Governing Council of the Order of St. Ignatius, and the Governing Council for Antiochian Village.
It all began approximately 100 years ago from 1905 thru 1913, when a group of blessed founders emigrated from the Middle East countries to find religious freedom and a new life for their families in America. They met in their homes to celebrate Divine Liturgy and finally organized a small church in Detroit, (1913).
On February 7-9, 2013, Orthodox Christian mental health professionals, clergy, professors, lay ministers and seminarians gathered on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for a conference entitled "Pastoral Challenges in Marriage: O God, Replenish Their Life with All Good Things." Sponsored by the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the conference tackled some of the most serious pastoral challenges in marriage facing the Church today. The Right Rev. Bishop John Abdalah, auxiliary for the Antiochian Diocese of Worcester and New England, offered this first keynote address on Thursday morning entitled "Marriage: An Opportunity for Spiritual Growth and Discovering the Living God." His Grace holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care and has worked as pastoral counselor and therapist for 30 years.
The editors at Antiochian.org recently updated the section of the site which hosts resources related to the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese's patriarchal home, The Church of Antioch. A link to the memorial section for Patriarch Ignatius IV is available, as well as a link to a new page containing the biography and Curriculum Vitae of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, which was originally published in the April 2013 The Word.
Fr. Daniel Hackney, rector St. Ananias Orthodox Mission of Evansville, IN, writes:
Annah Ruth Hackney fell asleep in Christ Friday, March 15, 2013. A founding member of St. Ananias Orthodox Mission in Evansville, she was as active as she could be in its life and work in her latter years.
Annah was born February 5, 1925 in Providence, Ky. During WWII she was a "Rosie the Riveter" helping grind diesel rods for the war effort. With respect to her church service she served as a Sunday school teacher, sang in choirs, and participated as a member of women's groups throughout her life. In addition Annah served as a lay missionary to Guatemala in 1997. Space does not permit all the other ways in which she served her Lord, family and friends. Most of all she knew that she was a sinner in need of God's forgiveness.
Annah is survived by her daughter Nancy Cagle (James) of Monroe, Michigan, son Robert Hackney (Brenda) of Murray, Ky, and son Fr. Daniel Hackney (Khouria Carole) of Evansville. She had eight grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. She is preceded by her husband Owen Marce Hackney, her parents Charles Owen and Annah Lurah Birchfield, and siblings William, Dorothy, and James.
The Visitation Wake was held Monday, March 18 at St. Ananias Orthodox Mission, 4411 Washington Avenue in Evansville. The Funeral Service was Tuesday, March 19 at the parish as well. The Liturgist was Fr. Nabil Hanna, and the Homilist was Fr. Daniel Hackney. Afterwards, she was buried at Rowland Cemetery in Fredonia, Ky.
Memorial gifts may be made to the "Saint Ananias Building Fund", 4411 Washington Ave., Evansville IN 47714 .
MERCER, PA -- Camp Nazareth and Orthodox Christian Fellowship are proud to announce the "Second Annual Overcome the World College Retreat," will take place at Camp Nazareth in Mercer, PA on May 19-21, 2013.
College Students are invited to come and recharge their spiritual batteries, make new friends and experience Orthodox Christianity in a deep manner. There will be guest speakers, group workshops, evening social events, food, fun and plenty of opportunity for faith enrichment.
This year's theme is "If anyone desires to be first, He shall be last of all and servant of all." (Mark 9:35)
Manager Archdeacon Hans Elhayek of the Department of Publications for the Antiochian Archdiocese announces the release of the new Book List and Order Form for 2013-2014. The comprehensive Book List includes Christian Education curriculum and supplementary material from preschool age through high school, youth group and adult study texts, children's books and cds, items for family home worship, catechism materials, service books in Arabic and English, music books, regular book titles, periodicals and audio/visual materials.
All orders may be sent to:
Antiochian Archdiocese - Publications Department
P.O. Box 5238
358 Mountain Road, Englewood, NJ 07631-5238
Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) announces that its flagship program "Come Receive the Light" is launching a Spanish-language program, "Vengan a Recibir la Luz." Each monthly program will be approximately thirty minutes in length and will present talks on different theological topics by Fr. Aristidis Arizi and Fr. David Wooten, hymns in Spanish, Epistle and Gospel readings, and a sermon by Fr. Michael Marcantoni.
Father Christopher Metropulos, the executive director of OCN, stated, "We are truly blessed to be welcoming a team of five clergymen who have dedicated their lives to the historical Church of Christ. OCN is now reaching out to touch the hearts of so many, and the Spanish speaking version of Come Receive the Light is another poignant way. This program joins the other CRTL offerings in English, Greek, and soon in the Russian language."
April 4-7, 2013
Make plans now to bring your family and join us for 3 days and nights of:
- Inspiring Speakers
- Enlightening Workshops
- Lenten Liturgical Services
- Curriculum Vendors
- Comfortable Lodging
- Delicious Lenten Meals
- Family Fun and Fellowship
with other Orthodox Homeschoolers.
Check our website www.antiochianvillage.org for the conference schedule and registration information:
The Very Rev. Gregory Robert Allen Buss of Spring Valley IL, passed away at 10:15 p.m. March 19, 2013 in his home, after a three-month battle with cancer. He was 71.
A Divine Liturgy was held at 10 a.m. Saturday March 23 in St. George Orthodox Church, Spring Valley and was followed by the regular funeral service, conducted by Economos Fr. Nicholas Dahdal, rector of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cicero, IL, and other area priests. The burial followed at St. George Cemetery.
Father Gregory was born April 6, 1941 in Kalamazoo, MI to Robert and Emily (Malmstone) Buss. He married Katherine (Kay) Wedge at St. Luke’s Parish in Kalamazoo in 1965. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Kalamazoo College, a Master of Arts degree from Seabury-Western Theological Episcopal Seminary, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Math from Dickinson State University, and he was ordained in the Orthodox priesthood and served as the priest of St. George Orthodox Church in Spring Valley for 18 years.