News


IOCC Offers Volunteer Opportunity to Help Rebuild Homes on Gulf Coast

IOCC volunteer Michael Kostaras, 17 (center), joined his father Jim and 12 other Orthodox Christians to help build new homes for families in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. (photo: IOCC Baltimore)IOCC volunteer Michael Kostaras, 17 (center), joined his father Jim and 12 other Orthodox Christians to help build new homes for families in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. (photo: IOCC Baltimore)April 30, 2010

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) will once again be calling on Orthodox volunteers from throughout the United States to build homes for families whose lives were devastated by Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The program will give teams the opportunity to serve one-week stints in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, an area that suffered the loss of more than 48,000 housing units in Hurricane Katrina according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Opportunities to serve begin on May 2 and end on August 1.

"I came down with my 17-year-old son," said IOCC volunteer Jim Kostaras, an architect from Boston who served on a team in Louisiana during the summer of 2009. "It was a great opportunity for us to come to New Orleans and to meet great people from Orthodox communities from across the U.S. and to put our faith to work in a meaningful way," he continued.

Volunteers don't have to be skilled – just energetic. Activities include siding, roofing, framing, landscaping and support. Over 550 Orthodox volunteers have helped build 200 homes with IOCC since the program's inception in 2006. "We are at the vanguard of a national effort to engage Orthodox volunteers in a variety of opportunities right here in the U.S.," says Pascalis Papouras, IOCC's US Program Coordinator.

2010 Western Rite Vicariate Conference + August 2-4, Washington, D.C.

The biennial conference of the Western Rite Vicariate will be held Monday, August 2 through Wednesday, August 4 in Washington D.C.

Evangelism will be the focus of this year’s conference. Presentations will be offered on making the Orthodox Faith known to the unchurched, the reception of new parishes (“provisional missions”) and on-going instruction within the parish.

Mass will be celebrated daily, together with Vespers and Lauds (or Morning Prayer). A complete schedule of the conference will be available by May 15.

The Right Reverend THOMAS (Joseph), Bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, serving in the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, will attend the conference representing The Most Reverend Metropolitan PHILIP (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America.

Clergy and laity from Western Rite parishes, and those interested in the Western Rite, are cordially invited. Please register using the registration form which is attached.

The Western Rite Vicariate Conference is hosted by St. Gregory the Great in Washington DC and co-hosted by St. John the Baptist in Lewistown MD, Holy Trinity in Lynchburg VA and St. Patrick in Warrenton VA.

Should further information be desired, please contact:

Fr. John W. Fenton
Assistant to the Vicar General of the Western Rite
313.282.6153
frfenton@holyincarnation.org

Blessed Name's Day to Bishop MARK!

Many years to His Grace Bishop MARK!

We extend our prayers and love to His Grace, Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest on the occasion of his Name's Day on April 25 (Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark). May God grant him many years!

Let Mark, that most excellent of men, be extolled by us with songs and with divine hymns as Egypt’s fair and brightly shining light, as the all-wise preacher of the Father’s Son and Word, and also the divine author of the Holy Gospel of the Lord; for he intercedeth with Christ God that He grant peace and Great Mercy to our souls.

--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 1

Orthodox Summer Institute in Cambridge, England

The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge, England, has announced their Summer School theme and schedule for July 18-23. Titled "Passion: Human and Divine," the sessions will feature such speakers as Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, who will speak on "Divine Passion: Does God Suffer?" and "Human Passion: Enemy or Friend?"

Participants of the eleventh annual school held at Sidney Sussex College, will also be able to travel to the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex for the Divine Liturgy and a monastery tour. Attendees can either chose a full package of room and board, opt for shared accommodations or make their own arrangements. For enrollment forms and information, click here.

Since October 2009 the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies has offered its Cambridge-based courses on-line, using the internet to make available some of the most distinguished teachers of Orthodox studies to students anywhere in the world.

Volunteer Opportunity at the Orthodox Christian Mission Center

From the OCMC web site:

4/20/2010

The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), located in St. Augustine, FL, is seeking 8 volunteers to join their Thank You Calling Team. Individuals on this team will make calls each month to OCMC donors thanking them for their gifts on behalf of OCMC. Solicitation is not a part of this program. Training and orientation will be provided, and calls can be made from the OCMC offices or from home if the volunteer has unlimited calling. The time commitment is 3-4 hours per month and volunteers don't have to reside in north Florida. Calling lists will be provided via email. To find out more information, or to volunteer to become a part of this team, contact Kenneth Kidd, OCMC Annual Gifts Officer, at 904-829-5132, Ext. 161 or at kenny@ocmc.org.

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Antony Beauchamp

Fr. Nabil Hanna writes:

Beloved in Christ,

I regret announcing that Fr. Antony Beauchamp departed this life Saturday. Arrangements are as follows:

Fr. Antony served as pastor at St. George Church in Indianapolis, IN in 1982, and he served a number of parishes prior. He has been living in retirement as a member of this parish ever since. A vigil for Fr. Antony will begin with Psalm readings at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, at St. George Church, and a prayer service beginning at 7 p.m.   Divine Liturgy will be served at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 21, and will proceed directly into the funeral service (at about 11 a.m.). Interment will follow at Oaklawn Cemetery, and the mercy meal will be a pitch-in at the church thereafter.

We express our sincere sympathies to Khouriya Patty Beauchamp, to sons Michael and Christopher and to all their families.  The family requests that memorial donations be given in place of flowers to St. George Orthodox Church of Indianapolis, the Apple Patch Foundation of Kentucky or the Shriners Children’s Hospital.

May his memory be eternal!

Antiochian Deacons Participate in Historic Alaska Mission Trip

Dn. Lucas Rice (left) and Dn. Ignatius WarrenDn. Lucas Rice (left) and Dn. Ignatius WarrenIn a cooperative effort between St. Vladimir's Seminary (SVS) in Yonkers, NY and St. Herman Seminary (SHS) in Kodiak, AK, two Antiochian seminarians joined Chancellor Fr. Chad Hatfield in March 2010 for a groundbreaking missions trip to Alaska. The two seminarians, Dn. Lucas Rice and Dn. Ignatius Warren, traveled up to St. Herman to present weeklong, intensive courses in missiology, homiletics, and pastoral counseling.

Both Fr. Chad, former dean at St. Herman, and Archpriest John Dunlop, its current dean and an SVS alumnus (MDiv '94), have been instrumental in nourishing the relationship between the two seminaries, both of which are under the auspices of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

Fr. John issued the winter invitation to St. Vladimir's, stating, "This visit re-establishes a historical connection and builds bonds of friendship and our commitment to common work in educating pastors."

The two Antiochian student deacons who accompanied Fr. Chad to Kodiak this year enthusiastically testified to the significance of the Alaskan venue for missionary endeavors. Additionally, they witnessed both the wonder and the joy of teaching at the northern seminary.

"This was the trip of a lifetime," said Dn Lucas. "Kodiak was a sensory experience: the mountains, the orcas, the wind. Perhaps even more memorable was the faith of the people of Kodiak and the students at St. Herman. It was profound blessing to serve in front of St. Herman's relics at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, and rivaled only by the fellowship and hospitality of those who are doing holy work in the birthplace of American Orthodoxy."

Memory Eternal! + George Ansara

George Ansara fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at the age of 82. Mr. Ansara will lie-in-state at the Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of St. Mary, located at 18100 Merriman, Livonia, Michigan on Friday, April 16th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Trisagion prayer service begins at 8 p.m. On Saturday, April 17th, Mr. Ansara will lie-in state at the Basilica from 10:00-11:00 a.m. The Funeral Liturgy begins at 11:00 a.m. followed by a private burial.

George Ansara migrated from Aita El-Fokhar, Lebanon. He was married to the late Geraldine Ansara. With his brother Andrew, they became the largest franchise owners of the Big Boy Restaurants. An entrepreneur who also brought the Red Robin Restaurants to our state, he employed thousands of people. He started the mission of St. Mary in Livonia in 1972 with a handful of parishioners and lived to see the Basilica built to reflect what he admired most – his family, his faith and his work. George's greatest passion was that in order for family and community to survive, they must have a place to worship. George was a great dad to Lewis Ansara and Denise (Shaheen) Boumaroun, and the late Debra Ansara. He was blessed with his brother Andrew Ansara, his sisters Marie Ansara, Violette Matta and Nazik Kehdy, He was the loving grandfather of Joe, Mac, Lauren, Deanna, George, Lewis and Daniel. He is survived by many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to the Basilica of St. Mary Building Fund. Please leave the family condolences and cherished memories at harryjwillfuneralhome.com. May his memory be eternal!

Annual Meeting of the Archdiocese Department of Finance on April 13, 2010

Members of the Department of FinanceMembers of the Department of FinanceThe Archdiocese Department of Finance held its annual budget meeting on Tuesday April 13th, 2010 at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, NJ.

The main order of business was the development of the Archdiocese budget for the Fiscal Year 2012 (Feb. 1 2011 through Jan. 31 2012).

This budget was successfully developed by the members of the Department, and it will be submitted to the Archdiocese Board of Trustees for approval at their May meeting in New York City. The final step will be to submit the budget for approval to the assemblies of the Diocesan Parish Life Conferences as they meet this year.

Pictured: Mr. Paul Finley, Director of the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center, Very Rev. Anthony Yazge, Director of the Department of Camping, Mr. Robert Laham, Treasurer, His Grace Bishop ANTOUN, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, Dr. George Farha, Vice Chairman of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Mr. Peter Dacales, Assistant Comptroller, and Mr. George Nassor, Assistant Treasurer. (NOTE: Dr. Farha and Mr. Nassor were unable to attend the meeting due to personal matters. Mr. Dan Abraham, North American Chairman of The Order of St. Ignatius, also attended the meeting but is not shown in the photo.)

Memory Eternal! + Orthodox Church Grieves Death of Archbishop Miron of Poland

On April 10, Saturday, Archbishop Miron, Bishop of Hajnówka, Poland, was killed in the crash of the presidential aircraft Tu-154, reports the official website of Orthodox Autocephalous Church in Poland. Archbishop Miron was a member of a presidential delegation headed to Smolensk, Russia. All eighty-eight passengers, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, many other senior Polish officials and eight crew members all perished in the crash as the plane burst into flames while landing in dense fog.

Stefan Dmitruk reports:

"Miroslaw Chodakowski was born on October 21, 1957 in Bialystok. He graduated from primary school in Bialystok, then from the Orthodox Seminary in Warsaw and the Higher Orthodox Seminary in Jableczna.

On December 17, 1978 he was tonsured a rassophore monk, and nine days later was ordained a deacon. On February 15, 1979 he was ordained to the rank of hieromonk. In November of 1979, the Metropolitan of Warsaw, Metropolitan Basil, tonsured him in the small schema as a hieromonk, giving him the name Miron.

Hieromonk Miron served as governor of the monastery church, St. Humphrey the Great, in Jableczna. He was also Rector of the Orthodox Theological Seminary. In 1984 he was elevated to the dignity Ihumen, adopted as part of the clergy Bialystok-Gdansk diocese, and appointed pastor of the parish church of Annunciation of Our Lady in Supraśl. In 1990, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite and was appointed governor of the monastery in Supraśl.

On May 11, 1998, in accordance with the decision of the Council of Bishops of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church in Poland, Bishop Miron was appointed to the Hajnówka diocese, and on August 15, 1998, the Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski appointed bishop Miron Brigadier General and Orthodox Ordinary of Polish Army.

Antiochian Village Seeking a Camp Program Director

Antiochian Village is seeking a full time Camp Program Director, who will report to the Village Director. He or she will be responsible for a year round program which includes the development and oversight of the summer camp program staff (i.e. morning program, evening program, arts and crafts, etc).

The essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following (in no particular order) listed below. Other duties may be assigned as well:

o Planning, execution and development of VillEdge Adventures (Road Trip and Extreme VillEdge) and Sacred Arts (Iconography and Byzantine Chanting) programs.

o Training, mentoring and supervision of summer program staff

o Database entry, basic bookkeeping, general correspondence

o Facilitate program registration

o Development and Marketing of new Village-sponsored programs: Specialized Family Camps (Daddy/Daughter, Single Parent, Home School Families, etc.), Adventure Weekends (Whitewater rafting, caving, backpacking, skiing), Youth Leadership Retreats, Altar Boy Retreat, etc.

o Customized programs for Parishes, Youth Groups, Clergy Brotherhoods, Seminarians, etc.

o Marketing of the Antiochian Village Camp for rental to youth groups, sports groups and family programs.

o Forming alliances with school districts and youth programs for grant-funded Adventure programs and Environmental Education.

o Marketing and programming of Challenge Course

o Attending regional and/or national conferences (2-3 times/year)

o Promotional visitations to parishes (4-10 times/year)

For more information, or to send a résumé, please contact:

V. Rev. Anthony G. Yazge 

Antiochian Village Camp

201 St. Ignatius Trail

Bolivar, PA 15923

franthony@antiochianvillage.org

Beginning Byzantine Chant Workshop Hosted by Antiochian Village

"Have you ever met a stichera you didn’t like?" reads the brochure. "Do you know your eison from your apichema?" In conjunction with the St. Romanos Chanting Course, Antiochian Village is sponsoring a beginner's chant class from April 21-24. Taught by noted liturgical expert V. Fr. David Barr, Pastor of St. Elias Antiochian Church in Austin, Texas, the class promises to give new learners a foundation that will enable them to chant hymns in tones by the second day of the course. No prior knowledge of chant or of reading a musical score is required since the course emphasizes singing from text. Registration begins on Wednesday afternoon and classes wrap up by midday Saturday. Click here for registration information.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Publishes Iconography Article with Mother Alexandra

The icon illustrates an ancient understanding of Jesus' resurrection as the gift he offers to all humanity on a renewed Earth. While all Orthodox churches are filled with icons, the Resurrection icon in the camp chapel at Antiochian Village retreat and conference center is one of the largest in Pennsylvania and possibly the United States.

"An icon is theology in color," said Mother Alexandra, founder of the Convent of St. Thekla, which also is on the grounds of Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Westmoreland County. The center, which also houses a museum and bookstore, is a ministry of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

On Pascha Sunday the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published Orthodox Icons Are Seen As "Theology in Color", with extensive comments from Antiochian monastic Mother Alexandra. Click here to enjoy the article in full.

International Holy Week Photo Galleries from OBL News

Palestinian Orthodox Christian children hold palm fronds on Orthodox Palm Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday March 28, 2010.Palestinian Orthodox Christian children hold palm fronds on Orthodox Palm Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday March 28, 2010.Recommended by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt on his Orthodixie blog, the OBL News website has assembled several galleries of powerful images of Holy Week from around the Orthodox world.

Click here for Palm Sunday photos.

Click here for Holy Thursday photos.

Click here for Holy Friday photos.

Click here for photos of the Holy Fire Pascha services of Jersusalem.

Click here for photos of Pascha celebrations around the world.

Metropolitan PHILIP Writes His Holiness KIRILL, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, with Prayers in Wake of Moscow Terrorism

March 30, 2010
His Holiness, KIRILL
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

Your Holiness:

Greetings to you during these all holy days as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God give you strength!

We were horrified to learn of the barbaric attack yesterday on the beloved citizens of Moscow by a group of terrorists. This was especially disturbing as it took place during the Great and Holy Week of the Church. On behalf of all the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, please accept our sincere and deep sympathies to Your Holiness, the Russian government and the Russian people. May the innocent blood which was shed on Calvary wash away our sins and the sins of the entire world.

Very Rev. Alexander Atty to Serve as Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary

The Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Atty has received the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP to accept, and has accepted, an appointment as Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, PA. The appointment will be effective on July 1, 2010. Fr. Atty is currently a member of the seminary's Board of Trustees. He is a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese who has served as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church of Louisville, KY, since 1980.

Fr. Alexander was born August 7, 1951 in Johnstown, PA, and holds a BS in engineering. After earning his MDiv at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, he earned his DMin from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Ordained a priest on December 9,1979 at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn NY, he was elevated to the rank of archpriest in 1988. Fr. Atty is married to Khourieh Olga, whose father is the retired OCA priest, Fr. John Nehrebecki.
 
We pray that our Lord will bless this appointment, and that St. Tikhon's Seminary will continue to make great forward strides under the leadership of Fr. Alexander.

Click here for the announcement from the Orthodox Church in America.

OCN Posts Colorful OCMC Mission Team Kenya Blog

Fr. Martin Ritsi, Executive Director of OCMC, recently led a mission team to Kenya, and readers can follow their adventures and see the colorful photos of the trip, at www.myocn.net.

A typical blog entry reads:

Day 3

IOCC Joins in Launch of ACT Alliance

Homeless families in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince who survived Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake enjoy safe water provided through a water system installed by Norwegian Church Aid with the support of IOCC.Homeless families in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince who survived Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake enjoy safe water provided through a water system installed by Norwegian Church Aid with the support of IOCC.March 24, 2010

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has joined the ACT Alliance, one of the world's largest humanitarian bodies, which officially launches March 24.

With more than 100 members globally, the ACT Alliance works in 125 countries with a combined operating budget of approximately $1.5 billion. The new alliance of churches and church-based humanitarian groups combines and builds on the former ACT International and its longtime disaster relief and rehabilitation focus, and the former ACT Development and its sustainable development focus. In addition, the ACT Alliance will also be involved in advocacy work.

Land and Covenant in the Bible Seminar, April 9-10, 2010 + Chicago, IL

Two-Day Scriptural Seminar with V. Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi
Professor of Scripture at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Friday, April 9 at 7:30PM
Anderson Chapel Auditorium
North Park University
3225 W. Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
Saturday, April 10 from 10:00AM — 1:00PM
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1220 South 60th Court
Cicero, IL 60804
Refreshments will be served

Fr. Paul will also celebrate the Divine Liturgy at St. George’s on Sunday, April 11, at 10:30 AM. For more information, please contact St. George Church at 708-656-2927.

Anthony Baba Ordained to Priesthood

Bishop BASIL writes:

HE IS WORTHY! Fr. Anthony Baba of St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas and DOWAMA Youth Director was ordained to the holy priesthood at his home parish of St. George in Houston, Texas on the Fifth Sunday of the Fast, March 21st, 2010. He will be assigned to the pastorate at St. Anthony Church in Spring, TX effective Monday, April 12th. He will begin his "Week of Liturgies" at St. George in Houston and will conclude it at St. George Cathedral in Wichita.

Jail and Prison Ministry 101 Training + Indianapolis, IN

April 10, 2010

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Presents

Jail & Prison Ministry 101 Training
Training for any Orthodox Christians who are Interested in Jail and Prison Ministry

When:    Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time:     9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Where:   St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
              4020 N. Sherman Dr.
              Indianapolis, IN 46226-4464

Special Guests include:

His Grace, the Right Reverend Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Mid-West, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Stephen Hall, D.MIN, Director of Religious Services, Indiana Department of Corrections.

More information will be forthcoming. Please check the OCPM web site for future updates.

Diocese of Wichita to Organize Consortium of Professional Counselors

His Grace Bishop BASIL has appointed Fr. John Mefrige of St. Ephraim the Syrian Church in San Antonio, Texas to begin the process of organizing a "DOWAMA Consortium of Professional Counselors" to be a resource for clergy in the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. Professional counselors in the Diocese are encouraged to download and submit a registration (PDF). For more information, please contact Fr. John Mefrige at FrJohnMefrige@aol.com.

Blackout at Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood (Update: Power Restored)

Due to the severe storm that hit the Northeast on Saturday, March 13, there has been no power or telephone service at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey since Saturday. At this point, there is no reliable estimate as to the restoral time. We apologize to all those who have been unable to contact the office since Saturday.

Update Thursday, March 18: Electricity and phone service have been restored, and communications can return to normal. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage.

An Unusual Visitor to Antiochian Village

On March 3, 2010, an unexpected and out of the ordinary visitor arrived at the edge of the Antiochian Village property. A small black bear was sighted in a tree. A Game Comissioner was called in. He sedated the bear and gave it a mask to protect its eyes and mouth while being moved.

The Game Comissioner confirmed that this is out of the ordinary. After examination, it is clear that this young bear is ill and thin. He came out of hibernation early, and finding no food, he tried to locate some in the neighbor's garbage.

The Game Commission assured Mother Alexandra that sleeping beauty will be medicated, fed, and released somewhere good for bears.