News


St. Vladimir's 2014 Orthodox Education Day is October 4

[SVOTS Communications/Yonkers, NY] St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, has chosen as its theme for Orthodox Education Day 2014, "Do Books Still Matter? A Celebration of Orthodox Christian Publications." This year’s traditional open house will be held Saturday, October 4, and will pay tribute to the importance of Orthodox Christian authors, illustrators, and publishing houses throughout the world.

The dean of the seminary, The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, author of academic, popular, and spiritual works, will be the keynote speaker. The seminary’s own publishing house, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press (SVS Press), will receive special recognition on reaching its 50th Anniversary and will invite many other Orthodox Christian publishers onto campus to help it mark the occasion.

Ancient Faith Publishing Wins Book Award

Ancient Faith Publishing, the publishing arm of the Antiochian Archdiocese department Ancient Faith Ministries, announced on June 25, 2014 that their 2013 release A Patristic Treasury has won the prestigious Word Guild award for the "Inspirational/Devotional" category. Authored by patristic scholar James Payton, the book discusses patristic passages that are "devotionally stimulating, doctrinally thought-provoking, or epigrammatically striking...."  Payton is professor of History at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, where he teaches Eastern European History, Orthodoxy, and Patristics.

The Word Guild is a professional association consisting of some 325 Canadian Christian writers, editors, speakers, publishers, booksellers, librarians and other interested individuals. The Guild's focus is on "strengthening the Canadian Christian writing and publishing community; encouraging excellence in writing; and impacting the Canadian culture through the words of writers, editors and speakers with a Christian worldview."

Order A Patristic Treasury

Spotlight: Educational Opportunities at Balamand Seminary

His Grace Bishop Thomas, Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, encourages the faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America to explore the possibilities of the educational opportunities that exist at the Balamand Seminary and the University of Balamand. "This is a multi-purpose institution," notes His Grace. "Here are some links that you and your high school and college students might want to take a look at. I was very impressed when I visited the University. In addition to Theology, there are a number of areas that can be studied the Balamand. The links that are provided here will familiarize you with everything the University has to offer.

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Robert James Bethony

Fr. Robert James Bethony, retired and attached to St. George Church in El Paso, Texas, fell asleep in Christ on June 17th, 2014 at the age of 73. He is survived by his wife Khouriya Elizabeth and their married daughter Alexis. The Funeral Service will be served at St. George in El Paso on Friday, June 20 at 10:00AM.

Time for Camp! Follow Antiochian Village's Updates

Beginning Sunday, June 15, 2014, Antiochian Village Summer Camp in Bolivar, Pennsylvania begins its summer-long camping program for kids age 9-18. Since 1978, the mission of the Camp has been to promote the faith of the Orthodox Church through ministry to the youth. The Village has been a "holy mountain" wherein campers form lifelong friendships and grow stronger as Christians. 

Is your child going to Antiochian Village this summer? Are you an alumnus longing to vicariously enter into this year's camping season? Visit the Village's Facebook page for introductions to counselors, highlights of each session, and other features, or view all the new photos as they are uploaded to the Village's photo site. A complete list of camps within the Antiochian Archdiocese is available on the Department of Camping page.

 

July 18-20, 2014: Summer Meetings at Antiochian Village

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina, the patriarchal vicar of New York and all North America, the 2014 Archdiocese Summer Meetings will be hosted at the Antiochian Village, July 18-20, 2014. The Archdiocese and diocese officers of the Antiochian Women, Fellowship of St. John Divine, and Teen SOYO, will gather for their annual summer meetings to conduct the business of the Archdiocese organizations.

In addition, the Archdiocese Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals will be held during the weekend with participants from each diocese. Please contact your NAC/NAB President if you have any questions.

Information for the Summer Meetings is as follows:

Photos from the Special Convention

A selection of photos from the June 5 Special Convention in Chicago is available, selected by His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan. Additional photos will be added as they are received.

Three Candidates for the Office of Metropolitan Chosen

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.

D.C. Area Clergy Offer Vespers in Support of Suffering Middle East Christians

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.

Summer 2014 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

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.

Update: Special Nominating Convention Hotel and Registration Information

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!

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Met. Silouan, Bp. Nicholas, and St. Vladimir's seminariansMet. Silouan, Bp. Nicholas, and St. Vladimir's seminariansCongratulations and many years to all the Antiochian Archdiocese graduates in the Class of 2014! 

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

AFR Interview: Priest Ministers in the Midst of Isla Vista, CA Tragedy

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."

Listen to the interview on AFR

Jerusalem Meeting of Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis

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. 

 

"This Week in Orthodoxy" Features News from the Middle East

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.

Read the Statement of the Archdiocese in Response to the Circulating "Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action" here.

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.

Sign up Today: OCMC Mission Teams Still Have Openings

View all Mission Team openings

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.

Spotlight: Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY)

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.

 

Metropolitan Kallistos to Offer Keynote at Holy Cross Conference

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox of Theology, the Metropolis of Boston, and Saint Catherine's Vision present "Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives"

June 20-21, 2014

Keynote Address
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.

IOCC at Home: Book Distribution and Tornado Relief

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.

2014 PLC Theme is Love the Lord - Love Your Neighbor

It's time to register for your diocese's regional Parish Life Conference (PLC)!

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.  

Visit the Conventions and Conference Planning page for full information.

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.

 

 

AFR and Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Coordinate Project for Prisoners

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.

Metropolitan Silouan Visits St. Mary's Church in Hunt Valley, MD

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.

Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women

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.

Blessed Name's Day to Metropolitan Joseph!

joseph We extend our prayers and love to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph on the occasion of his Name's Day on May 4, 2014 (St. Joseph of Arimathea, Second Sunday after Pascha). May God grant him many years!

Learn more about Joseph of Arimathea (Come and See Icons)

Read about Metropolitan Joseph

Metropolitan Silouan Visits St. George Cathedral for Patronal Feast

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.