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Marriage and Parish Family Ministries cares for the wellbeing of marriages and families of the Antiochian Archdiocese through Orthodox Christian teaching and resources. This department offers an ever-expanding network of Orthodox materials to assist the healthy development and maintenance of Christ-centered marriages and families. Orthodox Christian professionals and laity are available through this department to assist individuals and families facing difficulties.

Marriage and Parish Family Ministries works to see that the Antiochian Archdiocese is meeting the needs of its married parishioners and those preparing for marriage. Pre-marital counseling, marriage enrichment, establishing an Orthodox Christian home, challenged marriages, parenting skills for all ages, as well as bereavement, communication, and conflict resolution skills, are all within the scope of issues addressed by this department. 

Fr. George Shalhoub Addresses Suicide Prevention Awareness in University of Michigan Panel

In August 2017, Fr. George Shalhoub, pastor of The Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, MI participated in a panel discussion at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, on the pastoral issue of suicide prevention. After his presentation at the University, "Preventing Suicide in Middle Eastern Communities," Fr. George answered questions and said there is "the need to speak of this spiritual darkness that can affect all of us."


Q: Father George, what were you doing at the University of Michigan-Dearborn today?

A: The Middle Eastern Law Enforcement Officers Association invited me, along with religious leaders Rabbi Daniel Syme of Bethel Temple and Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni of the Islamic Center of America, for an interfaith perspective panel which addressed addiction and suicide in our communities. A panel discussion discussed the topic of suicide prevention and substance abuse in the Arab American community.

Q: How did you contribute to this discussion?

A: The Arab American community in this country suffers from drug abuse and faces cases of suicide and suicide attempts, just as many other communities do. The number one difficulty is to break the stigma or taboo associated with suicide. Most immigrants in the Arab American community do not realize that these crises do exist within one’s own church, mosque, or temple. This goes beyond ethnicity, economic status and religious background. Families, in particular, do not want to hear that they have children who are less than perfect or that their children are capable of taking drugs or contemplating suicide.

Bishop John and Nicholas Mamey to Launch Book on Marriage at Miami Convention

[SVOTS Communications / Yonkers, NY] Orthodox Christian couples are often seeking sage advice on how to strengthen their marital bond, and St. Vladimir's Seminary Press (SVS Press) has just released a book to help them do so: Building an Orthodox Marriage: A Practical Commentary on the Eastern Orthodox Marriage Rite. Written by a long-time married but now widowed bishop and a newly married layman, the book prepares couples to understand marriage as "a great mystery" akin to the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church (Eph 5.32), while coaching them in practical ways to strengthen their union.

His Grace the Right Reverend John Abdalah, bishop of the Diocese of Worcester and New England of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA), and Nicholas G. Mamey, a newly married seminary graduate, are coauthors of the volume. In their work, they first establish a grounding for marriage, using Scripture and texts from the Orthodox Christian wedding ceremony, and then go on to offer practical guidance to couples.

Who Else Will Raise the Next Generation of Orthodox Christians? A Reflection for Mother’s Day

By Fr. George H. Shalhoub

This Sunday, people throughout the United States and many places around the world will gather to honor their mothers. Many mothers will receive flowers, breakfast in bed, dinners and other acts of affection. For those who may be away from their children, they will have to be content with a phone call or a card in the mail. But, no matter how admirable this day has become for us in today’s society, honoring one’s mother should not be reduced to a one day activity, because mothers provide the foundation upon which we build our lives.

God gives every created human being a mother here on earth because He loves us. And even after our earthy mother precede us to Heaven, we still have our eternal mother (the Virgin Mary) who always keeps us in the shelter of her wings. As the late Mikhail Naimy stated, “Love is the law of God. You live that you may learn to love. You love that you may learn to live. No other lesson is required of Man.”

Dept. of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries News Archive