On Thursday, May 22nd, Metropolitan Silouan led the delegation of the Hierarchs of the Archdiocese to the meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch at his patriarchal residence in Balamand (Lebanon).
The delegation was formed of the following hierarchs: Archbishop Joseph, Bishop Basil, Bishop Thomas, Bishop Alexander, Bishop John, Bishop Anthony and Bishop Nicholas.
After the meetings that lasted for almost two and a half hours, the delegation visited new installations at the residence, mainly the new conference room where the Synod will be hosted from now on, and the Chapel of Pentecost where the Metropolitans will elect a new metropolitan. Afterwards, they visited the patriarchal Media Center.
Who shall declare Thy might, O Christ? And who shall number the multitude of Thy wonders? For as Thou wast doubly seen in Thy goodness on earth, so didst Thou doubly grant healing to the sick; for not only didst Thou heal the bodily eyes of the man born blind from the womb, but the eyes of his soul also. Wherefore, he confessed that Thou art a hidden God, granting all the Great Mercy.
--Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 8
On Tuesday, May 20th, Metropolitan Silouan led a delegation of members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese to the meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch at his residence in Balamand (Lebanon).
The delegation was formed of the following members: Vice President Fawaz El Khoury, Dan Abraham, George Madanat, Mansour Rayan, Dan Braun, Salim Abboud, Majed Nesheiwat, and Edward Assile.
His Beatitude received Metropolitan Silouan in private before meeting the entire delegation. The delegation gave to His Beatitude a letter on behalf of the Board of Trustees unanimously approved at its last meeting on Thursday, May 14th in Chicago. They also presented him with a check of $125,000 as a contribution in the name of the Archdiocese to the humanitarian relief efforts that our Patriarchate is undertaking, especially in the dramatic situation in Syria.
At the end of the interview, before sharing lunch together with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Silouan gave His Beatitude an icon of the Savior that he was given at Saint George Church in Montreal.
On Tuesday and Wednesday May 13th and 14th, His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan presided over the meetings of the Local Synod and Board of Trustees in Chicago, respectively.
In both meetings, the principal issue was the preparation for the Special Convention to be held in Chicago on June 5th. At the end of the deliberations, the Patriarchal Vicar and the Local Synod in agreement with the Board of Trustees announced the list of Eligible Candidates for the office of Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America.
They also approved the text of the call, the procedures to be followed prior to the Special Convention and at the same, regarding the eligibility of voting candidates, the process of voting, counting of votes and announcements of results.
In these meetings, Metropolitan Silouan gave a thorough reading of the legal, ecclesiastical and pastoral aspects of the issues to be treated in preparation of the Special Convention. At the close of the meeting, Metropolitan Silouan congratulated the members of the Board of Trustees for the results, their speedy way in discussing the issues, and the spirit of responsibility that they have demonstrated during the deliberations and upon taking the decisions. Indeed, they have shown a beautiful icon of cooperation and unity between all.
O almighty Savior, Who didst pour forth water for the Hebrews from a solid rock, Thou didst come to the land of Samaria, and addressed a woman, seeking of her water to drink, whom Thou didst attract to faith in Thee, and who hath now attained life in the heavens everlastingly.
--Exaposteilarion of the Feast, Tone 2
On this day, the fifth Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the feast of the Samaritan Woman. When thou camest to obtain corruptible water, O woman,
Thou didst draw forth living water that washeth away the soul’s stains.
In the midst of this Feast, O Savior, give Thou my thirsty soul to drink of the waters of true worship; for Thou didst call out to all, saying: Whosoever is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Wherefore, O Christ our God, Fountain of life, glory to Thee.
+ Apolytikion of the Feast, Tone 8
On the Wednesday of the Paralytic, we celebrate the Feast of Mid-Pentecost.
Standing in the midst of the teachers, Christ the Messiah teacheth at Mid-Feast.
Mid-Pentecost is the midpoint of the fifty days between the Feasts of Pascha and Pentecost. In the Divine Liturgy Gospel passage, we read that “in the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught” (John 7:14).
His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan writes on May 12:
Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy,
Honorable Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, and
Beloved Faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Christ is risen!
I wholeheartedly greet you in this paschal season, accompanied by the “fresh air” of the Spirit that stems from our daily reading of the Acts of the Apostles where the witness of the first apostles and their “fresh air” reaches us, the apostles to this modern time.
After celebrating Holy Week and Holy Pascha with your brothers and sisters in Argentina, I returned to North America in order to start the second period of pastoral visits across this Archdiocese. From April 22 to 29, I visited Wichita, KS, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, and from May 2 to 4, I visited Washington, DC, Baltimore and Potomac, MD. Then from May 8 to 11, I visited Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.
O Thou Who holdest the ends of the earth in the palm of Thy hand, O Jesus our God, Who art co-beginningless with the Father, and Who, together with the Holy Spirit dost rule over all things: Thou didst appear in the flesh, healing infirmities, driving away passions, and giving sight to the blind. And, by a divine word, Thou didst raise up the paralytic, commanding him to walk straightway and to take up upon his shoulders his bed, which had carried him. Wherefore, together with him we all praise Thee and cry: O Compassionate Christ, glory to Thy dominion and might.
--Oikos of the Feast
On this, the fourth Sunday of Pascha, we make commemoration of the Paralytic and, as is meet, we celebrate the miracle wrought for him.
The word of Christ was strength for the paralytic;
And thus this word alone was his healing.
His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan writes on May 7:
Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy,
And Beloved Faithful
of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Christ is risen!
I would like to inform you that the Holy Synod of Antioch, after convening on April 29th, 2014, decided that the participation of the Antiochian Archdioceses around the world in the Assembly of Bishops be restored to its status prior to the decision taken by the same in its session held in October 2013.
After receiving from the Secretariat of our Holy Synod the text of the aforementioned decision, I notified the Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, that the participation of this Archdiocese in the Assembly is effective from the moment that our Holy Synod issued its resolution.
On May 7, Hierarchical Assistant Fr. George Kevorkian released the following letter:
Venerable Hierarchs, Brother Clergy, and Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees:
Christ is Risen!
I send this message on behalf of Metropolitan Silouan and with his approval.
As you all know, the Archdiocesan Synod will meet in the evening on Tuesday May 13th, 2014, and the Board of Trustees will meet all day on Wednesday May 14th, 2014, with both meetings being held in Chicago, Illinois.
Upon completion of these meetings, Metropolitan Silouan will issue the following items in an email message, which will be sent no later than Thursday May 15th:
His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan writes:
The Heart of a High Priest
“I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn't fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers”
Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy,
Honorable Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees,
and Beloved Faithful
of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:
Christ is risen!
With a peaceful heart, I am writing these lines upon commemorating the 40th Day memorial service for the eternal repose of the soul of His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of New York and all North America.
On this occasion, I am wondering about the most precious thing that God ever granted to man: his heart. If any of us watches himself, he realizes what kind of “work” takes place there, a work of love and unity. Parents are aware of such work, because life and experience shape them in such a way that they are called to overcome themselves, be attentive, take care, be responsible, and be able to sacrifice themselves for another's sake. They learn to love and understand, to some extent, what love is about.
As per the instructions from His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina, Patriarchal Vicar for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:
Since the fortieth day of the repose of Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory coincides with Thomas Sunday (a day on which memorials may not be served), Fortieth Day Trisagion Prayers of Mercy for Metropolitan Philip are to be prayed (with kollyva) in all cathedrals, parish church temples, and monasteries of our Archdiocese on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women, May 4, 2014.
Visit the Metropolitan Philip Memorial Section for photographs, video, and written resources commemorating the life and work of our beloved Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory.
The April 2014 issue of The Word is devoted to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory:
Christ is Risen! Editorial, pg. 3
by Bishop John
Memorial Homily on His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, pg. 5
by His Beatitude Patriarch John X
Memorial Address for the Repose of Metropolitan Philip Saliba, pg. 12
by Archbishop Joseph
We Bid You Farewell: Eulogy, pg. 14
by Economos Antony Gabriel
Memory Eternal, Master, pg. 17
by Fr. Timothy Ferguson, Protosyngellos of our Archdiocese
The Life of Metropolitan Philip, pg. 22
Letters of Condolence, pg. 30
Regarding the forthcoming press conference scheduled for May 7, 2014 by Congressman Frank R. Wolf and Congresswoman Anna G Eshoo, during which a statement entitled “Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action on behalf of Christians and Other Small Religious Communities in Egypt, Iraq and Syria” is to be released, this statement constitutes the official response of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (the “Antiochian Archdiocese”), an archdiocese of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East (the “Church of Antioch”).
We appreciate all efforts to bring peace to the Middle East and urge all concerned with the situation experienced by Christians in the region to use every effort to bring peace to the region for all citizens of these nations. To those who have expressed willingness to listen to the voices of Christians of the Middle East and to respond to their concerns, we draw their attention to the Message of the Primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches, gathered in Turkey, 6-9 March 2014, in which they unanimously adopt the views of the Church of Antioch.
As this historic Great Lent 2014 concluded, and commemorations for the repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory continued, the Antiochian Archdiocese's parishes around the United States and Canada commenced the services for Holy Week and Pascha. Communities in cities and small towns alike held daily services leading up to the climactic days of Holy Saturday and Pascha on April 19-20. View our photo gallery of services and celebrations, and if your parish isn't represented yet, send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll include you!
Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!
Today the fragrance of spring is shed forth, and the new creation shall rejoice. Today the locks shall be lifted from the doors with the faithlessness of the beloved Thomas, as he shouteth out, Thou art my Lord and my God.
-Orthros of the Feast
On the second Sunday of Pascha, we inaugurate the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, and the occasion whereon the Holy Apostle Thomas touched the Savior’s side.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has issued the following statement:
1. We, the Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, representing millions of Orthodox Christians, express our grave concern over the escalation of unrest and ongoing violence in countries throughout the Middle East, especially in Egypt, Iraq and Syria.
2. Our Assembly denounces any and all attacks—whether by means of violence, kidnapping, torture or killing—on all fellow human beings, irrespective of their race, ethnic origin, and religion. Moreover, we deplore the destruction of all places of worship or their forced conversion from their original intent.
Blessed Feast Day to our many St. George parishes!
As the deliverer of captives and the protector of the poor, as the physician of the feeble and combatant of kings, holy champion and great martyr George, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.
+ Troparion of St. George, Tone 4
Thou wast cultivated by God and didst become a most wonderful cultivator of piety, and didst harvest for thyself the sheaves of virtue, for having sown in tears thou didst reap in joy and having withstood to death thou art garnered for Christ. By thy intercessions, O Saint, thou dost obtain for us all remission of our sins.
+ Kontakion of St. George, Tone 4
Pastoral Letter of His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan in Tribute to His Eminence Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God;
and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ;
if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him."
Beloved in Christ,
Hierarchs, clergy, Members of the Board of Trustees and faithful
Of this God-protected Archdiocese:
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
I am writing to you on the Holy day of the resurrection of our Lord, not only to greet each one of you and convey my personal salutation, as well as those of our clergy and parishioners in Argentina, but also in order to address you upon the one year anniversary of the abduction of our beloved brother Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo, Alexandretta and Dependencies.
How to resurrect with Christ
"If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1)
Beloved in Christ
Hierarchs, clergy and faithful,
Of this God-protected Archdiocese
Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
Christ defeated death! We are no longer subject to it; rather we are Christ's, who gave us "the right to be God's children" (John 1:12) and to be His "friends" (John 15:15)! What great news! What a great gift! What a great reality! An eternal bond is granted to whoever believes in Christ as Savior from death - divine adoption in Christ's name!
From now on, the Lord commissioned us to be victorious not only over death "from outside," but also over death "from within," that is, over our own selfishness. He also commanded us to be messengers of the Good News and heralds of His victory - and ours, too - over any kind of death. He asked us, as Christians, to abide by love rather than by hate, by hope rather than by despair, by faith rather than by logic, by justice rather than by injustice, by forgiveness rather than by resentment, by humility rather than by vanity and arrogance, and by sacrifice rather than by self-interest.