On Bright Tuesday, April 21, 2009, His Grace Vladyka MERCURIUS, the Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchal Parishes in the United States visited His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP at the Antiochian Archdiocese in Englewood, New Jersey.
The occasion was a farewell visit by Vladyka MERCURIUS before he departs for Moscow to assume his new duties as the Chairman of the Synodal Department for Religious Education and Catechism for the Moscow Patriarchate, and Abbot of St. Peter’s Monastery in Moscow.
Metropolitan PHILIP expressed his warm feelings regarding the good relations which he enjoyed with Vladyka MERCURIUS during his stay in the United States over the past 9 years. The two hierarchs exchanged many ideas on the topic of Orthodox unity in America, and the forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council which will be held in Cyprus later this year. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP expressed his wishes that His Holiness Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia would exercise a leading role in international Orthodox relations, especially given that His Holiness represents approximately 100 million Orthodox Christians. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP expressed fond memories of his previous two visits to Russia and asked Vladyka MERCURIUS to express his warmest regards to His Holiness Patriarch KIRILL.
|Photo by James Demaria|
As has been the custom every year of his episcopacy, we were blessed to have our father in Christ, His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP with us to celebrate the feast of feasts in his cathedral. St. Nicholas Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY, the mother church of the archdiocese, was filled to capacity on what was a beautiful spring evening in New York. Following the resurrection services His Eminence joined the Cathedral dean, Archpriest Thomas Zain and all the faithful in breaking the fast in the church hall and cracking eggs with many of the children (and adults) as they celebrated the feast. Please enjoy the pictures as we celebrate our Lord's resurrection from the dead.
Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen!
“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to His own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)
“O Christ Saviour, we were but yesterday buried with Thee, and we shall rise with Thee in Thy Resurrection. We were but yesterday crucified with Thee: glorify us with Thee in Thy kingdom.”
(Verse from the Third Ode of the Paschal Canon)
Beloved Hierarchs, Clergy, Trustees, Parish Council Members, and All Faithful of our God-Protected Archdiocese:
Christ is Risen!
[OCA Communications/Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Internet Ministry] -- "FeastofFeasts.org," a web site celebrating Holy Pascha, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is now live.
Co-sponsored by the Orthodox Church in America and the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the site includes current materials from the two Churches' respective web sites and print media, and new material and resources from both jurisdictions.
Visitors to the site will find articles, photo galleries, and audio files that teach about the significance of the feast of Christ's Resurrection and about how this holy day is celebrated by Orthodox Christians.
On a beautiful Palm Sunday, April 12, 2009, the parish of St. George in Little Falls, NJ was blessed to have Metropolitan PHILIP to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with us. Celebrating the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Eminence was host pastor The Very Reverend Elias Bitar and Deacon Michael Ibrahim, along with Archdeacon Hans El Hayek and Fr. Stephen DeYoung from St. Tikhon's Seminary. As always on Palm Sunday, the St. George Church was packed to capacity, with an overflow crowd of an additional 250 viewing the Liturgy from the Church Hall via a large video screen.
FOCUS North America established to support and build up domestic Orthodox social action ministries.
KANSAS CITY—April 7, 2009—In early 2009, FOCUS North America (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve) launched as a network of Orthodox Christian social action ministries that express Christ’s love in North America for those who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick or in prison (Matt. 25:35-5). In its first 60 days of operation, FOCUS North America has partnered with dozens of Orthodox agencies and parish initiatives and awarded more than $30,000 in grants.
On the evening of April 10, 2009, the Eve of Lazarus Saturday and the Feast of St. Leo of Rome, twenty-six catechumens from the newly formed St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Lewistown, Maryland were chrismated and received into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, Maryland. The chrismations were conducted by the group’s catechists, including Fathers Nicholas Alford, Patrick Cardine, and Alban Waggener, as well as by the new mission’s interim priest, Father Peter Jacobsen.
On Friday April 10th, 2009, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, hosted His Beatitude Metropolitan JONAH, Primate of The Orthodox Church in America for an important meeting at the headquarters of the Antiochian Archdiocese in Englewood, NJ.
The April 2009 issue contains the following articles:
Fr. Peter Gillquist Interviews Metropolitan PHILIP, pg. 4
Sharing the Faith: News and Resources from the Department of Christian Education, pg. 19
Address by His Holiness Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia, pg. 23
From Lent to Pascha: The Journey of the People of God, pg. 31
by Melanie Paulick
If you have reflections on Pascha that you wish to share with the world, we would like to see them. A selection of readers' Paschal thoughts and memories will be posted on www.FeastofFeasts.org, the upcoming Internet collaboration between the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Orthodox Church in America in celebration of the risen Christ.
Please send your Pascha-related submissions to editor@FeastOfFeasts.org. Entries should be relatively brief (less than 300 words), and typed in e-mail only (no PDFs or other attachments, please). We are sorry that we cannot currently accept graphic submissions. Please be aware that we may edit submissions for length and style.
Antiochian.org will be launching a new site design the first week of April. This is the last stage of a series of "under the hood" upgrades to the Archdiocese website, managed by the Department of Internet Ministry, over the past several months. We hope you find the new look refreshing and easier to use, and appreciate your patience with any difficulties with the transition. As always, we value any feedback or requests you have for us, which can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our new site banner again features the work of Archdiocese iconographer Jan Isham. Jan's beautiful icons are available through Conciliar Press.
by Lucy Hanna, NAB Dir. of Public Relations
The Antiochian Women of North America: Who are they? And what is their Focus and Purpose?
The answer to the first question is simple: Every Orthodox woman 18 years or older who is a member of a parish of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America-- regardless of ethnicity and whether or not her parish has an organized chapter—she belongs to Antiochian Woman!
The answer to the second question, while also simple, is a bit more lengthy. Women have a natural capacity to love and nurture. This is what His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP recognized when he founded the National Organization of Antiochian Women in 1973. Then, to help us in our ministries he established a focus and purpose for our organization as a roadmap to guide us in a spirit of Christian leadership, awareness and commitment, fostering love through charitable acts and creating a sense of fellowship and understanding of our heritage and traditions.
The Orthodox Church in America and the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America are teaming up to launch a web site offering articles, photo galleries, and audio files celebrating Holy Pascha, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the "Feast of Feasts."
March 6, 2009
We have heard, to our dismay, that our honored hierarchs, including Metropolitan PHILIP, are upset by a statement, which was recently circulated in the Greater Detroit Area, in support of the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch, concerning all bishops in the See of Antioch. This letter is to clarify and articulate the true meaning of that statement. We, indeed, have no intention of hurting and/or intimidating any of our hierarchs. We sincerely apologize for any hurt caused unintentionally. As obedient children of the Holy Church, we accept, with humility, this historic decision with much gratitude. We assure our love and respect to all revered hierarchs, and we pray for a smooth transition for our Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese. May the Lord, our God, guide our steps.
V. Rev. Joseph Antypas
V. Rev. George Shalhoub
V. Rev. George Baalbaki
Rev. Ayman Kfouf
Metropolitan PHILIP writes:
March 4, 2009
Beloved Hierarchs and Clergy, Members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese, Parish Councils and Faithful of this God-Protected Archdiocese:
Greetings and blessings during this Holy Lenten Season!
There have been some questions raised regarding the February 24th decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch which addressed the status of bishops across the entire See of Antioch. The purpose of this letter is to try to answer these questions so that confusion may be avoided.
The first question deals with whether or not I am supportive of the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch which was taken on February 24, 2009. I am supportive of this decision, for a simple reason. I am convinced that the institutional structure of our Archdiocese here requires it at this time.
Metropolitan PHILIP writes:
To all clergy of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:
We greet you in the spirit of this Great Lent.
Some of our clergy have inquired about hierarchical commemorations in the divine services. In order to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding, we would like to direct your attention to the following:
Metropolitan PHILIP writes:
Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese,
Beloved Clergy and Parish Councils and all Faithful of our God-Protected Archdiocese,
Greetings and blessings to all of you in the spirit of this Holy and Great Lent.
Enclosed, please find two copies of the Holy Synod decision regarding all bishops within the Holy See of Antioch. This decision was adopted by the Holy Synod of Antioch which was convened at the Patriarchate in Damascus, February 24th, 2009. The Patriarch and the Holy Synod are the highest authority in our Antiochian Church. You will find enclosed the Arabic text and the English translation which is mine. Since this was a special Synod meeting with only one item on the agenda concerning the bishops, the proposed text of this decision was sent to the members of the Holy Synod, who were not present, for their approval.
"...our church is a church of hope. Our Lord said, 'Lo, I will be with you until the end of time.' So as long as He is in the church, our Christ, the Savior is in the church, as long as the Holy Spirit is working in the church – I mean in every baptism, there is a Pentecost. In every wedding, there is a Pentecost. In every Divine Liturgy, there is a Pentecost. So the Holy Spirit is still working in the church....
Let me talk about the Antiochian Archdiocese. In 1966, we had 65 parishes. Today, we have 253 parishes. We almost quadrupled the size of the archdiocese. Why? We've been working."
In this historic interview on Ancient Faith Radio, Metropolitan PHILIP talks candidly about such things as Orthodox unity, music, our witness to the world, his most memorable accomplishments as well as his biggest disappointments. This two part interview was conducted by Fr. Peter Gillquist, Chairman of the Department of Missions and Evangelism in the Antiochian Archdiocese.
The March 2009 issue contains the following articles:
A Sketch of the Life of His Holiness Kirill, pg. 5
Building Faith by Reading, pg. 8
by Maria Khoury, Ed.D.
Expectations for Giving in Christ's Love, pg. 11
by John Truslow
Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family, pg. 14
by Dn. Stephen Holley
|IOCC will provide 6,000 families in Gaza with food, blankets, and hygiene supplies through a new $750,000 grant from ARD, Inc. through funding by the US government. (photo credit: IOCC Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza)|
(Gaza City, Gaza) – International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) will provide 6,000 families in Gaza (about 42,000 people) with food, blankets, and hygiene supplies with a new $750,000 grant from ARD Inc. through funding by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). IOCC is targeting the neediest, including those who have been displaced or are living in war-damaged homes, have experienced the death or injury of a family member, or who have a primary bread winner that is unemployed as a result of the conflict.
The deadliest conflict in Gaza in four decades has killed 1,300, wounded 5,300, and displaced more than 26,000. IOCC’s Jerusalem-based staff responded quickly to the crisis, coordinating efforts with local organizations and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem to deliver fortified biscuits and milk to 23,000 children and adults residing in shelters and affected communities throughout Gaza. IOCC also assisted beleaguered hospitals and shelters by providing thousands of quilts and hygiene kits.