Featured Articles


Oratorical Festival Winners

At the 2009 Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, attendees were treated to the excellent speeches prepared by the diocesan oratorical festival winners. An expert panel of judges deliberated before choosing the grand prize winner for the Senior Division, Joel Schaefer.

Click here to read or hear Joel Schaefer's winning speech.

Click here for an interview with Joel Schaefer. For more audio from the 2009 Oratorical Festival, please visit Ancient Faith Radio.

The Oratorical Festival is a program sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. It was designed to serve as an avenue for our youth to learn, enhance and share the knowledge of their faith based on a given topic by giving an oration. For some youth, it is a door into the life of the Church, and for others, it is an expression of their continuing experience of Christ and His Church.

FOCUS North America Extends Domestic Aid with Hundreds of Orthodox Youth Outreach Volunteers

August 6, 2009– Kansas City, MO

FOCUS North America is excited to announce the extension of its domestic outreach to the poor by receiving the highly acclaimed “Orthodox Youth Outreach” (OYO) program from the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry and Teen SOYO. Added to FOCUS North America’s diverse ongoing operations and partner ministries, the addition of the OYO program strengthens its domestic ministry to the homeless and hopeless by involving youth in urban service learning opportunities and social action leadership training.

“FOCUS North America, its Board of Directors and Staff are honored to receive OYO as part of its ongoing operations, extending and maximizing our programs to minister to the poor and raise up the next generation of Orthodox Christian servant-leaders in North America,” said Fr. Justin Mathews, Executive Director and CEO of FOCUS North America.

Correspondence from His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP

August 5, 2009

Mr. Charles Ajalat
LaCanada, CA

Dear Charles,

Greetings and blessings to you, Marilee, the children and grandchildren in the spirit of this Holy Dormition Fast.

I am in receipt of your correspondence dated August 2 and August 3, 2009, and it pains me very much to accept your resignation as Chancellor of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. I want to thank you for your kind words and the love which you have expressed to me in your letters.

Equipping Children's Dreams in Lebanon's Public Schools

by Maral Joulouyan/IOCC Lebanon

IOCC Science Labs: Lebanese public school students are getting a better education in science thanks to IOCC science labs. The labs, completely outfitted with science equipment, are part of IOCC’s US government-funded program to improve public schools throughout Lebanon. IOCC Science Labs: Lebanese public school students are getting a better education in science thanks to IOCC science labs. The labs, completely outfitted with science equipment, are part of IOCC’s US government-funded program to improve public schools throughout Lebanon. Brummana, Lebanon — Located twelve miles east of Beirut, this sleepy mountain town swells in population from 15,000 to 60,000 when tourists from Gulf Arab nations visit during the summer months. Tourism has picked up again in Lebanon since the 2006 war, but families are still struggling to recover.

Wala, 13, used to attend a private school in Brummana, but her father’s restaurant wages were cut and she and her two sisters had to attend the town’s public school. “When we’re short for cash, I try not to be too demanding so that I can help my Dad get the basics for our family,” said Wala. Most poor and lower middle class families in Lebanon are forced to send their children to the nation’s public schools, which are woefully underfunded by the central government and lack basic supplies and proper facilities.

Memory Eternal! + Metropolitan ILYAS Kurban

Metropolitan ILYAS (Kurban) Archbishop of Tripoli and al-Koura (i.e. "the countryside"), former proistamenos at St. George Church in Boston and the senior-most member of the Holy Synod of Antioch (having served as a Metropolitan from 1962 until the present), fell asleep in Christ on Thursday, July 30th, 2009. Sayyidna ILYAS was affectionately known as "The Nightingale of Antioch" because of the beauty and compunctionate character of his chanting (click here for video). May his memory be eternal!

Update: His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP has written and sends this loving obituary of the man about whom he writes "the echo of his voice will remain in the ears of the present Orthodox generation, and in many generations to come. His memory indeed is eternal!" More photos of Metropolitan ILYAS may be found here.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his righteous ones” Psalm 115:5

Metropolitan ILYAS (Kurban) was born in Ain-Sindyaneh in the late 1920’s. He lost his father when he was a child. He and his brothers and sisters were raised by his late mother of blessed memory. He began his life in the Church at a very early age at Saint Elias Monastery of Showaia and subsequently he enrolled at the Balamand Seminary near Tripoli, Lebanon. He was gifted with an angelic voice and excelled in Byzantine Music. After he left Balamand Seminary, he enrolled at the Asiya Orthodox School in Damascus where he received his Baccalaureate Degree. From Damascus he came to Beirut to live at the Orthodox Bishopric under the Omophorion of the late Metropolitan ELIA (Saleeby).

OCN Announces New Podcast: "Mission Possible: Orthodox Parenting Today"

Ft. Lauderdale, Fl – The Orthodox Christian Network is excited to announce its newest addition to its already dynamic and ever evolving list of Podcast Channels – a series dedicated to Orthodox Parenting.   Rev. Dr. Christopher T. Metropulos, the Executive Director of the SCOBA Agency said, “We are truly excited to offer this new channel dedicated to assist parents raising children in the Orthodox Christian way.  OCN welcomes with pride Ginny Nieuwsma, a dedicated mother of six along with the professionals who will be asked to appear on the program”.

The podcast is titled “Mission Possible: Orthodox Parenting Today” and will be available on OCN’s newly enhanced and upgraded web site www.myocn.net.  

Memory Eternal! + Fr. James Kenna

Archpriest James Kenna, 74, of St. Sophia in Dripping Springs, TX, was fatally injured in an automobile accident on Sunday, July 26th 2009. Services for Fr. James will be held at St. Sophia on Tuesday July 28 and Wednesday July 29th; see below for further details, or visit St. Sophia's web site.

Condolences may be sent to Khouriya Anne and the Kenna family c/o the Dean of Central Texas, Fr. David Barr of St. Elias Church in Austin, TX, at stelias_austin@sbcglobal.net.

From the Austin American Statesman:

 

The Rev. James Kenna was an energetic Dripping Springs pastor who founded several Orthodox Christian parishes in Central Texas and, even in retirement, was looking to establish more.

"He never wanted to quit," said the Rev. David Barr, the pastor of St. Elias Orthodox Church in Austin. Kenna, 74, died Sunday afternoon in a car wreck on his way home from lunch with a parishioner after attending church in Dripping Springs. Austin police officials said Kenna's PT Cruiser left Texas 45 for an unknown reason, crashed into a fence and flipped over into a retention pond.

2009 Archdiocese Convention Concludes

The 2009 Antiochian Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, California concluded over the weekend of July 25-26. After Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, the day was taken up with events such as the Oratorical Festival and other youth activities. Attendees enjoyed a banquet and dance on Saturday evening, followed by a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.

Click here to view more photos of the final days of the convention. The entire Oratorical Festival and the closing banquet program may be heard on Ancient Faith Radio.

Metropolitan PHILIP Addresses Antiochian General Assembly

Click here to listen to Ancient Faith Radio's broadcast His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP's address to the general assembly at the 2009 Archdiocese Convention on Friday, July 24.

The address ran for well over 45 minutes, and covered a wide range of topics, including Metropolitan PHILIP's response to what he termed criticisms of his leadership, particularly those involving finances.

2009 Archdiocese Convention in Progress

Remember to check our 2009 Archdiocese Convention page for continuing updates and photographs from the Convention in Palm Desert, California! Ancient Faith Radio is also providing online audio recordings of Convention events and divine services: click here to listen.

New Direction for Conciliar Media

John and Tonya MaddexJohn and Tonya MaddexThe 2009 Antiochian Convention in Palm Desert coincided with the announcement by Conciliar Media Ministries that the ministry is discontinuing AGAIN and The Handmaiden magazines in their current printed forms, as well as moving the base of operations for Conciliar to the Chicago area.

Said CEO John Maddex, “We are embracing new technology that will reduce our costs by utilizing digital and audio formats where possible. While such decisions are difficult, these adjustments represent a necessary pruning and will result in a new lean model of operations with a continued strong evangelistic emphasis.”

2009 Archdiocese Convention Audio on Ancient Faith Radio

Ancient Faith Radio is on the job at the 2009 Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, California. Visit AFR's site to listen to key speeches, events, divine services and other gatherings. Highlights so far include a pre-convention interview with Co-Chairman Don Meena about the work that went into planning and preparing this year's conference; an interview with Fr. Consantine Nasr of St. Elijah in Oklahoma City; plus recordings of Vespers and Divine Liturgy.

Click here to listen!

2009 Archdiocese Convention Begins

The 2009 Archdiocese Convention began on the morning of Sunday, July 19 in Palm Desert, California. Events commenced with the celebration of orthros and Divine Liturgy, as well as a Teen SOYO leadership workshop. Divine Liturgy commemorating the Prophet Elias was celebrated on Monday morning, and Monday's schedule also contained a variety of youth activities.

The Convention will continue through Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 26. Please check our 2009 Convention page here on Antiochian.org for continuing updates and images. For any registration and logistical information, please click here.

Click here for more photographs from the convention.

Antiochian Women Releases CD Collection of Orthodox Saints

“HOLY WOMEN OF THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH” contains:

Over 500 women saints, with icons & troparia & kontakia for each

Major feast days devoted to Our Most Holy Theotokos & Ever-Virgin Mary

Miracle-working icons to the Theotokos

Compiled & Edited by Dianne O’Regan, 2007-2009 NAB Religious Coordinator

Download order form: PDF format - Microsoft Word format

For two thousand years, the Orthodox Christian Church has been blessed with a plethora of materials on women who have been called by God to a life of holiness. Now, for the first time, the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America has compiled this information into one, easily accessible resource – Holy Women of the Orthodox Christian Church. Each copy is priced at $5.00 to cover reproduction and postage costs.

Antiochian.org Launches Youth and Family Section

The Antiochian Archdiocese is home to a range of ministries laboring for the sake of our youth and our families. Although all of these programs together encompass a broad range of activity and age groups, all share the same goal: to encourage full participation in the life of the Church through worship, witness, service, and fellowship. All of these ministries are looking for ways to build up our youth and help Orthodox parents navigate the challenging parenting climate of today.

Click here to visit the new Youth and Family web page.

Discovering Original Christianity in Oklahoma City

Fr. Jeremy Davis, Deacon Ezra Ham, Fr. James Bernstein, Matthew Gallatin, John Maddex and Fr. Constantine NasrFr. Jeremy Davis, Deacon Ezra Ham, Fr. James Bernstein, Matthew Gallatin, John Maddex and Fr. Constantine NasrConciliar Media Ministries under the direction of CEO John Maddex coordinated an evangelism project in Oklahoma City June 19 and 20 with funding provided by the Antiochian Archdiocese as well as Charles Ajalat of the Orthodox Vision Foundation. Central Oklahoma was saturated with a four-week media blitz that included newpaper, radio, television, billboards, yard signs, and internet advertising.  The advertising campaign was led by St. Elijah members Richard Yeager, John and Kathi Larson, and Mark Loftis.

Click here to visit the website for the Discover Original Christianity project.

His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP Announces the Establishment of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village

It is with great joy that His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP announces the establishment of the Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village.  The Acting Superior of the convent will be Mother Alexandra (Magan), and we welcome her with joy to the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.

Mother Alexandra will take up residency at the Antiochian Village during the first week of July, and will live in temporary housing until such time as the residence building is constructed on the proposed site for the convent, which is on the main property at the Antiochian Village. This will allow her to experience a good part of the camping season, and to interact with our children.

She also has plans to attend the Archdiocese Convention in late July, and to have a presence at the St. Thekla Pilgrimage which will be held at the Antiochian Village in September.

There will soon be a website established for the convent, where all important news and information will be posted.

Click here to read a brief biography of Mother Alexandra.

Dept. of Sacred Music and Antiochian.org Launch Improved Library of Liturgical Music

The Dept. of Sacred Music has long maintained one of the most popular sections of this website, a library of hundreds of pieces of official liturgical sheet music for use by our parishes. Now this library has been improved with a new interface for users, and many other changes to the software supporting the catalog. The new design will make it possible in the future for the department to work in collaboration with Antiochian.org to add audio tracks to accompany the sheet music, and more.

Currently, the library is highlighting the music for the upcoming Archdiocese Convention.

Click here to visit the Sacred Music Library.

Click here to visit the Department of Sacred Music, chaired by Christopher Holwey.