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November 2014 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The November 2014 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Encountering God
by His Grace Bishop John (Abdalah)

The Clergy Symposium: Pastoral Theology and Healing
by The Very Rev. Joseph J. Allen, Th.D.

Baptism and Eucharist: Sacraments of Healing
by Dr. Paul Meyendorff

Antiochian House of Studies
So Much More: Reflecting the Unceasing Worship of the Heavenly Hosts
by Daniel L. Marchant

Antiochian House of Studies
Our Goal: Knowing God
by Sub-deacon Jeremiah Vollman

Antiochian House of Studies
The Kingdom of Heaven and Purity of Heart
by Ronnie Long

Unity in Antioch
by Economos Antony Gabriel

...and more!

Updates on the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph

Planning continues for the weekend of December 5-7, and the enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY. Check our enthronement section for the latest information and resources.

Update October 31: Our block of hotel rooms at the Brooklyn Marriott is sold out for Friday and Saturday evening. You can try booking directly at You may continue to check the original link as rooms may pop up from time to time if people cancel. You can also check other hotels in the area including the Sheraton Brooklyn.

Update October 27: While seating for the Saturday banquet will be reserved, seating in the Cathedral for the general public for all services will be on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be closed-circuit television in the basement of the Cathedral for the overflow crowd. We plan to live-stream both the enthronement and the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy via and NOURSAT, that will be providing live coverage. Check back for details closer to the weekend.

"We Can Do Great Work!": Interview with SOYO President Jordan Kurzum

Jordan Kurzum is a sophomore Spanish major at the University of Pittsburgh. During the school year, he attends St. George Orthodox Cathedral with Fr. Demetrios Makoul, while staying in touch with his home parish, St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, NJ, with Fr. Dimitri Darwich. Jordan oversees all the officers of the Society of Orthodox Youth Organizations (SOYO) at the national and regional level, making sure that they have the resources and information they need. He graciously offered some time during the Archdiocese's 2014 Youth Month to talk about what motivates him to be involved in the Church through his SOYO leadership position.

With all the demands on your time, why invest in SOYO?

We are constantly busy, but what's wonderful about SOYO is that it is enjoyable—it's not like school work! I really find it fulfilling, interacting with the other officers and serving the local parishes and dioceses. It's a great contrast to school work, and a break from studying, and it encourages me to stay involved in the Church.

Antiochian Women Project 2015-2016: Hungry Children at Home and Abroad

At the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention in Boston, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph announced the Antiochian Women’s Project for this year: HUNGRY CHILDREN at Home & Abroad.  This project will leverage the hard work and determination of our Antiochian Women to address one of the most pressing global tragedies, one which is exacerbated by war and poverty, and which is felt most acutely by children.

His Eminence recognizes the fact that millions of children go hungry each day as a result of poverty, war and displacement.  The future stability of societies is directly affected when the growth of bodies and minds of children are stunted and weakened by malnutrition.

In 2013, in America alone, 1.58 million children lived in food-insecure households (; and globally 66 million primary school children attend classes hungry ( ).

This year the Antiochian Women are tasked with raising money to help feed hungry children here in North America and elsewhere in the world.

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17)

It is good to be reminded that the sincerity of our Christian Faith will be measured by The LORD at the Last Day by how we respond to those who are in need in the world around us.  In the following passage, the first measure of our godliness is evidenced by how we respond to those who are hungry:

Special Olympics Awareness Day: Sunday, October 18

The third Sunday of October, October 18, 2015 is Special Olympics Awareness Day (SOAD) across our Archdiocese. On Sunday, October 18th, your teen group, or if you have none, your designated representatives, are asked to seek the financial help of your parishioners in funding the Special Olympics Sports Camp to be held at the Antiochian Village in the summer of 2015. This ministry is run by and sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO. Our teens work very hard for this ministry and rely on the generosity and support of the faithful of our Archdiocese and the Order of St. Ignatius.

October 2014 Statement of the Holy Synod of Antioch

English translation of a report (Arabic original here) published by the Patriarchate of Antioch:

Under the presidency of His Beatitude Patriarch John X (Yazigi), the Holy Synod of Antioch held its fourth regular session on October 7, 2014. The following bishops were present:

Spiridon (Zahle and its dependencies), Georges (Jbeil, Batroun and their dependencies), John (Lattakia and its dependencies), Elias (Beirut and its dependencies), Iliyya (Hama and its dependencies), Elias (Sidon, Tyre and their dependencies), Saba (Hawran and Jebel al-Arab), George (Homs and its dependencies), Siluan (Buenos Aires and all Argentina), Basil (Akkar and its dependencies), Ephrem (Tripoli, al-Koura and their dependencies), Ignatius (France and Western and Southern Europe), Isaac (Germany and Central Europe).

Patriarch John X Interviewed on the Church in Syria, Abducted Archbishops, and More

English translation of an interview published by the Patriarchate of Antioch on October 4, 2014:

The Syrian newspaper al-Thawra Online met with His Beatitude Patriarch John X Yazigi, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and conducted an open discussion with him that touched upon general issues and the crisis that our country is experiencing. As is his custom, Patriarch Yazigi addressed these issues with all frankness, clarity and transparency. Here follows the text of the discussion:

What role does the Antiochian Orthodox Church play as a part of the social fabric of Syria? What has it done and what will it do?

To start, we would like to direct our warmest greetings to the Syrian people as a whole and our Muslim brothers in particular on the occasion of Eid el-Adha. Many happy returns.

The Patriarchate and our Orthodox Christian people are a fundamental part of our country. We are Syrians, the children of this nation. We were born here, as were our fathers and grandfathers. Christianity started out here and we feel that we are one family with all the country’s communities. Throughout history, the Patriarchate has been—and we hope it shall remain—a fundamental factor for common life in dignity, for reinforcing all the national and historical foundations that have brought us together ever since Christianity appeared in these lands. Ever since the coming of Islam, we have lived together and have built a common history. There is no doubt that our future is one.

October 2014 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The October 2014 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Antiochian Unity, the Assembly of Bishops and World Orthodoxy - Editorial
by Bishop John

The Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X and the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

In Praise of New Martyrs
by Fr. John W. Fenton

The War Within
by Richard Zakka

It's Time to Wake Up
by Fr. Timothy Ferguson

The Conference on Antiochian Unity
by Violet K. Robbat

...and more!

Congratulate Metropolitan Joseph and Welcome Patriarch John X in Commemorative Enthronement Journal

To honor Metropolitan Joseph on the auspicious occasion of his enthronement as Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, a commemorative journal is being prepared. If you would like to express your congratulations to our new Metropolitan and welcome our father in Christ John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, you can place an order for a journal entry via the online order form available here. We thank the Antiochian Events team for constructing this secure and simple order form. 

The journal will be published and distributed to all attendees and contributors. The journal will include greetings from the Archdiocese, Dioceses, Parishes, parishioners, and contributors. Since this is a journal commemorating His Eminence's enthronement and not a typical souvenir journal, only messages welcoming His Beatitude, Patriarch John X and/or congratulatory messages to His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph will be accepted. 

Commemorative Journal Order Form

Special Section for the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph

Notable Speakers to Address 2014 Orthodox Institute

The Department of Christian Education's premier weekend for spiritual renewal and training, the Orthodox Institute, will be featuring a stellar group of speakers and presenters on the theme "Theosis: Your Life With God." Planned for October 30 - November 2, 2014 at Antiochian Village, the Institute's Keynote Addresses will be offered by Fr. Anthony Coniaris, founder of Light and Life Publishing and the pastor-emeritus of St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Dr. Kyriacos Markides, renowned author of The Mountain of Silence and professor of Sociology at the University of Maine. Three core courses for Christian educators will be taught by Dr. Harry Boosalis, professor of Dogmatics at St. Tikhon's Seminary.

"Truly, this will be a weekend for spiritual renewal," notes Director Carole Buleza. "Joining us also is Rev. Dr. David Hester, whose expertise is the Jesus Prayer. Father John Oliver will speak on “The Holy Spirit and the Monastery” at Valaam, and Fr. Michael Gillis will present Isaac the Syrian’s expression of theosis. Mother Christophora will discuss whether the quest for theosis is different for women, Martha Condra will help us with fasting, and Elizabeth White will lead us back to 'wonder,' where we first met God."

Full Schedule for Enthronement Weekend Now Available

The full schedule is now available for the weekend of December 5-7 and the events of the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. Preparations are under way and hierarchs and guests will be attending from across the world.

The following is the public schedule for the weekend:

Assembly of Bishops Issues Statement on the Middle East

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America wrapped up its fifth annual meeting on September 18, 2014, by issuing a significant "Statement on the Middle East," and a second substantive "Final Statement" of conclusions and goals.

Convening in Dallas, TX, at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the Assembly tackled a number of topics in their three-day meeting, including the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

Summarizing the discussion, they wrote in their Statement that, in concert with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East as well as the other Patriarchs of the East, "we lament and denounce the egregious and barbarous incidents in the area, including religious intolerance and fanaticism, that erode the social fabric and unity of the region, destroying churches, shrines and monuments, which are the common heritage of all Christians and, indeed, all humanity."

Listen to Metropolitan Joseph Interviewed by OCN

Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) conducted an interview with His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 10. OCN writes:

"OCN Executive Director Fr. Christopher Metropulos spoke with His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph in Washington, DC, where both are attending the IDC Summit calling attention to the plight of Christians in the Middle East. ... Members of Metropolitan Joseph’s family have been killed and wounded in this crisis, and he notes that nearly every family in his Archdiocese has been impacted in some way. 'We cannot accept the Middle East without Christians,' he says. 'That would be an unforgivable crime.' In this interview, Metropolitan Joseph shares his faith in the power of being a servant. Raised in a monastery, he feels deeply honored by the opportunity to serve that he has been given. His Eminence also describes his insights into the healing and blessing that comes when faith replaces fear, and we offer courageous and loving service to one another."

Listen to the interview here.

New Christian Education Year Begins

The Department of Christian EducationThe Department of Christian Education"We want our children first and foremost to be converted to Christ, to know repentance, to know what it meant to offer themselves and the whole world to God at the Divine Liturgy, to win the struggle with evil, and to be wise with the wisdom of the saints, and then, yes, to articulate their faith. Their spiritual strength is what will count in the end," observed Department of Christian Education Director Carole Buleza at the beginning of the 2014-2015 Church School year.

Several noteworthy resources are worth highlighting as Sunday School commences across the Archdiocese. New materials, guidelines, and submission information for the 2015 Creative Festivals have been posted to Themed "The 100th Anniversary of the Falling Asleep of St. Raphael," the Festivals include art, photography, poetry and creative writing. 

Additionally, the Department of Youth organizes the Bible Bowl and the Oratorical Festivals, and has a variety of new resources available for preparation for those events. The Festivals are hosted by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. Topics are always developed and printed by the Department of Youth and Parish Ministry with the blessing of the Metropolitan.

The Word Interviews Metropolitan Joseph

Bishop John visited Metropolitan Joseph on July 26, 2014, to receive his blessings and a message for the readers of The Word. Metropolitan Joseph was hospitable, candid and loving. Here is what he had to say. 

We thank God for all of His blessings, wisdom and guidance bestowed upon us. I thank our Father in Christ, Patriarch John X, for his leadership, love and constant prayers for this Archdiocese. We pray to almighty God that He will grant our Father, Patriarch John X, strength and perseverance during this critical time in the life of our Patriarchate, especially the challenges and danger facing the people and land of the Middle East. We thank my brother Metropolitans, the members of the Holy Synod of Antioch, for their confidence, their love and their support. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank my brother hierarchs of this Archdiocese for all of their hard work, godly ministry and efforts to maintain the unity and strength of our Archdiocese. We pray that the merciful God will remember our beloved Metropolitan Philip in His heavenly Kingdom and will reward him richly for all of the accomplishments realized during his half-century ministry. He left for us a big legacy to build upon.

Now we begin a new chapter in the life the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese is not one person, but the whole body; metropolitan, hierarchs, clergy, monastics and all the believers.

Inaugural Young Professionals Conference Encourages and Inspires

On August 14–17, 2014, the NAC Fellowship of St. John the Divine hosted the Orthodox Young Professionals Conference in San Diego, CA. This conference, the culmination of a year-long effort, was the first of its kind for any Orthodox jurisdiction.

Co-Chaired by Kyra Pelachik and Fadi George Madanat, the Orthodox Young Professionals Conference brought together 125 Orthodox young adults representing every major metropolitan area in the United States, as well as Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ontario, Canada. The conference gave attendees an opportunity to network, listen to prominent speakers, engage in very meaningful and practical discussions about their faith, and learn about the interdependence between their personal lives and the life of the Church.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, in special attendance at the conference, shared his vision for Orthodoxy in North America.

Hotel Information and General Schedule Now Available for the Enthronement Weekend and Patriarchal Visit


Our block of hotel rooms at the Brooklyn Marriott is sold out for Friday and Saturday evening. You can try booking directly at You may continue to check the link below as rooms may pop up from time to time if people cancel. You can also check other hotels in the area including the Sheraton Brooklyn.


Archpriest Thomas Zain, Archdiocese Vicar-General, writes on September 2:

Greetings to you and your families as we begin a new ecclesiastical year. Preparations are underway for the visit of His Beatitude, Patriarch John X and the upcoming enthronement of our new Metropolitan. As we finalize the schedule for the weekend and work out details for the banquet, I wanted to share with you the link to make your hotel reservations at the Brooklyn Marriott. The rate is $299.00 a night plus tax. The deadline for reservations is November 7, 2014. Further detailed information regarding the weekend and the banquet will be forthcoming sometime in the near future. 

The following is the general schedule. Times and banquet information will be added in later in the month and we will post them on the archdiocese website as they are confirmed. 

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist + August 29

The memory of the righteous is celebrated with songs of praise, but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner. Thou wast shown indeed to be the most honorable of the prophets, for in the waters thou didst baptize Him Who had been proclaimed. After suffering with joy in behalf of the truth, thou didst proclaim even to those in Hades the God Who appeared in the flesh, Who takest away the sin of the world, and granteth us the Great Mercy.

—Troparion of the Feast, Tone 2

Listen as Fr. Thomas Hopko discusses the Prophet, Forerunner and Baptizer, John on Ancient Faith Radio: Part 1, Part 2

Read the Patriarchate of Antioch's reflection, Beheading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

September 2014 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The September 2014 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

From Uncertainty to Confidence - Editorial
by Bishop John

Address by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

Into the Heart of Antioch: The North American Delegation to the Antiochian Unity Conference
by Douglas Cramer

Our First Interview with Metropolitan Joseph

Bishop Antoun Reflects

The Road to Damascus: My Conversion
by Brett Heide

...and more!

Patriarch John X Hosts Historic Meeting

In a historic meeting on August 17, 2014, His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, hosted His Holiness Mar Ignatius Ephrem II, Patriarch of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, along with a distinguished delegation traveling with him. The meeting took place at the ancient St. George Antiochian Orthodox Monastery located in the "Valley of the Christians" in the town of Meshtaye in northwestern Syria. Before his election to the Patriarchate, His Holiness served as Archbishop of the Eastern United States for the Syriac Orthodox Church.

A complete English translation of the welcoming speech by Patriarch John X can be read at Notes on Arab Orthodoxy. Patriarch John X said in part:

It is a great pleasure for me to say to you, "How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together!"

The Psalmist once said this and today your sweet faces and the smiles of your children say this. The stone of this holy monastery say this. If they could speak, they would sing of their longing to see loved ones and would chant welcome to them all as living stones in the body of the Antiochian Church that first sang the name of Christ and spread it to the lips of all humankind. We welcome you most warmly. It is better for us to say: welcome to your home in the Monastery of Saint George. Our meeting today is a message to the world that the seeds of Christian unity will by watered first by us in Antioch, just as Jesus' disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.