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Watch Metropolitan Philip Funeral Coverage Online

Our thanks to Noursat, Reach Media, and the community of St. Nicholas Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY, for the broadcast of the memorial services for Metropolitan Philip. Some technical difficulties with Noursat's online video stream began at approximately 1:30 p.m. EST; our apologies to those who have not been able to watch the conclusion of the services after several hours of continuous coverage. The television broadcast has continued and is being recorded, and will be made available online in its entirety within a few days.

Sayidna Philip Arrives at the Cathedral March 26

St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY Mar 26St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY Mar 26

Annunciation Feast and Funeral Preparations at St. Nicholas Cathedral

As hierarchs and clergy begin arriving for the wake and funeral of our beloved Metropolitan Philip, His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan, the Patriarchal Vicar, and His Grace Bishop Anthony celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Great Feast of the Annunciation this morning. After the liturgy, the hierarchs and clergy went to the funeral home to vest Metropolitan Philip in his hierarchical vestments. Memory eternal!

See this page for all details regarding this week's memorial services for Metropolitan Philip.

Additional pictures available below.

Tributes to Metropolitan Philip

The Archdiocese is deeply grateful for the wide range of tributes to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip which have begun to follow his repose. This collection of tributes from religious leaders, media outlets, and international sources will continue to be expanded.

We also offer in tribute this memorial photo gallery of Metropolitan Philip's life and work, which will also continue to be expanded. Our thanks to all of those who have contributed photography. Also available is a gallery celebrating His Eminence's dedication to the youth of our Archdiocese.

Below, we highlight three videos of His Eminence. The first is from Pascha 2011 at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY. The second video was prepared in honor of Metropolitan Philip's 80th birthday, and was presented with these remarks by Fr. Anthony Gabriel at the 2011 Archdiocese Convention. The third was originally prepared by Fr. Ayman Kfouf of St. George Church of Troy, MI in honor of Metropolitan Philip's historic 2013 visit. This video was played during the last official, celebrational pastoral visit of His Eminence before his falling asleep.

On the Passing of Metropolitan Philip

The Archdiocese communicates with a heavy heart as we struggle with the news of the falling asleep in Christ of Metropolitan Philip. May his memory be eternal!

We express our sincerest appreciation to our Father in Christ, His Beatitude Patriarch John X, for his pastoral care and love. His Beatitude was in continual contact with us, and with Metropolitan Philip during his hospital stay, and showed his love and concern for his spiritual children in North America. For this, we are most grateful. May the memory of Metropolitan Philip be eternal, and may God grant many years to His Beatitude Patriarch John.

The schedule for all events associated with the falling asleep of Metropolitan Philip is available here. All events will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York unless another location is specified. In lieu of flowers for the funeral, donations can be made to the Archdiocese for the benefit of the Retired Clergy Fund.

Attached you will find letters from His Beatitude Patriarch John X, both the Arabic original and an English translation in two parts (Letter to Archbishop Joseph; Patriarchal Decision).

Both letters appoint Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina as the Patriarchal Vicar until such time as a new Metropolitan is elected by the Holy Synod of Antioch. The Patriarchal Vicar is responsible for the administration of the Archdiocese until a new Metropolitan is elected. Archbishop Joseph will serve as the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese. Archbishop Joseph will arrive in New Jersey on Friday March 21, and Metropolitan Silouan will arrive on Monday March 24.

Remembering His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

Visit the Metropolitan Philip Memorial Page of Antiochian.org for information on the life, work and passing of our beloved Primate. A biography, news archives, reflections on and by Metropolitan Philip, links to video and audio, photo galleries and more are currently available or being prepared.

Listen to a historic Ancient Faith Radio interview from 2009 of Metropolitan Philip conducted by Fr. Peter Gillquist, of blessed memory. Metropolitan Philip talks candidly about such things as Orthodox unity, music, our witness to the world, and his most memorable accomplishments.

Read a tribute to Metropolitan Philip's life and legacy from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, where His Eminence served as Board of Trustees Vice President and Vice Chairman.

The Archdiocese is grateful for this account of the prayers of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on behalf of Metropolitan Philip. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, presided at the Panikhida celebrated for the repose of Metropolitan Philip’s soul.

MEMORY ETERNAL! HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN PHILIP

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, with great sadness, announces the passing unto life eternal of His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America. May his memory be eternal! Details are forthcoming. Read a biography of Metropolitan Philip here. See all information on His Eminence here.

 

OCN Launches "This Week in Orthodoxy"

In response to the demand for Orthodox global news, the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) has launched a weekly news program covering Orthodox events worldwide. This Week in Orthodoxy is unique because it provides coverage of events around the Orthodox world from a single location. It is also OCN's first regularly scheduled video program.

Each program is a 5-7 minute piece filmed in the OCN studio in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. New episodes are posted each Friday evening, and feature 3-5 news stories from all parts of the globe. The show also includes announcements of upcoming news and events, as well as OCN updates.

Producer Seraphim Danckaert is a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary currently finishing his PhD in Theology under a world-renowned Orthodox theologian Fr. Andrew Louth. Mr. Danckaert brings with him several years of experience working as a journalist and editor, which have provided him with both the necessary theological background as well as connections to key Orthodox thinkers from all jurisdictions.

Watch the latest episode of This Week in Orthodoxy

Please Pray for the Recovery of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

While in Florida and undergoing tests in the hospital, Metropolitan Philip suffered a minor heart attack on Sunday. He is in an encouraging situation in ICU.

A prayer service for His Eminence will be held this Monday afternoon at the Archdiocese Headquarters. We ask all of you to hold prayer services for his speedy recovery.

Update Tuesday Mar 11: Thanks to your collective and fervent prayers, Metropolitan Philip's status has improved. He is extubated (i.e. the doctors removed the tube from his mouth) and has conversed with his relatives and friends around him. He also conversed with His Beatitude Patriarch John X on the phone.

Please continue to pray for his speedy recovery.

Rejoicing at Release of Captive Nuns

Photo: bbc.comPhoto: bbc.comOn the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 9, 2014, multiple media outlets including a leading newspaper in Lebanon, The Daily Star, reported that the thirteen nuns held in captivity by Syrian rebels for over three months were freed late in the day, as a result of Lebanese and Qatari mediation. Officers from Lebanon's General Security received the nuns on the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Arsal. 

Parishioners and clergy at the Archdiocese's mother cathedral, St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY, received the joyous news during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in which Bishop Nicholas was presiding. "We learned of the release just prior to commencing Holy Communion, and began ringing the bells of the Cathedral loudly, chanting 'O Lord, save Thy people' and 'To Thee the Champion Leader,'" says Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar-General of the Antiochian Archdiocese. An English translation of a statement from His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch, is being prepared by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Lenten Encyclical of Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East

The Great Lent: When Mercy Dries Up, Fasting Suffers Drought

By God's mercy John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Brethren, Pastors of the Holy Church of Antioch;

Beloved children in all dioceses in this apostolic see

Brethren and dearest spiritual children, whose strength and anticipation in God, strengthen ours;

Entering this redemptive period which leads us to the Cross (of Christ) and the dawn of His and thus our resurrection, these days bring to us the anticipation to Jesus and His divine consolation for His beloved humans; for whom He descended from His highest, incarnated in the Virgin, submitting Himself to the human law, willingly walking the path of the Cross, in order to rise from the dead, becoming the first fruit for our resurrection from our earthly misery and tribulation.

Jesus chose the path of the Cross, and drank from the chalice of death to simply tell us that the tribulation of our times will not overshadow our hope for light, and that hardship cannot eclipse the brightness of resurrection.

Antiochian Women's Month Spotlights Role Models

The month of March is designated as Antiochian Women’s Month by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, and is a time when the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America encourage their sisters in Christ to minister in their parishes and their communities. With this in mind, Khouria Suzanne Murphy, Religious Coordinator for the National Board of the Antiochian Women, wrote this reflection about the women saints of the Church.

When I was a little girl, I loved to read stories about brave knights and lovely princesses. By the time I was a mother, societal sensibilities had broadened so that our children not only read about brave knights, but also brave princesses. The Walt Disney company did a good job of coming up with female characters that were both feminine and brave – and they did this without diminishing the virtues of the male heroes. Our Orthodox saints, however, are not fairy-tale heroes. These brave men and women (and children) faced very real horrors – torture, enslavement, and death – with steadfast resolve. 

March 2014 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

Patriarch John X of Antioch and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow Issue Appeal on Syria, pg. 5

Role Models for Women in Antiochian Women's Month, pg. 6
by Kh. Suzanne Murphy

Glory to God for the Antiochian Women, pg. 8
by Kh. Dannie Moore

Some Thoughts Concerning the Dispute over Qatar, pg. 10
by Archpriest John W. Morris

A Missionary's Journey into Orthodoxy in Turkana, pg. 12
by Karen Morrison

Worship: What's the Point, pg. 20
by Chris Humphrey

Food, Sex, and Sports: Idols or Pathways to Salvation?, pg. 23
by Fr. Philip LeMasters

...and more!

Repose of St. Raphael of Brooklyn

Several themes emerge as the story of St. Raphael's life unfolds. The first is the mysterious way in which God led him from his native homeland to the shores of the American continent. The second is his submissive attitude to the providence of God. And the third is his love for the people of God. Though during his lifetime he was neither a wonder-worker nor a clairvoyant elder, St. Raphael embraced a life of total abandonment of self for the service of God and his fellow man: a life of true spiritual asceticism.

(from The Life of Our Father among the Saints Raphael Hawaweeny)

Our Father among the Saints, Raphael (Hawaweeny), Bishop of  Brooklyn, was the first Orthodox Christian bishop consecrated on American soil. Traveling throughout the continent in the first years of the 20th century, he founded thirty parishes in North America. His feast day is celebrated in the Antiochian Archdiocese on the first Saturday of November. St. Raphael, a man of angelic name and apostolic fervor, was influenced by many cultures. He was born and raised in the Middle East, educated by Greeks at Halki and by Russians at Kiev, and he spent the last nineteen years of his life as a missionary in North America.

In 2015, the Antiochian Archdiocese will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Falling Asleep of St. Raphael. The Archdiocese's Creative Festivals will feature the theme, "Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America." 

Metropolitan Philip Inaugurates 2014 Food for Hungry People Campaign

Great Lent 2014

Beloved in the Lord:

Greetings and blessings to you as we enter this most holy season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

It is with the greatest joy that I write to you today to inaugurate the 2014 Food for Hungry People campaign. This year marks the 40th anniversary of this charitable drive. When reflecting on the past 40 years, I call to mind the countless charitable organizations and individuals that we have helped because of this fund. Through the efforts of our dedicated and long-standing chairlady, Miss Robin Nicholas, and by your generosity on the parish level, this drive has grown into a strong witness of our Holy Orthodox faith on this continent and throughout the world.

This year holds special significance as we continue to raise funds through various means to help those affected by the war in Syria. Through your contributions to FFHP over the years, we have helped many of the orphanages and other charitable organizations within Syria and throughout our Patriarchate and the entire the Middle East, in addition to our domestic charitable contributions. As we continue to witness the horrors of the war in Syria, please make a special effort this year to use FFHP to raise funds and awareness to the tragedy there so we can help those in need even more.

We urge you, during this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, to be very generous in your contribution to this campaign. As we practice the virtues which cleanse our souls, let us not forget or refrain from what St. John Chrysostom calls the “greatest of the virtues," giving to the poor. As important as prayer and fasting are, they are of no avail to us if we fail to give to those in need.

Great Lent Resources and Readings Offered

As the faithful prepare to celebrate the high point of the Church year—Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha—the Archdiocese highlights our section of resources and reading for the season. Great Lent Resources & Readings is a topical library of links and reflections that presents the meaning and practice of the forty days of prayer and worship of Lent, for both newcomers to the Orthodox Christian Faith as well as for those who are rediscovering the spiritual benefits of the Lenten journey.

Visitors to Great Lent Resources & Readings will find three subsections:

We are grateful to all the various sources who have allowed us to repurpose their material, and we encourage those maintaining Orthodox websites of their own to link to this section.

"For the Sake of Others:" Interview with Katrina Bitar

Katrina Bitar is the North America Program Director for YES, or Youth Equipped to Serve. A ministry of FOCUS North America, YES provides opportunities for junior high and high school students to participate in formative weekends of service in urban environments across the U.S. and Canada. A lifetime member of the Antiochian Archdiocese, Katrina began working with youth during her college years and eventually was tapped to head the YES program after graduating from St. Vladimir's Seminary in 2009. A look at her busy calendar for the first half of 2014 reveals that she will be involved with outreach efforts in Philadelphia, Montreal, Oklahoma City, Grand Rapids, Houston, Austin, and St. Louis. Antiochian.org asked her to introduce the work of YES and explain the impact it is having on the Church's youth.

What is your background, and how did you first get involved with YES?

I was born in Burbank, California, but spent most of my life in Little Falls, NJ. I discovered my youth ministry gifts while serving at the Antiochian Village as a counselor during my college years. In 2001, I took a job as a youth director for a parish in Phoenix, AZ that began my full-time youth ministry work. It was through my work as a parish youth director that I was introduced to the YES Program.

February 2014 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

Do We Need to Rethink the Parish Council?, pg. 3
by His Grace Bishop John Abdalah

Christ and the Children, pg. 5
by Fr. Joseph Antypas

Metropolitan Philip's Letter Regarding the Nuns of St. Thekla Convent, pg. 8

New England Parish Council Seminar, pg. 10

Mother Macrina Addresses Women's Retreat, pg. 14
by Dianne Julianna Storheim-Hill

St. Athanasios and His Relevance Today, pg. 17
by Fr. Athanasios Papagiannis

...and more!

"Writing Icons of the Kingdom" is Youth Conference Theme

The 12th Annual Orthodox Christian Camp and Youth Workers Conference took place at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA from January 23-25, 2014. Over 80 youth workers from across the United States and Canada gathered together for this year's conference, sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Camps Association and youth departments from different jurisdictions. This year's conference was co-hosted by the Youth and Camping Ministries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. The theme of the Conference was "Writing Icons of the Kingdom: Understanding our Youth as Icons we are Helping to Write."

Ruling Hierarch of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese His Grace Bishop Gregory of Nyssa was the keynote speaker. In his first address, Bishop Gregory spoke about the unity required of us in youth ministry in order to effectively "write" icons for the kingdom. For his second address His Grace stepped aside for a very special presenter, Protopresbyter Mark Leasure, his priest from St. George Church in Taylor, PA, who brought the myrrh-streaming icons of the Mother of God that reside in his parish.

Common Statement by Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

On January 30, 2014, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East concluded his five-day visit to Russia, and the following Common Statement with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia was released (translation provided by the Russian Orthodox Church):

At the invitation of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East John X paid his official visit to the Russian Orthodox Church from January 25 to 30, 2014. The Patriarchate of Antioch is going now through difficult times because of the violence committed in its homeland and its tragic consequences of the political crisis for its people. This visit has given the two sister Churches the opportunity to discuss several disturbing issues affecting their witness and ministry. The two Churches feel the need to state the following:

1. The important mission of a Church in a society is to bear witness in word and deed to God's love for each person, regardless of his or her religious belief or national identity. Following the words of Christ "Blessed are peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Mt. 5:9), we proclaim peace and respect for the human dignity and rights. Every human being is an object of Divine Compassion; it is because of God's love that the Incarnation took place and that the Holy Spirit continues to work in our midst. This basic principle inspires the two sister Churches in their actions, service and cooperation.