Give rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy servants who have fallen asleep!
Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Archpriest Matthew MacKay, 54, proistamenos of St. Joseph Church in Houston, TX, Dean of East Texas and member of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America Council of Presbyters, who fell asleep in Christ yesterday morning, July 26th. Fr. Matthew is survived by his wife Khouriya Lynn and their sons Patrick and Sean.
It was with great shock and with sadness that I heard of the passing of Fr. Matthew. Fr. Matthew and I have been good friends since he was assigned to St. Joseph’s. For a good period of time, he heard my confession. He shared the altar with me at St. Joseph’s for many Fridays during Great Lent as we celebrated the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. We renewed this practice during this past Great Lenten period when I visited Houston and once again celebrated the Presanctified Liturgy with him on Friday morning.
Fr. Matthew was a priest who loved the holy Orthodox Church with his whole body and his whole soul. He celebrated the divine services diligently and with great joy. He loved God, and he loved the parishioners God gave him to minister to. I can remember many times when we visited together he talked about the concern that he had for the salvation of the parishioners of St. Joseph.
He was a man of great courage. He was not afraid to speak the truth, even if it meant that he would personally suffer because of it. The most important thing to him was that he did what God wanted him to do. In my humble opinion, he ministered faithfully and diligently, always seeking to do God’s will.
Update: His Grace Bishop ANTOUN attended the firefighters' memorial on Friday, July 30. An estimated 8,000 firefighters attended the service.
Update, from the Connecticut Post:
As many as 10,000 firefighters from across the nation and Canada are expected to attend funeral services for Lt. Steven Velasquez, 40, and firefighter Michel Baik, 49, who died while battling a house fire on Saturday.
Firefighter Michel Baik was a lifelong member of St. Nicholas Church in Bridgeport, CT. He lost his life fighting a house fire on Saturday, July 24.
The arrangements for Michel are as follows:
The wake will be Thursday, July 29, at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Rd., Trumbull CT, from 4-8 PM.
The funeral service will take place at St. Nicholas Church on Friday, July 30, beginning at 2 PM, followed by the internment. The mercy meal will follow within the facilities of St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 220 Shelton Rd., Trumbull CT.
Because a very large turnout is expected, there will be additional seating in the church hall with an audio/video feed of the funeral service for those who cannot get a seat in the church.
The Christian world lost one of its most dedicated statesmen earlier this year. The V. Rev. Fr. Michael Harper departed this life on January 6, 2010, at age 78, in Cambridge, outside of London, England. He was an archpriest under the Patriarchate of Antioch.
Fr. Harper was baptized into Christ in the Church of England, and served for 40 years as a celebrated Anglican priest, emerging as an international leader of the spiritual renewal movement in that communion. Converting to the Orthodox Christian Faith in 1995, he carefully maintained his Christian friendships within the Anglican Church.
At the recommendation of Metropolitan PHILIP, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV personally guided Fr. Michael and his wife, Jeanne, through the transition into the Orthodox Church, appointing him to lead the Antiochian deanery in the British Isles. He left behind twenty convert parishes there as well as a ground-breaking Orthodox Studies program at prestigious Cambridge University, his alma mater.
Significantly, Fr. Michael established the first-ever all-English Orthodox parish in London. He was one of the most authentic and deeply committed Christian men I have ever known.
May his memory be eternal!
- Fr. Peter E. Gillquist
Fr. Nabil Hanna writes:
Beloved in Christ,
I regret announcing that Fr. Antony Beauchamp departed this life Saturday. Arrangements are as follows:
Fr. Antony served as pastor at St. George Church in Indianapolis, IN in 1982, and he served a number of parishes prior. He has been living in retirement as a member of this parish ever since. A vigil for Fr. Antony will begin with Psalm readings at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, at St. George Church, and a prayer service beginning at 7 p.m. Divine Liturgy will be served at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 21, and will proceed directly into the funeral service (at about 11 a.m.). Interment will follow at Oaklawn Cemetery, and the mercy meal will be a pitch-in at the church thereafter.
We express our sincere sympathies to Khouriya Patty Beauchamp, to sons Michael and Christopher and to all their families. The family requests that memorial donations be given in place of flowers to St. George Orthodox Church of Indianapolis, the Apple Patch Foundation of Kentucky or the Shriners Children’s Hospital.
May his memory be eternal!
George Ansara fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at the age of 82. Mr. Ansara will lie-in-state at the Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of St. Mary, located at 18100 Merriman, Livonia, Michigan on Friday, April 16th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Trisagion prayer service begins at 8 p.m. On Saturday, April 17th, Mr. Ansara will lie-in state at the Basilica from 10:00-11:00 a.m. The Funeral Liturgy begins at 11:00 a.m. followed by a private burial.
George Ansara migrated from Aita El-Fokhar, Lebanon. He was married to the late Geraldine Ansara. With his brother Andrew, they became the largest franchise owners of the Big Boy Restaurants. An entrepreneur who also brought the Red Robin Restaurants to our state, he employed thousands of people. He started the mission of St. Mary in Livonia in 1972 with a handful of parishioners and lived to see the Basilica built to reflect what he admired most – his family, his faith and his work. George's greatest passion was that in order for family and community to survive, they must have a place to worship. George was a great dad to Lewis Ansara and Denise (Shaheen) Boumaroun, and the late Debra Ansara. He was blessed with his brother Andrew Ansara, his sisters Marie Ansara, Violette Matta and Nazik Kehdy, He was the loving grandfather of Joe, Mac, Lauren, Deanna, George, Lewis and Daniel. He is survived by many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to the Basilica of St. Mary Building Fund. Please leave the family condolences and cherished memories at harryjwillfuneralhome.com. May his memory be eternal!
Bishop BASIL writes:
Mrs. Jean Miriam Card Walker, 100, died on March 1, 2010, at the Little Flower Assisted Living Community in Charlotte, NC. Mrs. Walker was born in Dora, AL, on April 15, 1909, and lived in Palmerdale, Alabama, for 50 years before moving to Charlotte in 1986. She is survived by two sons, Fr. Gordon Thomas Walker, Sr. (Mary Sue) founding priest and pastor emeritus of St. Ignatius Church in Franklin, TN; and Phillip Jackson Walker of Charlotte; a daughter, Mary Exa Walker Crew (Steve) of Charlotte; and numerous grand-,great-, and great-great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Mrs. Walker was preceded in death by her loving husband of 50 years, G. T. Walker, Jr.; a daughter, Alice Jean Walker; and a son, David Richard Walker, Sr. (Carol). Jean personally cared for Alice, a loving special needs child, for over 60 years. Jean and G. T. were charter members of First Baptist Church of Palmerdale, where Jean sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, and served in many other capacities. She later taught the Sonshine special needs Sunday school class at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte. Jean’s life was marked by service and quiet giving to those in need.
A service of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, March 6, at 10 AM at Roebuck Chapel, 9012 Parkway East, Birmingham, AL, 35206, the Rev. B. J. Strickland of Huntsville officiating. The family will receive friends from 4:30-8 PM on Friday, March 5, at Roebuck Chapel. Younger family members will serve as pall bearers. Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Palmerdale, AL, 35123.
Fr. Jack Norman Sparks--Author, Project Director for the Orthodox Study Bible, mentor to many, Founder and Dean of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, father, grandfather and great grandfather--fell asleep in the Lord in Eagle River, Alaska, on February 8, at 7:30 a.m. Fr. Jack reposed on the twenty third anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate.
Fr. Marc Dunaway, Pastor of St. John Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska, writes:
"It is with sadness and prayers for his family that I relay to you the news that the servant of God, the Archpriest Jack Sparks, fell asleep in the Lord early this morning. He was 81 years old. Fr. Jack did much research in the 1970's and 80's that helped the journey of the Evangelical Orthodox into the Antiochian Archdiocese. After this he was the principle overseer for the Orthodox Study Bible, which was just recently published with the Old Testament. Fr. Jack has lived in Alaska for the last five years and has several of his children here. Fr. John Downing, Kh. Betsy and I joined Kh. Esther Sparks and her family and prayed the Trisagion Prayers of Mercy for the Departed around him. We have truly lost a good soldier in the Church today."
In an Ancient Faith Radio reflection, Fr. Peter Gillquist remembers Fr. Jack as one who lived a full, rich life of service to the Church and to his family.
Martha H. Kickel, 81, of Donora, Pennsylvania passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. Mrs. Kickel was born in Donora on Oct. 8, 1928, a daughter of the late Michael and Nasta Mehan Hanna, and was a lifelong resident of Donora. She was a graduate of Donora High School. Prior to her marriage, Mrs. Kickel was employed at the United States Steel, Donora Works, as a mail clerk. She was a well-respected and well-liked bank teller at Mellon Bank in Donora, where she developed positive and friendly working relationships with customers and co-workers. Mrs. Kickel was active in the community as a member of the Forecast Club and Donora Youth Athletic Association Parent Booster Club. She was a faithful member of St. Michael Orthodox Church of Monessen, Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the St. Michael's Ladies Club, a former Sunday School teacher, Parish Council member, and publicity chairperson for the Ladies Club. She was an inspiration to all who knew her. Martha enjoyed baking Syrian food, especially Syrian Bread and Kibbee, vacationing in Myrtle Beach, and spending time with her five beautiful grandchildren, who loved their "Grammy" very much. She loved watching her grandchildren participate in sports, music, and dance. Most recently Martha traveled to the Florida Keys with her family. She was preceded in death by her husband, George J. Kickel, with whom she celebrated 50 years of marriage on June 30, 2006; a sister, Mary Mehan; and three brothers, George and Joseph Mehan, and Michael Hanna. She is survived by a son, George M. Kickel and wife, Kimberly, of Erie; a daughter, Cynthia M. Magone and husband, Frank, of Monongahela; and five grandchildren, Michael, Corrine and Christopher Kickel, and Elizabeth and Alexandra Magone. She is also survived by three nieces and a nephew. Mrs. Kickel was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and a caring friend to all who knew her. Friends will be received on Saturday, Jan. 30, from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Sunday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the JAMES A RABE FUNERAL HOME INC., 701 Thompson Ave., Donora (724-379-9020). Trisagion prayers for the departed will be held on Monday, Feb. 1, at 9:15 a.m. in the funeral home followed by a funeral service at 10 a.m. at St. Michael's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Monessen with the Rev. Fred Pfeil as celebrant. Interment will follow in Monongahela Cemetery. Trisagion services will be held Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. May her memory be Eternal! Family and friends may view the obituary and offer online condolences at www.rabefuneralhome.com.
from the OCA web site:
MINNEAPOLIS, MN [OCA] -- Resa Ellison, choir director at Saint Mary Cathedral here, fell asleep in the Lord on the afternoon of Sunday, January 3, 2010 after a two month illness.
The daughter of the Rev. James and Linda Ellison of Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Urbana, IL, Resa was admitted to Unity Hospital, Fridley, MN, on Sunday, November 8 after being diagnosed with H1N1 and an aggressive form of pneumonia. By November 18, as reported in a request for prayers on the web site of the Orthodox Church in America, her condition had become grave. Breathing with the assistance of a ventilator, she remained in an induced coma. In late December, she was transferred to the University of Minnesota Hospital, Minneapolis.
Resa was a graduate of Saint Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY. She directed the cathedral choir for three years.
Additional information will be posted as it becomes available. A family blog -- www.caringbridge.org/visit/resaellison/journal -- features links through which notes of support to her parents and family and memorial donations may be made.
May the Lord Jesus Christ, our Life and Resurrection, grant her eternal rest, and may her memory be eternal.
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