Order of St. Ignatius News
The Order of St. Ignatius Chair Mary Winstanley-O'Connor is a lifelong member of the Antiochian Archdiocese. A Boston attorney, Mary joined the Order in the early 1990's after visiting Antiochian Village, where she was deeply moved by listening to the campers pray and sing. She assumed the role of the Governing Council Chair in 2011, following in the footsteps of Daniel Abraham. Recently Antiochian.org asked Mary to reflect on her first year of leadership.
1. Mary, can you tell us how you became involved in the Order of St. Ignatius?
I have been a life-long member of St. Mary Orthodox Church of Cambridge, Massachusetts. I am an attorney with offices in Boston and have lived in the greater Boston area throughout my life. Like many in our Archdiocese, I was a member of Teen SOYO, a member of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Parish Council President and a Sunday School teacher.
By Fr. Michael Gillis, Holy Nativity Orthodox Church, Langley BC
One of the spiritual gifts within the Church is the gift of giving. Certainly every Christian is called to give. A strong case can be made that 10% is the starting point: it is the biblically designated sign that all we have belongs to God. However, some, like Ss. Joacim and Anna, have the spiritual gift of giving. For Ss. Joacim and Anna, one third of their income was enough for them: One third they gave to the Temple, one third they gave to the poor and one third they lived on.
In the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, the philanthropic arm of the church is the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch.
The amount of good work done by the Order is hard to summarize briefly. More than a third of the Archdiocese budget comes from the Order. However, certain programs are funded completely by the Order. The Order completely funds the Archdiocese church camp scholarship program, the clergy travel support program (I, myself received a $780. grant to help cover required travel this summer), and the clergy retirement fund. The Order is also a big supporter of St. Innocent Orphange and a long list of other worthy charitable works.
Seven new members were inducted into the Order of St. Ignatius at the 2012 Parish Life Conference of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West. Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Raymond Rishwain (Past North American Chair), Mazen Manasseh (2012 Inductee), Sheila Veizades (2012 Inductee), Henry Veizades, Zeina Manasseh (2012 Inductee), Mother Pelagia (Mother Superior St. Thekla Convent, Maaloula, Syria), His Eminence Archbishop JOSEPH, Sana Eideh (2012 Inductee), Fr. Samer Youssef, Abraham Ghebremicael (2012 Inductee), Michael Srour, John Mogannam (2012 Inductee), Johnny Khamis (2012 Inductee), Kh. Julianna Youssef, Christian Manasseh, Dania Amireh
The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch is accepting applications for reimbursement from mission priests for expenses incurred in travel to Parish Life Conferences, the Archdiocese Convention or the Bi-Annual Clergy Symposium. Please note that reimbursement of these expenses is for first pastors of small parishes and missions only, and that relevant receipts must be saved for six months. All requests must be submitted to Sameh Khouzam and received at the Archdiocese Headquarters no later than August 31.
Four new members of the Order of St. Ignatius were inducted at the Parish Life Conference for the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. The PLC was held at the beautiful Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort in Fort Lauderdale.
The voicemail came as our family had just arrived at a campground outside Bryce Canyon, Utah, on a dry and dusty June afternoon. After we parked, the rest of the family was in our trailer setting up, while I went outside to return the call to the Archdiocesan office. I sat on the concrete picnic table, grateful for the rusty tin roof providing shade from the scorching sun. Our family had been eagerly awaiting news of my next assignment, having completed three blessed years in residence at St. Innocent Orphanage near Tijuana, Mexico. After leaving Mexico, we traveled around the Western United States both to enjoy some family time after the move from Mexico, and to fill the time as we waited with great anticipation to hear which community in this vast Archdiocese we would next call home.
“There’s something special going on in Bowling Green, Kentucky,” Fr. George Kevorkian, Assistant to the Metropolitan, said with excitement over the phone. As I racked my brain trying to figure out if I had ever heard of Bowling Green, Kentucky, he added, “I think you may want to check it out.” He explained that there was a fairly new mission that had really impressed him, and they were hopeful that they were financially ready to support a priest. Having been given the phone number of the coordinator of the mission, in one phone call I knew Fr. George was right.
Over the next few months, young people will be registering for one of the eight summer camps in our Archdiocese. If you know any of these young people who have been to camp before, you know that they have started their countdowns to the first day of camp. They spend hours on Skype and Facebook talking to their camp friends throughout the Archdiocese, and they go into a post-camp depression when they return home from camp.
So what is it about the camp experience that makes our young people love it so much? Certainly, there are many things that contribute to it: the friends, the activities, the counselors and staff, and being in the outdoors, to name a few. The thing that makes camp so special, however, is the camp environment, which presents a living experience of the Orthodox faith. In 1978, the Archdiocese purchased the Antiochian Village, and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip appointed the Archmandrite Fr. John Namie (+ 2001) of blessed memory as the first Camp Director. Thanks to the vision and leadership of these two great men, this mission of presenting a living experience of the Orthodox faith in the camp setting has become the standard at all of our camp programs in the Antiochian Archdiocese.
When asked by Constantine Nasr in 1998 why campers come to camp, Fr. John Namie responded,
[Christian living–] that’s why people come here: to learn Christian living by doing it. It’s the best way to learn. The best way to learn is by doing things. When you come to the Village, you get to do everything in a Christian fashion. You get to love each other, and that means that you get to share with each other your life.… We get to pray, both privately and in church. We learn church hymns, we have a good time at our meals, and we play a lot and play hard. It’s great to be at camp. It’s one of the greatest experiences that a young person can have.
The 9th Annual Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) College Conferences concluded as they always do – with college students longing for more spiritual nourishment and opportunities to be part of an Orthodox community. Thanks to the generous scholarships provided by The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, over one hundred Antiochian Orthodox college students attended College Conference, along with their peers from other jurisdictions. One student explained, “I go to school in Arkansas and cannot tell you how grateful I am, both for College Conference, and for the scholarship The Order provided. There are not many Orthodox students at my school, and being here helps me to remember who I am and why my faith is so important to me.”
OCF is host to three separate conferences. One is held in the south at the Diakonia Center, one in the west at St. Nicholas Ranch, and the largest and most established is held in the east at the Antiochian Village.
On February 26, 2012, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip inducted six new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. Philip Church in Davie (Fort Lauderdale), Florida. Pictured above: to the right of the Metropolitan, Elizabeth Peters Manzini (Life Member), Fr. Elia Shalhoub, Fadi Khoury (Knight), Alfonso Cristofaro (Knight), Mary Winstanley O’Conner (No. American chair of The Order); to the left, Ellena Haddad (dame), Michael Haddad (reinstated), Eddie Sadawie (Knight), Kh. Odette Shalhoub. Dr. Samir Kousa was not present.
His Eminence Archbishop Joseph recently inducted seven new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. John the Evangelist Church in Orinda, California. Pictured above (L to R): Fadwa Samara (sponsor), Hanada Fashieh, Howard Ashcraft, Reene Carr (sponsor), James Potts (Life Member), Najat Nicola (sponsor), His Eminence Archbishop Joseph, Tiffany Kirby Gantus, Brandon Gantus, Khalil Mounzer, Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Nick Nicola, Jr. (Sponsor), Kristin Nicola (Order of St. Ignatius, Diocese Vice Chair).
The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch and International Christian Charities (IOCC)
In the parable of the Sower and the Seed (Matthew 13:1–23), Jesus explains to His disciples that the one “who receives the word on good ground is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Each year the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch makes a grant to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). This annual grant of $25,000 is much like the seed or word which falls on good ground. IOCC uses this “seed money” and leverages it with grants from governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and churchbased charities to bear fruit in abundance. Here are some examples:
His Eminence Archbishop Joseph recently inducted six new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. James Church in Modesto, California. Pictured above are His Eminence with inductees Carla Zell (Dame), Paulette Attoun (Dame), Ryan Swehla (Knight), Agnes Enwia (Dame), Nicholas Wright (Knight) and Subdeacon George Hartley (knight), as well as Kimberly Nicola, Dr. Ray Rishwain and Fr. Thomas Zell.
Over the weekend of November 4-6, 2011, His Grace Bishop Antoun presided over the consecration of All Saints Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and inducted members of the community into the Order of St. Ignatius.
On Sunday, January 22, 2012, His Grace Bishop Antoun inducted four new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. Anthony the Great Mission in Melbourne, Florida. The inductees pictured above are, from left to right, Kh. Odette Shalhoub (Sponsor), Dr. Donna Soto (Dame Commander), Dr. Enrigue Soto (Knight Commander), Patricia Smith (Dame), and Ted Theodoropoulos (Knight).
On Sunday October 16, 2011, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip inducted four new members to the Order of St. Ignatius at St. George Cathedral in Worcester, Massachusetts. Fr. Milady Selim, Rose El Khoury and Susan El Khoury were inducted as Life Members, and Toufic Jreije as Knight.
At the Order of St. Ignatius Banquet during the summer convention, outgoing Chair Dan Abraham addressed Order members, reflecting upon his four years of leadership and service. He challenged his listeners to give out of a heart of faith, thanked the people who had shouldered the Chair responsibilities alongside him, and introduced his family members. The following is the text of Dan's speech:
When one assumes the role of the Chair of an organization one must pledge that at the end of his term to leave the organization at least no worse than when he started.
Today The Order has inducted 4,486 members since inception and with a little bit of help from my friends we can cross the 4,500 threshold on Sunday; among them are 353 Life Members. I am also honored that 196 Clergy and/or spouses are members. Mary, I transfer to you an organization that is strong, viable, and ready to welcome new members.
It is however with much sadness, but no regret that I stand here tonight completing my four years as Chair of this wonderful organization – The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch – and ready to pass on the gavel and responsibility to my successor.
His Grace Bishop Basil writes:
Please join me in praying a rope for the repose of the soul of Adeeb Sadd, honorary member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees and past North American Chair of The Order of St. Ignatius (1987-1991) from Encino, California, who fell asleep in Christ at 11:57PM on August 31st, 2011. Adeeb is survived by his wife Carolyn, their three daughters Chrisa, Carrie and Leilah and their families.
May God grant Adeeb Paradise, and may He grant you long life!
On June 19, 2011, at the Parish Life Conference for the Diocese of Worcester and New England, several new inductees joined the Order of St. Ignatius. The following new members and their sponsors are pictured, along with His Grace Bishop Thomas:
Christopher Bradley, Laurie Bradley, Kathleen Tawa, Don Khouri II, Bishop Thomas, Don Khouri, Fr. Christopher Nerreau, Jimmy Chalhub, Timothy Gwinn, Jamil Samara, and Dennis Rawan.