Order of St. Ignatius News
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.
Recently, the Order of St. Ignatius in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast elected new officers to serve in the region.
Correction to a statement in an article by Fr. Peter Gillquist in the May 2011 issue of The Word magazine: The Order of St. Ignatius does not provide financial aid to students, including students of the St. Stephen's Course. It does provide aid, however, for children to attend sessions at Antiochian camps each summer.
Did you know that members of the Governing Council of The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch for each Diocese are elected at the Parish Life Conferences? The Order is always looking for people with fresh energy who can share their time, talent and energy with The Order. To become more involved, contact your current Diocesan Chair or Vice Chair and let your willingness to serve be known. Call the Archdiocese office at 201-871-1355 for more information.
Not ready for a commitment to the Governing Council? Your attendance at your Diocese Parish Life Conference offers a chance to share your knowledge and belief in The Order with those in your Diocese who may be new to our philanthropic organization. Please invite a friend who is not currently a member to attend a social event with the Order of St. Ignatius at this year's PLC. Combine socializing and The Order luncheon or dinner, or another social event, such as a reception or lecture. Go to the vendor area of the hotel hosting your Parish Life Conference where information is available. Enjoy refreshments in the lobby cafe and discuss the benefits of joining The Order.