Diocese of Ottawa News
Many years to His Grace Bishop Alexander!
Set aflame by the love of Christ, O glorious ones, you took up the yoke of His precious Cross revealing yourselves as followers in His footsteps by your way of life, and you became partakers of His divine glory, divinely-wise Alexander, with wonderful John and glorious Paul. As you stand before His throne, earnestly pray for our souls.
Troparion, Tone 8
The city of Houston, and Fr. James Shadid and the parish of St. George Orthodox Christian Church, are hosting the Antiochian Archdiocese Convention this week at the Hilton Americas hotel. The largest legislative body of the Archdiocese, the General Assembly meets in convention biennially. In addition to the business meetings, liturgical celebrations, exhibits, youth activities, and department meetings are central to each convention as well.
There will also be special events that emphasize the uniquely Southern character of this year's gathering. Families will enjoy the Country Western Dinner and Dance on Thursday evening, while on Friday evening convention goers can attend the Mardi Gras Masquerade Dinner/Dance; visits to several of Houston's tourist venues are planned. The culmination of the week is the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday with Metropolitan Philip and all eight Auxiliary Bishops of the Antiochian Archdiocese presiding.
There is still time for you to register for your diocese's "family reunion" this summer, your regional Parish Life Conference (PLC)! The theme for this year, "The End of History...The Last Judgment," will be the focus of the Creative Festivals, a highlight of the conferences. Youth and organizational meetings, spiritually edifying speakers and services, and social events for kids and adults alike, all make the PLCs one of the Archdiocese's most established and popular traditions. Visit the Conventions and Conference Planning page for full information.
First up is the Diocese of Wichita PLC, kicking off on June 5 in Kansas City. St. Basil Orthodox Church hosts the PLC at the Westin Kansas City Hotel in downtown Kansas City, "one of America's Best downtowns" according to Forbes magazine.
Reporter Billy Shields of Global News, the news and current affairs division of Global Television Network in Canada, posted a news story on April 28, 2013 titled "For Arab Orthodox church, Middle East turbulence hits home." The news post noted that St. George's recent Palm Sunday celebration was dampened by the concerns of the faithful for the kidnapped bishops and the ongoing turbulence in Syria.
The parish, St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, is headed by Economos Antony Gabriel of the Antiochian Heritage Foundation. “Today I asked for the people when they made their procession, to pray for peace, to pray for these bishops,” said Fr. Antony. ”We don’t want to see the church destroyed, and we don’t want Christians to leave the Middle East.” Reporter Shields noted that some of St. George's parishioners "...hail from the area Aleppo, where bishops Paul Yagizi and Yohanna Ibrahim were kidnapped."
The parish of St. Antonios Antiochian Orthodox Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia was blessed to have Fr. Joseph Purpura, chairman of the Antiochian Department of Youth Ministry, join us for a weekend full of inspiration, motivation and faith.
On Friday March 8, Fr. Joseph met with the parents of the youth in the community and informed them about issues that have become a serious problem within society. This includes sex, drugs and alcohol. Sadly, these common activities observed within society also affect teens in the Orthodox Church.
Increasing parent and teen awareness to these issues was an extremely important aspect of the weekend, as many parents were not updated with the latest science about the harm that results from the use of alcohol and drug substances.
- April 13-14, 2013
- Spiritual Talk: "Living an Orthodox Christian Life" on Saturday April 13, 1 – 5 pm
- Fr. Joachim Parr, Archimandrite, Monastery of St. Mary of Egypt, Russian Orthodox Church, New York
- Registration begins at 12 noon at the Canadian Serbian Community Centre at 1415 Barton St. E.
- Vespers to follow the talk, with Divine Liturgy on Sunday
- RSVP to Zorka Djurdjevic at Zorka Djurdjevic@cogeco.ca
The Antiochian Women of the three churches of Montreal, St. Nicholas, St. George and St. Mary, recently joined together in fellowship to celebrate the Christmas season at a new Arabic restaurant. It was time to join together in a beautiful evening, where the three presidents conducted the festivities in three languages: Arabic, French and English. There were plenty of games and laughter, and the spirit was one of joy and relaxation, especially after our long fall season of baking, bazaars, and banquets!
It was wonderful to witness all the ladies working together during the weeks before Christmas, preparing ilbee (wheat) for St. Barbara's Day, cleaning nuts and kneading dough, preparing intricate designs on the folded little treasures of shortbread containing pistachios and dates, setting out the booths of jewelry and designer bathrobes, lingerie, dresses, children's wear, hand-designed jewelry and artifacts to make a very eclectic and fun bazaar and Christmas season. A season to pray, play and work together!
On Saturday, September 15, 2012, the community of St. George Antiochian Church of Montreal, Quebec, hosted a celebration of 50 years of holy priesthood for their pastor, Economos Antony Gabriel. His Eminence Metropolitan Philip presided over an entire weekend of festivities which culminated in the banquet held at Le Westin in Montreal on Saturday evening.
The weekend began with His Eminence Metropolitan Philip’s arrival to the Montreal airport on Friday, September 14, 2012. Joining His Eminence were His Grace Bishop Antoun, His Grace Bishop Nicholas, and Archdeacon Hans Elhayek. His Grace Bishop Alexander and the priests of Montreal and Ottawa greeted the bishops upon their arrival in a special VIP room at the airport. After we sat, relaxed and enjoyed good conversation with our beloved bishops, the hierarchs were taken to the Westin Hotel via limousine, where they would stay while in Montreal.
His Grace Bishop Alexander of the Diocese of Ottawa has been interviewed as part of an ongoing series produced by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. The interview is available here. His Grace mentions:
"The best thing for the meeting was that we all got together, we got to meet each other, we got to speak to each other face-to-face and to know each other. And at that point in time I thought that if the Assembly accomplished anything it would be to bring us all together."
The faithful came in numbers to come pray and play at the 2012 Diocese of Ottawa Parish Life Conference on little Prince Edward Island in the far east of Canada. The comments from the survey say it all – when asked what they liked most about the Parish Life Conference, here is a small sample of what attendees had to say:
From St. Anthony in Halifax: “...the outdoor nature, lobster dinner was awesome and planning and organization were excellent...”
From St. Elias in Ottawa: “The homey feeling and the relaxed schedule....”
Over the long weekend of June 28-July 1, the Dioceses of Toledo and Ottawa will enjoy worship and fellowship as they gather for their Parish Life Conferences. His Grace Bishop Anthony and His Grace Bishop Alexander will preside over the full slate of activities which include meetings for organizations such as SOYO, and events unique to the local settings.
St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Chicago is hosting the Midwestern attendees at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Oakbrook, Illinois. Bishop Anthony is the keynote speaker and event highlights include a Friday comedy show, tours of Chicago and Oakbrook, and an offsite teen service project.
Further north, the parish of Ss. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, has planned a SOYO Nature Walk and an Antiochian Women's tour and luncheon which includes stops at the Anne of Green Gables House and a gallery/cafe. Featured Speaker Carole Buleza, Director of the Department of Christian Education for the Archdiocese, will discuss "Ideas for Lively Bible Studies."
To live an Orthodox life in Montreal is a big challenge, and to keep our churches full on Sundays is a bigger challenge for our Montreal clergy. By the grace of God, however, St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church is undergoing a revival this year: our church is full, our youth groups are active, new families are joining our parish and, as one of our parishioners said at a recent luncheon, we are “alive and well.”
St. Nicholas Church was established by St. Raphael of Brooklyn and is the oldest Orthodox community in Montreal. We received great blessings this holy season, starting from the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross when we were visited by His Grace Bishop Alexander, who brought with him an antique cross, which has a relic of the Holy Cross embedded in it, with which to bless our parishioners following the Divine Liturgy.
On the following Sunday, the Feast of the Annunciation, we had a fabulous Mid-Lenten Luncheon hosted by our very active Antiochian Women. The next Sunday (St. Mary of Egypt), we were visited by His Grace Bishop Luka from our Patriarchate in Damascus, who asked that we pray for the Syrian people and reminded us of Syria’s rich Christian history.
St. Nicholas Church was established by St. Raphael of Brooklyn and is the oldest Orthodox Community in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. To live an Orthodox life in Montreal is a big challenge, and to keep our churches full on Sundays is a bigger challenge for our Montreal clergy. By the grace of God, however, St. Nicholas Church is undergoing a new revival this year: our Church is full, our youth groups are active, new families are joining our parish and we are, as said by one of our parishioners at one of our recent luncheons, “alive and well.”
We received great blessings this Holy Week when, starting from the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, we were visited by His Grace Bishop Alexander, who brought with him an antique cross with a Relic of the Holy Cross embedded inside it to bless our parishioners following the Divine Liturgy.
The next Sunday was the Feast of the Annunciation and we had a fabulous Mid-Lenten luncheon hosted by our very active Antiochian Women. The Sunday after (St. Mary of Egypt), we were visited by His Grace Bishop Luka from our Patriarchate in Damascus. Bishop Luka asked that we pray for the Syrian people and reminded us about Syria’s rich Christian history.
Following the Divine Liturgy on St. Lazarus Saturday, our youth enjoyed weaving palm crosses for our parishioners to carry on Palm Sunday. And on Palm Sunday itself, we were visited again by His Grace Bishop Alexander and we had a police escort around the block for our parish procession. That day we also had our annual bake sale of Arabic sweets prepared by our Antiochian Women, plus we had a sale of handmade goods by the residents of Al-Kafaat (Lebanon).
His Grace Bishop Alexander writes:
Beloved Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York:
Greetings and blessings on this Feast of Feasts! I share with you what St. Gregory the Theologian writes concerning the Resurrection of Christ:
On this Great Day Christ is called from among the dead which He had emulated. On this day, He repelled death's sting, laid low the gloomy confines of hell, and granted freedom to the souls. On this day, risen from the tomb, He appeared to people for whom He had been born, had died, and been awakened from the dead, so that we, having been reborn and escaped death, might be resurrected with Him, the Resurrected One. On this bright glorious and great day, the angelic hosts, filled with joy, sing a song of victory.
On this glorious Feast of the Resurrection of Christ I embrace you and cry out with you: Christ is risen! ! ا ق حيسملا م Christ est Ressuscité! Christos Anesti!
May the joy of the Resurrection of Christ fill your hearts and those of your loved ones for many years to come.
Have a blessed Pascha!
In the risen Christ,
On March 29, 2012, the Canadian Conference of Orthodox Bishops had a meeting at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto. On the agenda were the reports of the dialogue with the Catholic Bishops, pastoral, canonical and liturgical issues, a Directory of all Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs, jurisdictions and parishes. It was discussed the update on the petition addressed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to approve the constituency of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Canada. There were also discussed plans for joint-ministry and fraternal cooperation in the future. An important topic was the discussion of the situation of persecuted Christians in the World and the position of the Orthodox in Canada.
The participants at the meeting were: His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios and His Grace Bishop Christoforos of the Greek Metropolis of Toronto, His Grace Bishop Alexander of the Antiochian Archdiocese, His Grace Bishop Job of the Moscow Patriarchate Representation in Canada, His Grace Bishop Georgij of the Serbian Diocese of Canada, His Eminence Archbishop Nicolae and His Grace Vicar Bishop Ioan Casian of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas, His Eminence Metropolitan Yurij, His Grace Bishop Hilarion and His Grace Bishop Andrej of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Grace Bishop Ilias of the Albanian Diocese, His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, and His Grace Vicar Bishop Irinee of the OCA.
A date was set for next year's meeting for April 11, 2013.
Would you like to prepare for Great Lent and Pascha by attending a spiritual talk? If so, come spend an afternoon in Orthodox fellowship, hear a great speaker, enlighten your mind, nourish your soul, do a good deed and get a free book!
On behalf of the St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church on Barton Street in Hamilton, you are cordially invited to an Orthodox Retreat. The keynote talk will be on Saturday, March 31st from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Canadian Serbian Community Centre at 1415 Barton St. E. in Hamilton. Registration starts at noon.
The topic is ‘BEATITUDES: A Patristic Look at the 7th, 8th & 9th Beatitudes’. The speaker is Father Demetrios Carellas, Archimandrite, Holy Monastery of the Theotokos, Saxonburg, Pennsylvania. This talk will complete the series on The Beatitudes.
Registration is required in advance via e-mail to reserve a spot. Free Book for those who RSVP. Also, we will be collecting non-perishable food items for the needy via our local food bank. If you are able, your donation is appreciated. Please share this invitation with your friends - all are welcome!
Contact: Zorka Djurdjevic
St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church Education Committee
1415 Barton St. E.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Evenings - 905.547.2926
The twenty-first annual conference of the Orthodox Christian Women of Montreal, is titled "Why Do We Need the Creed? The Symbol of Faith in Today's World." St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church is hosting the event on Saturday, February 25, 2012, from 9:30am - 4:00pm. Registration is $40, and this includes breakfast, lunch and refreshments. Archpriest Cyprian Hutcheon is the guest speaker.
Phone: (514) 276-8533
Take a moment for an audio visual meditation on the theme, "The earth is the Lord's and its fullness, the world and all who dwell therein," Psalm 23. This presentation of the photos, artwork, and words of the children in the Diocese of Ottawa from the Creative Festivals 2010 is brought to you by the Department of Christian Education, and the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.
The annual Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Convocation will be held at the Sheraton Centre Downtown Toronto June 28 - July 2, 2011.
This year's Convocation will gather Orthodox clergy and laity from around the world who are currently involved in prison ministry or are looking to begin outreach to prisoners. These convocations allow clergy and laypeople to exchange ministry ideas, gather for fellowship, and attend presentations on prison ministry.
Scholarships are available on OCPM's website.
OCPM is the official prison ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Antiochian priest Fr. Stephen Powley, experienced prison chaplain and Assistant Director of OCPM, regularly shares his thoughts regarding prison ministry and the spiritual life in his OCPM blog, An UpWord Glance.
80th Anniversary Celebration
10th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Cathedral
and the Burning of the Mortgage
September 10-12, 2010
Click here for a gallery of pictures from the weekend
What a week-end!! We had so much to celebrate and be thankful for. We began by welcoming His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip, at the airport on Friday afternoon. Fr. Ghattas, Fr. Boulos, Lebanon’s Charge D’affaires, Mr. George Zeid, City of Ottawa Mayor, Mr. Larry O’Brien, along with members of the Parish Council and the Organizing Committee gathered for an enthusiastic welcome. We were so grateful that Metropolitan Philip was able to celebrate this momentous occasion with us.
Saturday’s events began when members of the Organizing Committee were treated to a lovely luncheon with His Eminence Metropolitan Philip and His Grace Bishop Alexander at our Parish home. Daniel Abraham, Chairman of The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, was also present with us for the luncheon and all our week-end festivities. Khouriya Helene, as usual, prepared a delicious lunch including the Metropolitan’s favourite - Kibbee Nayeh.
His Grace Bishop Alexander recently addressed the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York. His remarks were published in the journal, "Diakonia," and are reprinted here for our edification.
In the Gospel we read on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (John17:1-13), Jesus says in what is commonly known as His High Priestly prayer: And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. The letters of St. Paul are replete with references to knowing God. For example in his letter to the Ephesians 1:17, St. Paul says: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. In Philippians 3:8 he says: Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…and in verse 10, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.
When we think "knowing," we think about head knowledge and data. People of old conceived of "knowing" as an experience or an encounter. Many years ago I was on a bus tour in France and happened to sit next to an evangelical lady from the US. We started talking about Christ and after a long discussion the lady declared to me, "You have met Him (Christ)."
Saturday, October 23, 2010
St. George Church + Richmond Hill, ON
We are pleased to have, as our special guest presenter, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, Pastor, St. Paul Church, Emmaus, Pennsylvania and originator of the Ancient Faith Radio podcasts, “Heterodoxy and Orthodoxy,” & “Roads from Emmaus.”
For the Dioceses of Toledo, Ottawa, Charleston and New York, and Los Angeles and Eagle River, the Fourth of July holiday weekend ushered in the long-planned for Parish Life Conferences. With the Creative Festivals, liturgical worship, fellowship, and special speakers as the reward, the faithful of each diocese traveled long distances to convene over the holiday weekend. In Tucson, Arizona, the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West met at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa, thanks to the hard working parishioners of Fr. Philip Nixon's parish, Holy Resurrection. Attendees were also able to sign up for day tours to two sacred Arizona sites, St. Anthony's and St. Paisius' Monasteries.
St. George Parish in Niagara Falls, N.Y. welcomed home Subdeacon Todd Justin Mokhiber from his first year at St. Tikhon's Seminary in Pennsylvania. On Sunday, June 6th, Todd gave a wonderful homily that included insights and experiences from his year. Here is his homily:
"In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Glory to Jesus Christ, Glory forever. It is truly a blessing to be back here at St. George Niagara Falls for a few months. Fr. Paul asked me to share a few words about my experience at seminary.
Back in August of last year I was embarking on a journey that would change my life forever. I would leave everything that was comfortable and familiar to me. I would be leaving Niagara Falls for the first time in my life for more than a couple of weeks for vacation or a business trip. Needless to say I was very nervous about leaving my job, home, family, friends, and of course our beloved St. George parish. So many things happened in the process of going to seminary. My brother was very ill, my car died, and I had/have no health insurance since I left my job. Many things were going wrong and I felt like abandoning the idea of going to seminary. I never truly lost hope because of the support of many people that encouraged me and I knew that Christ was calling me to ministry.