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Diocese of Ottawa News

Metropolitan Silouan Visits St. Elias Cathedral + Ottawa, ON

On the weekend of May 11-12, 2014, His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan visited St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Memory Eternal! + George T. Mahshie

Memory Eternal!

George T. Mahshie, 87 of Syracuse NY, passed away at home on May 5, 2014. Mr. Mahshie, a lifelong resident of Syracuse, was the son of Towfick Mahshie and Malakie (Atallah) Mahshie. Mr. Mahshie attended public and parochial schools in Syracuse, graduating from Eastwood High School in 1944. He served from 1944 to 1946 in the U.S. Navy. Upon his release Mr. Mahshie attended Syracuse University where he received his bachelor's degree in 1949. He engaged in various employments and received his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1955. George was an attorney and counselor at law practicing law in New York State Courts, Federal Courts, and United States Supreme Court, maintaining a general practice of law until October 1988. Mr. Mahshie was a member of the Onondaga County, New York and American Bar Associations.

After his law practice Mr. Mahshie maintained a real estate brokerage business during which time he was President of Mahshie Realty and then on a part time basis, until his death working with his wife, Laraine, in the brokerage firms of Mincom 5 Star Realty and eL-M Real Estate. Mr. Mahshie was a member of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors, the New York State Association of Realtors as well as the National Association of Realtors.

2014 PLC Theme is Love the Lord - Love Your Neighbor

It's time to register for your diocese's regional Parish Life Conference (PLC)!

This year's conferences are spread out across five weekends in June and July. On June 11-15, the Diocese of Wichita and the Diocese of Miami will kick off the PLC season in San Antonio, TX and Orlando, FL. Shortly thereafter on June 19-22, the Diocese of Worcester will convene in Boston, MA. Fort Wayne, IN, will be the site for the final June conference with the Diocese of Toledo's PLC on June 25-29. Finally, the Dioceses of Los Angeles and Eagle River, Charleston and New York, and Ottawa, will all meet from July 2-6, combining Fourth of July celebrations with Parish Life Conferences.  

Visit the Conventions and Conference Planning page for full information.

As always, this year's theme, love for God and neighbor, 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.

To facilitate your parish participation in the Creative Arts, Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals, all resources are available in the Festivals 2014 section of Additionally, ads for the souvenir journals can be purchased and registrations can be submitted through the Department of Conventions and Conference Planning's Antiochian Events pages.



+Metropolitan PHILIP Eulogy+

+Metropolitan PHILIP Eulogy+
Economos Antony Gabriel
March 27, 2014

Your Eminences, Graces, brothers in Christ, the Saliba Family,

We are all gathered this evening as a solemn tribute to our much lamented father in Christ, Metropolitan PHILIP, of Thrice-Blessed Memory: but I must say after 53 years of knowing you, O my Saidna, in the words of Abid Bin Al Abras, “my eyes seep sorrow- water skins with holes”.

If our most beloved Metropolitan PHILIP were to give his spiritual Children a farewell address, I’m sure that he would have said what St. Paul said to his own spiritual children in Corinth:

Ye Brethren, I beseech you, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye are to speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (I Corinthians 1:10)

Heart & Soul Fundraiser at St. George Church + Montreal, QC

It's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" - St. George Church in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is pleased to report that several members of the parish and beyond teamed up to stage a first-time fundraising evening that would bring the community together, raise funds for the Church and have everyone "Dancing in the Streets."

Close to 250 fun-loving guests attended Heart & Soul – A Motown Tribute on February 1st at the elegant Le Crystal Reception Hall and were treated to a fabulous night of social mixing, sit-down dinner, dancing, and a scrumptious late night buffet featuring Montreal's famous smoked meat and poutine. Musical entertainment by the electrifying R&B/Soul band The Freddie James Project keep everyone on the dance floor well into the late hours. Popular Montreal radio morningman Andrew Carter graciously emceed the evening.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre Visits St. George Church in Montreal

On Sunday January 26th, 2014, St. George Church in Montreal, Quebec, Canada celebrated Godparents’ Sunday. It is a special day where Godparents, parents and grandparents get together with all the children for a special procession and blessing during Liturgy, followed by a get-together elongated coffee hour.

At the invitation of Economos Antony Gabriel, Pastor of St. George Church, his worship Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, attended the Divine Liturgy on this special day. The mayor was accompanied by Mrs. Anie Samson, Mayor of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension Borough; Aref Salem City Councilor of St. Laurent Borough; and Joseph Daoura, City Councilor of Town of Mont-Royal. They were warmly received by a full attendance. At Fr. Antony’s request, the Mayor read the Epistle in French and then delivered a short speech in which he thanked the pastor and the parishioners for their kind hospitality, stressing that with hard work and perseverance, the city will improve its performance in attending to the interests and needs of its citizens and in fighting corruption.

Memory Eternal! + Archpriest George Aswad

MEMORY ETERNAL! Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of the newly-departed servant of God, brother, and concelebrant Archpriest George Aswad, pastor emeritus of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Niagara Falls, NY, who fell asleep in Christ early on the morning of January 31, 2014. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.

Condolences may be sent to his wife Khouria Grace and their children and grandchildren care of the parish email address,

Visit this Website to add your memories and read reflections and tributes for Fr. George.

(From His Grace Bishop Basil)

St. George, Richmond Hill, ON Sponsors Theology Thursdays

Where: St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in the basement

What: "Heaven, Hell & the Hereafter" Series 

When: Begins Jan. 2 at 7 p.m.




51st Archdiocese Convention Kicks Off in Houston

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. 

Parish Life Conference Season Begins June 5

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.

Montreal Parish's Palm Sunday Service Featured in News

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, MontrealSt. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, MontrealReporter 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."

Read the full article on Global News.

Halifax Parish Hosts Substance Abuse Workshop

Fr. Joseph with Halifax SOYO teensFr. Joseph with Halifax SOYO teensThe 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.

Pan-Orthodox Lenten Retreat in Hamilton, Ontario

Orthodox Lenten Retreat in Hamilton, Ontario

  • 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 

Antiochian Women Hold Christmas Dinner in Montreal

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!

Economos Antony Gabriel Celebrates 50 Years in the Holy Priesthood

By Fr. Michael Shaheen 

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.

Bishop Alexander Audio Interview Available

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."

Reports from the Diocese of Ottawa Parish Life Conference

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....”

Two Dioceses Enjoy Late June Conferences

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."

Oldest Orthodox Community in Montreal is "Alive and Well"

From The Word, June, 2012

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.

A Blessed Lent, Holy Week and Pascha at St. Nicholas Church + Montreal, QC

Interior of St. Nicholas ChurchInterior of St. Nicholas ChurchSt. 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).

2012 Paschal Greetings from Bishop Alexander

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,


Canadian Conference of Orthodox Bishops Meets in Toronto

from the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas:

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.

Lenten Retreat in Hamilton, Ontario + March 31, 2012

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

St. George Antiochian Church of Montreal Hosts Annual Conference for Women

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


Creative Festival 2010: Diocese of Ottawa

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.