Holy Week services at St. George Church in El Paso, Texas were featured in a news segment on local station ABC Channel 7 in April 2009. ABC Channel 7 received awards and drew excellent reviews for this feature.
Alyce Samen Hamatie was born in 1912 in Manhattan, N.Y. to the late Usta Samen and Alia Hatem Samen, both originally of Lebanon. In her early years Alyce owned and operated her own independant salon in New York City. During her younger years Alyce worked dilligently always helping her family and siblings. She was one of five children; her eldest sister Mary Samen passed away at a young age, as did her sister Najla Samen. Alyce had an older brother, John Samen, who besides being a World War II veteran also owned and operated many successful restaurants and venues. Alyce also had a younger sister, the late Virginia Samen Khouri, who passed away in 2004. In November of 1942, Alyce married the late Edgar D. Hamatie, who himself was a success story in business. They had two sons. The first, was the late Douglas Alexander Hamatie, who was in the U.S. military and was tragically killed in 1962 at 19 years of age while visiting the Pocono Mountains with his family at their summer home. The second was John Edgar Hamatie, who for over 35 years has been the Very Rev. Fr. John E. Hamatie of Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Orlando, Florida.
On a beautiful Palm Sunday, April 12, 2009, the parish of St. George in Little Falls, NJ was blessed to have Metropolitan PHILIP to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with us. Celebrating the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Eminence was host pastor The Very Reverend Elias Bitar and Deacon Michael Ibrahim, along with Archdeacon Hans El Hayek and Fr. Stephen DeYoung from St. Tikhon's Seminary. As always on Palm Sunday, the St. George Church was packed to capacity, with an overflow crowd of an additional 250 viewing the Liturgy from the Church Hall via a large video screen.
On Sunday, March 8, 2009, Eastern Orthodox Christians from a dozen parishes in San Diego and Riverside counties filled St. George Serbian Orthodox Church—one of San Diego’s architectural and iconographic jewels—to celebrate “The Triumph of Orthodoxy” in a Vesper service.
“I’ve dreamed of this day for fifteen years!” exclaimed Fr. Jon Braun, priest Emeritus of St. Anthony Antiochian parish in La Jolla. While the Orthodox parishes in San Diego have been celebrating this feast day together for many years, it has been sparsely attended in the past and this was the first time in several decades that a Pan-Orthodox choir sang the responses for the city-wide Vesper service. The chorus of 40 singers from nine different parishes was organized and conducted by Valerie Yova, Music Director of St. Anthony's Antiochian Orthodox Church. Ms. Yova is a Founder and former Artistic Director of the Orthodox Christian Chorale of Detroit, Past President of the Pan-Orthodox Society for the Advancement of Liturgical Music and graduate of New England Conservatory. “For a number of reasons, the timing seemed right to begin a pan-Orthodox music ministry here in San Diego, and I’m very grateful to the clergy here for giving us their enthusiastic blessing! We have so much to gain from coming together to share our knowledge and traditions! Not just the musicians, but ALL of us.” stated Yova.
The servant of God, Fr. Thomas Moffatt, fell asleep in the Lord at his home in Anchorage, Alaska, early Tuesday morning on September 2nd. He was buried at the Cemetery of St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska, on Saturday, September 13. Please remember Fr. Thomas in your prayers. Condolences may be sent to Lynn Moffatt & Family, 7151 Beaumont Cir., Anchorage, AK 99502.