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Dept. of Western Rite News

Virginia Magazine Features St. Patrick Orthodox Church

Recently, St. Patrick Orthodox Church was featured in the Warrenton, Virginia, Lifestyle magazine. Part of a series about local houses of worship, the colorful article presented the life of the community of St. Patrick in both text and photographs.

The author writes, "St. Patrick's Orthodox Church is strongly committed to being a vibrant witness of the Orthodox faith for their community. The congregation is made up of seniors, young singles and couples, families and many children, In Orthodoxy, the path of salvation is clear: we confess our sins regularly, we partake in our Lord's Body, we read (and sing) the Scriptures, we feed and clothe the poor, we fast, and we pray that we may be continually more filled with love for God and man."

Read the full article here.

Western Rite Vicariate Features Fr. Patrick Reardon at Convention

Fr. Patrick Henry ReardonFr. Patrick Henry ReardonDuring the upcoming Archdiocese Convention in Chicago, the Department of Western Rite (Western Rite Vicariate) will offer a special presentation for all by the V. Rev. Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon on Wednesday, July 27.

Under the theme “What Benefits Does Western Orthodoxy Offer Eastern Orthodoxy,” Father Patrick will talk about “Christ as Mediator.” Following his presentation, there will be opportunity to ask questions related to his presentation.

Father Patrick’s presentation will begin at 10:45 a.m. and conclude by 12:30 p.m.

Parish priests attending the convention, along with lay delegates and guests, are invited to attend this session.

Following Fr Patrick’s presentation, the priests serving Western Rite parishes will gather for a closed session for a discussion with the Vicar General.

May God bless you and grant you safe travels to Chicago.

By V. Rev. Edward Hughes 

Vicar General of the Western Rite

Bishop Thomas Celebrates Patronal Feast with St. John the Baptist Parish

His Grace prays over newly tonsured Reader Jude HobbsHis Grace prays over newly tonsured Reader Jude Hobbs

On Friday, June 24, 2011, on the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Bishop Thomas, the bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, made an episcopal visit to the faithful at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Lewistown, Maryland. St. John the Baptist Mission is the only Western Rite church in Maryland, and is one of only four Antiochian Orthodox churches in the United States that has taken the Forerunner of Christ for their name and patron saint. Bishop Thomas’ visitation coincided with the mission’s celebration of their annual patronal feast.

The celebration began with evening Vespers, followed by the tonsuring of Reader Jude (Marty) Hobbs by Bishop Thomas. The fact that Marty keeps a shaved head gave occasion for a bit of levity as Bishop Thomas took up the scissors, looked at Marty’s head, and proclaimed, “We’ll see what we can do here!” A bit of Marty’s goatee was sufficient for the ritual tonsuring, and with the prayers of consecration said by His Grace, the newly tonsured Reader Jude chanted his first epistle reading from Philippians 2 before Bishop Thomas and the people of St. John the Baptist.

Bishop Thomas Visits St. Patrick’s Mission + Warrenton, VA

On March 19, 2011, His Grace Bishop Thomas visited the congregation of St. Patrick’s Western Rite Orthodox Mission in Warrenton, Virginia. Since the establishment of the mission, Sayidna Thomas has been a great encouragement, always offering his time, guidance, and love. He is a true shepherd and spiritual father of the community. After greeting and giving his blessing to a group of smiling children, Bishop Thomas prayed alongside Fr. Patrick Cardine during Solemn Vespers. In the midst of worship he spoke with ardent love about our Most Holy Mother’s betrothed husband, St. Joseph. As though recounting the life of a dear and close relative, Sayidna told the story of St. Joseph’s deep faith, humility, and trust in God. His words could not have painted more clearly the reality that our Holy Church is truly one large family. Indeed, “we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses”! 

Greece Prepares Me for the Western Rite

by Peter Kavanaugh

After a year and a half on Mt. Olympus I prepared for my return back to America. I did not know what would await me there, and was a little anxious about leaving behind the awesome Grace of God I had experienced in Greece.

It was in the spring of 2008 that I began my life at the Holy Monastery of St. Dionysius of Mt. Olympus. I had gone there because I wished to live in an environment where Orthodoxy was deeply embedded into everyday life. There I found a community of lay people and clergy with a Christianity that was not, in the popular sense of the word, just a “religion” (in the popular sense of the word), or merely a set of dogmas and rituals, nor was it just “what we do on Sundays.” Instead, their faith was to be found even in the way they drink their coffee, in their daily expressions and habits, in their hospitality and lack of anxiety, and especially in their love for one another.

I was especially impressed by how natural and uncontrived their religion was. For them Orthodoxy was not exotic or foreign. It was simply life. One day followed another as these monks engaged in ancient, beautiful traditions. But as time passed by, it was no longer the elaborate robes and rituals that impressed me. Behind everything they did there was a spirit. Their faith, expressed through their Byzantine traditions, consisted of something much deeper and transcendental. There was a quiet power in their hearts and behind their eyes. This gradually became much more apparent and alluring. I went to Greece seeking to find the height of Orthodox expression. When I left, I simply wanted to find God.

St. Michael Oblates Host Lenten Retreat

St. BenedictSt. BenedictOn behalf of the Orthodox Oblates of St. Benedict from St. Michael Orthodox Church in Whittier, we cordially invite you to attend our annual Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 19, 2011, at the church property - 3333 Workman Mill Rd. Whittier, CA. 90601. The Retreat Conductor will be Rev. Fr. Paul Olson from St. Nicholas Cathedral in L.A. Fr. Paul will speak on the topic: "COMMUNION DEVOTIONS - What Do They Teach Us."

The retreat will be held from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., and it will include the Office of Oblates, Western Rite Liturgy, several sessions with our speaker, time for question and answers, quiet time to reflect and read, and time to meet with clergy if you so desire. In keeping with the Western Rite, this retreat will be in silence, so please be prepared for that. Snacks and lunch will be served, and there is no charge for the day.

In order to be properly prepared for the day, please RSVP to the church, (562) 692-6121. Please spread the word and invite your friends and family to join us for this special day. Fliers will be mailed this week to the local parishes. We encourage everyone to take time away from their busy lives so that this Lenten Season will bring you much peace and joy.

The Oblates support the Whittier Pregnancy Crisis Center, which assists mothers in crisis pregnancies and helps them to either keep their babies or find adoptive families for them. We are collecting newborn diapers, and if you would like to contribute some, that would be most appreciated.

The Holy Season of Lent in the Western Tradition

by Fr. John W. Fenton

The Theme of the Season

The holy season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with the Easter Vigil. It is a 40-day season of instruction in the Christian Faith, and devotion on Our Lord’s merciful passion. During this season, mortification of the flesh, through self-denial, is practiced both with the Church and individually.

The Parts of this Season

The season of Lent is divided into three distinct parts:

  • Lent proper begins with Lauds Ash Wednesday and concludes just before First Vespers on Passion Sunday. Instruction in the Faith is the central liturgical focus.
  • Passiontide begins with First Vespers on Passion Sunday (2 weeks before Easter) and concludes with Vespers on Holy Wednesday. Meditation on Our Lord’s Passion is the central liturgical focus.
  • The triduum sacrum (“holy three days”) begins with Lauds on Maundy Thursday and concludes with Compline (follow the Vigil Mass) on Holy Saturday. Meditation on the Paschal Mystery is the central liturgical focus.

The Three Disciplines of Lent

The mortification of the flesh, or the putting to death of the passions which hinder attainment of the kingdom of heaven, is practiced with three disciplines of self-denial during Lent. These disciplines are not individual, but communal; and they are not optional, but obligatory. For Holy Church understands that the practice of these disciplines both increases the Paschal joy of the faithful, and aids the soul living the fullness of the faith.

These three disciplines are:

Western Rite Featured on OCN

The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) recently featured several Antiochian priests in a new installment in their "Special Moments In Orthodoxy" podcast series. "What is Western Rite Orthodoxy and where did it come from?" asks OCN's website. "To learn more please join Fr. Chris and Emmy for this episode of Special Moments in Orthodoxy as they welcome Archpriest Fr. Paul Schneirla, Vicar-General of the Western Rite in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and Fr. Michael Keiser, author of The Children of the Promise: Introduction to Western Rite Orthodoxy to the program, as they will discuss the differences and similarities between Western Rite Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy." The full episode is available here.

Western Rite Orthodox Kalendar 2011

The Western Rite Orthodox Kalendar 2011 is now available on This calendar is based upon the Liturgy of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. It features beautiful paintings of the different parts of Holy Mass, along with spiritual and theological explanations.

Click here to order.

Old Testament Women at The Annunciation: Gleanings from the Western Rite Lectionary

From The Word, November 2010

Not All by Herself

Orthodox believers of both the Eastern and Western Rites celebrate major feast days in honor of the events in the life of the Theotokos. St. Luke records three of these important occurrences: the Annunciation, March 25 (1:26–38), the Visitation, July 2 (1:39–56), and the Presentation, February 2 (2:21–39). A common feature in the three stories is that our Lady is never alone; other people share in the events of her life.

'Mary deliberately goes to be with her cousin Elizabeth after Mary’s annunciation. Mary is not alone at the Temple when she presents the infant Jesus, because the Gospel tells us that at least her husband, Joseph, the priest, and Saints Simon and Anna are there for the occasion. Mary’s annunciation itself, however, seems a little different. Yes, the archangel Gabriel comes to her, but he leaves after delivering his message, and we do not read that she has anyone else with her. Or, does she?

In fact, those who attend Orthodox Western Rite parishes discover in the lectionary readings for the Feast of the Annunciation that five women from the Old Testament spiritually join with the Blessed Virgin Mary. These women, in order of their liturgical appearance, are Eve, Sarah, the Psalmist’s royal Queen, the conceiving Virgin in Isaiah, and Hannah.

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Donald David Wallace Lloyd

Father Donald David Lloyd, 1912-2010Father Donald David Lloyd, 1912-2010At 12:20 a.m. on Sunday, October 17th, word was received that the eldest brother in the Diocese of Wichita, Father Donald David Wallace Lloyd, D.D., reposed at the age of ninety-seven.

The casket with Father Donald David will arrive at St. Mark Church in Denver, CO on Thursday, October 21st at 5:00 p.m., where he will lie in state until after the Requiem Mass which will be served at 7:00 p.m. He will then be taken to the St. Laurence Center in Tallahassee Creek, CO where, upon arrival, a brief low Mass of Requiem will be served followed by interment in the specially-prepared sepulchre just west of the Basilica of St Laurence. Then, this Saturday, October 23rd, the final Requiem Mass will be served at the Center at 11:00 a.m.. Condolences may be sent c/o Father John Connely ( of St. Mark Church in Denver.

Fr. John Connelly writes:

Following his Chrismation and Ordination, Father Donald David Wallace Lloyd, D.D. told me very sincerely that never in his life had he felt so uplifted, blessed, (he used a vocabulary to explain this that I cannot entirely remember), and that his joy was beyond anything of merely earthly happiness. He was delivered from all the sorrow of 93 years (the age at which he received into Holy Orthodoxy) and then continued his earthly life as the most powerful intercessor that I have ever known. If your retired Priests want to see Paradise, let them follow this example. Father Donald was given names for prayer in restaurants and everywhere we traveled. He normally rose at 5.00 o'clock so to complete his Morning Prayers by 8:00 o'clock given his lists of living and departed souls.  

Father John

Bishop Basil writes:

2010 Western Rite Vicariate Conference + August 2-4, Washington, D.C.

The biennial conference of the Western Rite Vicariate will be held Monday, August 2 through Wednesday, August 4 in Washington D.C.

Evangelism will be the focus of this year’s conference. Presentations will be offered on making the Orthodox Faith known to the unchurched, the reception of new parishes (“provisional missions”) and on-going instruction within the parish.

Mass will be celebrated daily, together with Vespers and Lauds (or Morning Prayer). A complete schedule of the conference will be available by May 15.

The Right Reverend THOMAS (Joseph), Bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, serving in the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, will attend the conference representing The Most Reverend Metropolitan PHILIP (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America.

Clergy and laity from Western Rite parishes, and those interested in the Western Rite, are cordially invited. Please register using the registration form which is attached.

The Western Rite Vicariate Conference is hosted by St. Gregory the Great in Washington DC and co-hosted by St. John the Baptist in Lewistown MD, Holy Trinity in Lynchburg VA and St. Patrick in Warrenton VA.

Should further information be desired, please contact:

Fr. John W. Fenton
Assistant to the Vicar General of the Western Rite

Living the Christian Faith in the Orthodox Western Tradition

Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 & Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009
All Saints of North America Orthodox Church
2550 Schuetz Road
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
(314) 994-0220 •

Using an informal and informative format, Fr. John Winfrey and Fr. John Fenton will lead four structured discussions on how the Christian Faith is lived in the Orthodox Western Tradition.

St. John the Baptist Mission Profiled in the Frederick News-Post

One man’s spiritual journey ends with a congregation’s conversion

Lewistown is now home to Maryland’s first Western Rite Orthodox church

by Ron Cassie of The Frederick News-Post

Last weekend, at a service at St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church in Poquoson, Va., Bishop Thomas Joseph ordained James K. Hamrick into the holy priesthood of the Western Rite Orthodox Church.

It was a moment Hamrick’s congregation in Lewistown has been waiting for since early spring. On April 10, his small flock at the former Charismatic Episcopal Lamb of God Church converted en masse to the Antiochian Orthodox faith, which includes both Western Rite and Eastern Orthodox churches.

At Hamrick’s urging, the 40-member congregation, which worships in a church built in 1883 by Methodists, was officially accepted as an Orthodox mission in March. After preparation, members went through the sacramental rite of chrismation into the Antiochian Orthodox faith. Further highlighting their transformation, the congregation adopted a new name: St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church.

This weekend, Hamrick will lead an Orthodox Sunday Mass for the first time at the church, marking the final step for the 45-year-old priest and his congregation as Maryland’s first Western Rite Orthodox church.

“For the people who have endured a rather long and difficult journey, this doesn’t mark the end, but a fresh new beginning,” Hamrick said. “We’re excited about what God is doing — about being pioneers and evangelists, about bringing Holy Orthodoxy which is the faith of the Apostles and the ancient Church to the people of Frederick County living in the 21st century.”

Fr. James Hamrick Ordained to Priesthood

Maryland’s First Western Rite Orthodox Church Emerges

Click here for more photos.

On Sunday, August 23, 2009, Bishop THOMAS (Joseph) ordained James K. Hamrick to the Holy Priesthood in the Orthodox Church, Antiochian Christian Archdiocese.  The ordination ceremony was conducted during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Basil the Great Orthodox Church in Poquoson, Virginia (near Newport News).  The host priest and pastor of the church, Father Gregory MacGregor, was one of Hamrick’s three priest sponsors.  Father MacGregor had introduced Hamrick to Holy Orthodoxy three years earlier during a family vacation to Williamsburg, VA.  At that time Hamrick was a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church and had just planted a new mission in Lewistown, Maryland named Lamb of God Church—all of this after having previously served as a United Methodist pastor for six years in the Harpers Ferry, WV area.

Hamrick’s other two priest sponsors for his ordination were present and included Father Patrick Cardine, pastor of St. Patrick Orthodox Church in Warrenton, VA; and Father Nicholas Alford, pastor of St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church in Washington, DC, both of whom were also the catechists for Hamrick’s congregation when they made a decision to become Orthodox last year.  

Audio Available of Western Rite Presentation at Archdiocese Convention

Click here to listen to Department Chair V. Rev. Edward Hughes' presentation at the general assembly of the 2009 Archdiocese Convention.

More audio from the 2009 Convention is available from Ancient Faith Radio.