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Diocese of Worcester News

St. Vladimir's Seminary to Celebrate Orthodox Ed Day October 3

[SVOTS Communications/Yonkers, NY] The community of Saint Vladimir's Seminary has been busy making final preparations for Orthodox Education Day, "East Meets East," slated to be celebrated on the school's campus on Saturday, October 3, 2015. The seminary's annual open house and fall festival will celebrate the relationship between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox churches and explore the history of their dialogue.

The day will begin and end with Orthodox church services, and a marketplace filled with international cuisine and Orthodox books and gifts will be open all day. Renowned author and scholar Archpriest Dr. John Anthony McGuckin will give the keynote address, "Our Common Father: Saint Cyril;" workshop leaders will address a wide variety of topics, such as Coptic iconography; seminarians will perform a concert of sacred Orthodox music; and a book discussion group will talk about Tito Colliander's Way of the Ascetics.

The full day's schedule is as follows.

Annual Conference for The Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion is Nov. 5-7

The Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion is honored that Fr. Stavros Kofinas, D.Min., will give the Keynote Address on Thursday evening, November 5, at its Annual Conference on November 5–7, 2015, followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Father Stavros is the Coordinator of the Network of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Pastoral Health Care, and also serves as the celebrant at the Holy Monastery of St. Meletios of Kitherona in Greece.

The theme of the Conference is "Caregivers as Confessors and Healers" and will be held at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, through November 7. The title of Fr. Stavros' talk is "Holy Confession and the Freedom to Be." He will also give a presentation describing the Patriarchal Program on Health Care during a special dinner on Friday, November 6.

St. Vladimir's Seminary to Bestow Honorary Doctorate on Metropolitan Joseph

July, 2015: Metropolitan Joseph, Patriarch John X, and The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield at St. Vladimir's SeminaryJuly, 2015: Metropolitan Joseph, Patriarch John X, and The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield at St. Vladimir's SeminaryOn September 14, 2015, the Board of Trustees and Faculty of St. Vladimir's Seminary will bestow a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, on His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, at an Academic Convocation beginning at 7 p.m. St. Vladimir's will also award an honorary degree to His Beatitude the Most Blessed Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Metropolitan Tikhon serves as President of the Seminary and Chair of its Board of Trustees, and Metropolitan Joseph serves as Vice Chair of the Board. The event is open to the public and will be held in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building.

Tri-State Order of St. Ignatius Members to Co-sponsor Presentation by Mr. Samer Laham: "Syria in Crisis"

Download flyer

On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, a talk regarding the humanitarian crisis that has befallen the Syrian population, including Christians and other minorities, will be presented by Mr. Samer Laham, Director of the Department of Development and Ecumenical Relations for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East. Admission is free; the presentation will be held at the City of the Museum of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, NYC. Donations will be accepted by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to help with their Syrian relief efforts.

The Cocktail Hour is from 6:30-7:30, followed by the presentation at 7:30. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will be in attendance. The co-sponsors for the event are The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the IOCC, and The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Space is limited! Please RSVP by September 25 to Christa Pourou, 212.570.3550 , or

OCF Leadership Conference: September 11 & 12

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is inviting all of its spiritual advisors and OCF Chapter Presidents and Vice-Presidents serving campuses throughout New York and New Jersey, to a free-of-charge OCF Leadership Conference Friday, September 11th and Saturday, September 12th, 2015.

The goals of this meeting are:

  • To offer support to local OCF Spiritual Advisors and Student Leaders
  • To Plan inter-chapter events for the upcoming calendar year
  • To promote unity and strengthening of relations amongst our college students
  • To strategically plant OCF chapters at college campuses

The schedule will be as follows:

Friday, Sept. 11th

3:00pm clergy arrive. Icebreakers (clergy only)
4:00-5:30pm clergy only session "Clergy Concerns"
5:30-6:30 dinner (Clergy and Students)
6:30 – 8:00pm round table

October 28-30: Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity Conference, "Speaking to Secular America"

Fr. Luke Veronis, Board Member for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, writes:

Please mark your calendars for a special conference that touches upon an extremely relevant topic for all our churches. On October 28-30 at Hellenic College Holy Cross, the Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity will hold the conference "Speaking to Secular America: How the Church is Reaching Out to the Non-Religious of our Society," which will be held in conjunction with the Installation of the 21st President of HCHC, Fr. Christopher T. Metropulos.

Speakers and Topics include:

"Speaking to Secular America" Keynote Address by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America

"Hellenic College Holy Cross Reaching Out to the World" Inauguration address offered by V. Rev. Christopher T. Metropulos, DMin, as the 21st President of Hellenic College Holy Cross

"Welcome and Introduction to 'Speaking to Secular America'" Fr. Luke A. Veronis, Director of the Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity, Adjunct Instructor at Hellenic College Holy Cross, Priest of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Webster, MA

Memory Eternal! + George Abodeely

Dedicated educator, church leader, and proud family man;

George Abodeely, 85, died July 30, 2015 (at the Grace House) in Windham NH, with three generations of family members at his side. He was the beloved husband of Constance A. “Connie” (Coury) Abodeely with whom he celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on November 14, 2014. He was formerly of Andover, MA and was a well-respected educator in the Tewksbury School system.   

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, June 23, 1930, George was the fourth child of the late Michael and the late Nahie (Missad) Abodeely. He attended Lowell (MA) schools and was a graduate of Lowell High School in the Class of 1948. He went on to graduate from Lowell State Teacher’s College in 1952 with a degree in Education, and received his Master’s in Education from Fitchburg State University. Later, he received Certification from Boston University’s Guidance and Counseling Institute.

 Prior to his retirement, George served as Assistant Principal at the Tewksbury Middle School, where he taught for over 24 years. Previously, he served as Guidance Counselor for the Tewksbury School system, and before that as a teacher at the Foster School in Tewksbury.

A Synaxis of the Antiochian World: A Report on the 52nd Convention

A Synaxis of the Antiochian World:
A Report on the 52nd Convention of the
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Boston, Massachusetts, July 20-26, 2015
By Subdeacon Peter Samore

“O Antioch: lift up your eyes and look around, for your sons came like the pearls shining with the light of God from the West, and the North; from the sea, and the East, glorifying Jesus Christ in you to the ages of ages.” – St. John of Damascus

These words best describe the communion of the apostolic Orthodox Church of Antioch that can never be broken, even if oceans keep her children at a distance from one another. Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ is at the center of the Antiochian communion, manifest by the apostles and their spiritual descendants who proclaimed Christ’s gospel in all corners of the world throughout all ages.

New Opportunities for Theological Education Available Through St. Vladimir's Seminary

Gregory Abdalah of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Phoenix, shares his experiences with fellow D.Min. studentsGregory Abdalah of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Phoenix, shares his experiences with fellow D.Min. studentsSt. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is now accepting applications for students who want to enroll in its Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Program and comprise the “2019 Cohort,” which will commence training in Summer 2016. Potential students may explore this innovative residential program that uses distance-learning and onsite intensives by perusing the D.Min. Program page, or by contacting Director of Admissions Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak or Program Director Priest Sergius Halvorsen, Ph.D. for more information.

Applicants for the new cohort may also apply for aid, through the Danilchick Family Endowment for Pastoral Studies. The fund, set up by the Reverend Protodeacon Peter M. Danilchick and his wife, Tanya, will help support qualified D.Min. students with their tuition, through need-based scholarships.

View all Photo Galleries: Convention and Patriarchal Visit 2015

The editors of have created an aggregate of the photo galleries published during His Beatitude Patriarch John's visit. Go here to view the collection of galleries, "Convention and Patriarchal Visit 2015."

Patriarch John X Visits Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

On Monday morning, July 20, 2015, His Beatitude Patriarch John X visited Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. His visit to the beautiful campus included an extensive tour of the grounds, a service in the Holy Cross Chapel, and a luncheon. Patriarch John was hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and other distinguished hierarchs, clergy, and lay leaders.

During the luncheon, several seminarian scholarships were announced, in honor of the Patriarch and Metropolitan Joseph, and in memory of Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory. His Beatitude was also presented with gifts, one of which was a hand painted icon of the Apostle Paul in honor of Patriarch John's brother, Metropoltian Paul of Aleppo, whose whereabouts remain unknown following his abduction two years ago.

Patriarch John X Celebrates Divine Services at St. George Cathedral in Worcester, MA

On Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, 2015, His Beatitude Patriarch John X celebrated Great Vespers, Orthros and Divine Liturgy at St. George Cathedral in Worcester, Massachusetts. His Beatitude was joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, as well as many other Antiochian bishops, clergy and faithful. Following Great Vespers on Saturday, a fundraising dinner was held to benefit the university of Balamand in Lebanon. 

Photo galleries from July 18-19:

Welcoming Patriarch John X to Worcester
Great Vespers
Fundraising Dinner for University of Balamand
Orthros, Divine Liturgy and Luncheon

Update - St. George Cathedral has shared the following videos from the Patriarchal Services this weekend:

Services with Patriarch John X to be Broadcast Live

On July 18-19, 2015, St. George Cathedral in Worcester, MA will welcome His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. Together with His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, His Beatitude will celebrate Divine Services at the Cathedral on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

If you cannot attend in person, consider tuning in to the Live Broadcast, either at or for the following scheduled services (Eastern time):

Saturday, July 18th Vespers Service • 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 19th Orthros • 8:45 am
Patriarchal Divine Liturgy • 10:00 am

Summer 2015 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2015 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights The Diocese of Worcester and New England! The issue contains:

  • Messages from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Grace Bishop John
  • A Tribute to "Woman"
  • A message from Diocesan Spiritual Advisor Fr. Edward Hughes
  • A Sincere Word of Thanks by Lucy Hanna
  • Introducing The 2013 - 2015 Board of Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England
  • My Mother's Legacy by Christine Bezreh
  • Happenings Around the Diocese of Worcester and New England

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Register Today! Archdiocese Convention in July Will be Historic






St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts is proud to host this year's biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention from July 19 through July 26, 2015, in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. This historic city's significance in American history is a fitting backdrop as we celebrate our own history of Orthodoxy in America, the 100th anniversary of the falling asleep of St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Making this event even more historic will be the presence of his Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, presiding, and the first North American Archdiocese Convention under his Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

Pascha: The Formula for Joy (2015 Reflection from Bishop John)

by Bishop John, The Word, April 2015

As I write this Paschal message, I sit before a seven-foot snow drift. It's not easy to imagine the Easter flowers pushing through the earth to greet the spring sun, when the earth is covered with such piles of snow. It's seven degrees now, but I know that, as Lent trudges on, even with another six inches of snow forecast for this week, Pascha is on the way. How do I know that spring is coming? Was it my mother who told me that spring follows winter during those long days inside the house, or was it something I learned in school? Perhaps it was many years living and noticing that each year Pascha followed Lent. In any case, we prepare for Pascha with great anticipation, especially after a record-breaking winter.

What I really want to talk about today is becoming comfortable with the seasons of our lives and recognizing God's presence and love in each of these seasons. Each has its own challenges and blessings. Let's rise to the challenges and rejoice in the blessings. After all, this is the day that the Lord has made for us. After all, we were born for Pascha, and all of life and all the gifts are to help us embrace this reality of union with God. is is true whether we are just learning to drive or are experiencing the aches of the rusty years.

Bishop Nicholas to Speak on St. Raphael at Schmemann Lecture

His Grace Nicholas (Ozone), auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and resident assistant to Metropolitan Joseph, will speak at the 32nd Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture, Friday, January 30, at 7 p.m., on "The Life and Ministry of Saint Raphael of Brooklyn." In 2015, the Antiochian Archdiocese will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Falling Asleep of St. Raphael with many commemorations related to the Centennial Jubilee.

The free lecture will take place in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707, and a public reception will follow. (Listen to an interview about the Lecture on Ancient Faith Radio.)

Saint Raphael was born Raphael Hawaweeny in Beirut, Lebanon of Damascene Syrian parents of Greek Orthodox Antiochite-Byzantine origin. Father Raphael was sent to New York City in 1895 by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia to administer the local Orthodox Christian community, which included both Russians and people of the Levant. In 1904 Archbishop (Saint) Tikhon of Moscow and Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky) consecrated him as Bishop of Brooklyn, a position he held until his death.

Bishop Raphael was glorified by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in its March 2000 session. He is commemorated by the Antiochian Orthodox Church on the first Saturday of November. Originally buried in New York, Bishop Raphael's body was translated in August 1989 to the Antiochian Village Camp in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

Memory Eternal! + Archdeacon Elias Hamaty

We regret to announce the repose of the soul of the servant of God and Archdeacon Elias 'Ely' Hamaty. Fr. Ely fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday afternoon 28 December at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton MA, surrounded by his devoted family.

Fr. Ely was born in 1934 and raised in the 'Syrian Colony' of Boston's South End. His parents, Mousa and Nour Hamaty were among the early members of St. George Orthodox Church of Boston. The Hamaty family emigrated from the village of Aafsdiq, Al-Koura near the Balamand Monastery where Mousa attended school and later worked as a cook. Fr. Ely's grandparents, Simon and Mariana, also worked at the Balamand Monastery. After arriving in Boston, his parents operated a successful family owned restaurant in the South End. Fr. Ely entered the family business and operated the restaurant before opening his own electronics firm. ELCO Electronics specialized in marine electronics and communications. Fr. Ely was an avid yachtsman and sports angler who fished the waters from Alaska to the Caribbean.

Historic Boston Convention: "Something for Everyone"

North American Chair of the Order of St. Ignatius and Boston attorney, Mary Winstanley-O'Connor, will have an eventful year in 2015. Along with co-chair Raymond Sayeg, she is serving as co-chair of the committee responsible for the 52nd Antiochian Archdiocese Convention, which will be hosted by her home parish, St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA with The Very Rev. Antony Hughes. asked her about the plans for the Archdiocese's "family reunion," which will be held in history-rich Boston, and will be led by Metropolitan Joseph for the first time.

Tell us about your hometown of Boston, and what conference-goers can look forward to this summer?

Boston is the cradle of democracy, rich in the history of the founding of our country, and home of the site of the Boston Tea Party. People are able to walk the Freedom Trail, visit the Old North Church from which the lanterns were hung to warn the troops as to whether the British were coming by land or by sea, and to visit the Paul Revere House.

52nd Antiochian Archdiocese Convention

St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts is proud to host the 52nd biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention from July 19 through July 26, 2015, in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. This historic city's significance in American history is a fitting backdrop as we celebrate our own history of Orthodoxy in America, the 100th anniversary of the falling asleep of St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Making this event even more historic will be the presence of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, presiding, and the first North American Archdiocese Convention under His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

For more information, please visit the convention website at, or visit the Convention page on Facebook.

Memory Eternal! + Charles Slemon

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

MEMORY ETERNAL! Charles Slemon, father of Kh. Sharon Nasr (retired at St. Elijah in Oklahoma City), OK, fell asleep in Christ in Rhode Island on Sunday, October 5th at the age of 96. Mr. Slemon will be buried this Saturday, October 11th, from St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Pawtucket, RI. Condolences may be sent to Archpriest Constantine Nasr and Kh. Sharon at and

Please join me in praying a rope for the repose of his soul, saying, "O Lord Jesus Christ, grant rest to the soul of thy departed servant." May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life.

Read his obituary here.

Many Years to His Grace Bishop John!

September 26th is the celebration of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist St. John the Theologian and the name's day of His Grace Bishop John. May God grant him many years!

Apolytikion of St. John, Tone 2

O Apostle John, speaker of divinity, the beloved of Christ God, hasten and deliver thy people powerless in argument; for He on Whose bosom thou didst lean accepteth thee as an intercessor. Beseech Him, therefore, to disperse the cloud of the stubborn nations, asking for us safety and the Great Mercy.

Boston Byzantine Music Festival, November 14-15


is proud to partner with The New York Life Center for the Study of Pontus & Asia Minor

at Hellenic College Holy Cross


The Second Boston Byzantine Music Festival presents a dynamic and engaging collection of performances that explore the musical tradition of the Byzantine Empire and its points of contact with the music of Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire.

Friday, November 14, 7:30 p.m. (Hellenic College Holy Cross, Maliotis Cultural Center)

Saturday, November 15, 7:30 p.m. (Hellenic College Holy Cross, Maliotis Cultural Center) 

Tickets: $25 per concert • $40 for both concerts Students: $12 per concert with valid ID

Download the press release (PDF) with all details

Diocese of Worcester Gathers for Lively PLC

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Worcester and New England held its 76th annual Parish Life Conference (PLC) from June 19-22 at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth Harbor. The conference was organized and hosted by the parish of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Boston. The theme of the PLC was taken from the Gospel according to St. Luke; "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself." With over 300 people in attendance throughout the four days, the PLC proved to be a tremendous success.

Some highlights included lively question and answer sessions led by His Grace Bishop John (Abdalah) as well as daily Bible studies, divine services and inspirational homilies led by our beloved Diocesan clergy. The teens of our Diocese showcased their knowledge and talents at the annual Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals.

Gallery Features Highlights from Unity Conference

From June 25–28, 2014, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East His Beatitude John X joined with the Fathers of the Holy Synod to call the faithful from around the world to the Hill of Balamand for a conference on Antiochian unity. Appropriately, the Conference concluded with the joyous celebration of the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, patron saints of the Antiochian Church. (Read the text of Patriarch John's homily.) has assembled a collection of photographs highlighting the Unity Conference. Additionally, the Patriarchate of Antioch's website has published photo galleries and written reports of the historic events in both Arabic and English, and galleries are also available on the Patriarchate's Facebook page. The sizable North American delegation, pictured here with Patriarch John X, was composed of bishops, priests, key department heads, and organization leaders. Members of the group will begin returning home on Monday, June 30.