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Diocese of Worcester News

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 Antiochian.org 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 www.antiochian.org/live-broadcast-july-2015 or www.acboston2015.com/live 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. Antiochian.org 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 www.acboston2015.com, or visit the Convention page on Facebook.

Address of His Beatitude Patriarch John X to the General Assembly
Address of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to the General Assembly
Syria Update from the 2015 Boston Antiochian General Assembly
Gallery of Scenes from the 2015 Convention
All galleries from 2015 Patriarchal Visit and Convention

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 revnasr@yahoo.com and sharonnasr@yahoo.com

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

MARY JAHARIS CENTER FOR BYZANTINE ART AND CULTURE

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

at Hellenic College Holy Cross

to present the BOSTON BYZANTINE MUSIC FESTIVAL

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.) 

Antiochian.org 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.

Parish Life Conference Season Begins with a Splash

The first two Parish Life Conferences (or PLCs) for the Antiochian Archdiocese have kicked off the summer PLC season with a splash! From June 11-14 in San Antonio, Texas, host parish St. Ephraim the Syrian Antiochian Church is overseeing a lineup of events for attendees from the Diocese of Wichita, including talks by Keynote Speaker Sister Vassa Larin, as well as excursions to local attractions such as the River Walk and Sea World San Antonio. Also enjoying water access are the faithful of the Diocese of Miami, who are being hosted on June 11-15 by the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Orlando at the Crown Plaza Hotel, with its proximity to lakes and the Atlantic coast. 

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Met. Silouan, Bp. Nicholas, and St. Vladimir's seminariansMet. Silouan, Bp. Nicholas, and St. Vladimir's seminariansCongratulations and many years to all the Antiochian Archdiocese graduates in the Class of 2014! 

Special commendation to the following graduates, who have completed their course of study at an Orthodox seminary this spring:

Fr. Joseph Landino, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary 

Dn. Scott Miller, George Katrib, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, with Metropolitan Silouan and Bishop Nicholas in attendance

Peter Kavanaugh, Majd Akkawi, Christopher Kies, and Nicholas Mamey, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, with Bishop John in attendance

Metropolitan Kallistos to Offer Keynote at Holy Cross Conference

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox of Theology, the Metropolis of Boston, and Saint Catherine's Vision present "Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives"

June 20-21, 2014

Keynote Address
Given by Honored Guest
His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
"Divine Compassion and the Ministry of Women"

This conference seeks to cultivate a deeper theological appreciation regarding ways Divine Compassion, the eleos of God, affects the participation of women and men in the life of the Church today. The conference builds upon the work of last year’s inaugural conference, "Divine Compassion: Orthodox Christians in Service of Perfect Love."

More information and registration details are available on the St. Catherine's Vision Website.

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 Antiochian.org. 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.

 

 

Bishop Elia to Offer Keynote: "Christians in Syria at the Crossroads"

BROOKLINE, MA—As a feature of the Costas Consultation in Global Mission series, Bishop Elia Toumeh of Wadi Al Nassara will give the 7 p.m. Keynote Address as part of the all-day event "Christians in Syria at the Crossroads," Friday, March 28, 1 p.m.–8:30 p.m.  His Grace is a professor at the University of Balamand, Lebanon, and he will speak in the Maliotis Center at Hellenic College Holy Cross. 

The event also features Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou (Harvard University; former Vice Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom), the presentation of student papers, and the film "Displaced in their Homeland" about Christians in Iraq, produced by Fady Mekhaeel. The 2014 BTI Costas Consultation in Global Mission is presented by the International Mission & Ecumenism Committee of the Boston Theological Institute in partnership with Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

For more information, contact: Josh Cole, 617-850-1217  

Diocese of Worcester Pioneers Innovative "Family Day"

The start of February, 2014 in New England came with a reprieve from the cold weather and storms which had punished the northeast this winter. The climate instead was perfect for the newly organized innovative program, "Diocesan Family Day." The tagline on the flyers for the event read "bringing together our finest...our people and our traditions" and it certainly came true. For many years in the Diocese of Worcester and New England, the Antiochian Women have sponsored the pre-Lenten retreat, and for five years running young people from the parishes have gathered for Youth Day. So the thought this year was, why not combine them, and why not add more events so everyone in the diocesan family can participate? The Family Day, held at the church of St. John of Damascus in Dedham, was, in a word, "fabulous!"

Boston Byzantine Music Festival to Feature Concert and Lecture

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology will host the Boston Byzantine Music Festival at the Maliotis Center on the Holy Cross Brookline, MA campus on February 24–25, 2014. The festival will feature concerts by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir and by the ensemble En Chordais, with lectures by Dr. Emmanouil Giannopoulos, assistant professor at the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy in Ioannina, Greece, and Dr. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis, Faculty of Music Studies, University of Athens. 

The festival coincides with the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the New Method of Analytical Notation, a major landmark in the history of Byzantine music. 

Individual concert tickets are available for $40.00, or $70 for both concerts. Student tickets can be purchsed for $15.00 per concert. Visit the Festival Website for more information and to order tickets.

Boston Byzantine Choir Releases "Lenten Journey" CD

Since its inception in 1993 by Charles R. Marge, the Boston Byzantine Choir has endeavored to make Byzantine chant and the Orthodox Christian faith accessible to the English-speaking world. The choir grew out of the rich chanting tradition of St. Mary Orthodox Church with The Very Rev. Antony Hughes, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The choir has sung at universities, parishes and music festivals throughout New England.

In 2007, The Boston Byzantine Choir was honored to participate in "The Ascending Voice," a symposium of sacred a cappella music held at Pepperdine University. The choir has also sung multiple times for Orthodox Education Day at St. Vladimir's Seminary and the Sacred Music Institute of the Antiochian Archdiocese. The Boston Byzantine Choir is best known for its five recordings of Byzantine Chant in English, available from Ancient Faith Publishing.