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Diocese of Worcester News

Conference on Divine Compassion Slated for November

A conference titled "Divine Compassion: Orthodox Christians in Service of 'Perfect Love'" is being held next month at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology on Thursday November 14 through Saturday November 16, 2013.  The conference is being co-sponsored by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, and Saint Catherine's Vision, a pan-Orthodox association of women theologians and other lay-leaders.

The gathering will provide the opportunity for Orthodox Christians to understand more deeply the reality of Divine Compassion, the eleos of God, and how we are called to bear witness to it within the Church and society.

The Conference will bring together persons who relate a theocentric and philanthropic theology with the real needs of persons. These include clergy, theologians, philanthropists, educators, pastoral care-givers, counselors, first-responders, chaplains, Philoptochos members, health care providers, and students.

Register at the Saint Catherine's Vision Website.

Loving As God Loves Means Evangelism

By Bishop John Abdalah, Diocese of Worcester and New England, and Editor of The Word

The theme for the Conferences this new Church Year is from the Gospel of 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 (Luke 10:27). God calls us to give all, but only after He has given all! He gives all for us. After God created all, He sent His only begotten Son to redeem the world and share His own love with us. He has joined us to Himself. He calls us to do likewise, sharing His word and Spirit and His love. In so doing, we are joined to be one with Him and one with each other. What our neighbors need most is what we need most: Jesus Christ. What a pity that most of the world still doesn't understand what God has done for the world and what He calls us to be! Calling us to love, with all of our heart, soul and strength, ultimately requires us to be love, as He is love. Loving in God's way allows us to be joined to God in the love of the Holy Trinity. Loving our neighbor means sharing ourselves, sharing God's love, sharing His Oneness. This love leads us to share God with our neighbors. Rather, this love allows us to share God who is in us with each other. Ministering to one another allows us to share in God's own ministry. This ministry is loving with all our heart, soul and strength.

Hellenic College and Holy Cross Celebrate 75 Years

Hellenic College Holy Cross celebrated its 75th Anniversary name day feast with a four-day Jubilee September 12–15, 2013. The event focused on celebrating the history of the community while continuing to highlight the School's significance as, in the words of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, "the heart and the mind of our Church in America." Over the course of the 75 years of the school's existence, many Antiochian students have prepared for the priesthood or lay ministry in the Church through their studies at Holy Cross. 

His Eminence presided over festal services as crowds overflowing from the Holy Cross Chapel watched on high-definition video screens under a tent. In the Vespers service on Friday evening, second-year seminarians received their crosses and Masters of Divinity candidates entering their final year of studies received their rasso [cassocks] as families, trustees, and Jubilee visitors came together in prayer, thanksgiving, and celebration.

Read the full story and view the photo gallery.

 

Metropolitan Philip Interviewed by Boston NPR on Syria

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip was interviewed this week by Boston's NPR radio station for their Here and Now program concerning the plight of the ancient Orthodox Christian communities of Syria. The interview is available for listening, and as a written transcript, both available here.

His Eminence in particular highlighted his concern for the Monastery of St. Thekla in Maloula, Syria. (Read an appeal for the monastery from the Patriarchate of Antioch here.) Metropolitan Philip said in part:

"My concern is about St. Thecla's Convent and other holy places in Syria, which are threatened. The people of Ma'loula still speak the language of Christ, the Aramaic language, and this is the uniqueness of this town, and we are worried about its destruction. Already 400 families have left from Ma'loula. They fled to Damascus."

Full interview available here.

Care for the Aging Patient is the Theme of Orthodox Medical Conference

The Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology & Religion (OCAMPR) has announced the theme of its 2013 Conference in Falls Church, VA at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church on November 1-2, 2013: "The Clinical and Pastoral Care of the Aging Patient."

Speakers include The Right Rev. Bishop John, Diocese of Worcester and New England, Dr. Helen Kales, geriatric psychiatrist at the University of Michigan, Dr. Brenda O'Reilly, a clinical psychologist in private practice, and The Rev. Dr. Anthony Ugolnik, Emeritus Professor of Ethics and Humanities at Franklin and Marshall College.

Register at OCAMPR's Website.

Download the Conference flyer.

75th Parish Life Conference: June 27-30, 2013

The 75th Parish Life Conference will be held from June 27-30, 2013, at the Wyndham Hotel in Andover, MA. Buy your tickets early and book your hotel rooms by May 30.  Go HERE to register

View and download an updated AGENDA here

Online Registration available for Event Registration, Sponsorship or General Donations by clicking Here: www.antiochianevents.org/96

**Note the Parent Consent and Teen’s Code of Conduct forms are required regardless if the minors’ parent(s) is at the conference or not! These forms must be completed, signed and turned in at registration in order to receive their Conference Badge, which is required to participate in any Conference activity. Forms are available on the Saint George Lowell website: http://www.SaintGeorgeLow...

Also, get your tickets for New England's Got Taste and Talent by May 10. Tickets will NOT be sold at the door. They are $20 for Adults and $10 for Children under 12. Please send in the ticket purchase form along with your checks; download the form HERE.

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.

Registration Opens for St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s Summer Programs

[Yonkers, NY/ SVOTS Communications] From May 26 to June 26, 2013, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will be offering six continuing education programs, of varied and unique interest, including a class for academic credit. Register before May 15, 2013, to have the $50 registration fee waived!

Sunday, May 26–Sunday, June 2, 2013

“A Journey in the Sacred Arts: Iconography Workshop for College-Age Youth,” designed for college-age students and endorsed by Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), — Khouria Erin Kimmet, Annunciation Press Icons, iconographer and workshop leader

Friday, May 31–Saturday June 1, 2013

“Conference on Poverty” — The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, SVOTS chancellor/CEO and conference coordinator’ and participants Jay Richards, author of Money, Greed, and God and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and Susan R. Holman, adjunct lecturer at Episcopal Divinity School and senior writer at Harvard Global Health Institute

IOCC's Emergency Response Network Assists Boston Bombing Victims

April 16, 2013

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Within hours of the deadly series of explosions that left three people dead and more than 100 injured at yesterday's Boston Marathon, His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston called upon International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Frontliners – the emergency response network of IOCC – to be dispatched to several Boston crisis counseling centers set up overnight. Four Frontliners, Orthodox clergy experienced and trained in emergency response, will take on the task of assessing the needs of those affected by the tragedy and providing crisis counseling at local emergency care centers set up throughout the city.

Bishop John Abdalah, Diocese of Worcester and New England, expressed his thanks to Metropolitan Philip and all of the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese for their support and love. "Many of our faithful were running and participating in the marathon while others watched the events develop through the media," he noted. "All of us in New England are grateful for the love and support of our Archdiocese."

"Let us not be deterred by this cowardly act of hatred," said Metropolitan Methodios, "but stand united in the exercise of freedom and justice, as we pray for peace and love to reign in our society."

IOCC Executive Director Constantine M. Triantafilou will continue to coordinate the emergency response; all the Orthodox faithful have been asked to assist in the emergency response by donating blood at the local Red Cross donation centers throughout the region.

VIDEO: Bishop John's Address on Spiritual Growth and Marriage

On February 7-9, 2013, Orthodox Christian mental health professionals, clergy, professors, lay ministers and seminarians gathered on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for a conference entitled "Pastoral Challenges in Marriage: O God, Replenish Their Life with All Good Things." Sponsored by the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the conference tackled some of the most serious pastoral challenges in marriage facing the Church today. The Right Rev. Bishop John Abdalah, auxiliary for the Antiochian Diocese of Worcester and New England, offered this first keynote address on Thursday morning entitled "Marriage: An Opportunity for Spiritual Growth and Discovering the Living God." His Grace holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care and has worked as pastoral counselor and therapist for 30 years. 

New England's Got Taste! New England's Got Talent!

Friday evening May 17, 2013 will be a night to remember! As part of the program for the 2013 Parish Life Conference, Saint George of Lowell will be hosting the event “New England’s Got Taste – New England’s Got Talent”. The event will take place in the hall of our sister parish, St. John of Damascus Antiochian Orthodox Church in Dedham, starting at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Only advanced purchased tickets will be allowed to enter; we will not be selling any tickets at the door. All event proceeds will be used to help keep conference prices affordable for all.

On Saturday evening of the Conference (June 29th), we are planning a take-off on the popular TV show "America’s Got Talent" with a twist - it will be a showcase of the best talent in our Diocese! The May 17 event will serve as the elimination round for the June 29th Conference event. Each church in our diocese may submit up to three acts to participate in the elimination round, from which the final participants in the June 29 event will be selected. Acts can be anything from singing to dancing to comedy to magic…the only limit is your imagination! A panel of impartial judges and you, the audience, will decide who goes on to the finals at the Conference. Please see the attached rules for the event. There will be prizes for the TOP 5 winners at the Conference!

In addition to this elimination talent round, there will be a food challenge on May 17, called “New England’s Got Taste”. Before the show, everyone will be able to sample appetizers prepared by our parishes. Everyone who attends will be given five votes to use to vote for the appetizers that they enjoy the most.

Theophany School Open House is March 11-14

Read Bishop John's impressions in The Word of his visit to Theophany School.

Theophany School is hosting its next Open House on March 11-14, from 9:30-11:30 am! Come and see how our teachers create a lifetime love of learning through our engaging thematic curriculum in a nurturing Orthodox Christian environment right in Needham, MA. We offer a multi-age learning experience with small class sizes and engaging curriculum for children ages 2.9 through 6 years old. Current programs include: a 2-day, 3-day and 5-day Preschool option, and a full day Pre-K/Kindergarten.

Visit our website  or call us at 781-444-3058 for more information.

Antiochian Bishops Preside Over Festal Liturgy at St. Vladimir's Seminary

L to R: Bishop Nicholas, Bishop John, Bishop Maxim (Photo: L. Parrott)L to R: Bishop Nicholas, Bishop John, Bishop Maxim (Photo: L. Parrott)"Glory be to Thee Who hast shown us the light!" On Wednesday, January 30, 2013, the booming voice of His Grace The Right Rev. John Abdalah, bishop for the Antiochian Archdiocese's Diocese of Worcester and New England and the longtime editor of The Word magazine, announced the Feast of the Three Great Hierarchs. Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom are the patrons of the St. Vladmir's Seminary (SVOTS) Three Hierarchs Chapel in Yonkers, New York.

The three hierarchs presiding over the Divine Liturgy included Bishop John (SVOTS Class of '84), His Grace The Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn for the Archdiocese, and His Grace The Right Rev. Maxim, bishop of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America.

Bishop John Interviewed on OCN about "Christmas and Loss"

Bishop John AbdalahBishop John Abdalah"Come Receive the Light," the flagship program for the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN), is featuring an interview with The Right Rev. Bishop John (Abdalah), Diocese of Worcester and New England. In the podcast "Christmas and Loss," Fr. Chris Metropulos, Executive Director of OCN, asks Bishops John to offer thoughts out of his own personal experience, to those who have suffered a great loss in the past year and are dealing with the holidays while still in grief. "We need time to adjust," notes Bishop John. "It is normal and healthy to experience depression, anger and frustration, because we've experienced something we don't like, and we didn't want."

Bishop John emphasizes that people are unique in the way they process loss. "Each of us is different and should be given the respect to figure out what really does work out best for us." He also notes that as Christians, we aren't alone, even when it feels that way. "When you suffer a loss, you feel alone, and isolated. Christ comes to us, to join us in our misery, showing us that our misery is temporary, that He cares about us and loves us—the light at the end of the tunnel is the empty tomb."

Listen to the entire interview on OCN.

YES Awareness Sunday is December 2

On the first Sunday in December, Youth Equipped to Serve (YES) is inviting all parishes to participate in YES Awareness Day. A ministry of The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve (FOCUS), YES provides opportunities for junior high and high school students to participate in formative weekends of service in cities around the United States. An upcoming YES weekend, sponsored by St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Pawtucket, RI, is scheduled for Friday, December 14, through Sunday, December 16, in Providence.

Notes Director Katrina Bitar, "We would be so grateful if you took the time to share our ministry with your community and helped to raise funds that will enable us to meet the needs of the people we serve." A letter which can be read in parishes during the YES Sunday observance, reads in part:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we approach the Nativity of our Lord, I am blessed today to have the opportunity to share with you, the YES Program—Youth Equipped to Serve—of FOCUS North America.

Wednesday, November 7, St. Vladimir's Seminary Hosts Missions Presentation

Many Orthodox faithful are unaware that there are 338 Orthodox churches in Guatemala, with 200,000 faithful and catechumens, and that hundreds of Latin Americans continue to leave the Roman Catholic Church on a daily basis, seeking other religious experiences, including worship within the liturgical services of the Orthodox Church. With this as a backdrop, St. Vladimir's Seminary is hosting a presentation by two dynamic priests who are at the center of this phenomenon, on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m.: "Mission to Guatemala: Receiving the Mayan People into the Orthodox Church." The Very Rev. Archimandrite Dr. Andres Girón de Leon and The Very Rev. John Chakos will be guest lecturers, sharing first hand their missionary activities among the indigenous people of Guatemala. The presentation will be in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building on campus.

Download flyers, and read biographical information about both speakers, on the St. Vladimir's Seminary website.

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Boston Seeks Full-time Youth Director

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Boston is seeking a full-time Youth Director, who will be responsible for the overall development and implementation of a comprehensive program designed to meet the needs of the children and young adults of the parish. The goal is to offer a sound religious foundation for youth which promotes Orthodox Christian values of worship, fellowship, service and witness.

The Youth Director will work under supervision of the pastor. He or she must be a committed Orthodox Christian, a highly motivated self-starter who understands contemporary youth culture and who will serve as a good role model for the youth. He or she will be interacting with parents, keeping them informed, and encouraging their support and active participation.

The Youth Director will also work closely with the Parents' Guild and volunteer staff, to design strategies which will improve and expand the parish youth ministry, including the recruitment and training of volunteers to assist in coordinating and staffing.  The Director will set and oversee a youth ministry budget, as part of the general parish budget.

Download the Youth Director Job Description

Download the Youth Director Overview

Download the Youth Director Application

Bishop John Returns to Alma Mater for Festal Liturgy

Bishop John addresses students at St. Vladimir's SeminaryBishop John addresses students at St. Vladimir's SeminarySt. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York, reports:

In his first visit to campus as a hierarch, His Grace The Right Rev. John Abdalah, auxiliary bishop for the Antiochian Archdiocese's Diocese of Worcester and New England, presided over the liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos at Three Hierarchs Chapel on campus.

Bishop John received his Master of Divinity degree with the Class of 1984. For 33 years, he served as a priest of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, before being consecrated as Auxiliary of the Diocese of Worcester and New England on December 11, 2011. He also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care from Pittsburgh Theological School, a Master's equivalency certificate in Pastoral Counseling from Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a late summer storm blew through the Westchester County campus, bringing wind and rain that relentlessly pounded the chapel, His Grace calmly and joyfully served alongside other Antiochian and seminary clergy.

Memory Eternal! + Archimandrite Constantine Atanas Yanney

V. Rev. Timothy J. Ferguson, Protosyngellos of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in West Roxbury MA, writes:

We regret to announce the repose in the Lord of the Servant of God Archimandrite CONSTANTINE Atanas Yanney, Pastor Emeritus of our community. Fr. Constantine was born in Antioch on January 26, 1926. He studied in Damascus and Greece, where he obtained a degree from the Theological Faculty at the University of Athens. He was ordained as Deacon and Priest in Damascus in 1968 by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodosius. From 1968, Fr. Constantine served as pastor at Holy Cross Church in Damascus before being appointed as pastor of St. George Church in Bagdad, Iraq in 1989. In 1989, Fr. Constantine was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by Metropolitan Constantine of Bagdad.

In 1990, Archimandrite Constantine came to Boston to visit his sisters. While he was here, the first Gulf War broke out and he was unable to return to Bagdad. Father was officially attached to St. George of Boston and served as our ‘Pastor Emeritus’ during these past twenty-two years. A humble, peaceful and saintly priest, Fr. Constantine was deeply loved by the parishioners and by his fellow clergy. We will dearly miss his prayerful presence at the altar. He is survived by his beloved sister, Joslene Hajj and her husband Tony and by many nephews and nieces and their children. Fr. Constantine suffered a heart attack the evening of August 21 at his home in West Roxbury and reposed at the Falkner Hospital during the night.

His Grace Bishop +John will preside over the funeral services for Fr. Constantine:

Friday August 24th - at 1 p.m. Bishop +John and the clergy of the Diocese will assemble at the Kfoury Funeral Home – 8 Spring Street, West Roxbury to anoint and vest the body of Fr. Constantine in preparation for the procession to the Church.

Fellowship of St. John Hosts September Retreat

“Run to Receive the Prize”

The 6th Annual Inter-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat

September 14-16, 2012

at

St. George Orthodox Church

                                           55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury, MA 02132

                                             Keynote Speaker: His Grace Bishop +Anthony Michaels

2013 Diocese of Wichita Parish Life Conference

Mother NektariaMother NektariaThe 2013 Diocese of Wichita Parish Life Conference will be hosted by St. Basil the Great Church in Kansas City, KS. Dates are Wednesday to Saturday, June 5-8, 2013.

Keynote speaker will be Mother Nektaria of St. Paul Skete in Grand Junction, Tennessee (90 minutes east of Memphis).

Please check back for more information, or visit the 2013 Diocese of Wichita Parish Life Conference Facebook page.

Souvenir Journal ads are currently being accepted. Please use the mail-in form (PDF) at www.plckc2013.com/docs/Souvenir-Journal.pdf.

Diocese of Worcester Concludes First PLC with Bishop John

Scene from Lobster BakeScene from Lobster BakeThe rocky cliffs of the Atlantic in Ogunquit, Maine were the setting for the 74th Annual Parish Life Conference in New England and the first with Bishop John Abdalah. The PLC took place June 21-24 and was hosted by the parish of Saint George in Norwood, MA. The incredibly scenic location and a new hierarch helped make this one of best attended conferences in many years. The hotel sold out early as did the Lobster Bake and Awards Dinner.

Over 400 clergy and parishioners spent four days at the Cliff House taking care of business and enjoying fellowship. The meetings and workshops were well attended; the Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival were filled with excitement and the finals of "New England's Got Talent" was an awesome display of the musical abilities of the faithful.

Photos from the Conference can be viewed at DropBox.

Back to Basics: Bishop John Addresses the Class of 2012

On Saturday May 26, 2012, His Grace Bishop John Abdalah addressed the graduates of St. Tikhon's Seminary at the institution's 70th annual commencement. The website Oca.org notes that "he gave a moving address on human nature and the freedom of mankind to embody Godly principles or to place himself as a stumbling block to his brother." His speech, published in the June 2012 issue of The Word, has something valuable to say to all graduates of the Class of 2012.

From my youth up, an old lullaby has echoed in my head:

Mumma, see the tiny ducks?

On the shore the old hen clucks.

Mumma, tell me, what’s the matter?

Why she’s making such a clatter?

She is running to and fro,

While the ducklings paddling go.

Mumma, she can’t understand

Why they’re swimming from the land.

She’s afraid the water’ll hurt them.

Into chicks she can’t convert them.

Mumma, see the tiny ducks?

On the shore the old hen clucks.

Parish Life Conference Season Starts June 6

On June 6-9, the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America will kick off the Antiochian Archdiocese's Parish Life Conference season, which is themed "The Bible fills us with eternal joy." The Houston gathering is sponsored by St. Joseph Orthodox Church. Alexei D. Krindatch, Research Coordinator for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, will be the keynote speaker, and attendees will enjoy southern hospitality at events such as the Saturday evening dinner, "Cowboys and Cassocks."

Also in June, the Diocese of Worcester and New England will hold their Parish Life Conference on June 21-24. Hosted by St. George Church in Norwood, MA, participants will stay at the Cliff House in Ogunquit, Maine, on the Atlantic Coast. This will be Bishop John Abdalah's first conference as presiding bishop, and the coastal atmosphere will be enhanced by events such as the Maine Clambake.

Three more dioceses will gather in June: Miami and the Southeast; Toledo and the Midwest; and Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York. Finally, the Los Angeles and Eagle River, and Charleston and New York, conferences will be held over the long holiday weekend of July 4-8. Visit the Conventions and Conference Planning page, or the Antiochian Events website, for registration and information.

Clergy Families Gather in Boston on Bright Tuesday

On Bright Tuesday, April 17, 2012, Bishop John of the Diocese of Worcester and New England and a number of Antiochian clergy with their wives and children gathered at the Greek Metropolis of Boston at the invitation of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodius to enjoy a meal with him and his clergy. This annual Bright Tuesday meal had been a tradition of the Greek Metropolis for many years, but the invitation to the Antiochian Bishop and clergy was unprecedented and warmly received. Some attendees expressed the hope that this gathering would presage many more opportunities for Orthodox Christians in Boston, clergy and laity, of different jurisdictions to come together for fellowship.