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Diocese of Toledo News

Featured Mission: Cape Girardeau Mission + Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Some of the group The Cape Girardeau Orthodox Mission is a new eastern-rite mission of the North American Antiochian Archdiocese, under the direction of Bishop MARK in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. The endeavor to establish a mission in southern Missouri began in the spring of 2008 when Father Steven Salaris of All Saint of North America began developing contacts.

The effort took a big step forward in June 2008 when Jim Mackoul (now Deacon) began traveling to Cape Girardeau to investigate the possibility. Contacts were made with several Orthodox Christians living in the surrounding area. It was easy to see that there was high level of interest among the faithful. We hit the ground running. By early July 2008 we offered daily Vespers on Wednesday evenings. By late July, we had found a location in which we could hold services and began scheduling Great Vespers, Orthros, and Divine Liturgy. The mission consists of American, Syrian, Greek, and Bulgarian Orthodox. Everyone is welcome, inquirers and non-Orthodox alike. We’re here to serve. With God’s help we’ve planted our little mission. By the grace of God, we’ll nurture it and make it grow. By spring of 2009, we hope to make the next step and move into a semi-permanent location near the downtown in Cape Girardeau, somewhere close to the university.

Featured Parish: Holy Resurrection + Hobart, Indiana

Holy Resurrection + Hobart, INFrom the Holy Resurrection web site:

The faithful of Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church now worship at the corner of 6th and Water in Hobart, Indiana, under the loving care of Fr. Gregory Owen.  In this story, our former pastor, Fr. Gregory Rogers (St. Catherine Mission) recounts a time when we worshipped at 45th and Harrison in Gary, Indiana. We thank God for those early years and the love and dedication that Fr. Gregory displayed for his parish.

On the outside the building wasn't beautiful. It looked like an old brick warehouse, having gone through numerous incarnations and transformations. Originally built as an auto repair garage, it became a printing business, a hot dog stand and video arcade, a warehouse for storage, and finally, an empty and vacant monument to a more prosperous era. The brick didn't match, old with new, white with red, in spite of the tuck pointing and repair that had been done. The neighborhood itself was dreary, across the street to the north, a cemetery, to the east, a convenience store with its transient clientele, to the south, an eighty year old house long past its prime. Like most early spring days in Gary, IN, this one, March 21, 1987, was chilly and overcast, and a trifle gloomy.

Inside, though, was a different story. The building had been stripped to the walls and studs, new wiring, new drywall, painted, carpet on the floor, new furnishings, redone windows. The accoutrements of worship had been added - a wooden altar, a cross suspended on the wall behind it, huge icons of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God. In the rear of the church an old Russian icon of the Resurrection of Christ hung, candles burning before it, calling down the grace of God upon the people gathered there.

Many Years to our Brother and Concelebrant His Beatitude JONAH

His Beatitude Met. JONAH Bishop MARK writes:

As an honored guest of the OCA Hierarchs I was blessed to be with my brother Hierarchs of the OCA and witness the Lord moving in their midst!  Thank God our brother and sisters in Christ have remained unified through their struggles and emerged, strong, steadfast and full of hope.  May our Lord grant unto His Beatitude JONAH, Many, Many, Many Years.  May He also grant unto each of their beloved Hierarchs many years! 

Expansion Opportunity for St. Raphael Mission + Iowa City, IA

St. Raphael Mission FaithfulFr. Ignatius Valentine writes:

Dearly beloved by the Lord,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever! The community of St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Mission in Iowa City, IA has a very urgent opportunity that we would like to share with you. As you will see in the accompanying pamphlet, we have a wonderful chance to purchase a building that would allow us to continue to grow and serve God in our Midwestern college town. I cannot speak highly enough regarding the generosity and sacrificial giving that has characterized our own members, but I rejoice that we are not in this alone. We are, perhaps, a little toe on the Body of Christ. You are part of that Body as well. We are all connected to the Head through our common baptism and the reception of the same Eucharist.

Simply put, we have 75 days to raise $275,000. This will allow us to complete the purchase and renovate the interior so that it is a fitting place for Orthodox worship.

Featured Mission: Holy Incarnation + Lincoln Park, Michigan

Holy Incarnation is a Western Rite mission serving metropolitan Detroit, Michigan under the leadership of Fr. John Fenton. Prior to the spring of 2008, Holy Incarnation had been leasing space from a local Episcopal church, but in February the mission concluded the purchase of a building to serve as its permanent home.

The new church building is an important step in the re-establishment of a Western Rite Orthodox parish in metropolitan Detroit. From 1975-2001, Incarnation Orthodox Church in Detroit served the liturgical needs of Western Rite Orthodox Christians in and around Detroit, and was the cornerstone of the Western Orthodoxy in the Midwest. Fr Fenton explained that Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church builds on the legacy of the former Incarnation parish. “We are the beneficiaries of years of sacrificial giving,” said Fr. Fenton, “because the funds held in trust after the closing of Incarnation have helped finance the new facility for Holy Incarnation.” Fr. Fenton stated the new building will further the permanent re-establishment of a Western Rite presence in Detroit.

Featured Parish: St. George Church + Cicero, Illinois

The Miraculous Lady of Cicero, IllinoisFrom the St. George Church web site:

Orthodox Christians from the Middle East began to arrive in Illinois in the early part of the 20th century. At first, they were served by itinerant priests from Michigan City, Indiana, and later from Spring Valley, Illinois. However, for decades, there were never enough families in Chicago to constitute their own parish. Many in the Chicago area worshipped in the local Greek Churches or belonged to the common Melkite/Maronite parish of St. John the Baptist.

In 1960, several families petitioned the late Metropolitan ANTONY (Bashir) to send them a priest to serve the Divine Liturgy. Services were held at the Syrian-Lebanese Club House on Washington Boulevard and Laramie Avenue on Chicago's West Side or in rented quarters. Among the first priests to serve on a weekend basis was the Rev. Fr. Philip Giffin, who commuted from Buffalo, New York. Later, priests from the Greek Diocese of Chicago served periodically at St. George. The Rev. Fr. John Newcombe served as the first resident priest for the parish from 1965 to 1966.

Why Does the Church Exist?

On Saturday, Nov. 15, Fr. Alexander Atty will conduct a workshop at St. George Church, Indianapolis, IN. All are encouraged to attend and learn about the work that Christ gave His Church to do and about the role of clergy and laity in this work. Note that attendance in at least one parish council workshop is a prerequisite for nomination for parish council. However, attendance is encouraged regardless of whether participants intend to seek to serve on the council. As we learn more about the work Christ calls us to do and role each is to play, we have the potential to work together in peace and harmony for the building up of the Body of Christ.  The workshop will start at 10 a.m. and will finish by 3 p.m.

Bishop MARK's Russian Photo Albums Updated

Bp. MARK's Russian Photo AlbumsMany images have been added to Bishop MARK's collection of photographs from his pilgrimage to Russia in August 2008.

Please stop by and take a look!

Bishop MARK: Russian Photo Albums

Please enjoy these collections of photographs from Bishop MARK's pilgrimage to Russia in August 2008. Accompanied by a group of pilgrims, Bishop MARK spent eight days in St. Petersburg and six days in Moscow.

Visit a gallery on Bp. MARK's Diocesan Family Photo Album

See a slideshow with more photos by clicking here!

Bp. MARK with Patriarch ALEXI II & Bp. NIPHON Visit to St. Catherine's Church

Divine Liturgy with Bp. NIPHON
Part I

Featured Mission: Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission, Bowling Green, KY

Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission

Bowling Green, KY

Holy Apostles Mission is a mission of the Midwest Diocese of the North American Antiochian Archdiocese.  The mission's congregation, which currently consists of Americans, Greeks, Serbians, Egyptians, and a growing compilation of other ethnicities, first began working toward a mission in the spring of 2008, with a small group of diverse and dedicated Orthodox Christians who long to see Holy Orthodoxy brought to southern Kentucky. Holy Apostles held its first Vespers service in April 2008, and celebrated its first Liturgy in June, the first Divine Liturgy ever to be held in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It received the name Holy Apostles in July 2008.

Visit to St. Catherine the Great Martyr OCA Representation Church in Moscow

During his August 2008 pilgrimage to Russia, Bishop MARK and a group of pilgrims visited St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church, the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America.

Clergy and Laity Fall Meeting, October 16-19, 2008

Antiochian Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

Clergy and Laity Fall Meeting

Indianapolis, Indiana + October 16-19, 2008


Special guests include:

Met. ISAIAH Fr. Kevin Scherer Jeff George

  • Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver SCOBA Overseer of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive Director of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • and special Teen SOYO Speaker, NFL quarterback Jeff George

The meeting will be hosted by St. George Church in Indianapolis. Accommodations are available at the Best Western Castleton Inn.

Scheduled highlights of the meeting include the dedication of new OCF offices, Teen SOYO activities and meeting, meetings of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine and the Antiochian Women, music, multi-ethnic dance, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday.

Featured Parish: St. Elias Orthodox Church, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

St. Elias, LaCrosse, Wisconsin 

St. Elias Orthodox Church

LaCrosse, Wisconsin


Founded by St. Raphael of Brooklyn in the early 1900’s, St. Elias Orthodox Church in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, is a parish renewing, rebuilding, and seeking to grow as vital Orthodox community in the scenic “God’s country” of southwestern Wisconsin.

Originally a parish comprised of immigrants from the Middle East and Greece the community, which went without a resident Priest for decades, was reborn in the 1970’s through the care and devotion of Orthodox Christians who desired to see the Faith reestablished where three rivers meet and over 100,000 people work and live.

While we cherish our heritage and the distinct honor of being founded by a Saint of the Church we believe the best expression of that heritage is to be a living, thriving, and life giving Orthodox Church. To that end we are currently repairing and expanding our facilities and seeking, as well, to grow in our Faith in preparation for inviting our friends and neighbors to experience the joy and life of Orthodoxy.

Antiochian Delegation Visits Moscow's St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church

Bishop Mark with Archimandrite ZaccheusOn Saturday, August 30, 2008, group of 20 pilgrims, led by His Grace, Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Midwest of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America visited St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church – the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

Read the entire article and see more pictures at St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church's web site.

View more photos of Bishop MARK at St. Catherine's.

Featured Mission: St. Raphael Antiochian Orthodox Mission, Iowa City, IA

image St. Raphael Antiochian Orthodox Mission

Iowa City, IA

Since our beginning in 2002, God has blessed our mission with “growth” in multiple senses of the word.  From an initial handful, our group has grown to include a roster of about 100, with Sunday liturgy attendance averaging 50-60. A large percentage of us are children.  Our members include “cradle” Orthodox and converts, representing many nationalities including Syrians, Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, Greeks, Lebanese, Georgians and Americans, all worshipping together in English. We usually have a group of catechumens and several inquirers.  We are blessed to be truly pan-Orthodox!

Whether you live in Iowa City or elsewhere, we invite you to share in our life of prayer and worship and the building of this church.  If you live far away, you can participate through your prayers and donations, both to our mission and to missions across the archdiocese. We benefit every time you pray for us and commemorate us in the liturgy. And of course, we would welcome you with open arms if you ever happen to pass through our community!

The Fall Gathering of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest to be held October 16-19, Indianapolis, IN

The Fall Gathering of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest will focus on ministering to our teens and college students. His Eminence Metropolitan ISAIAH, SCOBA Overseer of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive Director of OCF, will be present for the dedication of the new OCF offices in Indianapolis.

For more information please see the attached flyer.

Thank You from Bishop MARK

His Grace Bishop MARK sends his appreciation for the outpouring of prayer and support during his father's illness and repose.

Thanks and Prayers in Memory from Bishop MARK

On June 30, His Grace writes:

First of all I want to thank the V Rev John Winfrey for the wonderful job St George of Grand Rapids, MI did in hosting this year’s Parish Life Conference. I trust we all had an enjoyable time of fellowship, enlightenment and spiritual renewal.

Second, let us offer our prayers for the newly departed servant of God, the V Rev Fr David Lynch. MEMORY ETERNAL. More information is available here.

Please join me in praying a rope for our brother and concelebrant, The Archpriest David, saying, "O Lord Jesus Christ, grant rest to the soul of Thy departed servant." May his memory be eternal and may you be granted long life.

Your unworthy father in Christ,


Memory Eternal! John Maymon

John Maymon, father of our Bishop MARK, passed away this morning, Thursday June 19, 2008, at 8:15 AM, after a prolonged illness. Please keep Bishop MARK, his mother and his siblings in your prayers.

Arrangements are as follows:

Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest Posts Parish Life Conference Forms

The 61st Annual Midwest Parish Life Conference, hosted by St. George, Grand Rapids, will be held June 25 to June 29, 2008 at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Download Registration

Download Adult Schedule

Download Teens' Schedule

Download Youth Schedule

Download High School Graduates Invitation

Download Souvenir Journal Information

2007 Clergy Seminar and Fall Gathering

Hosted by St. George Cathedral in Toledo, the 2007 Fall Gathering will focus on the vision of our North American Saints.

All required forms are available below.

Myrrh Streaming Icons of All Saints in Bloomington, IN and St. George, Indianapolis, IN

Below are photos from the Myrrh Streaming Icons of All Saints in Bloomington, IN and St. George, Indianapolis, IN. These photos were taken after the Sunday Liturgy August 5, 2007 when the icon of the Platytera began to exude Myrrh.