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Memory Eternal! + Ghassan O. Sayegh

It is with profound sadness tempered only by the certainty of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we announce the falling asleep in the Lord of the servant of God, Ghassan O. Sayegh, on Thursday, November 23, 2017. Ghassan was the loving father of Archdeacon Emile P. Sayegh, Esq., the Chancellor of the Archdiocese.

Ghassan, 86, of Scottsdale Arizona and Congers, New York, passed into life eternal while surrounded by many of his family members.

He was born in Jordan to Otallah and Martha Khalil Sayegh, and immigrated to the United States (New York) in July, 1953, where he was one of the founding members of the parish of the Virgin Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Yonkers, New York, under the guidance of their first pastor then Fr. Philip (Metropolitan PHILIP Saliba), of thrice-blessed memory.

The Sheep Honor the Shepherd: A Night in Honor of Bishop NICHOLAS

By Fr. John Valadez

On the night of September 9, 2017, clergy and faithful from the parishes within the diocese of New York and Washington, D.C. gathered at St. George in Little Falls, NJ, to honor their pastor and shepherd, Bishop NICHOLAS. On August 3, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph appointed Bishop NICHOLAS to the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, knowing “his dedication to and focus on spreading the word of God,” and his effectiveness as a “shepherd and father to all clergy and laity, especially to the teens and young adults.” In love for their hierarch and in a thankful spirit, people gathered from around the Diocese to both rejoice in the news and offer something back to Bishop NICHOLAS.

Memory Eternal! + Olivia A. Waishek

Olivia A. Waishek, 72, of West Roxbury, formerly of Hudson St. in Boston's South Cove, passed away on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Her commitment to her community was second only to her love of family and friends.

A devoted, life-long parishioner of the Church of St. John of Damascus as a member and past President of the Church Committee, Olivia played a significant role in working to provide the nine beautiful crystal chandeliers that hang in the church today. Olivia was also a member of the Order of St. Ignatius.

Olivia was an incredible asset to the City of Boston and her neighborhood of West Roxbury. She spent many years serving the community as part of various organizations. Extremely proud of her Syrian roots, Olivia worked tirelessly for AABA and was instrumental in the construction and development of Cherition Heights in West Roxbury.

A Reflection On Our 45th Thanksgiving in America November 2017: What Are You Grateful For?

Father George and Nouhad Shalhoub of the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan, offer this 2017 Thanksgiving reflection.

Beloved,

This Thanksgiving season marks our 45th anniversary of being part of the most wonderful community and family in a church that houses us all. Over these last 45 years, we have done what our faith calls us to do—have a conversation about Thanksgiving, not just the holiday, but truly giving thanks. Those many years ago, we drove from Toledo to Detroit, one week married and one day a priest on February 6, 1972? For what? To be a parish priest. But how? I didn’t know. Was there a community? I wasn’t sure. Was there a building? No. Was there a place for us to sleep or hold church services? No. How many people were there? About a dozen families all with the same desire—to do what God wants us to do— build a church. For 45 years, we expressed loyalty, for it is the core of love, to be lived in season and out of season. Loyalty stands by prayer and prayer strengthens and invites us to live and trust in God, unconditionally.

Recent Ordinations and Elevations + September 2017

From the October 2017 issue of The Word:

Ordained

REALE, Jeffrey (James), to the holy diaconate by Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop ANTHONY on September 10, 2017, at St. George Church in Akron, Ohio. He is assigned to that parish.

Elevated

AL-ASSAF, Father Youhanna was elevated to the rank and dignity of Archpriest by Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop ANTHONY on September 10, 2017. at St. George Church in Akron, Ohio.

Recent Ordinations and Elevations + June 2017

From the September 2017 issue of The Word:

Ordained

DANEVICIUS, Deacon Isaac, to the holy priesthood by Bishop BASIL on June 28, 2017, at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Topeka, Kansas. He will complete his final year of theological studies at St. Vladimir's Seminary during the 2017–2018 academic year.

DEHAVEN, Dr. Michael, to the holy diaconate by Bishop BASIL on June 28, 2017, at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Topeka, Kansas. He is assigned to that parish.

HONORE, Deacon Andrew, to the holy priesthood by Bishop NICHOLAS on June 25, 2017, at St. Barnabas Church in Costa Mesa, California. He is a third-year seminarian at St. Vladimir's Seminary.

OLAS, Joseph, to the holy diaconate by Bishop BASIL on June 3, 2017, at St. George Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Deacon Joseph is assigned and working full-time at St. George.

SIMON, Marek (Mark), to the holy diaconate by Bishop JOHN on June 4, 2017, at St. Ignatius Chapel, Antiochian Village, Pennsylvania. Deacon Marek is Assistant Camp Director of the Antiochian Village Camp.

VALADEZ, Deacon John, to the holy priesthood by Bishop NICHOLAS on June 24, 2017, at St. Barnabas Church in Costa Mesa, California. He is a third-year seminarian at St. Vladimir's Seminary

Fire Tears Through St. Matthew Church in Ohio

Just days before the celebration of its patron, a fire tore through the nave and vestry of St. Matthew Church of North Royalton, Ohio. Damage was so extensive that the pastor, Fr. Andrew Harmon, said repairs could take one year. As a result, the community held divine services for the feast of St. Matthew at a nearby funeral home.

In a letter to the community, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph wrote: "I learned with shock and sadness of the fire that broke out in your sanctuary this past weekend. My shock and sadness were followed by my paternal pride in learning of the faith and resilience shown by all of you in the wake of this tragedy. Befitting your calling as Orthodox Christians, you have not ceased your rich liturgical life and have made plans to celebrate your patronal feast this evening with joy and hope in Our Lord. May the Grace of God received through your commitment to life of the Church bring your sacred community together to meet the challenges that have been set forth for you!"

Bishop Thomas 2017 Entry of the Theotokos Greeting

November 21, 2017
Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple

Beloved brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, God-fearing Monastics,
and all my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ our True God:

May God be with you all!

I greet you on this most joyous occasion, one of the twelve major church feasts numbered among those that affect our salvation. The Most Holy Theotokos' entry into the temple mirrors our own entrance into the heavenly kingdom. As the holy and righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna, prepared the holy Virgin, so too we must prepare for our entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Pleading for the Lives of the People of the Middle East: The U.S. Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X


 

 

 

 


By Subdeacon Peter Samore and Sonia Chala Tower

“The world would assist both Christians and Moslems much better if it spreads the culture of dialogue in our East and wipes away the culture of the sword…” Patriarch John X

Although he brought the love of the Orthodox Church of Antioch from the Middle East to the United States, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East said that he also brought the pain and suffering of the brethren in his native land. From October 21–31, 2017, His Beatitude made several key visits with elected officials and world leaders in Washington, D.C. and New York City to continue pleading for peaceful, diplomatic solutions to end the fruitless, 6.5-year-old war in Syria, the land of the Apostles Paul, Barnabas and Ananias, that has negatively impacted the entire region.

St. Andrew Orthodox Church – Five Years of Growth

On the weekend of October 15–16, 2017, St. Andrew Church in Lewes, Delaware, welcomed Bishop Thomas for his annual visit.

In addition to inducting six new members into the Order of St Ignatius, His Grace blessed and dedicated the newly-expanded church facility in the name of our beloved Archpriest Boniface Black, founding pastor of St. Andrew’s, who reposed in the Lord in August 2016.

After meeting for five years in rented space, St. Andrew’s moved to its new facility in September, 2012, and immediately began to experience a growth in membership--seniors and young families seeking to strengthen their Orthodox faith through the Church. It soon became clear that the new space would need to be expanded. 

On Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing: Principle #4: Separate Feelings from Behaviors

Note: This series of blog posts will focus on principles important to Orthodox Christians who are raising children. The series will feature a closer look at Dr. Philip Mamalakis’ book, Parenting Toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing. Each week we will take a closer look at one section of the book, which is divided into 6 basic principles of child rearing. Find an overview blog post about the book here. We thank Dr. Mamalakis and Ancient Faith Publishing for giving us permission to share his wisdom with you in this way. Purchase your own copy of his book here.

Principle #4: Separate Feelings from Behaviors

Dr. Mamalakis encourages parents to separate feelings from behaviors in principle 4 of Principle #4: Separate Feelings from Behaviors. This is a very important principle, as demonstrated by the fact that it takes almost one-third of the book to speak to it. He addresses this principle across seven chapters: Take the Side of Feelings, Set Limits to Behaviors, Strategies for Setting Limits, Setting Limits With Your Child, Responding to Pushback, Understanding Consequences, and Giving Consequences.

“I Would Fly Away and Be at Rest:" The Last Public Appearance and Funeral of Bishop Antoun

By Subdeacon Peter Samore

On Friday, November 10, the fortieth day of His Grace Bishop Antoun's repose is commemorated, and on Sunday, November 12, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph asks all parishes to hold Trisagion Services.

“Oh that I had the wings of a dove. I would fly away and be at rest.” (Psalm 54:6)

Although the context of the Psalm is tribulation, it holds a different context for His Grace Bishop Antoun, the longest-serving auxiliary bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese who left this world on the morning of Monday, October 2, 2017. For, as Metropolitan Joseph remarked in funeral address, Sayidna Antoun did not fly away to leave the rest of us behind, because he never betrayed us. Rather, His Grace took up his new abode at the throne of Almighty God to intercede with Him for us, and reunite the clergy and laity he loved so dearly on the Last Day.

Every bishop of the Archdiocese, along with dozens of clergy and hundreds of faithful, gathered at St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida – Sayidna Antoun’s cathedral in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast – to mourn the loss of a man who served them in so many ways since his arrival to the United States in 1959. (View the memorial page for His Grace Bishop Antoun, and view the photo album of the funeral.)

Becoming Truly Human Endorsements

To help communicate the value of and need for the Becoming Truly Human ministry, we have recorded several endorsements from parishes throughout our Archdiocese who are implementing these tools and resources. Below is an endorsement from Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, PA, and also an endorsement from Fr. Matthew Howell, pastor of St. Herman's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wasilla, AK.

November 2017 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The Ever-Virgin Mary and Our Relational Renewal

With the Nativity Fast approaching, we offer our latest booklet: The Ever-Virgin Mary and Our Relational Renewal. It is our meager attempt to bring high honor to Mary – the Mother of Jesus – who chose to participate in His glory and profound love for His children.

With Julianna Schmemann's blessing, this booklet is modeled on articles written by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, with special attention on Mary, the Birth-giver of her Son. We have added insight from our work on the Old Testament translation of the Septuagint.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

On Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing: Principle #3: Understand Struggles in Terms of Kingdom Values and Virtues

Note: This series of blog posts will focus on principles important to Orthodox Christians who are raising children. The series will feature a closer look at Dr. Philip Mamalakis’ book, Parenting Toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing. Each week we will take a closer look at one section of the book, which is divided into 6 basic principles of child rearing. Read an overview blog post about the book here. We thank Dr. Mamalakis and Ancient Faith Publishing for giving us permission to share his wisdom with you in this way. Purchase your own copy of his book here.

Principle #3: Understand Struggles in Terms of the Values and Virtues of the Kingdom

Dr. Mamalakis' third principle of parenting encourages parents to understand struggles in terms of the values and the virtues of the Kingdom of God. This principle is covered by two chapters in his book Parenting Toward the Kingdom. The chapters encourage parents to name their child's struggle and to separate their own struggle from their child's.

Dr. Mamalakis begins addressing this third principle by reminding the reader that if we are truly parenting toward the kingdom, we need to name our children’s struggles and frame every struggle that they encounter in the context of the kingdom. That is, we must look at each struggle in terms of the values and virtues of the Kingdom of God. Every struggle our children experience is an opportunity to help them learn those values and virtues. God has placed each of us into our family to struggle and learn together about His kingdom: that is what family life is all about.

Report: Annual Fall Meetings for Trustees and The Order of St. Ignatius

View the photo gallery on the Archdiocese Flickr site.

From November 3–5, 2017, the Archdiocese's Board of Trustees and the governing council of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch held their Annual Fall meeting in Ottawa, Ontario.

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, the bishops of the Archdiocese, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Mr. Fawaz Al Khoury, and all other trustees and departments visited Ottawa to hold their meetings, which were hosted by St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral.

The love and generosity of the host community was evident and the attendees left with a beautiful impression about the God-protected parish of St. Elias. During the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday, His Eminence inducted new members into the Order of St. Ignatius and upgraded some members to Metropolitan and Life Members. His Eminence also acknowledged Fr. Ghattas' 40th Anniversary in the Holy Priesthood, an occasion he missed because of synodical obligations overseas, and wished Fr. Ghattas many years of health.

Fall 2017 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2017 issue of DIAKONIA, the newsletter of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, is now available online. This issue introduces the 2017–2019 North American Board (NAB) Officers and Coordinators. The issue contains:

  • a message from Bishop John, NAB Spiritual Advisor
  • a letter from President Dianne O'Regan
  • information about the Vocations Project
  • an article about St. Macrina

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

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Announces 2018 Real Break Trip to Albania in Partnership with Orthodox Christian Mission Cen

BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official collegiate campus ministry program under the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, is partnering with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), the official missions agency of the Assembly, to offer students an opportunity to serve in Albania on a new Real Break initiative.

Trip participants will partake in a conference for young adults from throughout Albania, hosted and planned by OCMC missionaries and Albanian youth leaders. They will experience the transformation that Christ brings to the lives of young people who are hungry for a relationship with Him through His Church.

The 2018 Real Break trip to Albania will take part in an event that draws college students and young adults together from throughout Albania to engage them and connect them with the Orthodox Church of Albania and its Youth Office. The Team will also offer outreach at the University of Tirana to bring an awareness of Christianity and the programs of the Church in Albania.

Book by Antiochian Scholar Presented to Patriarch JOHN X

The Very Rev. Fouad Saba, pastor of St. George in Coral Gables, FL, presents a copy of the book to Patriarch JOHN X.The Very Rev. Fouad Saba, pastor of St. George in Coral Gables, FL, presents a copy of the book to Patriarch JOHN X.Recently, His Beatitude JOHN X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, honored his American flock by visiting our nation's capital to raise awareness of the plight of Christians in the Middle East. The cradle of our faith—the land that has sustained our families, communities, and churches for centuries—finds itself trapped in the crossfire of international unrest. In the face of spiritual and cultural despair, His Beatitude, accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, took the international podium at the Hudson Institute to stress the permanency of Christians in the Middle East.

It is providential, even as the Patriarch proclaimed his message of hope, that another son of Antioch—one who taught His Beatitude during his studies in the early seventies at the St. John of Damascus Theological Institute in Balamand, Lebanon—released a new book touching on similar themes. In The Rise of Scripture, published by OCABS Press, Fr. Paul Tarazi transports his readers back two millennia, to the people of the same same region, struggling to survive in the face of similar challenges. (Learn more about Fr. Paul's new book.)

The basic point in Scripture, Fr. Paul explains, is reflected in the Bible's lengthy discussion of our liberation from the powers of servitude under Pharaoh: God is our Father and our Shepherd, and under his care we have nothing to fear from our enemies. The hope for our future, Tarazi teaches, is not in the many human powers and civilizations, but in the Scriptural God, who has sustained us in peace since the time of the Apostles, and will forever sustain us through the vicissitudes of human history.

The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America: Hudson Institute Discussion


On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese, were the guests of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. Video of their 70-minute discussion regarding the future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America is now available. The hierarchs addressed questions about the place of Christians and the Antiochian Church in the future of war-torn Syria, the role the Church has played in humanitarian assistance to the millions of people in need, and why Orthodoxy is finding renewed appeal in Western countries.

V. Memories of Metropolitan ANTONY

Reflections Homepage

Before moving on to our first parish, I need to take a little detour. When the Antiochian students first arrived in New York, Metropolitan ANTONY instructed us to go to St. Nicholas Cathedral and meet the venerable Fr. Wakim Dalack. He was married to Archpriest Basil Kherbawy's daughter Alice, and this was a kind of priestly royalty inasmuch as Fr. Basil played a major role in the fledgling diocese, with St. Raphael and later Aftimios Ofiesh his immediate successor. Also, Fr. Basil authored many books in Arabic and English on the history of the United States and on the Orthodox Faith, among so many of his other contributions. Father Dalack and Khouria Alice literally took us in and they loved Lynn. He was a successful businessman before being ordained, and once told us to "get a business first so you do not depend on others for a living." They gifted Lynn with many fine things during this early period.

I must relate an event that made a deep impression. On one Holy Thursday we sauntered over to the Cathedral because the Metropolitan was serving. At the conclusion of the service I went to the altar to receive a blessing from His Eminence, and there was this six foot five archbishop, having confession on his knees before Archimandrite Hannieh Kassab, who was no taller than five feet. (Father Kassab was an eminent canon lawyer and a one-time opponent of the Metropolitan during and after his election. He had translated the ancient texts of the canons and lost them on the train, a precious work gone forever.) On Holy Thursday, there was Sayidna kneeling before him as if he was an altar boy in penance. I left the Holy Place with tears running down my face, seeing this giant of a man humbling himself in such a manner.

​Bishop ANTHONY Keynote Speaker for Reformation Conference at St. Nicholas, Grand Rapids

Christians around the world are​ poised to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation​ on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 It was on that day in the year 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany, beginning what now know as Protestant Christianity.

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, MI ​is ​set to host a conference reflecting on ​this occasion, on Monday, October 30 and Tuesday, October 31, 2017. The gathering is entitled, "That They May be One: A Time of Remembrance & Reflection on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation​.​​"​ While we Orthodox were not involved in the​ Reformation, it has influenced the world we live in to a great extent,​ and we have definite views on the issues that both led to and came out of the Reformation. We are inviting the Christian community in our area to hear our perspectives and to hear theirs. Following opening remarks by host pastor Fr. Michael Nasser, and the mayor of Kentwood (where St. Nicholas is located) Stephen Kepley, His Grace Bishop​ ​ANTHONY will be offering the ​k​eynote ​a​ddress at 7 PM at October 30​. ​We have employed a variety of means to invite the Christian community ​of our area, including a direct mailing to almost 1,000 churches in a three county area.​ The goal of this conference will be to engage in dialogue within our Christian community with a view toward greater interaction and development of respectful relationships.​

Registration Opens for St. Emmelia Homeschool Conference & Parenting Retreat, South

December 30, 2017 update: Registration for the SOUTH St. Emmelia Homeschool Conference & Parenting Retreat is closing on January 5. Harvey didn't stop us, and we hope nothing will stop you! Registration is limited, and we expect to sell out. Register TODAY by going to the Conference website.

2018 SOUTH Conference
January 19–21, 2018
The Saint Constantine School
Houston, Texas

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Philip Mamalakis

Historic Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X to New York

View the livestream! At 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 29, 2017, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East celebrated the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, 355 State Street. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and other hierarchs, clergy, and faithful joined him.

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