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Antiochian Village Camp Thanks Order for Support

In their Autumn newsletter, the Antiochian Village Camp shares this appreciation:

"The Order of St Ignatius in 2009 donated $175,000 for camp scholarships to our eight Antiochian Archdiocese camping programs. We would like to thank the members of the Order for their generosity, especially the $100,000 of scholarship funding that was assigned to campers at the Antiochian Village."

Announcing Land and Covenant from OCABS Press

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies is pleased to announce the publication of "Land and Covenant," the latest in a series of books to be released this year by Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi. Personally commissioned by +Archbishop Philip Saliba, "Land and Covenant" addresses the root cause of Palestinian suffering—and Middle Eastern strife generally—through a stunningly comprehensive analysis of the Biblical story.

In his preface to Fr. Tarazi’s book, +Metropolitan Philip writes: "If you have lived in the Middle East since the inception of the state of Israel, or if you are a student of twentieth century Middle East history, you cannot help but take part in the debate which has produced many books on the ongoing conflict between Jews and Arabs, especially Palestinians...[Tarazi addresses this conflict] not from an historical point of view, but strictly biblical...Land and Covenant is a very scholarly and interesting biblical study, and I recommend it to all who seek the truth, objectively and without any prejudice."

October Meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees

During this coming weekend, the regular Fall meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod of Bishops and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will be convened in Houston, Texas.  The Archdiocesan Synod will meet during the morning of Friday October 16th, 2009. The Board of Trustees will convene for its first session during the evening of Friday October 16th, and its second session during the morning of Saturday October 17th.

In anticipation of these most important meetings, we ask all of the faithful to pray that the participants will travel safely and will participate in fruitful deliberations.

Featured Parish: St. Andrew Orthodox Church + Lexington, KY

St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Lexington, KY had its beginnings with 5 pioneering families meeting at a members home on the Feast of St. Andrew Nov. 30, 1979. Later the community asked the Archdiocese for the patronage of St. Andrew due its founding significance. From the beginning St. Andrew has been a Pan Orthodox, multi ethnic, English speaking, and mission minded community desiring to share the Orthodox faith with the greater Lexington area. From its humble origins of 5 families it has grown to serve a community of more than 100 familles with origins in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Greece, and converts from many Western European roots. Its diversity in ethnicity's are united by its Christ centered allegiance and the mission to both live out and spread the teachings of the Gospel.

Overcoming Anxiety: Christ, the Church Fathers, and Cognitive Scientific Psychology

by Fr. George Morelli

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down. (Prv 12:25)

Understanding anxiety

In psychology research, anxiety disturbances represent a variety of mental disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The maladies associated with anxiety include: panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, anxiety associated with medical conditions, anxiety induced by substance intake and generalized anxiety disorder.

A detailed discussion of specific disorders is beyond the scope of this presentation. As anxiety is the common feature of all anxiety disturbances, I examine the biological, cognitive, and behavioral factors associated with anxiety. I also present reflections of a few early Church Fathers who recognized anxiety as malady and, like modern behavioral scientists sought a cure.

Features of anxiety

Those experiencing anxiety commonly describe having feelings that are very unpleasant, such as fear and apprehension, as well as perspectives that are vague and diffuse, that is to say, not concentrated in one place. Bodily features can include motor reactions such as the inability to relax, jumpiness, tightness of muscles, trembling, hyperactivity, heart palpitation, perspiration, and vertigo. These symptoms can be accompanied by apprehensive thoughts and expectations.

Jason Barker Launches is not only the online home for the Orthodox Life Tips podcast, but it is also the central gathering place for all the podcasts, studies and other resources created by Jason for different Orthodox groups, including Antiochian Archdiocese youth programs, Ancient Faith Radio, and Orthodox Christian Network, as well as articles he writes specially for

October 14, 2009 + From: Educating Our Youth – Why Bother?

By Claire Ameer

The Word Magazine, October 1986

It is apparent that our North American society . . . is immersed in secular values. We and our children are bombarded with the selfish, subliminal message, “love things and use people,” instead of Jesus’ teaching that the greatest commandments are to love God and our neighbors. I firmly believe that young people need strong, clear, consistent, accurate, and thorough information about their religious faith and need to view exemplary lives in order to counteract some of the potentially lethal messages which the world often sends them. I see the Orthodox Church as offering that positive viewpoint to our youth who participate regularly and fully in the liturgical life of the church and our religious education classes.

As for positive, Christian role models, parents are the best place to start. For their children, parents mediate and incarnate God’s love and his words in an incredibly powerful way. When a child sees his extended family worshipping God weekly in church and reinforcing their faith and the Church’s teachings at home, the child knows on many levels that God should be placed in the center of our lives. We adults do a great disservice to children if we take a lighthearted approach to their religious education; or if, through example, we lead them to believe that just occasional participation in the Divine Liturgy and in the Sacraments of Confession and Communion is sufficient. We are perhaps allowing them to deduce that secular activities, whether they are jobs, sports, dinner parties, school work, or additional sleep, should be of foremost importance, while worshipping God can wait until later, if it occurs at all. Although most Christian parents would probably not openly espouse such an indifferent viewpoint, teenagers, in particular, are readily able to sense any inauthenticity and lack of conviction on the part of the significant adults in their lives.

Holy Synod Meets in Damascus

His Grace Bishop BASIL passes along the news that THE HOLY SYNOD of our Patriarchate of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East convened today, Tuesday - October 6th, at the Patriarchal Residence in Damascus, Syria for its fall meeting. 

In attendance were His Beatitude PATRIARCH IGANTIUS IV (Hazim), the president of the Synod, and the following seventeen Metropolitans: GEORGE (Khodre) of Mount Lebanon, CONSTANTINE (Papastephanou) of Baghdad of Kuwait, ELIAS (Audi) of Beirut, JOHN (Mansour) of Latakiya, ELIAS (Kafoury) of Tyre and Sidon, ANTONIO (Chedraoui) of Mexico, Venezuela and Central America, DAMASKINOS (Mansour) of Brazil, SERGIOS (Abad) of Chile, SABA (Esber) of Hauran and Jabal al-Arab, GEORGE (Abu Zakham) of Homs, PAUL (Yaziji) of Aleppo, PAUL (Saliba) of Australia and New Zealand, SILOUAN (Moosy) of Argentina, JOHN (Yaziji) of Western and Central Europe, and BASIL (Mansour) of Akkar, ELIA (Saliba) of Hama, and SPYRIDON (Khoury) of Zahleh.

AXIOS!  During its first session the Holy Synod elected the renowned and highly respected spiritual elder ARCHIMANDRITE EPHREM (Kyriakos), abbot of the Holy Monastery of the Archangel Michael in Biq'aata, Lebanon, for the archepiscopal throne of the recently widowed Archdiocese of Tripoli, al-Koura and Dependencies. Click here for a brief biography.

American Arabic Benevolent Association Acknowledges Grant from The Order at Recent Event

AABA President, Olivia A. Waishek announcing receipt of a $10,000 grant for the project from The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch.


North American Vice Chair, Mary Winstanley O’Connor, along with the members and guests of the American Arabic Benevolent Association, danced the Dubki at a fundraiser for Cheriton Heights, a senior housing project in W. Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Bishop ALEXANDER Inducts Three New Order Members in Cambridge, MA

St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cambridge, MA October 4, 2009. Bishop Alexander and, L to R: Michael Marge, Raymond Sayeg, Melissa Sayeg, Paul Nahas, Fr. Antony Hughes, Kh. Carol HughesSt. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cambridge, MA October 4, 2009. Bishop Alexander and, L to R: Michael Marge, Raymond Sayeg, Melissa Sayeg, Paul Nahas, Fr. Antony Hughes, Kh. Carol HughesHis Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER, Diocese of Ottawa, NY State and Eastern Canada visited the parish of St. Mary, Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 4, 2009.  Following the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, three new members were inducted into The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch including the Pastor of St. Mary Church, V. Rev. Fr. Antony Hughes.  Other new members are Melissa Sayeg and Paul Nahas shown here with their sponsors, Michael Marge, Raymond Sayeg and Kh. Carol Hughes.

New York Times Reports on Converts Finding Antiochian Orthodoxy

On Friday, October 2nd, New York Times reporter Samuel G. Freedman published an article in the Religion section about converts who have discovered the Orthodox faith via the Antiochian Church. "More Protestants Find a Home in the Orthodox Antioch Church" tells the story of one such convert, Cal Oren, a parishioner at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Linthicum, Maryland, and mentions his priest and khouria, Fr. Gregory and Frederica Mathewes-Green.

"Over the last 20 years," reports Freedman, "the Antiochian Orthodox Church — with its roots in Syria and Lebanon and its longtime membership in the United States made up almost entirely of Middle Eastern immigrants and their descendants — has become the destination of choice for thousands of Protestants of Northern European ancestry." The NY Times reporter quotes Antiochian theology professor Bradley Nassif as explaining that about 70 percent of Antiochian priests in the U.S. are now converts.

Read the article in its entirety here.

October 2009 Newsletter: Why the OSB – Septuagint Old Testament?

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Because it has been, from the first, the only authoritative text of the Church. It is the only text able to escape questions of motivation or scholastic doubt. It originated with 70 scholars writing 200 plus years before Christ’s incarnation, before Mary became the Mother of God, before Christ was crucified and then rose, and the words of the Prophets fulfilled. Perhaps St. Augustines says it best: “the Jews, being envious of our translation of their Law and Prophets, made alterations in their texts for the purpose of undermining the authority of ours” (De Cititae Dei 15:11).

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

A First: The Convent of Saint Thekla Celebrates the Feast of Saint Thekla

After Sunday Liturgy, His Grace Bishop JOSEPH with Father Anthony Yazge, Mother Alexandra, Mother Miriamne and Father George AlbertsAfter Sunday Liturgy, His Grace Bishop JOSEPH with Father Anthony Yazge, Mother Alexandra, Mother Miriamne and Father George AlbertsOn September 24, 2009, His Grace Bishop THOMAS, led the Convent and many clergy, present at the Village for a clergy retreat, in celebration of Festal Vespers the evening prior, and Orthos and Divine Liturgy on the Feast at the Saint Peter and Paul Chapel.  His Grace was also able to be with us for the beginning of Pilgrimage.  We thank him for presiding at the Liturgy and for being with us.  Many years, Master!

During the September 25-27 weekend, the Convent celebrated the Saint Thekla Pilgrimage.  His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH, arrived on Friday for the Pilgrimage celebration which included daily Vespers, Orthros, and Divine Liturgy.  We thank all of the clergy and chanters who served.  After the Liturgy on Saturday morning, all processed to the Shrine of Saint Thekla where His Grace led us in a Supplication Service to Saint Thekla.  Later in the day, His Grace presided at an Unction Service.  Over the course of the Pilgrimage, His Grace presented three spiritually uplifting homilies on our theme, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” and led an “Ask Sayedna” panel.

October 7, 2009 + From: St. Gregory Of Nyssa – The Treatise on the Making of Man

How one even of those who are without may be brought to believe the Scripture when teaching of the resurrection . . .

Having set out on His way to the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, he voluntarily made a halt in His way, while making public the secret cure of the woman with an issue of blood, that in this time death might overcome the sick. When, then, the soul had just been parted from the body, and those who were wailing over the sorrow were making a tumult with their mournful cries, He raises the damsel to life again, as if from sleep, by His word of command, leading on human weakness, by a sort of path and sequence, to greater things.

Still in addition to these acts He exceeds them in wonder, and by a more exalted act of power prepares for men the way of faith in the resurrection.

The Scripture tells us of a city called Nain in Judaea: a widow there had an only child, no longer a child in the sense of being among boys, but already passing from childhood to man's estate: the narrative calls him "a young man."

The story conveys much in few words: the very recital is a real lamentation: the dead man's mother, it says, "was a widow." See you the weight of her misfortune, how the text briefly sets out the tragedy of her suffering? For what does the phrase mean? That she had no more hope of bearing sons, to cure the loss she had just sustained in him who had departed; for the woman was a widow: she had not in her power to look to another instead of to him who was gone; for he was her only child; and how great a grief is here expressed any one may easily see who is not an utter stranger to natural feeling.

Memory Eternal! His Grace, Bishop ELIAS (Najm)

Memory Eternal! His Grace Bishop ELIAS (Najm), Bishop of Apamea and Abbot of the Patriarchal Monastery of the Holy Prophet Elias in Dhour Shweir, Lebanon

It was with much sadness that we received the news of the falling asleep in Christ of our beloved brother, His Grace ELIAS (Najm), Bishop of Apamea, and Abbot of St. Elias Monastery in Dhour Shweir, Lebanon.  His Grace was born in the village of Agmeed Shouf, Lebanon.  He came from a priestly family.  His father was a priest in the town of Bhamdoun, Lebanon.  At the age of 14, he enrolled at the Balamand Seminary.  After 5 years at the Balamand, he was sent by the late Patriarch ALEXANDER III (Tahan) to the school of Halki, Turkey, where he studied theology.  After graduation he returned to the Patriarchate of Antioch, and was appointed Abbot of St. Elias Monastery where he served until his repose.  He was very friendly, humble and loved by all people.  We ask our brother hierarchs and beloved clergy and all faithful of this Archdiocese to remember him in their fervent prayers.  We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and relatives.  May his memory be eternal, and may his soul rest in peace.

Brotherhood of St. Joseph of Damascus Clergy Retreat 2009 Report

September 23-25:

Click here for a collection of images from the retreat.

With the Pennsylvania forests’ magnificent change of colors well under way, proclaiming the glory of creation, the clergy of the Diocese of New York and Washington DC, and the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid Atlantic gathered at the Village in late September with Bishop THOMAS for their fifth annual clergy retreat.  In attendance with Sayedna were twenty-seven priests and deacons of the Brotherhood, and Mother Alexandra, abbess of St. Thekla Convent and her guest Mother Mariamne.

The retreat was led by one of the Brotherhood’s own – Archimandrite John Abdalah, pastor of St. George Cathedral, Pittsburgh.  Bishop Thomas asked Fr. John to discuss the theme “Being a Priest with a Positive Attitude.”  During the retreat sessions, Fr. John challenged the Brotherhood to consider three questions about their ministries.  The first was what metaphor best reflects their ministry.  The second was to ask what person had a significant influence on their ministry.  And last was what do we want to be remembered for.  As we discovered through the individual and collective answers to these questions, the images of how we see our ministries - now and in the future - profoundly affect the attitudes we portray to others through our day-to-day work in our parishes.

Ancient Faith Radio Special: Unraveling Chambesy - Administrative Unity In Our Time

From Ancient Faith Radio: Our canons call for there to be one bishop in one place but here in America as well as other countries of the so called “diaspora” immigration and pastoral concerns have served to violate those canons.  To address this issue, the leaders and representatives of all of the autocephalous Mother Churches were convened by HIs All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew first in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) and later in Chambesy, Geneva, Switzerland to commission certain Episcopal Assemblies who will in turn develop regional plans to correct this anomaly. 

Announcing The Chrysostom Bible from OCABS Press

This summer, the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies has launched The Chrysostom Bible, a new biblical commentary series for preaching and teaching. "The Chrysostom Bible," writes series editor, Fr. Paul Tarazi, "is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation."

Everything You Need To Know About The Order of St. Ignatius

This booklet explains the mission of the Order of St. Ignatius.

Metropolitan PHILIP Inducts New Members at St. George Church in Norwood, MA

His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP inducted new members to the Order of St. Ignatius on September 20, 2009, at St. George Church in Norwood, MA. Pictured left to right are Marlene Lupaczyk, Linda Thomas, Joseph Eysie, Andrew Howard, Joan Cassidy, Kh. Erin Kimmett, Christine Byron, Hellas Assad, and Fr. Joseph Kimmett.

Order of St. Ignatius Governing Council Meeting on October 16

The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch will meet in Houston, TX on Friday, October 16 in conjunction with the Archdiocese Board of Trustees meetings. Our host parish, St. George Church, Houston, has made hotel arrangements with Hilton Post Oak Houston, 2001 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, TX 77056.  Please make your room reservations directly with the hotel.  The phone number is 713-961-9300.

Memorial Page for Departed Members

A Prayer for the Dead: 

Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of thy servants NN., and beseech thee to grant them rest in the place of thy rest, where all thy blessed Saints repose, and where the light of thy countenance shineth forever. And I beseech thee also to grant that our present lives may be godly, sober, and blameless, that, we too may be made worthy to enter into thy heavenly Kingdom with those we love but see no longer: for thou art the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of thy departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Troparion to St. Ignatius of Antioch:

By choosing the Apostles' way of life, you succeeded to their throne. Inspired by God you found the way to divine contemplation through the practice of virtue. After teaching the Word of Truth without error, you defended the Faith to the very shedding of your blood, O Holy Martyr among bishops Ignatius. Entreat the Lord our God to save our souls.

Departed Members of the Order of St. Ignatius:

We pray to you, ray of light, heavenly King, praised beyond telling, Son of God, majestic beyond words, incline your ears once again, exalted compassion, refuge of life, towards those who are fallen asleep in the Lord.  Remember, O God, all those deceased members of the Order who have fallen asleep before us in the hope of resurrection to eternal life. Grant them rest, O God, where the light of countenance shines on them.

If you notice that a departed member of the Order of St. Ignatius is missing from this list, please notify the Administrator at: Thank you for helping us keep the list accurate. (Updated January 2015)

Why Me?

I like to think of myself as a fairly ordinary wife and mother—I raise my children, do laundry, walk the dog, grocery shop and care for my family’s temporal needs. I love to bargain and am always looking for that “great buy” which finds me carefully spending my monthly grocery allotment and scanning garage sales during the summer. I try to stretch our budget as much as possible, signing my children up for community school dance classes instead of private lessons and purchasing some of our clothing at resale stores and thrift shops. My husband and I have always abided by a fairly strict budget, a tool we learned to use during his years in seminary when our finances were quite lean. We’re not broke, but we’re careful.

So, why me? Why would a happy penny-pincher like me want to become a member of the Order of St. Ignatius? I’m not rich, I don’t have much status, I’m not a mover and shaker in any community, much less my parish community. I’m just your basic, everyday, wife-and-mother type, trying to provide for her family as best she can.

Reflections on the 49th Archdiocese Convention

The Order experienced a successful week with 23 inductions/upgrades, including 5 Life Members, 5 Commanders and 13 Knights/Dames. It was a positive experience for all who attended.  Those who were present enjoyed a beautiful reception and dinner chaired by Sandra Love from St. Michael in Van Nuys, our host parish. Her selection for decoration and menu were wonderful.

Dan Abraham introduced The Order DVD, “The Miracle of The Order,” produced by Joey Wihbey.  It was well received and we hope to distribute it soon.  We were visited at our meeting on Tuesday by the teens attending the convention for leadership training.  They came to express their thanks for all the Order has provided and will continue to provide for their benefit.  They presented Dan and Kathy Abraham with SOYO Anniversary tee shirts.

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