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Bishop Anthony

Bishop Anthony was born Richard Anthony Michaels on the feast day of St. Anthony the Great (January 17, 1956) to parents Anthony and Gertrude Michaels and was baptized at St. Symeon the Stylite (also St. Simon the Zealot is commemorated) Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Ironwood, Michigan. Rick was raised with his sister, Joanne, and brother, Craig. The Orthodox church in Ironwood is pan-Orthodox and, therefore, included all ethnic Orthodox communities in the city. Bishop Anthony's father is Lebanese and his mother is Serbian. As a teen-ager, he was active in all varsity athletics at Ironwood High School, including his role as the starting quarterback of his football team.

Bishop Anthony attended the University of Michigan, where he received his B.A. in Literature, Science and the Arts, having a double major in History and English Literature. Following his university degree he attended St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree and graduated as a valedictorian of his class. Besides English, he has a reading knowledge of biblical Greek and is currently learning Arabic, at the request of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory.

Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Daniel Keller

Fr. Daniel Keller was born August 9, 1940 in Baltimore, MD. He attended Roman Catholic elementary school and high school and Towson State University in the same city. He graduated on June 10, 1962 with a BS in education. After graduation he taught social sciences and English on the secondary and college level while doing graduate work in history at Towson State and Morgan State Universities in Baltimore as well as taking theology courses at St Mary’s Seminary and University in the same city. He is fluent in English.

In 1978 he entered Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, as a student of the Melkite Diocese. In 1980 after completing two years of study, Fr. Daniel took a one-year leave of absence from Holy Cross. During this year’s leave, after much prayer and reflection, and being convinced of the truth of the Orthodox faith, he was received into the Orthodox Church at St. Mary’s in Hunt Valley, MD on Orthodox Sunday, 1981. At St. Mary’s he served as chanter and coordinator of Christian education and later as sub-deacon.

In the fall of 1981, with the blessing of Metropolitan PHILIP, he returned to Holy Cross as a student for the Archdiocese. He finished his studies at Holy Cross in May, 1982 and graduated with a Masters of Divinity (cum laude). He had, in the mean time, been ordained to the holy diaconate on Pascha (April 18) 1982 by Metropolitan PHILIP at St. Nicholas Cathedral, NY. He was subsequently ordained to the holy priesthood on June 27, 1982, at the New England Parish Life Conference hosted by St. Mary’s of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, by Archbishop MICHAEL of blessed memory.

Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Daniel Griffith

Son of Daniel T. and Grace G. Griffith, Fr. Daniel was born in Nanticoke, PA, April 11, 1946, and grew up in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania. Baptized in a local Protestant church on June 7, 1957, he diligently sought the true Church. While a college student, shocked by the heretical teachings of James Pike, then Episcopal bishop of San Francisco, and even more so by the total doctrinal capitulation of the Episcopal bishops and realizing that that body, which he had believed to be the living continuity of the ancient Catholic Church, in no way upheld the apostolic faith, he began to study Holy Orthodoxy and by God’ grace was received into the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church by Chrismation at St. John the Baptist, Russian Orthodox Church (OCA), in Nanticoke, December 23, 1967. Following graduation from Wilkes College (now Wilkes University), Wilkes-Barre, PA, in June, 1968 with a BA in Sociology (minors in Philosophy-Religion and French), he entered St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, NY. Graduating with an M.Div. in 1971, with the encouragement of his spiritual father, Fr. John Meyendorff, he entered the Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies of the Ecumenical Institute (Celigny, Switzerland) of the World Council of Churches, receiving a Certificat in Ecumenical studies from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. As part of the year-long program, he did three months of “field-work”, researching monastic communities in France while a resident of Le Centre S. Dominique (a retreat house of the Dominican Province of Lyons), in Eveux sur l’Arbesle (near Lyons). Returning to the States in 1972, he did further studies at St. Vladimir’s. He is fluent in English, Greek, and French.

Rev. Jeremy Davis

Fr. Jeremy Davis was born in Iowa in 1976, and raised in Wichita, Kansas. He and his family were active members of Evangelical Protestant churches. During his high-school years, he felt a calling to professional Christian ministry and subsequently enrolled as a Religion major at Friends University in Wichita to prepare for this vocation.

Fr. Jeremy’s studies at Friends University opened his eyes to the breadth and depth of Christian tradition. As the greater potential of Christian life grew more and more intriguing, he became dissatisfied with Evangelical Protestantism and began to investigate alternatives.

In his final year of college, he attended Divine Liturgy at St George Cathedral in Wichita at the suggestion of a friend. Though he knew next to nothing about Orthodoxy, he was left in wordless wonder by the experience of its rich theology and genuine spirituality, as they came to life in the piety and love of this parish community. After a period of catechism he was chrismated on Holy Saturday in 1998.

Fr. Jeremy enrolled at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 2001 as an archdiocesan seminarian. After three years of intense, challenging and enriching study, he received his Master of Divinity degree in 2004.

During the following summer, he traveled to Australia for a yearlong mission in the Antiochian Archdiocese of Sydney. He taught and counseled the youth and young adults in the Australian Archdiocese, helping them to understand Orthodoxy’s relevance to their modern, “New World” lives.

After returning to Wichita, he was ordained a deacon by His Grace Bishop Basil at St George Cathedral on January 1, 2006. He worked fulltime at the Cathedral until being ordained a priest there on July 16, 2006.

Fr Jeremy began serving as Assistant Priest of St Elijah Church in Oklahoma City in August 2006, under the guidance of Fr Constantine Nasr. He continues in ministry at St Elijah today.

About Bishop John

Writings of His Grace Bishop John

Bishop John (Abdalah) holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care from Pittsburgh Theological School, a Master of Divinity from St. Vladimir’s Seminary, 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. Throughout Seminary and following his studies, he also studied Arabic.

Bishop John is a clinical member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. He taught Pastoral Counseling in the graduate program at the St. John of Damascus Institute at the Balamand in Lebanon. For 33 years, he served as a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America; he has been Dean of St. George Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the past 16 of those years. Before that, he served 16 years in New Kensington, and one year in Little Falls.

Additionally, Bishop John has also edited The Word magazine, has been the Spiritual Advisor for the Antiochian Women, and has served as Dean of the Western Pennsylvania clergy and churches for many years. Bishop John also served for nearly ten years as NAC Spiritual Advisor for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, and he teaches Priestly Formation for the Antiochian House of Studies, while mentoring the full-time seminarians in the Antiochian House of Studies programs.

Candidates for the Office of Auxiliary Bishop

June 7, 2011

To: Venerable Hierarchs, All Reverend Clergy, Archdiocesan Trustees, Parish Councils, and Faithful of our Archdiocese

Greetings and Blessings in the Name of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ!

This letter serves as the official notice of our intention to ask the delegates to the upcoming 50th Archdiocese Convention in Chicago, Illinois to cast their ballots for the nomination of candidates to fill the positions of two Auxiliary Bishops.

You will find attached a list of the names and biographies of the candidates for the office of Auxiliary Bishop.  Each delegate will vote for two candidates, and the results of this voting will be submitted to the Archdiocesan Synod who will elect the two new bishops.

Praying that our Lord will bless your preparations, and your travel to Chicago, I remain

Your father in Christ,

Metropolitan PHILIP

Primate

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

June 15, 2011 + from Does It Really Matter At All?

By Father Michael J. Buben + Word Magazine, Sept. 1960

Our Lord, and God, and Savior, Jesus Christ, “the Way, the Truth and the Life,” commands us to have faith and believe in Him. Believing in Him, it naturally follows, that we openly use His Holy Name, when necessary, as the Son of God Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit comprise the Holy Trinity of the One and only True God.

On some rare occasion, you may have heard the suicidal religious statement, which no Orthodox Christian who has an understanding of his faith can make. This sort of statement is usually uttered by the few simple hearts or weak minds of the “lost generation whom even the fear of hell or high-water could not drive to church, who never had any instruction in the faith, who never would be caught at a Bible class, but to our sorrow consider themselves as Orthodox Christians in the social, political or economical endeavors of our community. The statement varies but in essence declares:

“Is it not all the same regardless of what faith we confess.  Are not all faiths good, and don’t they believe in the same God? All true faiths believe that the world is governed by one God? That’s the main thing, and everything else in any faith only composes various forms of the same thing. Does it really matter at all?”

Saint Paul warned Christians to be stable in the faith when he wrote: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive:" (Eph. 4:l4).

Fr. Constantine Nasr Interviewed by Ancient Faith Radio

Ancient Faith Radio writes: "On a new Ancient Faith Presents, we interview the Very Reverend Constantine Nasr, priest at St. Elijah Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City and the author of the new Conciliar Press book Mastering the Art of Marriage: Staying Together When the World Pulls You Apart."

Click here to listen to Fr. Constantine!

Read the book's first chapter here.

Annual Meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America

The bishops of the Antiochian Archdiocese joined with their brother bishops in Chicago, IL, from May 25-27 for the second annual meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. The Assembly has released both a press release about the gathering, and an official message from the 45 bishops who attended. The Greek Archdiocese has also published a photo gallery of the Assembly.

From May 25-27, the second annual Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America gathered for its meeting at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton. There was a total of 45 bishops in attendance. In addition, nearly all of the members were present at the Assembly: the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese, and the Albanian Orthodox Diocese; the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese; the Patriarchate of Moscow, including the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas; the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church; and the Orthodox Church in America.

Read the full press release here.

In our deliberations as Orthodox Hierarchs, we manifested a spirit of conciliarity, expressing our commitment to proceed on all matters in collegial and collaborative manner reflective of the unity that characterizes the various jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church within our regional Assembly.

Read the full message here.

Creative Festival 2010: Diocese of Los Angeles

Take a moment for an audio visual meditation on the theme, "The earth is the Lord's and its fullness, the world and all who dwell therein," Psalm 23. This presentation of the photos, artwork, and words of the children in the Diocese of Los Angeles from the Creative Festivals 2010 is brought to you by the Department of Christian Education, and the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.

Archdiocese Calls for Congressional Hearing on the Pattern of Escalating Violence Against the Christian Minority in Egypt

Egyptian Christians touch a blood-splattered image of Jesus Christ, inside the Coptic Orthodox church in Alexandria, January 2, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah DalshEgyptian Christians touch a blood-splattered image of Jesus Christ, inside the Coptic Orthodox church in Alexandria, January 2, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah DalshShortly after midnight on January 1, 2011 as a Coptic Christian mass was concluding, a suicide bomber exploded a bomb as the Christian congregation was leaving The Saints Church in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt. The innocent worshippers were gathered to give thanks for the New Year. At least 25 were killed and more than 90 were injured in the attack. This was one of the most heinous terrorist attacks on a Coptic Christian church in over a decade, and it marks a serious escalation of organized violence against the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt.

The Egyptian President, Husni Mubarak has condemned the barbaric attack on this church which not only killed Christians, but wounded some Muslims in a nearby mosque.

We condemn these barbaric acts of hatred and targeted persecution against our brethren in Egypt. We demand a Congressional hearing on this and other heinous attacks against the Christian population in Egypt, and we expect the United States Congress to take action to address the painful absence of basic and fundamental human rights in Egypt.

+ The Office of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America – Englewood, NJ

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip calls on all supporters of the Christian minority of Egypt to write their congressional representatives with this same message of solidarity.

Metropolitan Philip Grants A Canonical Release For His Grace Bishop Mark To Be Received Into The Orthodox Church In America

December 13, 2010

On December 8th, 2010, in a letter to His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church In America (OCA), His Eminence Metropolitan Philip granted a canonical release for Bishop Mark (Maymon) in order that he be received into the OCA.  This letter was a reply to a formal request from Metropolitan Jonah, on behalf of the Holy Synod of the OCA, that Bishop Mark be released from the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America so that he might be received into the OCA.

In his letter to Metropolitan Jonah, Metropolitan Philip wrote “Bishop Mark is a very good bishop and I am sure that he will contribute his talents for the edification of the faithful of the Orthodox Church In America.”

Our prayers are with Bishop Mark that his new episcopal ministry will be greatly blessed.

Additional information may be found on the website of The Orthodox Church In America at www.oca.org.

Donate to the Academy Prisoner Education Project

We need your support.

Please print and return our donation form!

November 2010 Newsletter: Prisoner Education Scholarship Project - Reaching the Forgotten of Christ Through Almsgiving

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

We need your prayers and gifts to help and aid our Prisoner Education - Scholarship Project. There is indeed no adequate way to measure the good being done by this program for prisoner-students. Even so, it is amazing to see people who never before gave serious thought to putting their lives in the care of God, now spending hours writing about it at length.

Here are men and women, incarcerated for many years – some for life – who complete lesson after lesson, course after course, and begin to confide in us their deepest thoughts and sense of repentance. Most wonderful, they come to understand their need be to near to God, desiring His Will not their own.

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

October 2010 Newsletter: The Seed of Sarah and Abraham

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Their faith was in the promise of the pre-incarnate Son of God, the fulfillment of the Seed of promise and the One true faith, being gifted to every generation – Jew and Gentile.

Some say three great nations emerged from the lineage of Abraham: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. For many this idea brings confusion, even doubt, bringing such questions as: Is this true? Was the Lord’s promise to Abraham and Sarah – speak to a faith in Him alone, or to ancestral bloodlines? What does Scripture tell us?

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

Grant from the Order Helps American Arab Benevolent Association Break Ground on Project

The American Arab Benevolent Association broke ground on its new affordable housing building on October 6, 2010 in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. The Order awarded a grant to the AABA for its cultural center to be located in the facility. Among the officials are Olivia Waishek, (third from left,) President of AABA and a member of St. Ignatius of Antioch, and Mayor Tom Menino, City of Boston (second from left.)

St. Thomas the Apostle + October 6

Thou wast a disciple of Christ and one of the Twelve, and by thy unbelief didst proclaim Christ's Resurrection. By touch thou wast assured of His holy Passion, O glorious Apostle Thomas. Pray to Him to grant us peace and mercy.

+ Troparion of St. Thomas the Apostle, Tone 2

Click here for an Ancient Faith Radio podcast teaching on the life of St. Thomas

A blessed name's day to His Grace Bishop Thomas!

The Synaxarion: On October 6 in the Holy Orthodox Church we commemorate the holy Apostle Thomas. 

Thomas, who sought to thrust his hand in Thy side,
Is now pierced in his side for Thy sake, O Word.
On the sixth with long spears they undid Didymus.

Help Us Know You Better: Take the Antiochian.org Visitor Survey

The Department of Internet Ministry is responsible for maintaining and improving the official Antiochian Archdiocese website at www.antiochian.org. In order to help us better understand the community of visitors to this site, we'd like you to take a couple of minutes to complete our survey. Thank you for your assistance!

Antiochian.org Website Visitor Survey

Church School Directors and Pastors: Complete Your Online Christian Education Survey

Dear Pastors and Church School Directors,

Ten years ago we surveyed our Church Schools to learn their needs, and the numbers of students and teachers we serve. Once again we are asking for a few minutes of your time so that we may determine the usefulness of the programs we offer, your needs, and the numbers we serve. We need only one survey per parish, preferably completed by the Church School Director, but in his or her absence, by the parish priest.

Click here to take the survey now!

The survey results will be made known through our website, and also in our newsletters in The Word. I would like to call your attention to our newest endeavor, namely, a listserv, so that we can offer news updates via email. Thank you, as always, for your efforts in the Orthodox Christian Education of our children.

Your servant in Christ,
Carole A. Buleza, Director, Department of Christian Education

September 2010 Newsletter: The Voice of the Father - A Second Time

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

FIRST HIS BAPTISM – NOW HIS TRANSFIGURATION

"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

The Uncreated Grace and Power of the Lord is revealed to us a second time. This time at His Transfiguration. Not from a sense of obligation, but for our sake, just as a father honors us and a mother offers her child comfort. Best, this divine providence is natural and thus unconditional. Music of the Church helps summarizes the significance and power of His Transfiguration on Mount Tabor: “... O Sovereign Lord, taking Thy chief disciples, Thou wast transfigured on this day, high upon holy Tabor, whereon Elijah and Moses stood in great awe and trembling as they Thy servants talked with Thee. Like them, we give Thee worship, O Savior Christ, with Thy Father and Thine All-holy Spirit, Who from a Virgin does shine forth for mortal man's salvation.”

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

Order of St. Ignatius Releases Statement of Budgeted Project Contributions for 2011 and 2012

The Order has published their Statement of Budgeted Project Contributions, for the fiscal years ending January 31, 2011 and 2012. The document is available as a PDF file at Projects Supported by the Order. The Statement from the Order budgets for total project contributions of $1,419,000 in 2011 and $1,233,000 in 2012.

Metropolitan Philip Departs for Middle East to Attend Meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch

Metropolitan Philip at Antiochian Village, July 2010Metropolitan Philip at Antiochian Village, July 2010His Eminence Metropolitan Philip will depart today, August 9, for the Middle East, where he will attend the upcoming meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch which is scheduled to begin on August 17th, 2010.

We ask all of the faithful to pray that His Eminence will have a safe and productive journey. We also ask for prayers for all of our beloved hierarchs of the See of Antioch as they gather together in brotherly love to do the work of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Fr. Aidan Wilcoxson Interviewed by Austin Statesman

Fr. Aidan Wilcoxson of St. John the Forerunner Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cedar Park, TX, was interviewed recently by the Austin Statesman newspaper. The occasion was the publication of his reflection on Orthodox parish life, Aidan's Song: A Year in the Life of a Parish Priest, available from Conciliar Press.

What gave you the idea to write this book?

While there are a lot of spiritual memoirs being written these days, most of them are by people who are either dissatisfied with their particular spiritual tradition and on their way out the door, or they are sampling a number of different spiritual traditions to try and find out what’s right for them, or they are just maintaining an ironic distance from any and all spiritual traditions. I thought that a memoir written by someone who has fully embraced a particular tradition and is finding joy in it would be unique.

Click here for the full interview.

Homilies of Very Rev. Jon Braun Available Online

V. Rev. Fr. Jon E. BraunV. Rev. Fr. Jon E. BraunA selection of more than 30 recorded homilies by V. Rev. Fr. Jon Braun have been made available on the website Prudence True. Fr. Braun is Pastor Emeritus of St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church of La Jolla, CA. He also serves as dean of the Southern California Deanery of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

Click here for Fr. Braun's homilies. We particularly recommend the sermon, "Today's Meaning of Antioch," which highlights the Church of Antioch's roots as a mission-minded, multicultural Church born from persecution.

Click here for a biography of Fr. Braun.

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