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Patriarch John X Interviewed on the Church in Syria, Abducted Archbishops, and More

English translation of an interview published by the Patriarchate of Antioch on October 4, 2014:

The Syrian newspaper al-Thawra Online met with His Beatitude Patriarch John X Yazigi, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and conducted an open discussion with him that touched upon general issues and the crisis that our country is experiencing. As is his custom, Patriarch Yazigi addressed these issues with all frankness, clarity and transparency. Here follows the text of the discussion:

What role does the Antiochian Orthodox Church play as a part of the social fabric of Syria? What has it done and what will it do?

To start, we would like to direct our warmest greetings to the Syrian people as a whole and our Muslim brothers in particular on the occasion of Eid el-Adha. Many happy returns.

The Patriarchate and our Orthodox Christian people are a fundamental part of our country. We are Syrians, the children of this nation. We were born here, as were our fathers and grandfathers. Christianity started out here and we feel that we are one family with all the country’s communities. Throughout history, the Patriarchate has been—and we hope it shall remain—a fundamental factor for common life in dignity, for reinforcing all the national and historical foundations that have brought us together ever since Christianity appeared in these lands. Ever since the coming of Islam, we have lived together and have built a common history. There is no doubt that our future is one.

Congratulate Metropolitan Joseph and Welcome Patriarch John X in Commemorative Enthronement Journal

To honor Metropolitan Joseph on the auspicious occasion of his enthronement as Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, a commemorative journal is being prepared. If you would like to express your congratulations to our new Metropolitan and welcome our father in Christ John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, you can place an order for a journal entry via the online order form available here. We thank the Antiochian Events team for constructing this secure and simple order form. 

The journal will be published and distributed to all attendees and contributors. The journal will include greetings from the Archdiocese, Dioceses, Parishes, parishioners, and contributors. Since this is a journal commemorating His Eminence's enthronement and not a typical souvenir journal, only messages welcoming His Beatitude, Patriarch John X and/or congratulatory messages to His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph will be accepted. 

Commemorative Journal Order Form

Special Section for the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph

Full Schedule for Enthronement Weekend Now Available

The full schedule is now available for the weekend of December 5-7 and the events of the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. Preparations are under way and hierarchs and guests will be attending from across the world.

The following is the public schedule for the weekend:

Listen to Metropolitan Joseph Interviewed by OCN

Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) conducted an interview with His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 10. OCN writes:

"OCN Executive Director Fr. Christopher Metropulos spoke with His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph in Washington, DC, where both are attending the IDC Summit calling attention to the plight of Christians in the Middle East. ... Members of Metropolitan Joseph’s family have been killed and wounded in this crisis, and he notes that nearly every family in his Archdiocese has been impacted in some way. 'We cannot accept the Middle East without Christians,' he says. 'That would be an unforgivable crime.' In this interview, Metropolitan Joseph shares his faith in the power of being a servant. Raised in a monastery, he feels deeply honored by the opportunity to serve that he has been given. His Eminence also describes his insights into the healing and blessing that comes when faith replaces fear, and we offer courageous and loving service to one another."

Listen to the interview here.

Hotel Information and General Schedule Now Available for the Enthronement Weekend and Patriarchal Visit


Our block of hotel rooms at the Brooklyn Marriott is sold out for Friday and Saturday evening. You can try booking directly at You may continue to check the link below as rooms may pop up from time to time if people cancel. You can also check other hotels in the area including the Sheraton Brooklyn.


Archpriest Thomas Zain, Archdiocese Vicar-General, writes on September 2:

Greetings to you and your families as we begin a new ecclesiastical year. Preparations are underway for the visit of His Beatitude, Patriarch John X and the upcoming enthronement of our new Metropolitan. As we finalize the schedule for the weekend and work out details for the banquet, I wanted to share with you the link to make your hotel reservations at the Brooklyn Marriott. The rate is $299.00 a night plus tax. The deadline for reservations is November 7, 2014. Further detailed information regarding the weekend and the banquet will be forthcoming sometime in the near future. 

The following is the general schedule. Times and banquet information will be added in later in the month and we will post them on the archdiocese website as they are confirmed. 

Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph Scheduled












It is with great pleasure that we announce that the events related to the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph will take place during the weekend of December 5 through 7, 2014, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. The actual enthronement will take place in conjunction with Vespers on Saturday, December 6.

We will be greatly blessed by the presence of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, who will preside during this weekend.

The details concerning the schedule for the weekend, the hotel accommodations, and the banquet information are still being finalized, and will be communicated to all of you as soon as they are confirmed.

Let Us Attend: Sunday's Gospel for Children

Illustrated handouts of the each Sunday's Gospel for every Sunday are offered at five levels with discussion questions. It is paraphrased for the younger grades, and presented as it will be heard for the older students. Engaging graphics and great questions--it can be used as the curriculum for a small church school, or by parents who wish to read the gospel on Saturday night with their children. Additionally, a Reader's Theater page is now available for each Gospel.


Testing Break 1

Thank You from the Fellowship of St. John the Divine!

Thank You for Your Donation!

The Fellowship of St. John the Divine is very grateful for your contribution towards its many ministries!

St. Innocent of Alaska + March 31

...Nothing in this world but God can fill our heart or fully satisfy our desires. A fire cannot be put out with brushwood and oil, because only water will put it out. In exactly the same way, the desires of the human heart cannot be satisfied with the goods of this world, because only the grace of God can quench the thirst of our desires. + St. Innocent of Alaska

You evangelized the Northern people of America and Asia, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the natives in their own tongues. O Holy Hierarch Father Innocent, Enlightener of Alaska and all America, whose ways were ordered by the Lord; pray to Him for the salvation of our souls in His Heavenly Kingdom.

-Troparion of the Feast, Tone 2

Listen to Fr. John Dunlop of St. Herman Seminary in Kodiak Alaska tell the story of his life and work.

Read his biography here.

Confessing Your Financial Sins

By Fr. Michael Tassos

In this article, I want to examine the connection between one of the wonderful tools the Church provides us to work out our salvation—the Sacrament of Confession—and one of the most ordinary, practical dimensions of our lives—our finances.

There are many wonderful books and articles on the subject of confession. However, there are almost none that deal specifically with the connection between confession and our own personal financial sins.

July 22, 2009 + Let Us Go Forth In Peace

by Fr. James C. Meena
From The Word Magazine, March 1974

Let us understand that when we, as Orthodox Christians, speak of missionary activities we do so in a context which differs substantially from the attitudes of other Christian groups. We do not conceive of missions as being, necessarily or exclusively, a localized attempt, on the part of a few Orthodox zealots to bring others to a knowledge of Christ which might cause them to foreswear their former religious ways of life in order to become Christians. Rather, our attitudes are more all inclusive, involving the whole Church in an effort to exemplify the transforming nature and power of life in Christ.

The missionary thrust of the Orthodox Church has never been so much in an appeal to “Receive Jesus” as it has been in the commendatory challenge to “Give yourself to Christ . . . and this giving begins at the core of the individual’s ability to believe and his willingness to grow and then to extend his influence upon others by the impact not of words of religiosity but by the witness of the example of his new and constantly renewed life in Christ.

Our Lord started at the center, with a chosen people, the Jewish nation who knew about God, from whom He selected His first and greatest disciples. He then extended the Good News of His Kingdom to the Gentiles. Later, the Apostles did the same and even those two great Apostles to the Gentiles, Paul and Barnabas, would start their work with the Jewish communities living in pagan lands to which they traveled, whenever possible, and then extended their message to the natives of those lands.

Even the Greek and Russian missions of a later time began with a nucleus of Orthodox Immigrants and then reached out to the non-Christian peoples of those countries.

July 15, 2009 + On the Lord’s Prayer, From the Treatises of St. Cyprian

From Treatise IV – On The Lord’s Prayer

These things, beloved brethren, when we have learnt from the sacred reading, and have gathered in what way we ought to approach to prayer, let us know also from the Lord's teaching what we should pray. "Thus," says He, "pray ye: —

"Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And suffer us not to be led into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen."

July 8, 2009 + Climbing the Spiritual Ladder

by A Sister of the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery
From The Word Magazine, April 2000

We all know that we are living in a rapidly changing culture. The one thing certain is that nothing will stay the same for long. Concepts such as God, eternity, heaven, hell and prayer, which reflect unchanging realities, are very foreign to most of us. Even those of us who have been brought up within a church environment where we have been made to feel comfortable with eternal truths, may feel as if we are split personalities as we go about the business of our daily lives.

Obviously the church as we experience it through its members and institutions is also affected in greater or lesser degrees by this same split personality. Gone are the days when living a Christian life could be seen as simply the normal way for a citizen to function. Once again, Christians are faced with the reality of two citizenships: one the state and society they were born into, the other the very different citizenship of the Church.

In all honesty, probably the two citizenships have never been quite as wedded as we like to think. The Emperor Constantine certainly changed the way Christians perceived themselves, but we know that his acceptance of Christianity as the state religion also brought many difficulties. It can be an easy way of excusing ourselves to say it was easier to be a Christian “back then,” whenever “then” may have been. I would like to submit, however, that if our God is the eternal Being we know Him to be in Trinity and through His self-revelation, both through his Spirit and His Word in Jesus Christ, we have no excuses.  On Judgment Day we will be expected to have lived as Christians, even though we have come of age in the 20th century.

July 1, 2009 + The Value of a Religious Background On the College Campus

by Robert Bowman
From The Word Magazine, June 1965

The reason for going to college is to acquire knowledge of this world. All men naturally desire to know, but knowledge without the fear of God is completely useless. There are many things, the knowledge of which is of little or no profit to the soul. A man’s first consideration must always be the salvation of his soul. When we stand before the Lord on Judgment Day, He will not ask if we know the rules of grammar, or Newton’s Laws of Motion; He will ask, instead, if we know and observe the Laws of God. This is not to say that a certain amount of worldly knowledge is not proper and necessary, but that knowledge which is to be acquired in the institutions of higher learning, must be true knowledge.

How is the student to recognize true knowledge from false doctrine, if he has not first based his entire life on a firm belief in the doctrines of Jesus Christ? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (II Timothy, 4: 3.)

Young minds are easily molded.  They can be molded in the path of Christ and Godliness, or they can be molded in the path of worldliness and evil. But a young person’s soul, which is firmly entrenched in the ways of the Lord, will serve constantly as a barrier against the teachings of evil, and against the temptations of Satan.

In II Timothy, Chap. 3, we learn that in the last days - perilous times shall come. Among other evils, men will be “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” We learn, also, that evil men will grow worse and worse, not only deceiving but also being deceived.

June 24, 2009 + From Homily XX: The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Gospel according to St. Matthew

“The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23

He leads His discourse to the things which are more within the reach of our senses. I mean, forasmuch as He had spoken of the mind as enslaved and brought into captivity, and there were not many who could easily discern this, He transfers the lesson to things outward, and lying before men's eyes, that by these the others also might reach their understanding. Thus, "If thou knowest not," saith He, "what a thing it is to be injured in mind, learn it from the things of the body; for just what the eye is to the body, the same is the mind to the soul." As therefore thou wouldest not choose to wear gold, and to be clad in silken garments, thine eyes withal being put out, but accountest their sound health more desirable than all such superfluity (for, shouldest thou lose this health or waste it, all thy life besides will do thee no good): for just as when the eyes are blinded, most of the energy of the other members is gone, their light being quenched; so also when the mind is depraved, thy life will be filled with countless evils: —as therefore in the body this is our aim, namely, to keep the eye sound, so also the mind in the soul. But if we mutilate this, which ought to give light to the rest, by what means are we to see clearly any more? For as he that destroys the fountain, dries up also the river, so he who hath quenched the understanding hath confounded all his doings in this life. Wherefore He saith, "If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness?"

June 17, 2009 + F-A-T-H-E-R

by Fr. James C. Meena
From The Word Magazine, June 1979

Anyone who has ever been involved in a program of self-improvement of any kind, whatever the objective might be, knows that the moment one lets down in one’s disciplines the goal objective is lost. If you are trying to lose weight, the minute you cheat on your diet you know that the diet is lost and you’ll never lose the weight that you wanted to lose. If you are trying to strengthen your body through exercise you know that the moment you give up your regular routine, you’ve broken the cycle and once that cycle is broken it’s very difficult for you to get back into it and your discipline is lost, and your goal is lost as well.

Well, that seems to be what has happened to us in the Church. Because we have let down on our spiritual exercises, the whole objective and purpose of our being Christian is lost. We really don’t pray enough. Certainly we don’t worship as often as we should nor as fervently. We come to the Sacrament of Penance like someone walking through a public shower, never once confessing our sins openly to God and to our spiritual Father, as though there was some magic taking place there, that if we hide our sins we can somehow be forgiven, and we know better than that. And while we try to do good works on the surface, more often than not what we do is a token exercise of free will giving.

George Richard Corey + Memory Eternal!

George Richard Corey, 69, of Terre Haute, Fell Asleep in the Lord on Friday, May 22, 2009. He was born April 4, 1940, in Katana, Syria, to Rasheed and Nour Corey. He owned and operated Corey's International Foods for 30 years. After retirement he enjoyed preparing Middle Eastern cuisine for some local restaurants and for friends and family. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, and playing cards and backgammon with friends.  Survivors include his wife, Marie-Rose Corey; daughters, Araksie Cloyd and her husband Benjamin, Lila Corey, Noelle Corey; grandchildren, Nickolas and Nadia Cloyd; sisters, Hayfa Assalley, Layla Shaheen, Afaf Zoghet, Nazha Khoury and Sadie Duncan; and 14 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Menzer Corey.

May his memory be eternal!

2009 Spring Meeting Minutes

Opening Prayer - The meeting was opened at 10:30 a.m. with the Antiochian Women's prayer led by V. Rev. Edward Hughes and the singing of the Troparian of the Dormition led by Marilyn Robbat. There were 19 members present.

Roll Call -
Executive Board Present:  Advisor - V. Rev. Edward Hughes,  President - Nora Walker, Vice President - Delores George, Treasurer - Carol Swydan, Recording Secretary - Nancy Ghantous , Corresponding Secretary - Joan Hanna., Past President - Priscilla Goss

Coordinators Present: Website - Melissa Nassiff,  Public Relations - Pam Samara, Membership - Priscilla Goss,        Absent:  Humanitarian - Mary Ellen Mabardy, Religious -  Kh. Louise Ferguson

Parish Delegates:
St. Mary, Cambridge - 4
St. John, Dedham - 0
St. George, Lawrence - 0
St. George, Lowell - 0
St. George, Norwood - 0
St. George, W. Roxbury - 3
St. George, Worcester - 1
St. Mary, Pawtucket - 3
St. Michael, Cotuit - 0
All Saints Mission, S. Weymouth - 0
St. Elias Mission, Fall River - 0
Emmanuel, Warren - 0
St. Stephen, Springfield - 0

Reconciling Our Most Intimate Relationships

By Kh. Maggie Hock M.A., M.S., LMHP

Jesus answering the Pharisees said: "For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. Consequently they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (Matthew 19: 5,6)

The marriage relationship between a man and a woman is a gift from God. The grace to walk in that gift comes with the blessing of the Sacrament of Marriage. It is here that the priest and the attending community offer many intercessions for the longevity and fruitfulness of the union. If marriage is our chosen path to salvation, we need to understand that we have vowed together to help both our spouse and ourselves attain this eternal state.  Therefore, our task as a married person is to learn how to apply that grace and blessing throughout our marriage, through the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, the hopes and disappointments. For what marriage doesn't experience these emotions? What happens, then, when the marriage is suffering? Where do we find hope for reconciliation and reconnection to the grace that God offers?

First it's important to go back to where the marriage began- by standing before God asking for His forgiveness and blessing. By searching our hearts we may find where we have separated ourselves from His plan for our marriage. Many couples who have strained relations have found that their expectations have not been clearly articulated to each other. Perhaps assumptions were made about the married lifestyle without clear communication and therefore the couple does not have a shared vision for the relationship. Some may find that their expectations were full of worldly pursuits that did not honor God or each other. Still others may discover that they have not modeled Christ's example of servanthood and obedience.

Celebrating Pentecost

By Matushka Ioanna Callinicos Rhodes

After the Ascension of Christ the disciples were eagerly awaiting the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem as was promised them by Christ.  They had no clue as to when this occurrence was going to happen. They never realized what the impact of that moment was going to be and how it was going to affect them. Finally, ten days after the Ascension, the Holy Spirit descended as in tongues of fire over them, and a new life was given to them. They were filled with wisdom and knowledge never known to them before.  It is the Wisdom that can only come from the Grace of the Holy Spirit himself. It is this Grace that renews our life.

In Christ’s Resurrection we receive the “New” Pascha (Passover), Christ passing over from death to life. It is not the old Passover of the Old Testament, which commemorates the deliverance from the Angel of Death as he passed by the Jewish homes, but the actual destruction of death. It was not by accident that the Crucifixion and Resurrection occurred at the same time as the Jewish Passover. The two had to be connected.

In much the same way, the descent of the Holy Spirit was connected to the Old Testament Pentecost (Shavu’ot).  This period is counted from the second day of the Jewish Passover for seven weeks which equals 49 days + 1 day to equal the fiftieth day. Originally this day was the day the first fruits of the harvest were brought to the temple. Later on it became the time that commemorated the giving of the Torah (the Law). The Jews see this as being redeemed spiritually from bondage to idolatry and immorality.

June 10, 2009 + The Church – Future Of Our Youth

by Fr. James C. Meena
From The Word Magazine, October 1982

You have heard it said many times that our youth are the future of the Church. While I do not and have never disputed that statement because I’ve always agreed with it and perhaps because I was once considered to be a part of the future of the Church, I would like to turn that concept around for your consideration and to state that the Church is the future of our youth.

We have become so involved with young people that our whole culture has become youth oriented to the extent that those of us who are aging rapidly try to deny the realities of time and keep ourselves looking young. We dye our hair, go on special diets, wear special clothes, have plastic surgery, wear cosmetics, and do all sorts of things to keep ourselves looking youthful. We look with contempt upon aging because in this society, which has been so concerned with the future, the comfort, the pleasures, the education and the gratification of young people, (and with literally buying their love), we have not bothered to develop in the minds of our youth a conscientious respect for aging, a realization that one day they will no longer be young but that they will be members of the “older” generation and will need to assume the responsibilities of senior members of society.

For too long now we have so devoted ourselves to safeguarding our children from the suffering we or our parents have experienced that we have forgotten that sometimes we only learn from our own adversities and from our own experience.

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