Skip to Navigation

sitemaster's blog

Featured Author of the Antiochian Archdiocese: Dr. Chrissi Hart

image Chrissi (Chrysoula) Hart is an author, Licensed Psychologist and children's radio host.

Born in Cyprus, Chrissi writes stories for children from her cultural heritage that are inspiring and spiritually satisfying.

She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Hull, British Psychological Society Diploma in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Leicester, UK. She helped troubled children for twenty years and has a part time child psychology practice.

She lives in York, Pennsylvania, with her husband Barry and children, Adam and Sophia. They attend St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church, where Chrissi is a choir member.

To learn more about Chrissi, visit

You can also listen to Chrissi reading Orthodox and classic children' literature via her Readings from Under the Grapevine podcast at Ancient Faith Radio.


Writing "The Hermit, The Icon and The Emperor"

by Chrissi Hart

I never dreamed that Conciliar Press would be interested in another book after accepting Under the Grapevine for publication, but I optimistically set out to write The Hermit, The Icon and The Emperor: The Holy Virgin Comes to Cyprus.

When I traveled to London, England in May 2005, my mother handed me a framed paper icon of the Eleousa of Kykkos and said, “Would you like to take this back with you?” Would I? Of course I would! This planted the seed for my story.

She didn’t know that I was already planning my second picture book about this sacred icon that is housed at the Holy Monastery of Kykkos, one of the most significant spiritual centers in Cyprus. I felt that God was sending me an affirmation to write this story.

When I returned to the US, I plucked the Handbook of Kykkos Monastery from my bookshelf that I had purchased on my pilgrimage in 2000, and began my research on this thousand-year-old legend of The Royal and Holy Stavropegic Monastery of Kykkos. The Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I Komnenos founded the monastery in the eleventh century when Cyprus was part of the East Roman Empire.

Reclaiming the Gospel

Most of my life's work over the past fifty-one years has been devoted to understanding God's truth as it has been known in the Orthodox tradition. I completed four advanced degrees in New Testament, European History, Orthodox pastoral studies, and my doctoral work in patristics under the late Fr. John Meyendorff. I've been an invited speaker at prestigious conferences around the world, done television documentaries, taught at leading seminaries, and published widely. All this, however, means absolutely nothing if I do not keep the Person of Christ at the very center of my life and thought. Without Him, I am an ignorant theologian -a big zero!

The same is true for our Orthodox churches in America and abroad. I am convinced that the Orthodox Church preserves the fullness of God's truth, but I am equally persuaded that we have not made that truth meaningful and accessible to our own Church members. The most urgent need in the Orthodox world today is the need for an aggressive "internal mission" of (re)converting our people to Jesus Christ. The gospel of Christ and our life in Him need to be reclaimed as the very centerpiece of Church life.

A Lament Over Unchanged Lives

We all know that the Orthodox Church possesses a very rich and beautiful theological inheritance. Few would dispute the architectural wonder of our cathedrals, the artistic beauty of our iconography, or the inspirational impact of our ancient hymns and liturgical services. Our theological literature from the past continues to define the meaning of the word orthodoxyfor those who have lost their way in the contemporary maze of theological liberalism, cultic religion, or postmodernism. We Orthodox have done better than all others at "not changing the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3).

An AGAIN Interview with Dr. Bradley Nassif, Theologian and Witness

This article originally appeared in AGAIN Vol. 28 No. 3.

Featured Author of the Antiochian Archdiocese: Dr. Bradley Nassif


Dr. Bradley Nassif is an Orthodox Christian, scholar, and trusted spokesperson for Orthodoxy, known especially for his ecumenical involvement and active role in Orthodox evangelism. Raised within the Orthodox Church as a Lebanese-American, Dr. Nassif also spent some time worshipping in the Evangelical tradition in his youth. His experience in both realms has made him a pioneer in Orthodox-Evangelical relations. His life experience, combined with his knowledge of Orthodox faith and history, places him in a unique position from which to articulate the Orthodox faith to a diverse audience.

Dr. Nassif is currently Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University in Chicago. He has been a teacher for the Antiochian House of Studies, and the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, California. He serves as a consultant for Time and Christianity Today magazines. Dr. Nassif holds a Ph.D. from Fordham University where he studied with the late Fr. John Meyendorff. Additionally, he holds a M.Div. from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, a M.A. in New Testament Studies from Denver Seminary, a M.A. in European History from Wichita State University, and a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Friends University. He is a member of Holy Transfiguration Antiochian Orthodox Church in Warrenville, Illinois.

You can also listen to Dr. Nassif teach via his Simply Orthodox podcast at Ancient Faith Radio.

Featured Author of the Antiochian Archdiocese: Fr. Patrick Reardon


Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon is a well-loved Orthodox pastor, homilist, writer, and teacher. He is pastor of All Saints' Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and a senior editor of Touchstone Magazine. In the past forty years, Fr. Patrick has published more than 500 articles, editorials, and reviews in popular and scholarly journals, including Books and Culture, Touchstone, The Scottish Journal of Theology, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Pro Ecclesia, and St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly. As a guest lecturer, he receives invitations year-round to give retreats, homilies, lectures, and Bible studies.

Fr. Patrick is one of Conciliar Press' most prolific authors, with four books, including the perennial bestseller Christ in the Psalms. His titles also include: Christ in His Saints, The Trial of Job, and Chronicles of History and Worship. You can purchase Fr. Patrick's books online at Conciliar.

Fr. Patrick was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; St. Anselm's College in Rome; The Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome; and St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

Week of June 2 to 6, 2008


The Story of Creation: How the Fathers Understood Genesis


"Let's see creation filled with God who created it all. And let's see Christ everywhere. That, I think, is what the Fathers draw from Genesis, and what they invite us to take from Genesis -- even in our day to day life."

Dr. Peter Bouteneff



Today, many Christians disagree on how best to interpret the Book of Genesis. Some even disagree on how modern scientific theories like evolution should influence theology. But this debate is nothing new. Dr. Peter Bouteneff, a professor at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, has studied and written about how the Early Christians addressed and resolved many of these issues. Tune in to find out about the intersection of scripture, science, creation, the ancient Christian faith -- and how it all applies to today's debates.



Each day on The ARK and The RUDDER you can hear a different show from "The Best of Come Receive the Light," featuring favorite interviews from past episodes of CRTL. During June 2-6, we will be playing "The Lost Gospel of Mary " (6/2), "The Effects of Gambling" (6/3), "Prison Ministry" (6/4), "Orthodox Christianity in American Public Life" (6/5), and "Dr. Limberakis, The Ecumenical Patriarchate" (6/6).


This Week on The ARK and The RUDDER

* Hear from those involved in the International Orthodox Christian Charities' food security program and their efforts in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

* Fr. John McGuckin on living the spiritual life in today's world.

* Jason Barker's bible study program, Get Wisdom, on Mark 7 and what Jesus means by the "traditions of men."



June 4, 2008 + Great Is Thy Love, O Master



Great Is Thy Love, O Master

By Fr. Steven Rogers

Word Magazine, May 1999

Forty days after the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we come to that great feast day of the Church when, according to the hymnography of the Church, Christ “didst fulfill the mystery of Thy dispensation, Thou didst take Thy disciples and ascend the Mount of Olives; and behold, Thou didst pass through the firmament.”

After being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, after being born as a babe in the humble surroundings of a cave in Bethlehem, after living a life as a man with all its sufferings and temptation, after being mocked, spat upon, whipped and nailed to a cross, after dying, descending into Hell and being resurrected from the dead, Jesus Christ, on this feast day of the Ascension, returns into Heaven.

The Story of Creation: How the Fathers Understood Genesis

image This week on OCN's Come Receive the Light national Orthodox radio program, Dr. Peter Bouteneff, a professor at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, speaks about the intersection of scripture, science, creation, the ancient Christian faith, and how it all applies to today's debates.

Click here to listen.

AGAIN Interviews Fr. Peter Gillquist for 30th Anniversary Issue

image AGAIN Magazine, published by the Antiochian Archdiocese's Conciliar Media Ministries, has released its 30th anniversary issue. The issue includes a special interview with the magazine's publisher, and the Chair of the Archdiocese Department of Missions and Evangelism, Fr. Peter Gillquist, reflecting on his years of service to the Church and what the future may hold.

"Looking back, I would say the thing we need to stress today with the converts is the need to learn how the Orthodox Church works—the fancy name for that is ecclesiology. As evangelical Protestants, we were so used to doing our own thing, exercising our independence—a favorite slogan was, 'Nobody’s going to tell me what to do or what to believe.' You just can’t live that way as an Orthodox Christian. Because number one, we’re all under the lordship of Christ, and secondly, within the Church, as scriptures teach, He has established apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers." Click here to read the rest! Also, listen to an interview with Fr. Peter on Ancient Faith Radio.

From Becoming Orthodox to Being Orthodox: AGAIN Interviews Fr. Peter Gillquist

The V. Rev. Fr. Peter Gillquist, Chair of the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Missions and Evangelism and the publisher of AGAIN, was interviewed by the magazine for their thirtieth anniversary issue.

Click here to subscribe to AGAIN!


AGAIN: Fr. Peter, tell us what things looked like back in 1978. What was going on in terms of the early Evangelical Orthodox Church? Who were the early leaders? Give us a feeling for what life was like back in those exciting days. How much of this was hype and how much was a genuine movement of the Holy Spirit?

FP: Well, as far as we were concerned, the whole thing was very genuine. After having served together with people like Fr. Richard Ballew, Fr. Jon Braun, Fr. Jack Sparks, and Fr. Gordon Walker in Campus Crusade during the sixties, at the beginning of the seventies we began to try to find what we called the New Testament Church. In other words, knowing that we needed to be church and not just parachurch or independent, we began a study through history to try to find where that New Testament Church went. By ’78 we were pretty convinced that that Church was the Holy Orthodox Church—the church Rome had left in the eleventh century. Historically it was very clear to us that the Orthodox Church was that Church we read about in the pages of the New Testament.

By 1978 we had formed an order called the New Covenant Apostolic Order, which was a base of fellowship and a working relationship between those of us who were on this pilgrimage. At first we had tried not to be a denomination because we knew the world didn’t need another denomination, so we settled for an order. By ’78 a number of other men and women had joined us who did not have our common background in Campus Crusade but had the common yearning to find the New Testament Church.

Pascha: Marital Vocation and Putting on Christ

By Fr. George Morelli

I would like to use the feast of Pascha to enliven the commitment of husbands and wives united in blessed marriage to one another and to their charge the Domestic Church.

Pascha is critical in this renewal because all of Christ’s teachings, who He is, who He claims to be, who we say He is, how we live our lives personally and in a holy union with our spouses in one flesh and the our flesh shared by our children depends completely on Holy Pascha.

The Ethos of Lent

By Fr. George Morelli

The ethos of Lent for the committed Orthodox Christian is told to us by St. Dorotheus of Gaza. He likened it to a wake up call, ‘a coming to one’s self’ (like the Prodigal Son) to find meaning for the entire year. The “great and saving forty days” are to wake us up to all times and seasons of all year.

St. Dorotheus means more than this year only because each and every year are ‘God’s times.’ God created and redeemed the world. We “tithe” as St. Dorotheus instructs us, in thanksgiving to God not merely for these forty days but for all times. Lent is to help us bring to mind the entire year and all our lives.

Lent is not meant for God, but Lent is made for mankind. Once again God gives Himself to us.

In his Discourses and Sayings, St. Dorotheus tells us:

You see, God gave us these holy days so that by diligence in abstinence, in the spirit of humility and repentance, a man may be cleansed of the sins of the whole year and the soul relieved of its burden. Purified he goes forward to the holy day of the resurrection, and being made a new man through the change of heart induced by the fast..

What does it take to have a change of heart? Like in one of the Gospels read in preparation for the Lenten period, the story of Zacchaeus, we have to first see ourselves as small and needing to see Christ. What are the requirements? We have to see ourselves as ‘potentially’ nothing. Without God, we are not small in stature but infinitesimally minute, actually non-existent.

Do we reflect on this? Our worth, as creatures are completely dependent on God. Do we see it sense this? We are made in Gods image, Do we reflect on this? Our intelligence and free will come from Him? Do we acknowledge this?

St. Dorotheus has meditated on our smallness he tells us:

Fr. George Morelli: Chaplaincy and Counseling Articles and Reflections

image Fr. George Morelli is a seasoned professional in the areas of Clinical Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy. An active pastor and leader, he chairs the archdiocesan Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Ministry, and is also Religion Coordinator and Liaison of the Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine. He lives in San Diego, California, where he is Assistant Pastor at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. Fr. George has taught university and seminary courses in psychology and pastoral theology, and supervised doctoral clinical psychology interns. He has authored numerous articles in the field of psychology, and is also the author of Healing: Orthodox Christianity and Scientific Psychology. He can be heard on Ancient Faith Radio through his weekly podcast Healing: Orthodox Spirituality and Psychology. Also a regular contributor to, Fr. George has graciously allowed the Antiochian Archdiocese to reproduce his writings on this website.

CE credits can be earned through SavvyCE,, #27447.

You can also listen to Fr. George teach via his podcast at Ancient Faith Radio.


The 2016 Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church: Implications for Unity

by Fr. George Morelli
SSJC-WR President's Message Spring 20161

There are many serious challenges to the unity of the Churches, ecclesial communities and confessions and religious groups in today's world. Among these are: secularization, religious pluralism, fundamentalism and ethnophyletism. If the Orthodox Churches one of the Apostolic Churches tracing their succession to Christ Himself, in agreement on faith and morals can achieve agreement on approaching these issues confronting her today, God willing, this will be a witness and model for other Churches and religious communities to do the same. This would be a step toward healing the division among the Churches and communities.

Just such a witness was described in the document issued in January 2016 in Chambésy , Switzerland, by the Synaxis of Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches in preparation for the Holy and Great Council that is to be held on the Greek island of Crete during June 2016 - Pentecost as celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. This had been preceded by a draft document adopted by the 5th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council in October 2015, also in Chambésy. Many ecumenical encounters between Eastern and Western Churches have occurred leading to these events.

From Arguing to Rejoicing

By Frederica Mathewes-Green

Originally published by Beliefnet, Jul 27, 2007. Reproduced here courtesy of the author.


On July 26, 2007, Rod Dreher posted on his blog on, “Crunchy Cons,” the piece in the current Again Magazine about our journey from Anglican to Orthodox. He asked people to write in telling what triggered them to leave a church or a belief, or what caused them to decide to stay despite difficulties.


Thanks, Rod, for posting this and launching a strong conversation.

Daniel, thanks for this: <<Why, after 16 years, does Matthews-Green still talk about her difference with the Episcopal church and use it as a way to convert people to her little corner of Orthodoxy? >>

As Rod points out, I keep talking about it because people keep asking about it. They also ask me to explain the difference between Orthodoxy and Western Christianity, so I spend a lot of time explaining that, too — and in the process, offending and angering people. I am sad to think that I have probably damaged some friendships that way. No matter how kindly you put it, you’re inevitably saying, “here are the differences, and here is why I think Orthodoxy is better” — that’s inevitable.

I was thinking of writing an essay titled “Why Converts to Orthodoxy are Obnoxious.” I think it’s pretty much parallel to the reason adolescents are obnoxious. They are trying to comprehend their unique identity, and trying to establish it in the face of—not hostility, which would be hard but at least bracing and clarifying, but affection, which is a lot more sticky. Grandmom and Pops and Uncle Joe et al. love the little guy, who’s “going through a phase.”

Proselytizing in Orthodox Lands

By Frederica Mathewes-Green

Originally published by Beliefnet, Jul 13, 2000. Reproduced here courtesy of the author.


Is it right to proselytize?

Already it’s a loaded question. “Proselytism” has about as many appealing connotations as “root canal.” It’s more pointed than “evangelism,” which means exposition of the Gospel to any and everyone, particularly those of no faith at all. Proselytizing implies undermining an existing faith in order to clear ground for a new one.

Is it right to proselytize?

Yes. People who believe that they’ve found the best spiritual path have a right to share what they’ve found—maybe even an obligation. Those who lend them an ear can decide for themselves whether or not they agree. Only itchy sensitivities get offended at such sharing, and only paranoid ones whine that it’s coercive. Expressing a belief, even with persuasive intent, is a first amendment right, not coercion.

The truth is that we all benefit from hearing other people talk honestly about their deeply-held faith. There’s nothing wrong with closing such a personal testimony with “and you should try it too.” It’s somewhat analogous to sharing a favorite recipe. I can taste your shrimp-chocolate-chip cookies and decide for myself whether they’re heavenly. Then I can invite you to Sunday services, and you can decide the same about my Church.

It is right to proselytize. But there are situations in which people of faith should refrain from doing so. I believe such is the case with Protestant missionaries in formerly-communist, historically-Orthodox countries.

Interview: Orthodoxy and Protestants

By Frederica Mathewes-Green

Originally published by Modern Reformation, Mar 2003. Reproduced here courtesy of the author.


The author of numerous books, most recently, The Illumined Heart, Frederica Mathewes-Green is a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition, a book reviewer for the Los Angeles Times and a columnist for Her book, Facing East, charts her movement from being an evangelical Episcopalian to her embrace of Eastern Orthodoxy. Among other things, we asked Frederica to help us understand why a number of evangelicals are attracted to Orthodoxy.

MR: Can you tell us a little about your spiritual pilgrimage?

FMG: I was raised nominal Roman Catholic and abandoned Christian faith as a young teen. More than abandoned it, I emphatically rejected it as something embarrassing. I spent my high school and college years exploring various alternative religions, though I praise God that I was protected from becoming deeply involved in any of them. By the time I was a college senior I’d settled on Hinduism as the "grooviest" of all faiths. When my husband and I were married, out in the woods in 1974, I read a Hindu prayer at the ceremony.

But he, an erstwhile atheist, had read a Gospel as a philosophy class assignment, and was moved by the authority of Jesus: "If Jesus says there is a god, there has to be one." This fell far short of Christian faith, but he nevertheless arranged to enter Episcopal seminary in the fall-not intending to be a pastor, but wanting only to continue to study theology. At the time he was most attracted to the German deconstructionists and Bultmann. I was wary of all this and firmly anti-Christian, but willing to tolerate his odd hobby.

The Problem with Women's Ministries

By Frederica Mathewes-Green

Originally published by Beliefnet, Jul 6, 2004. Reproduced here courtesy of the author.


There are lots of things I like about my church, but you know what I like best? None of that stupid "women’s ministry" stuff. No simpering "gals only" events advertised in voluptuous purple italics and threatening to do something to your heart (open, touch, heal, re-calibrate and change the filter). No color-saturated photos of beaming, hefty middle-aged gals (gals who look like me, that is, but with a dye job and a whole lot more makeup). No unique opportunities to Explore God’s Precious Promises in an environment that offers all the sober tranquility of a manic-depressives’ convention.

And the hugging! Well, actually, I don’t mind hugging. It’s hugging in front of a convulsively applauding, tear-spattered audience that has me groping for the Pepto-Bismol.

Not only is there no "women’s ministry," there’s no "women’s spirituality." No lofty ephemera about women’s unique spiritual sensitivity, like we’re delicate canaries sniffling in a hallway. No giving Hildegard of Bingen the kind of gushing adoration she’d prefer we gave her Lord. No sour, resentful whining about how women’s unique contribution to the faith was trampled by the bad, bad patriarchal church.

"Women’s ministry" and "women’s spirituality" appear to come from opposite poles of the Christian compass-one is mostly evangelical right and the other more liturgical left. But neither appears in Eastern Orthodoxy, for which I’m mighty grateful. Soon after I converted I mentioned to a friend that I was looking forward to learning the Orthodox take on women’s spirituality. She looked puzzled. "Why would it be different?" she asked.

Orthodox-Catholic Unity?

By Frederica Mathewes-Green

Originally published by The Wall Street Journal, Jul 15, 2005. Reproduced here courtesy of the author.


"The need is felt to join forces and spare no energies" to renew dialogue between Catholic and Orthodox Christians, said Pope Benedict XVI. In comments to delegates of the Patriarch of Constantinople on June 30, the pope explained that "the unity we seek is neither absorption nor fusion, but respect for the multiform fullness of the Church."

Outsiders may wonder: Why don’t those two venerable denominations just kiss and make up? From the outside, they look a lot alike. Each church claims roots in earliest Christian history. The dispute that split them is a thousand years old. Isn’t it time to move on?

It is my own Orthodox brethren who appear to be the cranky partners. Catholics have been making friendly overtures for more than a decade now. Pope John Paul II even said that the extent of papal power-over which the two churches split in the 11th century-could be "open to a new situation." Both churches hold as ideal a united body with Rome as "first among equals." Yet the Orthodox drag their feet, sometimes seeming downright rude. A Catholic friend tells me that the attitude seems to be: "Take this olive branch and shove it."

The Orthodox Church is smaller and less powerful, so we don’t get much opportunity to explain how things seem from our perspective. But it comes down to two words: "unity" and "chaos."

Orthodox Controversies?

By Frederica Mathewes-Green

Originally published by Beliefnet, August 2005. Reproduced here courtesy of the author.


"What are the controversial issues in Orthodoxy?" This question, recently posed on a Beliefnet message board, is the dandelion in the lawn of Orthodox inquirers. It’s the question I kept asking, fifteen years ago, when my family was deciding to leave our mainline denomination. If we became Orthodox, what would we be getting into? Was it going to be the same heartbreaking arguments and debate - just over pierogis instead of doughnuts?

Well, there are controversies in Orthodoxy, all right, but they’re not *those* controversies. You can find people on the internet arguing heatedly about whether churches should follow the old or the new calendar, or whether Orthodox should participate in any kind of ecumenical dialogue. But the fierce internet debates don’t seem to come up much at the parish level (though you’ll find garden-variety power struggles, nominal faith, and other frustrations that plague any church).

Some very big controversies are actually on the mend. For a century there was a split between those Orthodox who left Russia in order to preserve the faith, and those who stayed behind. But on the feast of Pentecost (June 19, 2005), leaders of both bodies signed an agreement that paves the way for reunion. That’s cause for rejoicing.

So, yes, there are controversies — but that’s not what American inquirers mean. What about gay marriage? What about women’s ordination? Is there an abortion-rights movement in Orthodoxy? Are there bishops who teach that the Resurrection was a myth?

Just Plain American Orthodox

By Frederica Mathewes-Green

Deep in the heart of a typical American city there is a magnificent old Orthodox church. The community housed here was founded about a hundred years ago, a gathering of families who had emigrated from Greece, Russia, Syria, or some other ethnically-Orthodox land.

Featured Author of the Antiochian Archdiocese: Frederica Mathewes-Green


Frederica Mathewes-Green is a wide-ranging author, whose work has appeared in such diverse publications as the Washington Post, Christianity Today, Smithsonian, the Los Angeles Times, First Things, Books & Culture, Sojourners, Touchstone, and the Wall Street Journal. She is a regular columnist for the multi-faith web magazine, and she writes movie reviews for National Review Online and Christianity Today Movies.

She has published eight books, including Facing East: A Pilgrim’s Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy and The Illumined Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation. In the past, her commentaries have been heard on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Her essays were selected for Best Christian Writing in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006, and Best Spiritual Writing in 1998 and 2007. She has published over 600 articles.

She has also appeared as a speaker over 400 times, at places like Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Wellesley, Cornell, Calvin, Baylor, and Westmont; at the Smithsonian Institute, the Aspen Institute, Washington National Cathedral, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, the American Academy of Religion, the Veritas Forum, the Family Research Council, and the National Right to Life Committee.

She has been interviewed on PrimeTime Live, the Diane Rehm Show, the 700 Club, PBS, CNN, NBC, Fox News, and by Time, Newsweek, the New Republic, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times.

Featured Author of the Antiochian Archdiocese: Douglas Cramer

image Douglas Cramer is Chair of the Department of Internet Ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and editor of He is a writer, editor, and graphic designer with over twenty years of experience in the field of communications. Douglas has served as managing editor of AGAIN Magazine and as staff writer for Orthodox Christian Network. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Into the Heart of Antioch: The North American Delegation to the Antiochian Unity Conference

Delegates await the start of the Unity ConferenceDelegates await the start of the Unity ConferenceIn late June, an historic event took place in the life of the Church of Antioch: the first Antiochian Unity Conference, called by His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, to gather together representatives of the Patriarchate from across the globe. The conference was held in Balamand, Lebanon, from June 25 to 29, and concluded on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul with a massive outdoor Patriarchal Liturgy on the grounds of Balamand University, attended by faithful from across the region as well as those gathered for the Conference.

This gathering occurred during a momentous time for our ancient Patriarchate of Antioch. A strong and ascendant Patriarch, John X, in the early stages of his leadership, guides the Church with love and joy in the Holy Spirit, while the Church carries a heavy cross: the historic homeland of the Patriarchate in Syria suffers war and the constant threat of violence, and the Church in Lebanon struggles with the burdens of life on the doorstep of war. The discussions of the conference were informed by the presence in spirit of the brother of Patriarch John, His Eminence Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo, abducted during the conflict over a year ago, along with Syriac Metropolitan Yohanna of Aleppo.

Memory Eternal! Khouriya Joanne Abdalah (updated May 29, 2008)

image Kh. Joanne Abdalah of St. George Cathedral/Pittsburgh, Pa., fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, May 27, after suffering with ovarian cancer for more than two years. 

She and Fr. John are the parents of three children: Gregory, a 2008 graduate of St. Vladimir Seminary in Crestwood, NY, Joseph of Houston, TX, and Maria at home. Please remember them all in your prayers.

Among other ministries, Kh. Joanne was co-editor of the WORD magazine and a past president of the North American Board of Antiochian Women.

The funeral arrangements are as follows:

She will be laid out at the Cathedral of St. George in Oakland, PA, Thursday evening, May 29, from 4pm to 8pm.  Immediately after that at 8pm we will have the funeral service.  The internment will be on Friday at the Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pa.

Condolences can be sent to the V. Rev. Fr John Abdalah, St. George Cathedral, 3400 Dawson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, or via email at

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the St. George Cathedral Sunday School Building Fund.

Kh. Joanne's obituary may be found in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at:

Messages of sympathy to Kh. Joanne's family may be made by signing the on-line "Guest Book" at:

The Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America General Assembly

The Dowama General Assembly will be held during the upcoming Parish Life Conference in Dallas from 1:30-4:30PM on Friday, June 20th. At this most important meeting nominations and elections of officers for the Diocesan Fellowship will take place. The following important notice was issued by the Fellowship's Nominating Committee:

"Christ is risen!  We are preparing for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine election of diocesan officers.  We will need to have nominations (or candidates) in place before the general assembly in Dallas.  Due to the requirement that each nominee be in good standing with the Church (to be confirmed by his/her parish priest) we will not be taking nominations from the floor.  If you would like to nominate someone from your congregation for an office, please send contact information to Father Jeremy Davis, Spiritual Advisor to the DOWAMA Fellowship, by email at before this coming Monday, May 26th.  Thank You.  Yours in Christ, The Nomination Committee: Father Jeremy Davis and Helen Norton."

Memory Eternal! Naseeb Saliba

clip_image001MEMORY ETERNAL!  NASEEB SALIBA of St Nicholas Cathedral/Los Angeles, CA, an honorary member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees, has fallen asleep in Christ.  Mr. Saliba was preceded in death by his wife Cleo.  He will be buried from St Nicholas Cathedral/Los Angeles with the Funeral Service scheduled for 7:00PM this Wednesday, May 28th.  Condolences may be sent to The Naseeb Saliba Family - 4435 Petit Avenue - Encino, Ca.  91436.  May God grant him rest in the bosom of Abraham, and may He grant you long life.

Syndicate content