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Bishop THOMAS Presides at OCF Memorial Service at VTech










Students also participated in an evening vigil held on campus.

Come Receive the Light Announces Schedule of Programs for May 2008

Come Receive the Light, the only nationally syndicated Orthodox Christian radio broadcast, is a weekly program that features interviews with noted Orthodox Christian clergy, theologians, and lay leaders on theological, spiritual, pastoral, and modern social issues. Heard on the radio in more than 100 cities in the United States and the Bahamas, this unique weekly broadcast offers the ancient, Christ-centered message of Orthodox Christianity to the modern world. You can listen to past programs on demand and find many other online resources to deepen your faith at


May 2, 2008
Topic: Introducing Orthodox Christianity to Western Christians
Guests: Dr. James R. Payton, Jr. and Rev. Dr. John McGuckin  
This week's episode of Come Receive the Light, THE NATIONAL ORTHODOX RADIO PROGRAM, introduces Eastern Orthodoxy to a Western audience. James R. Payton Jr., author of Light from the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition, and Fr. John McGuckin, an expert in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, discuss different aspects of Orthodox Christian doctrine and spiritual life.

May 9, 2008

Topic: Prayer to the Saints & for the Dead
Guest: Dr. David C. Ford
Ever wonder why Orthodox Christians ask the Saints for their intercessions? Or why we pray for the forgiveness and salvation of those who have already passed away? On this week's program, Dr. David C. Ford, a professor at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, explains why these practices are Biblical and fully part of the ancient Christian faith.

Myanmar Cyclone Emergency Appeal from IOCC


Fierce winds, rain and storm surge have devastated much of the Irrawaddy Delta and Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. International Orthodox Christian Charities will provide cash support to its ecumenical partners toward emergency relief supplies for the survivors in Myanmar.

Visit IOCC for information about this emergency and how you can contribute.

Reflection on God and Natural Disaster by Orthodox Theologian David Hart Posted in Response to Myanmar Disaster

A Paschal Greeting from OCMC


This hand painted Ascension from Cameroon reminds us that Christ’s death and Resurrection was for the whole world. Thank you for answering the call to share the Gospel of Christ!

We pray that you had a beautiful Holy Week and a glorious Pascha. May God continue to bless you and your family during this Paschal season.


Palestinian Children's Author Reports on Holy Fire in Jerusalem

At the Orthodox Institute this fall Dr. Maria Khoury of Palestine will present the keynote address. Maria is known for her reflections on life in the Holy Land, which circulate to a wide readership by e-mail. Many appreciate her writings as a personal window into the land of our Christian heritage. I received one of her e-mails recently from Ms. Phyllis Onest which describes what is known as the Holy Fire in Jerusalem. I enclose both the introduction by Phyllis, and Maria’s description of the Holy Fire. During her time in the States, Maria will be available to come to parishes and present on life in the Holy Land and her affordable housing project, and to sign her Christina children’s book series. If you are interested in hosting Maria, please contact us at

From Phyllis:

Maria Khoury, author of the Christina book series, and her family live in the last Christian village in Palestine—Taybeh, known as Ephraim in the Scriptures (if my memory serves me correctly). She has been our eyes and ears to the truth of what occurs behind the high walls the Israeli government has built around Gaza to keep the Palestinians "entrapped" in their own land. President Carter refers to the what occurs there as "Apartheid."

There are still Christians attempting to witness to the world that this is the place where Jesus lived and preached and where the Apostles taught and the Church grew. But most have left out of fear for their lives and for a future for their children. There was a time that thriving Orthodox monasteries cared for the Holy sites. Now there are a few monks or nuns.

Peja Stojakovic and IOCC Assist Disabled Children in Greece


Baltimore, Maryland (IOCC) — All star basketball player Peja Stojakovic of the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets is partnering with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to provide mobility assistance to more than 160 disabled people in Thessaloniki, Greece. More than $200,000 in wheelchairs, including sports wheelchairs for disabled athletes, and other mobility devices and therapeutic equipment will be distributed in Thessaloniki from May 12 - 16, 2008.

OTTO: Orthodox Unity in America

Orthodox Teen Talk Online

This week, Fr. Peter Jon Gillquist and a group of Antiochian teens discuss Orthodox Unity in America.

May 7, 2008 + A Dead God? (Part 1)


by Fr. James C. Meena

Word Magazine, April 1980  

The words spoken by the young man in the long white robe, whom the Ointment-bearing women found at the tomb when they went to anoint the body of Jesus (St. Mark 16:6) ring down through the centuries in the most challenging terms. “You seek” are the first words of this statement; “You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He is not here. He is Risen. Behold the place where they laid Him.”

You and I go through life “seeking” day by day. Each of us seeks for different things. Some look for security, some for peace of heart, some for the best formula to get along with our neighbors and families, some for financial and career success, some for intellectual achievement. Each of us has labeled that for which we think we are searching. But in reality each of us is looking for that source of power greater than ourselves by which we might somehow reconcile ourselves with life and with the seeming inequities of life.

Council of Orthodox Christian Churches to hold "Saturday Night Laughter" charity benefit May 17

LIVONIA, Mich. - The Council of Orthodox Christian Churches of Metropolitan Detroit (COCC) will hold a charity benefit May 17 at 7 p.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 750 N. Beech Daly Road, Dearborn Heights.

Entitled "Saturday Night Laughter," the benefit will feature comedian Mrs. Hughes (, musician Rennie Kaufmann (, a silent auction and dancing.

Tickets are $30 per person in advance, $40 at the door.  Admission includes hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine and soft drinks.  The COCC is also accepting donations of money and items for the silent auction.  All proceeds will go to International Orthodox Christian Charities, the official international humanitarian organization of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (

To order tickets, donate money or auction items, or obtain further information, contact COCC President Richard Shebib at (734) 422-0278 or

The COCC is a 51-year-old clergy and lay association that represents various canonical Orthodox churches in metropolitan Detroit.  Its mission is to promote Orthodox Christianity throughout the area through worship, fellowship, and charitable, educational and outreach programs. 

Metropolitan PHILIP Presides Over Paschal Liturgy

His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP presided over the Paschal Liturgy on April 27, 2008 at the Archdiocese Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, New York. A recording of the service and His Eminence's homily are being prepared for release. Learn more about Metropolitan PHILIP here.

Parenting in a Materialistic World

ocn3 In the newest episode of Orthodox Christian Network's Tuning in to the Faith video series, Kh. Maggie Hock, Director of the Department of Marriage & Parish Family Ministries for the Antiochian Archdiocese, discusses the role of media and advertising in modern life, and what Orthodox Christian parents should know about how their kids are affected.

Watch part 1
Watch part 2

Priest's Conversion from Judaism to Christianity Documented in New Memoir

image Conciliar Press Ministries is pleased to announce the release of a new spiritual memoir of a man's conversion from Judaism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Raised in Queens, New York by formerly Orthodox Jewish parents whose faith had been undermined by the Holocaust, Arnold Bernstein went on a quest for the God he instinctively felt was there. He was ready to accept God in whatever form He chose to reveal Himself—and that form turned out to be Christ.

But Bernstein soon perceived discrepancies in the various forms of Protestant belief that surrounded him, and so his quest continued—this time for the true Church. With his Jewish heritage as a foundation, he came to the conclusion that the faith of his forefathers was fully honored and brought to completion only in the Orthodox Christian Church.

Surprised by Christ combines an engrossing memoir of one man’s life in historic situations—from the Six-Day War to the Jesus Movement in Berkeley—with a deeply felt examination of the distinctives of Orthodox theology that make the Orthodox Church the true home not only for Christian Jews, but for all who seek to know God as fully as He may be known.

Clergy Symposium 2008

clergysymposiumThe 15th Biennial Clergy Symposium will be held July 21 to 25 at Antiochian Village, Bolivar, Pa. The theme is "Christianity & Islam," featuring Professors Irfan Shahid, George Saliba, and Najib Saliba.

Download Cover Letter

Download Schedule

New York Times Reports on Aramaic's Decline in Syria

The NYT has posted an interesting article about the decline of Aramaic in Syria. Click here to check it out (registration required).

New York Times Reports on Growing Strength of Orthodoxy in Russia

The NYT has posted an interesting article about Orthodoxy in Russia. Click here to check it out (registration required).

Induction at St. George Cathedral

Curtis Magnuson and John Ritter are inducted by Bishop THOMAS as knights in the Order of St. Ignatius, on Palm Sunday at St. George Cathedral in Pittsburgh.

Curtis Magnuson and John Ritter become Knights in the Order of St. Ignatius3Curtis Magnuson and John Ritter become Knights in the Order of St. IgnatiusCurtis Magnuson and John Ritter become Knights in the Order of St. Ignatius2

Excerpts from the Homily by St Epiphanios of Cyprus Which Was Given on Great and Holy Saturday

image Something strange is happening -- there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still, because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh, and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him, Adam -- the first man he had created -- struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone, "My Lord be with you all."

Bishop JOSEPH Visits 11 Parishes During Holy Week

During Holy Week, Sayidna JOSEPH visited all 11 churches of the Northern California Deanery. Here is the link:

April 30, 2008 + Easter Message








From: Word Magazine, March 1971

What a precious message of personal hope and joy there is in the true realization of the Resurrection! Death has been overcome; the grave has been transformed into the gateway to Eternal Life, and we are assured of a glorious future. There is no other promise in the world that can offer the smallest fraction of the joy conferred by the Divine Presence in the experience of Easter when we are assured of our own immortality.

We human beings are so devised that we do not naturally linger long on the heights or in the depths of emotion. The memory of the most excruciating pain is gradually forgotten, nor can we recall with the same vividness as before the personalities of departed loved ones, no matter how close they were or how dear. Our joys and triumphs buoy us up for a while, but the pleasure or satisfaction they have brought us is eventually dimmed by time which brings us new experiences and new responsibilities to which we must address ourselves. Every so often we may recall hours of distress or pleasure, but we can never for long avoid the demands of the present in which we must carry on our daily existence.

Commemorating St. George the Great Martyr

stgeorgeSt. George the Great Martyr, beloved saint of the Antiochian Archdiocese and patron of many of our parishes and people, is commemorated on April 23, except when this falls before Pascha, in which case he is typically commemorated on Bright Monday.

Troparion of St George (Tone 4): As the deliverer of captives and the protector of the poor, as the physician of the feeble and combatant of kings, holy champion and great martyr George, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.

Kontakion of St George (Tone 4): Thou wast cultivated by God and didst become a most wonderful cultivator of piety, and didst harvest for thyself the sheaves of virtue, for having sown in tears thou didst reap in joy and having withstood to death thou art garnered for Christ. By thy intercessions, O Saint, thou dost obtain for us all remission of our sins.

About St. George

Commemoration of our God-bearing Fathers and Mothers Who Shone Forth in Asceticism


Commemorated on March 8

On this day, we commemorate all the righteous and God-bearing Fathers and Mothers, both known and unknown, who shone forth in asceticism. With these two weeks of Meatfare and Cheesefare, the Church gradually eases us into the full fasting of Great Lent.

The holy ascetics were virtuous men and women who contended against the devil and their own passions. By examining their lives and their struggles against the enemy, we take courage from the victory they have achieved, and are inspired to imitate their God-pleasing conduct. They also teach us that fasting is not merely abstinence from food, but involves refraining from inappropriate speech and unseemly actions.

Since these holy ascetics shared the same human nature that we have, their example is an encouragement to us as we embark on our own spiritual struggles. Their lives are a model for us to follow as we seek to acquire and practice the various virtues and to turn away from everything evil. If we undertake these same struggles of prayer, fasting, and good works, we shall receive from God the same rewards as they did.

Most of the holy ascetics commemorated today have their own separate Feast Days during the year, while some are remembered only on this day.

Troparion (Tone 8) –

Only Creator, with wisdom profound, You mercifully order all things,

and give that which is needed to all men:

Icon of the Mother of God "Enthroned"


Commemorated on March 2

The “Enthroned” (or “Reigning”) Icon of the Mother of God appeared on March 2, 1917, the day of Tsar Nicholas II’s abdication, in the village of Kolomskoye near Moscow, Russia.

In February 1917, an elderly woman named Eudokia saw the Mother of God in a dream telling her to go to Kolomskoye to find a large blackened icon in a church. After this vision occurred to her three times, Eudokia went to Kolomskoye to search for the icon with the priest Nicholas.

In the basement of a church, they found the icon and started wiping off the accumulated dust. They were then able to see the Most Holy Theotokos wearing a crown and sitting on a throne. Immediately, Father Nicholas celebrated a service of Thanksgiving and an Akathist.

News of the icon’s discovery spread throughout Russia, and there were several miracles of healing from physical and mental infirmities. As time went by, the icon renewed itself and became brighter and brighter.

Since the icon was revealed just as the Tsar abdicated, many people believed that the Queen of Heaven had assumed royal authority over the Russian land, and so the icon became known as the “Enthroned” (or “Reigning”) icon. Upon additional research, it was learned that the icon had come from the Ascension Convent in Moscow. In 1812, before Napoleon’s invasion, this icon and others were sent to the Church of the Ascension in the village of Kolomskoye for safekeeping. Apparently forgotten, the icons were never returned to Moscow.

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