Skip to Navigation

Welcome to the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic, part of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The Diocese of Oakland is led by His Grace Bishop Thomas and includes more than 30 churches and missions in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

 

Blessed Fast and Blessed Feast! Bishop THOMAS 2018 Nativity Greeting

The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2018The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Beloved in Christ,

I greet you in this season of the Nativity Fast, in anticipation of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord.

As the Lord Christ assumes our human nature in order to redeem it, we rejoice in His divine condescension and His munificent love. Saint Gregory Palamas notes, "Without being separated from the Father's bosom He who is in the world and by whom the world was made (John 1:10), came out and entered the world. He who fills heaven and earth came down from heaven to earth. Consequently, the coming forth of the only-begotten son of God, and His descent from heaven, represent nothing other than His manifestation in the flesh and His self-emptying, from the unutterable exaltation of divinity down to human nature at the other extreme" (Homily 47 On the Parable of the Sower).

Bishop Thomas 2018 Greeting for the Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos

November 21, 2018

Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple

Beloved brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, God-fearing Monastics,

         and all my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ our True God:

The feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple is a spiritual foreshadowing of our entrance into the heavenly kingdom. This foreshadowing provides us with our own preparation for entrance into the heavenly realm.

We must be adorned properly with a spirit cleansed by a life of repentance and asceticism. We must be willing to struggle just as the 3-year-old infant had to make an effort to ascend 15 high steps in order to enter the temple. So should we, in order to enter the Heavenly Realm, make the effort to ascend the ladder of virtues, to labor at fasting and prayer. The Holy Virgin went up the steps by herself, without any help from others, but with the miraculous help of God. So should we, in our attempt to attain the Heavenly Realm, make the effort ourselves, but constantly asking God for help along the way.

Diocese of Charleston News Archive