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Daily Readings and Saints - 58 min 24 sec ago
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The kingdom of heaven is like…

OCN Now - 3 hours 18 min ago
Listen to the Daily Reading for July 29, 2016. St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 4:5-8 BRETHREN, do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation […]

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Hotel Registration Opens for the 2017 Archdiocese Convention in Miami

Antiochian Archdiocese - 8 hours 54 min ago

Christ in our midst! He is and ever shall be!
The buzz continues with great excitement as the 2017 Archdiocese Convention is less than a year away!

Hotel Registration opens today, July 28, 2016: visit the Convention website.

Pre-registration began in Boston last summer. Space is filling up fast!

Get connected and "Be an Insider!"
"Like" the Convention Facebook page: Visit Now!
"Subscribe" to the Convention YouTube channel: Visit Now!

Convention Facts:

  • Held from Sunday-Sunday, July 23-30, 2017 
  • Amazing hotel - The Diplomat Hotel - Hollywood Beach, Florida
  • 270 churches (U.S. and Canada) will gather
  • 400 Clergy led by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and all the bishops of the Archdiocese
  • Hundreds of delegates
  • Center of Convention is the chapel - church services everyday
  • General Assembly and departmental meetings of Archdiocese​​
  • Workshops on the Orthodox family
  • Humanitarian project
  • Entertainment and social activities
  • Formal banquets and haflis
  • National Debke competition
  • History journal - first of its kind for entire Archdiocese!!!
  • Events for all ages!

Less than a year away—see you soon, God willing!

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Excerpt on Missions from the Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church

OCN Now - 10 hours 38 min ago
The following is an excerpt on the Orthodox understanding of missions from the Encyclical of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, recently held in Crete. II. The mission of the Church in the world The apostolic work and the proclamation of the Gospel, also known as mission, belong at the core of […]

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Russian Orthodox Pilgrims Gather in Kiev Despite Threats

OCN Now - 10 hours 50 min ago
Despite threats that grenades had been planted along their route, thousands of Russian Orthodox pilgrims were able to meet in Kiev’s most revered monastery by completing their journey in buses.  BY FRANCESCA EBEL AND NATALIYA VASILYEVA, ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSCOW — Jul 27, 2016, 11:59 AM ET Thousands of Russian Orthodox Christian pilgrims reached the center […]

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Commandments of Christ According to St Gregory Palamas, Οι εν Χριστώ εντολές

OCN Now - 11 hours 43 min ago
Listen as Dimitris Karavasilis, host of True Life- a Greek production of the Orthodox Christian Network, offers a reflection to enlighten our daily lives with the light of Scripture and wisdom of the Church fathers. This week: the Ten Commandments. Οι εν Χριστώ εντολές Παρουσιάζουμε το δεύτερο μέρος του δεκαλόγου όπως τον διατύπωσε ο άγιος […]

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Put the “Cool Card” Away

OCN Now - 15 hours 58 min ago
Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it.  Fear not, be not dismayed; for the Lord God, even my God is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.  I […]

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Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7

Daily Readings and Saints - 20 hours 58 min ago
Epistle Reading
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Matthew 13:36-43

Daily Readings and Saints - 20 hours 58 min ago
Gospel Reading
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He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

OCN Now - Wed, 2016/07/27 - 7:59pm
Listen to the Daily Reading for July 28, 2016, Prochoros, Nicanor, Timon, & Parmenas the Apostles of the 70. Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7 IN THOSE DAYS, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body […]

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The Work of the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

OCN Now - Wed, 2016/07/27 - 3:26pm
Recently Amnesty International published an article titled “State of emergency must not roll back human rights in Turkey.” There was concern that Turkey’s President Erdogan’s announcement of the imposition of a state of emergency would “pave the way for a roll-back in human rights or be used as a pretext to further clamp down on […]

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Turning “Down Time” Upwards

Ancient Faith Radio - Wed, 2016/07/27 - 12:47pm
The slower-paced tempo of summertime raises questions about how we relate to leisure as Orthodox Christians. On a new "Time Eternal," Dr. Nicole Roccas talks about down time and our culture's sense of entitlement towards rest and relaxation
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Father George Shalhoub Offers Homily at Ecumenical Vigil Service

Antiochian Archdiocese - Wed, 2016/07/27 - 12:06pm

Feast of St. Anne
Ecumenical Vigil Service
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Monday, July 25, 2016
"Community in Communion": Homily offered by Fr. George H. Shalhoub 

Your Eminence Archbishop Vigneron, Your Graces, Brother Clergy and my beloved neighbors,

I wish to thank you on behalf of our Metropolitan Joseph and our local bishop, Bishop Anthony.

What an awesome moment as we come together at this Holy Cathedral, celebrating Vespers in honor of a special grandmother, wife, mother and aunt, St. Anne on the occasion when the Holy Church honors her memory.

And, especially for me to be invited in the spirit of ecumenism and neighborly love to give the homily tonight on the occasion of the feast of our grandmother and on the anniversary of our two abducted Archbishops, Paul Yazigi and Youhanna Ibrahim and to all the suffering families throughout the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq and in America.

But, who am I to teach the teacher and give wisdom to the wise? Simply put, I will share the message of the good news that every family, under the sun, is in need of hearing.

St. Anne, according to church tradition, was a loving and faithful wife to Joachim. For whatever reason, she was not able to conceive until later in life. But if God wills it, even the power of nature is overcome. God can give a child, even to infertile couples.

Her parents had 3 daughters, Mary, Sophia and Anne (Hanneh). Mary married and gave birth to Salome, Sophia married and gave birth to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and Anne married Joachim. She bore a daughter who was chosen and called the mother of our Lord, the Theotokos.

The hymns of the church speak of St. Anne:   

Be glad, O barren one; Be glad, O aged Anna. You will conceive and give birth to a wondrous child, a chosen one;
Yet, you will be more glorious than all, Sarah, Rachel and Elizabeth, for you will give birth, from the womb, to the wonderful Virgin, the only wonderful Mother of the Most High King.
When men hunger, the Lord makes the dry field fertile; and
Because of the spiritual hunger of the world, He makes the barren on fertile.
For the salvation of men, the Lord arranges all for the best.
That is why all the Church of the Saints cries out to Him: Glory! Glory!”

Who is St. Anne for us? St. Anne represents the human family in its struggles, heartaches and holiness.

“Every family is always a light, however faint, amid the darkness of the world.”  (1)

Throughout society, we see many families suffering from abdicating their calling to sow the seed of virtues into their children. It seems we have fallen into a trap of creating busyness by encouraging sports and extra-curricular activities, hoping to make our children stronger and productive. What good is success and strength without good virtues? It will only produce a lonely child that lives, eats and serves himself/herself.

Family responsibility and commitment is to invest time and energy into creating and sustaining healthy relationships that understand the meaning of commitment, to support each other and to believe that family matters and must come first.  “The family is the entity that gives real meaning to life and existence. The family is the cornerstone of our social system. The family is not a casual and spontaneous organization of people, but a divinely ordained group.”  (2)

“Modern families can learn, first of all, the coming of the Divine Person of the Holy Trinity; families rooted in communion of person, of God and the Holy Trinity.”  (3)

This is what it means to honor St. Anne and her husband Joachim; for the grace they received to become the parents of the Mother of the World, Mary, who taught the world and saved mankind by giving birth to Christ the Lord.

Today, we must remind ourselves, not only as Catholics and Orthodox, Protestant or others, but to remind the world: “We are not made for ourselves alone. We are made for good and for all fellow creatures.”   (4)  

It is not about religion anymore. It is about preserving humanity.

The call of parenting, as we reflect on the life or our Lord’s grandmother and mother of Mary, is to point out and demonstrate the virtues of self-giving, respect, courtesy and self-control.

“Virtue comes by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer surpasses anger. Prayer prevents emotion of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to heaven.”   (5)

“For love is not an option that we simply have and can disregard. It is an opportunity that comes to us and determines who we are and what contributions we make to God’s world.”  (6)

In my own life, I have come to know the beauty and the power of the Gospel. The Gospel is first, a personal story before it is a construction of ideas. In other words, every person God made and particularly every person God has significantly used in the story of salvation is precious to Him and to us.

So, we should always resist the temptation to misuse these Holy Christ-giving people by regarding them as impersonal, theological points of argument before we contemplate the beauty and light of their lives.

God has given us stories to above all, enlighten and sanctify our own souls.

St. Anne, the mother of our most Blessed Holy Theotokos is surely such a light on our path to holiness. Her story is the story of what the Holy Spirit is able to create from the Gospel. It is the story of our salvation. Therefore, her holiness, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, is part of this tradition which is bestowed upon the Theotokos and into which we enter upon our own union to Christ.

If our attitude is wrong, nothing will work in our relationships and not even in our spirituality. But, if our attitude reflects the Beatitudes and blessings taught by Christ, we are able to be formed, reformed and transformed into this image.

If the year of mercy means anything, it is a constant reminder that God is merciful. And we, in turn, can become merciful to our children and to each other. When we embody the meaning of God’s mercy and break it down, mercy means to listen, to encourage, to comfort, to forgive, to understand and to pray.

Mercy does not mean to justify falsehood and sin. It does not mean to tolerate foolishness and evil or to overlook injustice and iniquity. God is not this way and does not do this. The meaning of God’s mercy is compassion to evil-doers and sympathy to those who are caught in the bonds of sin.

I wish to share with you a story about a saint, Theophan the Confessor. While he was walking along the street, he saw a naked child freezing. He quickly removed his clothes, covered the child, warmed him and brought him back to life. Upon his return home, his parents asked him where his clothes were. And he replied, “I clothed Christ.”

Through St. Anne, Mary clothed Christ and Christ, in return, clothed all of us with mercy.

With the blessing of Bishop Anthony, and at the invitation of His Eminence Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. George Shalhoub gave the homily at the Ecumenical Vigil Service on July 25, 2016, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, MI. Read more about the life of St. Anna.

  1. Pope Francis
  2. A. M. – United Nations, New York
  3. Bishop Anthony
  4. Gregory of Nazianzus
  5. Ephraim the Syrian
  6. Bishop Anthony
AttachmentSize Father George Shalhoub Homily at Ecumenical Vigil Service, 7.25.201668.62 KB
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Working as a team

OCN Now - Wed, 2016/07/27 - 10:00am
Do you watch sports? Maybe you are on a team yourself. If you watch a good team playing, you probably notice how each player is good at something different. In basketball, usually the shorter players are good at dribbling down the court and shooting from far away. Some other players are best at blocking other […]

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In Order to Scale the Wall, Help is Needed from Below and Above

OCN Now - Wed, 2016/07/27 - 7:00am
Yea, Thou dost light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.  Yea, by Thee I can crush a troop; and by my god I can leap over a wall.  This God—His way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.  […]

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Love One Another

OCN Now - Tue, 2016/07/26 - 5:29pm
Listen to the Daily Reading for July 27, 2016, Panteleimon the Great Martyr & Healer St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 2:1-10 TIMOTHY, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach […]

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Waldo Has Made an Appearance in South Bend

OCN Now - Tue, 2016/07/26 - 5:11pm
I just read the best story! A new construction project across from Memorial Children’s Hospital in South Bend, Indiana has a surprise every morning for the children in the hospital. Jason Haney, a foreman at JJ White Inc., built an 8 foot cutout of the “Where’s Waldo” character with his daughter. It all started as […]

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The Work and Vision of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry

OCN Now - Tue, 2016/07/26 - 1:06pm
Inspired by Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, a sister ministry of OCN, OCN is proud to share their news and the work they do.  OCPM’s mission is to bring the love of Christ to those who are in prison by providing encouragement, material support, transition and reintegration services, Christian education, spiritual guidance and the sacramental life […]

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My Trust Walk with the Lord

OCN Now - Tue, 2016/07/26 - 9:03am
And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to Him a blind man, and begged Him to touch him.  And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when He had spit on his eyes and laid His hands upon him, He asked him, “Do you see […]

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