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Saints Feasts and Readings for 8/4/2015
The dates of Diocesan Parish Life Conferences in 2016 are listed below:
Diocese of Charleston/New York
St. Mary Church, Johnstown, PA and St. Michaeal Church, Greensburg, PA (to be held at the Antiochian Village)
June 29-July3, 2016
Diocese of Los Angeles/Eagle River
St. George Church, Phoenix, AZ
June 29-July 3, 2016
Diocese of Miami
St. Andrew Church, Pensacola, FL
June 15-18, 2016
Diocese of Ottawa
St. George Church, New Hartford, NY
June 30-July 3, 2016
Diocese of Toledo
Basilica of St. Mary, Livonia, MI
June 22-26, 2016
Diocese of Wichita
St. Anthony Church, Tulsa, OK
June 22-25, 2016
Diocese of Worcester
St. George Church, Lawrence, MA
June (exact date TBD), 2016
Bobby Maddex interviews Chaplain Patrick Tutella and Jason Irwin, the individuals behind both the organization Caring Connections in Corrections and the new book In the Shadow of the Forty-Foot Wall.
Icons of the Dormition of the Theotokos, the patronal feast of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cambridge, MA, host parish of the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention.The Liturgical Texts for August, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for clergy and laity to download from the Online Liturgical Guide.
This month, the last of the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar, features two of the twelve Great Feasts celebrated by the Church: the Transfiguration of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ (August 6); and the Dormition, or Falling-Asleep, of the Most-Holy Theotokos, the Ever-Virgin Mary (August 15). Celebration of these two feasts are not limited to one day each, but are expanded to seven days after the Transfiguration, and eight days after the Dormition.
In preparation for the Dormition, many parishes sing the famous Paraklesis Service with the Little Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos.
Although this service can be offered at any time of the year, it is sung almost every night during the Dormition Fast (August 1-14) to implore the Mother of God to intercede with her Son for us to deliver us from all troubles. We have provided the entire text for this most beautiful service, in which we have included a thorough listing of saints from the Church of Antioch in "The Intercession" prayer.
The Icon of Christ Not Made by Hands, known as ‘The Holy Napkin.’On August 16, we celebrate the Icon of Christ Not Made by Hands, known as 'The Holy Napkin.' The Church teaches that our Lord Himself made an imprint of His face onto a cloth and sent it to a Prince Avgar of Edessa. It cured the prince of most of his leprosy, and the rest was cured during his baptism. Read the Synaxarion at Orthros for more on this fascinating story.
On August 30, we take leave of the commemoration of the Beheading of John the Baptist (August 29). This is one of four commemorations of saints that has a leave-taking like a Great Feast. The others are the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24-25), the Apostles Peter and Paul (June 29-30) and the Great-Martyr Demetrios (October 26-27).
The Online Liturgical Guide, produced by the Department of Liturgics, provides the official, uniform word-for-word texts to be used for the divine services in all parishes across the Archdiocese. Should you have any questions, please email Subdeacon Peter Samore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gregory Abdalah of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Phoenix, shares his experiences with fellow D.Min. studentsSt. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is now accepting applications for students who want to enroll in its Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Program and comprise the “2019 Cohort,” which will commence training in Summer 2016. Potential students may explore this innovative residential program that uses distance-learning and onsite intensives by perusing the D.Min. Program page, or by contacting Director of Admissions Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak or Program Director Priest Sergius Halvorsen, Ph.D. for more information.
Applicants for the new cohort may also apply for aid, through the Danilchick Family Endowment for Pastoral Studies. The fund, set up by the Reverend Protodeacon Peter M. Danilchick and his wife, Tanya, will help support qualified D.Min. students with their tuition, through need-based scholarships.
Secondly, the seminary will offer four courses to the general public starting in September 2015, giving non-degree students opportunities to increase their knowledge about the Orthodox Christian faith. The classes, to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, require no prior coursework at the seminary and will cover: religious themes in film, liturgical space and practice, an exploration of the Book of Genesis, and spiritual life. Courses will begin September 1 and 2, and will run for ten weeks; courses may be audited or taken for one academic credit. Details are available on the St. Vladimir's website.
Fr. Evan Armatas begins with a conversation with Fr. Tom Tsagalakis, from Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle. They discuss together a sensitive question written in by a father who is struggling to communicate with his daughter. She has expressed confusion about her sexual identity
Fr. Philip LeMasters argues that it has always been a component of Orthodox teaching that the uniquely life-giving union of man and woman is unspeakably holy and a sign of the relationship between Christ and the Church.
The killing of Cecil the Lion is a bad thing. On a new "Human Exceptionalism," Wesley J. Smith explains why while differentiating between animal rights and animal welfare.
In the Oratorical Festival of the 52nd Convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese, held in Boston, MA, Salena Ibrahim of St. Mary Orthodox Church competed against all the winners from the other dioceses and impressed the judges once again with her amazing speech, winning first place!
Great job. We are very proud of you!!! It takes a lot of hard work and determination to prepare for these competitions, and to compete at the diocesan and archdiocesan level. May God bless you and be with you always. Mabrouk!!!
Bobby Maddex interviews Anne Van Fossen of the Classical Learning Resource Center (CLRC). Use the coupon code AFRDiscount10 to receive a 10% discount off the CLRC's Christian Study Courses.
The editors of Antiochian.org have created an aggregate of the photo galleries published during His Beatitude Patriarch John's visit. Go here to view the collection of galleries, "Convention and Patriarchal Visit 2015."
Knowing that she is eternally present at the throne of God interceding for mankind, we pray for her love, guidance, and protection. Every year the Orthodox Church sets aside the first fourteen days of August in honor of the Virgin Mary. This fast period is climaxed on August 15th, when the Church gathers to celebrate the Great Feast of the Dormition (Falling-Asleep) of the Theotokos.
More resources for the Dormition Fast:
- Why a Fast for Dormition?
- Tender Love and the Dormition: a podcast from Frederica Mathewes-Green
- Dormition Podcasts from OCN: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- All about Feasts and Fasts, from Discover Orthodox Christianity
- Dormition Music from the Department of Sacred Music (PDF)
- Liturgical Resources from the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West
- Liturgical Resources from the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America
Marie Ansara, 89, has returned to her heavenly home on July 28, 2015 in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She was born on November 22, 2015 in the town of Aita El-Fokhar, Lebanon where she grew up in a loving family with 6 siblings. For the past 38 years she made Michigan her home where she was surrounded by wonderful family and friends. She is survived by her brother Andrew Ansara and her two sisters Violette Matta and Nazek Kehdy. She was a tremendously devoted and loving aunt as well as great-aunt to many nieces and nephews. After a long battle with illness she is finally reunited with her beloved parents, brother and sisters who preceded her in death and whom she served with immense care and passion.
Marie was a lifelong member of St. Mary's Orthodox Church in Livonia Michigan where she will be laid to rest. The viewing will be held at the church on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 from 5-6 pm for immediate family. Visitation will follow from 6-8 pm.
The funeral will be held on Thursday July 30, 2015, at St. Mary's Church with final viewing from 10-11 am and funeral services will begin at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request that donations in her memory be made to "St. Mary's Building Fund".
May she rest in peace and may her memory be eternal!
On July 28, 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, hosted a dinner in honor of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey.
In attendance were the Antiochian hierarchs who accompanied the Patriarch, the first hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches who are located in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, representatives from the Roman Catholic church, the Syriac Catholic church, local Muslim spiritual leaders, and diplomats representing Syria, Georgia, Lebanon, and Cyprus.
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph introduced His Beatitude and spoke about the tireless work of His Beatitude for peace in Syria, Lebanon, and the entire region. (The remarks of Metropolitan Joseph are here).
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, first hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, spoke about the solidarity that his church has with the Church of Antioch, and assured His Beatitude that the topic of peace in Syria is a regular topic of discussion at all of his official meetings. His Beatitude addressed the assembled guests and stressed that his work for peace is for all of the people of Syria, regardless of their ethnic background or religious belief. He said that the people of Syria are very capable of solving their own problems if they are not interfered with by outsiders. He called on the superpowers of the world to work diligently to end the violence and to help to bring peace to the region.
His Beatitude will depart today, Wednesday July 29, and will return to the Middle East to resume his tireless work on behalf of his spiritual children in the region.
AttachmentSize Remarks at the Archdiocese Dinner, July 28, 2015 (PDF)305.46 KB
L to R: Fr. John Behr, Patriarch John X, Metropolitan Tikhon, Metropolitan Joseph, Fr. Chad HatfieldView the Patriarchate's Facebook photo album
On Monday, July 27, 2015, the Board of Trustees and Faculty Council of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary bestowed a Doctor of Divinity degree honoris causa upon The Most Blessed John X (Yazigi), Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East [read the Citation here].
In his remarks following the ceremony, His Beatitude underscored the bonds of unity—past, present, and future—between the Church of Antioch and the seminary, He also captivated the hearts of the more than 200 people who had gathered to honor him, as he passionately called for peace for all peoples in his homeland of Syria and its neighboring countries in the Middle East.
“I am very thankful for two important facts,” His Beatitude began, “first, for the numerous Antiochian priests and bishops who received their theological formation at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and second, for the longstanding relationship that exists between the [Antiochian] Archdiocese and the seminary, a relationship fostered by the late Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory, which continues to be strengthened today by my brother [in Christ], Metropolitan Joseph.
“As well, I look forward to strong cooperation between the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology at the University of Balamand and the seminary,” he said.
Patriarch John then engaged the audience in a question and answer period, offering a rare look into the centuries old multi-religious and ethnic communities of the Middle East. He especially corrected misperceptions promulgated by Western media regarding the fierce conflict in that region and the solutions for peace desired by its indigenous peoples.
“First and foremost,” he began, “We need your prayers, [but] there is a need to make a clarification about the situation that we encounter in the Middle East: words like ‘terrorism’ and ‘extremism’ are all foreign to our land. We don’t know anything about these words in our region.
“We are the fabric of that land—Christians and Muslims—and we live together, and we are peaceful in all aspects,” he explained, citing many examples of cooperation, including an evenly split Christian-Muslim population at the University of Balamand and Muslims seeking refuge in Christian homes as they flee from warring combatants.
“Unfortunately the media today can express a picture that is totally foreign from what is really happening in our area. We in that region—Christians and Muslims—seek peace, love safety, and there is nothing that separates us from one another,” he commented.
“However,” he continued, “the superpowers, when they deal with our countries, regard us as ‘little’ compared to their own interests, and their interests should not be at the expense of the little powers and little countries…I want to be daring and say, ‘Let the superpowers leave us in peace, and we can figure it out!’
“Those who want to help the Christians need to find a way to provide peace in the Middle East. Give us peace, not protection,” he urged.
“Second, we face many challenges, and we encourage our people to remain steadfast where they are in their own countries and homes,” he said. “But it is not enough to tell them: ‘Stay where you are, don’t leave your home.' We have to be with them, help them, feed them, and send their children to school.” His Beatitude related that more than 6,200 schools in Syria have been destroyed thus far and that humanitarian aid is desperately needed.
Lastly, Patriarch John thanked the seminary and those gathered for their warm greeting and the honor bestowed upon him. He further encouraged all to relate his thoughts and words to U.S. official and leaders, in order to secure the peace in the Middle East.
Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General; Archpriest George Kevorkian, Hierarchical Assistant; and Archpriest Joseph Antypas of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Damaskinos of San Paulo and All Brazil
His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Ephrem of Tripoli, Al-Koura, and Dependencies
His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Saba of Bosra, Horan and Jabal al-Arab
His Grace Bishop John, Auxiliary of the Diocese of Worcester and New England
His Grace the Right Reverend Bishop Gregorios of the Emirates
Archimandrite Parthenios, secretary to the Patriarch of Antioch and Patriarchal Archdeacon Gerasimos
His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, Orthodox Church in America (OCA)
Archpriest John A. Jillions, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)
His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Vicar of the Moscow Diocese
His Grace Bishop Maxim, Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church
The Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, representing His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
The young members of our parish—the SOYO of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Livonia, MI—just returned from a trip that made history. We were all so blessed to participate, support, and watch this holy work take place!
On July 18, our twelve teens: Ibrahem Alrabady, Melissa Ansara, Celine Barghout, Pascal Barghout, Hani Kandalaft, Marisa Khamis, Joseph Nicolas, Michael Nicolas, Elena Saliba, Natalie Samaan, Katerena Sirhan, and Kaila Ziadeh, and two trip leaders, Christina Stavros and Michael Ansara, traveled four hours north on the first ever, 2015 SOYO Summer Mission Trip, to help "build up" the first Orthodox church in Traverse City, MI, the Archangel Gabriel Greek Orthodox Church. To our knowledge, this is the first mission trip, ever, in the history of our parish and, perhaps, the first time one mission parish has offered to help a mission parish in another Orthodox jurisdiction build their church.
A lot of what we did was new, but our hope was fulfilled. All of us were profoundly impacted by the love and service we offered to the new Orthodox community in Traverse City as well as the love that we received in return from our brothers and sisters in Christ there who worked alongside us.
For five days, we were immersed in the liturgical life of the Church and this new Orthodox community while helping to build a greenhouse on the property which will eventually hold the new, permanent church in which the Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church community will worship. We hauled wood, painted all the parts of the building, assisted with tools, and helped construct the structure, piece by piece. For refreshment from the hot sun and our work, our tasty meals were provided to us by the wonderful members of Archangel Gabriel community. Additionally, refreshment was provided by daily trips to the water and beaches of Grand Traverse Bay and on the last day, the group went cherry picking and enjoyed time in downtown Traverse City. Glory to Jesus Christ for the rich blessing of this opportunity to GO. LOVE. SERVE. (Mark 10:45)!
By Ms. Melissa Ansara, High School Junior, Basilica SOYO and Mission Trip Participant
with Christina T. Stavros, M.Div, Cert. Byz. Mus., Parish Ministries Coordinator and Cantor, Basilica of St. Mary