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Learn About Attending Liturgy on the Mount of Olives

OCN Now - Sat, 2017/06/03 - 9:10am
The OCN is pleased to share with you written excerpts and photos from the 2017 St. Helen’s Pilgrimage of the Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.  The students started their pilgrimage on May 21st and will return to Boston on June 26th. This is a wonderful opportunity for the students and we look […]

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The Holy Spirit and Many Languages

OCN Now - Sat, 2017/06/03 - 8:51am
We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.   When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And […]

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Τhe Pentecost’s Saturday for Souls

OCN Now - Sat, 2017/06/03 - 8:50am
Petros Panayiotopoulos Our holy Church offers us another opportunity to remember and honor our dead people, our beloved persons who passed away, and all her members by whom we are in communion through God’ s love and the grace from the sacraments, beyond this sense of time. To say it in other words, by this […]

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Ascending the Mount of Temptation Reflection

OCN Now - Fri, 2017/06/02 - 5:44pm
The OCN is pleased to share with you written excerpts and photos from the 2017 St. Helen’s Pilgrimage of the Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.  The students started their pilgrimage on May 21st and will return to Boston on June 26th. This is a wonderful opportunity for the students and we look […]

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“Let us celebrate the feast of Pentecost” – Elder Stefanos of the Daniïleï Brotherhood

OCN Now - Fri, 2017/06/02 - 8:45am
The late Elder Stefanos of the Daniïleï Brotherhood (Katounakia, the Holy Mountain) sings the wonderful hymn from Vespers on the Eve of Pentecost. This hymn encapsulates the ‘majestic and great mystery’, the advent of the Holy Spirit into the world. Tone 1 “Let us celebrate the feast of Pentecost and the coming of the Spirit, […]

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Do You Believe in and Practice Your Orthodox Faith?

OCN Now - Fri, 2017/06/02 - 8:38am
Religious belief vs. religious practice – in the years since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Christianity in the area has experienced a re-boot.  A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows that Orthodox Christians in Europe believe in God, and strongly identify with their Orthodox faith, however they do not necessarily engage in […]

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OCN Now - Fri, 2017/06/02 - 8:19am
36th ANNUAL METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO JUNIOR OLYMPICS   YEARLY GATHERING IS LARGEST EVENT FOR METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO PALOS HILLS, IL: Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago officially opened the 36th Annual Metropolis of Chicago Junior Olympics this morning to a massive gathering of youth, parents, coaches and clergy from throughout the Metropolis of Chicago. This yearly event, […]

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Love Is a Choice

OCN Now - Fri, 2017/06/02 - 7:35am
We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team. Fruits of the Spirit The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Galatians 5: 22-23   For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings. Hosea […]

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Musings from a Grateful Convert: The Case for Country Music

OCN Now - Thu, 2017/06/01 - 10:26pm
Whoa, Podner!  What’s this guy doing? I realize this may seem wildly off the track, but bear with me. There is a message in here somewhere.  In this offering, I don’t address the music make-up, the presentation, or the production values. I invite you to peer with me a little deeper into the lyrical content. Recently, […]

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Who is Jesus? Family Insights Podcast Series

OCN Now - Thu, 2017/06/01 - 3:47pm
Join us today as we discuss the importance of teaching your children who Jesus is and what He means to you.  As a Christian, the most important thing we want to teach our children is Jesus’ love, but how do we ensure our children intake and learn His love? Reading Bible stories to your children, […]

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Volunteers Needed for Youth Ministry Outreach

OCMC News - Thu, 2017/06/01 - 12:00pm
Empower youth and teens in countries where youth ministry is evolving and opportunities for youth leadership exist. Orthodox Mission Teams to Ghana, Kenya, and Mexico will offer programs for...

When People Don’t Forgive

OCN Now - Thu, 2017/06/01 - 8:51am
Abbot Tryphon There are people who insist on holding on to resentment, often inventing situations in their minds that never happened, justifying their bad behavior, and putting the blame on others. They see themselves as the abused party, always quick to take offense. Rarely are they able to have healthy relationships, for they are in […]

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Love—It Begins Here

OCN Now - Thu, 2017/06/01 - 7:45am
We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team. Fruits of the Spirit The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Galatians 5: 22-23 One of them, a lawyer, asked Jesus a question, to test Him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment […]

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Salt Lake City Welcomes 25 New Orthodox Christians on Holy Saturday

Antiochian Archdiocese - Wed, 2017/05/31 - 2:50pm









They had examined the history books, but more importantly their own souls, and after a year of intense preparation and purification, twenty-five catechumens were baptized and chrismated into the Holy Orthodox Church. They all joined the Body of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. (View the Facebook gallery)

They came into the True Faith on Holy Saturday, April 15, 2017. Since antiquity, the Orthodox Church has baptized catechumens on this day because of its theological significance and importance. On this day, as our Lord’s body lay at rest inside the tomb, His Spirit had descended into hell and crushed the devil, his demons, and the chains that had held every human captive since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. These newly illumined soldiers of Christ our God, through their confessions and baptisms, crushed their own sins through His power and arose as new men and women from the font.

The twenty-five had studied and grown in the Faith with the pastor, Rev. Fr. Justin Havens, and the assistant pastor, Rev. Fr. John Mahfouz, who had the absolute joy of baptizing them and communing them at the chalice for the first time. The newly illumined, single adults and whole families with young children, had come from all walks of life, leaving behind Protestantism and Mormonism to embrace Holy Orthodoxy. Usually, fifteen Old Testament readings cover all of the baptisms, chrismations and tonsures, but the chanters had to read them twice! 

Sheer bliss emanated throughout the church on this Holy Saturday, for the rest of the congregation understood the sacrifices the newly illumined made to become Orthodox – many of them had already done so. But they all understood the reward: entering the Kingdom of God on earth in order to eventually enter the Kingdom of God in heaven. Countless tears of happiness were shed.

The twenty-five took on the names of a wide variety of saints to serve as their protectors as intercessors before God – ancient saints like Marina and Justina, but also Western saints like Columba, and new saints like Paisios of the Holy Mountain who had been canonized in 2015.

The Orthodox Faith is rapidly growing in Utah, especially at Ss. Peter and Paul Church, which was recently featured by one of the state’s largest media outlets, the Salt Lake Tribune. (Utah Mormons, Protestants finding new spiritual home in ancient Orthodox church) In fact, this congregation is bursting at the seams and is planning for a new church temple. 

“As the world becomes more and more of a confusing, broken place, people are seeking God in an urgent manner,” Fr. Justin said. “And when they desire to find the original, ancient Christian Church, they are shocked that it actually still exists and that it the Orthodox Christian Church! Thank God, many are seeking their healing in the spiritual hospital of the Church here in Utah. Pray for us to continue to share the light of Holy Orthodoxy in Utah!”

The entire Orthodox Christian family of Ss. Peter and Paul Church is thankful to Almighty God for His abundant blessings, and that more people are joining the True Faith that He established.

(Photo credits: Kenneth Hoglund)

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You have a job to do!

OCN Now - Wed, 2017/05/31 - 1:47pm
Did somebody ever give you a job to do, and then give you all the tools to do it? Maybe you had to wash the windows, and your mother gave you some paper towels and some spray. Or maybe you were making a present, and somebody gave you all the supplies to make it. Today […]


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Experiencing the Joy of the Resurrection on the Holy Mountain

OCN Now - Wed, 2017/05/31 - 10:40am
K. Leontiev   The site near the sea where the Russian monastery lies isn’t among the most beautiful locations on the Holy Mountain. The areas surrounding many other monasteries are much more picturesque and attractive. The spacious monastery (all white, with green cupolas and roofs) was built without a plan- here and there, up and […]

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Eldress Theosemni: a Quiet and Hidden Ascetic

OCN Now - Wed, 2017/05/31 - 8:50am
“The life of the beloved Eldress Theosemni is a Synaxarion account of perfection in self-emptying and martyric asceticism in silence and humility. Her personage and her venerable example cannot be appreciated through the description and listing of her virtues, for it is impossible to explain, through words, the balance and grace of a person who […]

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There is Only One Way to Bear Fruit

OCN Now - Wed, 2017/05/31 - 8:09am
We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team. Fruits of the Spirit The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Galatians 5: 22-23   Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch of mine […]

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Bishop Thomas Offers Commencement Address, Receives Honorary Doctorate at St. Tikhon's Seminary

Antiochian Archdiocese - Wed, 2017/05/31 - 1:29am

By Joseph Clark

During the weekend of May 26–29, 2017, the Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, America’s oldest Orthodox monastic community, held its 113th Annual Pilgrimage, and St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary celebrated its 75th Annual Commencement Exercises. Five saints of the Church: St. Tikhon of Moscow, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, St. Alexander Hotovitzky, and St. Nicholai of Zhicha, have walked the hallowed grounds of these communities, and all who visit this holy mountain are touched by the prayers of these saints.

The festivities began with the arrival of the “Hawaiian” Myrrh-Streaming Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. Many miracles are attributed to her intercessions, and the mere presence of the holy icon brought joy to the faithful. The miraculous myrrh was so plentiful that upon entering the altar, after processing with her, His Grace Bishop Thomas’ hands were thoroughly covered, and this occurred in spite of the wooden case and velvet cover in which she is kept.

It was a real joy to be able to venerate her during each of the Divine services over the four days of the pilgrimage. As is customary within monastic communities the full cycle of services was celebrated, so the faithful were able to participate in the stream of Grace that flows from this place. Families were able to break bread together, and the many vendors present provided a pleasant accent to the social activities of the weekend.

On the second day of festivities, the community of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary commemorated 75 years of preparing faithful men and women for service to Christ’s Church with its annual commencement exercises. The seminary Board of Directors, Faculty, and Staff decided to honor one of our own, His Grace the Right Reverend, Thomas (Joseph), Bishop of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, by conferring upon him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. This award is in recognition of His Grace’s dedicated service to Christ’s Holy Church, his passionate commitment to Orthodox Youth and his contributions to Orthodox Education both here and abroad. Also, His Grace blessed all in attendance with wise, and sometimes humorous, words as this year's commencement speaker.

Within the graduating class of 2017 was Subdeacon George (Marshall) Goodge of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Subdeacon George was awarded a Master of Divinity degree with Honors in Theology. Additionally, the commencement ceremony included addresses by His Beatitude, Tikhon (Mollard), Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada (OCA) and President of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, His Eminence, Michael (Dahulich), Archbishop of New York and New York and New Jersey (OCA) and Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and the Very Reverend Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary. Among the faithful gathered together were a multitude of priests, deacons, and lay members of the Church from multiple jurisdictions, making the day a truly Pan-Orthodox celebration. (Photos:

AttachmentSize St. Tikhon's Commencement Address by Bishop Thomas, 05.27.2017 (PDF)107.49 KB
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The 2017 May PhD Residency - A Resounding Success!

Antiochian Archdiocese - Tue, 2017/05/30 - 8:59pm

By Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Assistant Director
The Antiochian Orthodox Institute (TAOI)

Something special is happening in the Antiochian Archdiocese.

The 2017 May Residency of the Antiochian House of Studies PhD program proved to be a resounding success. It was hard to see how it could be otherwise, given the world-class calibre of its faculty, including Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos and Renos K. Papadopoulos. But even so, the second Intensive (Residency) of the first-ever AHOS PhD cohort managed to surpass all expectations.

No stranger to the Antiochian Archdiocese, Metropolitan Hierotheos—speaker at the Archdiocese's 2016 Clergy Symposium—immediately recognized the importance of Metropolitan Joseph's invitation to contribute to the spiritual and intellectual life of the Church in North America.

L to R: Dr. Anastasios Philippidis, Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Met. Hierotheos, and Archimandrite Kallinikos GeorgatosEntitled "Philosophy and Patristic Theology", the purpose of His Eminence's course was to demonstrate why Orthodox Theology is based on the experience of the living, risen Christ, and not on philosophical speculation, no matter how lofty and sophisticated.

By means of an analytical presentation of Plato, Aristotle and the Neoplatonists, and a demonstration of their influence on the chief heresiarchs of the first four centuries - including Paul of Samosata, Arius, and Eunomius - Metropolitan Hierotheos skillfully revealed the therapeutic "method" and hesychast tradition of the Patriarchs and Prophets, St. Paul, John the Divine, St. Ignatius of Antioch, the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and Gregory of Nyssa), St. Maximos the Confessor, St. John Damascene, St. Symeon the New Theologian and St. Gregory Palamas; and with specific reference to such great theologians of our day as Elder Sophrony of Essex and Fr. John Romanides.

Presented in a humble and prayerful manner, this course was comprised of a daily three-and-a-half-hour block of presentations by the Metropolitan in the morning, two-and-a-half hours of student presentations in the afternoon, and tutorials and consultation for individual PhD students in the evenings, sandwiched by the rich services of Matins and Vespers.

The impact of this wondrous theological "symposium" was at once deeply inspiring and, it would not be an exaggeration to say, "life-changing."

Divine Liturgy, L to R: Bishop Thomas, Bishop John, Met. Hierotheos, Met. JosephIt was hard to see how the course offered by Professor Renos Papadopoulos — "The Place of Psychology in Christian Ministry" — could match the sublimeness of His Eminence's. And yet, Dr. Renos's presentations proved to be a masterful analysis and comparison of the respective roles of psychology and the therapeutic character of Orthodox Patristic theology; nowhere else in the world is a course of this kind offered. With reference to his own prodigious experiences as psychoanalyst, family therapist, and consultant to the United Nations on Trauma, Asylum and Refugees, Dr. Renos, with remarkable discretion and integrity, instructed the PhD class in the contribution of psychotherapy to human beings suffering affliction both outside and within the context of the life of the Church. The clarity and incisiveness of his presentations were simply astounding.

Dr. Renos PapadopoulosThe place of philosophy in Orthodox theology and the place of psychology in Christian ministry: these are two of the burning questions of our times. And both of our guest professors, Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos and Professor Renos Papadopoulos, who have graciously agreed to be regular members of our AHOS PhD faculty, complemented each other so well that it could not have been a more perfect fit.

Having concluded the first year of the PhD Program on such a high note, one can only wonder in gratitude at what is yet to come.

Established with the blessing and full support of His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, and with the magisterial guidance of the Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Allen, Director of AHOS, the PhD Program in Orthodox Studies is ably led and inspired by the vision of the Very Rev. Dr. Michel Najim, Director of the Antiochian Orthodox Institute (TAOI) and the AHOS PhD program.

Directing the program on site was Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristic Theology and Dogmatics in the PhD program, and Assistant Director of TAOI.

Members of the PhD class in rapt concentration.Special thanks are due to His Grace Bishop Thomas, the episcopal overseer of Antiochian Village, and Bishop of Oakland, Charleston, and the Mid-Atlantic, whose care for our guest professors and PhD students, as also his active interest in the program, was a great encouragement to us all.

To Amy Stiffler, Executive Director of Antiochian Village, and Allison Taylor (Operations Coordinator), we express our heartfelt gratitude. Together with all their staff and colleagues, their diligent work ensured that the 2017 May PhD Residency ran smoothly and pleasantly.

For further information about the AHOS PhD Program, go to The Antiochian Orthodox Institute website or contact us at

Read the report on the popular Greek Orthodox website, Romfea (English translation available).
View the Facebook photo gallery.

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