The Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is inviting graduate and recent post-graduate students to apply for its fellowships at the United Nations. (show less)
Scout Sunday is an annual event among all faiths which recognize the good work that is done by Scouts in our religious communities. The observance of Scout Sunday tradition was started years ago to make people in the church aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out of what is pledged each week. (show less)
The Assembly of Bishops has designated January 15, 2017 as Orthodox Christian Network "Share the Light Sunday". Now more than ever, we need to focus on the next generation of Orthodox leaders. The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) has decided to take this concern and address it in a real and impactful way. In addition to our strong media ministry presence on multiple platforms, we will spend 2017 focusing on identifying and highlighting thirty Orthodox individuals who exhibit strong leadership and mentor skills in their community and who are under the age of thirty. (show less)
On this most blessed day of Christ’s Nativity, we are encouraged to direct our hearts and minds not only to the spectacle of lights, the sounds of carols, and the tastes of savory food, but to the horror of darkness, the chaos of war, and the sound of grumbling stomachs of our brothers and sisters. This occurs overseas but also in our own backyard. (show less)
We, the members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, gathered in Detroit, Michigan, for our seventh annual meeting on October 4-6, 2016 greet you with love in Christ as we offer glory and thanksgiving to Him. Forty-one hierarchs assembled in order to recognize and reinforce our unity in the Orthodox faith. (show less)
Chaplain (Major General) Paul K. Hurley, US Army Chief of Chaplains, with Frs. Theodore Boback and Joseph Gallick.
Archpriest Theodore Boback, Jr., Dean and Executive Director of Orthodox Military and VA Chaplains and Archpriest Joseph J. Gallick, Deputy Director and Assistant Dean, represented the Orthodox Church in America at the annual meetings of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces [NCMAF], the Endorsers Conference for Veterans Affairs Chaplaincy [ECVAC] and the Armed Forces Chaplains Board January 9-13, 2017.
According to Father Theodore, the theme of the conference was “Emerging Trends: Serving on the Cutting Edge”. Among the many topics considered by participants were ECVAC’s emerging role in supporting VA ministry, evolving trends in the American religious landscape, the future of education, caring for caregivers, opportunities in the Bureau of Prisons, and analytics measuring present and future trends. Attendees also participated in a variety of workshops expanding on the conference theme.
At an evening reception, new and departing endorsers were honored. Participants also viewed the recently released film, “Almost Sunrise”.
A highlight of the conference was a presentation by Dr. Dick Stenbakken, a retired US Army Chaplain, whose theme was “guiding the future and remembering the past”.
“Dr. Stenbakken offered a first-person narrative on the chaplain who had ministered to those awaiting the Nurnberg Trials,” said Father Theodore. “His presentation was dynamic and well-received and should be considered by others for future presentation.”
Briefings also were offered by the three Chiefs of Chaplains: Rear Admiral Margaret G. Kibben, CHC, USN; Chaplain (Major General) Paul K. Hurley, USA; and Chaplain (Major General) Dondi E. Dostin, USAF. Ms. Jeri Busch, Director of Military Compensation, offered a presentation on the new military retirement system for uniformed services.
Father Theodore was asked to serve on the NCMAF Executive Board and was elected to serve on the NCMAFB Board. He also is a member of the ECVAC Board.
“We ask that the faithful remember in their prayers our military and VA chaplains and their families,” Father Theodore added.
Those interested in serving in the military or VA chaplaincies are invited to write to firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The February 2017 edition of “OCAreview: The Orthodox Church in America’s Monthly Hard-Copy Digest” is now available in color and black and white PDF formats for downloading and local distribution.
With the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, OCAreview made its debut in October 2015. Each monthly edition features stories that had appeared on the OCA web site during the previous month. Parishes are requested to download and duplicate each edition, especially for distribution to those without internet access. OCAreview also makes an ideal general monthly bulletin insert.
“The Forum will focus on specific parish situations common to the numerous ‘small’ parishes throughout the OCA and other Orthodox jurisdictions,” said Joseph Kormos, Forum co-chairperson and Parish Development Ministry leader for the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania. “Workshops and presentations will explore ways to assist parishes with memberships of 75 or fewer souls to achieve stability, build a positive self-image, and accept their calling to live a life in Christ without necessarily becoming ‘big’.
“Most Orthodox parishes are small, yet just as a clinic is not a large metropolitan hospital with fewer beds, so too small churches are not immature, mini-versions of larger parishes,” Mr. Kormos continued. “Small parishes can bring people to Christ in intimate and exciting ways often unavailable to larger parishes.”
The theme of the 2017 Forum is “Becoming a Community of Engagement—On Behalf of All”.
“With this theme as a framework, we will explore how small parishes with limited resources can worship well, care for one another, teach, serve their community, communicate the parish to the neighborhood and share Christ’s love with others,” added Archpriest Daniel Rentel, Forum co-chairperson.
“Previous forums held in Byesville OH, Weirton WV and Canton OH were successful because people left with actionable ideas, tips and good practices valuable to clergy and lay leaders,” Mr. Kormos said. “The agenda for the fourth Forum will include an array of speakers, case studies, interactive workshops, sessions focusing on worship, and parallel sessions for clergy and laity.”
Past Forums attracted attendees from seven OCA dioceses and four other Orthodox jurisdictions.
“The 2017 New Kensington, PA location is just a two-hour drive from Cleveland, four and a half hours from Detroit, less than four hours from Buffalo, and five hours from Philadelphia,” Mr. Kormos concluded. “Over half of the OCA’s parishes are within a manageable drive of the site.”
Registration will open May 1. To maintain an atmosphere of fellowship and dialogue, registration will be limited to 65 persons. Sessions will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 13 and conclude at noon on Saturday, July 15. Blocks of rooms will be reserved at local hotels. The $100 per person registration fee will include meals, breaks, a hospitality reception and forum materials. Attendees from the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of the Midwest are eligible for tuition rebates and grants to assist with travel costs. Many other OCA Dioceses offer scholarships to small parishes desiring to send attendees.
Additional information will be posted as it is received.
Some of the participants who enjoyed the 2016 CrossRoad Institute.
This year’s CrossRoad Summer Institute will be held on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology here in June and July 2017.
The ten-day program is especially designed for Orthodox Christian high school juniors and seniors—ages 16 through 18—who wish to “step outside their comfort zone to encounter Christ in the face of their neighbors” while exploring ways to make major life decisions in the context of their Orthodox faith. Courses in theology and Scripture will be offered, in addition to excursions into Boston and its environs, parish visits and engagement with the city’s homeless. Fellowship—including a day at the beach—rounds out the Institute’s agenda.
CrossRoad Session One will be held June 17-27, while Session Two will gather July 5-15. The Institute—organized annually by Hellenic College’s Office of Vocation and Ministry—is open to Orthodox Christian students of all jurisdictions.
It is with deep love, respect and heartfelt thanksgiving that we mark the 13th Anniversary of the Episcopal Consecration of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, who was consecrated at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church, South Canaan, PA on February 14, 2004.
On behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops and the clergy, monastics and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America, we assure Metropolitan Tikhon of our ongoing love and prayers today and in the many years to come. May our Lord continue to grant him peace, prosperity, safety, honor, health and length of days ‘rightly dividing’ the word of God’s truth as he marks this milestone in his life and in the life of the Church!
Axios! Eis polla eti despota! May God grant you many years, Your Beatitude!
Metropolitan Tikhon was born in Boston, MA on July 15, 1966, the son of Francois and Elizabeth Mollard. After brief periods living in Connecticut, France, and Missouri, he and his family settled in Reading, PA, where he graduated from Wyomissing High School in 1984. In 1988, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Sociology from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, after which he moved to Chicago.
In 1989, he was received into the Orthodox Church from the Episcopalian tradition and, in the fall of the same year, he began studies at Saint Tikhon Seminary. The following year he entered the monastic community at Saint Tikhon Monastery as a novice.
After receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Saint Tikhon Seminary in 1993, he was appointed instructor in Old Testament at the school. He subsequently served as Senior Lecturer in Old Testament and taught Master level courses in the Prophets and the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. He also served as an instructor in the seminary’s Extension Studies program, offering courses in the lives of the Old Testament saints, the liturgical use of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament in patristic literature. He collaborated with then-Igumen Alexander [Golitzin] in the publication of The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain, published by Saint Tikhon Seminary Press.
In 1995 he was tonsured to the Lesser Schema and given the name Tikhon, in honor of Saint Tikhon, Enlightener of North America and Patriarch of Moscow. Later that year, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate and Holy Priesthood at Saint Tikhon Monastery. In 1998, he was elevated to the rank of Igumen, and in 2000 to the rank of Archimandrite. In December 2002, he was appointed Deputy Abbot of Saint Tikhon Monastery.
After his consecration to the episcopacy, he served as Auxiliary to the Metropolitan. He was nominated to fill the vacant See of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania at a special diocesan assembly on May 25, 2005. Two days later, he was elected to that ministry by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops. He was installed as ruling hierarch of the Diocese at Saint Stephen Cathedral on October 29, 2005. He served as Bishop and later Archbishop of the Diocese until his election as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America at the 17th All-American Council, held in Parma, OH on November 13, 2012.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon celebrated an opening Memorial Service for the victims of the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and their aftermath at Villanova University’s Corr Hall Chapel in conjunction with the opening of an exhibit titled “Blood and Soul” on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. The major exhibit, which runs at the University’s Falvey Memorial Library through September 1, highlights the 100th Anniversary of the enthronement of Saint Tikhon, the former Archbishop of North America, as Patriarch of Moscow in 1917, as well as the Revolutions that occurred the same year. See related story.
At the conclusion of the Memorial, Metropolitan Tikhon delivered the following reflection on Saint Patriarch Tikhon and the important role he played in the life of the Church in America as well as his homeland. A photo gallery of the service and exhibit opening also is available on the OCA web site and Facebook page.
Remarks on Saint Tikhon of Moscow
Blood and Soul: The 1917 Revolutions of Russia
February 8, 2017
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
I would like to express my thanks to the University of Villanova for the invitation to participate in the opening ceremonies of this exhibition—Blood and Soul: The 1917 Revolutions of Russia. This is not the first time that this fine institution has taken the initiative to address topics of such historical significance, especially those relating to the Christian Churches sojourning in those historical contexts.
In particular, we are grateful to all those associated with the Falvey Memorial Library and the Russian Area Studies Program for their efforts in co-sponsoring this exhibit and a special thanks to Archpriest John Perich, who is curating a large portion of this exhibit and has provided many relevant archival and historical items from his own collection and from the Metropolitan Museum which is located at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
This exhibit is taking place in this year when we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the enthronement of Saint Tikhon, the first Patriarch of the restored Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia, which had been abolished for two hundred years, since the time of Peter the Great. Even in the midst of the turmoil of the 1917 revolutions, and perhaps precisely because of the confusion that reigned in Russia at the time, the Orthodox Church saw fit to restore this ancient position of Patriarch, and by God’s providence, Saint Tikhon was elected to fill it.
Before he became the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Saint Tikhon was a great missionary of the Orthodox Church in our lands and is now known as the Enlightener of North America. One of his greatest accomplishments was the founding of the Monastery of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, located adjacent to Saint Tikhon’s Seminary and, for today’s memorial service, we have had the privilege of hearing the prayerful singing seminarians from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary and Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, both of which are institutions of the Orthodox Church in America which hold firmly to the vision of Saint Tikhon for the Church in North America.
While these may have been components of his apostolic work here in North America, it may be suggested that the vision of Saint Tikhon was, in fact, an extension of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as expressed in the Gospel of Saint John, where our Lord Jesus Christ says, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
When he arrived in North America, Saint Tikhon offered his first sermon at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco on December 23, 1898. In that sermon he recalled the words of the prophet Hosea in reference to the calling of the gentiles and says, “By the will of God, I, too, in my unworthiness, was called to apostolic service here, and so now I too will say to those called ‘not my people,’ ‘You are my people;’ I will call ‘beloved’ the one called ‘not my loved one.’ Until now, we had been strangers to each other, and did not know each other. Henceforth, the Lord Himself is placing us into a bond of closeness, into a mutual relationship of bishop with his flock and flock with her bishop.”
He goes on to speak of the relationship between a bishop and his flock as that of Bridegroom and Bride: “Understanding in this way my relationship to those I am to shepherd, and being betrothed to the Aleutian flock, I have left my beloved country, my elderly mother, my kinsfolk and acquaintances dear to my heart, and traveled to a far-away country, to a people unknown to me, in order that henceforth you may become my people and my beloved.”
Though pronounced a decade before the Russian Revolution, these words could have come from his lips during those most difficult times in 1917 and in the years of persecution and unrest which were to follow. Even in the midst of the chaos in Russia, he remained above a Pastor to his flock, revealing the practical application of the Lord’s words: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
Saint Tikhon was no hireling, but indeed a true shepherd who gave his life for his sheep in North America, just as he did during those times of terrible persecution and temptation. He remained steadfast in watching over his sheep and keeping them safe within the ark of the Church on whatever continent they found themselves and in whatever circumstances.
Once again, I share his words, offered in America for the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, but prophetically applicable to his later martyic witness in Russia: “Even as towering waves, once they have crashed against the ship, yet again blend in with the sea, and one can neither see them nor distinguish them from other waves, so also the enemies of Christ, once having risen up against God’s Church, again return to the void from whence they sprang up while the ship of the Church continues, as before, on its victorious voyage.”
In order to help in overcoming the division and brokenness of the world, he heeded the words of the Lord: “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”
Saint Tikhon was a true missionary and laborer with Christ in this mission of bringing the lost sheep into the fold. But he labored in a truly humble and deeply Christian manner. In the Akathist Hymn composed in his honor, he is called an “example of meekness in authority.” And it is with this Christ-like spirit of meekness that he led the Church in Russia, just as he accomplished his missionary work. In another place he would say, “most importantly, the Orthodox Church accomplishes her [missionary] task in silence, with humility and godliness, with an understanding of human frailty and divine power.”
The great example of Saint Tikhon is an example and an inspiration for all of us who strive to fulfill the commandments of Christ in the community we have been planted or that to which we have been, or will be sent. It is truly a testament to his great Christian witness that St Tikhon, as he faced false allegations and imprisonment at the end of his life, was yet able to cry out, “Let my name die in history that the Church may live!”
Indeed, he fell asleep in the Lord in the midst of great darkness, a long and dark night of darkness. But we are here today to celebrate his name, which, in fact, did not die in history, but remains with us, not only as a name but as a witness to the power of Christ and the glory of the resurrection, as an inspiration to us all, whether we live in Russia or America, and a glorious saint who unites us with one another and with the hosts of heavenly powers and all the saints who are gathered in love around our Great and Good and Divine Shepherd, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Whom, together with His Father and the Holy Spirit, are due all glory, honor and worship, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen