Diocese of Etna and Portland, Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, Ἐκκλησία Γνησίων Ὀρθοδόξων Χριστιανῶν Ἑλλαδος (Ekklesia G.O.Ch. Hellados)
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News Archive 2015

• December 25, 2015:

Western Christmas and a Community Dinner
for Shut-Ins and the Elderly

For some five years, now, the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery, the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth the Grand Duchess, and the Ortho­dox lay peo­ple of the small parish of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na in Et­na, CA, have de­liv­ered meals twice a week to six­teen to twen­ty shut-ins and el­der­ly in­di­vid­u­als in the com­mu­ni­ty of Et­na. There is no charge for the meals, which are sub­stan­tial and nu­tri­tious, and those who re­ceive them are not of the Ortho­dox Faith.

As part of this ser­vice to the tiny vil­lage of Et­na, the pop­u­la­tion of which is less than sev­en hun­dred peo­ple, this year the monks, nuns, and Ortho­dox lay peo­ple pre­pared a meal to help twen­ty-two guests cel­e­brate the Western Christ­mas hol­i­day. Those who were able to get out were in­vit­ed to the one area of the in­te­ri­or of the St. Pho­tios Ortho­dox The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary in Et­na (which is un­der con­struc­tion) that is ac­ces­si­ble. Meals were de­liv­ered to those re­cip­i­ents who could not at­tend be­cause of in­fir­mi­ty or the snow and cold tem­per­a­tures.

All of the par­tic­i­pants were served a tra­di­tion­al Christ­mas meal of ham, turkey, stuff­ing, mashed pota­toes and gravy, cran­ber­ry sauce, pump­kin pie, fruit, egg nog, and cof­fee or tea. Mem­bers of the choir of the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth the Grand Duchess of Rus­sia sang west­ern Christ­mas car­ols and sev­er­al Ortho­dox Na­tiv­i­ty hymns, both Greek and Slavon­ic, for those who were in at­ten­dance at the sem­i­nary build­ing. For the Ortho­dox present, the day was a fore­taste of our Na­tiv­i­ty Feast, which will be cel­e­brat­ed thir­teen days from now.

The guests in at­ten­dance were all moved and ap­pre­cia­tive of the meal. They were told that, while on ac­count of the fast the Ortho­dox monas­tics and faith­ful who were serv­ing them could not join in the meal, they were great­ly ben­e­fit­ed by the op­por­tu­ni­ty to show their guests hos­pi­tal­i­ty and by the hon­or of be­ing with them. It was a spe­cial plea­sure to in­au­gu­rate the sem­i­nary fa­cil­i­ty in such a man­ner. This seemed, as well, a fit­ting trib­ute to the sem­i­nary’s pa­tron, St. Pho­tios, who was, in ad­di­tion to be­ing a bril­liant the­olo­gian, a man of gen­tle char­ac­ter, lov­ing de­meanor, and deep spir­i­tu­al com­mit­ment.

See be­low, a few pho­tographs from the gath­er­ing, along with two pho­tographs of the near­ly fin­ished ex­te­ri­or of the sem­i­nary fa­cil­i­ty, a com­plete­ly re­mod­eled for­mer state gov­ern­ment train­ing fa­cil­i­ty.

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• December 11, 2015:

Liturgical Ecumenism:
A Propaedeutic to the True Nature
of the Great Synod of 2016

(click image to open)


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• December 6, 2015:

Repose of Protopresbyter Dr. Joseph (Robert) Miller

The Very Rev­erend Father Joseph Miller re­posed on Sun­day morn­ing, Novem­ber 23/De­cem­ber 6, 2015, on the After­feast of the En­try of the Theotokos in­to the Tem­ple. He died peace­ful­ly in his sleep. He was 94 years of age and liv­ing at an as­sist­ed liv­ing fa­cil­i­ty in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton, where he and his wife, Pres­bytera Bar­bara (see pho­to­graph be­low), moved short­ly af­ter his re­tire­ment from the ac­tive Pri­est­hood in 2014.

With the bless­ing of the Holy Syn­od of the Old Cal­en­dar Ortho­dox Church of Greece, Father Joseph was or­dained to the Pri­est­hood, at eighty years of age, by the re­tired Metropoli­tan (then Arch­bish­op) of Et­na. He was as­signed as as­sis­tant pas­tor at the Church of the Dor­mi­tion of the Theotokos in Port Townsend, WA, where he served for some sev­en years, pri­or to the clos­ing of the parish.

Father Joseph com­plet­ed his un­der­grad­u­ate stud­ies in mu­sic, phi­los­o­phy, ed­u­ca­tion, and psy­chol­o­gy at the Kansas State Teach­ers Col­lege, the Juil­liard School of Mu­sic, and Con­cep­tion Col­lege. He re­ceived his doc­tor­al de­gree in psy­chol­o­gy, ed­u­ca­tion, and psy­chother­a­py at the Univer­si­ty of Kansas. Dur­ing his many years of dis­tin­guished work as an aca­dem­ic and psy­chol­o­gist, he held coun­selling po­si­tions at the Univer­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Los An­ge­les, Wash­ing­ton State Univer­si­ty, and Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton State Univer­si­ty, where he di­rect­ed the Stu­dent Coun­selling Cen­ter and served as Dean of Stu­dent Ser­vices.

Father is sur­vived, in ad­di­tion to his wife, by a daugh­er, Anne Stran­doo, of Seat­tle, WA, and two sons, Karl and Paul, of Los An­ge­les, CA, and Colum­bus, Ohio, re­spec­tive­ly.

Funer­al ser­vices will be held on Tues­day, De­cem­ber 8, 2015, the Feast Day of St. Cather­ine the Great (ac­cord­ing to Greek prac­tice), on Bain­bridge Is­land at 12 noon. Con­tact the Cook Fam­i­ly Funer­al Home for de­tails.

A much revered and loved cler­gy­man of the Amer­i­can Eparchy of our Church, Father Joseph will be sore­ly missed by all who knew him and ben­e­fit­ed from his coun­sel and spir­i­tu­al guid­ance.

Aἰωνία ἡ μνήμη! Me­mory Eter­nal!

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• November 11, 2015:

Two Bishops of the Holy Synod Elected
to the Rank of Metropolitan

(click image to open)


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• November 9, 2015:

Ordinations Performed at the St. Gregory Palamas Monastery and
the Convent of St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess of Russia

On Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 25, 2015 (Old Style), the Feast of Sts. Markianos and Mar­tyrios the No­taries, dis­ci­ples of St. Paul the Con­fes­sor, Monk Pa­trick (Ha­giosi­naïtes), a broth­er of the St. Gre­go­ry of Si­nai Monastery in Kelseyville, Cal­i­for­nia, was or­dained to the Di­a­conate by His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios of Et­na and Port­land at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery in Et­na, Cal­i­for­nia. The new­ly or­dained Hieromonk, 57 years of age, is an ac­com­plished Icono­g­ra­pher. See, be­low, the par­tic­i­pants in the Divine Li­tur­gy: at cen­ter, pre­sid­ing, His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios and, cel­e­brat­ing with him, left to right on his right, Archi­man­drite Father Akakios, Ab­bot of the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery, the new­ly or­dained Hierodea­con Father Pa­trick, His Grace, the Right Rev­erend Bish­op Ser­gios, Ab­bot of the St. Gre­go­ry of Si­nai Monastery and Bish­op emer­i­tus of Port­land, who was in prayer­ful at­ten­dance, and, at Bish­op Aux­en­tios’ left, left to right, Hierodea­con Mos­es and Hieromonk Parthe­nios, both broth­ers of the St. Gre­go­ry of Si­nai Monastery, and Hierodea­con Photii, a broth­er of the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery.

On the fol­low­ing day, Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 26, the Feast of the Great Mar­tyr Demetrios the Myrrh-Gush­er of Thes­sa­loni­ki, His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios or­dained the new Hierodea­con to the rank of Pres­byter, as a Hieromonk, in a beau­ti­ful Li­tur­gy (see pho­to­graph be­low, at left) at the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth the Grand Duchess of Rus­sia, which is al­so lo­cat­ed in Et­na, some five miles from the monastery. In at­ten­dance were the monks of the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery and the Abbess and the nuns of the con­vent. The con­vent choir, sev­er­al mem­bers of whom are ac­com­plished mu­si­cians, chant­ed Matins and the Divine Li­tur­gy with great piety and beau­ty in Byzan­tine and Slav­ic melodies. Cel­e­brat­ing with His Grace were Archi­man­drite Akakios, Hieromonk Parthe­nios, Hierodea­con Mos­es, Hierodea­con Photii, and Father Ge­orge Mavro­ma­tis, the ἐφημέριος (epheme­rios), a mar­ried Pri­est, who serves the con­vent. Al­so in prayer­ful at­ten­dance were His Grace, Bish­op Ser­gios and His Emi­nence, the Most Rev­erend Chrysos­to­mos, for­mer Arch­bish­op and Metropoli­tan emer­i­tus of Et­na. At the con­clu­sion of the Divine Li­tur­gy, Hieromonk Parthe­nios (Ha­giosi­naïtes), at the re­quest of His Grace, Bish­op Ser­gios, was blessed by Bish­op Aux­en­tios to serve for­mal­ly as a Con­fes­sor (see pho­to­graph be­low, at right).

Fol­low­ing the ser­vice, which was at­tend­ed by faith­ful who at­tend ser­vices at the monastery in Kelseyville and by Sub­dea­con James Ka­bal­sky from the Na­tiv­i­ty of the Theotokos Church in Port­land, Ore­gon, fill­ing the con­vent chapel to ca­pac­i­ty, an Agape meal in hon­or of the Or­di­na­tion was served in the con­vent Trapeza (re­fec­to­ry).

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• October 19, 2015:

Etna Monastic Sisterhood and Brotherhood
Honor Mother Elizabeth, Abbess of
the Convent of St. Elizabeth the
Grand Duchess of Russia

Yes­ter­day, on Oc­to­ber 5, 2015 (Old Style) the sis­ter­hood of the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth the Grand Duchess of Rus­sia fêt­ed its Abbess, Mother El­iz­a­beth, on the thir­ti­eth an­niver­sary of her monas­tic ton­sure, the twen­ty-fifth an­niver­sary of her ton­sure to the An­gel­ic Schema, and the sev­en­teenth an­niver­sary of her en­throne­ment as Abbess of the con­vent, which co­in­cid­ed with her eight­i­eth birth­day.The sis­ter­hood and the broth­er­hood of the near­by Monastery of St.Gre­go­ry Pala­mas gath­ered for a Dox­ol­o­gy (a ser­vice of thanks­giv­ing), chant­ed by the con­vent choir, and a din­ner in hon­or of Mother El­iz­a­beth at the con­vent. (See her pho­to­graph be­low, tak­en some weeks be­fore the fes­tiv­i­ties).

His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios de­liv­ered a pan­e­gyric de­scrib­ing Mother El­iz­a­beth’s many virtues and her ac­com­plish­ments in build­ing up a sis­ter­hood of nuns who, along with oth­er wom­en, have prof­it­ed from her spir­i­tu­al guid­ance over the years. Mes­sages from her bi­o­log­i­cal chil­dren were read, and two mov­ing let­ters from Greece (which ap­pear be­low) were read in English by Metropoli­tan Chrysos­to­mos. The con­vent choir al­so sang a spe­cial hymn in hon­or of their spir­i­tu­al Mother. All present were deeply moved by the cer­e­monies.

Mother El­iz­a­beth, a grad­u­ate of Ash­land Univer­si­ty in Ohio, re­ceived her monas­tic train­ing at the Con­vent of the Holy An­gels near Athens, Greece, which, like the con­vent in Et­na, is a de­pen­den­cy of the Holy Monastery of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na, in Phyle, Greece. Some years af­ter her ton­sure, she com­plet­ed a Doc­tor of Min­istry de­gree at the San Fran­cis­co The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary. She has used her ed­u­ca­tion and tal­ents, in her typ­i­cal­ly tac­i­turn and unas­sum­ing man­ner, tire­less­ly to sup­port, up­hold, and per­pet­u­ate the teach­ings of our Church and the wit­ness of our Holy Syn­od. We wish her «Χρόνια Πολλά»—Many years!

*

Greet­ings from Mother Tax­i­archia, Abbess of the Con­vent of the Holy An­gels, and Mother Evprax­ia,Abbess of the Con­vent of the Pana­gia Myr­tid­i­o­tis­sa, and their sis­ter­hoods in Greece, and from Mother Mag­da­lene, Su­pe­ri­or of the Con­vent of St. Philothei in Swe­den and her sis­ter­hood:

Dear­est in Christ, Mother El­iz­a­beth, Your bless­ing!

On this very spe­cial twofold an­niver­sary of your ton­sure and en­throne­ment, and al­so on the oc­ca­sion of your eight­i­eth birth­day, we send you our sin­cer­est con­grat­u­la­tions and best wish­es. May our most sweet Mother of God, through the prayers of our beloved Metropoli­tan Cypri­an and Metropoli­tan Chrysos­to­mos, grant you health, spir­i­tu­al glad­ness, con­so­la­tion, and many more blessed years work­ing for the glo­ry of God.

May their prayers con­tin­ue to strength­en and guide you in all your strug­gles and your im­por­tant and lofty min­istry, as you guide your elect Sis­ter­hood and serve as a con­so­la­tion and aid to our beloved Bish­op Aux­en­tios and our most es­teemed Metropoli­tan Chrysos­to­mos, to your spir­i­tu­al daugh­ters, and to all those who find a haven of peace at your holy Con­vent.

May this day bring you great joy and many bless­ings. Please ac­cept our metanoia and hum­ble prayers, and we will be cel­e­brat­ing to­geth­er with you in spir­it. Χρόνια Πολλά! With love in Christ, grat­i­tude, and re­spect.

From the Metropo­lis of Oro­pos and Phyle:

Rev­erend Mother El­iz­a­beth: Evlo­geite!

Noet­i­cal­ly ven­er­at­ing the Holy Icon of the Pro­tec­tress of Your Holy Con­vent, St. El­iz­a­beth the New Mar­tyr, I humbly pray that You and Your Sis­ter­hood might ev­er abide in the Light of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spir­it!

The fifth of Oc­to­ber this year has a spe­cial mean­ing for Your Rev­erend­ship, as well as for Your Sis­ter­hood, since thir­ty years ago You were re­born spir­i­tu­al­ly through Your ton­sure in­to monas­ti­cism; fur­ther­more, twen­ty-five years ago, You were en­throned as the Su­pe­ri­or and Mother in Christ of Your Syn­odia.

At that time, You re­ceived these two “to­kens” of Grace—Your Ton­sure and En­throne­ment—with trust in the Will of God, by way of our Father, Metropoli­tan Cypri­an of blessed mem­o­ry, and by way of our es­teemed and dear­ly beloved Arch­bish­op Chrysos­to­mos of Et­na.

This obe­di­ent com­mit­ment of Yours—com­mit­ted obe­di­ence to Christ and His Church—in­tro­duced Your Rev­erend­ship in­to the Are­na of the Mar­tyr­dom of Du­ty to Con­science. You were vouch­safed a Charism, the mag­ni­tude of which not ev­ery­one can com­pre­hend: the Charism of be­ing a Wit­ness of the Cross and of the Res­ur­rec­tion of our Sav­ior; the Charism of em­body­ing Divine Com­pas­sion and of bear­ing wit­ness to the Cru­ci­fied Love of God, Who alone is Mer­ci­ful and loves mankind.

Our Holy Church of Christ has­tens to thank You for this obe­di­ent com­mit­ment of Yours and for the sweet fruits it has pro­duced. Th­ese fruits, which are both vis­i­ble and in­vis­i­ble, have ed­i­fied and con­tin­ue to ed­i­fy, in so many ways, such hearts and souls as are open to the Waft­ings of the Spir­it and the Scents of Eter­nal Spring.

We thank You, Rev­erend Abbess and Blessed El­dress El­iz­a­beth, for all that the Divine Com­forter has grant­ed us by means of Your Cross-bear­ing obe­di­ence.

May the years of Your life be ex­tend­ed “again and again,” so that Your Blessed Sis­ter­hood may con­tin­ue its course in Your Il­lu­mined Pres­ence, and so that all who know You, and hold in hon­or Your tru­ly in­valu­able bene­fac­tions, may gain in­spi­ra­tion in their own strug­gles.

You al­so have the heart­felt best wish­es of our es­teemed Elder, Archi­man­drite Father Theo­dosios, and of our en­tire broth­er­hood of the Monastery of Sts.Cypri­an and Justi­na.

With self-re­proach, I kiss the prints of Your feet and re­main the Least Ser­vant of the Flock of Christ, Girt with the Tow­el of Servi­tude,

† Metropoli­tan Cypri­an of Oro­pos and Phyle



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• October 2, 2015:

Sunday of the Elevation of the Holy Cross

See, be­low, a beau­ti­ful pho­to­graph of the read­ing of the Gospel by the Very Rev­erend Dr. James Thorn­ton, dur­ing ser­vices for the El­e­va­tion of the Pre­cious and Life-Giv­ing Cross, this past Sun­day (Septem­ber 14, 2015, Old Style), at the parish of Sts. Seraphim of Sarov and John of Kron­stadt in San Diego, CA, a mis­sion com­mu­ni­ty of Rus­sianand English-speak­ing faith­ful, in the Dio­cese of Et­na and Port­land, that is served on al­ter­nate Sun­days by Father James and the Very Rev­erend Father David Cown­ie, who is one of the Pri­ests serv­ing at the small parish of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na, in Et­na, CA, where he and his wife, Pres­bytera Ju­liana, re­side.

Dur­ing the sum­mer, the San Diego parish host­ed a mar­ried Pri­est from Greece, Father Dr. Jiri Jan, a na­tive of the Czech Repub­lic, who served the parish while on sab­bat­i­cal from his du­ties in Greece to pre­pare his doc­tor­al dis­ser­ta­tion, which he wrote while a stu­dent at the fa­mous Charles Univer­si­ty in Prague, for pub­li­ca­tion. He al­so vis­it­ed the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery in Et­na, where he con­sult­ed with His Emi­nence, Metropoli­tan Chrysos­to­mos and Archi­man­drite Father Pat­a­pios about fu­ture schol­ar­ly pub­li­ca­tions. In Et­na, where he first vis­it­ed some years ago, and in San Diego, where his pas­toral min­is­tra­tions were great­ly val­ued, he is held in im­mense es­teem. Both Father James and Father David were tremen­dous­ly ap­pre­cia­tive of the ex­traor­di­nary ben­e­fits of his pres­ence in the com­mu­ni­ty.

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• September 23, 2015:

Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece

Announcement of the Decisions of the Holy Synod of Bishops,
September 1/14-2/15, 2015

From Mon­day, Septem­ber 1/14 through Tues­day, Septem­ber 2/15, 2015, in the hall of the Church of Christ “of the Un­with­er­ing Rose,” in Piræus, Greece, the Holy Syn­od of Bish­ops of the Church of the Gen­uine Ortho­dox Chris­tians of Greece con­vened for a reg­u­lar meet­ing.

Those present were His Beat­i­tude, Arch­bish­op Kallinikos of Athens and All Greece; Their Emi­nences, Metropoli­tan Athana­sios of Larisa and Plata­mon, Metropoli­tan Justin of Euri­pos and Euboia, Metropoli­tan Geron­tios of Piræus and Salamis, Metropoli­tan Chrysos­to­mos of At­ti­ca and Bœo­tia, and Metropoli­tan Cypri­an of Oro­pos and Phyle; Their Graces, Bish­op Gre­go­ry of Chris­tianoupo­lis, Bish­op Pho­tios of Marathon, Bish­op Am­brose of Philip­pi, and Bish­op Am­brose of Methone; His Emi­nence, Bish­op Sil­vano of Lu­ni; and Their Graces, Bish­op Klemes of Gardikion and Bish­op Theo­dosios of Bres­thena.

After the cel­e­bra­tion of the Divine Li­tur­gy and the Bless­ing of the Waters for the New Ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal Year and for the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the new Syn­odal Pe­ri­od, the Holy Syn­od of Bish­ops dis­cussed the fol­low­ing mat­ters and made de­ci­sions there­on:

1. The an­nu­al reap­point­ment of mem­bers of the Syn­odal Com­mis­sions took place.

2. The Hier­ar­chs re­des­ig­nat­ed the mem­ber­ship of the Syn­odal Courts.

3. Locum Te­nentes were as­signed to the va­cant Dio­ce­ses.

4. The Hier­ar­chs dis­cussed the schedul­ing of the an­nu­al Syn­odal Con­vo­ca­tions and set­tled the de­tails both for the Syn­odal Me­mo­ri­al Ser­vice for Metropoli­tan Chrysos­to­mos of Phlo­ri­na and Arch­bish­op Chrysos­to­mos of Athens on Satur­day, Septem­ber 6/19, 2015, and for the Syn­odal cel­e­bra­tion of the nineti­eth an­niver­sary of the Third Ap­pear­ance of the Pre­cious Cross on the evening of the Satur­day af­ter the Ex­al­ta­tion of the Cross (Septem­ber 20/Oc­to­ber 3, 2015).

The Hier­ar­chs al­so de­cid­ed:

• to ex­hort the cler­gy to cel­e­brate the Feast of the Third Ap­pear­ance of the Cross on an an­nu­al ba­sis;

• that the Great Bless­ing of the Waters (with the im­mer­sion of the Pre­cious Cross) be held in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions next Theo­phany;

• that the keynote ad­dress­es at the Syn­odal Con­vo­ca­tions on the Sun­day of Ortho­doxy and on the Feast of the Holy Apos­tle Paul be de­liv­ered by His Grace, Bish­op Am­brose of Philip­pi and His Grace, Bish­op Klemes of Gardikion, re­spec­tive­ly;

• that a con­vo­ca­tion be held ev­ery year in mem­o­ry of the Fall of Con­stantino­ple on the Sun­day clos­est to May 29 (Old Style).

5. It was re­solved that hon­orif­ic dis­tinc­tions be con­ferred on the Sun­day of Ortho­doxy in 2016.

6. The Hier­ar­chs de­cid­ed who should be des­ig­nat­ed to rep­re­sent the Holy Syn­od at the an­nu­al Feasts of St. Glicherie of Ro­ma­nia and of the Trans­fig­u­ra­tion of the Sav­ior in Slă­tioara, Ro­ma­nia.

7. It was de­cid­ed that our Church’s Cal­en­dar for 2017 be ded­i­cat­ed to the Holy New Mar­tyr Cather­ine of Man­dra, At­ti­ca (†1927).

8. There was an al­ter­ation in one clause of the Reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal pro­ce­dure: pro­vi­sion was made for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of is­su­ing sum­mons­es and de­ci­sions by e-mail in cer­tain in­stances.

9. The Hier­ar­chs dis­cussed the progress of ef­forts be­ing made by cer­tain of the Metropolis­es of our Church to es­tab­lish ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal le­gal en­ti­ties.

10. The Hier­ar­chs were in­formed about de­vel­op­ments in the case of the Skete of the Holy Fathers in Chios.

11. The Hier­ar­chs were in­formed about mat­ters per­tain­ing to our Church’s mis­sions.

12. A pe­ti­tion sub­mit­ted by the re­tired Hier­ar­ch Ge­orge, for­mer­ly Bish­op of Ala­nia, was dis­cussed.

13. A pe­ti­tion from a group of cler­gy in Ugan­da to join our Church was dis­cussed.

14. The Hier­ar­chs dis­cussed the mat­ter of the re­la­tion­ship of Ro­ma­ni­an parish­es in Italy to our Dio­cese of Lu­ni.

15. A pro­pos­al for the dec­la­ra­tion of the sanc­ti­ty of two promi­nent mem­bers of our Church was dis­cussed.

16. There was a dis­cus­sion and ap­praisal of ef­forts hith­er­to put forth to achieve full ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal com­mu­nion be­tween the Church of the Gen­uine Ortho­dox Chris­tians of Greece and the Gen­uine Ortho­dox Church of Bul­gar­ia.

[At this point the meet­ing was ad­journed, to be con­tin­ued the fol­low­ing day.]

16 (con­tin­ued). The Hier­ar­chs re­sumed the ad­journed dis­cus­sion con­cern­ing progress in achiev­ing full ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal com­mu­nion with the Gen­uine Ortho­dox Church of Bul­gar­ia and de­cid­ed on fur­ther steps.

17. The con­stant­ly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing health of His Emi­nence, Metropoli­tan Max­i­mos of Thes­sa­lonike and Deme­trias was dis­cussed. In view of this, nec­es­sary de­ci­sions were made, which will be com­mu­ni­cat­ed short­ly in a per­ti­nent en­cycli­cal.

18. The Hier­ar­chs eval­u­at­ed the on­go­ing apos­ta­sy among the ec­u­menist of­fi­cial Ortho­dox Church­es.

19. The is­sue of the sec­u­lar­iza­tion of the Mys­ter­ies (chiefly of mar­riages and Bap­tisms) was ad­dressed. It was de­cid­ed that pam­phlets on this sub­ject be com­piled and pub­lished.

20. The Hier­ar­chs dis­cussed, in the pres­ence of a dep­u­ta­tion of Athonite monks, the ques­tion of how to coör­di­nate the an­ti-ec­u­meni­cal strug­gle of Athonite Zealots more ef­fec­tive­ly with that of the Holy Syn­od.

21. The pos­si­bil­i­ty of pro­duc­ing an an­nu­al Typikon for Divine Ser­vices ac­cord­ing to the Church’s Festal Cal­en­dar was dis­cussed.

22. The is­sue of a more sys­tem­at­ic pro­mo­tion of cat­e­chet­i­cal in­struc­tion was aired.

23. The Hier­ar­chs dis­cussed means for the more sys­tem­at­ic func­tion­ing of a school for cat­e­chists and Church ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams through a sys­tem of dis­tance learn­ing.

24. Cer­tain mat­ters of cur­rent in­ter­est were ad­dressed.

From the Chancery

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• September 22, 2015:

His Grace, Bishop Auxentios Visits the Portland Cathedral
Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos Feast Day

On Septem­ber 7 and 8, Old Style (Septem­ber 20 and 21, ac­cord­ing to the sec­u­lar cal­en­dar), His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios of Et­na and Port­land vis­it­ed the hum­ble Cathe­dral Church of the Na­tiv­i­ty of the Theotokos in Port­land, OR, on the oc­ca­sion of its Feast Day. He was ac­com­pa­nied by Archi­man­drite Father Akakios, Ab­bot of the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery in Et­na, CA (where His Grace re­sides), one of the monastery Dea­cons, Hierodea­con Father Photii, and Mother Kypri­ane, a sis­ter of the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth the Grand Duchess of Rus­sia, al­so lo­cat­ed in Et­na.

► Read more...

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• September 7, 2015:

A Message from His Eminence, Metropolitan Chrysostomos to His Eminence,
Archbishop Andronik of Syracuse and St. Nicholas concerning the funeral
service in Astoria, NY, this Thursday for Archpriest Wsewolod Dutikow

Your Eminence, Beloved Vladyka Andronik,

Благословите! Bless!

Father Akakios told me that You called him this morn­ing. Thank You very much! We all tru­ly ap­pre­ci­ate Your kind­ness. We have made all ar­range­ments for Father Akakios now. I am afraid that, be­cause of guests and work at the new sem­i­nary build­ing, he will be able to at­tend on­ly the fu­ner­al on Thurs­day morn­ing and will re­turn to the air­port im­me­di­ate­ly af­ter­wards for his flight back to the monastery in the af­ter­noon. But at least, rep­re­sent­ing His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios and me, as well the Dio­cese of Et­na and Port­land, Father Akakios will be able to show our pro­found re­spects and ex­press our abid­ing love in Christ, in this way, for Father Wsewelod, Ma­tush­ka Iri­na, and to You and Your Church.

Father Wsewelod's re­pose is an im­mense loss for all of our Sis­ter Church­es and, even if those on a wrong path may not know or wish to ad­mit it, for the en­tire Ortho­dox Church. May his mem­o­ry be eter­nal!

Least Among Your Brothers,

† Chrysostomos, former Metropolitan of Etna

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• September 5, 2015:

St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary Website

We are pleased to announce that the website for the St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary in Etna now appears in its official and final form. It can be accessed at http://www.spots.school. We urge the clergy and faithful of the diocese to familiarize themselves with the website and ongoing efforts to open the seminary facility by September of 2016.

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• September 4, 2015:

Repose of the Mitred Archpriest Wsewolod Dutikow

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• August 10, 2015:

The Holy New Hieromartyr Joseph of Desphina

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• July 30, 2015:

Updates on the St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary

A. Board of Directors Appointed

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B. List of Faculty and Advisors who have agreed to
serve on the seminary administration and staff

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C. The Seminary Facility

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• July 22, 2015:

St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary
Ὀρθόδοξος Θεολογικὴ Σχολὴ
τοῦ Ἁγίου Φωτίου

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• July 17, 2015:

An Unpleasant But Necessary Statement About Certain
Misrepresentations of Historical Fact

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• July 15, 2015:

Feast Day of the Convent of St. Elizabeth
the Grand Duchess of Russia
Etna, California

On Satur­day, Ju­ly 17 and 18, 2015 (Ju­ly 4 and 5, Old Style), the Con­vent of the Holy Mar­tyr El­iz­a­beth, the Grand Duchess of Rus­sia, will cel­e­brate its Feast Day, with His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios of Et­na and Port­land pre­sid­ing. His Grace will be joined by cler­gy from the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery and the parish Church of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na, al­so lo­cat­ed in Et­na.

A vig­il for the Ves­pers and Matins of the Feast will be held, in the Slav­ic style, on Fri­day, Ju­ly 17, at 6:00 p.m. The fes­tal Hier­ar­chi­cal Divine Li­tur­gy will be­gin at 8:30 a.m. the next morn­ing, on Satur­day, Ju­ly 18.

Fol­low­ing the Divine Li­tur­gy, a Mνημόσυνον, or Me­mo­ri­al Ser­vice, will be served in mem­o­ry and hon­or of Princess Iri­na Ba­gra­tion, who re­posed last week and who was the god­moth­er and a rel­a­tive of one of the nuns at the con­vent, as well as a strong sup­port­er of our Sis­ter Church, the Rus­sian Ortho­dox Church Abroad, un­der His Emi­nence, Metropoli­tan Agafan­gel. A Παράκλησις, or Ser­vice of Sup­pli­ca­tion, to the pa­trons of the con­vent, St. El­iz­a­beth and the Nun-Mar­tyr Bar­bara, will fol­low the Me­mo­ri­al Ser­vice.

After the ser­vices, at about 12:00 noon, all in at­ten­dance will be served a fes­tal meal in the Con­vent Re­fec­to­ry, com­pli­ments of the sis­ter­hood.



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• July 14, 2015:

Visit to Parish of Sts. Peter and Paul
in Tucson, Arizona

On the week­end of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 28 and 29, 2015 (Old Style), His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios of Et­na and Port­land vis­it­ed the mis­sion of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tuc­son, AZ. The tiny but grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty re­cent­ly suf­fered the loss of one of its found­ing mem­bers, Mary Beth Ly­tle, a beloved and in­de­fati­ga­ble Church work­er who ded­i­cat­ed much of her life to the parish. (See ear­li­er post­ings in this sec­tion, be­low, about her trag­ic death in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent.) Though the sad­ness of her loss still lingers among the faith­ful, it was over­shad­owed and soft­ened by the sense of fel­low­ship and joy that per­me­at­ed the Feast Day ser­vices of the parish, to which sense her mem­o­ry pal­pa­bly con­tribut­ed.

The Satur­day Vig­il, Ves­pers and Matins served to­geth­er in the Slav­ic style, was pi­ous­ly and mov­ing­ly chant­ed by Pres­bytera Va­lerie Bock­man, the moth­er of Mary Beth and wife of the late founder of the mis­sion. Pres­bytera was al­so cel­e­brat­ing her eighty-ninth birth­day, on which oc­ca­sion the com­mu­ni­ty fond­ly hon­ored her. As a gift­ed writ­er, her re­fine­ment and kind­ness very much im­pressed His Grace and the cler­gy con­cel­e­brat­ing with him.

In­clud­ed among the lat­ter were Hieromonk Father Parthe­nios, from the St. Gre­go­ry of Si­nai Monastery in Kelseyville, CA, who with the bless­ing of his Ab­bot, the Rt. Rev. Ser­gios, Bish­op emer­i­tus of Port­land, reg­u­lar­ly serves the parish; Father Jiří (Ge­orge) Jan, a mar­ried Czech Pri­est from our Church’s Metropo­lis of Oro­pos and Phyle in Greece, who is vis­it­ing the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery in Et­na, CA, and serv­ing tem­porar­i­ly at the Sts. Seraphim of Sarov and John of Kron­stadt mis­sion in San Diego, CA; and Read­er Ma­teusz Ferens from the San Diego parish, the broth­er of Hierodea­con Photii at the monastery in Et­na, who ac­com­pa­nied Father Jiří.

The ser­vices were chant­ed in English, Greek, and Ro­ma­ni­an. A very nice Agape Meal was served af­ter the Divine Li­tur­gy, and His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios had the op­por­tu­ni­ty, dur­ing the meal, to dis­cuss with those present a num­ber of ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal and spir­i­tu­al mat­ters.

His Grace de­part­ed from his vis­it to the Tuc­son mis­sion with warm mem­o­ries of the small but vi­brant com­mu­ni­ty, which has grown since the union of the Greek Old Cal­en­darists a lit­tle over a year ago, when a num­ber of Ro­ma­ni­an im­mi­grants from our Sis­ter Church in Ro­ma­nia joined the mis­sion.



Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

Above, the members of the Tucson mission, following the Divine Liturgy on its Feast Day. One family
is missing from the photograph. In the background, left to right, are Hieromonk Parthenios,
His Grace, Bishop Auxentios of Etna and Portland, and
Father Jiří Jan, from Greece.


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• July 13, 2015:

Journey to the “Holy and Great Synod”:
An Unceasing Estrangement from
Genuine Patristic Orthodoxy

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• July 9, 2015:

The Repose of Princess Irina Bagration-Moukhransky

Dear Dioce­san Cler­gy, Faith­ful, and Friends,

May God bless you.

I learned this morn­ing from His Emi­nence, Metropoli­tan Chrysos­to­mos that Princess Iri­na Ba­gra­tion-Moukhran­sky, a de­vot­ed sup­port­er of our Sis­ter Church, the Rus­sian Ortho­dox Church Abroad (un­der Metropoli­tan Agafan­gel), re­posed this morn­ing at 2 a.m., in New York Ci­ty. Her fu­ner­al will be held at the Holy Trin­i­ty Rus­sian Ortho­dox Church in As­to­ria, NY, at 10:00 a.m., on Satur­day, June 11 (New Style).

Princess Iri­na was the God­moth­er of Mother Seraphi­ma, here at our con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth the Grand Duchess of Rus­sia, in Et­na, and the niece of Mother Seraphi­ma's grand­fa­ther, Count Vasili Dmitrievich Chereme­t­eff. Princess Iri­na was the sec­ond wife of Prince Tey­mu­raz Con­stanti­novich Ba­gra­tion-Moukhran­sky. They had no chil­dren.

I would ask all of you to pray for the soul of Princess Iri­na and to com­mem­o­rate her for forty days in the Divine Li­tur­gy. To Mother Seraphi­ma and the oth­er sur­viv­ing rel­a­tives of Princess Iri­na, I ex­tend my sin­cere con­do­lences at their per­son­al loss and at the loss of a ded­i­cat­ed ser­vant of the Church.

Aἰωνία ἡ μνήμη. May her mem­o­ry be eter­nal!

† Bish­op Aux­en­tios of Et­na and Port­land

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• July 8, 2015:

A Memorial Tribute to Mary Beth Lytle by
His Grace, the Right Reverend Sergios,
Bishop Emeritus of Portland

On Fri­day, June 5, 2015, Mary Beth Ly­tle was killed in a trag­ic au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent near Palm Springs, Cal­i­for­nia. She was trav­el­ing back to her home in Tuc­son, AZ, with her hus­band, Josh Ly­tle, and her grand­daugh­ter, Fiana Acos­ta, af­ter a short fam­i­ly va­ca­tion. Mary Beth was killed in­stant­ly; her hus­band sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries, in­clud­ing frac­tured ver­te­brae; and Fiana, who was thrown from the ve­hi­cle, sus­tained in­juries sim­i­lar to her grand­fa­ther’s.

Mary Beth’s fu­ner­al took place on June 26 at Sts. Peter and Paul Ortho­dox Mis­sion, which her fa­ther, the late Arch­priest John Bock­man, and his wife, Pres­bytera Va­lerie, found­ed decades ago.

Metropoli­tan Mos­es of Toron­to, who played a large role in the ac­qui­si­tion of the present prop­er­ty, on which the Mis­sion Chapel is lo­cat­ed, presid­ed at the fu­ner­al. The Right Rev­erend Ser­gios, Bish­op emer­i­tus of Port­land, at­tend­ed and sang with the choir, com­posed of Hierodea­con Mos­es and Schema Monk Pa­trick, both from the St. Gre­go­ry of Si­nai Monastery in Lake Coun­ty, Cal­i­for­nia. Mary Beth, in ad­di­tion to help­ing es­tab­lish the Sts. Peter and Paul Mis­sion, served as the Mis­sion’s con­tact per­son, choir, gen­er­al ad­min­is­tra­tor, and or­ga­niz­er of its on­go­ing life and work.

Re­cent­ly, af­ter years of Read­er Ser­vices for a rel­a­tive­ly small num­ber of mem­bers, the con­gre­ga­tion was great­ly augment­ed fol­low­ing the union be­tween the Arch­dio­cese of Et­na and the Dio­cese of Port­land, the new mem­bers be­ing al­most all Ro­ma­ni­ans.

His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios, has pro­vid­ed con­stant pas­toral guid­ance and con­so­la­tion to the griev­ing com­mu­ni­ty, and will pre­side at the Mis­sion’s up­com­ing Feast Day.

In ad­di­tion to her hus­band, moth­er, and grand­daugh­ter, Mary Beth leaves a daugh­ter, Janet Acos­ta, and a num­ber of sib­lings, nephews and nieces.

She not on­ly over­saw the dif­fi­cult task of pro­vid­ing an on­go­ing Mis­sion in­come, need­ed to re­tire its mort­gage and cov­er on­go­ing ex­pens­es, but al­so found­ed St. Tabitha’s Guild, a vest­ment-mak­ing en­ter­prise, all of the prof­its of which were do­nat­ed to the Mis­sion. Mary Beth al­so achieved great dis­tinc­tion as a re­stor­er of an­tique dolls and led an an­nu­al Doll Tour to Europe, the prof­its of which al­so sup­port­ed Sts. Peter and Paul. She al­so or­ga­nized two high­ly-praised Icon Tours to the Balka­ns with the help of Saint Gre­go­ry of Si­nai Monastery in Cal­i­for­nia, and again prof­its went to sup­port the Tuc­son commu­ni­ty.

Mary Beth was al­so the man­ag­ing ed­i­tor of the Port­land dioce­san Bul­letin, The Good Word, which could not have been pub­lished with­out her re­mark­able gifts. The mat­ter hav­ing been put be­fore Bish­op Aux­en­tios and Port­land, His Grace has blessed the con­tin­u­a­tion its work, and a new man­ag­ing ed­i­tor will be named short­ly. That said, there will be an in­evitable gap in the pub­lish­ing sched­ule of the bul­letin.

Mary Beth served as the Ac­coun­tant and Fi­nan­cial Ad­vi­sor to the Port­land Dio­cese and had mas­tered the reg­u­la­to­ry pro­vi­sions pro­vid­ed by the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice to non-prof­it cor­po­ra­tions. She was in­stru­men­tal in en­sur­ing that the Port­land Dio­cese re­mained aligned with the IRS reg­u­la­tions, at times un­der dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.

She will be great­ly missed with­in her own fam­i­ly and by the dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties in which she played a cen­tral rôle. Pray­ers are asked for the re­pose of her soul, for her griev­ing fam­i­ly and friends, and for the Tuc­son Mis­sion which she loved and served so well.

Eter­nal be her mem­o­ry!

† Ser­gios, Bish­op emer­i­tus of Port­land

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• June 18, 2015:

Diocesan Guidelines and the Fuller
Genuine Orthodox Witness

The fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tive and in­struc­tive note, tak­en from a let­ter sent to sev­er­al Ortho­dox cler­gy­men by His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios of Et­na and Port­land, is pre­sent­ed here, with some mi­nor re­vi­sions and ma­jor ad­di­tions, for the ed­i­fi­ca­tion of the cler­gy and faith­ful of the dio­cese and of the Church in gen­er­al. We hope that it will aid all of us in mak­ing a con­stant­ly firmer com­mit­ment to those ex­ter­nal ac­tions and tra­di­tions that help to form us in­ter­nal­ly and spir­i­tu­al­ly in our Ortho­doxy.


Dear Fathers, Εὐλογεῖτε. I greet you with my hum­ble bless­ing and my prayers.

Thank you kind­ly, once again, for speak­ing with me last evening and this morn­ing. I took great en­cour­age­ment from your re­cep­tive and re­spect­ful de­meanor, as well as the alacrity with which you meet my re­quests. May our Lord as­sist you in your labors and re­ward you for your ef­forts.

For your fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, see the doc­u­ment “Dioce­san Guide­lines” on the menu (the scroll) at left, which I men­tioned in our con­ver­sa­tion.

You should know that the doc­u­ment and its is­sues were dis­cussed at the meet­ing this last week of the Eparchial Syn­od of our Church here in Amer­i­ca. Metropoli­tan Demetrios, my fel­low Hier­ar­chs, and I are re­solved to con­tin­ue ad­dress­ing these is­sues, and, in par­tic­u­lar, those con­tained in sec­tions I and V of the doc­u­ment.

To re­ca­pit­u­late the points I dis­cussed with both of you, the tra­di­tion­al dress and ap­pear­ance of the Ortho­dox cler­gy (cov­ered in sec­tion I of the doc­u­ment) and the prop­er dec­o­ra­tion and ar­range­ment of our Church­es are of vi­tal con­cern to our Hier­ar­chy, as they should be for all Ortho­dox, for at least three rea­sons:

    1. Th­ese prac­tices are an im­por­tant part of the Church’s Holy Tra­di­tion, and the up­hold­ing of tra­di­tion is a key el­e­ment of our very con­fes­sion, as dic­tat­ed by St. Paul in his in­junc­tion that we hold to the tra­di­tions passed down to us, whether in writ­ing or by word of mouth. When we al­low any of these prac­tices to erode, through what­ev­er in­flu­ence, we com­pro­mise our wit­ness to con­tem­po­rary “world Ortho­doxy,” which is se­ri­ous­ly ail­ing, and ef­fec­tive­ly give its ad­her­ents an ar­gu­ment against us: “You say that tra­di­tion is sa­cred, yet you dis­pense with it just as eas­i­ly as do we.”

    2. Tra­di­tion­al Ortho­dox dress, es­pe­cial­ly, con­fers crit­i­cal ben­e­fits on the ob­ser­vant and obe­di­ent cler­gy­man. As one reads in our Dioce­san Guide­lines, prop­er dress and ap­pear­ance con­sti­tute “the ‘uniform’ of the ser­vants of the ser­vants [the Peo­ple] of God and a di­vine ar­mor against that which is not to our na­ture.” I per­son­al­ly know of many falls which cler­gy have suf­fered that can be traced back to their care­less­ness with re­spect to this sanc­ti­fied ar­mor.

    Our ap­pear­ance is part of our wit­ness to the world at large. This is es­pe­cial­ly so here in the New World, where so many peo­ple are ig­no­rant of Ortho­doxy. As I am sure you can ver­i­fy from your own ex­pe­ri­ence, con­sci­en­tious at­ten­tion to this mat­ter gives you, with­out say­ing even a word, count­less op­por­tu­ni­ties to “give an an­swer to ev­ery man that as­keth you a rea­son of the hope that is in you.” Even be­fore we open our mouths, peo­ple un­der­stand that we are se­ri­ous enough about our faith to en­dure ridicule and that we be­lieve that Chris­tian­i­ty makes of its ad­her­ents a pe­cu­liar peo­ple, in­di­vid­u­als who walk, talk, dress, and be­have in a man­ner not ac­cord­ing to the “fash­ion of this world.”

    3. With re­gard to how we wor­ship and dec­o­rate our Church­es, Ortho­dox wor­ship in two ways: stand­ing or pros­trat­ing ful­ly to the ground. See the rare paint­ing, be­low, of wor­ship in the Great Church, St. Sophia in Con­stantino­ple, from the time that it was still the first and great­est Church in Ortho­doxy and Chris­tian­i­ty, and be­fore it was trans­formed in­to a mosque un­der the sad and de­struc­tive bar­barism of the Turk­ish Yoke. You see clear­ly, here, this nor­ma­tive wor­ship in Ortho­doxy, which has its ba­sis in Holy Scrip­ture. How can one wor­ship in such a way in Church­es filled with chairs and pews, where the faith­ful seek to sit com­fort­ably and as though in a the­atre? Our wor­ship should be an ex­er­cise for body and soul, our prayers and chant­ing qui­et, filled with awe, and in­spir­ing us to hear with­in the voice of God. Church light­ing should al­so con­cen­trate on nat­u­ral light and can­dles, so that we are not dis­tract­ed by the­atri­cal light­ing.

    We can, of course, have a few bench­es and sta­sidia (στασίδια, or choir stalls) around the sides and at the back of our Church­es for the in­firm and ill, or as places that we can rest for a short time. But even when ill, we should force our­selves to stand as much as pos­si­ble, ex­er­cis­ing our bod­ies, as I said above, as we do our souls. Other­wise, our wor­ship does not be­come ac­cept­able to God, with Whom we com­mune in body and soul, just as Christ ful­fills our spir­i­tu­al ef­forts, not just with His spir­i­tu­al Pres­ence, but by of­fer­ing to us His Body and Blood!

Slow­ly, as we de­vi­ate from Holy Tra­di­tion, fol­low­ing our per­son­al tastes and opin­ions, we not on­ly give cause for the in­no­va­tors and mod­ernists (New Cal­en­darists and ec­u­menists) to mock and ridicule us, but we be­come, un­wit­ting­ly, what they are, con­quered through our own weak­ness­es by what we op­pose and re­sist. This is pitiable. More­over, and even more trag­i­cal­ly, hav­ing pre­sent­ed our­selves as tra­di­tion­al­ists, we have be­gun to jus­ti­fy years of de­vi­a­tion and slop­pi­ness as “tra­di­tion.” In­no­va­tion be­comes our tra­di­tion, as we ar­gue, “Well, that is the way that we have al­ways done it.” Yet the re­al ques­tion is whether it is con­sis­tent with Holy Tra­di­tion and what has al­ways been done at all times and in all places.

It is not with­out rea­son that a pi­ous New Cal­en­darist vis­it­ing one of our less tra­di­tion­al parish­es, re­port­ed to us that he found less ad­her­ence to the ex­ter­nals of Ortho­dox tra­di­tion, both in the dress and groom­ing of the Pri­est and in the pews and chairs that filled the Church, than in his own con­ser­va­tive New Cal­en­dar Church. Nat­u­ral­ly, we point­ed out that our faith­ful still ad­here to cor­rect teach­ings and up­hold the pri­ma­cy of Ortho­doxy against the ec­cle­si­o­log­i­cal syn­cretism of Ortho­doxy—an im­por­tant thing, in­deed—but his re­ply was a sting­ing in­dict­ment: “But do you not hide the light of your faith, in that case, un­der the bushel of ex­ter­nal in­no­va­tion and fail to show that light in the prop­er ex­ter­nals that even we main­tain in our er­ror?” One might add to his in­dict­ment a sec­ondary charge: Is it not a ubiq­ui­tous teach­ing of Ortho­doxy that ex­ter­nals re­flect the in­ner life and that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two is sacro­sanct? Would not the ven­er­a­tion of Icons be idol­a­try, for ex­am­ple, were they not, above all, means by which we rise to the eter­nal archetypes de­pict­ed in them? In­deed, the nexus be­tween the ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal el­e­ments of Ortho­doxy is of crit­i­cal doc­tri­nal im­por­tance.

We should, in serv­ing the Church—and this ap­plies to cler­gy and faith­ful alike—im­i­tate Queen El­iz­a­beth of Eng­land, who makes it clear that her first du­ty is to her peo­ple, and on­ly then to her­self and her fam­i­ly. We as cler­gy (and as faith­ful) must have a sim­i­lar hi­er­ar­chy of pri­or­i­ties, which Scrip­ture con­stant­ly sets be­fore us: first, the love of God, above all else; the love of neigh­bor; and on­ly then lov­ing con­cern for self and fam­i­ly. Ap­plied to the Church, it should be a place where we ac­com­mo­date, in its sa­cred space and ac­cord­ing to Holy Tra­di­tion, God first; the com­mu­ni­ty and peo­ple sec­ond; and our­selves and our fam­i­lies last. On­ly then will we pre­serve our Church­es as holy places, hold to all of Ortho­doxy’s tra­di­tions, and not the tra­di­tions of the the­atre and places of sec­u­lar en­ter­tain­ment, and tru­ly en­counter God’s Grace, by which our com­mu­ni­ties are sanc­ti­fied and in which we and our fam­i­lies are trans­formed, pro­tect­ed, and made one with Christ. And part and par­cel of this is the dress of our cler­gy, who re­mind us of our sep­a­ra­tion from the world and our need to dress and groom our­selves in a man­ner con­sis­tent with Ortho­dox Chris­tian tra­di­tion and the spir­i­tu­al pri­or­i­ties it as­signs to our earth­ly life.

Thank you for your pa­tience with my mi­ni-ser­mon.

Be­seech­ing your prayers, I re­main

Your Un­wor­thy Ser­vant,

+ Bish­op Aux­en­tios, Least Among Monks

____ ____


• June 17, 2015:

Funeral Services for Mary Beth Lytle

Funer­al and Buri­al Ser­vices for Mary Beth Ly­tle, who was trag­i­cal­ly killed in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent on June 5, 2015, have been sched­uled for Fri­day, June 26, at 10:00 a.m. (See the no­tice of her re­pose be­low, un­der the en­try for June 5.) They will be con­duct­ed by His Grace, the Right Rev­erend Ser­gios, Emer­i­tus Bish­op of Port­land, Hierodea­con Father Mos­es, and Monk Father Pa­trick at the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tuc­son, Ari­zona.

Funer­al ar­range­ments are be­ing han­dled by the An­gel Val­ley Funer­al Home, 2545 N. Tuc­son Blvd., in Tuc­son, AZ (phone 520 327-6341). Those wish­ing to send flow­ers should ar­range to have them sent in the name of “Mary Beth Ly­tle” di­rect­ly to the fu­ner­al home.

Once again, Bish­op Aux­en­tios, on be­half of the monas­tic com­mu­ni­ties and parish­es of the dio­cese, along with all of our cler­gy, ex­press­es his pro­found con­do­lences to Mary Beth’s fam­i­ly and to the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul at the loss of one of the com­mu­ni­ty’s ir­re­place­able lead­ers, an in­de­fati­ga­ble work­er, and a de­vout sup­port­er of its work.

May her mem­o­ry be eter­nal and her re­wards in the next life abun­dant! Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη!

____ ____


• June 15, 2015:

Bishop Auxentios Participates in
Eparchial Synod Meeting

(click image to open)

____ ____


San Diego Parish Reader, Mateusz Ferens,
Completes M.A. degree

(click image to open)

____ ____


• June 5, 2015:

Tragic Accident

We were just in­formed, late this af­ter­noon, of the re­pose of Mary Beth Ly­tle, Ac­coun­tant for the Dio­cese of Et­na and Port­land and an ac­tive mem­ber of, and lead­er in, the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, in Tuc­son, AZ, who was killed in an au­tomo­bile ac­ci­dent to­day. When fu­ner­al ar­range­ments are made, we will pro­vide fur­ther in­for­ma­tion through a mail­ing to the “Ac­tive Dioce­san Fo­rum” on the In­ter­net, as well as a post­ing on this web­site.

Pray­ers and memo­ri­al ser­vices have al­ready been con­duct­ed by His Grace, Bish­op Ser­gios, re­tired Bish­op of the Dio­cese of Port­land, who worked close­ly with Mary Beth, and by his broth­er­hood at the St. Gre­go­ry of Si­nai Monastery in Kelseyville, CA (a mem­ber of the broth­er­hood, Father Parthe­nios, pe­ri­od­i­cal­ly serves the Tuc­son parish). In the ab­sence of His Grace, Bish­op Aux­en­tios, who was away when the sad news of the ac­ci­dent was re­port­ed, His Emi­nence, Metropoli­tan Chrysos­to­mos, re­tired Bish­op of the for­mer Metropo­lis of Et­na, and Hieromonk Pat­a­pios al­so served memo­ri­al ser­vices at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery in Et­na, CA.

Mary Beth was the daugh­ter of the founder of the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul, the late Father John Bock­man, of blessed mem­o­ry, and his wife, Pres­bytera Va­lerie.

We ask the cler­gy and faith­ful of the dio­cese im­me­di­ate­ly to re­mem­ber Mary Beth in their prayers and in ser­vices. May her mem­o­ry be eter­nal and may her moth­er, Pres­bytera Va­lerie, her fam­i­ly and friends, and all of the faith­ful at the parish that she sup­port­ed and served be com­fort­ed at this dif­fi­cult mo­ment.

Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη! Me­mory eter­nal!

____ ____


• May 28, 2015:

Archimandrite Akakios Visits
New York Communities

(click image to open)

____ ____


• May 21, 2015:

Appalling and Unlawful Action by the State Church
(New Calendarist) Metropolitan of Chios, Greece

On the oc­ca­sion of the sor­row­ful events at the Monastery of the Holy Fathers in Chios,* His Emi­nence, Metropoli­tan Geron­tios of Pi­raeus and Salamis, press rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Holy Syn­od, is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“It is hor­ri­fy­ing for one to see, in the year 2015, the ju­di­cial and po­lice au­thor­i­ties of a demo­crat­ic coun­try, a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Union, act at the be­hest of the lo­cal Metropoli­tan of the State Church of Greece against a re­li­gious mi­nor­i­ty.

“Even be­fore the re­mains of the ev­er-mem­o­rable Archi­man­drite Am­brose had found rest in the soil of Chios, Metropoli­tan Mark, un­der the pre­text of pre­serv­ing the is­land's cul­tur­al trea­sures, as re­port­ed by the lo­cal me­dia, re­quest­ed the ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties to seal the premis­es of the holy monastery [where Father Am­brose served].

“We won­der on what le­gal grounds the ju­di­cial and po­lice au­thor­i­ties sealed var­i­ous ar­eas of the Monastery, at­tempt­ing even to seal the Holy Al­tar of the cen­tral Church. By what au­thor­i­ty did the Metropoli­tan of the State Church re­quest and gain the as­sis­tance of the civ­il au­thor­i­ties in act­ing against a Monastery which has for a cen­tu­ry be­longed to the Church of the Gen­uine Ortho­dox Chris­tians of Greece?

“Yet again, we Gen­uine Ortho­dox Chris­tians be­hold the Greek State not on­ly re­main­ing in­dif­fer­ent to, but be­com­ing ac­tive agents in, the tram­pling of our re­li­gious free­doms. At a mo­ment when the lo­cal ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal com­mu­ni­ty was mourn­ing the loss of a great ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal fig­ure, at a time when his body was yet un­buried, the State Church Metropoli­tan shame­less­ly at­tempt­ed to seize the Monastery by arous­ing pub­lic sen­ti­ment...sim­ply be­cause he was able to do so.**

“We call up­on the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and the Public Prose­cu­tor of the Supreme Court to un­der­take mea­sures to re­store or­der.

“How long will the Gen­uine Ortho­dox Chris­tians be treat­ed as sec­ond-class cit­i­zens? Must we be­come Moslems in or­der to ex­er­cise our re­li­gious free­dom?”***

* The ref­er­ence, here, is to the re­pose of the pi­ous and revered Ab­bot of the monastery, Archi­man­drite Am­brose (Pso­mias), 57, who died un­ex­pect­ed­ly from a heart at­tack on 14 May 2015 (New Style).
** That is, the Metropoli­tan aroused sus­pi­cion that the monastery might be loot­ed for its "cul­tur­al trea­sures."
*** Where­as tra­di­tion­al­ist Ortho­dox Chris­tians (Old Cal­en­darists) have from time to time, over the past nine decades or so, been per­se­cut­ed and de­prived of their rights through the in­sti­ga­tion of the in­no­vat­ing New Cal­en­darist State Church of Greece, act­ing to force them in­to sub­mis­sion to its gov­ern­ment-sup­port­ed au­thor­i­ty, the grow­ing Moslem pop­u­la­tion in Greece is de­mand­ing and slow­ly en­joy­ing re­li­gious rights and free­dom.

____ ____


• May 17, 2015:

Letter of Congratulations on the Fortieth Anniversary
of the Ordination of Archimandrite Father Alexis

 

Sunday of the Blind Man
4 May 2015 (Old Style)

Archimandrite Alexis and the
Brotherhood of the Monastery
of St. Edward the Martyr
Brookwood, Woking, England

Christ is Risen!

Evlogeite!

I am sor­ry that it was not un­til this morn­ing that we learned of the won­der­ful cel­e­bra­tion to­day, in the pres­ence of Their Graces, Bish­op Am­brose of Methone and Bish­op Sofronie of Sucea­va, of the for­ti­eth an­niver­sary of the Or­di­na­tion of Father Alex­is. On the oc­ca­sion of this most aus­pi­cious event, may we wish you, Father, and your elect broth­er­hood of St. Ed­ward, “Many Years,” hop­ing above all that your in­ter­na­tion­al con­tri­bu­tions to the growth of True Ortho­doxy will con­tin­ue to pro­duce sweet fruits from the tree plant­ed by your in­de­fati­ga­ble work. You, Father, and your loy­al dis­ci­ples serve as a pris­tine ex­am­ple of fi­deli­ty to the Faith that in­spires all of us. On be­half of our monastery and the sis­ter­hood of the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth here in Et­na, as well as the faith­ful of the Dio­cese of Et­na and Port­land,

Least Among Your Brothers,

† Bishop Auxentios of Etna and Portland
† Bishop Chrysostomos, former Metropolitan of Etna
† Archimandrite Akakios, Abbot the St. Gregory Palamas Monastery
and the brotherhood

____ ____


• JUNE Schedule of His Grace, Bishop Auxentios:

His Grace, Bishop Auxentios will be away from the
Monastery in Etna during the following days in June:


  • June 1-4: Pastoral Visit to Seattle, WA
  • June 11-14: Eparchial Synod Meeting in New York City
  • July 11-13: Visit to the Parish of Sts. Peter and Paul, Tucson, Arizona

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• May 6, 2015:

St. Myrtidiotissa, the Ascetic of Kl(e)issoura


(The inscription reads: “Have love [for one another]”; it reflects
the Saint's mispronunciation of the Greek word “ἔχετε,” since
her first language was the Greek dialect of Asia Minor.)

On this day (April 23, ac­cord­ing to the Church Cal­en­dar), we cel­e­brate the Feast of St. Myr­tid­i­o­tis­sa (†1974), the con­tem­po­rary Ascetic of Kl(e)is­soura, a tra­di­tion­al­ly Vlach or Aro­ma­ni­an set­tle­ment in Greek Mace­do­nia. This won­drous as­cetic was ton­sured to the Great Schema by Metropoli­tan Cypri­an of Oro­pos and Phyle, of blessed mem­o­ry, with the name “Myr­tid­i­o­tis­sa.” In a rather in­ap­pro­pri­ate act of ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal pet­ti­ness, when she was en­tered in­to the list of Saints by the Œc­u­meni­cal Pa­tri­ar­chate, rather than ac­knowl­edge the Saint’s ton­sure by an Old Cal­en­darist Pre­late, she was iden­ti­fied as St. “Sophia,” her sec­u­lar name. Nonethe­less, with the lo­cal procla­ma­tion of her sanc­ti­ty at the Holy Monastery of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na in Phyle (Athens), Greece, some years ago, St. Myr­tid­i­o­tis­sa has been cor­rect­ly ven­er­at­ed among the spir­i­tu­al chil­dren of Metropoli­tan Cypri­an and by pi­ous Ortho­dox in Greece and abroad by her monas­tic name.

• A full-length documentary video on the Saint can be found here:
http://www.hsir.org/Publications_en/VideoSeriesC.html

• A short video on the Saint, with short state­ments from her lips, ac­com­pa­nied by the singing of the nuns of the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth the Grand Duchess in Et­na, Cal­i­for­nia, can be found at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2jnWvuYBEA

• A brief com­men­tary on her ton­sure and the re­count­ing of a mir­a­cle of the Saint can be found at:
http://www.hsir.org/pdfs/2012/06/26/E20120626aThay­maMyr­tos6-12.pdf

• See com­ments on the Saint’s ton­sure and a fas­ci­nat­ing dis­cus­sion of her prop­er icono­graph­ic de­pic­tion at:
http://hsir.org/p/y9f

• A Greek-lan­guage video on the holy as­cetic’s life can be found at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2Zn2JDI6rg

• An English life of the Saint is avail­able from the Cen­ter for Tra­di­tion­al­ist Ortho­dox Stud­ies at:
http://www.ctoson­line.org/lives/EM.html

____ ____


• May 5, 2015:

Joint Deliberation Between the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
and the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece

(click image to open)

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• May 4, 2015 (April 21, Old Style):

Hierarchical Visit to the Cathedral Parish of the
Holy Nativity of the Theotokos in Portland, Oregon

(click image to open)

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From the Life of the Holy and Glorious
Hieromartyr Januarius

(click image to open)

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• April 29, 2015:

Baptism in Tucson, Arizona Parish

On the Sun­day of St. Thomas, April 6, 2015 (Old Style), James-David Bell, the in­fant son of James and Anas­ta­sia Bell, was Bap­tized at the Sts. Peter and Paul Mis­sion Par­ish in Tuc­son, Ari­zona.

► Read more...

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• April 27, 2015:

The Enthronement of His Grace,
Bishop Auxentios of Etna and Portland


(click image to open, photographs on pages 2,3, and 4)

Words of His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrios
at the Enthronement Ceremony of His Grace,
Bishop Auxentios of Etna and Portland

(click image to open)

Enthronement Address of His Grace,
Bishop Auxentios of Etna and Portland

(click image to open)

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• April 12 (March 30, Old Style), 2015:

To the Clergy, Faithful, and Friends of the Diocese of Etna and Portland,

We wish all of you a blessed and holy Pascha and continued
joy during Bright Week and the whole of Paschaltide!


Chapel of the St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, Etna, California
Headquarters of the Diocese of Etna and Portland

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• April 6, 2015:

His Grace, Bishop Sergios to serve Paschal
Services in Bakersfield, California

His Grace, the Rt. Rev­erend Ser­gios, Bish­op emer­i­tus of Port­land, will serve the Divine Li­tur­gy for the Res­ur­rec­tion at the Holy Ar­changel Michael com­mu­ni­ty in Bak­ers­field, Cal­i­for­nia, on April 12, 2015. Ser­vices will be­gin with the Mid­night and Res­ur­rec­tion (Anas­ta­sis) Rites at 11:30 p.m., Satur­day evening, fol­lowed by Matins and the Divine Li­tur­gy. Con­sult the web­site of the Holy Ar­changel Michael Ortho­dox Mis­sion for more in­for­ma­tion: http://www.holyarchangel.net

____ ____


• April 5, 2015:

Public Services for Great and Holy Week
and Pascha in Etna, California*

* Lay people are invited to attend services at the monastery,
convent, or parish Church, when indicated, or other-
wise at a specific place, as designated.

  • Great and Holy Wed­nes­day
    • 6:30 a.m., Li­tur­gy of the Pre­sanc­ti­fied Gifts at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery and at the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth.
    • 3:00 p.m., Anoint­ing Ser­vice (Euchelaion) at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery, the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth, and the Church of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na.
    • 6:00 p.m., Matins for Great and Holy Thurs­day at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery, the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth, and the Church of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na.
  • Great and Holy Thurs­day
    • 8:00 a.m., In­sti­tu­tion Li­tur­gy at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery, the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth, and the Church of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na.
    • 6:00 p.m., Matins for Great and Holy Fri­day and the Read­ing of the Twelve Gospels at the Church of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na.
  • Great and Holy Fri­day
    • 8:00 a.m., Roy­al Hours at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery, the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth, and the Church of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na.
    • 3:00 p.m., Ves­pers and the De­po­si­tion from the Cross at the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth.
    • 6:00 p.m., Matins for Great Satur­day and the Epi­taphios Ser­vice at the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth.
  • Great and Holy Satur­day
    • 8:00 a.m., Ves­pers with the Li­tur­gy of St. Basil at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery, the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth, and the Church of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na.
    • 10:00 p.m., Read­ing of the Acts of the Apos­tles at the doors of the Church of the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth (done in shifts by the nuns and se­lect­ed faith­ful).
    • 11:30 p.m., the Mid­night and Res­ur­rec­tion Ser­vices at the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth.
    • 12:00 mid­night, the Res­ur­rec­tion Matins and the Paschal Li­tur­gy at the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth. Visi­tors are in­vit­ed to break the fast with the lay com­mu­ni­ty, im­me­di­ate­ly af­ter the Divine Li­tur­gy, at the home of Read­er Christo­pher Liles (at around 4:00 a.m.).
  • Pascha
    • 1:00 p.m., Paschal Meal for the Et­na lay com­mu­ni­ty at the home of Father David and Pres­bytera Ju­liana Cown­ie.
    • 4:00 p.m., Agape Ves­pers and the Read­ing of the Gospel in Mul­ti­ple Lan­guages at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery.
    • 6:30 p.m., Matins at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery and the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth.

    ____ ____


    • April 4, 2015:

    Paschal Message of the Holy Synod

    (click image to open)

    ____ ____


    • April 3, 2015:

    Deficient Scholarship Regarding the Supposed Acceptability of the
    Celebration of Pascha and the Jewish Passover on a Common
    Date and Scholarly Misunderstandings of the
    Nature of the Church Calendar

    It seems pru­dent, with the ap­proach of Pascha, the Passover of the Lord and the Feast of the Res­ur­rec­tion, to re­pub­lish sev­er­al ar­ti­cles re­gard­ing the Ortho­dox dat­ing of Pascha and the sig­nif­i­cance of the Ju­lian Cal­en­dar, which plays an im­por­tant role in the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the cy­cle of feasts ap­point­ed by the Ortho­dox Church Cal­en­dar, which, in turn, re­volves around the Paschal Feast of Feasts. This is es­pe­cial­ly so as im­pi­ous and, at times, in­ad­e­quate schol­ar­ship, ad­dressed and dis­cred­it­ed in the past, has made its way back in­to ec­u­meni­cal and mod­ernist Ortho­dox cir­cles. We rec­om­mend these ar­ti­cles to all faith­ful Ortho­dox Chris­tians.

    (Click image to open)

    (Click image to open)

    ____ ____


    • April 2, 2015:

    Enthronement of His Grace, Bishop Auxentios

    (click image to open)

    ____ ____


    Repose of Schemamonk Sergius

    (click image to open)

    ____ ____


    • March 14, 2015:

    The Eternal Boundaries of Orthodoxy and the
    “New Ecclesiology” of the Ecumenists

    (click image to open)

    ____ ____


    • March 6, 2015:

    Ecumenism in the Homestretch
    and the Orthodox Witness of a
    Contemporary Saint and Confessor

    (click image to open)

    ____ ____


    • February 25, 2015:

    Α Νote to Our Greek-Speaking
    Clergy and Faithful from the Most Reverend Chrysostomos,
    Former Metropolitan of Etna

    (click image to open)

    ____ ____


    • February 23, 2015:

    A Letter to Mother Elizabeth

    For the ed­i­fi­ca­tion of our read­ers, and as an ap­po­site mes­sage for this first day of the Great Fast, we present the fol­low­ing let­ter, which was sent in both Greek and English to the Abbess of the Con­vent of St. El­iz­a­beth the Grand Duchess in Et­na, California, by Metropoli­tan Cypri­an of Oro­pos and Phyle. His Emi­nence's See is cen­tered at the Holy Monastery of Sts. Cypri­an and Justi­na, in Phyle (out­side Athens), and the Con­vent in Et­na is a meto­chion, or de­pen­den­cy, of the monastery in Phyle. The let­ter was sent in re­sponse to a gift from the con­vent of two CDs about which His Emi­nence had in­quired. They fea­tured Ortho­dox litur­gi­cal hymns and se­lect­ed tra­di­tion­al Na­tiv­i­ty car­ols of west­ern prove­nance, chant­ed and sung by the con­vent choir.

    Note. While the con­vent choir has not is­sued a CD for some years, with the bless­ing of Bish­op Aux­en­tios, it hopes to pro­duce a CD of the Li­tur­gy sung in English, with the Ch­er­oubikon and hymns of the Anapho­ra ren­dered ac­cord­ing to a Slav­ic melod­ic pro­to­type usu­al­ly as­so­ci­at­ed with the hymn “The Noble Joseph.” They al­so hope to pro­duce, un­der the di­rec­tion of the for­mer Metropoli­tan of Et­na, the Most Rev­erend Chrysos­to­mos, se­lec­tions from the Li­tur­gy chant­ed in the First Mode (tone) ac­cord­ing to the ar­range­ment of the blind Athonite chanter, Monk Dositheos of Ka­tounakia (†1991), whose mag­nif­i­cent com­po­si­tions are of­ten used at the St. Gre­go­ry Pala­mas Monastery in Et­na.

    We will make ap­pro­pri­ate an­nounce­ments when these CDs are avail­able.

    (In English, click image to open)

    (In Greek, click image to open)

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    • February 20, 2015:

    Please note that at the bot­tom of the “Menu Scroll,” at left, a new fea­ture has been added: FAQ (“Fre­quent­ly Asked Ques­tions”). This fea­ture will be ex­pand­ed slow­ly, con­tain­ing com­men­taries and ar­ti­cles re­lat­ed to the na­ture, mean­ing, pre­cepts, and prac­tices of the Ortho­dox Church. We hope that they will prove use­ful to our faith­ful and to any vis­i­tors to the web­site.

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    A Letter from Bishop Auxentios

    To the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of Etna and Portland:

    (click image to open)

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    • February 19, 2015:

    Diocesan Assignments

    Presbyter Father Photios Cooper, originally assigned to the Archangel Michael Mission in Bakersfield, California, by His Eminence, Metropolitan Moses of Toronto, has been reassigned as second Priest at the Holy Nativity of the Theotokos Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, by His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrios, locum tenens of the Diocese of Etna and Portland, effective February 22, 2015.

    His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrios has also assigned His Grace, Bishop Sergios, retired Bishop of Portland, as temporary Rector of the Archangel Michael Mission, effective February 22, 2015. Bishop Sergios will continue to serve as Abbot of the Saint Gregory of Sinai Monastery in Lake County, California.

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    • February 12, 2015:

    Inauguration of the New Website of
    the Diocese of Etna and Portland

    Today, as we place the new website of the Diocese of Etna and Portland on line (www.dep.church), is the Feast of the Three Hierarchs (January 30, Old Style), and we therefore invoke the intercessions of these renowned Saints—St. John Chrysostomos, St. Basil the Great, and St. Gregory the Theologian—on the website and the work of the diocese. May this be an auspicious introduction to a period of spiritual growth and enlightenment for all of those associated with our Church and its witness.

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    • February 11, 2015:

    To the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese

    Orthodox Fundamentalism and
    “Enlightened” Ecumenism and New Calendarism

    The rather provoca­tive ar­ti­cle at bot­tom, on “Ortho­dox fun­da­men­tal­ism,” one of many such screeds against us Ortho­dox tra­di­tion­al­ists, is not on­ly un­fair but quite un-Ortho­dox in spir­it. It fol­lows an ec­u­meni­cal agen­dum that our Bish­op Klemes of Gardikion, Sec­re­tary of the Holy Syn­od, com­ments on (im­me­di­ate­ly be­low) in a la­con­ic and very clear way. The con­fronta­tion en­vi­sioned by an “of­fi­cial” Ortho­doxy cre­at­ed and marked by the com­pro­mise of ec­u­meni­cal rel­a­tivism with a “fun­da­men­tal­is­tic” ap­proach to the Church Fathers” is, as usu­al, filled with clichés, load­ed lan­guage, and very lit­tle that one could call pro­found thought (sad for a schol­ar of Pro­fes­sor Dema­copou­los’ abil­i­ties).

    ► Read more...


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    • February 8, 2015:

    Visit to the Tucson, Arizona, Parish

    With the bless­ing of His Emi­nence, Metropoli­tan Demetrios, Locum Te­nens of the Dio­cese of Et­na and Port­land, Father Dr. Chris­tos Patit­sas and his his wife, Pres­bytera Kati­na, vis­it­ed our dioce­san parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tuc­son, Ari­zona, on the week­end of the Sun­day of the Prodi­gal Son.

    ► Read more...


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    • February 1 (January 19, Old Style), 2015:

    A Letter from Bishop Auxentios

    To the Clergy and Faithful of the Newly Established Diocese of Etna and Portland:

    (click image to open)

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    • January 9, 2015:

    The Election of His Grace, the Right Reverend
    Auxentios as Bishop of Etna and Portland*

    Following the retirement of His Eminence, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Etna and His Grace, Bi­shop Ser­gios of Port­land from their pastoral duties on account of ill health, the Holy Synod of the Church of the Ge­nu­ine Or­tho­dox Chri­stians of Greece con­vened an ex­tra­ordinary meeting, under the Pres­idency of His Bea­ti­tude, Arch­bishop Kal­li­ni­kos of Athens and All Greece, on the mor­ning of Thurs­day, Jan­uary 9/22, 2015. After Bi­shop Aux­entios of Pho­tike had ce­le­bra­ted the Di­vine Li­tur­gy at the cha­pel of the “Un­withe­ring Rose” in Piraeus (Athens), in the pre­sence of the ga­thered Hie­rarchs, the Holy Synod pro­ceeded un­animously to elect His Grace to the See of the newly foun­ded Dio­cese of Et­na and Port­land, in con­cord with the sy­no­dal re­gu­la­tions for the elec­tion of Hie­rarchs.

    We wish His Grace, Bishop Auxentios of Etna and Portland spiritual advancement in his new pastoral duties, with spiritual and physical health in his benefactions for the spiritual cultivation of the hospitable land of America.

    His Grace, Bishop Auxentios will be enthroned on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearers, April 13/26, 2015, by His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrius of America.

    * Translated from the Greek-language text on the official
    website of the Holy Metropolis of Attica and Boeotia
    (slightly edited).

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