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Source: Solia – The Herald by Very Rev. Fr. Antony Bassoline The celebration of the birth of Christ has become the most obvious religious-based public festival of American life. Its arrival in December is prepared for months in advance. It is the one event which generates the most anticipation and to which the most tradition and custom have attached themselves. Individual homes and whole cities dress up for Christmas. In popular sentiment, it has eclipsed the greater feast of the Resurrection, and has completely dwarfed its twin festival, the Epiphany. But how did we get a feast of Christmas? What…

Source: The Vancouver Sun by Douglas Todd Orthodox Archbishop Lazar Puhalo is four days away from completing his annual 40-day Nativity fast. He refrains from meat, eggs, dairy products, anger, envy and other questionable habits during this time to “discipline the soul.” The 73-year-old leader of an Orthodox monastery in a remote corner of the Fraser Valley says of self-denial: “It is an attempt to control what usually controls us.” The hierarch’s fast will end on Christmas Eve – as it does for hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians around the world. Orthodox Christians prefer to refer to that which…

Source: Brooklyn Daily By Colin Mixson THREE HIERARCHS GREEK CHURCH DONATES TO GERRITSEN BEACH A Midwood parish has done its part to prove that the ancient axiom “beware of Greeks bearing gifts” doesn’t ring true. The Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, working with the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas and the Volunteer Fire Department of Bethlehem, Pa., sent a box truck and three Suburbans stuffed with desperately needed supplies to Gerritsen Beach on Dec. 1, a neighborhood that still lacks even the most basic supplies more than a month after it was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. “The whole community…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] The Enthronement of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America will be celebrated at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC, on the weekend of January 26-27, 2012. On Saturday, January 26, the Vigil will be celebrated at 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, January 27, the Divine Liturgy, followed by the Rite of Enthronement, will begin at 9:00 a.m. A banquet will be held at the Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW (at Connecticut Ave.), Washington, DC. A reception will held at 2:00 p.m., followed by dinner in the…

Source: The National Herald by Theodore Kalmoukos NEWTOWN, CT – Archbishop Demetrios of America changed his schedule and instead of making a pastoral visit to the Archangel’s parish in Stamford CT, he went to the neighboring parish of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary in Danbury, close to the area that the massive killings of 20 small children and 6 adults were assassinated by 20 year-old Adam Lanza. Demetrios went to Danbury accompanied by his Chancellor, Bishop Andonios of Fasiane. The Archbishop officiated at the Divine Liturgy and he offered a memorial prayer for the innocent victims. Demetrios said in…

Source: The National Herald by Constantinos E. Scaros This being the week of the “Christmas column,” I was torn between issuing my annual Christmas message and writing about the topic at the forefront of most readers’ minds: the horrific mass pedocide that occurred last week in Connecticut. Keeping in mind that I was midway through a trip to my beloved hometown of Manhattan (I live a considerable distance away these days, in Central Pennsylvania) when the tragedy took place. I pondered that, while visiting family and friends last Wednesday and Thursday, the victims of the Newtown, CT shooting and their…

Source: The Daily Star – Lebanon TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Patriarch John Yaziji was elected Monday as successor to the late Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, who died earlier this month. The appointment came during a closed meeting of 18 Bishops at Balamand monastery, some 85 kilometers north of Beirut. Speaking following his appointment, Yaziji said he will do his best to keep on serving the church and asked the lord to give him strength in doing so. Hazim, who was born in the Syrian town of Maharda in Hama Province, passed away Dec. 5 at the age of 92 in…

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT EFFORT. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME AND REGISTER YOUR SUPPORT. Friends, Are there 25,000 Orthodox Christians in America who are ready to stand up for Orthodox Christians in the Middle East this holiday season? Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) is launching a petition asking President Obama to respond to the fact that religious minorities need protection across the globe, and we need your help. In Turkey alone — which boasts a population of over 75 million — the number of Greek Orthodox Christians has plummeted to just 3,500 because the Turkish government refuses to grant the Greek…

Source: International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — More than 80 representatives of the nation’s Orthodox Christian service organizations joined together at the White House today to discuss strategic service alliances with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The White House Conference on Orthodox Christian Engagement was hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement in conjunction with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and facilitated by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). Present to discuss the role of Orthodox Christians in social outreach, disaster response, and community development in the United…

Source: Order of St. Andrew the Apostle – Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Bronx, NY 12/14/2012 Professor Archon George Demacopoulos and Professor Archon Aristotle Papanikolaou, co-founders of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University, have just been awarded a National Endowment of the Humanities Matching Grant to the tune of $500,000. Even more significant than the amount, is that this is the most prestigious award available for humanities-based scholarship in the United States. Archon Demacopoulos said, “In short, an arm of the Federal Government has decided that Orthodox Christian Studies is a field worthy of significant investment so that…

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