Archive for the ‘Contributors’ Category

A Request for Donations

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

For the past fifteen years, I have personally subsidized the establishment and growth of Eastern Christian Publications, the Orientale Lumen Conferences, and most recently Orientale Lumen TeleVision.  Last year, at the suggestion of many who responded to our survey for OLTV, I created the Orientale Lumen Foundation to provide a more stable and permanent financial environment for future projects and programs.  The Foundation has been granted 501(c)3 status by the IRS as a charitable and tax exempt organization, so your donations made to the foundation are tax deductible.

There are several projects needing additional funding support right now:

  • Establish a special fund to subsidize some of the travel expenses for 12 students and professors from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome to attend the Orientale Lumen EuroEast III Conference in Constantinople
  • Provide a scholarship fund for students or monastics who wish to attend the Orientale Lumen Conferences in the US
  • Record and edit additional theological lectures for OLTV programs (including ones by Metropolitan Kallistos, Archimandrite Robert Taft, and others)
  • Record and edit the three OL Conferences scheduled for this coming summer to create a large educational library of lectures by our 20 speakers on the conference theme “The Councils of the Church”
  • Convert our most popular recent book, “Finding A Hidden Church” by Father Chris Zugger, into a documentary about the persecution and resurrection of the Greek Catholic Church of Transcarpathia, Ukraine, homeland of the American Byzantine Catholic Church

I urgently ask for your help and support by making a financial donation to the Foundation so that we can continue and expand the valuable programs that I have started.

You can contribute in one of four ways:

  1. Go to our website www.oltv.tv and select the Donations tab on the left side of the screen.  This will provide you a screen to make a donation directly to the Foundation through PayPal.
  2. Go to our website www.olconference.com and click on the text link on the lower right corner of the home page.  Choose the amount you wish to donate, and pay by credit card.
  3. Access the PDF file below, print the donation form, and send with your check or credit card information to our office.
  4. Call our office at 703-691-8862 and make your donation over the phone by credit card

 OL Foundation Donation Form

Any amount will be greatly appreciated.  For donations of $100 or more, we will send you a thank you gift DVD of Metropolitan Kallistos’ lecture at Catholic University in February, 2010 on the status of the Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue.

If you would like to discuss any of our programs further, or an even larger donation, please contact me directly by email at jackfigel@verizon.net.   Thank you for your support!

Orientale Lumen Conferences — Update

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

As fuel prices began to rise in late 2007 and early 2008, it seemed important to make the experience of the OL conferences available to as many people as possible and reduce travel costs for attendees.  So we embarked on a strategy of having more locations for the conference, with the same theme and mostly the same speakers, thus making it one conference in three locations — sort of Trinitarian!

In 2008 the single theme was “Feastdays” and we had wonderful speakers talk about their liturgical, scriptural, and calendar traditions associated with the various feast days of the Church year.  Four of the speakers spoke at all three locations, in Washington, DC for OL XII East, in San Diego, CA for OL XII West, and in Detroit, MI for OL XII North.  The speakers who traveled from place to place included:

  • Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ, Professor Emeritus of the Pontifical Orientale Institute in Rome and the world’s foremost theologian on the Byzantine Liturgy.
  • Father Thomas Loya, pastor of Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church outside of Chicago, IL and host of the syndicated radio program “Light of the East”.
  • Sister Vassa Larin, religious of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and professor at the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
  • Professor Richard Schneider of the Orthodox Church in America, who teaches at York University in Toronto and St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary in New York in the field of “iconology”.

In Washington, we also heard from Father Daniel Findikyan, rector of St. Nerses Armenian Seminary in New York and Professor Shawqi Talia, Chaldean Catholic layman from The Catholic University of America.  In San Diego, Father Maximos Davies from Holy Resurrection Monastery, Romanian Greek Catholic Church, was an additional speaker (we also showed Father Findikyan’s talk by video because he could not travel to California at the time).  In Detroit, we were blessed to hear from Archbishop Nathaniel, of the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America and Bishop Ibrahim of the Chaldean Catholic Church, both local to Detroit.

Father Loya and Professor Schneider gave wonderful talks using icons and slides to demonstrate their points, and all the other speakers presented fascinating information about the liturgical calendar and traditions from their specific Church.  We had a marvelous video recorded talk by Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia entitled “Sacred Time” that was the opening session.  His educational approach is marvelous from which to learn, and his anecdotal stories are always fun to hear.  Even his video presentation received some higher evaluation scores than the live speakers!

Audio CDs and video DVDs of all plenary sessions and liturgical services at each conference are available for purchase from the online catalog at www.olconference.com or by calling the conference office at 703-691-8862.  The hope to make the OL conferences more accessible to more people worked to some extent — we had approximately 60-70 attendees at each location totaling a little over 200, which is more than any single conference in the past.  However, the added cost of having three locations, travel expenses for the speakers, and other costs for three different sites caused a significant financial deficit at each location.  The breakeven point for an OL conference is about 100 paying attendees.

So for 2009, we are going to “downsize” a bit and hold just one conference in Washington, DC at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center on June 15-18, 2009.  We’re sorry that this will not be as convenient for those on the west coast or in the midwest, but for now, we have no other financially viable alternative.  Some have also commented to me that it is better to have just ONE conference that is THE conference for the year so that all attendees can gather together and meet each other rather than be spread around the country in different locations.  Maybe the future will provide a way to do both — we are in discussions with other possible co-sponsors for 2010 to have more venues again.

We are also significantly lowering the price of the basic conference fee to UNDER $200 per person for three days of meetings, including lunch and dinner.  In today’s economic crisis, we are trying to keep the travel costs for speakers to a bare minimum and hope that the lower conference fee will attract more attendees.

 We also hope the theme of “Monastic Spirituality for Every Day Life” and the speakers we are planning will bring back our old friends and attract new persons as well, so please spread the word.  More information and online registration can be found at:

http://www.olconference.com/OL_FutCon_OL_XIII

I look forward to seeing each of you there!