Archive for July, 2007

New Programs on OLTVWEB.COM

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

With God’s help, and lots of hard work over the summer, I am happy to announce a wide range of new programs now available for viewing on OLTVWEB, our first phase for the implementation of an Eastern Christian Television Network. I announced the new website some weeks ago, and our strategic plan for a TV network just recently.

The website continues to grow with new Overview programs, Liturgies and Plenaries from past Orientale Lumen Conferences, and video that I personally shot during the visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople last November — called the “Papal Journey 2006”.

The programs now available to watch include the following (each program is divided into multiple 8-10 minute clips for easy viewing — you can watch one or two and then come back to the program at a later time and watch the remaining clips without having to start over again):

Introduction to OLTV (3 clips)
Introduction to OL Liturgies (3 clips)
Tenth Anniversary Greetings (8 clips)
OL EuroEast I Sampler (3 clips)

Plenary I: Patriarch Gregorios (8 clips)
Plenary II: Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia (10 clips)
Plenary III: Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ (4 clips)
Plenary IV: Father Raymond Collins (9 clips)
Plenary V: Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos (9 clips)
Plenary VI: Metropolitan Emmanuel of France (10 clips)

OL III: Orthodox Divine Liturgy (14 clips)
OL V: Orthodox Divine Liturgy (14 clips)
OL IX West: Maronite Divine Liturgy (6 clips)
OL EuroEast I: Catholic Divine Liturgy (10 clips)
OL EuroEast I: Orthodox Divine Liturgy (8 clips)

OL III: Moleben to the Holy Spirit (5 clips)

OL V: Akathist to the Mother of God (5 clips)

OL V: Coptic Orthodox Vespers (8 clips)
OL VI: Melkite Vespers (5 clips)

OL III: Paraklisis (6 clips)

Papal Journey Sampler
Doxology and Vespers
Matins and Divine Liturgy

All of these videos can be viewed on the website at NO CHARGE! Just please register your name, email and mailing address so we can contact you in the future with other new and exciting information about OLTV.

Please give us your feedback about these video programs and what others you would like to see in the future. We’ll be releasing more online videos from previous OL conferences and other Eastern Church events in the future on OLTVWEB!

Interview about Orientale Lumen Conferences

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

The online magazine of Paulist Press, The Catholic World, has just published this past week an extensive interview with Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos and myself concerning the Orientale Lumen Conferences.

 The questions we were asked caused me to think about some of our significant accomplishments and highlights of our ten-year history.  It was actually fun answering the questions.  The interviewer, Father Paul Robichaud, asked some great questions and edited our more wordy answers into nice, concise replies.

I recommend the interview to everyone.  It gives a great summary of what the Orientale Lumen Conferences are, have been and will be!

You can find it at:  It is featured on the front page of the July-August issue.  Thanks to Father Paul and The Catholic World for publishing it!

Announcing Orientale Lumen TeleVision

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Do you love your eastern Christian tradition so much that you wish you could share it with the whole world?  Soon, you might be able to do that.

With God’s help, at some point in the future, there will be a television network where the splendors of the Eastern Church will be available for all to see.  But right now, there is a website that does the same.  The website is

You can access that website at any hour of the day or night, from any place in the world, and immediately re-live past Orientale Lumen conferences. You will find complete plenary session speeches, and filmed liturgies from past conferences, along with some introductory material. 

The website is Phase I of what, with God’s help, will be a four phase effort to share the glories of the Eastern Church with the whole world through the wonder of modern technology.  Phase II of this project will include the addition of more programs to the website — and fundraising for future Phases.  Phase III will develop additional programming and produce broadcast-quality material that can be aired on existing public service or cable network stations such as Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).  We hope that Phase IV will be a modest satellite network for prime-time programs through a cable and/or satellite television station of our own.

Is this ambitious?  You might say so.  But it is not the effort of man, but of the Holy Spirit. I have no rigid time frame for anything except Phases I and II. Phase I is well underway, and Phase II will continue for the rest of this year and into next.

None of this was my idea!  Last year, during the Tenth Anniversary Orientale Lumen Conference in Washington, DC, I was driving His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III (head of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and All the East) to the airport.  Along the way, we got to brainstorming about a number of topics.

Our conversation turned to the need for a modern media outlet to provide eastern Christian audio and visual programming.  We arrived at the name “Orientale Lumen Television” – or just OLTV.  We agreed to pursue these ideas and that the whole project would be under his personal patronage.

And so it is.  We are starting very small.  Right now, I have just two graduate students, Mark Mourachian and Andrew Hayes, and the family of Mark Northrop, who has recorded all the OL conferences since number III in 1998, working part-time on this project.   They edit and prepare the video footage from previous conferences into suitable length for website viewing.  I also have a webmaster, Taylor Johnson, who designs and programs the website for video viewing on an inexpensive web-hosting service.  As the amount of material grows, and hopefully the number of viewers, we will move to a hosting service that specializes in video streaming and multi-media.

If I could afford it, I would like to hire them all full-time, and the project could move faster.  But we do what we can with the resources we have.

I will keep you informed through Jack’s Corner as new material becomes available online.  And I will keep you informed as the project develops.

In the meantime, I ask your prayers, for God’s blessing upon this work.

Announcing Reprint of a Greek-English Divine Liturgy Book

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

I’m happy to announce a new book from Eastern Christian Publications.  Here are further details from the Introduction by the editors, Archimandrite Serge Keleher and myself:

“Eastern Christian Publications takes pride in presenting a long-overdue reprint of J. N. W. Robertson’s 1894 Greek-English service book.  The book is actually a Greek Ieratikon with a parallel English translation – and it is perhaps the most complete edition of the Ieratikon that we have found.

Judging by the size of the 1894 edition, Robertson meant his book to be used by English-speaking visitors to Greek churches, probably while they were in Greece or in Asia Minor. It still serves that purpose – we have used it quite conveniently during services in Athens and in Constantinople, and been grateful for the small size, given today’s strict baggage rules.

We expect that most of the book’s readers will want it because they wish to study the present Greek edition in as complete a form as possible and, while they have some knowledge of Greek, they need the parallel English translation as well.  To that end, we have enlarged the book in this reprint.

Robertson’s translation is of value because it appears parallel to the Greek, and thus facilitates using the Greek for scholarly work. We’re not reprinting this book because we think that the English translation is a perfect standard, or because we wish to encourage anyone to use that translation for liturgical purposes.

During the twentieth century many more English translations were produced, and at least in some cases translators built upon the heritage of earlier translators.  Some newer translations have been developed, particularly in the light of research such as that of Father Archimandrite Robert Taft and others.

However, we have noticed with considerable interest that some translations still in quasi-official use in some jurisdictions have clearly referred to Robertson’s translation, although without giving him or his work the appropriate credit. Even though Robertson is long dead, that rather grieves us.  Robertson is still entitled to the recognition due to a leading pioneer in the field.

In 1894, the book was printed with no Table of Contents, so the reader had to approach the book in the hope that the injunction “seek and ye shall find” would prove true in this instance. We have added (in English only) a complete Table of Contents, both for ease in reference and to show the rich content of the book.

Since this book first came to our attention, we have wanted to reprint it, because we believe that English-speakers with a serious interest in the liturgical tradition of Constantinople will find it valuable. Now that this reprint has been accomplished through computerized technology, it gives us joy, which we hope that you will share.”

The book is available now at Its price is $75.00.  Call 703-691-8862 to place an order, or e-mail  Surface mail should be directed to:

Eastern Christian Publications, Post Office Box 146, Fairfax, Virginia 22038-0146, USA.