Archive for June, 2009

Anniversary in Parma Eparchy

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Over the weekend of June 26-28, the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma held a 40th Anniversary celebration on the grounds of the cathedral and chancery office near Cleveland.  We were invited to have a book and media display during the event to add to the other displays of historical items, educational material, and parish booths.

All during the weekend, prayer services were held almost every hour or so including Divine Liturgies, Vespers and Matins, the Hours, Akathists, Molebens, etc.  The highlight was an outdoor Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Bishop John Kudrick as the main celebrant and other Byzantine Catholic and Roman Catholic bishops concelebrating.  Metropolitan Basil Schott presided along with two other retired local Roman Catholic bishops, and Metropolitan Nicholas of Johnstown was seated in a place of honor in front of the iconostasis.  I estimate over 750 people attended the liturgy in glorious weather, but protected from the sun be a huge circus-like tent!

Several choirs participated by singing the responses for the various services, along with cantors from parishes throughout the eparchy.  One complete Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Church Slavonic.

 We had a constant flow of visitors to our display, and a great deal of interest particularly in our children’s prayer booklets and icon coloring books, and in the DVD recordings of Metropolitan Kallistos on the Church Fathers and Archimandrite Robert Taft on various aspects of Liturgy, including History, Theology and Spirituality themes.  One pastor bought an entire set of these two world-renowned theologians, numbering 30 DVDs, and intends to use them for adult education programs at his parish.

It was also great to see many familiar faces and to meet new friends in the Byzantine Catholic world.  I sincerely congratulat Bishop John and the clergy and workers of the Eparchy of Parma for hosting such a great event.

Highlights from OL XIII

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Although this is posted late, I thought I should just give some bulleted highlights of the OL conference held in Washington on June 15-18:

— Over 100 participants registered for the conference and we filled the Retreat House next door (sleeping accommodations) to overflowing their capacity.

— There was a significantly larger Orthodox presence this year than in the past, probably because of the extensive involvement of Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA.

— With our 150+ books from Eastern Christian Publications, and now 100+ video/audio recordings from OLTV, we hade eight tables of material on display for sale along with three tall dispaly racks of DVDs.

— The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center brought out some special items from the museum collection including items presented to the pope by various Eastern patriarchs, making a special display during the conference.

— Metropolitan Jonah served a complete Orthodox Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in his cathedral see of Saint Nicholas on Massachusetts Avenue (near the VP’s residence) with a dozen or so priests, deacons, subdeacons and a schola from the Cathedral choir.  Bishop Hlib Lonchyna was seated in a place of honor at the iconostasis.

— Bishop Hlib Lonchyna served a Catholic Divine Liturgy in the Ukrainian National Shrine of the Holy Family near the JP II Center with Metropolitan Jonah seated in a place of honor at the iconostasis.

— All the speakers received very high marks for their presentations, some even ranking them as 20 on a scale of 1-10!

— The theme on spirituality seemed to “hit home” for quite a number of participants who commented how much they learned and experienced during the conference.

— The only complaints we received were that the plenary hall was sometimes too cold, and not enough “fasting” food on the menu, both of which we hope to improve on for the future.

All in all, it was another great conference, and if you missed it, audio and video recordings of all the plenary sessions and prayer services will soon be available to buy online at www.olconference.com/OL-browse.html.

Last Minute Details

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

With the upcoming Orientale Lumen XIII Conference starting on Monday, things have been pretty hectic taking care of last minute details, and getting everything ready.  Plus, ongoing book publishing, Sunday bulletin production, video editing and duplicating, and my “day job” doing computer consulting continues as usual.  On top of all that, three seminarians from the Blessed Theodore Romzha Theological Academy in Uzhorod, Ukraine arrived 10 days ago to work for two months this summer learning English and helping with various projects, including the OL conference.  So life is busier than usual.

Everything is in place for the OL conference. We have nearly 100 people registered to attend with a few more even at the last minute.  For daily attendance, or as long as you don’t need a room to sleep, we’ll even accept people “walking in the door.”  Registration takes place from 2-6 pm next Monday with our first events that evening.

Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will serve an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral on Tuesday morning at 8:30 am.  That afternoon at 5 pm, we will have Daily Vespers in Church Slavonic in the Rotunda entrance at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center with the responses led by the seminarians from Ukraine.  Metropolitan Jonah will then give his plenary talk at 7 pm that same evening in the auditorium of the Cultural Center.  All three events are free and open to the public.

Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, recently appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Exarchate of Great Britan will give his plenary talk at 11 am Tuesday morning, and will serve a Divine Liturgy at the Ukrainian National Shrine on Wednesday morning.  Metropolitan Jonah will attend this liturgy, while Bishop Hlib will attend the Orthodox Liturgy on Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening, chartered buses will take the group to Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Fairfax, VA for Vespers in their native language, and a dinner of Egyptian foods.

I’ll be making nametags this week, preparing books and media for our sales display. and preparing the icon gifts for all the speakers — our thematic icon of the Transfiguration.  A limited quantity of the same icon will also be available to purchase by attendees during the conference.  We will also have several new books available including Finding A Hidden Church by Father Chris Zugger and Good News from the East, Volumes III and IV by Father John Zeyack.  Both authors will be attending the conference and be available for book signing.

Audio and video recordings of all the plenary sessions and liturgical services will be made and copies can be purchased from the OL Conference website online catalog after the conference.  So if you can’t make the conference in person, you can still enjoy the events that will take place next week.

For more details, check out the conference website at:  www.olconference.com/OL_FutCon_OL_XIII