Archive for September, 2009

New Ukrainian Catholic Bishop for Great Britain

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

I was honored to be present for the installation of Bishop Hlib Lonchyna as the Apostolic Administrator of the Ukrainian Catholic Exarchate in the UK today, September 27, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the Julian Calendar.  Bishop Hlib is a longtime friend, having attended both previous Orientale Lumen Conferences in Constantinople and as a plenary speaker at OL XIII in Washington this past spring.Presiding at the Divine Liturgy was His Beatitude, Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from Kiev, His Excellency Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, the Apostolic Nuncio of England, and His Excellency Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference in the UK.

The Cathedral of the The procession of priests and bishops escorted the new bishop into the church where he began the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy from chairs placed in the front.  The entire liturgy was in Ukrainian, but a local Melkite deacon performed the incensing as usual while the priests said the various litanies and other diaconal parts.

Cardinal Husar delivered a homily in Ukrainian, but welcomed the Roman Catholic guests in English.  Even with four bishops distributing Holy Communion, the entire crowd seemed to come forward and it lasted 20 minutes.

At the conclusion of the liturgy, the Apostolic Nuncio read the Papal Bull appointing Bishop Hlib as Apostolic Administrator, and Cardinal Husar led the new bishop to his throne, installing him with his staff as leader of the local community.

The Ukrainian Catholic communities in Great Britain, as in many parts of Europe, are experiencing yet another wave of immigration and growth. When I attended this same cathedral in the late 1980’s when I lived in the UK for three years, there were barely 50 people at Sunday liturgy.  The cathedral rector now reports the church filled for two services every Sunday – and the church seats about 500 on the main level.  There were probably 800-900 at this special celebration.

Eis polla eti Despota!  Mnohaja L’ita Vladyko!  Many years to Bishop Hilb!

Adult Enrichment Programs for Parish Groups

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Orientale Lumen TeleVision (OLTV) has packaged several programs of adult enrichment video and audio recordings to provide exciting opportunities for a parish to conduct a series of lectures and group discussions.

Each package consists of 6-10 lectures by noted theologians in 30-40 minute sessions.  They would be perfect for a weekly series during the preparation time for Christmas (known as either Advent or Philip’s Fast – Philipovka) or for the Great Fast leading up to Pascha.  Each group meeting could begin with a short intro by the pastor and then watching the video.  After a short break, the group then can discuss what they heard and how they reacted to the presentation of the speaker.  In this way, leading theologians are available directly for parochial education as never before.  These programs could also be used for a day of recollection, or as an entire program for lay or clergy retreats over several days.

The programs immediately available include:

Mystical Theology of the Church Fathers by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) – unpublished lectures from a course taught at Oxford University on several Fathers of the Church and their teachings about spirituality.

History of Liturgy by Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ – unpublished essays and speeches by the foremost expert on Byzantine Liturgy on various historical aspects of Liturgy and prayer in the Byzantine tradition.

Spirituality of Liturgy by Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ – unpublished essays and speeches by the foremost expert on Byzantine Liturgy on various spiritual aspects of Liturgy and prayer in the Byzantine tradition.

Theology of Liturgy by Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ – unpublished essays and speeches by the foremost expert on Byzantine Liturgy on various theological aspects of Liturgy and prayer in the Byzantine tradition.

Involuntary Sin by Father Maximos of Holy Resurrection Monastery – reflections on the general concept of sin, how selected Fathers of the Church viewed sin, and specific examples of “involuntary sin”, for which we ask forgiveness during the Divine Liturgy.

Plenary sessions from the last three Orientale Lumen Conferences are also available to use in the same way:

Orientale Lumen XI – Icons:  Expressions of our Faith
Orientale Lumen XII – Feastdays of the Eastern Churches
Orientale Lumen XIII – Monastic Spirituality for Every Day Life

Future programs will feature additional talks on other topics including church ecclesiology and iconology, the theology of icons, etc.

We are also converting several of our most popular books into audio and video media where the authors read their texts.  These include books by Archimandrite Robert Taft, Father Lawrence Cross, and Father Justin Rose.

You can view samples of these various programs at:  www.oltv.tv.
You can purchase these programs as a package or individually at:  www.olconference.com.

New Website Up and Running

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

As announced a few weeks ago, and based on input from over 100 responses to our online survey, I am pleased to announce that OLTV has a new home with improved technology and more than double the content of our previous site.

The new site has a new address and is:  www.oltv.tv.  It’s available FREE of CHARGE – but we are asking for donations to the OL Foundation, which are tax deductible, to help support and continue to provide this ministry to the entire Church – Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Oriental Orthodox.

We have designed a new user interface and made the menu navigation simpler than before.  There is no longer a need to register to view the content, but we ask that you do, so that we can keep you informed of updates in the future.  Watching the videos should be easier and faster because we have moved all of the shows to a comprehensive video streaming website that automatically detects the best quality and speed to display on your computer.

Finally, we now have over 50 hours of programs numbering over 600 clips for you to watch.  Most programs are available in their entirety, but when there is a series of programs that are related, we include the first one completely and have “samplers” of the rest of the series online.  If you like the series, we ask you to purchase the remaining shows on DVD so we can generate some revenue to pay for the maintenance of the site and so we can afford to create more programs for OLTV in the future.

The programs are organized into five categories:

  • Orientale Lumen Plenary sessions:  selected presentations from past OL conferences on various topics
  • Orientale Lumen Liturgies:  selected liturgical services from past OL conferences that include mostly Divine Liturgies, but also other services such as Moleben, Akathist and Vespers
  • Theological Lectures:  presentations recorded exclusively for OLTV on various topics by leading theologians such as Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia and Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ
  • Audio/Video Books:  we are converting several of our most popular books into audio and video formats wherein the author reads the text of the book so you can purchase a CD for your car or office, or the DVD series to use for Adult Enrichment in your parish
  • Special Events:  a wide range of liturgical services at special Eastern Church events around the world in English, Church Slavonic, Greek and Arabic.

More programs are planned and will be made available as they are completed.  All OLTV programs are available to purchase in either DVD or CD format for personal or parish use from the online catalog at www.olconference.com.

Go have a look at the site and let us know what you think!  Also, if you like what you see, please consider giving a donation to help keep OLTV up and running, and “on the air”!