Archive for November, 2009

Feast of Saint Andrew at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary

Monday, November 30th, 2009

This afternoon, an annual event took place in the large chapel of Mount Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Seminary and University in Emmitsburg, MD. A Byzantine Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Father Lee Gross, Dean of Students and Professor of Liturgy, with concelebrants Father John Basarab, pastor of Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church in Annandale, VA, Father Conan Timoney, pastor of Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church in Baltimore, MD, Father Leonard Martin, SJ, Administrator of Saint Ann Byzantine Catholic Church in Harrisburg, PA, and Msgr. George Dobes, retired Navy Chaplain and assistant at Epiphany Church in Annandale. A dozen Roman Catholic faculty members also concelebrated. For the first time Bishop William Skurla of the Eparchy of Passaic presided, with Deacons Elmer Pekarik and Gerald McDonnell serving. I served as Lector and chanted the Epistle reading.

Father Lee holds bi-ritual faculties allowing him to serve in both the Latin Rite and the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church, and he schedules this Divine Liturgy on the Feast of Saint Andrew every year. The church was filled with over 150 seminarians, students, faculty and other local faithful. A schola of the seminary choir has learned the Carpathian Chant music in English and leads the singing of the congregation.

This annual special liturgy provides exposure and education to the seminarians in the Byzantine Liturgy and demonstrates the Eastern traditions of the Catholic Church.

Also this year, OLTV recorded the liturgy and after editing the results may appear on our website sometime in the future at

Christmas Discounts

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

To encourage using them as Christmas gifts, OLTV is offering many of our Adult Enrichment and Christmas recordings – the Uzhorod Seminary Choir and a Pilgrimage to Eastern Europe for a week of Christmas Liturgies – for 20-50% discount.  Individual CDs are now priced at $8.00 and individual DVDs at $15.00.  Packages of multiple discs are being offered at 50% discount from normal prices. 

These reduced prices are effective only through December 31, 2009, so hurry to buy your gifts!

Special OLTV Events

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Several special events were recorded by OLTV during the second half of 2009 and will be appearing soon on the OLTV website, and available as CD or DVD recordings.  They include:

  • A Weekend at a Monastery – the various liturgical services (Vespers, Matins, Liturgy) at Holy Resurrection Monastery, temporarily located at the Benedictine Monastery in Valljermo, California in the high desert above Los Angeles.
  • Holy Transfiguration Feast – the Festal Divine Liturgy at St. Philip the Apostle Melkite Greek Catholic Mission in San Bernardino, CA with Father Justin Rose, and the Festal Divine Liturgy at St. Andrew Russian Catholic Church in El Segundo, CA with Father Alexei Smith.
  • Episcopal Enthronement Divine Liturgy – the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Enthronement of Bishop Hlib Lonchyna as the Apostolic Administrator of the Ukrainian Catholic Exarchate of Great Britain, filmed in the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile, London, England.
  • Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God (Pokrov) – from the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople, the festal Divine Liturgy from the church where the vision of Mary established this feast day.
  • Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint George – the Sunday Divine Liturgy with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presiding.

After the Sunday liturgy in Constantinople, I met privately (one on one) with His All Holiness to finalize plans for next summer’s Orientale Lumen EuroEast III Conference and then I was invited to join him for lunch.

Adult Enrichment Packages

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Based on our success with the lecture programs of Metropolitan Kallistos and Archimandrite Robert Taft, OLTV is undertaking several other new video programs.  Some are theological lectures while others are converting our most popular educational books into CD and DVD media.  The new programs can serve as a wonderful parish retreat during Lent and include the following:

  • Involuntary Sin:  Reflections on the Fathers. Seven lectures by Father Maximos of Holy Resurrection Monastery on involuntary sin and reflections on St Augustine, St Maximos the Confessor, St Dionysius, St John of Damascus, and some practical applications of Eastern Christian teaching.
  • Liturgy:  Icon of Prayer – Model for Life. This series of recordings are the spiritual reflections of Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ, for a retreat of seminarians he recently directed.

Investiture as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Earlier in the year, I received a letter of congratulations from the Middle Atlantic Lieutenant of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem that I had been nominated to become a Knight of this ancient Papal organization.  Dating from the 11th century, the order protects pilgrims to Jerusalem and in today’s world promotes spiritual and financial support to Christians living in the Holy Land.

The investiture process took place over the last two days.  First, the new knights and ladies who were being invested gathered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington for an educational session on Friday morning to learn about the history of the order and its current activities around the world.  Then we were bussed across town for a short afternoon pilgrimage to the Franciscan Monastery in northeast Washington where various sites from the Holy Land are replicated inside the church.  That afternoon we attended Vespers in St Matthew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.

On Saturday morning, a business meeting was held for all local members and other visitors from around the US and from Rome.  One of the keynote speakers was Archimandrite Robert Stern, Executive Director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association in New York which provides a great deal of financial support to Christians in the Middle East.  After lunch we then “dressed up” in WHITE tie and TAILS, gloves and all, for the formal Investiture Mass in the Cathedral with Cardinal John Foley, Grand Master of the Order from Rome, presiding.  Both retired Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore and Cardinal McCarrick of Washington attended, and greeted me as I was “dubbed” by Cardinal Foley during the ceremony.

A huge reception and grand banquet followed in the hotel, all of us dressed up in tuxedos and long gowns.  It was a great honor to be invested KHS, the most prestigious of my other knighthoods – Knight of Saint Catherine of Sinai, Knight of Cyril and Methodius, and Knight of the Patriarchal Order of the Holy Cross under the protection of His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorious III of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.