Tag Archives: Eastern Christianity

Vespers and dinner with Melkite Patriarch Joseph Absi

Tonight I was at Great Vespers then dinner at St Ann Melkite Church (Danbury, CT) presided over by His Beatitude, Patriarch Joseph (Absi) with Bishop Nicholas Samra, Archbishop Nicolas Antiba and Fr Michael Skrocki.

About 125 people were in attendance. Several from the Latin Church but others from Eastern Churches including the Ruthenian and Maronite.

The Patriarch spoke of the universality of the Melkite Church. After all, it was in Syria that the followers of Jesus were called Christian.

It was a beautiful evening!

Armenians restore female diaconate

The female diaconate has been restored with the ordination of Ani-Kristi Manvelian, 24, in Tehran as a deacon for parish life who is not a nun.

It is understood as a “restoring” rather than “reinstating” of the Order of Deacon for women. This act is see as a precedent. The ordination happened  at St. Sarkis Church on 25 September 2017 by Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, the Primate of the Diocese of Tehran (Catholicosate of Cilicia).

Archbishop Sarkissian said:

“Today, our Church is confronting the imperative of self-examination and self-critique. It is imperative to rejuvenate the participation of the people in the social, educational and service spheres of the Church. It is our deep conviction that the active participation of women in the life of our Church would allow Armenian women to be involved more enthusiastically and vigorously, and would allow them to be connected and engaged. They would provide dedicated and loving service [to the people]. The deaconess, no doubt, would also be a spiritual and church-dedicated mother, educator, and why not, a model woman through her example. It is with this deep conviction that we are performing this ordination, with the hope that we are neither the first nor the last to do it.”

The narrative of the event was communicated by Hratch Tchilingirian on his blog.

The Armenians have had a tradition of female deacons serving, like the male deacons, at the Altar.

Deaconess  Ani-Kristi Manvelian served the Christmas Eve Liturgy on January 5th. For the Archbishop his act as the head of diocese is “to revitalise the participation of women also in our church’s liturgical life,” adding, “do not be surprised, a woman could also become a servant of the Holy Altar.”

Milan Lach appointed to Parma Eparchy

Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, as Apostolic Administrator for the Eparchy of Parma (OH). He is currently auxiliary bishop of Prešov of the Byzantines, Slovakia.
 
Bishop Milan Lach, S.J. 44, was educated at the Greek Catholic Theological Faculty of Prešov and then in 1995 he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Trnava. As a Jesuit scholastic he earned a degree in theology which led to his being ordained priest in 2001 in Košice.
 
From 2001 to 2003 Lach studied at the Center of Spirituality East-West of Michal Lacko in Košice and later (2009-2011) he was Superior of the same center; he also studied at Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute. Among the other ministries he engaged he was the spiritual father at the Pontifical Collegium Russicum and also as spiritual assistant of the Federation of Scouts of Europe in Rome.
On 19 April 2013, Pope Francis appointed Lach as auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Prešov of the Byzantines, Slovakia. Since 2016 he has been visitor of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches of the Seminaries and Oriental Colleges in Rome.
The Eparchy of Parma has been vacant since Bishop John Kudrick resigned in 2016. The Eparchy cover 12 US states.
Bishop Milan said,
“It’s interesting that my grandfather on my mother’s side, John Zavacky, was born near Chicago, on the territory of the present-day Parma Eparchy, and at age 4 returned with his parents and siblings back to Osturnja in Austria-Hungary, today in Kežmarok district. And so you see, history repeats itself. Just as my great-grandfather went off to the U.S. to find work more than 100 years ago, so will I go there now, so with God’s help I can guide these faithful and be a father to them.”
May Our Lady and St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for Bishop Milan, and us.

Some Patriarchs meet for first time

Today, the first time in history that the Patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, & Alexandria (Greek & Coptic) have been in the same place, same time.‬

St Peter, St Mark and St Paul, pray for us.

May the Theotokos guide us to her Son.

Byzantine New Year 7525

Lord Maker of the UniverseHappy New Year!

September 1st is the Byzantine New Year 7525. Western Christians begin their new liturgical year on the First Sunday of Advent. The Greek Church, today.

Historically, “the First Ecumenical Council established that the Church’s year would begin on September 1st, continuing the practice of the Roman Empire at that time. For centuries, the beginning of the civil year coincided with the Church year, but later changed, first in western Europe, then in Russia in the time of Peter the Great.”

IN the Divine Liturgy we sing the following trope:

O Lord, Maker of the Universe, who alone has power over the seasons and times, bless this year with your bounty. Preserve our country in safety. Keep your people in peace. Through the prayers of the Mother of God, save us. (from the Troparion)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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