Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy, the first weekly news show to cover the international Orthodox Church and community.
Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy”, the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church. I’m Emmy Louvaris.
These are the stories making headlines this week:
• May 17th was Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday.
• The 111th annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon’s Monastery is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend.
• China authorizes the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory.
• The First Divine Liturgy in 93 Years was Held in a Historic Greek Orthodox Church in Izmir, Turkey.
Segment 1: News from Around the Globe
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday
The Sixth Sunday of Pascha, May 17th, was designated Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM) Awareness Sunday in all Orthodox parishes across the United States. In this country, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world, the Holy Orthodox Church offers those in jails the Life that gives meaning to all life, and that Life is able to bring healing to a broken humanity. All people should be seen not as they are, but as they could become through the Holy Orthodox Faith.
This vital ministry of the Orthodox Church needs financial assistance to continue its efforts. Although Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday has passed, you can still support this powerful outreach by passing a dedicated offering tray at your church on any given Sunday and sending the collection to OCPM – Post Office Box 1597 – New York, NY 10025. For more information, visit ocpm.org.
Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon’s Monastery
Next up, the 111th annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon’s Monastery is scheduled this Memorial Day Weekend. The healing myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon from Hawaii will be greeted by thousands when it arrives at the St. Tikhon’s Monastery. Monastery spokesman the Very Rev. John Kowalksyk said, “This pilgrimage is the largest gathering of Orthodox Christians in America,” noting that an estimated 5,000 people are expected.
Events start on Friday, and the main liturgy will begin at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Michael of New York celebrating. The icon will be venerated, and pilgrims will be anointed following the service.
Ordination of Orthodox Priests in China Authorized
And next up, the Moscow Patriarchate announces that for the first time in 60 years, the People’s Republic of China has authorized the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests. Metropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s foreign minister, made the announcement after a visit to China, where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. His visit came after President Xi Jinping traveled to Moscow on May 8th. After meetings with Vladimir Putin, Xi met with Patriarch Kirill, who praised Beijing for the value China places on the “role of culture, traditions and the moral factor in shaping the lives of people and individuals.”
The first ethnic Chinese priest is to be ordained and has been slated to serve in Harbin at the Church of the Intercession, which is undergoing restoration and until now has been without a priest. Two more ordinations are expected.
Liturgy Celebrated in Turkish Church after 93 Years
And finally, in the western Turkish province of Izmir, on May 11th, the first Divine Liturgy in 93 years took place at the historic St. Constantine Greek Orthodox Church, celebrated by Patriarch Bartholomew. Along with the town of Menemen’s Mayor, Tahir Şahin, he reopened the church by planting an olive tree and releasing white doves as symbols of Peace.
At this first liturgy to be celebrated since the Turkish army stormed and burned the city in 1922, the Patriarch thanked the municipality as well as the Menemen local government for the renovation of the church. He also said, “The re-opening of St. Constantine Church will add to the already rich culture of Izmir… An indispensable part of the right to religion is the right to worship. We believe that people from all religions should be able to properly perform their worship. Our stance on this issue can be defined as: what we want for the Christian community, we want for the Muslims as well.”
Şahin, who has been mayor for 16 years, said, that “Humanity comes first. The religion, sect, or ethnicity of people is not important for us. We care for humans first. There have to be holy places where people can perform their religious worshipping freely.”
Segment 2. News from OCN
Nominations for the 2015 OCN Hero are being taken through May 31st and the deadline is quickly approaching! Make your submission today of someone who has inspired and helped you on your spiritual journey, someone you consider to be an influential part in your spiritual life.
This month, you have the chance to honor and thank your Orthodox Hero, by nominating them for OCN Hero 2015. Visit myocn.net to make your submission today! The winner of this year’s award will receive a $500 grant to be donated to the non-profit organization of their choice.
20th Anniversary of OCN
And remember, OCN is celebrating 20 years of media ministry, breaking down communication barriers and building up avenues to connect Orthodox Christians worldwide. Be a part of our growth! Visit myocn.net and consider making a contribution that will go directly to mission, not overhead. For just 10 cents a day, you can comfort, inspire, and inform people all over the world. Be a part of the OCN 10 Cent Movement!
That brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy” to a close. For everyone here in our OCN studios, I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s go forth in peace.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+