This Week in Orthodoxy, September 18, 2015

This Week in Orthodoxy, September 18, 2015


September 18, 2015

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 some of the stories making headlines this week:

  • St. Tikhon’s Seminary Fall Lecture Series is coming up in October
  • St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Monastery in Egypt is Shut Down
  • Mmandatory Evacuations are Ordered for Monastery and Saint Nicholas Ranch in California

Saint Tikhon’s Seminary

 First up, The annual October Fall Lecture Series at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary will focus on “How to Expand the Mission” as a continuation of discussions initiated at the 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America. The series is open to the public and features four lectures on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. throughout the month of October.

Dean of STOTS said,  “We hope this year’s lecture series will continue to inspire prayerful reflection on what it means to actually be ‘for the life of the world and its salvation’ in this day and age.”

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Constantine Kallaur who will discuss times in recent history when the Orthodox Church in North America exemplified missionary calling.
  • Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki will share his experience as the pastor of a growing mission parish.
  • Abbot Tryphon, will provide a spiritual perspective on expanding the mission and discuss ways to engage modern-day culture while remaining faithful to the Gospel.
  • Archpriest Daniel Kovalak will reflect on the ideas raised by the previous speakers and present insights into the next steps in expanding the mission of the Orthodox Church in the North American context.

For more general information on this lecture series log on to or if you’re interested in attending RSVP by October 5, to Teresa Vaux-Michel, at 570-561-1818 ext. 101, or email her at

St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Monastery in Egypt is Shut Down

And next up from Central California, Fires caused by a lightning strike the end of July,  have pushed through nearly 120,000 acres. Over 2,200 firefighters have been battling the flames with only 30% containment. Located directly in the fires path and in the immediate area of danger, are the Saint Nicholas Ranch and the Monastery of the Theotokos. As of Friday, September 11, both have been ordered to evacuate the premises. “This is a very serious situation and we are grateful for the valiant efforts of the firefighters who are putting themselves in the path of danger for the safety of all,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos. “We know that our prayers are being heard by the Lord, and we will continue to beseech Him that calm will come over the land, water will pour forth from the sky, and no further destruction will occur.” The Monastery and Ranch facilities remain closed to the public until the fire situation is under control.

St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Monastery in Egypt is Shut Down

And NEXT up the Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine at Sinai city, in Egypt has been shut down by authorities fearing a terrorism attack. Located beneath the Mount of the Decalogue, where it is said, God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush, it is the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery, with a history that can be traced back over seventeen centuries. Part of a flourishing local economy, the monastery offers job positions for numerous people, employing  400 workers at its olive groves, grape and honey bee farms and several processing facilities.  When Egyptian authorities decided the monastery’s complete shutdown was necessary, the beginning of August, locals were left struggling.  “Everyone is out of business since the monastery’s shutdown. The lodges, the camel stables, the safari guides and even the supermarkets and restaurants,” said Sheikh Mousa al-Jebaly, the founder of a local Lodge, according to Al Monitor.

“If a foreigner appears in town now, it’s those living in the beach towns on the southern shore. They are not tourists, and they don’t stay or shop in town.” St. Catherine’s Monastery has been shut down two times over the past 50 years. Once “in 1977 when former President Anwar Sadat made his historic visit to Jerusalem, and the other in 1982 when Egyptian military entered Sinai after the withdrawal of Israeli forces.”  The most recent shutdown was not explained by the local authorities, however, it allegedly took place when a monk traveling in South Sinai was almost kidnapped leading authorities to suspect a possible attack on St. Catherine’s monastery.

– See more at:

And a quick note: The Inauguration of the 21st President of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, our  very own, The Very Reverend Christopher T. Metropulos, will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 2:00 PM

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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.


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About author

Emmy Louvaris

Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy, the first weekly news show to cover the international Orthodox Church and community.