This Week in Orthodoxy, February 5, 2016

This Week in Orthodoxy, February 5, 2016


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 some of the stories making headlines this week.

  1. A Change of venue to the island of Crete in Greece for upcoming HOLY AND GREAT SYNOD of the Orthodox Christian churches in June 2016
  2. Greek Archdiocese Mourns the loss of Father John Romas, Parish Priest of St. Nicholas Greek Church in Manhattan
  3. The first Atlas of America’s Orthodox Christian monasteries is released this month
  4. Students from Thessaloniki Visit Hellenic College Holy Cross

HOLY AND GREAT SYNOD of the Orthodox Christian churches in June 2016

First up, The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will meet in June this year on the island of Crete in Greece and not at the Phanar in Constantinople as previously scheduled back in March of 2014. The decision made at the Synaxis in Geneva last month, was dictated by the recent Russian-Turkish crisis which basically would prevent the Moscow Patriarch and his delegation from visiting the City.

That is also why this Synaxis of Primates was meeting in Geneva and not in the Phanar, as originally planned.

Eleven of the fourteen Primates, with their delegations continued the work of the Synaxis through Jan. 28th determining the themes to be discussed in June which will include the following ten topics:

  1. The Orthodox Diaspora.
  2. The manner in which Autocephaly is assigned.
  3. The manner of the administration of Autonomy in semi-independent Churches within the limits of Autocephalous Churches.
  4. The Diptychs: the order of the Autocephalous Churches.
  5. The issue of a common Calendar
  6. Canonical marriage impediments, especially in the case of Inter-Christian marriages.
  7. Fasting.
  8. The relationship of the Orthodox Churches with the rest of the Christian world.
  9. Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Movement.
  10. The contribution of local Orthodox Churches in the prevalence of Christian ideals of peace, freedom, brotherhood and love among people and removing racial and other discrimination.

Eight of the ten topics have been approved by Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conferences, while the two concerning Autocephaly and the Diptychs have not as of yet.

In his introductory speech at the opening session of the Synaxis in Geneva, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, stressed that “the great responsibility belongs to us now, without further delay, to convert this vision [of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church] into a reality.

Greek Archdiocese Mourns the loss of Father John Romas

Next up from NEW YORK – Father John Romas, priest of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Manhattan fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, January 24th shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Greece in 1929, he completed his education at the school of Mechanics in Athens, arrived in the United States in 1952, marrying his wife Lorraine later that year, and then returning to Greece where he followed his calling later on in life becoming ordained a deacon and presbyter in 1984. After returning to the US in 1987, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos assigned Fr John  as the Proistamenos of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan.

Father John served the St. Nicholas community in Manhattan  until the devastating 9/11 terrorist attack and its destruction.

A priest for almost 32 years, he served with zeal and dedication, and indeed was the heart and soul of the St. Nicholas Church, especially after it was destroyed.

Laboring tirelessly for its rebuilding and anxiously awaiting the completion of its reconstruction, he took much pride in the designation of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church as a National Shrine of the Archdiocese.

A compassionate and kind man with a gentle soul, Father truly loved his Church, his parishioners, and his beloved Presvytera of 64 years who survives him.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in memory of Father John to the St. Nicholas Rebuilding Fund or for the St. Nicholas kouvouklion used for the Good Friday Epitaphios.

The first Atlas of America’s Orthodox Christian Monasteries

And next up, The first-ever Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries make its debut this month.

Edited by Alexei Krindatch, Research Coordinator for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Christian Bishops of the USA, the 150-page volume is available on-line from the Greek Archdiocese Holy Cross Bookstore.

Drawing on his extensive research, as well as fascinating stories and insider anecdotes, Mr. Krindatch offers readers a scholarly introduction into traditions of Eastern Christian monasticism and a history of Orthodox Christian monasteries in America.  It also features a comprehensive directory of nearly 80 monasteries across America and an enticing travel guide for those seeking to visit them and to sample monastic life.  Also featured are the personal stories of 23 monasteries that provide a glimpse into the surprising spiritual appeal of monastic life in 21st century America.

Accompanied by four sets of color maps and over 100 photographs depicting the monasteries’ everyday life, “This is a fascinating and comprehensive guide to a small but important sector of American religious life,” said Nancy T. Ammerman, Ph. D., Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University.

“Whether you want to know about the history and theology of Orthodox Christian monasticism or you just want to know what to expect if you visit, the stories, maps, and directories here are invaluable.”

To order the atlas online, visit

Students from Thessaloniki Visit Hellenic College Holy Cross

And Lastly, Students from Peiramatiko-Thessaloniki High School Visit the Hellenic College Holy Cross campus in Brookline MA.

Seventeen high school students and two teacher-chaperones from the Peiramatiko-Thessaloniki High School  visited Hellenic College Holy Cross on Thursday, January 28. The High school is the alma mater of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.

Students traveled to the US to compete in the International Model UN Competition sponsored by Harvard University. They represented one of three teams from Greece, the only Greek state run school, teams from over 100 countries participated.

Arranged by Prof. Antigoni Papadimitriou, Hellenic College’s Management and Leadership Program Director, the students took a tour of the campus, enjoyed lunch and learned about the many educational opportunities available at HCHC.

News from OCN

Spark is the latest downloadable OCN app that allows you to take action!

An Orthodox Christian News Portal, OCN Spark provides information about events going on in the Orthodox Christian World and persecuted Christians everywhere. The App makes it easy to share news and articles with friends and allows you to make prayer requests for those who are suffering. Visit to easily download OCN Spark from itunes.

And on January 17th, OCN’s designated annual Share the Light Sunday took place where Parishes across the country spoke to their faith community about the Orthodox Christian Network.  However, January 17th isn’t the only day available to speak about OCN, you can delegate any Sunday that works for your parish and Highlight how we are breaking down communication barriers and building up avenues to connect with Orthodox Christians & seekers worldwide using digital media.

Log on to to access a Checklist of support materials with the many ways you can organize a successful Share the Light Sunday in your community.

And in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary, Anonymous Donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge, where for every dollar you give, $2 will be donated!

Much like public radio & TV, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on support from its viewers, listeners and visitors like you! Be a part of our growth and sponsor a Share the Light Sunday in your parish or make a contribution today!

And Remember:  You can access the many breaking stories, blogs, podcasts and videos available on the latest topics of interest, on, on Facebook or watch us on our you tube “OCNVideochannel”.

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.



OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life.   We also report on news events in the Orthodox Church and produce This Week in Orthodoxy, a weekly news video with stories and issues of interest to Orthodox Christians around the world.

The Orthodox Christian Network is a commissioned agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. Our mission is to comfort, inspire, and inform Orthodox Christians and seekers around the world using digital media. OCN is not underwritten financially by any one organization, jurisdiction, or individual. Rather, OCN is supported entirely by parish and personal donations. Please remember OCN in your parish’s charitable giving. The Orthodox Christian Network is a 501(c)(3) corporation.


Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners.  Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.

OCN Spark is here!   Our Spark app is an Orthodox Christian News portal that allows you to take action.  Spark provides daily devotions, live Bible study, and you can read and learn about events going on in the Orthodox Christian world and persecuted Christians.  In addition to making it easy to share news and articles with friends, Spark allows you make prayer requests for those who are suffering.  Click here to download OCN Spark from iTunes.


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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.