Monthly Archives: January 2014

Eastern Orthodox make strong showing at March for Life

Washington, D.C., January 27, 2014

L-R: Bishop John (Abdallah), Bishop Mark (Maymon), Archbishop Nathaniel (Popp), and Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard) L-R: Bishop John (Abdallah), Bishop Mark (Maymon), Archbishop Nathaniel (Popp), and Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard)


March for Life President Jeanne Monahan addressed concerns that the annual pro-life walk was too heavily Catholic, reaching out to evangelical Protestants. But based on the participation of Eastern Orthodox Christians in this year’s events, marchers may have been forgiven for believing the whole march breathed with the other lung.

Every major event, and several minor ones, featured distinguished clergy from the world’s second largest Christian denomination.

Archpriest John Jillions, the chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), represented his church at the “National Memorial for the Preborn and their Mothers and Fathers,” an annual interdenominational prayer service held at Constitution Hall.

The most visible participation came as Orthodox clergy filled the stage at the March for Life, which began with an invocation given by Bishop Demetrios (Kantzavelos), the Greek Orthodox bishop of Chicago.

He prayed that the public witness would reach “civil authorities who have legislated against the rights of the unborn, jurists who have adjudicated against life, physicians who have not healed but have brought harm and death, parents who have made choices to end life in the womb – some callous and self-interested, others tragic and conflicted,” and “young persons raised in a culture that espouses a right for some to kill.”

Bishop Demetrios, who also participated in the 2014 Chicago March for Life, said that supporting the right to abortion is based in “profound ignorance.”

“Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do,” he said.

He was joined on stage by the ruling hierarchy of the OCA (Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Melchisedek, Bishop Mark, Bishop Michael), as well as representatives of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Antiochian Orthodox Church, Armenian Orthodox Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, and a representative of the U.S. Catholic bishops.

Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard), the leader of the OCA, offered the invocation at the annual Rose Dinner at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill the evening of the March. His words focused on the Epistles of St. Paul to St. Timothy, most poignantly the charge, “Let no man despise thy youth.”

Like the rest of the March, the Orthodox delegation heavily featured young people. The nation’s major Orthodox seminaries – St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York, Holy Cross in Boston, St. Tikhon’sin Pennsylvania, Holy Trinity in New York, and others – sent delegations.

Gabriel Monforte, a young seminarian at St. Tikhon’s, was proud that Orthodox bishops “are standing by the official position of the Church that all life is sacred, and as future stewards of the church it’s our duty to be here for them and for all those gathered here, as well.”

He said the Eastern embrace of human life grows out of its key doctrinal belief: that God is love.

“Everything has to be done in love, especially trying to convert the hearts of those who don’t view life as being sacred, as we do.” He said they learn they must “show love to those who have unfortunately chosen, or been forced to choose, abortion.”

“It’s not just about shouting and getting hyped up – although it is about making our voice heard – but it’s also about demonstrating God’s love to a cold world,” he said.

Bishop Demetrios said the presence of so many young people of all backgrounds gave him hope.

“It is inspiring to see that, after four decades and counting of legalized infanticide, the March for Life was joined by so many young women and men from all across our nation, and there are those who feel deeply that we must protect all human life, from the preborn to those on death row and everywhere in between as we prayed in our memorial vigil,” he said. “Though this battle will not be complete until we repeal certain laws and reverse court rulings, abolishing abortion on demand as well as capital punishment, we are advancing in our fight for hearts and minds. Virtuous hearts will always win the day.”

Of course, not all participants were young, or new to the event.

Dr. David C. Ford, Associate Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon’s, said he has been coming with his students since 1988. “It’s a highlight of the year to be here as a group and standing up for the sanctity, the dignity of all of human life,” he said.

Marching for him is “a public witness for our church’s historic support for all of life, born and unborn, ever since Jesus Christ established His Church,” he said. “It’s an honor; it’s humbling to carry on that tradition, that legacy.”

He said the highlight for him was the Orthodox prayer service for the unborn. “It’s beyond words how important that is,” he said.

Prominent Orthodox clergy and laity joined the annual event, as well. The chancellor of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Fr. Chad Hatfield, was present. He marched near Fr. John Kowalczyk, a leading voice on the issue and the author of two books on abortion: An Orthodox View of Abortion and Church Fathers and Abortion.

Shortly before the pro-life event, the Republican National Committee announced it would postpone its annual winter meeting so delegates could attend the March. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is Greek Orthodox.

Dr. Ford said he would encourage any Orthodox Christian – or anyone else – who has doubts about taking part to come to the March for Life. “It’s a life-changing event,” he said. “It’s so powerful.”


2014 Moleben for the Unborn has begun!

January 26, 2014  Moleben

Moleben 1-26-14c

“And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And         shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)

I am blessed to be a member of a parish that takes the time even just once a month to pray as a church for the victims of abortion, which Mother Teresa of Calcutta described as the “greatest destroyer of peace today”.

Let us not grow weary but be persevering in this battle through the grace and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Let us extend our hearts and hands of compassion to the weak, the grieving and the wounded that healing may take place and God be glorified through our actions of faith.  As St. James, the Brother of the Lord said, “faith without works is dead.”  Hope to see you all next month!

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Word of God,  have mercy upon us sinners.”


Memorial for the Unborn on Sunday, January 26th

Our very own Proto Deacon, Fr. Michael Walker, will be one of the speakers at this event on Sunday 2:30 pm at the Indiana War Memorial Museum.  Hope to see you there after our moleben at 12:30 pm!



Moleben on Sunday, January 26th

Christ is revealed! 

We will have our first moleben for this year on Sunday, January 26th at 12:30 pm at the Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church on 16th and Delaware Sts. 

Then we will proceed to the “Memorial for the Unborn and Indy Memorial Walk” event organized by Right to Life of Indianapolis at 2:30-3:30pm at the Indiana War Memorial Auditorium, 431 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis (enter from Michigan St.)

We hope to have a good turnout by God’s mercies.  May the Lord richly bless the efforts of all who defend and support life.



January 15th ~ Bible Study at Joy of All Who Sorrow

Blessed New Year to everyone! 

We are off to a good start for 2014 by the grace of God.  Subdeacon Randy Hay of Joy of All Who Sorrow Indianapolis will be doing a bible study on a a very sensitive topic that is very  much spoken about especially on this month of January.  January 22nd, 2014 marks the 41st anniversary of the legalization of abortion (Roe vs Wade).

The bible study is going to be held at the parlor room of the Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church on 16th and Delaware Sts. on Wednesday, January 15th at 7 pm.  Come and hear what God’s Word and the holy fathers have to say about this controversial subject.