Friday, April 22, 2011

Pope Addresses Iraqi Christians

I am looking for the full video of the Q&A session that Pope Benedict televised live today. He chose 7 questions on suffering to respond to on Good Friday. One of the questions was from Iraqi Christians. Here's an overview:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Untouchable Converts

In India, the Hindu caste system is one of numerous sources of interreligious tension and persecution, especially as those from the lowest castes convert to Christianity. They often take their caste designation with them, being considered Dalit Christians, or converts from the Islamic or Hindu untouchables caste.

In 2008, these Christians in India were systemically targeted by Hindu fundamentalist mobs who blamed Christians for the murder of a Hindu leader. Police exonerated the Christian community, which has been in India since the earliest days of Christianity, but their houses were still burned, many brutally murdered, and thousands driven from their homes. Here's a newscast from the time:

Wednesday's Wages are a series of posts which highlight past and present struggles faced by Eastern and Oriental Catholics including the topics of bioethics and persecution. Do you know of a homily, lecture, interview or biography which you think should be featured here? Leave a comment to let me know.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Armenian Rite

The Armenian Catholic website has a short history on the development of the Armenian rite, explaining how it originally copied the Church of Jerusalem and then developed into its own rite in the following centuries.
The neighboring peoples' churches had already organized their adoration rules until Armenia became officially a Christian country in 301 due to The Illuminator and the Armenian church was constructed. The apostles Tatyos and Partoghomios did not let any trace of rite in our literature in Armenia. Before The Illuminator, when Christianity entered Armenia, due to the preachers of the Greek and Syriac churches, they brought with them to Armenia the adoration invented by their churches with the preaching of the Christian religion. This could not be different, because the Armenian Christianity and the Armenian church were going to be organized after three centuries from the Syriac and the Greek ones, while these two churches were going to have time to be organized before us, to progress, to have exceptional patriarchs and saints, who due to their help those churches improved and progressed, while we were still suffering from the paganism.
Read the rest here.

Theological Thursdays brings you homilies, lectures, interviews, and biographies on diverse topics including history, theology, spirituality, and philosophy as they pertain to the Eastern and Oriental Catholic Churches. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Father Paul Luniw of St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Terryville, Connecticut demonstrates the art of making pysanky.

Talented Tuesdays is a feature which focuses on art, architecture, music, culture, food, and the running of the domestic church. User submitted questions and solutions are welcomed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Frescoes at Mar Musa Monastery

The Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian (Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, دير مار موسى الحبشي) is a Syriac Catholic monastic community of monks and nuns that is situated near the town of Nabk, Syria. The monastery is focused on religious dialogue particularly between Muslims and Christians. It's also the home to some beautiful medieval frescoes. The monastery's website can be found here.
From archaeological and historical evidence, we know that the monastery of St. Moses existed from the middle of the 6th century and belonged to the Syrian Antiochian Rite. The present monastic church was built in the Islamic year 450 (1058 AD), according to Arabic inscriptions on the walls, which begin with the words: "In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate".
The frescoes in the church date from the 11th and 12th centuries.
In the 15th century the monastery was partially rebuilt and enlarged. The monastery was abandoned in the first half of the 19th century and slowly fell into ruin. Nevertheless, it remained in the ownership of the Syrian Catholic Diocese of Homs, Hama and Nabk. The inhabitants of Nabk continued to visit the monastery with devotion and the local parish struggled to maintain it.
In 1984, restoration work began through a common initiative of the Syrian State, the local Church and a group of Arab and European volunteers. The restoration of the monastery building was completed in 1994 thanks to co-operation between the Italian and Syrian States. This Italian and Syrian school for restoration of frescoes was created at Deir Mar Musa in 1989 and will complete the restoration of the frescoes in the context of Syrian European co-operation. 
Read more about the church's frescoes as well as their architectural, agricultural, and interreligious dialog efforts here.

Talented Tuesdays is a feature which focuses on art, architecture, music, culture, food, and the running of the domestic church. User submitted questions and solutions are welcomed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Holy Cross in Placentia, CA

Monday's Map: We're traveling with the angels! 

Today we're flying over to Placentia, California, USA where you'll find the Melkite Greek-Catholic  parish of Holy Cross.
New Church Buildings
Current Exterior
Current Iconostasis

Holy Cross parish serves all of Orange County and also draws from Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties with its full liturgical cycle, Eastern Christian Formation program, and active parish organizations. They are planning the construction of a new temple, office facilities, and a meeting center with classrooms to serve the parish's growing needs. Their youth group is active and their Lady's Society is the largest of its kind in any church in the United States. 

Their priest, Fr. James Babcock, works with the Society of St. John Chrysostom and was recently interviewed on The Illumined Heart. The host, Kevin Allen, is an Orthodox Christian whose program airs on Ancient Faith Radio, an Internet-based Orthodox radio station. They discussed "the similarities and differences between Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholics and the Roman Catholic Church." You can listen to their interview here, then you can visit Holy Cross on the web and in person.

Liturgy schedule: 
  • Great Vespers is celebrated each Saturday at 6 p.m. 
  • Orthros (Matins & Lauds) is celebrated each Sunday at 10 a.m. 
  • The Holy and Divine Liturgy is celebrated each Sunday at 11 a.m. 
  • Holy Days and Weekdays as announced 
  • Eastern Christian Formation Program (Grades 1-8) Sunday after Liturgy
The parish is currently served by the following:
  • The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite James Babcock, Pastor
  • The Reverend Deacon Edward Faulk, Pastoral Associate
  • The Reverend Deacon Elias Kashou
Monday's Map highlights Eastern and Oriental Catholic institutions as well as those who run and serve them.
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