Faith In Brooklyn for Nov. 20

November 20, 2014 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Metropolitan JOSEPH (on the right) is pictured with His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X. This photo was taken just after his election as Metropolitan in early July at the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand in North Lebanon. Photo courtesy of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral
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St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral Prepares For Enthronement of Its New Metropolitan

The weekend of St. Nicholas Day, which traditionally falls on Dec. 6, will be a special one for an Eastern Orthodox cathedral in Boerum Hill, as it hosts the enthronement service for its new metropolitan bishop.

St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral on State Street, which traces its heritage back to Antioch of first-century Christianity, will celebrate the enthronement of the new Metropolitan JOSEPH with a series of events from Dec. 5-7. (Traditionally, Antiochian and other Eastern-Rite Orthodox Christians completely capitalize the given names of their metropolitans and patriarchs.)

His Beatitude JOHN X, patriarch of Antioch and All the East, will preside at liturgies during this weekend, which will bring in hierarchs and guests from across the world.

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1950. He completed his basic schooling at the St. John of Damascus and al-Assiyeh schools in Damascus and then at Our Lady of Balamand Monastery in Koura, Lebanon. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Lebanese University in Beirut and earned his master of theology degree with special studies in music and languages from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. He was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree from St. Tikhon Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, Penn. in May 2010.

On Dec. 11, 2011, at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand in Lebanon, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV elevated Bishop Joseph to the rank of archbishop, in honor of his many years of service as a bishop, both in the Archdiocese and in the Patriarchate of Antioch.

On July 3, 2014, Archbishop Joseph was elected to become the archbishop of New York and metropolitan of all North America by the Holy Synod of Antioch.

Metropolitan JOSEPH’S Leadership

Based upon his solid spiritual, ascetical, intellectual and cultural formation and education, His Eminence has effectively established solid and meaningful annual clergy seminars and deepened the spiritual and educational experience of both clergy and laity at the annual parish life conferences. He has brought in many and diverse Orthodox authors, leaders and teachers to enrich the clergy and the laity of his two western dioceses. This has served to promote a strong sense of clergy brotherhood, as well as inter-parochial exchanges, and has become the envy of other Orthodox jurisdictions everywhere. Guest speakers and visitors constantly remark that Metropolitan JOSEPH’s clergy members are outstanding in their consistent and active involvement in such events. His Eminence has labored intensely to deepen the spiritual life of his clergy, by encouraging frequent confession, personal prayer, continual education and a heightened sense of the fullness of the Orthodox Christian tradition of interior and ascetical transfiguration in Christ.

His Eminence has demonstrated episcopal hospitality in his way of life and has led the way in cultivating an active pan-Orthodox community in the western United States and Canada. All of the canonical Orthodox hierarchs of the west relate to Metropolitan JOSEPH in a personal way as an episcopal concelebrant. This episcopal brotherhood has increasingly been reflected in the inter-parochial interaction of the priests and laity of all the parishes, across the western states and provinces.

Metropolitan JOSEPH has taken care in establishing a strong, clear and straightforward liturgical guidance for all his parishes. He pioneered the use of the internet in publishing the entire text of all the Sunday and festal services of the church throughout the year. His love for the divine services inspires him to improve the liturgical praxis of all the clergy, through constant interactions and special teachings. In addition, he constantly promotes the spiritual climate of the dioceses under his care with such things as “the thought of the day.”

He is fluent in English, Arabic and Greek and is conversant in other European languages.

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Kristallnacht Program Honors Work of Nazi Resisters

Amidst the horrors of World War II, brave individuals from German society stood up to protest the Nazi regime. Congregation Mount Sinai will honor them during a gripping Kristallnacht program on these German resisters to the Nazis.

The Rev. Daniel Rohrer, an instructor at Union Theological Seminary, will speak about Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the influential German Lutheran pastor, theologian and anti-Nazi dissident who was executed in the final days of World War II.

Justice John Leventhal will present his talk on Josef Hartinger, a German prosecutor who investigated the murder of three Jewish men in the early days of the Nazi regime.

The feature-length film The White Rose will be shown as part of the program. The White Rose movement involved a student-led, nonviolent group that resisted the Nazis.

This Kristallnacht program takes place on Saturday, Nov. 23, with the talks starting at 5:30 p.m. The dinner and viewing of The White Rose will follow.

Admission for the program and dinner are $25 per person. RSVPs are needed by Wednesday, Nov. 19 and must be paid prior to the dinner. Guests may RSVP via email at [email protected], or by calling 718-875-9124.

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Established Interfaith Tradition in Midwood Area Brings Neighborhood Together for Thanksgiving

Committee Leads Outreach, Visits to Worship Sites Around NYC

Jews, Roman Catholics and Episcopalian/Anglicans have joined together since 2000 to usher in the holiday season, particularly Thanksgiving, with music, prayers and poetry. All of these faith traditions share the biblical value of giving thanks.

The Interfaith Committee of the East Midwood Jewish Center, Our Lady of Refuge Roman Catholic Parish and the Church of the Nativity (Episcopal) will hold its 14th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 4 p.m. This year, the host congregation is Our Lady of Refuge (OLR) Roman Catholic Church, at the intersection of Ocean and Flatbush avenues. The public is invited to attend what has become a cherished holiday tradition in the neighborhoods of Flatbush, Ditmas Park and Midwood.

The choirs of these three congregations, joined by the Kingsborough Musical Society, will lead the music. There will also be plenty of communal singing.

Prayers will be read from many different faiths and reflections from the clergy will be heard on the meaning of gratitude. In recent years, Bangladeshi neighbors and a Turkish children’s chorus have also joined the service.

Outreach giving is also a key part of this service, which will include the collection of canned goods and nonperishable food for donation to the OLR Food Pantry, which has been serving several hundred families per week for many years.

A new element this year will be the creation of a Thanksgiving banner, on which people may write their messages of thankfulness.

According to an announcement from the East Midwood Jewish Center, “The Interfaith Committee’s mission is to educate our communities about our cultures, our histories and our faith traditions. We have worshipped together at Shabbat services and attended Sunday mass, including the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We have hosted interfaith seders, annual blood drives and supported the OLR Food Pantry and the weekly Women’s Shelter at OLR.”

In alternate years, the Interfaith Committee has sponsored a concert called “Music of Our Faiths.” Each Columbus Day, participants tour different parts of the city, including the Museum of Jewish Heritage/A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Most recently, the group visited the Union Theological Seminary and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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St. Joseph’s College Names Sister Elizabeth Hill President Emerita

The Board of Trustees at St. Joseph’s College (SJC) has appointed S. Elizabeth A. Hill, C.S.J., J.D., as president emerita, effective immediately. Sister Elizabeth retired as president of SJC in June 2014 after serving 17 years in the position.

“After a unanimous vote, the board has appointed S. Elizabeth as president emerita of SJC in recognition of her extraordinary service to the college as its former president,” said SJC President Jack P. Calareso, Ph.D. “Sister Elizabeth is a valued member of the college and we thank her for her continued leadership. I look forward to working together to achieve great things in the future.”

As SJC approaches its centennial year in 2016, S. Elizabeth will play an integral role in helping to drive the mission and core foundations of the college through service and leadership. In this capacity, her primary responsibilities will include assisting in the areas of fundraising, external relations and special projects for the Office of the President. A magna cum laude alumna of SJC who devoted more than 34 years of service to the college, S. Elizabeth is one of the region’s most influential women and has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for her leadership and lifelong dedication to the field of education.

Since 1916, SJC has drawn guidance from five core pillars: intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, integrity and service. Over the next year, these five core values will come alive through a series of events and projects, leading up to the centennial year. Each event will celebrate one of these five values and the generations of SJC alumni and friends who live out these values every day.

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Monsignor LoPinto Named as CEO of Catholic Charities-Brooklyn

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens announced that Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, vicar for human services of the Diocese of Brooklyn, will serve as the agency’s interim chief executive officer, effective November 2014.

“Monsignor LoPinto brings more than 30 years of leadership experience to Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens,” said T. Kevin Murtha, president of the Catholic Charities Board of Trustees. “Monsignor LoPinto is passionate about social justice, affordable housing and providing solutions to serving New York City’s most vulnerable population. During this transition, we are confident that Monsignor LoPinto will support Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens in a thoughtful and seamless way.”

This year, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens completed the first stage of a strategic visioning process. The many activities of this phase resulted in a rearticulated mission statement and the setting of strategic directions for the agency in the areas of sustainability, presence and innovation. Led by Monsignor LoPinto, along with the oversight and active participation of a committee of the agency’s Board of Trustees, Catholic Charities will continue the process of planning and assessment in light of the ever-changing environment in the Diocese of Brooklyn and New York City.  

Monsignor LoPinto was a leader in the Diocese of Brooklyn for the recovery efforts that followed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. For more than nine years, he also played an integral role in Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Management and Development Corporation, seeing many projects from concept to creation, such as the Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments in Brownsville, N.Y., which opened in fall 2013, and the Howard Beach Senior Apartments in winter 2013.

During his career, Monsignor LoPinto has worked with parishes throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn and played a leadership role in working with parishes nationally. In 1985, he was appointed the executive director of the Campaign for Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. During his five-year tenure in this position, he visited more than 65 dioceses in the U.S., working with diocesan bishops, their staffs and local groups on poverty issues.


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