The Western Rite Vicariate has gathered many materials to help Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike learn more about the Western Rite in the Orthodox Church. Our Archdiocese has a rich heritage of reaching out to people of all backgrounds and in various ways responding to Christ's command to bring the Gospel to all nations. These materials, which include a documentary film about the Western Rite, blogs, and other resources, are available at The Orthodox West.
The faithful of Houston, Texas were blessed to receive His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH during the week of January 24–31, 2018, to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of St. George Orthodox Christian Church.
Deanery clergy welcomed Sayyidna JOSEPH and Deacon John El Massih at the airport. Then on Thursday evening, His Eminence had dinner and spent the evening with the St. George parish council. At the dinner, attendees were blessed to hear Sayyidna's visions and inspired by his words of wisdom. The community was delighted that Archdiocese Vice-Chairman Fawaz El Khoury and CFO Salim Abboud accompanied Sayyidna as well.
On Friday morning, Sayyidna made his first visit to the St. Constantine School, an Orthodox classical school which opened its doors to students in August 2016. The School offers pre-K through 12th grade classes and has college courses as well. The St. Constantine School currently has over 130 students and continues to grow. His Eminence was greeted by the whole school with the singing of the Troparion of St. Constantine. Sayyidna addressed all the students, toured the facilities and had a lunch meeting with the school board. Later in the day, His Eminence prayed Great Vespers at St. Joseph Church. Following vespers and dinner, he met in the sanctuary with area teens.
On Saturday, Sayyidna met with the St. George's church school students and their families. He allowed to children to ask questions and offer their thoughts. After being served a delicious brunch by the St. George Ladies Altar Society, His Eminence addressed the ladies, the men's philanthropic group, and the church school. Saturday evening, Great Vespers was prayed at St. George. After prayers, over 450 attendees came together for the joyful St. George 90th Anniversary Gala. In a highlights of the evening, $25,000 was presented to the St. Constantine School by St. George. His Eminence also presented the St. George Ladies Altar Society with the Silver Order of St. Raphael for their continuous labor and efforts for the Church.
At the Gala His Eminence addressed the attendees with inspiring and heartfelt words. The St. George Dabke Troupe performed, and the night continued with live entertainment.
On Sunday morning the faithful poured into St. George to pray Orthros and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. His Eminence ordained Parish Council President Dr. James Anton as a subdeacon, and St. George son and Youth Director George Katrib to the Holy Diaconate.
On Monday, His Eminence prayed the Paraklesis to the Theotokos in the chapel at St. George with the Deanery clergy. After addressing the clergy, the group were treated to lunch at the Cleburne Cafeteria. Sayyidna continued his visit to St. George by visiting parishioners in their homes. He also visited St. Paul Church in Katy,TX and celebrated the Feast of the Three Hierarchs at St. Anthony in Spring, TX.
The faithful of Houston were truly blessed to receive this week-long visit from His Eminence and look forward to welcoming him back soon. Many years, Master!