Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Esteemed Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees and Parish Councils, Department Chairs and Beloved Faithful:
Greetings to you and your families in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you all enjoyed a blessed feast of Theophany.
2015 is an historic year in the life of our God-protected archdiocese. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the falling-asleep of St. Raphael of Brooklyn as well as the 120th anniversary of our Mother Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn and, therefore, our Antiochian presence on these blessed shores.
Our father in Christ, Patriarch JOHN X, inaugurated this jubilee year during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn on December 7th. Throughout 2015, we will mark this anniversary at various places and locations, including, but not limited to, the Antiochian Village, St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY, the archdiocese convention in Boston and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Likewise, the theme of our convention and parish life conferences, as well as the various festivals and contests is centered on, and will reflect on the life of this “good shepherd of the lost sheep in America.”
In addition to these archdiocesan events, it is my desire and directive that each pastor and parish incorporate this jubilee year and highlight the life and legacy of St. Raphael in their divine services, sermons, retreats and bulletins, as well as other community and social events like church festivals. There are already a variety of resources available on antiochian.org/straphaelofbrooklyn to help with this including a downloadable version of the official logo and information on ordering the special commemorative banner to publicize this historic year both within the parish and to the public. Please make use of these resources as you celebrate in your parishes.
Praying that St. Raphael of Brooklyn will continue to intercede for us, I remain,
Your Father in Christ,
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America
Read more on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.