St. Innocent Orthodox Church
✙ Founded in 1967 ✙ Moscow Patriarchal Parishes ✙
23300 W. Chicago ✞ Redford, MI 48239 ✞ 313-538-1142 ✞ Fax: 313-538-8126
Church Web Site: www.stinnocentchurch.org ✞ E-Mail: email@example.com
St. Innocent Religious Community: 9452 Hazelton, Redford, MI 48239 ✞ 313-535-9080
PASTOR: Rt. Rev. Mitered Archpriest ROMAN STAR
AUGUST 3, 2014 Dean, Central States Deanery, Patriarchal Parishes
Cell Phone: 313-319-0590
ASSISTANT PRIEST: Rev. DANEIL SHIRAK ✞ 313-295-3073
DEACON: Rev. Dn. Michael Comerford
EPISTLE: 1st Corinthians 1:10 – 18 (#124) ATTACHED: Sister Ioanna
GOSPEL: 14:14 – 22 (#58) CHOIR DIRECTOR: Elizabeth Star
TONE: 7 READERS: Robert Joseph Latsko
✞ 8th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST ✞
✞ 9:15 AM — HOURS & AKATHIST; CONFESSIONS ✞
✞ 10AM — DIVINE LITURGY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ✞
FOR THE REPOSE OF: Estelle & Joseph Star; Ellen Starinshak; Anna & John Witkowski; Michael Sr.& Margaret Rusko; Mary, Andrew, Daniel, Michael & Lottie Yakuber; Ross & Margaret Falsetti; Helen, John & Carole Andrayko; Peter & Theresa Harvilla; Marc Dade; Betty Martell; Frances Smoly; Peter Glover; Irene Adams; Ethel Elizabeth & Wayne Joshua deVyver; David Horka; Michael Rusko, Anna Lichagina, Yelena & Zinaïda Korniyevskaya
MEMORY Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine (newly departed, 5 July)
ETERNAL Joseph P. Nossal (40th-day observed today), by wife, Rose, and all Nossal-Rusko family
Ella Ernest, whose Anniversary of her repose is Monday, 4 August, by nephew, Fr. Roman, Mat. Rose Marie & Family
Samuel Kupec, whose Anniversary of his repose is Monday, 4 August, by granddaughter, Mat. Rose Marie & Fr. Roman
FOR THE HEALTH OF: Archimandrite Il’ya (Barna); Igumen Seraphim; Archpriest Lawrence Bacik; Archpriest Paul Waters; Archpriest Serge Lukianov; Priest Daneil, Matushka Debra & Corrina Shirak; Deacon Michael, Matushka Mary Ellen & Julius Comerford; Matushka Melania Sviridov; Matushka Mary Donahue; Reader Robert Latsko, Reader George & Betty Hanoian, Jordan Manier, Rose Nossal, Mary Glover, Nancy Cupp, Deborah Dade, Dean Hough, Vasiliki Stamoulis, Gerald Martell, Jaime Truskowski, Azbehat, Donald Yakuber, Carl deVyver, Jo Anne Nicholas, Joan Rusko, Gregory & Tamiko Star, Daria, Mother Theodora-Ampilochia (brain cancer); Sdn. Andrew Stoiko (safe travel in Alaska)
ALSO FOR: Archimandrite Roman (Braga), (terminal cancer; Spiritual Father of Dormition Monastery,Rives Junction)
Michelle Shirak Tucker ((back in Karmanos Cancer Center Hospital again)
Ian Paul Truskowski, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday, 7 August
Anna Margaret Costa, who celebrates her birthday on Saturday, 9 August
Katerina Korniyevskaya, who celebrates her birthday on Saturday, 9 August
MAY GOD GRANT THEM MANY YEARS!
SCHEDULE FOR THE COMING WEEK
Tuesday 8/5 7pm GREAT VESPERS FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
Wednesday 8/6 9am DIVINE LITURGY FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
7pm MOLEBEN OR AKATHIST
Saturday 8/9 10am DIVINE LITURGY FOR ST. HERMAN OF ALASKA FEASTDAY
4pm GREAT VESPERS & CONFESSIONS
Sunday 8/10 9th Sunday After Pentecost
9:15am Hours & Akathist & Confessions
10am DIVINE LITURGY, followed by Coffee Hour;
1pm Monthly Pot-Luck, Fellowship & Discussion #3, at St. Innocent Monastic Community
❈ CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! ❈ HE IS NOW & EVER SHALL BE! ❈
[NOT IN PRINTED BULLETIN]
SCHEDULE OF UP-COMING SERVICES, FEASTS & EVENTS
(In addition to regular weekly: 7pm Wednesday Service; 4pm Saturday Great Vespers; 10am Sunday Liturgy)
◆ Tuesday, August 5th, 7pm, GREAT VESPERS FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
◆ Wednesday, August 6th, 9am, DIVINE LITURGY FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
◆ Saturday, August 9th, 10am, DIVINE LITURGY FOR ST. HERMAN OF ALASKA FEASTDAY
◆ Sunday, August 10th, After Coffee-Hour (1:00), Monthly Pot-Luck, Fellowship & Discussion #3, at St. Innocent Religious Community
◆ Tuesday, August 12th, 7pm, Monthly COCC meeting, at St. Mary’s Antiochian Church, 12 Mile Rd, Berkley
◆ Thursday, August 14th, 7pm, GREAT VESPERS FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF THE DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD
◆ Friday, August 15th, 9am, DIVINE LITURGY FOR GREAT FEAST OF THE DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD
◆ Saturday, August 23rd, 11am, WEDDING, Elizabeth Star & Larry Hatfield
◆ Wednesday, August 27th, 7pm, AKATHIST TO ST. MOSES THE BLACK (for his Feastday, August 28th)
◆ Friday, August 29th, 9am, DIVINE LITURGY, BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIZER/FORERUNNER (& Panikhida)
◆ Sunday, September 7th, 6pm, GREAT VESPERS FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS
◆ Monday, September 8th, 9am, DIVINE LITURGY FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS
◆ Tuesday, September 9th, 7pm, Monthly COCC meeting, at St. Michael’s Church, W. Chicago, Redford
◆ Saturday, September 13th, 4pm, GREAT VESPERS & LITIYA FOR THE GREAT FEAST OF THE ELEVATION OF THE CROSS
◆ Sunday, September 14th, GREAT FEAST OF THE ELEVATION/EXALTATION OF T HE HOLY CROSS (Liturgy as usual)
◆ Sunday, September 21st, After Coffee-Hour (1:00), Monthly Pot-Luck, Fellowship & Discussion #4, at St. Innocent ReligiousCommunity
◆ Wednesday, October 1st, 9am, DIVINE LITURGY FOR THE FEAST OF THE PROTECTION (POKROV) OF THE THEOTOKOS
◆ Sunday, October 19th, After Coffee-Hour (1:00), Monthly Pot-Luck, Fellowship & Discussion #5, at St. Innocent Religious Community
FR. ROMAN’S ADDITIONAL SCHEDULE
Tuesday & Wednesday, Aug. 5th & 6th, Holy Transfiguration Church, Livonia, Vigil & Liturgy for Parish Patronal Feastday (?)
Friday, August 15th, Holy Dormition Monastery, Rives Junction, Annual Patronal Feastday Pilgrimage, Hierarchal Divine Liturgy
Thursday, August 28th, Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, Dormition Cathedral, Ferndale, Parish Patronal Feastday (O.S.)
Thursday–Saturday, October 2nd–4th, 21st Annual Ancient Christianity Conference (National Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black), Lima, OH
Saturday–Sunday, October 4th–5th, Annual Patronal Feastday Pilgrimage (O.S.), Holy Cross Monastery, Wayne, WV
Wednesday, October 8th, Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, Patronal Feastday (O.S.), St. Sergius Cathedral, Parma, OH
Thursday, October 9th, Divine Liturgy, Patronal Feastday (O.S.), St. John the Theologian Monastery, Hiram, OH
Tuesday, October 14th, Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, Patronal Feastday (O.S.), Pokrov/Protection Cathedral, Des Plaines (Chicago), IL
Monday, October 20th, 10:30am, Give OCW presentation, St. Maria of Paris, the “Rebel Nun,” at St. Thomas Albanian Church, Farm. Hills
[IN PRINTED BULLETIN]
CANDLES FOR LAST SUNDAY, 20 JULY
CHURCH VIGIL LAMPS:
Royal Doors Lamp:In Memory of Husband Joe; Son Kenneth; parents Michael & Margaret Rusko & John & Martha Nossal, by Rose Nossal
Altar Candles: In Memory of Nicholas and Susan Yakuber, by son, Donald Yakuber
Iconostasis Lamps: In Memory of Irene Adams, by daughter, Eileen Adams
Candles on the Solea: In Memory of Pete & Theresa Harvilla, Norman & Monica Holst, & Ricky Ellis, by Jason & Debra Truskowski
Nave Reliquary-Icon Lamps: (1) In Memory of Ross & Margaret Falsetti, by daughters, Margie Martell & Rose Ann Everhardt
Nave Reliquary-Icon Lamps: (2) Anonymous
Table of Oblation Lamp: In Memory of parents, Helen & John Andrayko, Sr. & sister, Carole Andrayko, by John Andrayko, Jr.
IN MEMORY OF (MEMORY ETERNAL!):
Joseph & Estelle Star, by son Father Roman and family
Paul & Alexandra Yupco, Basil & Ellen Starinshak, by grandson, Father Roman and family
John & Anna Witkowski, by daughter, Matushka Rose Marie and family
Samuel & Mary Kupec, by granddaughter, Matushka Rose Marie and family
Parents, Helen & John Andrayko and sister, Carole Andrayko, by John Andrayko
My husband, Joe; my sisters, Margaret & Ross Falsetti, Anna & Mike Elaschat, Theresa & Pete Harvilla, Irene, & brothers, Michael & John Rusko; niece, Rose Mary Hough; Joe’s brothers, Raymond & Walter Nossal, & sisters, Theresa, Florence & Helen Nossal, by Rose Nossal
Pete & Theresa Harvilla, by Mary Ann Harvilla & Kay Truskowski + + + My husband, Michael Rusko, by Joan Rusko
Parents, Ethel Elizabeth & Wayne Joshua deVyver; David Horka; Marion P; Nina I; Mo. Benedicta; Fr. Photius; Sally & Edward, by Sister Ioanna + + + Child Lana Wilson, Shirley Troyer, & Wendel Philips, by Becky Jurczyszyn & Levi Troyer
FOR THE HEALTH OF (MANY YEARS!):
Elizabeth, Caitlin & Zachary, by parents & grandparents, Father Roman & Matushka Rose Marie
Gregory & Tamiko Star, by parents, Father Roman & Matushka Rose Marie
Children & Grandchildren; Monk Fr. Tikhon (Dade); Dean Hough, by Rose Nossal
Father Roman & Matushka & family; Sister Ioanna; John Andrayko; Nancy; Mary G; Jo Anne N; Grandson Joey (in the Navy Reserves) & all people in the Armed Forces; & all the people of St. Innocent Church, by Rose Nossal + + + My Mom, Jaime Truskowski, by Kay Truskowski + + + Family & Friends, Aunt Rose, by Mary Ann Harvilla & Kay T. + + + Brother, Greg & Donna, Gregory & Liz & Alex, by Mary Ann Harvilla & Kay Truskowski
Archimandrites Roman, Nafanail & Gregory; Igumen Seraphim; Fr. Roman & Mat. Rose Marie; Fr. Lawrence & fam; Fr. Daneil & fam; Dcn. Michael & fam; Mat. Melania S; Mat. Mary D; Carl; Fr. Tikhon; Sdn Andrew; Rdr Robert; Robert M; David Samuel & Sky; JoAnne & Nick; Martha; Athanasius; John A; Michelle T; Lena N; Jillian J; Ed & Tiffany; Vasiliki; Rose; Emil; Mo.Theodora-Amphilochia, by Sr. Ioanna Joan Jurczyszyn, Leia Wilson, by Becky Jurczyszyn & Levi + + + Andrew Stoiko (safe travel in Alaska)
PROSFORA FOR TODAY IS OFFERED by: Sister Ioanna
in Memory Eternal of: Parents: Wayne Joshua (anniv. 8/29) & Ethel Elizabeth (B-day, 9/2); David Horka (anniv. 9/27); Alex Ruggieri (anniv. 7/12) & all other departed family & friends; and for the Health of: Brother, Carl; Archimandrite Roman; Michelle Tucker; Mother Theodora-Amphilochia; Reader Robert; Subdeacon Andrew; Rose Nossal; Jo Anne Nicholas; Fr. Roman, Matushka Rose Marie & all parishioners.
PROSFORA SCHEDULE: 2014 — August: Sister Ioanna; September: Deborah Hartz; October: John Andrayko: November: Sister Ioanna; December: Nicholas Family. PLEASE START SIGNING UP FOR 2015 NOW.
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ADDITIONAL ANNOUNCEMENTS & OTHER NEWS
[IN THE PRINTED BULLETIN]:
(1) OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN IS NOW DOWN-SIZED FROM 8 TO 4 PAGES
Because we have had to down-size our weekly bulletin from 8 pages to 4 pages, due to the expense of the printer toner, we are using our new church website to provide the information that no longer can fit in the bulletin. Please go to http://www.stinnocentchurch.com/2014august3.html where you will find what is in this week’s bulletin, plus what does not fit in the 4 pages. There will be a separate sub-page for each week’s bulletin under the “Weekly Bulletins” tab. So add our church website to your “favorites” list and visit it every week. It will normally be posted by Friday night. VERY IMPORTANT— RSVP: In order to reduce our postage costs for mailing bulletins every week, we would like to e-mail the website link for each week’s on-line bulletin to our bulletin-mailing-list, while those who are at church can also get their printed bulletin in person. Please provide your e-mail address and indicate whether you are willing to receive the on-line version of our weekly bulletin in place of receiving a printed version by postal mail. If you do not have e-mail and wish to continue receiving a printed copy, kindly inform us of your wishes. Please communicate this information to Sister Ioanna ASAP, preferably by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have working e-mail, please call: 313-535-9080, or speak with her in person.
(2) PLEASE PRE-ORDER YOUR BLANKET DONATIONS NOW
We have been asked to pre-order our blanket donations for our annual fall blanket drive. Anna Margaret Costa will be placing an order at Walmart in August so that the manager (who made a big blanket donation last year) can make sure he gets in enough blankets. Blankets are $5.
(3) UP-DATE ON THE HEALTH OF MICHELLE (SHIRAK) TUCKER
After about 2 weeks in the Heartland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor, unfortunately, Michelle Tucker is once again back in the hospital — at the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit. Please keep her in your prayers.
(4) THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO HAVE MOWED OUR CHURCH YARD & WORKED BEAUTIFYING OUR GARDENS.
We continue to thank for their on-going sacrificial labors, John Andrayko, Reader George Hanoian, Matushka Rose Marie & Fr. Roman for their work taking care of and beautifying our church property, by mowing, edging, weeding, & clean-up. We always still desperately need some more volunteers to help maintain our beautiful church’s property. Please offer to come for a few hours and help. Thank you very much!
(5) MONTHLY POT-LUCK AND DISCUSSION GROUP MEETS NEXT SUNDAY, AUGUST 10th, AFTER COFFEE HOUR
A new monthly pot-luck lunch and discussion group has been formed, and has met so far on June 22nd and July 13th. It will continue to meet for a lively, thought-provoking discussion following a casual pot-luck lunch, on one Sunday (2nd or 3rd) a month after coffee hour, at the St. Innocent Religious Community. The next gatherings will be on August 10th, September 21st, October 19th, and November 9th. All are welcome.
[NOT IN THE PRINTED BULLETIN]:
(6) FR. ROMAN “RETIRES” FROM 30 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE COCC AND CLERGY BROTHERHOOD
After 30 years of dedicated and self-sacrificial work to promote inter-Orthodox unity in the Metro-Detroit area through various leadership positions with the COCC and the Clergy Brotherhood, Fr. Roman has “retired” from this work, as a former president and Spiritual Advisor of the COCC, and as President of the Clergy Brotherhood, and also as Spiritual Advisor of the OCW. For years, any pan- (inter-) Orthodox activity in metro-Detroit that occurred, Fr. Roman was involved. Some who are aware of, and appreciate his sacrifices, wish to recognize his labors. Fr Andrew Yavornitzky (of St. Mark's OCA Church in Rochester Hills) wrote to Fr. Roman: “Thank you for all that you have done over the years. The Church in Metro-Detroit has benefitted greatly from your work. You will be missed and difficult to match. May God reward you. Well done, good and faithful servant.” Fr. Laurence Lazar, Dean of St. George Cathedral in Southfield, wrote in their parish newsletter: “We thank Archpriest Roman Star for his faithful service to our local Orthodox community. As is known, Father is the priest of Redford’s St. Innocent Church, a Dean in his Russian Patriarchal diocese, and frequent visitor and concelebrant here at the Cathedral. Now, after some 30 years of service in various capacities and offices among the clergy and the Council of Orthodox Christian Churches, he has stepped aside from the presidency of the Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of Metro-Detroit. May the Lord bless him for his exemplary and patient leadership. We look forward to Father’s continued presence with us and around the community!’
(7) PROSFORA: Offering the Holy Bread that will become the Sacred Body of Christ and received in Holy Communion is a great honor and privilege, and it is a wonderful way to commemorate one’s living and departed loved ones. It also is a very meaningful way of celebrating special events, such as birthdays & anniversaries, graduations, weddings, births & baptisms. Donations are $25 for a month. PLEASE SIGN UP FOR 2015 NOW.
(8) SUPPORT THE ODO (ORTHODOX DETROIT OUTREACH)
If you would like to do more in a hands-on way to help the poor, needy, hungry and homeless in our community, and put your faith into action, consider volunteering to help the ODO (ORTHODOX DETROIT OUTREACH). They especially need volunteers on Sundays from 1 to 3:00 to serve meals to the needy at Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Gilbert Street, near Livernois & Michigan, in Detroit. To learn more, visit their website (www.orthodoxdetroitoutreach.org) and/or contact Janet Damian (email@example.com, or call 313-706-0666).
(9) ON-GOING CHARITABLE WORKS AT ST. INNOCENT
(1) Please continue to help the needy in our community by bringing in food, clothing, toiletries, household items, children’s toys, school supplies, etc., most of which is delivered to the REDFORD INTERFAITH RELIEF (RIR), a local organization run by Redford churches, of which St. Innocent is a very active member. They also welcome household, family & children’s items. (2) Also we continue, as always, to collect donations for the OCMC (Orthodox Christian Missions Center) CANISTER PROGRAM (to support mission priests). (The OCMC canister is by the candle stand.) (3) Please also continue to bring in your empty, clean pop cans and bottles, the refund from which we send to the ST. INNOCENT BOYS’ ORPHANAGE IN TIJUANA, MEXICO, as we have been doing for about 8-9 years. (4) And your USED EYE GLASSES are given to the Lions Club’s Eyes for the Needy program, and volunteers fix them up and distribute eyeglasses to the needy in 3rd- world countries.
(10) LATEST ISSUE OF THE COCC’S “GOOD WORKS” IS AVAILABLE
The latest issue (July–August) of “Good Works” — the highly successful newsletter of the Council of Orthodox Christian Churches of Metro-Detroit (COCC) — is now available. Look for it on the right end of the front pew, behind the current week’s Sunday bulletins. The 8½ x 11 publication has now changed from being published quarterly, to bi-monthly. Thus it will be published 6 times a year instead of 4 times. Make a point of getting your copy each time it comes out, and enjoy reading the very diverse articles, news and announcements about the Orthodox community in southeast Michigan. You can also read all the issues in color on the COCC’s website: http://www.coccdetroit.com.
(11) DEADLINE EXTENDED — YOU CAN STILL BUY A TICKET FOR A DRAWING TO WIN A $4,000 TIGERS BASEBALL GAME PRIZE Attention all baseball fans! The COCC (Council of Orthodox Christian Churches of Metro-Detroit) is currently sponsoring a special fund-raiser to support its charitable and other works, by selling tickets for a drawing to win a $4,000 prize that includes 20 elite tickets to a Tigers baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, on Friday, Sept. 12th, in a special private suite at the third-base line at Comerica Park, with both inside and outside seating; a lavish food buffet (with your choice of menu); private restrooms; 3 special parking tickets on the same level as the suite. Tickets cost $100, but there is a maximum of 150 tickets that will be sold (and it might even be fewer than 100), so your odds of being the winning ticket are very good. The winner can bring 20 family, friends, co-workers, employees, etc. These Tigers-drawing tickets are available for only 1 more week — until August 10th, and the drawing for the winning ticket will be at the COCC meeting on Tuesday, August 12th. Your chances of winning are 1 in about 100, depending on how many tickets are sold. St. Innocent still has one ticket left to sell in order to meet its quota of ticket sales. Thank you for helping St. Innocent to meet its quota, and thank you for helping the COCC in doing its charitable, educational and pan-Orthodox religious work. (All proceeds go directly to helping the COCC in its work.)
OTHER NEWS & ARTICLES (IN THE PRINTED BULLETIN)
ARCHBISHOP JUSTINIAN TRANSFERRED; NEW BISHOP JOHN CONSECRATED ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 1st
We were greatly surprised when we received notification late on Friday, July 25th, that our much beloved hierarch, His Eminence Archbishop Justinian, who has been our Archpastor since March 2010, has been transferred to Russia, effective immediately, and that a priest who has been serving as a Russian representative at the United Nations, and also serving at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Fr. George Roshin, has been elected our new bishop. These decisions were made at the Holy Synod meeting in Moscow on July 25th. Fr. George had been tonsured as a Hieromonk (monk-priest) this past March, and given the new monastic name of "John," in honor of St. John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco. Hieromonk John was then elevated to Archimandrite by Patriarch Kirill this past Monday, July 28th. On Wednesday, July 30th, Patriarch Kirill presided at the “Rite of Nomination” as Vicar-Bishop of the Moscow Diocese and Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes. This Rite, that includes the “Profession of Faith,” usually occurs the night before the Consecration of a Bishop. When the text of this news highlight was prepared for the printed bulletin very late on Thursday night, we hadn’t yet heard of his Consecration/Ordination as Bishop. However, on Friday we learned that the Bishop-elect Archimandrite John was consecrated as our new Hierarch and Archpastor on Friday morning in Moscow by Patriarch Kirill, and 5 other bishops.
Our new bishop His Grace John, is not unknown to us, for he accompanied Archbishop Justinian to Michigan on one of his recent visits. He seems very nice, speaks English quite well, did graduate work for 2 years in the US, and has much administrative experience. But of course, we are disappointed to lose Vladyka Justinian so soon, for we had been looking forward to having our beloved Archbishop Justinian with us longer as our chief hierarch. His last and final Divine Liturgy in the US was on Saturday, August 2nd, which Fr. Roman attended at our St. Nicholas Cathedral in NYC. We wish Vladyka Justinian well in his new work as a diocesan bishop back in Russia that begins this coming week. May God grant Vladyka Justinian MANY YEARS! And may God grant to His Grace Bishop John all the grace that he needs to work effectively in North America as our new chief hierarch, and protect and preserve him for MANY YEARS!!!
(For more information, some biographical info and photos, visit the English website of the Patriarchal Parishes: http://mospatusa.com)
MERIAM IBRAHIM AND FAMILY SAFE IN ITALY
After Boarding an Italian Government Aircraft in Khartoum Late Wednesday, Meriam and Family Arrived Safely in Rome Thursday Morning (July 24th)
07/24/2014 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) — International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a 27-year-old mother of two and wife to an American citizen, sentenced to death by a Sudanese court in May for her Christian faith, was cleared for travel late Wednesday and is now safely in Italy with her family. Thursday morning — accompanied by Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli-Meriam, her husband Daniel Wani, and two children, Martin and Maya, deplaned at Rome's Ciampino airport.
News of the Ibrahims' departure was leaked to the media by way of a text message released by an unnamed Italian official, which read, "Meriam, the young Christian woman held in Khartoum after being condemned to death for apostasy, should be arriving in Italy on a government flight." The text was later followed by Deputy Minister Pistelli's exuberant Facebook post: "Mission accomplished."
According to the Daily Telegraph, Meriam "was released after intense diplomatic negotiations from the Italian government and the Vatican ended an ordeal that lasted almost a year." Though, NBC has stated that "it was not immediately clear how or why her flight to Italy was secured."
Following her release from a three-day detention after having been arrested at Khartoum airport — just one day after her June 23 court-ordered release and acquittal — for allegedly forging documents and providing false information when trying to leave the country, Meriam and her family had been provided refuge by the United States government.
The family's departure from Sudan — a U.S.-designated Country of Particular Concern for "systematic, ongoing and egregious religious freedom violations" since 1999 — followed a hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Wednesday afternoon, during which ranking member Representative Karen Bass (D) (CA-37) stated her "understanding that [Meriam's] case was going to be resolved very soon."
Cameron Thomas, ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, said, "Last night, after a nearly year-long struggle, hundreds of thousands of prayers, millions of signatures, and countless hours of advocacy and diplomatic efforts came to pass: Meriam Ibrahim has been released, and she, her husband Daniel, and two children, Martin and Maya, now safe in Rome, are one step closer to a life together, free from persecution for exercising their right to freedom of religion. While celebration is in order, remembrance must be given to the many tens of thousands of others still suffering for their Christian faith under a Sudanese regime bent on establishing a 'purely Islamic' society, by any and all means."
FOR MORE INFORMATION about Meriam and other persecution of Christians throughout the world, visit http://www.persecution.org.
MERIAM & HER FAMILY ARRIVED IN THE US ON THURSDAY, JULY 31st
The Associated Press issued the press release on Thursday, July 31st, that Meriam, her husband Daniel Wani and their 2 young children, left Italy on a flight to Philadelphia. From there they continued to Manchester, New Hampshire, about 50 miles north of Boston, where a community of about 500 southern Sudanese Christian refugees have settled. Daniel had fled Sudan with his family as a child to escape civil war, and grew up in Manchester, where his extended family lives. He had been granted US citizenship, but later, he returned to his homeland and was also a citizen of South Sudan. This was when he married the devout Ethiopian Orthodox woman, Meriam, who was sentenced a few months ago to be hanged for her Christian faith by a strict Muslim court. Her second child was born in prison in Sudan recently. May the family have a blessed new life together in their new home in the US, living according to their Christian faith in freedom, without fear of persecution.
(1) This week's SERMON BY MET. ANTHONY (BLOOM) of Sourozh, England, concerns this week's Gospel reading (St. Matthew 14:14-22), the Feeding of the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish. To read his sermon, click here.
OTHER SPIRITUALLY EDIFYING MATERIALS NOT IN THIS WEEK'S PRINTED BULLETIN
(2) For the 4th prayer in our series of 9 Prayers for the Journey Along THE WAY, Prayer #4, "Holiness" — click on: http://www.stinnocentchurch.com/prayer_holiness.html
(3) For an interesting article that explores what "salvation" and "being saved" means: "Are You Saved?" — click on: http://www.stinnocentchurch.com/areyousaved.html
(4) To read one of our articles about this Wedneday's Great Feast, the Transfiguration of our Lord, click on: http://www.stinnocentchurch.com/whatisthetransfiguration.html
(5) For a sermon on the Transfiguration feast by St. Gregory Palamas, click here: http://oca.org/fs/sermons/sermon-on-the-transfiguration
(6) To read about this Saturday's Feast day of St. Herman of Alaska, read our short Life of St. Herman: http://www.stinnocentchurch.com/lifeofsthermanofalaska.html
(7) For more information about St. Herman, click here: http://oca.org/FS.NA-Saint.asp?SID=4&Saint=Herman