5410 N.Newland Ave
Chicago, IL. 60656-2026
phone: 773.774.1677
fax: 773.774.1805

His Eminence, Archbishop Nicolae-s Message for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The month of September represents the beginning of the ecclesiastical year. But as we well know, this month we all take up again the activities that have been interrupted for the summer: children and young people find themselves at their school desks, and older folks at their accustomed occupations.

This re-beginning of life is marked by the Orthodox Church with two great celebrations: the Birth of the Theotokos and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Birth of the Theotokos, the first Royal Feast of the ecclesiastical year, is the celebration dedicated to that most pure human being, who received at her breast God Who was incarnated for our salvation. And the Exaltation of the Holy Cross reminds us of the significance of that Incarnation and Sacrifice for us.

In His secret conversation with Nicodemus, the Savior Himself reveals the necessity of His Sacrifice: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life" (John 3:14-15). The lifting up of the Savior on the Cross means our being lifted up toward God the Father, our being offered up to God in the desire to obtain eternal life. Our life in isolation, separated from God, can only be limited to this earth and the joys it can bring. Life in communion with God bears the seal of eternity. This is not only because of the fact that after this earthly life we will be in eternity with God, but also because already during this life we partake of boundless heavenly joys. The person who has met God can no longer be satisfied with what this world, separated from God, can offer him, and he wants to be ever closer to the Giver of Good Gifts. It is in this thirst for eternity that we reveal the true image of God. Our gaze directed at the Savior lifted up on the Cross is the evidence of the fact that we are in tune with God, and of our desire that we might also be lifted up and have a foretaste of eternal life.

The Savior-s sacrifice on the Cross and our gaze directed toward Him reveals to us our profoundest core of being. For those of us who appropriate the words addressed to Nicodemus are Christians and desirous of eternity. We cannot understand the unthinking gesture of those who attempt to take the life of our children, those who follow behind us and carry on our desire for eternity. We cannot explain to these lost brothers of ours what it is that we believe and long for. We can only pray more fervently that God might behold our desire for eternity and have mercy also upon them, correcting and illuminating their minds. We who have experienced pain for our brother-s tribulation know the power of prayer for our neighbor. Let us encourage one another to pray, and let us lift up our thoughts to the All-Merciful God, that he might continue to allow us to work out our mutual salvation.


The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas


As we begin the new ecclesiastical year and the new academic year, it is our heartfelt prayer that all of you, especially our students, may hold to the example of the early Christians, gathering together as a united community in learning, fellowship, prayer, and in unceasing ministry to others.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you always.

Arhiepiscop DEMETRIOS

Arhiepiscopia Ortodoxă Greacă din America

Mitropolit HERMAN

Biserica Ortodoxă în America

Mitropolit PHILIP

Arhiepiscopia Creştină Ortodoxă Antiohiană din America de Nord

Arhiepiscop NICOLAE

Arhiepiscopia Ortodoxă Română în America şi Canada


Biserica Ortodoxă Sârbă din SUA şi Canada

Mitropolit JOSEPH

Biserica Ortodoxă Bulgară de Est

Mitropolit NICHOLAS de Amissos

Episcopia Ortodoxă Carpato-Rusă din SUA


Biserica Ortodoxă Ucraineană din SUA

Episcop ILIA de Philomelion

Episcopia Ortodoxă Albaneză din America


SCOBA, The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas

September 19, 2004

College Student Sunday

...And they devoted themselves to the Apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers. (Acts 2:42)

The Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of  Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas

To all the Clergy and the Laity of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The passage cited above from the book of the Acts of the Apostles is a beautiful description of the manner in which early Christians organized and conducted their lives as a united community. Today, over 40,000 Orthodox Christian college students studying on hundreds of campuses throughout North America are called to live the very same ideal, gathering together in a spirit of learning, fellowship, and worship through the work of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry effort under SCOBA.

Our college students come from diverse places of origin to live on campuses that are sometimes thousands of miles away from their homes.  For many of them, it is the first time they are living on their own.  During these challenging years of college, our students are faced with unprecedented opportunities for learning, for personal growth, and for psychological and spiritual development.  However, as they are exposed to new ideas and environments, and as they encounter others who come from a wide array of cultural and religious backgrounds, they are also faced with perplexing conditions that often challenge their identities and their Orthodox Christian faith.

The presence of the OCF on the college campus is so very crucial in that it serves as a community that brings students together and anchors them firmly in their Orthodox Christian faith.  Through communal prayer, fellowship, philanthropy, and witness, students who participate in the OCF can be sure that their encounter with others from different walks of life will truly enrich and enhance their growth as Orthodox Christians.  Likewise in the classroom, their exposure to philosophical worldviews and teachings that sometimes diverge from Orthodox Christian thought will also beautifully augment their intellectual and spiritual growth. For some time, colleges and universities throughout North America have been cognizant of the need to focus upon the spiritual development of their students.  Many schools of higher learning have developed campus ministry programs to this end, therefore welcoming and supporting OCF chapters. As hierarchs of the Standing Conference, we commend these schools for their dedication to the religious needs of students from all faiths, and specifically for their support of our Orthodox Christian students who are in need of a place of true community and fellowship.

As the ministry of the OCF continues to flourish, as is evidenced already by its dedicated team of student advisors and staff in offices across America, we encourage our priests and parishes to support this important ministry through prayer and through financial assistance.  Accordingly, we designate this Sunday following the Elevation of the Holy Cross, September 19, as our annual College Student Sunday.  On this day, we call upon each of you to remember the particular needs of college students, who face incredible challenges and opportunities, and to make other young people who are preparing for college aware of the opportunities that are open to them through the OCF and its valuable programs.

Archpastoral Itinerary

Saturday September 11

  • Vespers at Holy Annunciation in Cleveland.

Sunday September 12

  • Divine Liturgy at the same parish

Tuesday September 14

  • Elevation of the Holy Cross, Divine Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral, Chicago

Sunday September 19

  • Divine Liturgy at the same church

The list of the donors for the IOCC program for Romania

Parish USD
St. Mihail, Southbridge 500.00
TOTAL 500.00
Parish CAD
St. Andrew Mississauga +400.00
St. Dumitru, Toronto 300.00
TOTAL 700.00

We thank to all the priest and faithful for their support to this cause. We are deeply impressed by the mobilization of some parishes and their effort for the children from Romania who need help. We do hope that the other parishes will follow their example. May God repay your donation.

« Back

Credinţa - The Faith Magazine
April - June, 2014

Credinţa Almanach 2014

Today's saints
May 24

Sf. Cuv. Simeon din Muntele Minunat
Sf. Mc. Serapion si Marciana

Archbishop Nicolae's
Pastoral Itinerary

May 28, 2017 - Divine Liturgy at St. Dimitrios the New Monastery, Middletown, NY

May 25, 2017 - Ascension of the Lord - Divine Liturgy at Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL

May 21, 2017 - Ss. Constantine and Helen - Divine Liturgy at Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL

May 16, 2017 - Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Assembly of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, New York, NY

May 14, 2017 - Divine Liturgy at the Resurrection of the Lord parish, Sacramento, CA

Bishop Ioan Casian's Pastoral Itinerary

May 21, 2017 - Ss. Constantine and Helen – Divine Liturgy at Ss. Constantine and Helen parish, Edmonton, AB

May 14, 2017 - Divine Liturgy at St. Mary’s parish, Boian, AB

May 7, 2017 - Divine Liturgy at St. George parish, St. Hubert, QC

April 30, 2017 - Divine Liturgy at Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL

April 23, 2017 - St. George - Divine Liturgy at St. George parish, St. Hubert, QC