MEMORY ETERNAL! HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN PHILIP

I wasn’t privileged to meet him.  But, like all others who have converted to Orthodoxy, in particular the Antiochians, Metropolitan Philip Saliba has touched every one of us.  The story of how in 1987 he opened the doors of the church to some 2,000 American Evangelicals has to be the biggest mass conversion to the faith in modern times.  Indeed, it was a miniature mirror of Acts Chapter 2 with 3,000 being saved on the day of Pentecost.  Even before this great occurrence,  Sayedna Philip was laying a foundation for expanding the faith by forming various church organizations for women and youth and bringing different factions of the church together.  I am sure there are those who were born and raised in the Antiochian Church and only one or two generations removed from their immigrant forebears  who bemoan some of the changes such as the self-rule status of the North American Diocese and services conducted in English rather than Arabic.  Yet, this metropolitan has  effectively maintained the doctrine of 2,000 years of Holy Orthodoxy and help to present it in a way that invited curious inquirers to come even closer, even to “come home.”

MEMORY ETERNAL!

As a newly converted/catechized believer, it has been an honor for me to come into the Antiochian Church as we say “farewell” to such an influential leader and tireless worker.  His loss should serve as an encouragement for all of us to have the light of Jesus Christ shining brightly in our lives and not to be lacking in our efforts to spread the Gospel.  Not everyone will meet an Orthodox Metropolitan.  But, we of the faith can be an example of what a metropolitan is to everyone we know and meet inside and outside of the church.  And especially during Great Lent, let us give greater attention to our spiritual lives that we may witness salvation to others.  In our parishes, let us be attentive and cooperative as good stewards of our resources that we may provide outreach to our surrounding and far-flung communities.  I believe this is the example Sayedna Philip gave us.  In Christ, let us live by it.

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4 comments

  1. I being a convert must thank God for Metropolitan Phillip==he was there with open arms, English translations, and no condemnation when I knocked on the door of the Orthodox Church. He did not condemn me when I did not fall prostate upon walking through the church door, he did not ask why I was there if my family wasn’t Orthodox, he did not tell me I needed to study “their” language before I could understand “their” faith! He had vision and understanding; he had a vision for Orthodoxy being alive in America! He did not hold the ethno-centric view which seemed to prevail in most of the other jurisdictions; he welcomed plain, God-seeking Americans like myself when it was more common to be given a cold shoulder, an unwelcoming look or the question of “what are you doing here?” He didn’t give anyone the feeling that the only acceptable ways into Orthodoxy were by birth, or by marriage! He was truly a man of God! Peace and Memory Eternal!

    1. Reading your comment, I felt the Orthodox simple and true believe in our lord Christ which live in our inside with an unexplainable joy that in-light our life. I wish that the new Metropolitan, will follow the steps of Metropolitan Philip to continue the reborn of the Antioch Orthodox church the first of Christ Church.

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