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Society of Saint John Chrysostom elects new Board members

January 30, 2019
The Town Crier

Congratulations to the newly elected Youngstown-Warren Chapter SSJC Executive Board, consisting of Trustee #1 Vince Talley, Trustee #2 Anthony Nakley, Trustee #3 Fr. Ken Bachovsky, Secretary Ray Nakley, President Socrates Kolitsos, Vice President Lori Demiduk, OFS, Treasurer Rich Matuissi, PhD, and Chaplain Fr. Joe DiStefano.

The Society of Saint John Chrysostom is an ecumenical group of clergy and lay people organized for the purpose of promoting an understanding of Eastern Christianity and unity between Orthodox and Catholic Christians. It has been in existence in England since 1926, and in the United States since 1998. The National Chapter sponsors the Orientale Lumen Conferences which have been held annually since 1997 in Washington, D.C. and in other cities worldwide. Offering a unique opportunity for laypersons and clergy to meet, discuss topics of mutual interest, and learn from each other's traditions. Orientale Lumen conferences provide a "grass roots" approach to ecumenical dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

The Youngstown-Warren Ohio Chapter of the Society of Saint John Chrysostom officially began in 1999 and has approximately 60 members. Of the 60 members, several are priests, deacons, nuns, and brothers. The members are Catholic (Eastern and Western), Eastern Orthodox, and Coptic Orthodox. Our chapter membership is varied in terms of occupation, age, and gender. That which unites us is the desire for unity among the apostolic churches.

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The chapter meets every other month. As part of our meetings we include the annual Eastern Churches Traditions Seminar held at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, and the Orientale Lumen Conference held in Washington D.C. In addition to regular meetings, the chapter sponsors special events. We've had "Three Bishops" special meetings in which Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic bishops have spoken on a topic relevant to our membership. Also, in conjunction with the Christian Formation courses of the Diocese of Youngstown, we have offered seminars on the theme: "Who Are Eastern Christians?"

Our chapter meets at a different church each time for our regular meetings. The meetings always begin with a prayer service in the tradition of the host church. Then the group adjourns for refreshments-often with ethnic food prepared by church members. There follows a business meeting, which is always begun with the reading of the Chapter Mission Statement and with the attendees introducing themselves. After the business meeting the speaker of the evening is introduced. The speaker is not necessarily the pastor of the particular host church, and the topics vary greatly. Following the presentation there is time for discussion, questions and answers. Our meeting ends with the Chapter Prayer from an Akathist to St. John Chrysostom.

The local chapter also publishes a newsletter called "Light of the East" three times a year informing members of events having to do with ecumenism and interchurch relations as well as local matters concerning members.

Persons interested in learning more and/or joining, please contact:



4656 Driftwood Lane

Austintown, OH 44515



President: Socrates Kolitsos (Greek Orthodox)

Vice-President: Lori Demiduk, O.F.S. (Byzantine Catholic)

Secretary: Ray Nakley (Maronite Catholic)

Treasurer: Richard Mattiussi, Ph.D. (Roman Catholic)



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