January 14: The first regular chapter meeting of the year was held at Christ our Savior Parish, St Nicholas Church, 764 Fifth St. in Struthers, Ohio 44471. The speaker was Father Bob Bonnot (Pastor). His talk was titled: "Does the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. Need Married Priests? Pros & Cons". There were several questions and a lively discussion ensued in the church and even down in the social hall afterward.
March 10: The second regular chapter meeting took place at Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church, 401 12th St., Campbell, Ohio 44505. Our speaker was Fr. Daniel Rogich who gave a presentation on "The Two Lungs of the Universal Church" accompanied with an extensively developed handout. Fr. Dan spoke on various ecclesiological components of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches as well as the ecumenical discussion on "sister churches."
May: Our beloved Chairman Vito Rosario Carchedi (70 yrs) passed away on May 6. Vito faithfully lead our chapter for 18 years with an ecumenical passion and desire for church unity. He was relentless and tenacious in his vision to keep the local chapter moving forward into the 21st century by inviting outstanding speakers to address a myriad of topics. Vito was responsible for our Newsletter - "Light of the East" in which he always informed our members on ecumenical topics and promoted upcoming meetings. The Mass of Christian Burial took place at Christ Our Savior Parish, St. Nicholas Church in Struthers. Bishop John Michael offered words of encouragement and prayers. Fr. Bonnot presided and preached at the Mass. Concelebrants were: Fr. George Gage, Fr. Joe Witmer, Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak & Fr. Mel Rusnak. Both Ray Nakley and Rich Mattiussi offered respective eulogies. Also, SSJC National President Jack Figel's message of condolence and moral support to Vito's family and friends was read during the eulogy. Vito was truly loved by his family and friends within our local chapter --- MEMORY ETERNAL!
June 12: A PARASTAS (Memorial Service) by Fr.George Gage for Vito Rosario Carchedi took place after the Sunday Divine Liturgy at St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church in Boardman. In attendance were Vito's wife Donna Carchedi, fellow parishioners, and members of the SSJC local chapter. Fellowship and refreshments followed. St. Mary's was Vito's home parish for many years. MEMORY ETERNAL!
June 14: The third regular meeting took place at St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church, 463 Robinson Rd., Campbell, Ohio 44505. There was a brief Memorial Service (Panachida) led by Fr. Kevin Marks in the church in memory of Vito Carchedi before the meeting. Our local chapter met in the church hall to hear Mother Theodora speak on "Traditional Eastern Monastic Life Today." Mother Theodora is from Christ the Bridegroom Monastery in Burton, Ohio. They are a Byzantine Catholic Women's Monastic Community in the Eparchy of Parma.
August: The Steering Committee met at St. Maron's Church to discuss the future of the local chapter, draw up a Constitution and by-laws & consulted with the National Chapter President Jack Figel about possibly applying for 501(c)3 tax exempt status. Hopefully, nominations for officers and elections will take place in the Fall after the membership accepts the new constitution. Special thanks to Chorbishop Michael Kail, Ray Nakley and Rich Mattiussi for spearheading the effort. It has been a long and arduous process. Ray Nakley has devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy in scrutinizing over and revising several drafts of the constitution. Thank you, Ray!
September 20 - Special Meeting: St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church (on Youngstown's Westside) hosted 16 Seminarians on tour from Blessed Theodore Romzha Seminary Choir which was sponsored by the Oriental Lumen Foundation. They traveled from Uzhorod, Transcarpathia, Ukraine and presented a two-hour concert of sacred music both in plain chant and choral arrangements in Church Slavonic. A coffee social took place after the concert. Free-will donations were accepted and sent to the seminary to help with the education and formation of the seminarians. Our National President, Jack Figel was present and spoke with some of our local chapter members during the Coffee Social for an informal meeting and discussion. Host Pastor: Fr. Richard Lambert.
October 19 - Special Meeting at St. Columba Cathedral on the Refugee Crisis: Date and Time: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 7PM - 9PM, Location: St. Columba Cathedral Hall (located next to the Cathedral), Youngstown. Sponsored by: The DOY Catholic Charities Social Concerns Dept. After speaking with Ray Nakley, Fr. Dan Rohan, and Fr. John Schmidt, there was some growing interest in attending a local meeting sponsored by the Diocese of Youngstown on the World-wide Refugee Crisis. Therefore, all our members were invited to this special meeting. Fr. Rohan shared with me how his church helped sponsor a refugee family to come to the USA. This is a very timely topic that deals with the tragic humanitarian crisis taking place before our very eyes.
Thursday, November 10 at 7 pm - St. Maron Catholic Church. Host Pastor: Chorbishop Kail - Thank you for an excellent Lebanese FEAST!!! Thank you, Ray Nakley, for scheduling our November Speaker! Steve Puluka, Topic: "Roots of Christian Church Divisions and Organization", Website: http://puluka.com/home/ Steve gave an overview on the various points of division and specific ecumenical convergences between the Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian Churches in the post-Vatican II era.
December 13 Meeting was CANCELLED due to inclement weather conditions. Tuesday, December 13 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm. - St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church, Host Pastor: Fr. George Gage, 7782 Glenwood Ave, Youngstown, OH 44512, (330) 726-8573. Meeting Agenda: Brief Prayer and Meal (Potluck - please bring a covered dish or salad or dessert) - watch for the upcoming email after Thanksgiving.
We wanted to ratify our new Constitution at this meeting. The Constitution is basically finished. Thank you, Chorbishop Kail and Ray Nakley, for drafting and refining the present document. We are almost completely done!