Minutes — November 15, 2014



November 15, 2014

St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church

4949 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92604

  Present: Fr. George Morelli, Fr. James Babcock, Fr. Ramon Merlos , Deacon Michael Creighton, Anne Petach, Diane Alves, Bob Greenwell , Joseph C. Witt. Excused: Fr. Steve Tsichlis; Msgr. Dennis, Frank Scialdone, Victor Vallejo, Patty Born, R. Pruchnik, Mary Greenwood, Gloria Brissette. The meeting opened at 12:03 p.m., immediately after the SSJC-WR Program: “Melkite Interventions at Vatican II:, with a prayer led by Fr. Ramon. Agenda approval: Motion: Fr. Ramon. Second: Deacon Michael Creighton. Agenda approved. President’s report: Fr. George thanked Fr. Steve and St. Paul’s for hosting, Fr. James for presenting and Fr. Steve for participating in the morning’s program. He reported that he had left messages for Jack Figel (National SSJC) but had not received a reply. Vice President’s remarks: Fr. Ramon urged us to beware of discouragement, but to keep praying patiently for unity, to remember that, looking back, over even the past five years,  we have learned much from each other, and that “what is impossible for man is possible for God.” Secretary reports: Admin: (Anne Petach) Notice of the Nov. 15 Program was, by request of Fr. James Babcock, e-mailed to the contact list this time rather than via the mass mailer (MailChimp). This required having Fr. Hans send that list (267 at that time) so as to include the e-mail addresses of those who sign up as contacts via the website rather than at meetings.  A few more replies resulted from the e-mail message than normally would from a MailChimp announcement. However, this also means that all those addresses are now on Anne’s own computer, making them more vulnerable to hackers. However, Fr. George thinks gmail is safe on that score. Recording (Diane Alves). The Minutes of the informal meeting, May 17,2104 (not previously approved) and of the last meeting, Sept,27, 2014 were distributed. Motion to approve as presented: Bob G.; second: Fr. Ramon. Unanimously approved.. Treasurer’s report: (Bob Greenwell). With the dues received and deposited after the last meeting the balance as of October 31 was $1132.36. Our bills (including newsletter expenses) are paid. He recently received more dues ($110). Fr. Steve donated the free will offering of the morning’s program ($72), for which he was thanked in absentia. We have enough on hand for 2 more issues of the newsletter. Sgt. At Arms: Frank Scialdone was excused due to recent illness (including several trips to the ER). All were asked to pray for him. Light of the East Newsletter. (Fr. James Babcock,, Exec. Editor) Jim Trageser, new assistant editor was invited to the meeting,  but not present, and Fr. James had no report from him.  All present expressed satisfaction with the first issue Jim had produced.  Fr. James Babcock addressed the complaints received about incorrect information from Fr. Patrick Viscuso (re: his father), and Fr. Robert Taft (about not being bi-ritual) that were in Bob Greenwell’s newsletter re-cap of the 2014 Orientale Lumen Conference that he attended.  Fr. James clarified that the complaints came only after the article was re-printed in Sophia Magazine (Melkite Diocesan magazine).  He emphasized that he had asked Bob to write about the Conference, and that though Bob had warned that he had  no notes and could only work from memory,  he had told Bob to write it up nevertheless.  Fr. James thus accepted responsibility. He commented that errors are fairly frequent in news publications and that notices of corrections are routinely run in subsequent issues, so he will inert a short retraction in the next Sophia and Light of the East. Distributing the remaining copies of the newsletter will be fine despite this, nor should Diane take it off the website as the next issue will have a correction. Historian: Anne Petach reminded that she will be handing on the tasks of historian and librarian when her term of office as Secretary ends a year from this November. No use of the Library has been requested by members for several years so the main difficulty for that is storing the six boxes of books. etc. She recommends plans be made for relocating (donating?) these even sooner than next November. Decision on this was referred to the Ex. Board.   OLD BUSINESS Nominations and Election for President and Treasurer: In the absence of Parliamentarian Frank Scialdone, and Fr. George being a nominee, he appointed Anne Petach for that segment of the meeting. Having ascertained that there were no further nominations from the floor, that only voting members were then present, and only the incumbents, Fr. George Morelli, President, and Bob Greenwell, Treasurer were nominees, she called for election by acclamation. This was unanimously given. The incumbents were congratulated with some accompanying good humor and Fr. George resumed as presider. November 29 , 2015. Saturday. 11 – 12:30 SSJC is co-sponsoring a segment on -“Vestments and Sacred Vessels”- as part of an all day catechetical program at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Ramona being arranged by Mona Hauslik, a new SSJC-WR member. Fr. James Bankston will give the Eastern presentation and Msgr Dennis will find a Western speaker. This segment will be will be similar to the SSJC-WR program given previously at St. Margaret’s, Oceanside.   NEW BUSINESS. Announced: Huffington Ecumenical Institute, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. February 27-28 “Friday and Saturday. Sacred Architecture”  Details forthcoming. March 28, Saturday “Orthodox/Catholic dialog after Vatican II” Details forthcoming.   Future SSJC-WR Saturday Programs January 15, 2015 at Our Lady of Kazan San Diego: “Canon Law East and West.” Orthodox presenter: Fr. Anthony Bahou. Eastern Catholic: Fr. James Bankston, Fr. Dennis will find a Roman Catholic speaker. March 2015. San Diego area; date and place TBD. Topic: Catholic and Orthodox approaches to evangelization. Fr. George mentioned that he could contact some Orthodox missionary organizations for a speaker.  Bob suggested Presybtera Joy Corona, Fr. Simeon’s wife, (St. Gregory of Nyssa, El Cajon) who just visited missions in Albania. Again, we will ask Fr. Dennis to find a Roman Catholic speaker as he in charge of Ecumenical relations for the diocese of San Diego. May 2015. Date and location TBD. General topic: extreme violence. After discussion, Anne made a motion that the title read “Catholic and Orthodox Theology on Extreme Violence” to avoid giving the impression the program would focus on those suffering from extreme violence. Bob seconded the motion. Approved unanimously after discussion. Various groups were mentioned as sources of speakers. Diane suggested contacting the Joan Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice at USD, which Fr. George thought a good idea.   Suggestions for future programs: SSJC-WR Programs in the LA area were brought up. Anne noted that there is as not yet a basis of Catholic-Orthodox relations, nor even of inter-Orthodox relations there,  as there are in San Diego and Orange counties, despite efforts to date of Fr. Alexei Smith, Ecumenical Officer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It was agreed that the Huffington Ecumenical Institute already has a good academic start there on Catholic-Orthodox programs and our best approach would be to work with them. There are two new religious colleges in the San Diego area:  St. Katherine’s (Orthodox; Diane knows the president, Frank Papatheofanis, a possible speaker) and St. John Paul the Great Catholic University. We might invite them to speak at a program, perhaps on their respective views on education. and perhaps a program on their views on philosophies of education.  Points of discussion included that we would have to be careful not to seem to endorse them, particularly as they are not yet fully accredited. Greater SSJC-WR coordination of programs with Ecumenical Office of Diocese of Orange (Fr. Al Baca) was suggested by Anne. She will contact Fr. Al’s secretary about this. After the motion to adjourn, the meeting closed at approximately 1:10 with Fr. Babcock  leading the Troparion (Apolytikion ) of St. John Chrysostom. Respectfully submitted by Secretaries, Diane Alves (recording) and Anne C. Petach (Admin).

Action items:

Fr. George: Contact Msgr. Dennis re: speakers for Canon Law and Evangelism

                Make initial contact/inquiries with Joan Kroc Peace Center

   Make initial contact/inquiries with  St. Katherine’s and St. John Paul the Great  Universities.

Anne:  Contact Mary Susa, secretary of Fr. Al Baca

                Relay further details about Huffington Programs.

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