St. Andrew Orthodox Church of Lexington, Kentucky boasts eleven active members of the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. Besides supporting the philanthropic works of the Order on the Archdiocese level, the St. Andrew Orthodox Church chapter supports many local initiatives, such as providing funds for our Church School, financially underwriting our youth to attend Antiochian Village in the summer, and contributing to God’s Pantry, an area wide outreach ministry.
The Order meets regularly for business and social activities during the year.
The Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch is raising funds to purchase a handwritten icon of their Patron Saint for the church nave.
Metropolitan Philip, Primate of North America, established the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch as an organization that challenges the laity of our Archdiocese to be true disciples of Christ. At the Archdiocese Convention held in 1976 in San Francisco, the provisional chairman was installed and the first induction to the Order took place. It was during the Patriarch’s historic trip that the newest Archdiocesan organization was called into being and given his apostolic blessings. The first officers and chaplain were formally installed and many new members were inducted at the Washington Archdiocesan conclave in 1977.
Ever since His Beatitude, Patriarch ELIAS IV, of Thrice Blessed Memory, and our beloved Primate, Metropolitan PHILIP, formally blessed and inaugurated the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, an unprecedented number of laypersons were awakened to their local Archdiocesan responsibilities and scores of earnest men and women have come forward to join the Order. From a handful of dedicated and devout men and women, the Order has grown to over 2,600 members and continues to grow weekly. Our beloved Metropolitan has now challenged The Order to attain 3,000 members by its 30th anniversary in 2006. This is certainly attainable since the projects of the Order continue to attract Antiochian Orthodox Christians to membership.
Today, members of the Order come from all walks of life. Some are secretaries, some are executives, some work in the shop, some in the hospital, some in the factories, and some in the home. Some are young, some are seniors, some have young children, some have old grandchildren! All share a common love for Christ and His Church. All share a common belief that through the Order, we collectively assist our Archdiocese in performing Christ’s work. In doing this work and being guided by our beloved Primate Metropolitan PHILIP, we follow the words of St. Ignatius when we “do nothing apart from the Bishop.”
By the Grace of God the growth of the Order has enabled the Order to contribute over eleven million dollars, since its inception, to projects of our Archdiocese and the annual budget now exceeds $1,000,000. The Order has contributed to Archdiocesan departments and projects such as Missions and Evangelism, Youth Ministry, Campus Ministry, Camp Scholarships, Antiochian Village, Heritage Museum and Learning Center, Prison Ministry, Education, and the Clergy Benefits Fund.
Equally important, the Order, guided by our Metropolitan, has responded to special needs outside our Archdiocese such as Special Olympics, Project Mexico, Lebanon Relief, Mexico Earthquake Relief, Montreal Ladies Aid Society, Holy Trinity Orthodox Nursing Home, the Task Force on Jerusalem and International Orthodox Christian Charities to name a few.
For more information on the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch throughout the Archdiocese, visit http://www.antiochian.org/Order/