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#416642 - 01/10/17 11:43 AM Local Eastern-rite considerations
MustardSeed Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Michigan
Hello, I'm new here and this is my first post! I'm a baptized Catholic, turned Protestant in my early twenties, recently chrismated to Holy Orthodoxy just one year ago (in my early 50's) in my local Greek Orthodox Church. I love the Orthodox faith, the Divine Liturgy, and reading the early Church fathers. I have not yet felt like I belong in this church or the other Orthodox Church options near me (OCA & Antiochian). I anticipate this changing the longer I am Orthodox and a participate in the local church. The priest who presided over the church I attend has been transferred (without a new replacement yet) and this has given me an interest to explore other options, which I lead me to look into the Byzantine Catholic Churches that are accessible to me. This recent journey has also lead me here to this forum and I have spent much time reading the many threads and posts. My heart as well has been burning with a new found interest to consider the possibility of returning to the church of my upbringing, but heading east rather than west! The two options that I have within 30 minutes of my home are a large Melkite church and a small Byzantine (I believe Ruthenian affiliation) church. I certainly plan to visit both but am hoping some here will shed a little insight regarding the likes and differences that I might encounter with these two types of eastern-rite churches. I am particularly interested in finding a church that is more diverse in ethnic cultures rather than one that is specific to one ethnic group. I think this is one of the biggest hurdles I have encountered personally since becoming Orthodox.

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#416643 - 01/11/17 05:23 AM Re: Local Eastern-rite considerations [Re: MustardSeed]
Irish Melkite Offline
Global Moderator
Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 9957
Loc: Massachusetts
Welcome to the forum!

If memory serves, there are 3 Melkite, about 5 Ruthenian, 7 or 8 Ukrainian, and 2 Romanian parishes in Michigan. If you narrow down your locale somewhat, it may be that some of the members here may be able to give you some insight into the particulars of one or more.

Generally, you'd probably find the Ruthenian parishes to be the most ethnically diverse. Among Melkite (and, I think, Romanian) parishes, it can vary significantly from one to another; both have a few parishes that are more ethnically homogeneous than not. Though Ukrainian parishes vary as well, there are a higher percentage of them that have a strong ethnic presence.

Among the Orthodox Churches that you mentioned, ethnicity is certainly strongest among the Greeks. The Antiochians, like their Melkite cousins, can vary considerably, although they've drawn in large numbers of non-Arabs in the past couple decades. I'd expect that the OCA would be the least ethnically centered of the group, although you might find some older parishes in which its ethnic origins are still strong.

Many years,

Neil
_________________________
"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."

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#416665 - 01/17/17 10:54 PM Re: Local Eastern-rite considerations [Re: MustardSeed]
jova Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/14
Posts: 54
Loc: USA
I was a Roman Catholic who received FHC just prior to the upheaval of Vatican II. My parents fled from the chaos that ensued. I searched for my cradle faith my entire life. I found what fed my soul at a Russian Orthodox parish. But to join I had to renounce the Pope. I could not do that in good conscience. I am officially an Eastern Catholic now, Church of Antioch, Maronite. My soul is healing.

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