Order of St. Ignatius
The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch is an organization of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America with the objective of financially supporting the departments, programs and charitable works of the Antiochian Archdiocese, Patriarchate of Antioch and the Orthodox Christian faith. The Order assists the Antiochian Archdiocese in its continued effort to reach out to all in need and bring to them the message of the Gospel.
The Order is the “philanthropic arm” of the Archdiocese and is an organization of men and women who maintain on an annual basis proper spiritual credentials and financial commitment. The Order is under the authority of the Metropolitan Primate, Archdiocese Board of Trustees, and the Governing Council of The Order.
The membership is comprised of lay individuals and clergy who make a lifetime financial commitment and pledge to work together in harmony to promote the spiritual and financial well-being of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Orthodox Christian faith. Currently, St. Anthony’s has five members: one Knight, one Dame, two Knight Commanders, and one Life Member.
It was created to establish an organization of laity who would function at the highest level of ministry for Christ and the Church. It is a spiritual movement manifested through financial giving. The Order is open to all who share a common love for Christ and his Church and are willing to work so that the Antiochian Archdiocese can continue its ministry. Each member must receive the blessing of his parish priest and be sponsored by a member of The Order. A spiritual commitment is a pre-requisite for membership in The Order.
How the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch Helps the Local Parishes
Many times, members of the Order are asked, “Why should I join The Order? What does The Order do for my local parish? Here are some of the many reasons how the Order makes an impact on the local parish and why everyone should consider membership in this wonderful ministry:
- The Retired Clergy Fund receives an annual donation from The Order. The parishes do not have to contribute to their pastors’ retirement as the Archdiocese, funded by the Order, handles this.
- The Antiochian Village Camp Scholarships are provided by The Order; two one week sessions for each parish for children to attend. This is an expense the parish does not have to incur for two of its Church School children.
- Improvements to the Antiochian Village Camp and Heritage & Learning Center are partially funded by The Order for the upkeep of both of these facilities. These facilities are available for use by all members of the Archdiocese. The parishes, on their own, simply would not be able to do this.
- The annual College Conference is subsidized by The Order so that our college students can meet in a spiritual and social atmosphere at Antiochian Village.
- The Department of Christian Education is partially funded by the Order. This department works with our parishes and missions to insure that the proper Orthodox curriculum and teaching methods and tools are used for our children.
- The Youth Workers Ministry is subsidized by the Order so that regional youth workers can attend an annual conference to dialogue with other Orthodox youth workers. They bring this information back to the parish youth workers who work with our Teen SOYO groups.
- The Department of Missions & Evangelism is a recipient of the Order’s philanthropy. This department oversees the formation of new missions and small parishes; in essence, it helps to grow the Archdiocese.
- The Clergy Counseling Center is funded by the Order. This center helps our clergy when certain dilemmas arise that require professional attention. Before this center was established, clergy would have to seek outside help on their own.