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Society of Saint John Chrysostom


The SSJC provided the origins of the Orientale Lumen Foundation and Conferences, promoting Christian unity and Churches of the Christian East.

St. John Chrysostom

Who was Saint John Chrysostom?
Saint John Chrysostom was born in Antioch around the year 349, and after an extensive education embraced a life of asceticism. He was the Archbishop of Constantinople from approximately 397 to 407, during a period of great reform and renewal among the clergy and faithful of the Byzantine Roman Empire. Twice he was forced into exile by enemies and the imperial court, and died at Comana in Pontus, Asia Minor (present-day Turkey).

What did he do?
Because of his exceptional preaching and writings to explain Christian doctrine, he is called Chrysostom, or Golden Mouth. The Divine Liturgy attributed to him is the most celebrated among all the Byzantine Churches today. His sermons, especially a famous one given on the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord, are studied today for their theological and pastoral content. It is frequently read in its entirety on Pascha (Easter).

Goals of the Society

The goals of the Society are to:

  • Make known the history, worship, spirituality, discipline and theology of Eastern Christendom
  • Work and pray that all Christians, particularly the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, will attain the fullness of unity which Jesus Christ desires
  • Develop educational programs which present information about the Eastern Churches
  • Organize and conduct pilgrimages and conferences that encourage ecumenical dialogue
  • Contribute to fund-raising activities which support Eastern Christian communities and other programs in need of financial aid
  • Publish books, brochures, and other information which help explain Eastern Christianity
  • Encourage and support the study of the writings and liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom
  • Promote scholarships for the study of Eastern Churches in Catholic and Orthodox seminaries

Eastern Churches

Who are the Eastern Churches?
Jesus Christ commanded his apostles to preach the “good news” to the whole world. St. Peter traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch and then to Rome. St. Andrew founded the Church in Byzantium which later became Constantinople. St. James went to Egypt and St. Thomas to India. Of the five initial Patriarchates, known as the Pentarchy, the four in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire are the origins of what are today called the Eastern Churches.

Where are they located?
The centers of early Eastern Christianity were Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople. The fifth city of the Pentarchy was Rome from which Western Christianity developed. Today, Eastern Christianity has spread throughout the world, because of the immigration of ethnic groups from the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe to other continents and other civilizations. Large concentrations are still located in the homelands, but additional ecclesiastical jurisdictions now exist in most areas of the world.

How are they distinct?
The Eastern Churches, both Catholic and Orthodox, follow traditions that are traced to the earliest Church. The Divine Liturgy uses a great deal of symbolism, representing heaven on earth with singing, incense, and visual effects. The sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation (Confirmation), and Eucharist are celebrated as a single Rite of Christian Initiation. Most churches join the Holy Altar with the nave by an icon screen on which Christ, the Mother of God, and various saints are depicted. Spirituality and monasticism are focal points for the Eastern Churches, and provide a close link between the faithful, religious and clergy.

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SSJC Membership


The National Chapter for the United States is located in Washington, DC and organizes the annual Orientale Lumen Conference located there. Local chapters exist in several other cities and meet on a periodic basis. Additional chapters can be started by local groups interested in the goals of the Society. Contact the National Society office for current information about local chapters, or about forming your own, by calling 703-691-8862.

Washington, DC:
Society of Saint John Chrysostom
National Chapter
Contact: Mr. Jack Figel
PO Box 146
Fairfax, VA  22038-0146

Society of Saint John Chrysostom
Saint Maximos Chapter (Baltimore)
Contact: Father Pascal Morlino, OSB
2612 Wilkens Avenue
Baltimore, MD  21223

Society of Saint John Chrysostom
Southern California Chapter
Contact: Father George Morelli
2579 Luciernaga Ave
Carlsbad, CA  92009-5822
Chapter Newsletter: Fall 2009

Society of Saint John Chrysostom
Youngstown-Warren Ohio Chapter
Contact:  Richard Mattiussi
Phone: (330) 573-8653
Chapter Newsletter: Warren-Youngstown
Website: Click Here

Society of Saint John Chrysostom
Pittsburgh Area Chapter
Contact:  Steve Puluka
Phone: (412)-897-4650

Massachusetts: (Organizing)
Society of Saint John Chrysostom
Northeast Region Chapter