WHO WE ARE
Over one hundred years, the Antiochian Orthodox faithful of Prince Edward Island kept the faith and hope alive in their hearts that one day their desire for a place of worship would become a reality. On the blessed event of June 1994, His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, charged the Reverend Father Ron Parsons to visit Charlottetown – Prince Edward Island, to ascertain the interest and means to initiate an Orthodox Mission. Father Ron’s visit proved to be successful; for the first time the faithful were brought together in a collective voice that affirmed an interest in establishing a Church Mission.
By July of the same year, despite the heavy demands of his parish, the Reverend Father Maximos Saikali, of St. Anthony Antiochian Orthodox Church of Halifax, Nova Scotia, commenced making regular visits to the Island, and holding service. Acting as the community’s temporary spiritual father he energized and guided our faithful in those first days. As well, by the end of the same month His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, conferred his blessing and gave the Mission the name Saints Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Mission.
Father Maximos continued his visits to Prince Edward Island until April of 1995, when the Island Mission was blessed with the arrival of The Reverend Father Boulos Khayat, who The Metropolitan appointed as the Mission’s first Pastor. Father Boulos wasted no time in establishing a temporary place of worship, located in an upper room of the Queen’s Arms Motel. Father Boulos’s presence brought the community closer together, and the faithful started attending weekly Sunday Liturgies.
In October of 1995 Saints Peter & Paul Mission had the joy of receiving a visit from His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN, who blessed the site where the Island’s future House of Worship would be built, which was donated by one of our faithful parishioners, George and Abla Bassett, and family.
After Bishop ANTOUN placed a cross in the ground and blessed the land he turned to the people and said, “There will be a Church built there by the end of that year.” Thanks to generosity of the faithful, the Island Orthodox community celebrated the Holy Feast of the Nativity of our Lord in a newly constructed House of Worship that very December. Moreover, during his visit, His Grace also ordained the Reverend Father Alban Westin to the Holy Diaconate and then to the Holy Priesthood. Father Alban had a long standing relationship with the Orthodox community, serving as their Priest at St. Peters Anglican Cathedral, which many of the faithful attended until the establishment of the Church Mission. In keeping, the Reverend Deacon Stephen Allen was ordained to Sub-Deacon, and the following July to the Holy Diaconate. Both Father Alban and Deacon Stephen were charged to serve as the assistant clergy of Saints Peter and Paul.
Over the next few years the Church continued to prosper, but was saddened in the Autumn of 1999, with the departure of their Pastor, Father Boulos Khayat, who transferred to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Montreal. However, the parish was blessed with its new Pastor, the Reverend Father Paul Kara. Father Kara’s dynamic personality and energetic spirit has invigorated the whole community. His direction as our spiritual father has guided us and brought us forward to this blessed day, September 24th, 2000, where we are overjoyed once more with the presence of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN, and with the celebration of the Consecration of our Holy House of Worship. May all things done inside these Holy walls be to the greater glory of God.
On December 22nd, 2002, some of our parish faithful attended the ordination of Deacon Stephen into the priesthood. This took place at St Anthony’s church in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN performed the ordination of Father Stephen Allen. In March 2008 beloved Spiritual Father, The Archpriest Alban Westin fell asleep in the Lord. May hi memory be eternal.
On November 2019, His Eminence Joseph Metropolitan of New York and All-North America, asked His brother His Eminence George (Abou Zakhem), Metropolitan of Homs and its Dependencies to ordain Loay Alhakeem to the Holy Pristhood. He was ordained to the diaconate on December 26, 2019 in Homs-Syria and to the Holy Priesthood on January 2, 2020 under the name of Saint Elian of Homs. Then Metropolitan Joseph send Fr. Elian to be a trainer under the supervision of Reverend Fr. Stephen Allen in our church.
On Octobre 2021, His Eminence assigned Fr Elian as the new pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Charlottetown – PEI.