Fr Peter Preble: Memory Eternal! Metropolitan Philip


By Fr. Peter Preble

Met. Philip Saliba

Met. Philip Saliba

Last night I was scanning through some posts on Facebook when the falling asleep of Metropolitan Philip was announced. As with all things social media related, one has learned to wait for confirmation from official sources. As more and more people began to post about it became clear that he has in fact fallen sleep. I knew that he has been struggling with health issues after a recent heart attack but one was not ready for this news.

His Eminence was larger than life and when one thinks of the Antiochian Archdiocese one thinks of Metropolitan Philip. My prayers are with his family and with the Archdiocese as they mourn the loss of their beloved leader.

In a tangential way Metropolitan Philip was a player in my decision to become Orthodox even though I cannot recall actually meeting him. You see when my journey began I read two books, Becoming Orthodox by Fr. Peter E. Gillquist and Facing East by Frederica Matthews Green. Both of these books were influential in my decision to become Orthodox and both of these authors are Orthodox because of Metropolitan Philip.

The period of Great Lent has become a little sadder with this news but as a Christian I also rejoice and I know that he will continue to watch over his beloved Archdiocese from a different position now.

Syedna Philip if it were not for you and your vision of an Orthodox America I might not be Orthodox today. Thank you for your many years of service to God and His Church here on earth and I ask for your prayers now and in the future.

Vesnica Pomenire! Memory Eternal!


  1. Gail Sheppard says

    I don’t think any us was ready for the news. As a matter of fact, I remember a time when even HE said he would dictate when he would die and I’m not certain he would have chosen this exact moment. 🙂

    The important message, though, is that we (all coverts) are eternally grateful for the opportunity Metropolitan Philip afforded us. Had he not allowed the former EOC to come in to the Church the way he did, many of us would not be Orthodox. The divide between what we were taught as Evangelicals/Protestants and becoming Orthodox would have been too great and no other jurisdiction was willing to do it. Presumably, he offered this gift out of love and love covers a multitude of sins. As far as I’m concerned, whatever he did or didn’t do, before or after, is immaterial compared to this one true gift. May God honor him and bless him richly for it.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      “I don’t think any of us *were* ready for the news.” FYI – When you delete something after you post it, it will not delete. Better to correct your grammar, than try to erase your sentiment. Bet this is a lesson that is immortalized in a fortune cookie at some Chinese restaurant I had the misfortune not to try. Bad luck on my part.

  2. Sean Richardson says

    Met. Philip was a moving force for many of us who are converts. I was a member of an Antiochian parish on the West Coast when the Evangelicals made their conversion to Orthodoxy. Met. Philip was perhaps the only one who had the vision, the leadership and the strength to take the steps necessary to bring in the Evangelicals. He took a lot of flack for it, but I sense that there are very few who would now suggest he was wrong in what he did. He was a leader. He had vision. He was Metropolican for decades. It is not likely we will see his equal for quite some time. May his memory be eternal.