The mission community of St. Andrew the Apostle and Fr. Boniface Black welcomed His Grace Bishop Thomas for the 2014 feast of the Dormition and following Sunday in comfortable and beautiful August summer weather.
The visit began with Vespers on Thursday evening, August 14th, and continued with Orthros and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the Feast Day. Saturday Vespers and Sunday Orthros and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy rounded out a very blessed time of worship and Christian fellowship. All services were very well attended. Many summer visitors joined with parishioners for the Church Services and bountiful meals following, provided by the Antiochian Women of St. Andrew.
St. Willibrord Mission in Holland, Michigan, celebrated their patronal feast with a beautiful Vigil service on the evening of November 6 and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of November 7, 2014. Fr. Steve Van Bronkhorst, the Mission’s pastor, shared the life story of this great saint, who spread the Orthodox Faith throughout the Netherlands in the 7th-8th centuries. Members of Holland’s predominantly Dutch community enjoyed learning about the man who first introduced Christ to their ancestors, and the Mission’s members thanked their patron saint for his faithful intercessions.
The 110th anniversary of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA was celebrated over the weekend of October 10-12, 2014.
For the weekend Bishop Thomas presided over all of the events. On Friday morning the parish had the funeral of the oldest parishioner, Lorraine George, who was 98. Bishop Thomas arrived before to be able to serve the funeral.
On Friday evening there was a potluck dinner to which the parishioners brought many different kinds of delicious fast-day foods.
On Saturday, Bishop Thomas went to visit his family’s restaurant in Wilkes-Barre and enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers from Abe’s Restaurant on Main Street. He reminisced there about his family during the meal. (View the photo gallery of the festive weekend.)
A new home for the parishioners of St. Patrick Orthodox Church in Warrenton, VA, demonstrates that fresh beginnings can arise out of tragedy. Two years ago when their new church building burned to the ground before the parish even had a chance to move in, Fr. Patrick Cardine said that the community didn't ask "why?" but "what now?"
"The congregation of St. Patrick Orthodox Church had spent about $80,000" on the original building, Fr. Patrick Cardine explained to the Fauquier Now reporter who covered the story of the blaze in 2012. Later, the community of St. Patrick learned that an arsonist had set the fire. Undeterred, the priest and parish set out to rebuild, aided by generous contributions from members of the community and the Orthodox SICA Foundation.
The new building will be fireproof, and larger than the original structure. "It's going to be a very interesting building," says Fr. Patrick, adding that it might be finished sometime in the fall of this year.
The Dormition Fast is almost upon us. Now is the perfect time for a new Orthodox fasting and feasting cookbook! Plus, for this month, it's ON SALE! Save $2 on every cookbook ordered by Thursday, July 31. Orders must be placed online via PayPal or mailed and postmarked by July 31 to receive the discount.
Taste & See II: More American Orthodox Cooking is a sequel to the much loved Taste & See Cookbook published in 1999. With the help of 150 contributors at 63 parishes in 27 states across America, this cookbook has been published by the Women of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The Taste & See Cookbooks have been created to help American cooks prepare meals that conform to traditional Orthodox fasting guidelines while appealing to an American palate. Preparing meals during the fast should be as simple and stress-free as possible to allow ourselves more time for prayer, almsgiving and attending the services.
On Holy Thursday, 2014 (April 17th), His Grace Bishop Antoun visited Our Lady of Regla Church in Miami, Florida. During his visit, His Grace ordained Reader Christian Abril and Subdeacon Serafín Hernández and presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy according to the Western Rite.
The Liturgy was served by the parish's Pastor, Canon Michael Lobo, and assisted by Priest Elias Bouboutsis, Subdeacons Samuel Diaz and Serafín Hernández and Readers Skye Diaz and Christian Abril. Bishop Antoun recalled in his homily the institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion and the mandate of Our Lord to his disciples “Do this in remembrance of me”, a commandment the universal Church has kept throughout the ages into our own time.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, a Lenten reception was held in the parish hall during which parishioners and guests were able to meet and talk to Sayedna Antoun and congratulate the newly ordained Subdeacon and Reader.
It was a joy for the parish community to welcome Bishop Antoun at this important date of the Church calendar, and we wish him a happy and healthy tenth anniversary as our diocesan bishop. Many Years! EIS POLLA ETI DESPOTA!
The people of St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church in Washington D.C. were happy to welcome His Grace Bishop Thomas on the weekend of May 10-11, 2014. The occasion for this visit was to celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of our church building. In 2006 St. Gregory's congregation bought a townhouse which had been converted to a Protestant church. The community subsequently renovated it and made it suitable for Orthodox worship. On May 5 and 6 of 2007, Bishop Thomas performed the ceremonies for dedication. This year was the first that he was able to return for this annual celebration.
On March 1st and 2nd, 2014, Holy Ascension Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania was blessed by the presence of His Grace Bishop Thomas to celebrate the beginning of Great Lent. Bishop Thomas celebrated several services at the parish, including Sunday liturgy.
During the Sunday service His Grace gave a very personal homily where he confessed his own sins to the congregation and spoke of the importance of Great lent as a time of spiritual self-reflection. At the end of the service, Bishop Thomas inducted two parish members into the Order of St. Ignatius. After lunch His Grace meet with the children of the parish and spent time with them. The day concluded with the service of Forgiveness Vespers.
It's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" - St. George Church in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is pleased to report that several members of the parish and beyond teamed up to stage a first-time fundraising evening that would bring the community together, raise funds for the Church and have everyone "Dancing in the Streets."
Close to 250 fun-loving guests attended Heart & Soul – A Motown Tribute on February 1st at the elegant Le Crystal Reception Hall and were treated to a fabulous night of social mixing, sit-down dinner, dancing, and a scrumptious late night buffet featuring Montreal's famous smoked meat and poutine. Musical entertainment by the electrifying R&B/Soul band The Freddie James Project keep everyone on the dance floor well into the late hours. Popular Montreal radio morningman Andrew Carter graciously emceed the evening.
St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida held its Annual Middle Eastern Festival on February 8 - 9, 2014, and a wonderful time was had by all! It truly was a Christian atmosphere and an opportunity for people to "Explore the Middle East in Coral Gables....where family and fun meet!"
To view the full gallery of photos and memories of this year's festival, please visit www.stgmiami.org/festival.html.
The St. George Cathedral Debke Troupe showcased their new and exciting routine which awed those who attended. Children's activities, games for all ages, delicious foods, delightful sweets and much much more truly made the weekend a great one!