By Elisabeth Lourie
St. George Church in Boston was doubly blessed and honored the weekend of April 17th and 18th with a visit from His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, and the ordination of Subdeacon Stephen Mathewes to the Holy Diaconate. For as long as anyone can remember, His Eminence has visited St. George to celebrate the feast day of our patron saint, St. George.
The weekend, coordinated by St. George Weekend Chairperson Douglas Howdy, began Saturday morning with Youth Day at the church. Children and teens of all ages gathered for fun and games in the church hall, and enjoyed lunch with Sayedna PHILIP. His Eminence took time to meet with the youth answering their questions and asking a few of his own. “It’s always a delight to see our Father in Christ with the children gathered around him,” said V. Rev Timothy J. Ferguson, pastor of St. George, “as an image of the icon of Christ gathering the children to Him.”
Saturday night His Eminence celebrated Great Vespers and enjoyed a dinner with members of the parish counsel and officers of parish organizations
On Sunday morning during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, concelebrated with several priests and deacons from the area, Subdeacon Stephen Mathewes was ordained to the Holy Deaconate. Deacon Stephen is a seminarian at Holy Cross Orthodox School of Theology where he resides with his wife Jocelyn and their two children. He was joined at the Liturgy by his parents V. Rev. Fr. Gregory and Frederica Mathewes-Green and his in-laws Scott and Kathy Turner.
His Eminence took the opportunity during Liturgy to speak about the crucial role women have always played in the Church. He described the Myrrhbearing women as being chosen by God to spread the good news of His resurrection, likening it to the hard work and dedication of so many faithful women in the Church today.
After the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy a banquet was held in the church hall, celebrating the parish’s patronal feast day. This was the community’s 110th celebration of St. George’s Day. A beautiful lunch was served and presentations were made by the President of the Parish Counsel Doha Haider and representatives of parish organizations. In his address to the parish, Fr. Ferguson spoke of the founding pastor of the community Fr. George Maloof saying “Fr. George is one of my personal heroes- from what I know of his life, he was an intensely spiritual man whose only concern was the welfare of his flock. I like to think how proud he would be today to see the fruits of his labor grow from a handful of people gathering in the living room of his home to a community of over 1200 people in a church that encompasses a city block in a suburb of Boston. His legacy is an inspiration to all of us here.”
His Eminence presented Meritorious Service Awards to Pauline Nicholas and Priscilla Debane in recognition of their dedicated service to St. George Church. His Eminence went on to speak of his love for St. George parish, and his desire for all Orthodox Christians to become “disciples to all nations."
We truly look forward to next year’s celebration and having His Eminence and Archdeacon Hans with us once again, in what has become a wonderful tradition at this parish.
Photos courtesy of Erick Straghalis (www.erickstraghalis.com )
View his photo gallery of this event here .