1 S T. G E O R G E G R E E K O R T H O D O X C H U R C H C H I C A G O TROPAIOPHOROS St. George Monthly M A R C H V O L. 1 Beloved in the Lord, By God s Grace, we will soon be arriving at the doorstep of Holy and Great Lent. This is the most solemn and contrite season on the calendar of our Holy Orthodox Church. Being the heart of the ecclesiastical year and the ever-flowing spring which waters our liturgical and sacramental life, Holy and Great Lent guides and enriches our Orthodox mindset (φρώνημα) and piety. Holy by its very nature, the Lenten period prepares the entire Church, and each faithful member individually, to be sanctified by drawing near to and partaking of the sacrificial passion and glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The spiritual preparation to which we are called during the Lenten period, is nothing more than what we as Orthodox Christians should be practicing year round, but with a greater intensity and effort and a more precise focus. Thus, Great Lent consists of these basic and essential elements of the Christian life: repentance (confession and forgiveness); fasting (self-control and discipline); prayer (worship, sacraments, and personal prayer rule); almsgiving (stewards of resources for the needy and for all endeavors of the Holy Church of Christ). Let us take a quick look at each spiritual labor. Repentance is the first step one takes to radically renew the inner self. Repentance fundamentally changes our hearts and minds and transforms our outlook on life and thus enlightens our daily living. The fruit of repentance is reconciliation with our heavenly Father, which eliminates the great chasm caused by sin. As a result, a penitent receives the gift of true inner peace and then, through love and forgiveness, becomes an instrument of peace and reconciliation for his fellow man. N O. 1 The exercise of fasting as a spiritual labor, and not as a simple abstinence from certain foods, aims to purify us. True fasting is much more than which foods enter our mouths. By controlling what we place into our mouths, we learn to be more vigilant with what comes out of our mouths so as not to devour and destroy our brothers and sisters in Christ. True fasting liberates us from our passions while cleansing our minds and conquering the desires of the flesh. With proper guidance, fasting trains us in the disciplines of obedience and self-control. Let us not forget that it was through disobedience to fast, as commanded by God, that the Protoplasts, Adam and Eve, lost Paradise. Prayer, whether personal or corporate, is the way we, the faithful, communicate with God and nourish our relationship with our Creator on a daily basis. By means of worship we encounter our crucified and risen Lord and live the mystery of our salvation through the Holy Sacraments. Daily prayer prepares our hearts and souls to receive our Lord and Savior. It paves the way for fasting and almsgiving. Without confession and a daily prayer regimen, fasting becomes nothing more than a diet and almsgiving becomes a source of personal pride and satisfaction, which in turn, feeds the ego. Thus, we can see how prayer is the foundation for all spiritual growth and enlightenment. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray that this Lenten season we hearken to God s call to draw near to Him with a renewed commitment and devotion to His Holy Church. May our journey to Holy Pascha be a joyful and spiritually rewarding experience and above all a testament of praise to the Glory of God. Amen. Kali Tessarakosti, Father George
2 THE LADIES PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY TROPAIOPHOROS is a monthly publication of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, a parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in the Metropolis of Chicago FR. GEORGE BESSINAS Ieratikos Proistamenos SUNDAY WORSHIP: Orthros / Matins: 8:30 AM Divine Liturgy: 10:00 AM Sunday School: Following Holy Communion PARISH OFFICE: Hours: Address: Website: Monday-Friday 9 AM-2 PM 2701 N. Sheffield Ave Chicago, Illinois Phone: (773) Fax: (773) Secretary: Athena Kalady Neokoros/Custodian: Kosta Gogos NEWSLETTER DEADLINES: The deadline for all submissions to the newsletter is on the 2nd Sunday of each month + All ministries are encouraged to submit articles, photographs, schedules, and information about upcoming events + Electronic submissions are preferred; via or CD. + us at: O u r L a d i e s Philoptochos Society has been having a wonderful and productive year. Together with the Philoptochos Society Lori Voutiritsas Honorary Dinner Event of Annunciation Cathedral we hosted the "Feed the Hungry" ministry on Thanksgiving Day at the Cathedral. We served turkey with all the trimmings to about 125 people and spread good cheer to all. In January, we sponsored the annual parish Vasilopita cutting and attended the Metropolis Vasilopita Celebration. We also contributed $1,000 to the National Philoptochos to benefit Saint Basil's Academy. Many thanks to all of you who purchased the $10.00 tickets to support this worthy cause. We also contributed to the National Philoptochos Social Services Fund, Cardiac Fund and St. Photios Shrine. In addition to these contributions, during the holiday season, our Chapter was able to help several local families and individuals by donating close to $3000 to their needs. Our next big event is the Spaghetti Luncheon. It will be held March 2nd in the Community Center. Helen Adamopoulos and Dina Poulakis are planning a delicious meal and lots of fun for the day. Tickets will be $10.00 for everyone. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there. Holy Pascha and the Feast Day of St. George are just around the corner. In the next issue of the newsletter we will have a complete schedule of events for that period and suggestions of how everyone can help. The Ladies Philoptochos Society will be hosting their Annual Makaronada Luncheon on Sunday, March 2, Join us in celebration of Meatfare Sunday (Apokreon) Tickets are $10.00 per person Please call the church office for reservations:
3 GUIDELINES FOR CHRISTIAN FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP 1. Anonymously - "...but when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. (Matthew 6: 1-4) 2. Regularly - If we extend St. Paul's suggestion to the Church in Corinth about their collection for the Church in Jerusalem, we see he advocates a healthy practice: "...on the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper..." (I Cor. 9:6) 3. Generously - "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." (II Cor. 9:6) 4. Cheerfully - "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver." (II Cor 9:7) 5. Expectantly - "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work... Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness..." (II Cor 9:8-10) 6. Freely - That is, unencumbered. Keep debt to a minimum; better yet, have no debt at all. "Owe no one anything, except to love one another." (Romans 13:8) 7. Proportionally - The expectation throughout the Old Testament into the New is that of returning to God the first fruits of your possessions. In modern terminology we call this first portion percentage giving. 8. Sacrificially - The Christian life is expected to be sacrificial in all aspects, including giving. If your level of giving doesn't hurt, you probably aren't giving enough! (Source taken from: Oriented Leadership, Published by Orthodox Church in America, Dept. of Religious Education) Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, National Stewardship Commission BIBLE STUDY FELLOWSHIP The Orthodox Church is the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in which resides the fullness of Christian truth. It is holy because its head, the lord Jesus Christ, is holy and has made it the unique vehicle of sanctification; it is Catholic because it knows no limitation of time or place and encompasses within itself the entirety of Christ's Church; and it is apostolic because it alone has maintained, with unbroken continuity and without any alteration, the faith of the apostles through the ages. You will find the deeper, authentic spiritual life you are looking for in the splendid and moving worship of the Orthodox Christian Church. Join us for weekly Bible study and fellowship; see enclosed calendar. 3
4 THE LADIES EDUCATIONAL SOCIETY The Ladies Educational Society is the oldest organization of St. George and has been in existence since The purpose of our organization is the caring and well-being of the church and its schools. In addition to membership dues, we have approximately three fund-raisers per year: the winter dinner held in January; the shrimp luncheon usually held on Sunday of the Holy Cross; and selling loukoumades in the spring or fall. Please make an effort to keep this organization in existence. St. George is the ONLY church that still has a Ladies Educational Society. Please support us by attending the meetings, paying your membership dues, and attending the fundraisers. We will be celebrating our 80th anniversary this year with a luncheon! Net proceeds of this event will be donated to purchase books for the new parish library. We will begin fundraising for the library in the spring at our shrimp luncheon. No amount is too small. Every dollar helps! Please make every effort to ensure the success of this very worthy endeavor! Officers: Andegone D. Boufas, President, Kiki Nikolakakis, Vice-President, Effie Gineris, Corresponding Secretary, Kristen Jennings, Recording Secretary, Toula Loukis, Treasurer. Address: Website: LadiesEducationalSociety.bravehost.com Ὁ Δεκάλογος τοῦ Ἱεροψάλτη εἶναι ὡς ἀκολούθως: 1. Νὰ στέκεται κατὰ τὴν ὥρα τῶν Ἱερῶν Ἀκολουθιῶν σὲ στάση ΗΓΕΜΟΝΙΚΩΣ ΤΑΠΕΙΝΗ χωρὶς περιττὲς κινήσεις, μορφασμούς, κ.λ.π. 2. Νὰ φορᾶ πάντοτε τὸ ἱερὸ ράσσο καὶ νὰ προσπαθῇ καὶ οἱ βοηθοί του νὰ εἶναι ρασοφορεμένοι. Προσδίδει ἱεροπρέπεια. 3. Νὰ ψάλλῃ πάντοτε μέσα ἀπὸ τὰ βιβλία τῆς Βυζαντινῆς Ἐκκλησιαστικῆς Μουσικῆς μας, σύμφωνα μὲ τὸν κανόνα τῆς ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ Οἰκουμενικῆς Συνόδου «ἀπὸ διφθέρας ψάλλειν». 4. Νὰ ψάλλῃ πάντα τὸ ἴδιο, εἴτε εἶναι μόνος του στὴν Ἐκκλησία εἴτε ὑπάρχει πλῆρες ἐκκλησίασμα γιατὶ σὲ ὅλες τὶς περιπτώσεις τὸν πανταχοῦ παρόντα Θεὸ ὑμνεῖ. 5. Νὰ συνδυάζῃ τὸν τρόπο τῆς ψαλμωδίας μὲ τὸ νόημα τοῦ ὕμνου π.χ. ἀλλιῶς ἐκφράζεται ὁ διατονικὸς ἦχος τῆς Μ. Πέμπτης καὶ ἀλλιῶς ὁ διατονικὸς ἦχος τοῦ Πάσχα. Πρέπει δηλαδὴ νὰ ψάλλῃ «χρωματισμένα καὶ ὄχι ἄσπρα». 6. Νὰ σέβεται τοὺς Λειτουργοὺς Ἱερεῖς καὶ τοὺς συναδέλφους καὶ νὰ συνεργάζεται ἁρμονικὰ μαζί τους. 7. Ἀπὸ τὴν στιγμὴ ποὺ περιβάλλεται τὸ ἱερὸ ράσσο καὶ ἀρχίζει νὰ ἐκτελῇ τὰ ἱερά του καθήκοντα πρέπει «πᾶσαν τὴν βιωτικὴν μέριμναν» νὰ ἀποχωρίζεται Νὰ ἀπαγγέλλῃ τὰ ἀναγνώσματα καὶ νὰ ψάλλῃ τὰ μέλη εὐάρθρως καὶ ἐννοιολογικὰ ὥστε οἱ πιστοὶ νὰ κατανοοῦν καὶ νὰ συμμετέχουν. 9. Νὰ γνωρίζῃ ὅτι κάθε ὑπερβολὴ κατὰ τὴν ὥρα τοῦ ψάλλειν βλάπτει ἀνεπανόρθωτα. 10. Νὰ συμμετέχῃ στὰ διαδραματιζόμενα τῶν Ἱερῶν Ἀκολουθιῶν ἴνα μὴ ἐπαληθεύεται τὸ τροπάριον «πολλάκις τὴν ὑμνωδίαν ἐκτελῶν εὐρέθην τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐκπληρῶν». Ὁ Ἱεροψάλτης ὡς κατώτερος κληρικὸς πρέπει νὰ συμπεριφέρεται ἀνάλογα. Ἡ μορφή του γενικά (ἐνδυμασία, κώμη κ.ἄ.), πρέπει νὰ «δείχνουν» πάντα τὸ ὑπούργημά του. Εἶναι κατ ἐξοχὴν καὶ καθ ὑπεροχὴν «Ἀνὴρ Ἐκκλησιαστικός». Καὶ γιὰ νὰ ἐπιτύχῃ στὸ ἔργο του πρέπει νὰ διάγῃ βίο ἐνάρετο, «ἐν μελέτῃ, ἐν ἀκοῇ, ἐν πίστει, ἐν νηστείᾳ, ἐν ὑπομονῇ καὶ ὑπακοῇ».οἱ χοροὶ εἶναι δύο, ὁ δεξιὸς καὶ ὁ ἀριστερός. Ἐκ τούτων ὁ δεξιὸς σήμερον θεωρεῖται ὁ πρῶτος χορός, καὶ ὁ ἀριστερὸς ὁ δεύτερος. Εἰς παλαιοτέραν ἐποχὴν τὰ πρωτεῖα εἶχον ἐναλλὰξ οἱ χοροὶ ἀνὰ μίαν ἑβδομάδα ἕκαστος, ὁ δεξιὸς τὴν μίαν ἑβδομάδα, καὶ ὁ ἀριστερὸς τὴν ἑπομένην. Λείψανον τῆς τάξεως ταύτης ἀπέμεινε σήμερον τὸ ἐν τῷ μικρῷ ἑσπερινῷ γινόμενον, ἐν ᾧ ἔχει τὰ πρωτεῖα ὁ ἀριστερὸς χορός, ἐν δὲ τῷ μεγάλῳ ἑσπερινῷ ὁ δεξιός.
5 SUNDAY SCHOOL ANNUAL GODPARENT- GODCHILD SUNDAY MARCH 2, 2008 A day where godparents and godchildren can spend a special time together celebrating their spiritual bond. All godparents are encouraged to participate in the Divine Liturgy with their godchildren by preparing to receive Holy Communion together. The Sunday School is having a productive school year. There are approximately forty students enrolled in our program. Students are assigned to one of four multiple-grade classrooms. Lessons have focused on the Liturgical Year and Orthodoxy. Additionally, lessons for the older students also include topics for the Archdiocesan Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. Children will celebrate Godparent- Godchild Sunday on Judgment (Meatfare) Sunday, March 2, in conjunction with the Saint George Philoptochos Society s Makaronada Luncheon. No Sunday School classes will be held that day so children may worship and receive communion with their godparents and families. Following the Divine Liturgy, children are encouraged to at-tend the Spaghetti Luncheon along with their Godparents and families. Reservations for the luncheon may be made through the Philoptochos Society. Throughout the Lenten Season, children will participate in the Orthodox Christian Mission Center s (OCMC) annual coin box project. On Mission Sunday, March 9th, students will learn about the mission work of our church and will be provided with coin boxes in which to place coins throughout Great and Holy Lent. At the end of Lent, boxes are returned and the money raised is sent to OCMC. Several Sunday School Teachers continued their religious education by attending the Department of Religious Education s Winter Seminar held on Saturday, February 9. It was presented by Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos, Dean of Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York. This year s theme was Peace & Violence: An Orthodox View. Our Sunday School Teachers, Bess Smyrniotis, Anastasia Kafkes, Vasiliki Valkanas, Athena Kalady and Anna Stotis thank parents for the opportunity to minister to your children. They are treasured by each and every one of us. Anastasia Kafkes and Vasiliki Valkanas; Sunday/ Church School Co-Directors ST. GEORGE GREEK SCHOOL In January, St. George Greek School participated in several events of this year s Hellenic Letters Celebration organized under the auspices of the Metropolis of Chicago. On January 20, our school hosted the lunch reception following the memorial presided by his Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. Also honoring our school s reception was the honorable Ambassador of Greece in Chicago Mr. Petrovas. The Greek School students presented a children s theatrical play entitled Mormolis. Their efforts were praised by His Eminence and the Ambassador, as well as by all who attended the event. On Saturday January 26, our school participated in the Panscholiki celebration that took place at St. Andrew s Community Hall with excerpts from Mormolis. Schools from all over the Chicagoland region offered short presentations to honor the Hellenic Letters. Finally, on January 27, three students from our school, Grace Thedosis, Dimitra Mourikis, and Zoe Panoutsos, were recognized as recipients of essay awards for the Metropolis essay competition To Agrafo. His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago bestowed the awards to our students. 5
6 LITTLE ANGELS Little Angels began as an outreach ministry for and by mothers of infants and toddlers. Open to children from 40 days to 4 years, the purpose is to acclimate the youngest members of our parish to the church and its teachings and to foster a love for Christ and His Holy Church from the very beginning with an emphasis on full participation in worship and the sacramental life of the Holy Orthodox Church. Grownups, too, share and build their knowledge of our church's customs and Holy Traditions. We meet two Tuesdays a month from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon. Parents, grandparents, and children settle in and play with the many available toys. By 10:30 we form a circle, sing our greeting song, and welcome everyone. Afterwards we go into the church. The children light candles and kiss the icons. A short lesson follows. It is connected to a feast day and taught in an ageappropriate fashion for the children. We then return to the classroom for a prayer and a snack. Sometimes we finish our activities in the gym playing with the larger equipment or riding the cars and tricycles. In January, Christ's baptism was emphasized and key figures were identified in the icons. We continued with celebrations marking the new calendar year, St. Basil, and the cutting of the Vasilopita. We sang the New Year kalanta and delighted that the coin was in the piece Father George cut for St. George. February's lessons concerned the Presentation of Our Lord to the Temple. The lesson was introduced by having the little ones participate in a reenactment of their own 40th day blessings. During the second meeting, the lesson centered on the Prodigal Son as we entered the Triodion period. A recent addition to our meetings is Eva N. Patrikakou. As curriculum coordinator of our Greek School and De Paul University instructor, she brings bilingual teaching to our sessions and an infectious enthusiasm appreciated by children and parents alike. We look forward to our next sessions and hope more parents, grandparents, and children will be able to join us in the Little Angels ministry. 6
7 ST. GEORGE ATHLETICS Our basketball season ended on a great note. The program s success was only made possible by the support of our families and dedicated coaches. We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to our players for their efforts throughout the season. Also, thank you parents for your efforts and support throughout the season. The long drives for games and practices take an enormous amount of dedication and commitment. Our grade school team with Coach Stotis, Coach Hante, Coach Melidones and Coach Leyba along with our grade school team players and parents reflected on the year. Coach Leyba expressed this to all the players in his well received s this season. The players will take with them not only the basketball skills and fundamentals that you have taught them but also the life lessons that were also talked about throughout. I had a great time and it was a pleasure to be associated with such a great group of kids and parents. I commend you all! I hope to see you all again next year! Coach Melidones also expressed his feelings As with the other coaches, I want to thank you all. I know at times we would raise our voices, make you run and poke fun, but that came out love and a sense of family for each and everyone of you. As the other coaches have written, you all have made us proud. Coach Grosso had his 10th season with the girl s high school. We did all we could and the girls tried their best. I am very pleased. We had a great season and I am looking forward to next year. We had some new players this year and have invited some of our grade school girls to move up. They added to the team and I am looking forward to a stronger team next year. Coach Demos, the boy s high school coach, always went that extra mile. He, at times, would be the only one showing up for practice on Mondays. This commitment is hard to find and greatly appreciated. We ended again with great pride in trying our best. Sometimes it s not the numbers but the quality of kids you have. The parents all helped to get players to the games. All the coaches gave there best and worked to make this program work. Our parents also took the time to comment. Peter Loukis s dad, stated Thank you to all the coaches for doing such an amazing job with the team. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. Peter had such a great time. He truly loved playing for St. George. You have taught the boys so much about playing basketball. However, the most important part was how much love you have shown the kids. We can t thank you enough. Steve Jaharis, another parent, shares his feelings: I just wanted to add that the group of coaches did a wonderful job in getting this team to overachieve and have fun doing it. I also felt that the parent support this year was key in keeping up team morale. You are to be commended for all of your extra effort for the stats and e- mails that made this season a success. Your kids were all great and Nick's final impersonation of the legendary Coach Stotis after our final game was just the right sendoff for a hard-working, close team. Our Men s league runs independently of the rest of the athletic program, with the help of John Gineris, George Hatzis, Peter Georginis and Thomas Kafkes, who help organize and keep the team together. They have been playing on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the year. Our Frozen Ropes Athletic night was a huge success. Many thanks to the Tountas family for allowing us to use their beautiful indoor baseball field and to Cathy and Chris Melidones for sponsoring the event with plenty of food and beverages for the evening. The proceeds went to off-set costs incurred by our athletic ministries. If you are interested in playing next year or want to learn more about our program, visit our parish website or call the church office for more information. Look for information about our upcoming Junior Olympics games held Memorial Day weekend. 7
8 Y.A.L. OFFICERS: Eleftheria Gineris -- President Stacey Georginis -- Vice President Katherine Grosso -- Treasurer John Gineris -- Rec. Secretary Katherine Georginis -- Corresponding Secretary WHAT S HAPPENING IN Y.A.L. 8 Events attended by our members: Bishop's Dinner, Fashion Show, Nov. 11 Luncheon Sports: Men's Basketball is enjoying this basketball season. Social Events: Blue Angel Get together, social gathering Philanthropy: Our members attended the Feed the Hungry event and put together little gift bags for those in need containing Toiletries, scarves, hats and gloves. Those bags were distributed at the Feed the Hungry event. YAL would like to thank the Sunday School for their help in assembling the gift bags. Fund raising: Thank you to all our members who helped out with the Valentine's Candy Sale on February 10. The proceeds from the sale will be used for future YAL Convention costs. UPCOMING EVENTS IN MARCH: Spring Cleaning of the Church -TBA Religious discussion with Father George - TBA Interested in Joining YAL? Contact Terri Gineris at: G.O.Y.A. Teams Challenge Course -Fall of 2007 G.O.Y.A. Ski Trip; Grand Geneva Resort, WI THE TEEN COMMANDMENTS: 1. Don't let your parents down; they brought you up. 2. Choose your companions with care; you become what they are. 3. Be master of your habits or they will master you. 4. Treasure your time; don't spend it; invest it. 5. Stand for something or you will fall for anything. 6. Select only a date who would make a good mate. 7. See what you can do for others; not what they can do for you. 8. Guard your thoughts; what you think, you are. 9. Don't fill up on this world's crumbs; feed your soul on the Living Bread. 10. Give your all to Christ; He gave His all for you.
9 SIX WEEK CALENDAR MARCH 2, APRIL 12, 2008 SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY MARCH 2 Judgment Sunday (Meatfare Sunday) Martyr Hesychios Nicholas of Plana GodParent Sunday Annual Philoptochos Makaronada Luncheon MARCH 3 Martyrs Eutropios, Kleonikos & Vasiliskos Theodoretos the Holy Martyr of Antioch MARCH 4 Gerasimos of the Jordan Martyrs Paul and Julianna 10AM-12PM Little Angels MARCH 5 Konon the Gardener Theodore the Recruit 7:30 PM Bible Study MARCH 6 42 Martyrs of Amorion Finding the Precious Cross by St. Helen 6:30 PM Mission Team Chicago Presentation at Sts. Constantine & Helen; Palos Hills MARCH 7 7 Hieromartyrs of Cherson Lavrentios of Megara MARCH 8 2nd Saturday of Souls Theophylaktos, Bp. of Nicomedea Hermas the Apostle of the 70 8:30 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy MARCH 9 MARCH 10 MARCH 11 MARCH 12 MARCH 13 MARCH 14 MARCH 15 Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare Sunday) 40 Martyrs of Sebaste Caesarios the Righteous Martyr Kodratos of Corinth and the 5 Anastasia of Alexandria Clean Monday Great Lent Begins 7 PM Great Compline Sophronios, Pat. Of Jerusalem Theodora the Righteous 7:30 PM Philoptochos Mtg Theophanes the Confessor Symeon the New Theologian 7 PM Presanctified Liturgy Followed by Bible Study Nicephoros, Pat. Of Constantinople Pouplios the Martyr, Bishop of Athens Benedict of Nursia Euschimonus the Confessor 7:30 PM 1st Salutations 3rd Saturday of Souls Martyr Agapios & Companions Manuel the New Martyr of Crete 8:30 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy MARCH 16 MARCH 17 MARCH 18 MARCH 19 MARCH 20 MARCH 21 MARCH 22 Sunday of Orthodoxy Martyr Savinos Christodoulos the Wonderworker Alexios the Man of God Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland 7 PM Great Compline Cyril, Abp. Of Jerusalem Trophimos & Eukarpion, Monk-martyrs 10AM-12PM Little Angels 7:00 PM Parish Council Martyrs Chrysanthos and Daria Demetrios the New Martyr 7 PM Presanctified Liturgy Followed by Bible Study Fathers of the Monastery of St. Savas Cuthbert the Wonderworker James the Confessor Thomas, Pat. Of Constantinople 7:30 PM 2nd Salutations Hieromartyr Basil of Ancyra Kalliniki & Vassilisa the Martyrs 4 PM Greek School 25 Martiou Celebration MARCH 23 MARCH 24 MARCH 25 MARCH 26 MARCH 27 MARCH 28 MARCH 29 Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas Anatolios & Protoleon the Martyrs Ladies Education Shrimp Luncheon Forefeast of the Annunciation Tikhon, Pat. of Moscow. 7 PM Great Vespers at Annunciation Cathedral ANNUNCIATION OF THE THEOTOKOS Divine Liturgy at Annunciation Cathedral Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel 7 PM Presanctified Liturgy Followed by Bible Study Matrona of Thessaloniki Paul, Bishop of Corinth Hilarion the New Herodion the Apostle of the 70 7:30 PM 3rd Salutations Greek School Participating Hierormartyr Mark of Arethusa Martyr Cyril the Deacon & Companions 9AM Family Synaxis at St. Sophia; Elgin, IL MARCH 30 Sunday of the Holy Cross John Climacus 2 PM Greek Parade in GreekTown MARCH 31 Hypatios the Wonderworker Metropolitan Innocent of Moscow 7 PM Great Compline APRIL 1 Mary of Egypt Euthemios of Suzdal Martyrs Gerontius and Basilides APRIL 2 Titus the Wonderworker Theodora the Virginmartyr of Palestine 7 PM Presanctified Liturgy Followed by Bible Study APRIL 3 Nikitas the Confessor Joseph the Hymnographer APRIL 4 George of Maleon Plato the Studite 7:30 PM 4th Salutations Followed by Mission Team Chicago Presentation APRIL 5 Claudios & Companions Theodora the Righteous APRIL 6 APRIL 7 APRIL 8 APRIL 9 APRIL 10 APRIL 11 APRIL 12 Sunday of St. John Climacus Eutychios, Pat. Of Constantinople Martyrs Kalliopios & Akylina Savas the New 7 PM Great Compline Herodion, Agabus, Rufus, Asyncritus of the 70 Rufus the Obedient 10AM-12PM Little Angels 7:30 PM Philoptochos Mtg Martyr Eupsychios Vadin the Righteous of Persia 7 PM Presanctified Liturgy Followed by Bible Study Martyrs Terence & Companions Hieromartyr Gregory V of Constantinople Martyr Antipas Pharmuthios the Anchorite 7 PM Akathyst Hymn Basil the Confessor Mother Anthousa STRICT FAST FISH ALLOWED WINE & OIL ALLOWED DAIRY, EGGS, & FISH ALLOWED
10 Έ χει λεχθεί ότι η διαφορά της αληθινής αγάπης από την τρέλλα είναι πολύ μικρή και τα σύνορα μεταξύ των δύο δυσδιάκριτα. Πράγματι αυτός που αγαπά πολύ, υπάρχει ενδεχόμενο να κάνη πράγματα που μοιάζουν στα μάτια των άλλων, κυρίως όσων έχουν μάθει να εξετάζουν τα πάντα με την ψυχρή λογική, υπερβολικά, τρελλά. Μερικά από αυτά ίσως και να είναι? αλλά κάθε τί που δεν συμβιβάζεται με την δική μας λογική δεν είναι κατ ανάγκη παράλογο. Μπορεί να είναι καθ όλα λογικό ή και υπέρλογο, όπως λ.χ. η ζωή των αγίων. Ό,τι έκανε στην ζωή του ο όσιος Αλέξιος είναι αδύνατο να εξηγηθή με την λογική του βολέματος και της καλοζωΐας. Εγκατέλειψε πλούσιους γονείς, συγγενείς και φίλους και πέρασε όλη την ζωή του απέναντι από το πατρικό του σπίτι, σε μια καλύβα, φτωχός και αγνώριστος από όλους, περιφρονημένος από τους δούλους και τους υπηρέτες του. Των αγίων όμως η τρέλλα δεν είναι άλογη, αυτή είναι η μεγάλη διαφορά, αλλά είναι λογική τρέλλα, δηλαδή τόλμη και ανδρεία πνευματική. Ο Θεός είναι έρωτας Συ εί έρως (Αναβαθμοί πλαγίου πρώτου ήχου), που μεθά όσους τον γεύονται, και το ποτήριόν Σου μεθύσκον με ωσεί κράτιστον, αυτή όμως η μέθη είναι νηφάλια. Κάποτε ένας ερημίτης ασκητής στο άγιο Όρος, στην ερώτηση ενός προσκυνητή τί είναι αυτό που τον κάνει να κάθεται τόσα χρόνια μόνος του σε ένα κελλί στην ερημιά απάντησε ότι είναι ένα κρασί που σε γλυκαίνει και σε κάνει και μεθάς και δεν θέλεις με τίποτε να φύγης. Στην παράκληση του επισκέπτη να του δώση να γευτή λίγο από αυτό το κρασί, ο γέροντας χαμογελαστά του είπε θα μεθύσης και θα σε ψάχνει η γυναίκα σου. Ο όσιος Αλέξιος, ο πραγματικά άνθρωπος του Θεού, όπως τον αποκαλεί η Εκκλησία μας, είχε όλες τις προϋποθέσεις να ζήση μια πετυχημένη ζωή. Καταγόταν από πλούσια οικογένεια, ήταν μοναχοπαίδι και νέος άνθρωπος, είχε όλη την ζωή μπροστά του, όπως συνηθίζουμε να λέμε, κι όμως έδειχνε να μην είναι ευχαριστημένος με όλα αυτά. Έψαχνε κάτι άλλο που θα γέμιζε τον εσωτερικό του κόσμο. Αυτό το κάτι, το οποίο έκανε τον 10 ΑΛΕΞΙΟ Ο ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟ ΣΟΤ ΘΕΟΤ 17 Μαρτίου Πρωτ. π. Γεωργίου Παπαβαρνάβα Απόστολο Παύλο να θεωρή όλα τα άλλα σκύβαλα, σκουπίδια, αυτό το κάτι που τον τραβούσε τόσο πολύ, ώστε έφθασε να λέγει επιθυμώ αναλύσαι και σύν Χριστώ είναι. Ο Όσιος πήγε σε διάφορα προσκυνήματα και τέλος σκέφτηκε να ξαναγυρίση στον τόπο του και τελείως αλλαγμένος, έτσι που να μη τον αναγνωρίσουν ούτε οι ίδιοι οι γονείς του, έστησε, όπως και πιο πάνω αναφέραμε, μια καλύβη απέναντι από το πλούσιο πατρικό του σπίτι και εκεί έζησε όλα του τα χρόνια φτωχός και περιφρονημένος. Οι πρώην υπηρέτες του που τον σέβονταν και υποκλίνονταν μπροστά του, τώρα τον χλεβάζουν γιατί τον θεωρούν έναν φτωχό ξένο. Το πνευματικό επίπεδο ενός ανθρώπου και ενός λαού γενικότερα, έχει σχέση με την συμπεριφορά του προς τους απλούς ανθρώπους, που δεν διαθέτουν χρήματα και αξιώματα, αλλά και με την φιλοξενία, το πώς συμπεριφέρεται, δηλαδή, στους ξένους. Οι πνευματικά καλλιεργημένοι άνθρωποι έχουν ανεπτυγμένο το αίσθημα της φιλοξενίας. Γνωρίζουμε από την Παλαιά Διαθήκη ότι ο Αβραάμ εσώθη και μάλιστα έγινε τύπος των σωζομένων, επειδή ήταν φιλόθεος και φιλοξενος. Ακόμα, θα έλεγα ότι οι αληθινοί Χριστιανοί δεν κάνουν καν αυτή την διάκριση μεταξύ ξένων και μη, αφού γνωρίζουν ότι εδώ στην γη είμαστε όλοι ξένοι και πάροικοι. Αληθινή πατρίδα μας είναι η άνω Ιερουσαλήμ. Οι Χριστιανοί πατρίδας κούσιν, αλλ ως πάροικοι, αφού πάσα ξένη πατρίς αυτών εστι και πάσα πατρίς ξένη (Προς Διόγνητον επιστολή). Προφανώς οι δούλοι και οι υπηρέτες θα ήσαν άξεστοι και ο όσιος υπέφερε τα πάνδεινα, έκανε όμως μεγάλη υπομονή. Άλλωστε χωρίς υπομονή η ζωη δεν βγαίνει. Οι Πατέρες την ονομάζουν (τήν υπομονή) δακρύβρεκτη πορφύρα των ασκητών, δηλαδή όσων προσπαθούν να εναρμονίζουν την ζωή τους με το Ευαγγέλιο. Η ζωή του οσίου Αλεξίου είναι ειρηνική επανάσταση κόντρα στο κατεστημένο του βολέματος και της καλοπέρασης. Είναι πυρηνική βόμβα που κονιορτοποιεί την αυτάρκεια, την αξιοπρέπεια και τον καθωσπρεπισμό. Είναι λογική τρέλλα πού θεραπεύει την δική μας άλογη τρέλλα.