1 Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation Volume 42 Issue 4 August 2015 A MIRACLE BEFORE OUR EYES by Father Paul A. Kaplanis On Mother s Day, May 10, 2015, at our beloved Cathedral, while we were celebrating the Divine Liturgy, something truly amazing took place. Immediately following the Great Entrance, as customary, the clergy place the paten and the Holy Chalice upon the Holy Altar. The paten and the chalice contain all the elements of bread and wine that we the faithful offer to God the Holy Spirit to transform them into the Body and Blood of our Lord. Upon placing the Holy Gifts upon the altar, the priest always removes the veils, folds them neatly and then censes the gifts three times before continuing with the petitions that follow. On that morning, when I removed the veils, there was an accident. One of the veils was caught on the chalice and as I removed it from the chalice, which contained the unconsecrated wine, it spilled all over. As a result, the veil was soaked with wine, the chalice had wine running down the outside of it as well and it pooled onto the Antimension. (The Antimension is a consecrated cloth that rests upon the Holy Altar at all times and is opened before the Great Entrance so that the priest may set the Holy Gifts upon it. Upon the Antimension is where the consecration of the Holy Gifts take place. It is also a practical cloth used to collect any holy particles of the Consecrated elements that may fall onto in while preparing the Gifts for the distribution of Holy Communion). It is difficult to describe the deep sunken feeling in the heart of the priest when something like this happens. Ultimately, the priest feels like he has ruined something sacred and that he has let God down in safeguarding the gifts entrusted to him. There are the feelings of ineptness and clumsiness. There is the responsibility that you permanently damaged a holy object that also happens to have a beautiful color icon of the Burial scene of our Lord upon being taken down from the Holy Cross. 1 Continues on page 2
2 Once that wine spilled that day, we immediately began to clean up all the wine. We gave the one wine-soaked veil to our Pastoral Assistant, Elias, to immediately submerge it in cold water; we used several red communion cloths to wipe off the chalice and to absorb the spilled wine, which was all over the Antimension in the area around the chalice. Fr. Christos, Fr. Ken and I did our best to clean up the spill. After we cleaned everything we began to notice that the Antimension was not only completely dry, but also there was absolutely no trace of the wine ever being spilled. Furthermore, there were no stains on the cloth at all! Those who were in attendance that day could see that something unusual had occurred. We, the clergy kept examining the Antimension and not only were there no stains, it was not sticky and it was bone dry. Just before it was time to distribute Holy Communion, I felt compelled to share with our Saint Alexander of Constantinople born between 237 and 245) was bishop of Byzantium and the Archbishop of Constantinople (the city was renamed during his episcopacy). Further information from the Synaxarion states that Alexander was originally from Calabria in Italy and his parents were George and Vryaine. From very young he was given to God and stayed in a Monastery, where he cultivated virtue and became a good laborer of God's commands. He was granted divine visions, while for twenty days he stayed completely fasting. But he also stayed naked for four years and fell into thousands of problems because of attacks of the Saracens. (Eusebius of Caesarea refers to Saracens in his Ecclesiastical history, in which he narrates an account wherein Dionysus, Bishop of Alexandria, mentions Saracens in a letter while congregation some of the details of what had just taken place. The sunken feeling we had when the accident occurred, now turned into a feeling of peace and utter joy. It was a very humbling experience for all of us. After the Divine Liturgy, parishioners told us that they were so moved by this wonder that some who were not planning on receiving Holy Communion that day came forth and received. A few parishioners came into the Holy Altar to see the Antimension and found it in perfect condition. We cannot really understand or say how this happened or why we were blessed to experience such an unusual phenomenon. What we can express is that God can perform all wonders great and small and that there are those times when something happens just to give us that reminder that Our Lord is present everywhere and fulfilling all things. ST. ALEXANDER, PATRIACH OF CONSTANTINOPLE Commemorated on August 30 th describing the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius: "Many were, in the Arabian mountain, enslaved by the barbarous 'sarkenoi')." In this way, he lived many years travelling around Greece with his pupils Vitalius and Nicephorus. He was elected as a vicar to assist the aged bishop Saint Metrophanes of Constantinople (June 4 th ). As a result, both he and Metrophanes are both reported as being the first Archbishop of Constantinople (both are also sometimes listed as first "Patriarch" of Constantinople, though the episcopal see had not yet been elevated to that rank until the time of the 2 nd Ecumenical Council in 381 A.D.). Alexander served as bishop for about 23 years, until his death at 73 years of age, between At the time of Metrophanes' death, he left instructions in his will to elect his vicar to the throne of Constantinople. During his episcopacy, Alexander engaged in debate with pagan philosophers and opposed heresies. He was highly praised by St. Gregory Nazianzus (January 25 th ) and St. Epiphanius of Cyprus (May 12 th ). St. Theodoret called him an "apostolic" bishop. Patriarch Metrophanes was of extreme age at the time 2
3 of the First Ecumenical Synod (325 A.D.) and Alexander substituted for him. Upon his death, St Metrophanes left instructions in his will to elect his vicar to the throne of Constantinople. During these times His Holiness Patriarch Alexander had to contend with the Arians and with pagans. Once, in a dispute with a pagan philosopher the saint said to him, In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ I command you to be quiet! and the pagan suddenly became mute. When he gestured with signs to acknowledge his errors and affirm the correctness of the Christian teaching, then his speech returned to him and he believed in Christ together with many other pagan philosophers. The faithful rejoiced at this, glorifying God Who had given such power to His saint. St. Alexander was very suspicious of the heretic Arius. At one point, Arius had apparently agreed to enter into communion with the Orthodox. When the Emperor asked him if he believed as the Fathers of Nicaea taught, he placed his hand upon his breast (where he had cunningly concealed beneath his clothes a document with his own false creed written upon it) and said, This is what I believe! St. Constantine (May 21 st ), unaware of the deceitful wickedness of Arius, set a day for receiving him into the Church. When the Arian controversy began, Alexander, the Patriarch of Alexandria, requested his cooperation in combating what he perceived to be heresy. According to most sources, Alexander of Constantinople was present at the First Council of Nicaea as Metrophanes' deputy, although some sources state that Metrophanes (who would have been 117 years of age at the time) attended the council personally. At the council, Arius and his 3 n teachings were condemned. St. Constantine, having been convinced by the Eusebians, commanded Alexander to formally receive Arius back. According to Socrates Scholasticus, Arius did not in fact repent of his heresy, but was equivocating, and Bishop Alexander was aware of this. Alexander, though threatened by the Eusebians with deposition and banishment, persisted in his refusal to admit Arius back into the Church, and shut himself up in the Church of Hagia Irene (which at that time was the cathedral of Constantinople) in fervent prayer that God would take him from this world rather than be forced to restore someone to communion who he feared was only feigning repentance. As it happened, Arius died on his way to the church, before he could be received back into communion. In the morning of the day set for Arius reception back into the Church, he set out triumphantly to the church of Hagia Irene, surrounded by imperial counselors and soldiers, but divine judgment overtook him. Stopping to take care of a physical necessity, his bowels burst forth and he perished in his own blood and filth, as did Judas (Acts 1:18). Regarding the death of Judas, the footnote in the Orthodox Study Bible indicates that St. Luke provided more details of his death than we read about in the Gospel of St. Matthew. His Holiness Patriarch Alexander, having toiled much, died in the year 340 at the age of 98. St Gregory the Theologian (January 25 th ) mentioned him afterwards in an encomium to the people of Constantinople. The Service to St Alexander was printed in Venice in According to some ancient manuscripts, St. Alexander ought to be commemorated on June 2 nd. He is remembered on August 30 th, together with the holy Patriarchs John the Faster (September 2 nd ) and Paul the New (eighth century). Compiled from various articles on the life of St. Alexander and from the book entitled, The Synaxarion, for the month of August by Rev. Fr. Paul Kaplanis.
4 The Holy Belt (Zoni or Cincture) of the Theotokos (Feast Day August 31 st ) by Father Christos P. Mars According to Sacred Tradition and the history of our Church, three days after she reposed the Most Holy Theotokos rose from the dead and ascended bodily to the heavens. During her ascension, she gave her Holy Belt to the Apostle Thomas. Thomas, along with the rest of the Holy Apostles, opened her grave and didn't find the body of the Theotokos. In this way, the Holy Belt is proof for our Church of her Resurrection and bodily ascension to the heavens, and, in a word, at her metastasis. According to tradition, The Holy Belt was made by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself with camel hair. Originally it was kept in Jerusalem and later in Constantinople. During the reign of Emperor Arcadius ( ), the precious Belt of the Mother of God was brought from Zela of Cappadocia to Constantinople and placed in the Church of the Theotokos in the section of Chalcopratia. In 458, it was transferred by the Emperor Leo VI the Wise to the Blachernae church. Out of gratitude for a miraculous cure the Empress Zoe, wife of Leo VI the Wise,, embroidered the Belt with gold thread, as it is found today, but divided it into three pieces. During the 12th century under Manuel I Komnenos, ( ) an official holiday for the Belt was established on August 31 st ; previously it had shared the Feast of the Vesture of the Virgin on July 1 st. fell into the hands of the Serbs. It was presented to Vatopaidi (a monastery on Mt. Athos), by the Serbian Prince Lazarus I ( ), together with a large piece of the True Cross. Since then, it has been kept in the sanctuary of the katholikon (the cathedral). Under Turkish rule, the brethren of the Monastery took it on journeys to Crete, Macedonia, Thrace, Constantinople and Asia Minor to distribute its blessing, to strengthen the morale of the enslaved Greeks and to bring freedom from infectious diseases. There are numerous miracles that have taken place, even in modern times that are attributed to the Holy Belt. Its value is priceless because it's associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. She has the grace and to her the miraculous power is attributed, which in many ways she transmits to the faithful. The Holy Belt maintains,unaltered, the grace of the Most Holy Theotokos, because it became connected with her person and her life and because saints are Spirit-carriers-not only during life, but also after death. The same phenomenon is mentioned in the Holy Scriptures when objects that the Prophet Elijah and the Holy Apostles wore actually performed miracles, because they had the grace of the saints. For this reason the Church attributes the belt honorary veneration, as it does to the Holy Wood of the Cross of the Lord. In the 12th century, in the course of a defeat of Isaacius by the Bulgar King Asan (1185), the Holy Belt was stolen and taken to Bulgaria: from there it later 4
5 The following are a very few examples of the many miracles attributed to the Holy Belt of the Theotokos: 1. At one time, the inhabitants of Ainos called for the presence of the Holy Belt. The Vatopaidi monks accompanying it received hospitality at the house of a priest, whose wife surreptitiously removed a piece of it. When the fathers embarked to leave, although the sea was calm, the ship remained immobile. The priest s wife, seeing this strange phenomenon, realized that she had done wrong and gave the monks the piece of the Belt, whereupon the ship was able to leave immediately. It was because of this event that the second case was made and to this day it is kept in separate reliquary case. 2. During the Greek War of Independence of 1821, the Holy Belt was taken to Crete at the request of the people of the island, who were afflicted by a plague. When, however, the monks were preparing to return to the Monastery, they were arrested by the Turks and taken off to be hanged, while the Holy Belt was redeemed by the British Consul, Domenikos Santantonio. From there the Belt was taken to Santorini, to the Consul s new home. News of this quickly spread throughout the island. The local bishop informed the Vatopaidi Monastery and in 1831 the Abbot, Dionysios, was sent, to Santorini. The Consul asked the sum of 15,000 piastres to hand over the Belt, and the people of the island, with touching eagerness, managed to collect the money. Thus, the Holy Belt was bought back and Abbot Dionysios returned it to Vatopaidi. What had happened with the priest s wife of Ainos was repeated in the case of the Consul s wife. She too, unbeknown to her husband, cut off a small piece of the Holy Belt before it was handed back to the Abbot Dionysios. Within a very short period her husband died suddenly and her mother and sister became gravely ill. In 1839, she wrote to the Monastery asking that representatives should be sent to take possession of the piece that she had removed. 3. In 1864, the Holy Belt was taken to Constantinople, due to a cholera epidemic among the inhabitants. As soon as the ship bearing it approached the harbor, the cholera ceased and none of those already suffering from it died. This strange miracle excited the curiosity of the Sultan, who had the Girdle brought to the Palace so that he could reverence it. 4. During the time when the Holy Belt was in Constantinople, a Greek of Galata asked that it be taken to his house, since his son was seriously ill. When, however, the Holy Belt arrived at his house, his son was already dead. Nevertheless, the monks did not give up hope. They asked to see the dead boy, and as soon as the Belt was placed on him he was raised from the dead. 5. In 1894, the inhabitants of Madytos in Asia Minor sought for the Holy Belt to be brought to them because a plague of locusts was destroying their trees and crops. When the ship carrying the Girdle entered the harbor, the sky was filled with clouds of locusts, which then began to fall into the sea, making it difficult for the vessel to anchor. The people of Madytos, seeing the miracle, kept up a constant chant of "Kyrie Eleison" from the shore. 6. In our modern world, the Holy Belt has continued to work many miracles, particularly in the case of infertile women, who, when they request it, are given a piece of cord from the case holding the Belt and, if they have faith, become pregnant. Compiled, shortened, and expanded upon from the book The Synaxarion by Rev. Fr. Christos P. Mars. n 5
6 Panagia Prousiotissa by Elias Lampropoulos In Nikos Kazantzakis' book on the life of St. Francis, under the title God's Pauper, there is a moment when the young Francis asks an old monk to show him the way that leads to God and the old man responds, "There is no such path, only the top of a cliff." On such a cliff top in the southwest area of the region of Evrytanian, 36 kilometers away from the city of Karpenisi, there is a monastery where the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary of Prusa is kept, which is also known as Panagia Prousiotissa. During the iconoclastic controversy in the ninth century, the icon was transferred from Prusa (Asia Minor) by a young man of noble descent in order to save it from the hands of iconoclastics who believed that icons should be removed from Churches and be destroyed. While he was heading west from Asia Minor, he lost the icon in the area of Thrace on the northeast edge of Greece. The young nobleman was deeply distressed, so he decided to dedicate his life to God as a monastic, hoping that his sin of losing the icon would one day be forgiven. A few years later, the icon was miraculously found on a cliff between the mountains of Kaliakouda and Chelidona in the region of Evrytanian in the southern part of central Greece, hundreds of miles away from Thrace where the icon was lost. The icon was found by a young shepherd boy, who while tending his father's sheep, heard hymns and beheld a glint of light coming from a cave at the top of a mountain. The news of the miraculous icon s recovery spread rapidly. Even the young nobleman heard the news and came to retrieve the icon. He tried to remove the icon from the cave, but every attempt was met with failure. Miraculously, the icon would eventually return to that cave on the top of the cliff, from where, according to Kazantzakis, the way to God begins. The young nobleman realized that it was the will of the Virgin Mary for the icon to stay in the cave, so in order to accommodate the icon he was tonsured a monk and stayed there to build a monastery. Thus, since the ninth century to this day, on this very cliff top, sits the Monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa (Most Holy Lady of Prusa). The tiny chapel (katholikon) of the monastery, which was 6 carved in the rock, is in the same place where the icon was found. Ever since then, the monastery of Prousiotissa has become a place of pilgrimage and spiritual refuge. Hundreds -- even thousands -- of people from the area of Roumeli (the entire southern part of central Greece) journeyed there to pay their respects and ask for the intercessions of the Theotokos. During the Greek Revolution for independence, the rebels often found shelter in the Monastery of Prousiotissa. Great names of that time have been affiliated with the life of the monastery. Markos Botsaris was transferred there when he was injured, as were Lampros Katsantonis (who sadly was betrayed by the monks), and Giorgos Karaiskais. General Georgios Karaiskais was actually the one who donated the golden-silver cover of the icon in During World War II, the Nazis attempted to burn down the whole monastery because it served as a shelter for the partisans. However, despite their demonic efficiency, the Nazis could destroy only the side buildings; the chapel where the icon was kept was untouched by the fire. The village of my grandparents is in the area of Roumeli. I still recall with great nostalgia the summers that I spent there. The strongest memories that I have are of the pilgrimage to Panagia Prousiotissa every year. Clear memories come to mind of the crowds of people on their knees, struggling on rural, unpaved roads to make it to the monastery, expending their best efforts to reach the icon of the Virgin Mary, who consented to dwell in their area and keep them from every danger. I know that some know-it-all theologians like myself might have some mixed thoughts about these folk expressions of piety; nonetheless, it needs to be acknowledged that in the minds of these people, the idea of spiritual struggle (askesis) is much more alive and vibrant than in the mind of some "academic" theologians, who take many things for granted. In our community we are blessed to have an exact copy of the icon of Panagia Prousiotissa, donated by the Evrytanian society. Every year we celebrate this holy feast on August 23 rd. May the Virgin Mary, whose Grace has been granted through the miraculous Icon of Prousiotissa, intercede for us always.
7 Παναγία Προυσιώτισσα Ηλίας Λαμπρόπουλος Στο βιβλίο του Νίκου Καζαντζάκη για τον Άγιο Φραγκίσκο της Ασίζης, με τίτλο "Ο Φτωχούλης του Θεού" υπάρχει μια στιγμή όπου ο νεαρός Φραγκίσκος ρωτάει ένα γέρο μοναχό να του δείξει το δρόμο που οδηγεί στο Θεό. Και ο γέρος του αποκρίνεται: Δεν υπάρχει τέτοιος δρόμος, μονάχα ένας γκρεμός". Σε έναν τέτοιο γκρεμό στη Νοτιοδυτική περιοχή της Ευρυτανίας, 36 χιλιόμετρα από το Καρπενήσι, είναι χτισμένο το Μοναστήρι της Παναγίας της Προυσιώτισσας, όπου βρίσκεται θησαυρισμένη η ομώνυμη εικόνα. Η εικόνα μεταφέρθηκε τον 9ο αιώνα, κατά τη διάρκεια της Εικονομαχίας από την πόλη της Προύσας (Μικρά Ασία) από ένα νέο αρχοντικής καταγωγής, ο οποίος προσπαθούσε να τη διασώσει από τα χέρια των Εικονομάχων, που ήθελαν να βγάλουν τις εικόνες από τις Εκκλησίες και να τις καταστρέψουν. Ενώ λοιπόν το Αρχοντόπουλο άφησε τη Μικρά Ασία και κατευθυνόταν δυτικά, όταν έφτασε στην περιοχή της Θράκης η εικόνα χάθηκε. Το αρχοντόπουλο πικραμένο αποφάσισε να μη γυρίσει πίσω, αλλά να γίνει μοναχός, ελπίζοντας πως έτσι θα συγχωρούνταν η αμαρτία του για την απώλεια της εικόνας. Λίγα χρόνια αργότερα, η εικόνα με θαυμαστό τρόπο βρέθηκε ξανά, σε μια βουνοκορφή ανάμεσα στα βουνά Καλιακούδα και Χελιδώνα στην περιοχή της Ευρυτανίας, εκατοντάδες χιλιόμετρα μακριά από τη Θράκη, όπου είχε αρχικά χαθεί. Η εικόνα βρέθηκε από βοσκούς και συγκεκριμένα από ένα βοσκόπουλο που έβλεπε ένα φως να βγαίνει από μια σπηλιά και άκουγε ύμνους, ενώ έβοσκε τα πρόβατα του πατέρα του. Σύντομα τα νέα σχετικά με την εύρεση της θαυματουργής εικόνας διαδόθηκαν ευρέως. Ακόμα και το αρχοντόπουλο άκουσε τα νέα και πήγε να πάρει την εικόνα. Όμως, κάθε προσπάθεια να μετακινήσουν την εικόνα από το σπήλαιο απέτυχε. Η εικόνα πάντα επέστρεφε με θαυμαστό τρόπο στο σπήλαιο στην κορυφή του βουνού, εκεί απ όπου ξεκινά ο δρόμος πρός το Θεό, σύμφωνα με τα λόγια του Καζαντζάκη. Το αρχοντόπουλο τελικά αφού συνειδητοποίησε ότι το θέλημα της Παναγίας ήταν η εικόνα να μείνει εκεί, εκάρη μοναχός και ανέλαβε να χτίσει ένα μοναστήρι για να στεγάσει την εικόνα. Έτσι, από τον 9 ο αιώνα μεχρι σήμερα σε κείνη την βουνοκορφή βρίσκεται το Μαναστήρι της Παναγίας της Προυσιώτισσας (δηλ. από την Προύσα). Το μικρό Εκκλησάκι που αποτελεί το Καθολικό της Μονής, έχει 7 λαξευτεί μέσα στο βράχο, εκεί που ήταν η σπηλιά. Ἐκτοτε, το Μοναστήρι της Προυσιώτισσας έγινε προσκύνημα και πνευματικό καταφύγιο. Εκατοντάδες, ακόμα και χιλιάδες κόσμου από όλη τη Ρούμελη (Στερεά Ελλάδα) έρχονται να προσκυνήσουν την εικόνα και να ζητήσουν τις μεσιτείες της Θεοτόκου. Κατά τη διάρκεια της Επανάστασης, κλέφτες και αρματωλοί συχνά έβρισκαν αποκούμπι στο Μοναστήρι της Προυσιώτισσας. Μεγάλα ονόματα έχουν συνδεθεί με τη Μονή. Ο Μάρκος Μπότσαρης μεταφέρθηκε στη Μονή λαβωμένος, ο Λάμπρος Κατσαντώνης επίσης, που δυστυχώς προδόθηκε από τους μοναχούς της Μονής, αλλά και ο Γεώργιος Καραϊσκάκης, ο οποίος το 1824 δώρησε την αργυρόχρυση πουκαμίσα που κοσμεί την εικόνα. Τον εικοστό αιώνα κατά τη διάρκεια της Κατοχής οι Ναζί προσπάθησαν να κάψουν τη Μονή, επειδή οι μοναχοί «έδιναν χέρι» στους Αντάρτες. Παρόλη όμως τη δαιμονική τους αποτελεσματικότητα δεν μπόρεσαν να καταστρέψουν το Εκκλησάκι. Ενώ τα γύρω κτήρια της Μονής κάηκαν, το Καθολικό της Μονής έμεινε ανέγγιχτο από τις φλόγες. Το χωριό της γιαγιάς και του παππού μου είναι στην περιοχή της Ρούμελης. Ακόμα θυμάμαι με μεγάλη νοσταλγία τα καλοκαίρια που πέρασα εκεί. Η δυνατότερη ίσως ανάμνηση από εκείνα τα χρόνια παραμένει το προσκύνημα στην Χάρη της κάθε χρόνο. Έχω ακόμα στο μυαλό μου εικόνες ανθρώπων που μοχθούσαν να φτάσουν στο μοναστήρι, γονατιστοί, μπουσουλώντας πάνω σε κακοτράχηλους χωματόδρομους, θέλοντας έτσι να εκπληρώσουν το τάμα τους και να ευχαριστήσουν την Παναγία που καταδέχτηκε να καοικήσει στα μέρη τους. Φυσικά, κάποιοι ξερόλες θεολόγοι σαν εμένα, ενδεχομένως να αμφισβητήσουν αυτές τις πρακτικές τις λαϊκής ευσέβειας. Ωστόσο, οφείλουμε να παραδεχτούμε ότι η έννοια της άσκησης ως πνευματικού αγώνα είναι στη συνείδηση αυτών των ανθρώπων πιο ζωντανή και πιο θαλερή απ ότι στη θεωρητική σκέψη κάποιων θεολόγων που λαμβάνουν, ως μη όφειλαν, πολλά πράγματα ως δεδομένα. Εδώ, στην Κοινότητά μας έχουμε την ευλογία να έχουμε ακριβές αντίγραφο της εικόνας της Προυσιώτισσας, δωρηθέν από τους Ευρυτάνες. Έτσι λοιπόν κάθε χρόνο γιορτάζουμε με ιδιαίτερη τιμή την Απόδοση της Κοιμήσεως στις 23 Αυγούστου, όταν εορτάζει η Μονή του Προυσού. Ας είναι η Θεοτόκος, που η Χάρη Της πηγάζει άφθονη δια του θαυματουργού εικονίσματος της Προυσιώτισαας, πάντα Βοηθός και Μεσίτρια προς το Θεό για μας.
8 PARISH REGISTRY As of 07/20/2015 BIRTHS WEDDINGS CHRISMATIONS WAYS TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH US Facebook Twitter YouTube Tout Instagram Like, Follow, Subscribe, Watch and See and our website Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral Now Accepting Online Donations! Click HERE for instructions on Guest Donations or click on one of the links below to Donate now. BAPTISMS (Above is an example of what to look for on our Cathedral website, GOOFS BREAKFAST Every other THURSDAY at 9:00 a.m. in the Kafenion. Open to everyone!!! Come join us for a full breakfast and great fellowship! Full breakfast includes fruit, waffles, bacon, sausage and much more! Donation $5 per person. Contact the Cathedral office at for the date of the next gathering. Hope to see you there! SPECIAL THANK YOUS To Our Dear Parish Family: The Goumenis and Day families would like to thank the community for your amazing love and support over the past several months. The continues tragedies of Presbytera Christine s passing and Cathy s current fight with a serious form of Leukemia are nearly overwhelming for us. We feel so blessed by the love, generosity and prayers being sent our way. All our love, Cathy & Frank Day, Cole & Christopher Day and David Goumenis Thank you to this loving community for the outpour of love and support I received through the many cards, phone calls and visits following my surgery. Your prayers and good wishes have meant so much to me during my recovery. -Asimoula Papadopoulos 8
9 Volunteers are needed for upcoming preparation to help make 8,000 skewers of souvlaki. Come and enjoy fellowship with your family and friends. Everyone s help is needed! SCHEDULE Prep & Marinating - Wednesday, August 5 th at 9:00 am in the Hellenic Center Kitchen Skewering & Packaging - Saturday, August 8 th in Carlos Hall Any questions, contact Mike Balsamides at or the Cathedral office. 9
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11 SUMMER UPDATE Congratulations to the newly elected Philoptochos Board as they embark on their mission to serve our community. The group is making plans for the year and hope you can find a way to participate. If you are interested in joining a committee or knowing more about plans, please contact any of the following board members listed below. Our newest event, the Annual Phanouropita Luncheon, will be held on August 30 th. Please mark your calendars to attend. This event has grown in popularity the past few years and is something you won't want to miss. We encourage the whole family to attend! The first general meeting of the year will be a potluck dinner on September 29 th at 6:30 pm in the Kartos Ballroom. Please bring your favorite dish to share and learn more about plans for the year. We are working hard on our upcoming events and hope you will be an active member of the organization. Please contact any of the newly elected board members, listed below, to get more involved in Philoptochos! Newly Elected Philoptochos Officers and Board members for Clergy: Fr. Ken Anthony, Fr. Paul Kaplanis, Fr. Christos Mars L-R: Patty Vastakis (2 nd V.P.), Joanna Snider (Advisor), Vickie Klemis (Corresponding Sec), Stacie Sapp, Valine Georgeson, Pam Saunders (1 st V.P.), Anna Kostopoulos (Asst. Treasurer), Presbytera Evi Kaplanis, Voula Giannakopoulos (President), Olga Biehler, Anna Plagianis (Treasurer), Pat Marinos, Vickie Costopoulos (Recording Sec) Not pictured: Suzy Lamas, Ginnie Roglin 11
12 ' Earlier this year, the Annunciation Cathedral sponsored the fifth annual "Yiayia's Greek Bake Sale" in the Atrium of the Hellenic Community Center. This one day bake sale grows increasingly popular every year! Everything is homemade in the Cathedral kitchens and includes pastries, spanakopita and tiropita pans, soups and a delicious Greek vegetarian meal. There is always a line of customers waiting when the doors open and they are always complimentary and appreciative that they can get homemade Greek items. This event was originally started as a fundraiser for the "Road Full of Promise" debt reduction campaign. In the previous four years, YGBS has raised over $40,000 for this fund. It is a pleasure to report that the 2015 sale was a great success, with 99% of all food sold! Because of this success, $8,000 was given to the "Road Full of Promise" campaign and an additional $2,000 was given to the Cathedral Benevolent Fund. The creation of YGBS is possible because of the hard work of several dozen volunteers, both before and during the event. Their enthusiasm and dedication are the cornerstone that has enabled this bake sale to become an anticipated and welcomed date on the Cathedral calendar and the greater Atlanta community. Yiayia's Greek Bake Sale Committee Members (L) Valine Georgeson and (R) Joanna Snider, present Father Paul Kaplanis with two checks from the proceeds of the 2015 Yiayia's Greek Bake Sale. 12
16 Teacher Service Awards Our Sunday School program is blessed to have many dedicated teachers who volunteer their time to teach our children about our faith. Some teachers have only taught for one year, and other have taught for many years. This year, we recognized two of our teachers for their many years of service. Each of them began helping in Sunday School right after high school. They each took time off when they had their children. Their time and love given to all of the Sunday School children they taught is priceless. Mary Alice George taught for 35+ years and Patty Vastakis taught for 25+ years. Our entire Sunday School Staff hope all of God s blessings give you peace and many happy days to come. Graduation & Perfect Attendance Recognition On Sunday, May 17 th, the following students were recognized for having perfect attendance for the school year: Eleni Hadjisimos - 1 st year, Anastasia Lamas - 3 rd year, Juliana Lamas - 3 rd year, Angela Pappadakis - 3 rd year, Sophia Pappadakis - 3 rd year, Robby Keenan - 4 th year, Elizabeth Keenan - 5 th year, Nicolas Keenan - 5 th year, Katy Rhena Constantinides - 5 th year, Phaethon Constantinides - 6 th year, Nikolaos Constantinides - 6 th year. Thank you to their parents and families for getting them to Church each week. Thank you to all of our Sunday School families for allowing your children to attend their Sunday School classes regularly. This year s senior class had 14 graduates. Several people were unable to attend the graduation due to school commitments, however 9 graduates were present. Anna Gilmore gave a heartfelt speech on behalf of the graduating class. 16
17 Congratulations to all of our seniors! We wish you well in the coming year, and we look forward to you coming back to visit. Sarah Allen Julia Chromiak Jacob Gassert Anna Gilmore Frank Kostopoulos Christina Maxouris Stephen Missailidis Dean Pappas Vicki Pateritsas Nina Patronis Nicholas Redd Caroline Stern Yeoryia Vastakis Christos Zourzoukis Naval Academy Tentative Undecided West Georgia Technical College College of Charleston Kennesaw State University Georgia State University Georgia State University Georgia Perimeter College University of Alabama Georgia Institute of Technology California Institute of Technology Auburn University Kennesaw State University University of Georgia A slideshow of all of our Sunday School students was shown during coffee hour in the ballroom. The end of the slideshow included highlights of each of our seniors. Registration forms for the school year are available in the Church Office or on the Cathedral website. Classes begin on Sunday, August 9 th with a Meet & Greet in each classroom. 17
18 The theme at Summer Day Camp was The Genealogy of Christ. We had 126 children, ages 3-14, register for this year s camp, which was held for two weeks: 90 attended Week 1 and 102 attended Week 2. Our staff included 45 college age students and GOYAns who worked as either counselors or counselors in training for one week. Each day began with Opening Prayer. Campers enjoyed Orthodox Life, Sports, Dance, Arts & Crafts and Swimming. Our youngest campers played and splashed in pools onsite. Our campers ages 6 and up enjoyed swimming at Emory Pool. The days ended with Closing Prayer. Orthodox Life was taught by Nick Kostopoulos, Ryan Marinos, Tommy McBride & Sarah Stewart. Elias Lampropoulos and Natalie Stadnick-Uhl prepared binders with age appropriate lessons for each teacher to use with their campers. During Week 1, campers ages 3-7 went to Sensations Therafun and campers ages 8-14 went to White Water. Our Adventure Campers, ages 13-14, also went zip lining. During Week 2, all campers went to Main Event for a day of bowling, gravity ropes, laser tag and more games. Adventure Campers also went White Water rafting in Tennessee. On Thursday of Week 2, Community Night was held in the ballroom. We had over 250 people attend. It was a fun night filled with dancing, singing and laughter. Our year old gave a summary of their Orthodox Life classes by giving brief descriptions of each lesson, and by rapping a song about what they learned. The evening ended with a slideshow of highlights from both weeks. Summer Day Camp is part of many people s memories. It is a time that bonds are made. Campers spend time with their counselors, and as they get older, they want to be a counselor one day too. These bonds are the best part of camp, one of the reasons we offer it each year. Throughout the year, it is heartwarming to see campers and counselors reconnect in Church. They truly make impacts on each other s lives. At Summer Day Camp, they have the opportunity to not only have fun all day, but they also have the opportunity to learn more about our faith together. It is truly a blessing for all. Thank you to every camper who attended this year s program. We look forward to seeing you next year! 18
19 Week 1: June 8 th -12 th Week 2: June 15 th -19 th 19
23 . BACK TO SUNDAY SCHOOL LUNCHEON SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 TH immediately following the Divine Liturgy in Carlos Hall Enjoy a delicious lunch & great fellowship! Sponsored by GOYA DONATION: $8.00 (Adults) & $5.00 (Children under 12) 23
24 AHEPA Mother Lodge Chapter No. 1 Educational Fund 24
26 WEDNESDAY NITE LIFE Fall Semester begins on Wednesday, September 9 th in the Kartos Ballroom Exciting new format with details forthcoming! A Back to School Drive for Homeless Children of Our House, Inc. & Genesis Shelter 7 th Annual St. Philothea Golf Classic Monday, September 21 st - 12:30pm - 7:00pm This Golf Classic Tournament is one of the best and we have golfers coming back year after year to support Bread for Life and the ministries of St. Philothea. Playing the course at The Georgia Club on a clear September day brings hope and support to our Bread for Life students who are committed to changing their life and their potential. Your generous support insures their training and placement in new jobs and new opportunities. CONSIDER A VITAL SPONSORSHIP Various sponsorship levels that get you great golf and promotional opportunities all while helping those in need. To learn more please visit breadforlifeathens.org/index 26
27 Paid Advertising:! Enjoy a FREE Gyro wrap on your Name Day! Facebook.com/GrecianGyro TUNE IN NOW!! EDITOR: Fr. Paul A. Kaplanis, Dean MANAGING EDITOR: Fr. Christos P. Mars DESIGN: Andrea Koulouris PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Nickitas Demos 27 All news can be ed to or put on a disk and brought to the Cathedral office during office hours (Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) by August 17 th All Cathedral mail goes to the post office on the same day. If you do not receive your Annunciator in a timely manner, please call your post office and notify them.