1 A M o n t h l y P u b l i c a t i o n o f H o l y C r o s s G r e e k O r t h o d o x C h u r c h o f J u s t i c e, I L C h u r c h S t a f f Parish Priest, Editor: Fr. Demetrios Kounavis Parish Council President: Jim Lilas Secretary: Christina Arvanites Rebecca Mallios Chanter: Demetrios Georgantonis Philoptochos President: Joanna Pinos Church School: Chrisanthe Litsogiannis Joan Kanatas Greek School: Maria Poulos I n s i d e t h i s i s s u e : Greek Fest 2 Parish Council Message Philoptochos News 3 4 Calendar 5 Philoptochos Budget 9 Kids Article 10 Check out our website: holycrossil.org Beloved Stewards of Holy Cross, Christ is Risen! Χριστός ανέστη! A Sweet scent of spiritual Fragrance M a y It is with great joy that I greet you in the Name of the Risen Lord! Recently I was reflecting on the wonderful events of this past month, especially the time leading up to Pascha. This past Holy Week and Pascha was especially meaningful for me as I pray that it was for you as well. It was touching to speak with everyone that attended the Bright Friday Feast where everyone shared their Holy Week highlights. What a blessing it was to celebrate these holy days with my spiritual family! When we come together to worship and send up our praises to our loving God, and when I see us struggling together to attain our spiritual goals especially during Great and Holy Lent, I am filled humbly with a sense of meaning and accomplishment for our family. Though we know we can always do better in this spiritual struggle, God gives us some comfort and relief as He shares His Grace with us unworthy ones when we gather together every year to rejoice, bless, and forgive each other in the Resurrection. It is in the Resurrection of Christ that eternal life was made available to us. He grants forgiveness and eternal life for those who ask for it, and desire, and chase after it. This is an important point to make that if we forgive, then forgiveness is granted to us - a family does this together; that is, that we forgive each other in HOPE of our resurrection. The heartbreaking fact is that sometimes we forget that we are one Orthodox family and share the common cup of salvation, that is Holy Communion and the Orthodox way of life. In giving forgiveness, we become like God. We give forgiveness because we love God more than we love our own selves. Easily we forgive the trespasses of our children, brothers, sisters, parents, relatives etc., but when someone of our spiritual family makes an insignificant-in-the-scheme-ofthings trespass against us, we hold grudges for years and have formed an unalterable opinion of others. This must change! Our eternal salvation is at risk! I only have one image to bring forth to you about this: Christ on the Cross wearing a crown of thorns, nails in hands and feet, forgiving His executioners. Many people have told me that a huge weight was lifted off their souls when they said, God forgive them! Do we prefer to carry these burdens around with us and locking our souls in a dungeon in this life and the next over nothing? We should only have demands of ourselves, not of others. Think of it this way: forgiveness=freedom! Let us come together also with this spirit and love to celebrate him who brought us to the Resurrection, our protector and leader of our family - who is ready to hear and request our forgiveness from the throne of God, the Precious and Life-giving Cross. Join us also in the festivities scheduled for later next month as we celebrate our parish and heritage. May the Grace of our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God the Father, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you! Christ is Risen! +Fr. Demetri The Basil Leaf
3 From the desk of the Parish Council President. Dear Fellow Stewards, Christ is Risen! On behalf of the parish council, I would like to thank everyone who volunteered their time and helped with the preparations for Holy Week and Easter. A sincere thanks to all who donated toward the purchase of the flowers and helped decorate the Epitaphio and church for Good Friday service. Once again we had our Anastasi Meal and we all gathered as a Family. We would like to thank everyone for attending and thank the individuals that put this event together as well as anyone who donated towards this event. We had our first annual Bright Friday celebration on April 25. It was a great success. A special thanks to everyone who volunteered their services and to all who attended the Bright Friday celebration. We raised ~$2700 that evening to help offset the costs of the new copy machine! If you were unable to attend the event and would like to donate toward the copy machine, you can still do so by sending your donation to the Church office. Your dedication, commitment, and support to Holy Cross Church is instrumental to the growth of our parish. Our festival is soon approaching. It will be held on June We need lots of support and help to make our festival a success. If you are interested in helping or donating for the festival, please contact the Church office. On Sunday, June 1, 2014, we will recognize all the school graduates from our parish. Please submit the names of those graduating from middle school, high school, college, grad school, and Greek school to the church office by May 28th so that we can properly recognize their accomplishment. We will need their name, degree achieved, and the school attended.
4 HOLY CROSS PHILOPTOCHOS Dear Philoptochos Sisters and fellow Parishioners. Χριστός Ανέστη! May the blessings of our Resurrected Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you and your families. Christ is risen from the dead. By death He has trampled upon death and bestowed life to those in the tombs. A list of May events follows below and we thank you for participating. Upcoming Events: May 6, 2014 Philoptochos Monthly Meeting at 7:00 p.m. May 10, Philoptochos President s Meeting at St. Iakovos Retreat, Registration at 9:30 a.m. I would like to thank all the ladies that assisted with the Bake Sale as well as all the Donations. It was a big success, we raised approximately $7000. May God always keep you and your families in good health. Kαι του Χρόνου! Last Month s Events: Loukomades Sale Thank you to everyone for supporting this event. We raised $ towards our office copy machine. Easter Bake Sale - Was a big success. A Big Thank you to all the ladies and gentleman that helped us in any why from baking to setting up to cleaning our Holy Cross Church. Decorating the Epitaphio We all came together as a family to decorate our Epitaphio. Thank you to all the talented individuals for assisting. Note from the Philoptochos President: If you would like to be added on our Hostess List to serve coffee on Sunday, please contact Joanna Pinos (630) Hostesses are responsible for bringing sweets and/or, set-up and clean-up for the Coffee Hour. Please join our Holy Cross Philoptochos, please see Joanna Pinos or any Philoptochos Member. With Sisterly Agape, Joanna Pinos Philoptochos President ONE WOMAN ASKING AN- OTHER WOMAN TO CARE Invite, Embrace & Involve
5 May 2014 Holy Cross Church Calendar Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sunday Service Hours: Orthros - 8:00am Divine Liturgy - 9:30-11:00am Greek School 4 5 7pm Church School Staff Mtg. 6 7pm Philoptochos Meeting 7 8 8am Liturgy for St. John the Theologian English Bible Study 6:15 Paraklesis & ARE 7pm Festival Mtg Greek School 5pm Vespers 11 Mother s Day Breakfast pm Parish Council Meeting am-English Bible Study 6:15 Paraklesis & ARE Greek School 5pm Vespers 18 General Assembly :15am Liturgy for Sts. Constantine and Helen, Palos Hills 6pm Holy Unction 22 10am-English Bible Study 6:15 Paraklesis & ARE Jr. Olympics 5pm Vespers 25 Jr. Olympics 26 7:30 Agripnia (Vigil) for St. John the Russian am Liturgy for Ascension English Bible Study 30 6:15 Paraklesis to Holy Cross and last A.R.E. 31 Greek School
6 Sts. Cyril & Methodios May 11 Two brothers during the middle of the ninth century took to heart Christ s command Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19). Sts. Cyril and Methodios were two brothers from Thessalonika who introduced the Christian faith to the Slavic people. They were scholars in the classical tradition and outstanding intellectuals and theologians. St. Cyril studied under Photios at the University of Constantinople. He eventually went to a monastery where he became ordained a deacon. Methodios spent 10 years as an officer among the Slavs where he learned the Slavic language. After that Methodios went into a Greek monastery and became an ascetic monk. The two brothers were sent as a team by Emperor Michael to convert the Khazars, northeast of the Black Sea. Their success encouraged them to reamin together and continue spreading the Christian Faith. In 862, Prince Rastislav of Moravia sent envoys to Constantinople asking for missionaries. Emperor Michael and the great Patriarch Photios entrusted the mission to St. Cyril and St. Methodios. With great enthusiasm and devotion they spread and confirmed the faith. As they worked among the Slavs, they mastered the language and used it in all aspects of Church worship. They invented a Slavonic alphabet, named Cyrillic, translated the Holy Scriptures and the liturgical; books from the Greek into the Slavonic language. The use of the vernacular proved to be a means of fast dissemination of the faith among the Slavs. In 869, at the invitation of the Pope, St. Cyril and St. Methodios went to Rome. St. Cyril fell ill there and died. St. Methodios returned to Moravia and was elevated as a bishop and continued spreading the faith among the Slavs until the death in 884. St. Cyril and St. Methodios brought about the complete Christian conversion of many Slavic people. Their work was carried forward by their disciples in all Slavic lands. The church celebrates their feast on May 11. Appearances of Christ After His Resurrection Match the quotes on the left with the person from the list of people on the bottom. 1) My Lord and My God" 2) "He is not here, for He has risen..." 3) "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation" 4) "Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 5) "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" 6) "Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep" A) Angel of the Lord B) Peter C) Thomas D) Cleopas E) Jesus F) Mary Magdalene Do you pay enough attention to the state of your soul? Whether it is in good health? Whether its life is vigorous? And if its present temporal life is happy, then is it eternal life and happiness ensured by a lively faith in God, Jesus Christ, in the Church? Do you practice good works, humility, gentleness, love of honesty, abstinence, chastity, mercy, patience and other such virtues? If not, then all your labor is useless. ~St. John of Kronstadt
7 In Praise of the Risen Christ Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord, Jesus, the only Sinless One. We venerate Your Cross, O Christ, and we praise and glorify Your Holy Resurrection. You are our God. We know none other than You, and we call upon Your name. Come, all you faithful, let us venerate the Holy Resurrection of Christ. For behold, through the Cross, joy has come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, let us praise His Resurrection, for enduring the Cross for us, He has destroyed death by death. Prayer from the Resurrection Orthros & Liturgy The Light of the Resurrection - By Fr. Joseph Huneycutt I believe I was about eleven years old when, sleeping one night in my darkened room, I awoke to a repetitive moaning sound: Woo-oooo! Woo-oo-oo! On and on it went. At eleven years old, I lay there thinking to myself, What should I do? Eventually I mustered up all the courage I could and I swung my fist through the air and BOOM. Did I mention that my four year old brother was sleeping with me? Well, my fist hit the pillow he was waving in the air, and then it hit my bother, and then there was a big noise! It was only when my mother came rushing in and the light came on that I realized the truth. I wasn t being visited by a ghost, it was my own brother. About thirty years later, I was visiting a monastery and, as a priest, I was allowed to stay in the monastic quarters. However, the only room they had available was, they said, not a good one to stay in; I might rather get a hotel room. This room was called the cave it was downstairs, had no windows, and when you closed the door, honest to goodness, you could not see anything. They d never been able to keep a monk in that cell. I didn t want to stay in a hotel, so I opted to stay in The Cave. The monks said that I should keep the door cracked so that I could, at least, see something. So, I m sleeping, I ve got the door cracked, and there was barely a sliver of dim light by the door. Early in the morning, around two or three o clock, I awoke to see, over in the corner, something that resembled an energetic shadow, waving and hovering, up and down. I stared at it for a while and, realizing that I was in a monastery, I thought this might be an otherworldly visitor a Saint, even a demon. I stared at the gray cloud that kept wavering and moving and I thought I understood why no monk could endure this cell. I finally worked up enough courage to get up and turn on the light. Someone had thrown an apple core in the trash and there must have been 500 fruit flies circling it! All around the world Christians, just like you, have been coming to confession during Lent, and everyone confesses the same thing. Oh, our sins may be different, but the whole reason we re coming to confession is to say: I m dark; I wish I was closer to the Light. How can I be closer to the Light? Also, this time of year, I don t know if you ve noticed, but the devil knows that it s Lent. You might not follow the Church Calendar but the devil does. And this time of year brings temptations that seem to be magnified by our unworthiness. True, we are unworthy, but the devil tempts us to think that we might just be unworthy enough that we ought not to be found in church; we re not even worthy to be called a Christian; we re not worthy to be a father, a mother, a husband These are lies. The light of the resurrection disperses the darkness and changes all of that. No matter what co-worker you re having trouble with, what marital problems you may be having, what problem child you have or what problem parents you have the light of the resurrection changes those relationships. I ve never met anyone who came to a Pascha service and said, Boy, I wish I hadn t done that. But the only way that we can fully appreciate the bright light of the resurrection, the only way we can truly appreciate Pascha, is by going to Jerusalem and being beaten, and spat upon, and crucified which all begins with Holy Week. In the end, all things look different in the light of the resurrection even, according to the hymns we ll sing, the way we see our enemies will be changed by the Light. Without light, our darkened minds can play tricks on us. It takes the light to show us the truth. Our Lord is the Light. He is the Light and soon we are going to participate in the greatest event in the history of the universe: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But first, we must go to Jerusalem. Beginning with Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday, this is what we are all called to do: go to Jerusalem. Why? Are we going to Jerusalem to be beaten, spat upon, and crucified? Sure. But the real reason we re going to Jerusalem is because the light of the resurrection shines from there. And the light of the resurrection changes people. Beatings, scourging, crucifixions; they don t really change you. You may suffer; we all suffer in this life. But the light of the resurrection changes things. Things look different after the resurrection. Jarolsav Pelikan, a prominent Protestant theologian who converted to Orthodoxy late in life, once said: If Christ is risen, nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen -- nothing else matters. The choice is ours, you see. Let s go to Jerusalem.
9 ΟΙ ΑΓΙΟΙ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΣ και ΕΛΕΝΗ Ό Μέγας Κωνσταντίνος γεννήθηκε το 274 μ.χ. Πατέρας του ήταν ό Κωνστάντιος ό Α' ό Χλωρός και μητέρα του ή Ελένη, από το, Δρέπανο της Βιθυνίας. Ό Κωνσταντίνος από, 18 χρονών έγινε στρατιωτικός και, χάρη στην ανδρεία του, τιμήθηκε με τα ανώτατα άξιώματα του στρατού. Ήταν αυτός, πού με το χριστιανικό σταυροειδές λάβαρο με το ελληνόγραμμα "εν τούτω νίκα", κατατρόπωσε τα " στρατεύματα του Μαξεντίου και έπειτα του Λικινίου. Επίσης, ήταν ό πρώτος αυτοκράτωρ πού ευνόησε την Εκκλησία, μετά από τρεις αιώνες ανελέητου διωγμού. Μετέφερε την πρωτεύουσα του κράτους του στο αρχαίο βυζάντιο, και εκεί έκτισε τη βασίλισσα των πόλεων, την Κωνσταντινούπολη. Στό τέλος, ό Κων/νος αξιώθηκε και του Αγίου Βαπτίσματος, και αμέσως μετά είπε: "Νυν άληθεΐ λόγω μακάριον οίδ' έμαυτόν, νυν της αθανάτου ζωής πεφάναι άξιον, νυν του θείου μετειληφέναι φωτός πεπίστευκα". Τώρα, δηλαδή, σύμφωνα με το λόγο της αλήθειας, ξέρω ότι είμαι μακάριος, τώρα έχω γίνει άξιος της αθανάτου ζωής, τώρα έχω πιστέψει πώς έλαβα το θείο φως. Ό Μέγας Κωνσταντίνος πέθανε σε ηλικία 63 ετών (21 Μαΐου 337). Ή δε μητέρα του Ελένη, πού συνεορτάζεται με το γιο της, ήταν αυτή πού βρήκε τον Τίμιο Σταυρό στους 'Αγίους Τόπους και έδωσε στο Μ. Κων/νο την πρέπουσα διαπαιδαγώγηση. Άλλωστε, και ό ίδιος την τίμησε, όταν στη μεγάλη πλατεία της Κων/πολης έκτισε δύο στήλες, μία δική του και μία της Ελένης, πού έφερε την επιγραφή: "Είς Άγιος εις Κύριος Ιησούς Χριστός, εις δόξαν Θεού Πατρός, Αμήν".
10 KID s CORNER 10 Fun Facts About Angels Whom Christ loves, His angels love too." St. Nicholai of Zica ( ) When it comes to our daily lives, we can often forget the presence of the angels around us, (and it's easy to do since they are invisible!) Therefore, to honor their hard work on our behalf this is dedicated to "ten fun facts about angels" to share with our youth. It's not a theological treatise - but rather a few talking points to bring us and our young people closer to understanding God's loving acts for us through His angels. 1. Angels have two roles: the first is in Heaven to glorify God, and the second on earth to carry out God's orders concerning men. 2. The word "angel" itself means herald or messenger. 3. How many are there? The great Daniel saw God on His throne-and a thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and 10,000 x 10,000 stood before Him (Chapters 9 & 10). 4. Their types? thrones, dominions, principalities, seraphim's, cherubim's, powers, sovereignties, archangels, and angels. 5. Their names? Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salathiel, Barachiel, Jeremiel, Jegudiel. 6. Angels are different than us because they are bodiless and invisible. They don't need to eat or drink, nor do they need clothes or shelter. They don't get married and they have no worries about the future. 7. Angels are like us because they have names and personalities. They are individuals with intelligence, emotions, free will and the capacity to act. 8. In the Bible and Holy Tradition, angels have done many marvelous things! Archangel Michael guarded Paradise, an angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire, Three Angels appeared to Abraham giving us an image of the Holy Trinity, an Angel saved the three youths in Babylon from death in the midst of the burning fiery furnace, Archangel Gabriel nourished Panagia as a child living in the Holy of Holies and later brought to her the news of Christ's incarnation, Archangel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias (the father of St. John the Baptist) to announce the coming of his son, an angel appeared at Christ's tomb to announce His Resurrection, an angel of the Lord opened the jail cells of the Apostles, the angels will create a throne for our Lord Jesus Christ at His second coming. 9. Our Orthodox Church has dedicated Monday to the holy angels. Therefore, every Monday in the church services we are reminded of the holy angels with praise and prayer: We say "Holy Archangels and Angels, pray to God for us." 10. Everyone Orthodox Christian receives a guardian angel at the time of Baptism and asks for its intercession before God with the following prayer, O Holy Angel of God, guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me every transgression which I have committed this day. Deliver me from all evil influences and temptations, so that I may not anger my God by any sin. Pray for me that the Lord may make me worthy of His grace and to become partaker of His eternal Kingdom with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Saints. Amen." St. Basil the Great says: "The angel will not retreat from us, unless we drive him away by our evil deeds." St Theophan the Recluse Homily on Prayer "...what the Angels and saints do in the heavens, we should learn to do on earth: get used to the angelic prayer, unceasing standing before God in our hearts. Only he who reaches this state is a true man of prayer."
11 The Measure of our Success BY: Rev Andew J Demotses In the modern world, a man is thought to be successful in terms of his objective accomplishments. If he has acquired wealth, fame, power, or privilege, he is considered accomplished and worthy of emulation. Today it is the sports figure and the movie star who are held up as role models and not the teacher; it is the mogul and the tycoon who are lionized and not the nurse or policeman. But in the Gospel of Christ, we are reminded that God s judgments are quite different, and that the success or failure of each of us, as we stand before the dreaded judgment seat, will not be determined by the size of our bank account or the extent of our fame. Rather we shall be judged by the standard of whether in life we reached to the very height of Christ s full stature. (Eph. 4:13). This sobering revelation should inspire us to be concerned about the kind of people we are; after all, we shall not be judged by the standard of the worst among us, but rather of the best. And if we call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, we have an added incentive to live as we should. Jesus exemplified through every moment of his life the way each of us should act with great kindness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness. The Gospel witnesses his compassion to the sick; when the leper exclaimed that Jesus could make him well if he wanted to, Jesus answered I do want to and the man was made clean. (Mk. 1:40-42). It tells us of his gentleness toward the spiritually needy through his words to us. Come to me all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest. (Mt. 11:28), and of his kindness toward children, He took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them. (Mk. 10:13-16). The Gospel speaks to each of Christ s self-sacrifice to the lost the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve others and to give his life to redeem many people. (Mk. 10:45). This glorious example led St. Paul to exhort us. O man of God pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (I Tim. 6:11). Measured against these standards, how successful have we been? Patience Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4) "By taking one small step at a time, and nobody not thinking that in one big step we are going to get any place, we can walk straight to the Kingdom of Heaven and there is no reason for any of us to fall away from that." Fr. Seraphim Rose
12 Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church 7560 South Archer Road Justice, IL Phone: Fax: Wheelchair Accessible Entrance and Restroom Available COME TO CHURCH Essay if an Elementary School Student given the topic What Should I ask from God? Translated by Fr. Demetri Kounavis My God, tonight I m asking you for something that I want very much. I want you to make me into a television. I want to take the place of the television that is in my house. So I can have my own space. So I can have my family around me. So they can take me seriously when I speak. I want to be the center of attention and for the others to listen to me without interruptions and questions. I want to have the same care as the television has when it doesn t work. When I m a television I ll have the company of my father when he comes home from work, even if he is tired. And I want my mother to want me when she is saddened and upset, instead of ignoring me. I want my brothers to fight over who will spend the more time with me. I want to feel that my family leaves everything aside once in a while just so they can spend some time with me. And lastly, make me like this so that I can make everyone joyous and happy. My God, I m not asking for much. I just want to be a television. The teacher was grading papers as she was reading this and started to cry. Her husband who just walked into the house asked her, What s going on? She answered, Read this essay. A student of mine wrote it. Her husband replied, The poor kid! What indifferent parents are those! Then she looked at him and said, This essay was written by our son.
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A M o n t h l y P u b l i c a t i o n o f H o l y C r o s s G r e e k O r t h o d o x C h u r c h o f J u s t i c e, I L C h u r c h S t a f f Parish Priest, Editor: Fr. Demetrios Kounavis Parish Council
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