1 Dear Βrothers and Sisters in Christ, FATHER S MESSAGE The Great Lent, which began on Monday, March 18th is truly a period of meditation for the soul and body. It is the time for us to collect and to recall all our sinful deeds and to repent and ask for forgiveness from God and to strengthen our ties with Him. Great Lent serves as a preparation for the drama. And the true passion of the Holy Week which will soon be upon us. There are many roads and avenues which lead to the spiritual edification of our souls with prayer, Bible reading, fasting, Holy Confession and Holy Communion. No matter which path we take, the road of the Great Lent definitely plays a very essential role in the cultivation and growth of our religious life. Fasting, Prayer and Repentance are essential elements for salvation of our souls and during Great Lent we have the opportunity to humble ourselves and ask forgiveness from our Lord for our sins. Moses in the book of Exodus fasted for forty days as his preparation to receive the Ten Commandments from God. Daniel fasted for forty days awaiting God s word. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, fasted for forty days without anything after His Baptism by St. St. John the Baptist. Our Lord tells us many times in His teachings to fast. Man must fast in such manner making willingly and with sincerity and not to impress others. When you do fast, do not put on a sad face, as hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces so that all men may see that they are fasting. Jesus condemned false fasting, the wrong kind. He expected those who love God to execute a wise and proper fast. We should and we must fast from certain foods, but equally we must fast from wrong doings. What our mouths take in, it is also important what comes out of our minds, and above all, out of our hearts. Our every thought should be such as to allow our souls to be filled with beauty, goodness, kindness, compassion, as God intended for us. Christ wants us to make ourselves strong and able to resist every temptation by the devil, who works forever. Fasting keeps us from becoming slaves of habit. We need to take time from our daily lives and to prepare ourselves. Some of us develop cravings for certain food, desires, needs that instead of being a pleasure, they become a necessity. If one practices a wise and disciplined fasting, no pleasure would become a Cain and no habit would become Our Master. Remember that the Lenten Season began on Monday, March 18th and continues until the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Remember that fasting and the Lenten Season demands of us to consecrate our souls, our minds and our bodies
2 to Jesus and His Church. The blessings that we receive from observing the Great Lent depends on us. Come forth and receive Hid precious Body and His precious Blood. Do I really have to fast for the Great Lent? You decide what is best for your soul, for your heart for your body, and above all, for your eternal salvation. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray that our loving God will receive our repentance and forgive our sins and may His Holy Resurrection be a fountain of health and love for us. We wish you a Happy Easter, Kalo Pascha, and when we say Christ is Risen, Christos Anesti, we mean it from the depths of our souls. Please remember the church of St. Athanasios. With Love in Christ, Fr. Anargyros Αγαπητοί µου Ενορίτες, Τούτη η ευλογηµένη περίοδος της Μεγάλης Σαρακοστής, µε τις Προηγιασµένες Θείες Λειτουργίες µε τα Απόδειπνα, µε τους Χαιρετισµούς της Παναγίας, που διερχόµεθα µας οµιλεί γιά µετάνοια, για νηστεία, γιά προετοιµασία για το Πάθος του Κυρίου µας και την Ενδοξό του Ανάστασι. Μας υπενθυµίζει για τις πίκρες και ταλαιπωρίες και τα φρικτά βάσανα που υπέφερε γιά την σωτηρία της ψυχής µας, γιά το αιώνιο ταξείδι µας στήν άνω Ιερουσαλήµ στην άλλη ζωή που υπόσχεται ο Χριστός στους εργάτες του καλού και της πραγµατικής αγάπης. Σηµαντικές υπενθυµίσεις στο ρολόϊ της ζωής µας. Άς χρησιµοποιήσουµε τον χρόνο να τακτοποιήσουµε τις επίγειες υποθέσεις µας, να ντύσουµε την ψυχή µας µε το φόρεµα της συγχωρήσεως, της συµφιλιώσεως, της γαλήνης, διώχνοντας έτσι µακρυά τον διάβολο που προσπαθεί να αρπάξη την ψυχή µας από την αγκαλιά της αγάπης του Χριστού και Σωτήρος µας. Αδελφοί µου, ας ετοιµαστούµε κατάλληλα, µε Εκκλησιασµό, Νηστεία και Μετάνοια. Μακρυά από πάθη και κακές επιθυµίες, µακρυά απο προσπάθειες πώς θα ικανοποιήσουµε τις εγωϊστικές µας τάσεις και επιδείξεις, πως θα δοξασθούµε, πως θα επιδειχθούµε. Στην γή περπατούµε αλλά γιά τον ουρανό κατευθυνόµεθα. Ευχόµεθα, η ώρα αυτή να µας βρή πιστούς και έτοιµους, ώστε να συναντήσουµε τον Χριστό µας που έρχεται να πάθη, να χύση το αίµα του, να ταφή και να αναστηθή γιά την δική µας σωτηρία και ανάστασι. Σέ όλους σας, ευχόµεθα ένα αληθινό, ευλογηµένο και χαρούµενο Πάσχα µε τους δικούς σας. Με Αγάπη Χριστού, Πατήρ Ανάργυρος
3 CHILDREN AND HOLY WEEK AND THE RESURRECTION All of us, Orthodox Christians are asked to fervently set aside this holiest of all weeks, Holy Week, and to plan to spend it in worship as much as possible. It is also very important for all parents with children to be a part of these services of Holy Week as well. These special services bring to life the events of Jesus s last days on Earth prior to His Resurrection. It is understandable that the smaller children may not be able to participate in some of the services because of the lateness of the hour. However, parents have the responsibility to bring their children regardless of age to: The Sacrament of Holy Unction on Holy Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. The Apokathilosis or the removal of Jesus body on Holy Friday at 3:00 p.m. The Holy Saturday Vesperal Divine Liturgy beginning at 8:30 a.m., whereby ALL children should be prepared to receive Holy Communion. The Agape Services on Easter Sunday beginning at 11:30 a.m. and whereby immediately following the Agape Service they will receive the Easter Baskets and be able to participate in the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Parents, please keep these days of Holy Week in mind and please make it a point to attend with your children to all of these very important Holy Week services. Excuse notes in order to leave early from school to attend Holy Wednesday and Holy Friday Services are available upon request, by contacting the Church Office. PARENTS...IT IS UP TO YOU!!!! SATURDAY, APRIL 27TH SATURDAY OF LAZARUS All children are urged to come and participate in the Divine Liturgy and receive Holy Communion. After the Divine Liturgy, breakfast will be served and we hope that after breakfast we will be able to stay and make our traditional Palm Crosses for Palm Sunday. ΣΑΒΒΑΤΟ, 27 ΑΠΡΙΛΙΟΥ ΣΑΒΒΑΤΟ ΤΟΥ ΛΑΖΑΡΟΥ Όλα τα παιδιά της ενορίας µετά των γονέων των, παρακαλούνται να έλθουν και να κοινωνήσουν µαζί. Αµέσως µετά την Θεία Λειτουργία, παρακαλούνται όλοι να παραµείνουν γιά ένα νηστήσιµο πρωϊνό, και γιά να φτιάξουµε τα Σταυρουδάκια για την Κυριακή των Βαϊων.
4 EASTER SUNDAY - MAY 5 TH 11:30 a.m. We invite ALL families, children and Adults to attend the special Agape Service on Pascha, Easter Sunday. Following the service, all the children of our Parish will receive a basket and are invited to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. Let us come together to celebrate this special day of our Orthodox Faith MEMORIAL DAY GRAVE BLESSINGS Father Anargyros will conduct Memorial Day Grave Trisagia on Monday May 27th, at all area cemeteries. Ο Πατήρ Ανάργυρος θα τελέσει Τρισάγια τη Δευτέρα 27Μαϊου, στα κοιµητήρια της περιοχής. 9:00-10:00 A.M. Laurel Grove Memorial Park in Totowa. Father Anargyros will meet everyone at the cemetery entrance at 9:00 a.m. 10:30-11:30 A.M. Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson. Father Anargyros will meet everyone at the cemetery entrance at 10:30 a.m. 12:00-2:00 P.M. George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus. Father Anargyros will meet everyone at the cemetery entrance at 12:00 noon. Please be at the entrance of the cemetery on time
5 Dear parents, GREEK SCHOOL On Febuary 8 th, our PTO offered to all the students of the Greek School a very entertaining program, that everyone enjoyed a lot!!!. I express my gratitude for this event to the PTO, but also for all the efforts and events they do, to benefit our School, and our students!!! On April 7 th, everyone (including parents and children), should attend the Greek Independence Day, in New York City. We urge you to please be there with the rest members of our community!!! Our School will remain closed from the 28 th of April, till the 6 th of May (Holly Week). Classes will resume, the 8 th of May. We wish everyone A BLESSED AND HAPPY EASTER!! Sophia Stamatiou Greek School Principal Aγαπητοί γονείς, Στις 8 Φεβρουαρίου, ο Σύλλογος Γονέων, παρουσίασε ένα χαρούµενο ψυχαγωγικό πρόγραµµα για τους µαθητές του Ελληνικού µας Σχολείου, που είχε µεγάλη επιτυχία. Τους ευχαριστούµε πολύ, και εκτιµούµε κάθε προσπάθεια που γίνεται έκ µέρους του Συλλόγου Γονέων, καθ όλη την διάρκεια του έτους. Η παρέλαση της Εθνικής µας Ανεξαρτησίας, θα πραγµατοποιηθεί στις 7 Απριλίου στην Νέα Υόρκη. Παρακαλούµε τους γονείς, να κάνουν κάθε προσπάθεια, για να παραβρεθούν στην τόσο σηµαντική αυτή παρέλαση τους Έθνους µας!!! Το Σχολείο µας θα παραµείνει κλειστό από τις 28 Απριλίου, µέχρι τις 6 Μαϊου, λόγω του εορτασµού του Πάσχα. Οι µαθητές µας θα επανέλθουν στις τάξεις τους, στις 8 Μαϊου. Ευχόµαστε σε όλους ΧΑΡΟΥΜΕΝΟ ΚΑΙ ΕΥΛΟΓΗΜΕΝΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ
6 PTO Dear St. Athanasios Families, Spring is in the air and there s a lot of exciting things coming up!! Despite the snow storm, our 1st Winter Fun Fair was a HUGE SUCCESS!!! Our children enjoy the in-door carnival which feature 15 different booths (from Sand Art to Shimmer Tattoo's). We would like to thank all of the Parents and donors who helped make this event happen and be SO SUCCESSFUL!!! Our children can t wait for this Fun Fair to come again next winter! Coming on Friday May 10th, 2013 the PTO will be hosting it s first ever Greek Night Out for the entire St. Athanasios Adult Community at the 201 Supper Club in Englewood NJ! Open Bar, Appetizers & Greek Music..Look out for our flyer for details and to reserve your tickets!!! All proceeds will go to benefit the St. Athanasios Greek Afternoon School!! As always we encourage and welcome everyone to please come to our upcoming meetings, get involved and offer us your valuable input! Please mark your calendars: Sunday, April 7th: Greek Independence Day Parade in NYC Sunday, April 14th: PTO Coffee Hour following the Divine Liturgy Monday, April 15th: PTO Monthly Meeting - 5:00pm in Community Hall April 28th May 6th : School Closed Holy Week & Holy Easter Friday, May 10th: GREEK Night Out at 201 Supper Club in Englewood, NJ Monday, May 13th: PTO Monthly Meeting - 5:00pm in Community Hall May 16th May 20th: School Closed Greek Festival Sunday, May 26th: PTO Coffee Hour following the Divine Liturgy Monday, May 27th: School Closed Memorial Day With love in Christ, Eleni Karounos St. Athanasios PTO President
7 PHILOPTOCHOS Dear Parishioners, On behalf of St. Irenes Philoptochos Society, we wish you and your families Kali Sarakosti! We are still in the midst of our membership drive and encourage all Orthodox Christian women to join our organization. On February 23, 2012, Thea Portelos, Xanthippi Nakopoulos, Anthoula Kamvosoulis, Anna Gourmos and Penelope Roumantzas represented our chapter at the Annual Metropolis Visitation to St. Michael s Home for the Aged. The chapters of our Metropolis brought with them their annual gift to St. Michael s Home, and enjoyed bringing joy to the lives of the residents. We have had a busy first quarter, and have assisted many in need. We have made contributions to several Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts, Project Hope for the People of Greece, the Center for Food Action, and Autism Awareness. We once again sponsored a successful Tricky Tray. I would like to thank all who donated their talent and time in making this event a success. Please support the vendors who donate to our cause. We are looking forward to hosting the Annual Lenten Repast after Services for Kathara Deftera on March 18, We will also be sponsoring our annual Tsoureki Sale, and following the success of last year, will be sponsoring the Palm Sunday Luncheon on April 28, Philoptochos is sponsoring our Annual Achievement Based Scholarship for $ Graduating High School Seniors of the St. Athanasios Community are invited to apply. An applicant with his/her family must be a member in good standing of St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church, Paramus, New Jersey. Applications may be obtained from the Church Office or by contacting Mrs. Rita Pavlou. Applications must be received by May 1, Luncheon Bakaliaro & Skordalia April 28th, 2013 Immediately Following the Divine Liturgy at the Community Center SAVE THE DATE - DETAILS TO FOLLOW! As always, we thank you for your continued support. Sincerely, Thea Portelos, President
8 HELLENIC SENIORS The Hellenic Seniors welcome those who are interested to participate in our meetings. Our meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month in our community center from 12:30-2:00 p.m. The donation is $2 per person, so we may provide coffee and cake. Our annual dues are $10 per person. On our calendar, we have various day trips, including monasteries. All visitors are welcome to attend our next meeting. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact: Helen Mantzouranis Mary Lignos John Pangis SUNDAY CHURCH SCHOOL On February 3rd, we had our annual Godparent/ Godchild Sunday. We thank everyone who joined us for the community breakfast it was amazing! Special thanks go to the teachers who work so hard to make this an annual success, Chairpersons Stella Backos and Lillianne Dugan and committee members Thea Portelos, Angela Spirou, Maria Zalokostas, and Anna Zalokostas. The calendar of Sunday Church School activities continues to be filled in the upcoming spring. Please continue to bring your children to Church on time. We will be holding our annual OCMC Mission Drive, headed by Sotiria Stavropoulos. With our Coin Box drive we are able to support Orthodox mission churches around the world. Our Lenten Retreat will be held on Saturday March 30, and we are excited to have Vasiliki Tsigas Fotinis as a presenter on the topic of Prayer. Please register your children early for this Retreat. On Sunday March 31 at 1:00 St. Athanasios Church will hold its annual Oratorical Festival in the church following Divine Liturgy. Please join us to hear our children give their speeches. We invite all girls from grades three and above to be a Myrofora. It is beautiful opportunity for young girls to participate in our Holy Week and Easter Services. Please contact Stella Backos if you would like your daughter to be a Myrofora.
9 April 27th is the Saturday of Lazarus and the Sunday Church School will hold its Lenten Communion Breakfast followed by Palm Cross making. The Myrofores will have a practice on that day. Graduation is Sunday June 9. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Sunday Church School teachers for everything they have done this year. Each of us has many personal and work related commitments, but these dedicated parishioners have accepted the responsibility under the direction of Father Anargyros, and along with the family, of teaching our faith to the children of our community. In addition to instructing classes, each teacher is chairing or participating in one or more of our annual events. Thank you to this great group of people! FOOD PANTRY MINISTRY DIAKONIA AGAPE As part of our new parish ministry, Diakonia Agape Food Pantry Ministry - Feeding the Hungry, we will be collecting non-perishable items. This will be an on-going Parish Ministry. All donations can be placed in the designated boxes as you enter the Community Hall. All food items will assist needy families of our parish and food pantries of our neighborhood FOS MINISTRY BOOK STORE ITEMS EASTER CANDLES HOLY WEEK BOOKS ICONS LENTEN BOOKS BIBLES INCENSE AND CHARCOAL CENSORS PRAYER ROPES ICON BRACELETS CHILDREN S BOOKS GREEK BOOKS GIFTS If you do not see something in our bookstore, we can order it for you Dr. Karen Scoullos
10 GOYA It s been that busy time of the GOYA year, and I m not referring to the Holiday season! As Sights & Sounds approached, we prepared our talents and efforts in all the activities we participated in, hoping to be the most successful. During the month of February, the GOYA had a great time at various occasions. The GOYA attended the White Out Dance at St. John the Theologian in Tenafly. Additionally, the state annual Valentine s Dance was St. George in Trenton. The rest of the month was dedicated to Sights and Sounds practices whether for Greek dance, choral speaking, the play, singing group, or band, we were all kept very busy. I am happy to say that all of our individual and group efforts paid off as we won 2 nd place overall for the second year in a row! I know that I can speak for myself and my fellow GOYAns when I say that it is a day like Sights and Sounds when I really realize how happy and proud I am to be a member of the Saint Athanasios GOYA. We were awarded 60 points for our sights, which was a great accomplishment in itself, especially because many of our GOYAn s were awarded. Please join me in congratulating all of our winners! CONGRATULATIONS SIGHTS WINNERS: Dimitri Stathopoulos, Computer Art - 1st Place Kristi Marcopoulos, Decoupage - 1st Place Nickita Alexiades, Macramé - 1st Place Stella Kovoros, Molded Ceramics - 1st Place Nickita Alexiades, Mosaics - 1st Place Nickita Alexiades, Rug Making - 1st Place Alicia Pallikaropoulos, Soft Sculpture - 1st Place Marissa Mariano, Stained Glass - 1st Place Kristi Marcopoulos, Acrylics - 2nd Place Dimitri Stathopoulos, Beading-Orig. Design - 2nd Place Nickita Alexiades, Molded Ceramics - 2nd Place Nicholas Salemme, Mosaics - 2nd Place Nickita Alexiades, Senior Essay - 2nd Place Kristi Marcopoulos, Color Pencil - 3rd Place Nickita Alexiades, Decoupage - 3rd Place Elias Marcopoulos, Junior Essay - 3rd Place Eleni Backos, Molded Candles - 3rd Place Elizabeth Connor, Scratchboard - 3rd Place Elizabeth Connor, Beading-Orig. Design H. Mention Stelios Kostopoulos, Cartoons - Honorable Mention Niko Christopoulos, Collage - Honorable Mention Elias Marcopoulos, Flower Making - H. Mention
11 Alicia Pallikaropoulos, Mosaics - Honorable Mention CONGRATULATIONS SOUNDS WINNERS: Senior American Monologue - 1st Place, Maria Kovoros Dramatic Pair - 1st Place Maria Kovoros & Stella Kovoros American Play - 2nd Place Elizabeth Connor, Stefanos Hunter, Elias Marcopoulos, Kristi Marcopoulos, Marissa Mariano, Alicia Pallikaropoulos, Nicholas Salemme, James Smith, Dimitri Tobar, Anna Tsapelis Junior Greek Monologue - 2nd Place - Alexandra Katechis Choral Speaking - 2nd Place Nickita Alexiades, Dina Christopoulos, Alexandra Katechis, Maria Kovoros, Stella Kovoros, Elias Marcopoulos, Kristi Marcopoulos, Marissa Mariano, Nicholas Salemme, Anna Tsapelis Jr. Instrument Solo - 4th Place - Stefano Hunter Sr. Instrument Solo - 5th Place - Nickita Alexiades Instrumental Group - 5th Place Nickita Alexiades, Stefanos Hunter, Elias Markopoulos, Marissa Mariano, Nicholas Salemme, Dimitri Stathopoulos, Dimitri Tobar, Anna Tsapelis Sr. Essay - honorable Mention - Maria Kovoros I would like to commend the combined efforts of all our advisors and coaches, and needlessly to say, our GOYAns. I would also like to thank those who participated in the American Singing and Choral Speaking groups. I was very touched and moved by the selections, which were dedicated to Benjamin Venezia, a GOYAn who will be forever in our hearts. The month of March was not as hectic, but just as enjoyable as we attended the rescheduled bowling and awards dance. On a final note, I would like to thank all of my fellow GOYAns once again for their participation at Sights and Sounds, and for already making this a great year for Paramus GOYA. I look forward to spending the rest of the year with you and to enjoy it together. With Christ s Love, Dimitri Stathopoulos GOYA President
12 Dear St. Athanasios families, HOPE / JOY First, we would like to thank all of you for bringing your children to the various events that HOPE and JOY has been hosting thus far. Our mission is to provide our families with a venue where we could reinforce Orthodoxy in the lives of our children while giving them a recreational and creative outlet. On February 9 th, all the youth enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Winter Fun Fair hosted by the Greek School PTO. The children had fun playing at the various carnival booths winning an assortment of prizes. In preparation for Great Lent, all the children helped make Lenten koulourakia. In addition, we discussed why we fast during Great Lent. To wrap up the evening, we celebrated with a Pizza Party. For our JOY-aged children (8-11), the basketball workshop being run by Coach Andy Hios has been a great success. We have had at least 20 children at each session. It is wonderful to see the teamwork and the friendships that are being built among our youth. The workshop will continue to run on Saturdays from 12:30 to 2:00 pm through April. Please mark your calendars for the following events: Friday, April 26 Time: 6:00-8:00 pm We will dye Easter eggs and make our own lambades and also hold a discussion about Holy Week and Holy Easter. Lenten snacks will be served. Friday, May 10 Time: 6:00-8:30 pm Bowling at Montvale Lanes in Montvale Food and refreshments will be available. As a reminder, both ministries are open to all of the children of our community. HOPE is open to children between the ages of 4 and 7 and JOY is for children between the ages of 8 and 11. For parents interested in enrolling their children, please stop by the Church Office for an application or us at Wishing everyone a blessed Lent. Kαλή Σαρακοστή σε ολους. Your Advisors, Penny Αntonopoulos and Irene Zervoudis
13 ALTAR BOYS The Altar Boys serve our Lord faithfully and reverently every Sunday and during the many special Holy Days of our Holy Orthodox Church. Monthly gatherings will be held by the parish priest to instill within the Altar Boys the understanding of serving the Altar with humility as well as the duties and responsibilities that come with it. All Altar boys are invited to the next Altar boy Meeting on Saturday of Lazarus, April 27th following the Divine Liturgy. High School and College Graduation Sunday will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2013 All High School and College graduates are asked to submit their names to the Church Office. All graduates will be honored on this day. FESTIVAL If you are available and willing to assist in the festival preparations, please contact the church office for the schedule of preparations. This year s Festival is May 16-19th, 2013 YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! THE SUCCESS OF OUR FESTIVAL DEPENDS ON ALL OF US
14 THE MINISTRIES OF ST. ATHANASIOS: SUNDAY CHURCH SCHOOL GREEK SCHOOL PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY P.T.O. CANTOR CHOIR ALTAR BOYS H.O.P.E. (ages 4-7) J.O.Y. (ages 8-11) GOYA (ages 12-18) FOS (Outreach Parish Ministry) HELLENIC SENIORS BIBLE STUDY & Catechism GREEK DANCING EPISKEPSIS (Visitations) DIAKONIA AGAPIS LOVE IN ACTION (Help the Needy - Food Pantry) SONS OF PERICLES AHEPA Athena Georgotas - Director Sophia Stamatiou - Principal Thea Portelos - President Eleni Karounos - President Chris Haramis Lee Kotsambas, Director Contact: Sotirios Karabetsos Penny Antonopoulos, Irene Zervoudis Penny Antonopoulos, Irene Zervoudis Tina Marcopoulos-Head Advisor, Demetri Stathopoulos - President Karen Scoullos Helen Manztouranis Fr. Anargyros Eleni Karounos, Athena Kostopoulos, Joanne Doulos Fr. Anargyros Presbytera Christina, Christina Georgotas Pavlos Toronidis, Meet every 1st Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Mr. Louis Arvanitis, President - Meets every 2nd Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.