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 Άξιον Εστίν 7 Kids Article 10 Check out our website: holycrossil.org Beloved Stewards of Holy Cross, Peace and Love of God the Father be with you! WE ALL MUST START SOMEWHERE! A Sweet scent of spiritual Fragrance J u n e The Sunday after Pentecost is called All-Saints Sunday. With astonishment we bow down before the countless number of saints projected by our Holy Church, those who were the true witnesses of the power of the Holy Spirit and the living presence of God in the world. We soon will be celebrating the Feast of Pentecost, and we are called to remember that this day was the beginning of a new era of holiness. This era has no end, as the Kingdom of God has no end. The saints of the Church are the extended Christ, the creation in Christ (2 Corinthians5:17). Immersed with the light of the Holy Spirit, they projected for us a life decorated with the actions of the Holy Spirit, which is a holy life. Born in the world, they were able to overcome the desires of this life, and living within the confines of this world, they transcended past it and freed from all the trappings of the world, they became free and entered into immortality, a gift given by Lord to those who live a Christ-like life. They were not restricted to a particular sex, age or race. They came from all walks of life, from all races, from all classes of people and various standings on the social ladder. They lived an exemplary life, and God granted them to be the bearers of the Holy Spirit. It is important to remember that no one was, or is, born a saint. Many of the saints of the Church before they were renewed by repentance were sinners, criminals, harlots, thieves, killers and self-centered. Others were unknown entities, humble everyday members of society; while others were great and were important men and women of their times. The saints of the Church all had one common factor; they all had the same starting point: They knew who they were, and who they wanted to be like! This is the prerequisite to Holiness humility. The saints realized they were human beings with the tendency to sin, and they put all of their hope for salvation on God s mercy. The glory with which God honored them, during their earthly life, but more importantly, after death, in the life eternal, was the natural and spiritual result of their holiness. The miracles of the saints of our faith are innumerable, even in our times, be they in miraculous icons, holy relics or in sanctified churches. Finally, the purpose of our lives is not to leave descendants or to accumulate wealth and riches, as well as fame. Our purpose is union with God and sanctification, which is theosis. Be holy as I am holy is the command of God. If we look upon the saints of our great faith as role models and protectors and as our teachers, then and only then, will we have rendered them proper honor and respect on their Feast Day. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God the Father, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you called-to-be-saints! +Father Demetri The Basil Leaf
3 From the desk of the Parish Council President. Dear Fellow Stewards, The youth of our parish participated in the Junior Olympics on Memorial Day weekend. We had 46 children who participated in the Olympics in various events including track and field, soccer, basketball, swimming, chess, checkers, tennis, and table tennis. Thanks to all the coaches who volunteered their time for this event and to the parents and spectators who came out to support the youth. Additionally, we want to thank the Holy Cross Philoptochos for paying the entrance fee for our children to participate in the Olympics. Congratulations to all the Junior Olympics participants and medal winners! Gold medal - Soccer team (7-9 years old) Gold medal - Soccer team (10-12 years old) Gold medal yard relay (Yanni Georgiou, Yriyori Georgiou, Peter Pieropoulos, Peter Pierropoulos) Bronze medal - Shotput (Kosta Katsoudas) Bronze medal - Double Tennis (Kosta Katsoudas and Eric Hatzis) Bronze medal - 50 yard dash (Christos Dalmares) Our Festival will be held on Friday, June 27 through Sunday, June 29. We need lots of support and help to make our festival a success. If you are interested in volunteering at the festival, please contact Susan Sarolas. If you wish to donate items for the festival, please contact the Church office for a list of needed items. We are having our annual Festival raffle on Sunday, June 29. We have five prizes totaling $8,500. The first prize is $5,000. Please stop by the Church office to purchase a raffle ticket or contact a Parish Council member. We will have a popular 80 s band performing called the Breakfast Club on Friday night. On Saturday and Sunday, we will have a DJ playing Greek music. We will have great food, pastries, loukoumades, games, rides, and music. We hope to see you at the Festival! Thanks for your love and support to our beloved Holy Cross Church! REVELATION OF THE HYMN AXION ESTIN TO A MONK ON MT. ATHOS BY THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL Commemorated on June 11th The Synaxis of the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is celebrated today for the following reason: In 980, during the reign of Emperor Basil II, when Nicholas Chrysoberges was Ecumenical Patriarch, the holy Archangel Gabriel appeared in the form of a monk to the disciple of a certain elder living in a hermitage belonging to the Monastery of Pantocrator on the Holy Mountain. During Matins, after the monk had chanted the customary hymn, "More honorable than the Cherubim...," composed by Saint Cosmas the Hymnographer, the Angel chanted the same hymn, but with the following prelude: "It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, the ever-blessed and all-immaculate and Mother of our God." Marveling at the hymn's beauty, the monk asked his visitor - who appeared also to be a monk - to record this new text in writing, which the Angel did by miraculously inscribing the words on a piece of slate, using only his finger, and straightway he vanished from sight. This slate was brought to the Church of the Protaton*, and from thence to Constantinople, to the imperial court and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as evidence of the miracle. Henceforth, this version of the hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos began to be chanted in the Divine Liturgy in all the churches. The place where the miracle took place is now called Adein, from the Greek word which means "to sing." The icon itself, before which this hymn was first chanted, is called "the icon of the Axion estin" ("It is truly meet") and it is kept in the sanctuary of the Church of the Protaton on the Holy Mountain. * The Church of the Protaton is the Church of the Protos. The protos is the monk who acts as president of the monastic community of Mount Athos. This Church is located in Karyes, which is the administrative center of Mount Athos. (Adapted text from the Archdiocese Website and various other online sites.)
4 HOLY CROSS PHILOPTOCHOS Dear Philoptochos Sisters and fellow Parishioners, Warmer weather has finally arrived. Please use caution when being outside in hot humid weather. For all those who will be traveling, Safe Travels and Kαλές Διακοπές! A list of June events follows below and we thank you for participating. Upcoming Events: June 1, Loukoumades Sale 100% of the proceeds will go towards Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church in New York Ground Zero. June 3, Philoptochos Monthly Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Please come and join us for an eventful meeting. June 27 29, 2014 FESTIVAL Baking dates and times for our Festival will be finalized at our June 3 rd meeting. Please call our Church Office for dates and times: Please volunteer your time for our Festival. All Are Welcomed! If you would like to make a donation towards the Festival bake sale, the items needed are as follows or you can see any member of our Philoptochos: Flour, sugar, walnuts, honey Last Month s 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. 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 am Saturday of June 2014 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 1 Graduation Sunday Loukoumades 2 3 7pm - Philoptochos Meeting pm - Parish Council Meeting Festival 29 Festival 30 8am - Holy Apostles, Αγ. Αποστόλων FANARI SUMMER CAMP Souls Ψυχοσάββατο 12-2pm Greek School Graduation 5pm Vespers 28 Πανηγύρι Sunday Service Hours: 8am - Orthros 9:30-11 Divine Liturgy
6 St. Kalliope June 8th Kalliope lived in the third century during the reign of Emperor Decius, an extremely cruel and vicious persecutor of Christians. Kalliope was a beautiful twenty-one tear old woman who had many men proposing marriage to her. One man, a pagan, decided to blackmail her into marriage. He threatened to tell the local authorities that she was a Christian if she were to reject him, which would result in her death. Kalliope gave him her answer: She would never marry a man like him who opposed the Christian virtues. This pagan man had her arrested. He spread nasty rumors about her in town and made up false accusations against her, such as treason against the state and mockery of the pagan faith. He even paid people to falsely testify against her. In court, he came forward and offered to drop the charges if she would marry him, but Kalliope immediately refused to give in to him or to the court. She proudly declared that she was a Christian, and that the entire trial was a joke. The judge sentenced her to torture and execution. IN the public square, soldiers brutally whipped and beat Kalliope. They intentionally scarred her beautiful face with branding irons, and then poured salt over the wounds. She was repeatedly asked if she would deny her faith, and each time she summoned what physical strength she had left to answer an emphatic No! Kalliope, the fearless young woman who had the personal courage to face the temptations of evil and overcome them victoriously by speaking and acting straight from her heart, found her reward in Heaven on June 8th. From the Church Fathers to Us The Lord desires one man to be saved through another, and in the same way Satan strives to destroy one man through another. So do not spend your time with someone who is sloppy, a mischief-maker, not guarding his tongue, lest you be sent with him into punishment. It is hard enough for one who associates with a good man to attain salvation. If you do not watch yourself, but consort with people of evil character, you will be infected with their leprosy and destroyed. How can anyone expect pity if he recklessly approaches a poisonous snake? You should avoid those who cannot control their tongue, who are quarrelsome and full of agitation inwardly or outwardly. -St. John of Karpathos The Fast of the Holy Apostles The Fast of the Holy Apostles begins on the Monday after All Saints' Sunday (the Sunday following Pentecost) and lasts until June 29, the Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul.
7 Ἄς Θυμηθοῦμε τὴν Ἱστορία τοῦ «Ἄξιόν ἐστι» Ὁ π. Γαβριήλ, πού ἦταν μοναχός στό κελλί Εὐαγγελισμός τῆς Θεοτόκου στίς Καρυές, ὁ μετέπειτα Ὅσιος, ἕνα βράδυ, κάνοντας τόν Ὄρθρο, εἶχε φτάσει στήν ἐνάτη Ὠδή καί ἔψαλλε «τήν Τιμιωτέραν τῶν Χερουβείμ», ὅπως τό ἔγραψε ὁ Ἅγιος Κοσμᾶς ὁ Μελωδός. Λίγο πρίν ὅμως, εἶχε μπεῖ στό κελλί ἕνας ξένος Μοναχός, καί παρακολουθοῦσε τόν Ὄρθρο τοῦ π. Γαβριήλ σιωπηλός. Ὅταν ἔφθασε στήν ἐνάτη Ὠδή ὁ π. Γαβριήλ, τότε παρεμβαίνει ὁ ξένος Μοναχός καί μέ γλυκυτάτη οὐράνια μελωδία καί φωνή ἄρχισε νά ψάλλη: «Ἄξιόν ἐστιν ὡς ἀληθῶς, μακαρίζειν σε τήν Θεοτόκον, τήν ἀειμακάριστον καί παναμώμητον καί Μητέρα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν...» καί στή συνέχεια συνῆψε καί τό ὑπόλοιπο, τό ἤδη γνωστό κομμάτι τοῦ Ἁγίου Κοσμᾶ τοῦ Μελωδοῦ, δηλαδή: «Τήν Τιμιωτέραν τῶν Χερουβείμ καί Ἐνδοξοτέραν ἀσυγκρίτως τῶν Σεραφείμ, τήν ἀδιαφθόρως Θεόν Λόγον τεκοῦσαν, τήν ὄντως Θεοτόκον, Σέ μεγαλύνομεν». -- Πώ, πώ! εἶπε τότε ὁ π. Γαβριήλ, τί ὡραῖος, τί ὑπέροχος, τί μεγαλοπρεπής, τί θεοπρεπής ὕμνος εἶναι αὐτός! Κάνε ὅμως ἀγάπη, σέ παρακαλῶ, νά μοῦ τόν γράψης. -- Εὐχαρίστως, εἶπε ὁ ξένος Μοναχός. Φέρε μου χαρτί καί μελάνη... (Τότε ἦταν ἡ μελάνη καί ὁ κονδυλοφόρος.) Ἔψαξε, δέν βρῆκε. -- Ἄ, εἶπε, δέν ἔχω Ἔ, τότε, φέρε μου, εἶπε, μιά πλάκα ἀπ ἔξω. Ἔτρεξε λοιπόν ἔξω, κουβάλησε μιά μεγάλη πλάκα καί τήν ἔφερε μέσα. Ἀμέσως ὁ ξένος Μοναχός ἄρχισε μέ τό δάκτυλό του νά χαράσση πάνω στήν πλάκα: «Ἄξιόν ἐστιν ὡς ἀληθῶς...» Μέ τό δάκτυλό του! Ὅπως ἐχάραζε λοιπόν μέ τό δάκτυλό του, ἡ πλάκα ἐχαράσσετο βαθιά, σάν νά ἦταν πηλός. Δηλαδή φαίνονταν καθαρά τά γράμματα! Μόλις ἐτελείωσε ἡ χάραξις τοῦ ὕμνου, ὁ ξένος Μοναχός ἐξηφανίσθη, ἀφοῦ προηγουμένως τοῦ παρήγγειλε ὅτι αὐτή ἦταν ἡ έπιθυμία τῆς Ὑπεραρίας Θεοτόκου: ἔτσι νά ψάλλεται ὁ ὕμνος Της στό ἑξῆς. Τό θαῦμα ἔγινε γνωστό καί ἄρχισε νά ψάλλεται ὁ ὕμνος σ ὅλον τόν κόσμο καί ὅλοι οἱ μοναχοί τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὄρους προσήρχοντο γιά νά προσκυνήσουν τήν πλάκα, πού εἶχε χαραχθῆ ἀπό τόν Ἀρχάγγελο Γαβριήλ, διότι αὐτός ἦταν ὁ ξένος Μοναχός. Ἡ πλάκα ἐστάλη στόν τότε Πατριάρχη Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, μέ σχετική Ἁγιορείτικη συνοδεία καί ἔγγραφα πολλά. Μέ τήν λαίλαπα ὅμως τῶν Μωαμεθανῶν καί τήν πτῶσι τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, ἡ πλάκα αὐτή, μαζί μέ ἄλλα ἱερά κειμήλια, ἐσυλήθη καί ἐχάθη. --Ἀπὸ τὸ Γεροντικὸ τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὄρους.
8 GOING TO CHURCH FOR THE RIGHT REASON Rev Andrew J Demotses In another meditation of our monthly bulletin I wrote about church attendance as a gift from God rather than as an onerous duty and obligation. Gathering together as the people of God is an opportunity for us to encourage and support each other. That exhortation was aimed at those whose attendance at worship is sporadic and unfocused. But I fear that another admonition is in order, this one for those of us who attend church more regularly, for we, too, need to examine our motives. All too many of us go to church to find fault, to catch up on the gossip, and to criticize others. We are not unlike the Pharisees of Jesus time who went to the synagogue not to pray, but to watch Jesus because they wanted a reason to accuse him of doing wrong. (Luke 6:7). Before we are too harsh in our judgment of the Pharisees of Jesus day, we need to stop and look at ourselves. I once had worked very hard on a sermon that I hoped would be especially meaningful to those who heard it. After I had finished, many people expressed their appreciation of my effort. But in talking with a parishioner who was a chronic faultfinder and complainer, he proceeded to point out that in my delivery I had mispronounced a single word! When I asked him if he had gotten anything else from the sermon except the mistake, he was forced to admit that he did not even know the topic of the sermon! No one in church is perfect; not the priest, the chanter, the organist, the ushers, or anyone seated in the pews for that matter. We all make mistakes. A spirit of faultfinding does not edify anyone; it only produces discouragement and strife. More likely than not, those who are always looking to find fault will be successful. But they need to be honest enough to admit that they go to church not to encourage others, or to receive a blessing, they go instead to whisper and criticize, and that will be their only reward. Please turn in your 2014 Stewardship Pledge Card to the Church Office! It is with your generous donations that our ministries can continue to grow! Please remember that filling out the card allows us to better plan our budget. Hospital Visitations If you or a family member would like a pastoral visitation while in the hospital or home, it is essential that someone call the church office at and Fr. Demetri will handle your request. May God bless you or your loved ones with a complete recovery. Funerals: May 23rd: Peter Anagnos Church Registry Wedding: May 31st: Georgia Kotsiovos to Tom Loukas, Koumbaros: Dimitri Trahanas
9 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR OUR CHURCH S MINISTRIES! PLEASE SUPPORT OUR MINISTRIES! AREAS THAT YOU CAN HELP IN INCLUDE AND ARE NOT LIMITED TO: SUNDAY CHURCH SCHOOL, GREEK SCHOOL, PHILOPTOCHOS, GOYA, YAL, HOPE, FAITH, JOY, ADULT RELIGIOUS EDUCA- TION, COUPLES MINISTRY, CHURCH FESTIVAL, OFFICE WORK, CLEANING THE CHURCH, ETC. Please see Fr. Demetri ASAP so we can plan our church calendar starting in the fall! Βιαία Πνοή Ημέρα της Πεντηκοστής. Εκατόν είκοσι πιστοί κι άλλοι ακόμη συγκεντρωμένοι στο ίδιο σπίτι, όλοι με μια ψυχή και με μια καρδιά. Και ξαφνικά ήλθε βοή α- πό τον ουρανό σαν βοή σφοδρού ανέμου. Η βοή αυτή γέμισε όλο το σπίτι όπου βρίσκονταν οι Απόστολοι και οι άλλοι Μαθητές. Όλα έγιναν ξαφνικά, αιφνιδιαστικά, απροσδόκητα, όπως ξεσπά ξαφνικός και βίαιος άνεμος. Ήταν ένας ήχος από τον ουρανό σαν φωνή βροντής. Γιατί όμως η κάθοδος του Αγίου Πνεύματος συνοδεύτηκε με το υ- περφυσικό αυτό φαινόμενο του βίαιου και ορμητικού ανέμου; Διότι, όπως εξηγούν οι ιεροί ερμηνευτές, η ο- δός του Αγίου Πνεύματος μοιάζει με την οδό του ανέμου που ακούς την πνοή του αλλά δεν ξέρεις από πού έρχεται και πού πηγαίνει. Δεν ήταν βέβαια ο άνεμος αυτός κάποιοι φυσικό φαινόμενο. Ήταν ένα γεγονός υπερφυσικού χαρακτήρα. Η πνοή του ανέμου ήταν σύμβολο της εκχύσεως του Αγίου Πνεύματος στους συναγμένους Μαθητές. Ήταν το σύμβολο της μυστηριώδους ενεργείας του θείου Πνεύματος. Διότι η πνοή αυτή ήθελε να δείξει ότι μία άλλη πνοή πνευματική εκείνη την ώρα κατερχόταν στις ψυχές των πρώτων πιστών. Και η πνοή αυτή τους γέμισε ολοκληρωτικά. Πλήρωσε τις ψυχές και τα σώματά τους. Τους πλημμύρισε με θείες και έξοχες δωρεές. Εκείνη τη συγκλονιστική ώρα, όλο το σπίτι όπου βρίσκονταν οι Μαθητές έγινε με την πνοή του Αγίου Πνεύματος μια αόρατη πνευματική κολυμβήθρα που μεταμόρφωσε τους ιστούς, τους μετέδωσε μοναδικά υπερφυσικά χαρίσματα και ευλογίες. Όλοι πλημμύρισαν με Πνεύμα Άγιον. Γέμισαν με τις χάριτές του. Έγιναν πλέον άλλοι άνθρωποι. Καινούργιοι. Έφυγαν οι φόβοι τους και οι δισταγμοί τους. Απέκτησαν υπερφυσικές ικανότητες να κάνουν θαύματα. Κι έτρεξαν ενισχυόμενοι από θεία δύναμη στα πέρατα της οικουμένης να κηρύξουν το μήνυμα της Αναστάσεως. Και άλλαξαν όλο τον κόσμο.
10 METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO FANARI CAMP (June 15-21) gochicagoyouth.goarch.org (June 21-July 1 or July 5-15) crossroad.hchc.edu (July 20-August 8) ionianvillage.org DID YOU KNOW THAT.every time a priest serves Divine Liturgy in a consecrated church, he does so on the bones of Saints? It is true. A Divine Liturgy may only be celebrated on an Antimension a special cloth containing relics of particular Saints. In addition, every altar in an Orthodox Church, when consecrated, has Saints relics placed in it. This connection with the relics of the Saints is an ancient practice and was articulated as a matter of faith by the Seventh Ecumenical Council. From the very earliest Christian times, the Divine Liturgy has been celebrated on the tombs of the martyred saints, (those who bore witness to the Faith), where, on the anniversary of the saint's martyrdom, the faithful would go to the catacombs (in Rome) or other place of burial, and celebrate the Divine Liturgy. This earliest Orthodox Christian tradition has been maintained by the Church --- with a certain variation. Since we cannot usually go to the martyred saints' graves, one might say that the Church brings the martyrs' relics to us. How is this done? By means of an Antimension or Antimins. All Orthodox Divine Liturgies must be served on top of this special cloth which is signed by the bishop and given by him to each church under his jurisdiction (and occasionally to an individual priest). Upon each antimension is a representation of the entombment / lamentation of Christ, and into the antimension are sewn small particles of the relics (bones) of martyr-saints. Every church has at least one antimension, which permits the Liturgy to be served, under the authority of its bishop. Furthermore, when the full consecration of a temple and its altar is performed by the bishop, relics of martyr-saints are always placed into the altar (holy table) itself. Thus, every person present at each Divine Liturgy is actually participating in the veneration of relics, whether or not the person is aware of it. In this way, we worship the Holy Trinity in the company of the physical reminders of the Saints, their relics.
12 Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church 7560 South Archer Road Justice, IL Phone: Fax: Wheelchair Accessible Entrance and Restroom Available COME TO CHURCH What is Prayer? Prayer is doxology, praise, thanksgiving, confession, supplication and intercession to God. "When I prayed I was new," wrote a great theologian of Christian antiquity, "but when I stopped praying I became old." Prayer is the way to renewal and spiritual life. Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy. Through the grace of God and our disciplined efforts prayer lifts us up from our isolation to a conscious, loving communion with God in which everything is experienced in a new light. Prayer becomes a personal dialogue with God, a spiritual breathing of the soul, a foretaste of the bliss of God's kingdom. As we pray deeply within our hearts we grow in prayer. By the grace of God we suddenly catch a glimpse of the miracle of the presence of the Holy Spirit working within us. At first it is only a spark but later it becomes a flame freeing and energizing our whole being. To experience the fire of God's holy love, to give it space within us to do its cleansing and healing work as a breath of the Holy Spirit, and to use it as light and power for daily living -- such are the goals as well as the fruits of true prayer.