1 Dear Parishioners, As we prepare once again to enter Holy Week and celebrate Pascha, let us walk firmly in the light of the anticipated Resurrection. Let these days of prayer, worship and fasting serve as an opportunity for us to prepare ourselves to pass from darkness to light, from death to life. Holy Week is one of the most solemn seasons of Orthodox Christianity. While our Orthodox worship services unfold the passion of Christ, it likewise gives us an opportunity to gather our entire family in an atmosphere of chanting and repentance. Holy Week is a time to gather with our families at the morning and evening church services to praise God with common prayer and hymns and feel the power and love of Jesus Christ. Holy Week is a time of repentance. The preparation of Christ's Passion and Resurrection is an important time for the Sacrament of Holy Confession, the Sacrament which restores the resurrected nature of man. After having experienced the Sacrament of Confession, we partake of the Holy Body and Blood of our Resurrected Saviour Jesus Christ. My dear Christians, as we experience Christ s Passion and Resurrection, let us allow ourselves to be changed by Him. Let us trust in the One who died for our sins, who rose again to give us hope, certainty of life, eternal life and hope for the resurrection. Let us receive Him now so we may be able to know and feel the Good News of Pascha.He is Risen!!!! Have a truly blessed and joyous Easter together with your loved ones. May the joy, peace, grace and salvation of the resurrection fill your hearts and homes so united we may proclaim: CHRIST IS RISEN!!! With Love and in Anticipation of His Glorious Resurrection, Father Anargyros Αγαπητοί Ενορίτες, Γιά άλλη μιά φορά με τη χάρη του Κυρίου σε λίγες μέρες θα γιορτάσουμε την εορτή των εορτών και Πανήγυριν των Πανηγύρεων, την Ανάσταση του Χριστού μας. Θα γιορτάσουμε το μεγαλύτερο και σπουδαιότερο γεγονός στην Παγκόσμια Ιστορία, που είναι το κέντρο και ο άξωνας πάνω στον οποίο στηρίζεται και περιφέρεται ολόκληρο το Χριαστιανικό οικοδόμημα. Με την Ανάσταση του, ο Κύριος επιφράγησε το κοσμοσωτήριο έργο του, θεμελείωσε το Πνευματικό του Βασίλειο, την Εκκλησία του, συνέτριξε το κεφάλι του αρχέκακου όφεως, άνοιξε τις κλεισμένες πόρτες της Βασιλείας των Ουρανών, κατάργησε τον Θάνατο, φώτησε το πυκνό σκοτάδι του Άδη, έλυσε οριστικά το μυστήριο του Θανάτου και έγινε το προμήνημα της δικής μας αναστάσεως. Γιά να γευθούμε όμως τους γεμάτους χάρη καρπούς της Αναστάσεως του Κυρίου, πρέπει να αναστηθούμε από τώρα Πνευματικά. Να σηκωθούμε από τα χαμηλά επίπεδα στα οποία μας κατάντησε η πολύχρονη δουλεία στην αμαρτία. Να αποτινάξουμε την σκόνη της ανομίας. Να καθαρισθούμε από τα πάθη μας.
2 Χωρίς ψυχική κάθαρση, καθαρή καρδιά, και φωτισμένο μυαλό, δεν είναι ορατός ο Αναστημένος Ιησούς και δεν μπορούμε να πάρουμε μέρος σ αυτή την εορτή των εορτών και πανήγυριν των πανηγύρεων. Ας προσπαθήσουμε λοιπόν να ζήσουμε το νόημα της Αναστάσεως σε όλο το μέγεθος της αφήνοντας την ψυχή μας να πλημμυρίση από την Θεία ευφροσύνη του κοσμοσωτηρίου αυτού γεγονότος, Αυτή η ημέρα εν εποίησεν ο Κύριος αγαλιασσόμεθα και ευφανθώμεν εν αυτή. Ας συκώσουμε το κεφάλι μας όρθιο από ενθουσιασμό αφού δώσουμε το φίλημα της αφοσιώσεώς μας σαν την Μαρία τη Μαγδαλινή στα πόδια του θριαμβευτού Ιησού. Ας αφήσουμε τον σκεπτικισμό και τις αμφιβολίες μας μαζύ με την αμαρτία και ας ανοίξουμε την καρδιά μας να υποδεχθούμε τον Κύριο. Με ταπείνωση ας παραδώσουμε τον εαυτό μας στο άρματου και ας αφήσουμε Εκείνον να μας τραβήξη πίσω του. Μόνο όταν συμβούν αυτά θα νοιώσουμε σε όλο το πλάτος τη νικηφόρα ιαχή : ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! Ευχόμεθα σε όλους σας ένα αληθινό ευλογημένο και χαρούμενο Πάσχα μαζύ με τους δικούς σας. Με αγάπη Χριστού, Πατήρ Ανάργυρος Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! Let all pious men and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this Feast. Let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord. Let those who have borne the burden of Lent now receive their pay, and those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward. Let any who came after the third hour be grateful to join in the Feast, and those who may have come after the sixth hour, let them not be afraid of being too late, for the Lord is gracious and He receives the last even as the first. Let no one fear death, for the death of our Saviour has set us free. He destroyed death by enduring it. Hades is angered because it has been mocked. It seized a Body, and lo, it discovered God. O Hades, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Christ is risen, and you are abolished. Christ is risen, and the demons are cast out. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and the tombs are emptied of the dead. For Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power, unto the ages of ages. Amen. Excerpts from the Feast of Pascha Homily written by St. John Chrysostom. EASTER BASKETS AND EASTER EGG HUNT Easter Sunday, April 15th 11:30 a.m.
3 We invite ALL families, children and Adults to attend the special Agape Service on Pasha, 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 AN INVITATION TO THE FEAST OF FEASTS We fervently request all our parishioners to share fully in the Observance of Holy Week and in the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord. Note that the Service of the Resurrection is not over until the completion of the Divine Liturgy - please do not deny yourself the full blessings of the Feast by leaving before the end of the Service! 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!!!!
4 Dear Parishioners, A MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT Being in the middle of Great Lent and Easter just a few weeks away, I wish you all a Kali Anastasi. We are in the middle of the preparations of our annual festival which will take place on May Please come and help prepare the delicious food. Also, sign-up to help on the days of the festival. We need everyone to help to make this a successful event for our community. Kostas Panagiotopoulos Parish Council President St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church is pleased to host The Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians District of New Jersey in The Spirit of Lent A Choral Offering of Ancient and Modern Works in English and Greek Kathryn Athanasoulas Director ~~~- Friday, April 6, :00 p.m. Donation: $10 Children under 12: Free E. Hope Demitry Organist NEWS GREEK SCHOOL
5 Dear parishioners, On Sunday January 29 th, the students of our Greek and Sunday Schools, celebrated the Three Hierarchs, the Greek Letters Day, reciting poems and singing songs. The date of the Three Hierarchs, is also designated, as the time to recognize the students who obtained certificates for the Greek language (Regents tests). We congratulate Alexandra Katechis and Michael Higgins who successfully passed the exams, and we wish them the best of luck!!! On Monday February 27 th, (Clean Monday) our students had fun flying their kites at the parking space of the church, according to the tradition. Afterwards, they enjoyed a Lenten meal that the PTO had prepared for them. On Monday March 5 th, the students of 4 th, 5 th, and 6 th grades, and also youngsters from GOYA, (including enough parents), visited the Onasis Center in New York City, to see the exhibit Transition to Christianity. It was a great experience, and every one was enthused about it. We hope to have the chance to do similar trips soon in the near future. There will be no classes from April 9-April 16 (Easter celebration) We wish everyone A HAPPY EASTER Sophia Stamatiou Greek School Principal Dear Parishioners, PHILOPTOCHOS NEWS On behalf of St. Irene s 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. Members of our Philoptochos attended the Agape Luncheon sponsored by our Metropolis Philoptochos on February 4, Over $100,000 was raised in order to fund a permanent home for the National Philoptochos. We were proud of our 50 year Philoptochos honorees, Connie Caravoulias, Helen Boyas, and Dot Constandelis. The honorees were presented to his Eminence and received recognition certificates. In addition to the 3 honorees above, we learned of an additional honoree, ELEFTHERIA PASHALIS, who will be receiving a 50 year certificate shortly. We thank these fine ladies for their years of service and dedication.
6 On February 25, 2012, Rita Pavlou, Athie Georgiou and Stephanie Mouzakis-Smith 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, raising over $7000 for St. Michaels benefit, and enjoyed bringing joy to the lives of the residents. Philoptochos will be participating in the Lord & Taylor Spring Charity Day. Philoptochos will be sponsoring our annual Tsoureki Sale, as well as sponsoring our annual Merrit Based Scholarship for a graduating high school Senior. Please see a Philoptochos Member if you are interested in applying for scholarship. As always, we thank you for your continued support. Sincerely, Thea Portelos Philoptochos President PHILOPTOCHOS SCHOLARSHIP: St. Irene s Philoptochos will once again be awarding its Annual Scholarship. Graduating High School Seniors of the St. Athanasios Community are invited to apply. The Philoptochos offers 1 single scholarship of $1000 annually. This scholarship is an achievement based scholarship, the student and his/ her family must be active stewards at St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church in Paramus, NJ. They must be: *Οf Greek Orthodox Faith *A graduating senior of High School or it s equivalent *Below the age of 23 *In the top third of his/her graduating High School class. Applications may be obtained from the Church Office. Applications must be received by May 1, St. Athanasios FOS Ministry By: Dr. Karen Scoullos The FOS ministry has sponsored a series of Lectures during Great Lent. These
7 presentations were held on Monday evening s right after The Great Compline service. Our guest speakers are well versed in our Greek Orthodox faith. The parishioners who attended enhanced their knowledge about our beliefs as Orthodox Christians. We will be sponsoring more of these presentations in the spring and we hope to see you there. Our FOS bookstore has available Easter candles, Holy Week books, icons, Lenten books, incense, and many items that will enrich your faith. For your convenience we are open on Sundays right after the Divine Liturgy. Please consider becoming a member of the FOS ministry. We can do so much more for our community together. If you have any questions, regarding joining the FOS ministry we can be reached at or call the church office at Have a blessed Lent FOS Ministry Book Store Items EASTER CANDLES HOLY WEEK BOOKS LENTEN BOOKS ICONS BIBLES INCENSE AND CHARCOAL CENSORS PRAYER ROPES AND PRAYER BOOKS ICON BRACELETS CHILDREN S BOOKS GREEK BOOKS GIFTS 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 Dear Parishioners, SUNDAY CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS As we are in the Lenten season, our Church offers many opportunities for us to
8 prepare ourselves anew for a deeper commitment and union with God. The Sunday Church School sponsors activities during the Lenten period that help our children see and experience the real meaning of Easter. We encourage parents to bring their children for these activities. These activities include: The Easter Lenten Retreat, Communion Breakfast, Palm Making, participation in special services such as Myrofores, etc. The focus of Sunday Church School activities during Lent is the following: Increased church attendance. There are many beautiful and special church services that are unique to the Easter season and help us develop heartfelt prayer. We encourage parents to bring their children to evening and Saturday services so that children can become familiar with these services. There is no greater teacher of our faith than the hymnology and the readings that we hear in these special services. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy is offered on Wed. Evenings, Salutations to the Virgin Mary are offered on Friday nights and Holy Week is a time of special devotion. Please help to make church services a vital part of your child s life. Increased Holy Communion. Children should take extra special care to prepare and take Holy Communion more frequently by fasting, prayer, good behavior, and confession. Our church offers Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday evenings during lent for individuals who can fast strictly from food and water after 12:00 noon. In order for children to be able to do this, they will need to be gradually taught how to develop control over their bodies. The Sunday Church School will be offering a Communion Breakfast on April 7. Children will attend Divine Liturgy, have Communion Breakfast, and then make palm crosses for Palm Sunday. Holy Confession. Confession is a sacrament of the Church. Some children have never been to confession so we are taking the opportunity in Sunday Church School to teach this important part of our faith and the important role it plays in our spiritual development. Check the church bulletin for confession hours. Fasting. Fasting is a direct teaching of our Lord himself who gives us many examples in the Gospels on the purpose and need to fast. In Sunday Church School we teach children about the discipline of fasting and its role and importance in modern society for our spiritual development. Increased Bible reading. In Sunday Church School we emphasize the importance of reading the Bible on their own as a source of spiritual nourishment. It is important that children are in church to hear the reading of the Epistle and the Gospel so that they can also gain when Father Anargyros gives his sermons. Athena Georgotas
9 Sunday Chruch School Director April 7th Communion Breakfast Palm Cross Making Please join us in making the Palm Crosses for Palm Sunday, following the Divine Liturgy and Communion Breakfast. GOYA NEWS This time of the year is always a busy one for the GOYA. With dances and practices for Sights and Sounds, we have all had a chance to work together and strengthen our bonds as we prepared to showcase all of our efforts. During the month of February, we had our annual GOYA Valentines Day Dance at the Toms River church as well as the White Out Dance at Tenafly. The rest of the month was dedicated to Sights and Sounds practices whether for Greek dance, 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! 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 truly realize how proud I am to be a member of the Saint Athanasios GOYA. We were awarded 70 points for our sights which was a great accomplishment in itself, especially because almost every one of our GOYAns was awarded. Please join me in congratulating the sights winners: Nickita Alexiades- Macramé, 1st Place Christopher Georgiadis- Acrylics, 1st Place Christopher Georgiadis- Color Pencil, 1st Place Christopher Georgiadis- Pen and Ink, 1st Place Alexandra Katechis- Decoupage, 1st Place Maria Kovoros- Color Photography, 1st Place Kristi Marcopoulos- Tempera, 1st Place Nickita Alexiades- Decoupage, 2nd Place Dina Christopoulos- Sculpture, 2nd Place Niko Christopoulos- Woodworking-Furniture, 2nd Place Elizabeth Connor- Scratchboard, 2nd Place Elias Marcopoulos- Flower Making, 2nd Place Kristi Marcopoulos- Pastels, 2nd Place Marissa Mariano- Stained Glass, 2nd Place Eleni Skoutakis- Mosaics, 2nd Place Eleni Skoutakis- Orig. Design on Ready Made Items, 2nd Place Eleni Stavris- Soft Sculpture, 2nd Place Demos Backos- Molded Ceramics, 3rd Place Elizabeth Connor- Beading Kit, 3rd Place Mariana Georgatos- Acrylics, 3rd Place Stella Kovoros- Woodworking-Functional, 3rd Place Dimitri Stathopoulos- Computer Art, 3rd Place
10 Eleni Backos- Mosaics, Honorable Mention Demos Backos- Sculpture, Honorable Mention Sophia Smith- Junior Poetry, Honorable Mention Not only did we do exceptionally well in the Sights category, we also won first place for our American Play, A Series of Awkward Moments. Christopher Georgiadis was awarded Best Actor, Kristi Marcopoulos was awarded Best Actress, and Mariana Georgatos was awarded Best Supporting Actress. The other cast members were: Catherine Kotsambas, Elias Marcopoulos, Niko Christopoulos and Dimitri Tobar. Christopher also won first place for his original monologue A Contemplation. Christopher and Kristi won fourth place for their original dramatic pair, Roommates. The month of March was not as hectic, but just as enjoyable as we attended the annual Independence Day Parade on Sunday, March 25 th in New York City. This has always been a great way to celebrate our Greek heritage, but especially this year, because the parade fell on March 25th - Greek Independence Day! Then on Friday, March 30 th we had our annual GOYA Lock-In at our church where we had a chance to spend time together watching movies, playing games and attending a lecture on our religion. 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 Eleni Skoutakis GOYA President HOPE / JOY NEWS Dear Parishioners, It has been a busy year! Thank you for supporting our wonderful youth! Parents thank you for supporting your children. We experienced in one of our meetings that the strongest way of doing things is by teamwork. Together we worked on our Project Linus blankets and parents and children came and knotted the fringes. We gave the blankets to the sick children in various hospitals nationwide. What a wonderful feeling --the help we gave. Then, we met and spoke about Saint Athanasios. We all made koulourakia to celebrate the Feast Day of the Patron Saint of our church. Next, we watched Presbytera Christina explain "The Meaning and Making of Koliva". We then made Kolyva for the "Saturday of Souls", in order to remember our loved ones who have passed away. For the Kolyva, we used; wheat, parsley, pomegranate, raisins, sugar-almonds and confectionary sugar. Symbolically, all the sweetness represents Paradise with God. On Saturday morning, Father blessed the Kolyva and read special prayers for our deceased loved ones. Finally, we had the cutting of the Vasilopita by Father Anargyros. The coin went to Anna Makris. Congratulations Anna!! Be sure to look at our Hope and Joy bulletin boards for the photos that were taken. Our next meeting will be on Friday, April 20th at 6:30 pm.
11 --Have a wonderful Easter! --Christ Is Risen! Your Advisors of Hope and Joy Stacey Emporellis Dorin Aspra Paul Anagnostakos Father Anargyros will conduct Memorial Day Grave Trisagia on Monday May 28th, at all area cemeteries. Ο Πατήρ Ανάργυρος θα τελέσει Τρισάγια τη Δευτέρα 28 Μαϊου, 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