Category Archives: Adult Spiritual Education

A Reflection from the Prologue from Ochrid

REFLECTION St. Isidore of Pelusium interprets certain words of Holy Scripture in this manner: "Two [women] will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left" (St. Matthew 24:4). This means that many are dedicating themselves to the spiritual life, but with different intentions; some sincerely and steadfastly and others negligently and vainly. The first will be taken into the kingdom of God and the others will be left behind. What does the prayer of the Cup mean? And why did the Lord pray that this cup of Suffering pass from Him? "O My Father, if this Cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done!" (St. Matthew 26:42). This means that no one should seek out adversity but when adversity does come, a Christian should accept it and courageously endure it. Concerning the Five Foolish Virgins (St. Matthew, Chapter 25), St. Isidore says: "Indeed, all of them had retained their virginity, but they did not possess the other virtues, especially charity. Virginity alone is not sufficient to enter the kingdom of God. Virginity does not help at all, if the virgin is proud and selfish.   From: http://98.131.104.126/prolog/February7.htm  

schedule of services and events for February 5 – February 12

FAST FREE WEEK  Monday, February 6 7 PM – Spirituality Class Tuesday, February 7 8:30 AM – Hours 9 AM – Perogie Session  Wednesday, February 8 7 PM – Catechism Class Thursday, February 9 8:30 AM – Akathist Friday, February 10 9 AM – Old Testament Class Saturday, February 11 6 PM – Wild Game Dinner Sunday, February 12 10 AM – Divine Liturgy 3 PM – OYMT Training at St. Barbara's in Orange, CT Readers Schedule 2/12 – Christopher Mihaly 2/19 – Susan Paltauf 2/26 – Bob Faubel Coffee Hour 2/12 – OPEN 2/19 – OPEN 2/26 - OPEN

Schedule of services and events for January 29 – February 5, 2017

Tuesday, January 31 9 AM – Perogie Session  Wednesday, February 1 6 PM – Vespers for the Presentation of Christ in the Temple 7 PM – Catechism Class  Thursday, February 2 9 AM – Liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation- Blessing of Candles 5 PM - 7 pm – Monthly Perogie Sale  Friday, February 3 9 AM – Old Testament Class Saturday, February 4 5 PM – Vespers Sunday, February 5 10 AM – Liturgy Readers Schedule 1/29 – Harry Fong 2/5 – Paul Toaso 2/12 – Christopher Mihaly 2/19 – Susan Paltauf 2/26 – Bob Faubel Coffee Hour 1/29 – Suzanne Molineaux 2/5 – OPEN 2/12 – OPEN 2/19 – OPEN 2/26 - OPEN

Schedule of services and events for July 22 – July 29

Monday, January 23 7 PM – Spirituality Class Tuesday, January 24 8:30 AM – Hours 9 AM – Perogie session Thursday, January 26 8:30 AM – Akathist Friday, January 27 9 AM – Old Testament Class – Note time change 7 PM – Visit of the miraculous weeping icon of the Kardiotissa from Taylor, PA Saturday, January 28 3 PM – Vespers Sunday, January 29 10 AM – Divine Liturgy 11:30 AM – Stewardship Sunday 11:45 AM – Annual Parish Meeting Readers Schedule 1/29 – Harry Fong 2/5 – Paul Toaso 2/12 – Christopher Mihaly 2/19 – Susan Paltauf 2/26 – Bob Faubel Coffee Hour 1/29 – Suzanne Molineaux 2/5 – Villa 2/12 – OPEN 2/19 – OPEN 2/26 - OPEN  

Schedule of services and events for January 15 – Janaury 22

Monday, January 16 7 PM – Spirituality Class Tuesday, January 17 8:30 AM – Hours 9:30 AM – Prayer Group 7 PM – Parish Council Meeting Wednesday, January 18 9 AM – Liturgy in memory of for Victor Kuziak, John Fedyna, Dorothy Lloyd-Brown and Joe LaDuca Thursday, January 19 8:30 AM – Akathist 7 PM – Anointing Service to St. Nectarios Friday, January 20, 9 AM Old Testament Class – Note time change Saturday, January 21 5 PM – Vespers Sunday, January 22 10 AM- Divine Liturgy – Collection for Zoe for Life 11:30 AM – Church School 12:30 PM- Choir Seminar 5 PM – OYMT Meeting Readers Schedule 1/22 – Paul Sulich 1/29 – Harry Fong Coffee Hour 1/22 – Carlos Morfa 1/29 – Suzanne Molineaux  

Schedule of services and events for January 8 – January 15

Monday, January 9 7 PM – Spirituality Class Tuesday, January 10 8:30 AM – Hours 9:30 AM – Prayer Group Friday, January 13 9:30 AM – Old Testament Class Saturday, January 14 6 PM – New Year’s Dance Sunday, January 15 10 AM - Divine Liturgy 11:30 AM – Church School 11:30 AM – Pancake Breakfast Readers Schedule 1/15 – Susan Sulich 1/22 – Paul Sulich 1/29 – Harry Fong Coffee Hour 1/15 – Pancake Breakfast 1/22 – Carlos Morfa 1/29 – Suzanne Molineaux

Schedule of services and events for January 1 – January 8

Monday, January 2 7 PM – Spirituality Class Tuesday, January 3 8:30 AM – Hours 9:30 AM – Prayer Group Wednesday, January 4 7 PM – Adult Catechism Class Thursday, January 5 7 PM – Vigil for Theophany Great Blessing of Water – Strict Fast Day Friday, January 6 9 AM – Divine Liturgy – Theophany – No Fasting 1 PM – 5 PM – Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen Saturday, January 7 3:30 PM – Video Class 5 PM -Vespers Sunday, January 8 10 AM- Divine Liturgy – Renewal of Baptismal Vows 11:30 AM – Church School 12:30 PM - Christmas Caroling There is NO FASTING or KNEELING between Christmas, December 25 and the Eve of Theophany, January 5. The Eve of Theophany, January 5, is a day of Strict Fasting. Readers Schedule 1/8 – Susan Paltauf 1/15 – Susan Sulich 1/22 – Paul Sulich 1/29 – Harry Fong  

The Nativity of Christ

The Nativity of Christ

The Nativity of Christ (Christmas) is easily one of the most important and most celebrated feasts in both the Eastern and Western Churches. This mystery is noted for its great joy. The heavens rejoice, the shepherds race to welcome their new king and the magi come bearing gifts. But in this mystery we can also find sorrow. We find that we still live in a “not yet” reality that desperately longs for our full redemption as the sons of God. In the East, the icon of the Nativity is an image that gives us a much fuller picture of this event than any modern Western art with its calm and sweet imagery.The Nativity of Christ In the icon, we see Jesus and Mary as the focal points around which everything else is based.   Mary is reclined upon a red cloth having performed the act of giving birth. The red cloth represents life, which Mary gives to all believers by her obedience and labor. Just as Eve was named the Mother of the Living, so Mary is the mother of the new humanity that will be united and deified in Christ. To her right is Jesus in the midst of the cave, in which Jesus (according to tradition) was born. Jesus is wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, but the way in which he is portrayed is symbolic. Jesus is wrapped in cloths, strongly evocative of his burial; the manger is made of stone and shaped more like a grave, reminding us that even at the beginning of his earthly life, Jesus was already prepared to die and rise. nativity-icon copy 2Jesus is in the mist of the dark cave reminding us that Jesus, the Author of Life, descended into sin and death to raise us up. Around him is an ox and a donkey which hearkens back to Isaiah 1:3 which states, “The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not understand.” The animals also represent all of creation, which “waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom 8:19-20) Creation has been waiting for its redemption from sin as well. nativity-icon copy 5Above the crib we see a mandorla representing both the divine presence and the star over Bethlehem. The star is found within the ray, offered by God to point the Magi (to the left on horseback) on to Bethlehem. The three Wise Men vary with age, one having white hair and a beard, the middle having brown hair and a beard, and the closest having no beard. This expresses to us that wisdom is not a matter of age but of the heart. Above the Wise Men we see the angelic choir, some of whom are looking toward the mandorla in praise of God, some of whom look toward each other (recalling the fact that the Angels speak the praise of God to one another in Isaiah 6:3), some who adore Christ, and one who is telling the news to the shepherds (to the right). One of the shepherds plays the flute (expressing his joy) next to a tree that represents the tree of Jessi, who is the father of David and ancestor of Jesus.  In the Magi and in the Shepherds, we see the invitation of many classes of people- the rich and the poor, rulers and subjects, Jews and Gentiles- to the worship of Christ the Lord with Heaven and Earth.nativity-icon copy nativity-icon copy 4To the bottom left, we see two midwives who wash Jesus, showing that his birth happened by natural means and thus shows his humanity. The midwives’ arms are bare due to a tradition that Joseph approached them and asked them to tend to the Son of God. When they mocked him their arms withered because of their unbelief but when they came to clean Jesus their arms were restored back to their normal state.  We see in this that before we come to believe in Christ, we come disfigured by sin and disbelief but we are made whole by Christ. nativity-icon copy 3Finally, to the bottom right we find Joseph, apart from Jesus and Mary because he did not have a role in this miracle, but only acted as their protector. Joseph sits in a pensive, perhaps even a despondent, posture. He is approached by an old man who, in the iconographic tradition, is the devil. The devil here is trying to convince Joseph that this birth is not a miracle (why would God enter the world in this way?), that Jesus is not the Son of God, and that Mary was unfaithful to him. This reminds us that the miraculous birth of Christ, even for a holy man like Joseph, is not a thing of reason but of faith, which cannot be fully grasped.  This struggle of Joseph is not resolved in this image, but will find its answer in another icon. This image communicates to us a reality- that even here, at this moment of great joy, we find that we look forward to the Death and Resurrection of Christ.  Even now we still await our the total redemption of our bodies in our “not yet” universe of sin, pain and death. Yet in all the midst of this, we see Christ shining in the darkness, showing us the way to the Father.

Schedule of services and events for December 18 – December 25

Monday, December 19 7 PM – Spirituality Class Tuesday, December 20 8:30 AM – Hours 9:30 AM - Prayer Group Wednesday, December 21 12 noon – Akathist of the Inexhaustible Cup Friday, December 23 9 AM – Royal Hours Saturday, December 24 9 AM – Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom 5 PM – Holy Supper/Strict Fast 7 PM – Complines and Christmas Carols Sunday, December 25 10 AM – Divine Liturgy for the Nativity of our Lord Monday, December 26 9 AM –Divine Liturgy – Synaxis Tuesday, December 27 9 AM – Liturgy – Feast of St. Stephen Wednesday, December 28 7 PM – Titans Hockey Game at the Danbury Ice Arena Readers Schedule 12/25 – Paul Toaso 1/1 – Bob Faubel Coffee Hour 12/25 – Christmas Day 1/1 – Open House at Sulich’s

Schedule of services and events for December 11 – December 18

Monday, December 12 7 PM – Spirituality Class Tuesday, December 13 8:30 AM – Hours 10:30 AM - Prayer Group Wednesday, December 14 7 PM – Adult Catechism Class Thursday, December 15 8:30 AM – Akathist 7 PM – St. Nectarios Anointing Service Friday, December 16 9:30 AM – Old Testament Class 6:30 PM – Ladies Ornament Exchange at Susan Sulich’s home Saturday, December 17 3:30 PM – Video Class 5 PM – Vespers 7 PMA Christmas Carol featuring our own Ava Baroody 6 PM to 11 PM – The Gross Family Party Sunday, December 18 10 AM – Divine Liturgy 11:30 AM - Church School Readers Schedule 12/18 – Nick Fong 12/25 – Paul Toaso 1/1 – Bob Faubel Coffee Hour 12/18 – OPEN 12/25 – Christmas Day 1/1 – New Year’s Day