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The Chicago Mission Team Benefit dinner for the Orthodox Christian Mission commission was held at St. John Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in St. Des Plains IL. The featured Speaker was Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea. Eight of our parishioners attended. The Tatooles and Zekios families helped out serving food.
At the OCMC banquet on Angela, Jonathan, and Stea were able to meet and talk with Fr Ritsi the director of the OCMC. They discussed their interest in becoming missionaries.
Father Andrew And Pat In Peru
By the sacred Urubamba River out side of Cusco.
Sent from the top of Macha picchu. We are breathing but with deep breaths. Next stop Lake Titicaca.
Sunrise over Lake Titicaca
The tour group experiencing the Amazon rain forest. The name of the tree is a Ceiba tree. It is 130 years old. We are staying at a resort next to the Amazon river.
Annual Parish Meeting Held
This Sunday following Liturgy, St. Luke held its Annual Parish Meeting. Reports were presented, finances discussed, and old and new business dealt with.
Initial plans were presented for the rennovation of the courtyard and sacristy area. It was approved to continue with the planning phases of this project.
Garden Center Visit For February
Fr. Andrew told the story of Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as "Lily of the Mohawks". When Kateri was four years old a smallpox epidemic took the life of her parents and brother, which also left her partially blind and crippled. At age 20 she was baptized by a Jesuit missionary and her baptismal name is "Catherine" which translates to "Kateri". Because of her conversion her life was threatened, and she fled to Montreal where she lived a life of prayer and penance. She was canonized in 2012.
Fr. Andrew passed a picture of Kateri for everyone to see.
Fr. Andrew said, candles are blessed on February 2nd, which is when we celebrate the feast of the meeting of our Lord in the temple, 40 days after his birth. Jesus is the light.
Fr. Andrew blesses a room.
Fr. Andrew, with the help of John, blessed the rooms of all clients, who wanted their rooms blessed.
Sanctity Of Life Sunday
The service began with the censing by Fr. Samuel of St Michael's Carpatho Russian Orthodox Church in Niles Illinois the host parish.
Fr. Andrew processing at the end of the service with the Clergy of the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Chicago which sponsored the service.
The Icon of the Visitation which shows Jesus Christ and John the Baptist in utero with Mary and Elizabeth. This Icon has been adopted by Orthodox Christians for Life as the symbol of the ministry.
The presentation speaker was Dr. Helen Creticos Theodoropoulos, a professor in the Theology Department at Loyola University. Her presentation was entitled “Praising God in the Vespers of Life: Journeying with the Aged, the severely Debilitated and the Dying”. Doctor Theodoropoulos spoke on end of life issues. She said the Orthodox need to rethink the meaning of quality of Life and not be influenced by those who support right to die legislation. Fr. Nicholas of St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church made the introductions.
Children's Sermon On The Presentation Of Our Lord to the Temple
Fr. Andrew explained the meaning of the feast of the Meeting of the Lord. He asked the children who did the Lord meet or who met the Lord. Nicholas said it was an old man but could not remember his name. Another child said it was St. Simeon.
Fr. recited St. Simeon' s prayer and then lit a candle. He explained why we bless candles on this feast day. He then took a jar and placed over the candle. The children watched the candle go out. Father used this as an example of what can happen to us when we don't come to church, pray or read the bible: our light of Christ goes out.
The children sermon was concluded with the traditional prayer for blessing candles.
O Lord Jesus Christ, the True Light, Who enlightens every man that comes into the world, pour out Your blessing on these candles, and hallow them by the light of Your Grace; and grant, O Merciful One, that as these lights, kindled with a visible flame, scatter the darkness of night, so also may our hearts, by an invisible fire, that is, enlightened by the glowing of the Holy Spirit, avoid the blindness of all manner of sin; so that we may see those things that are pleasing unto You, and availing for our salvation, with the cleansed eye of our soul, so that we, having overcome the darkness of this world, may be granted to attain to the light that never fades: For You are our Savior, and to You do we send up glory, with Your unoriginate Father, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.