THE TRUE BLESSING OF PANAGIA AND MOST HOLY MOTHER OF GOD TO OUR PARISH
Dear friends in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
Some years ago, as part of my confession to my father confessor, I mentioned my struggle to revive and to begin using the Holy Dormition Chapel of our parish but sadly was confronted with numerous obstacles, problems and negativity from some people within our parish and parish council at that time. My father confessor looked at me and said, 'my son why are you surprised at the opposition to accomplish this holy task? Don't you know that Panagia (the All-Holy Mother of God) is hated by Satan who is her greatest enemy? Of course you will be attacked and he will do everything to prevent you from accomplishing it. However, if it is the wish of the Ever-Virgin Mary and she claims this humble Chapel as her own, it will happen no matter the difficulties and how long it is going to take.'
Indeed, my father confessors' advice came true. Panagia has claimed what used to be a forgotten and deserted Chapel as her own and by her blessings and intercessions it has been accomplished. The Mother of God has found soft, open, humble, kind, and generous hearts within the parish to support this holy and noble effort, and today, we possess a Chapel dedicated to her Holy Dormition with the necessary icons and all other items needed to function properly and serve everyone in our community. None of the anonymous donors have been solicited by me. They, indeed, offered their donations and support from their hearts. Our Panagia touched them deeply and because of their response to her calling they and their families will always be blessed by her.
All of you will see, when you attend the holy services next week at our parish chapel how magnificent it is. One of our parishioners who saw it recently said, "breathtaking" and beautiful. Another said, "It is truly a miracle". It truly is a miracle! It was only few weeks ago that the new Church furniture for the Chapel arrived from Greece. You will not believe your eyes when you see it.
May God bless all you who directly or indirectly have supported this effort and enriched our parish with the blessings of the Mother of God.
My request to all of you is that you do not preoccupy yourselves with trying to guess who are the anonymous donors. Instead, praise and glorify the Mother of God and humbly seek her protection and prayers. Remember one of the hymns from the Paraklesis service that says, "My numerous hopes are placed before you, Most Holy One; Mother of God, guard me with care, within your sheltered arms."
I pray that you will join us at the Paraklesis holy services and of course on the solemn services on the Eve of the Holy Day of the Dormition, the day of the celebration and the Divine Liturgy on August 16th followed by the Annual Parish Picnic.
My sincere gratitude to Mr. Nick Giannakakis, Chairman, Mr. Tim Karamalegos and Mrs. Ifegenia Limberopoulos for their commitment, generosity, dedication and hard work towards the picnic. May the Theotokos bless you and your families always.
With sincere agape,