Monthly Newsletter - 1999-2001 Archive

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church - Bulletin
February 2001 / March 2001 - Volume 5, Number 20


[St. Anthony's Logo]


A Message From Your Pastor

St. Anthony, the "father of the monks," the patron saint of our parish whose memory we commemorate on January 17 is the founder of Egyptian monasticism.

This Great Saint of the Church, whose life is documented by St. Athanasius in The Life of St. Anthony , viewed monastic life and life in general for the believer as a life centered on Christ. He serves as a perfect example for us to understand our contemporary ministry. This ministry should be understood at the outset not as an exclusive function and responsibility of the priests or lay church professionals. " Any Christian who has ever fed the hungry or visited the sick for Jesus' sake is a minister, and if he or she is a reflecting person, then the call to a clearer understanding of Jesus' role in ministry is always present."

St. Anthony, realizing the words of the Lord in the Gospel of Matthew 19:21, "Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor...then come and follow me" took them into his heart and decided to live at the edge of his village as a poor working peasant. He then withdrew into the desert where, for twenty years, he lived in complete solitude.

During these years, he was completely transformed and surrendered himself to Jesus Christ. He emptied himself from his worldly attachments and when he emerged from his solitude, people were able to recognize in him the qualities of a true spiritual man, a true healer, adviser and comforter, a holy man who would inspire and lead them to God.

St. Athanasius recounted the true story of St. Anthony's life in such a way that we can clearly understand the necessity of allowing our false self to be transformed into the new self of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, in the words of the late Father Henri J. Nouwen, "It also shows that solitude is the furnace in which this transformation takes place. Finally, it reveals that it is from this transformed or converted self that real ministry flows" (The Way of the Heart, p. 20).

This ministry is a synthesis of the spirituality of the desert with the activity of the contemporary followers of Christ. To synthesize the spirituality of the desert with contemporary life's distractions is not easy. The suggestion of Father Nouwen is startling: solitude, silence and unceasing prayer. The writings of the early desert fathers and mothers can help those who are searching for true and healthy spirituality. "The challenge to the Church is as clear as it has ever been. It has to prove its relevance to a world in which secularism is triumphant and misery is pervasive, bringing into question both God's grace and Christ's message" (The Economist , on The Catholic Church, January 27, 2001, p. 23).

This challenge can be met only by those who follow the steps of the saints, who ultimately lead us to Jesus Christ, who taught us that God is love, and that it is through the love of God and neighbor that humankind will be saved.

With my best wishes for a spiritual and meaningful Holy and Great Lent, I remain.

With the love of Christ our Lord,
Father Efstathios V. Mylonas

*****

His Eminence
Archbishop Demetrios
of America Southern California visit
March 29 - April 1, 2001

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America will arrive to Los Angeles on Thursday, March 29, 2001. He will meet with priests and presbyteres during an evening lenten meal at St. Sophia Cathedral Fellowship Hall hosted by St. Sophia Cathedral. On Friday, March 30 the Archbishop will lecture noon at Loyola Marymount University students, faculty and guests, followed by private luncheon of University VIPs and friends of Greek Studies Department. Evening Akathist Hymn at St. Paul's in Irvine, followed by a community reception. Saturday, March 31 morning meeting with area children from Sunday Schools, GOYA, and related groups for pancake breakfast and visit at St. Anthony's in Pasadena. All parishes are invited to bring their youngsters to meet and visit the Archbishop. Noon at St. Sophia Cathedral, neighborhood luncheon with city officials, religious leaders, and community activists hosted by St. Sophia Cathedral Foundation. It will be an opportunity to highlight community service and neighborhood redevelopment led by a Greek Orthodox community. Evening Vesper Services would be celebrated at the Church of the Assumption in Long Beach, followed by a major lenten fundraiser in the parish hall to benefit the Living Spring Monastery at St. Nicholas Ranch. All area parishes are invited to attend and support the event and meet the Archbishop and Metropolitan Anthony. Sunday, April 1 Divine Liturgy at St. Sophia Cathedral followed by luncheon. Any proceeds from the luncheon can also be dedicated to the Monastery Fund. This schedule is tentative; details can be refined and changed as needed.

Metropolitan Anthony's 66th Birthday Celebration

On Sunday, February 25, 2001 at 6:00 p.m. at the Kokkari Estiatorio, 200 Jackson at Front, San Francisco, (415) 981-0983. Hosted by George and Judy Marcus. Donation $250 per person to benefit The Holy Monastery of the Theotokos - The Life-Giving Spring. Make checks payable to Diocese of San Francisco-Monastery. Please respond by February 20, 2001. To His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony, we wish a very happy Birthday. May the Lord our God grant him many healthy and fruitful years.

*****

St. Anthony's Parish Council election of officers

After the ratification of the Parish Council elections by His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony and prior to the assumption of their duties, all Parish Council members on Sunday, January 7, 2001 following the Divine Liturgy recited the Oath of Office before the Holy Altar, administered by Father Stathis. On Tuesday, January 9, 2001 the following officers of the Parish Council reelected: Dean Efstathiou, president, Sophia Angelos, vice president, Irene Albeck, secretary, Eleftheria Polychronis, treasurer, Charles Christodulelis, assistant treasurer. The rest of the Parish Council members are: Dan Bozikis, Soterios Dallas, Joanna Koulos, Anthia Lucas, Arry Pastis, Ted Vavoulis, Nick Vayos, Zacharias Vorgias and Pantele Xanthos.

Goals set by St. Anthony's Parish Council on a special meeting January 12, 2001 are the following:

1. Increase fair-share by $55,000 and membership by 25%.

2. Organize a Golf Tournament that will raise $30,000 for our building program.

3. Present for approval to the Parish Council a comprehensive plan for youth programs.

4. Prioritize and recommend to the Parish Council all maintenance issues that need to be taken care this calendar year.

5. Establish flowcharts and timelines for obtaining planning and architectural approvals from the County of Los Angeles, and fundraising.

*****

Greek Folk Dance Festival
February 15 - 18, 2001

The Greek Folk Dance youth movement of our Diocese of San Francisco marks its 25th year. The Greek Folk Dance Festival will take place at the Pasadena Civic Center Exhibition Hall. Hundreds of dancers and their families will arrive to participate and compete for awards in the four-day events. A few highlights: Thursday, February 15, the opening ceremonies will start at 8:00 p.m. On Friday, February 16, competition of Divisions I and II begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 17, First Saturday of the Souls, Orthros/Divine Liturgy and Memorial Service at the Exhibition Hall 7:00 a.m., competition of Divisions I and II begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 17 Orthros/Divine Liturgy and Memorial Service at St. Anthony's Church 8:30 a.m. Father Stathis will contact the Holy Services. February 18, Orthros 9:00 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony will preside, assisted by many priests from throughout the Diocese and visiting Orthodox priests. On this day, St. Anthony's Church will remain open for those who are not able to come to the Exhibition Hall, Orthros 9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. Father Peter Lambert will be the liturgist. However, Father Stathis will take part in the Holy Services at the FDF and we urge all our faithful to attend. Final competition of Division I begins at 1:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony and Banquet will start at 8:00 p.m. at the Exhibition Hall. Father Stathis, Billy Tragus and Paul Darlas represent our Parish. This schedule is from the FDF 2001 rough draft itinerary some details can be changed.

*****

The 34th Pentahiliariko

Our 34th Pentahiliariko will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2001 at The Pasadena Hilton. Every seat reserved. Donation $250.00. We wish to see all our parishioners at this gala event. Please make a small sacrifice and support the efforts of the Pente Committee members who work diligently to raise funds for our Church ministries. Co-chairmen of the event are Brian and Pana-Louise Gelt.

*****

St. Anthony's
Golf Tournament

The first St. Anthony's Golf Tournament and dinner will take place on Friday, May 4, 2001. Chairman is Ted Vavoulis assisted by James Christodoulelis. Information and details will be mailed to you. Please support this fundraising effort of our parish.

*****

Southern California Ecumenical Council

An Ecumenical Service took place on Sunday, January 21, 2001 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Vincent's Roman Catholic Church in downtown Los Angeles. This Ecumenical Service is an annual gathering of clergy and lay people who pray together during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Father Stathis a member of the Executive Committee of Southern California Ecumenical Council participated in the Service along with Father John S. Bakas, Dean of St. Sophia Cathedral. Father Stathis and Father John blessed the Five Loaves (Artoklasia) which was attended by the Bishops who were present and the clergy and hundreds of faithful people. This Service was a powerful witness of our Orthodox faith and spirituality. We thank the ladies who prepared the breads: Helen Bonorris, Aliki Haralambos and Yiota Poulos.

The artoklasia is a service held at the end of Vespers or at the end of Matins, or even at the end of the Divine Liturgy in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The five loaves are reminiscent of the five loaves that Jesus Christ blessed in the desert and by which five thousand people were fed. The artoklasia symbolized and brings into practice the Agape meals of the early Christians. The Greek term artoklasia derives from the words used by the Evangelists in describing the Last Supper at which Christ "broke bread" and offered it to his disciples as his own body. Also, "bread is broken" in the Orthodox artoklasia , signifying not only an identity in terms but a significant affinity between the Lord's and His Church's breaking bread.

Father Stathis was invited by His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahoney Archbishop of Los Angeles to the Twenty-first Annual Ecumenical/Interfaith Leadership Luncheon where the Archbishop recognizes the wider leadership community, both religious and business. This year's honoree is Mr. Jay S. Wintrob, President and CEO of Sun America, Inc. and member of the board of many non-profit organizations Former Governor for the State of California, George Deukmejian addressed the gathering. The event was hosted by Marsh, Inc. at the California Club on Thursday, February 1, 2001.

*****

Justice and Peace Conference III

The theme of the Justice and Peace Conference III is "Reconciling God's People." The Conference is sponsored by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in collaboration with Loyola Marymount University and will host over 1,500 Catholic leaders at this day-long forum to explore current domestic and international issues. This social justice and peace gathering will be the largest ever held in Los Angeles. Speakers will include: Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Francois X. Nguyen Van Thuan, President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vatican City, Wetshotsile Joe Seremane, Member of South Africa Parliament, Bishop Gabino Zavala, Bishop of San Gabriel Pastoral Region, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and other prominent leaders. You are cordially invited to attend. Date: Saturday, March 17, 2001. Time: 8 a.m. - 5: p.m. Place: Loyola Marymount University, Gersten Pavilion, 7900 Loyola Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. For more information contact: Phone: (213) 637-7550, Fax: (213) 637-6550, Email: oj@la-archdiocese.org, Web: ojp.la-archdiocese.org.

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the many dedicated services of Bill Katem, who is helping for many years and in so many ways our Church. We are deeply appreciative to Bill. To Litsa Vagenas and Sofia Vagenas many thanks for preparing the prosphora for our Church and for the Divine Liturgy at the Pasadena Civic Center, Exhibition Hall on Sunday,

February 18, 2001.

*****

Godparents/Godchildren Sunday

Godparents with their Godchildren attended the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 4, 2001. It was a happy gathering. They participated in the Holy Services. They prayed together and they received Holy Communion. Following the Divine Liturgy there was a luncheon in our beautifully decorated Cultural Center. Many thanks and appreciation to those who worked diligently to make this Sunday so meaningful and enjoyable.

*****

Funerals

Vaios Retzepis of Duarte, CA on December 19, 2001

Sofia D'Abro of Arcadia, CA on January 12, 2001.

We express condolences to the families of these people. May the Lord our God grant rest to their souls and may their memory be eternal.

Byron J. Mechalas of Glendora, CA on Saturday, January 27, 2001.

A beloved husband, father papou, brother, uncle, friend and one of our most respected, visionary, knowledgeable and dedicated members of St. Anthony's Church. His contributions to the Church and community as a president and Parish Council member and as a planning committee chairman are invaluable and lasting. May God the Almighty grant rest and peace to the soul of this good man. May his memory be eternal.

*****

The Ground Breaking Ceremony for the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Chapel at the Greek Orthodox Cemetery Section at Rose Hills Memorial Park took place on Sunday 4, 2001. His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony officiated. The Holy Service was attended by Orthodox clergy and faithful. A reception was held at the nearby Sky Rose Chapel. For information about the Greek Orthodox Cemetery you can contact: Phone: (562) 260-9671 or 1-877-385-4861 Ext. 795, Voicemail: (562) 692-1212 Ext. 596, Website: www.gomf.org.

GOYA: February 27th 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. GOYA is 7th grade to 12th grade at church. We will be having food, an activity and a discussion on "Relationships & dating." We will also be discussing the possibility of going to Project Mexico and going to St. Nicholas Ranch for a weekend.

YAL Fellowship: Every Monday night at Dean Tripodes' house. Our first fellowship gathering will be on February 5th, 2001. We will be having a discussion on our faith, the Bible or the Sacraments of the Greek Orthodox Church the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month. All are welcome to attend. You do not have to be a young adult to attend our fellowship group and sit in our discussions. For info, call Bill Tragus at (626) 449 - 6943

Lenten Youth Retreat: Saturday, March 31. All youth are welcome including young adults. 9 a.m. - 2 a.m. Breakfast with Archbishop Demetrios of America 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Games and activities at the park 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Discussion and prayer service 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lenten Chili lunch 1:00 p.m.

Fellowship Tea Party: Philoptochos is hosting a Tea Party on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2001 at 11:30 a.m. Featuring Inspirational Speaker - Eve Tibbs, Religious Education Director, Diocese of San Francisco. "Desire for Beauty, Desire for God" $15 per person. Paid reservations by mail only. For more information call Pamela Buzas (626) 287 - 6089

Vacation Bible School: Save the week of July 30th to August 3rd. Registration forms will be sent for "Beach Trek 2001" For information call Esther Vavoulis (818) 790 - 3395 or Irene Albeck (626) 792 - 8122.

Philanthropia Ministry: We had 40 people attend a dinner hosted by the Philanthropia Ministry and The St. Anthony's Philoptochos on January 21. Two lectures were given. One on Relationships and HIV/AIDS and the other on making the home the small church. For more information on Philanthropia Ministry visit hometown.aol.com/philanthropiamin.

Cameroon, Africa mission Trip: A Mission Team led by Metropolitan Anthony will take place this summer. The team will assist in the building of Saint Dimitrios Orthodox Church in Ebolowa, in Central Africa. The Southern California YAL will be hosting a Lenten Dinner as a fundraiser for the church to be built. For more information, call Bill Tragus at St. Anthony's Church or go to www.ocmc.org/countries/cameroon.

Hellenic Times Scholarship 2001: The Hellenic Times will award over $100,000 in Scholarships this year to Greek American students across the country. The Scholarships will be awarded at the Ten Year Anniversary Scholarship Gala on May 11, 2001 at the New York Hilton. For further information visit www.HTSFund.org or call (212) 333-7456.

Ionian Village: 2001 Summer Program dates are as follows; Summer Travel Camp (Ages 12 - 15) July 2 - 20, Byzantine Venture (ages 16 - 18) July 26 - August 13, Spiritual Odyssey (ages 19 and older) July 15 - July 30. You can get an application from Bill Tragus at church.

Spiritual Odyssey: St. Paul's will be hosting Spiritual Odyssey 2001 form February 9 - February 12. This year's speaker will be Father Thomas Hopko. It will take place at St. Paul's Church in Irvine, 4949 Alton Parkway, Irvine CA. 92604. (949) 733-2366, web site: www.stpaulsirvine.org/odyssey.

St. George Greek Festival 2001: February 24th - 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the church grounds. 74109 Larrea - Palm Desert

Hellenic College - Holy Cross: HC/HC offers B.A. programs for undergraduates and Masters programs for those who have a four-year degree. For a free catalog and application, please call (617) 731 - 3500.

"The Year of the Holy Cross:" Metropolitan Anthony has circulated an encyclical declaring the ecclesiastical year from September 2000 through August 2001 to be "The Year of the Holy Cross." The goal is to raise money for our beloved school and Seminary Holy Cross. Sunday, March 18, 2001, the Veneration of the Holy Cross, a second offering will be taken on Sunday to benefit the school.

IOCC - International Orthodox Christian Charities: IOCC's mission continues to be extended to more people around the world. IOCC helps families with no place to stay, mothers who are about to give birth and have no home, Children in need of love and care, communities that are poor where hope has dwindled down to nothing. If you would like to support IOCC, they would appreciate anything you can give. For information, please contact the church office or contact their web site at www.iocc.org or call (410) 243 - 9820.

Internet School of Orthodox Studies (ISOS): IOSS is announcing adult religious education classes on the Internet. The classes are offered free of charge to all Orthodox faithful. If you are interested please contact the website at www.isos.goarch.org.

The American Hellenic Council Annual Honors Dance: March 3, 2001. Cocktails at 6 p.m. and Dinner 7 p.m. Community Hall, St. Sophia Cathedral. They will be honoring; The Honorable Brad Sherman, U.S. Congressman (CA - 24th), Ambassador Dr. Erato Kozakou-Markoullis, Ambassador of Cyprus, Nikifors Valasdantjis, Hellenic-American Community Leader. Information and reservations: (323) 651 - 3507.

Mrs. Eleftheria Polychronis, member and treasurer of St. Anthony's Parish Council, was elected President of the American Hellenic Council 2001. We congratulate Mrs. Polychronis and extend to her out best wishes.