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Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2020-02-23
Bulletin Contents
Lastjudgement1
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Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • 408.605.0621
  • Street Address:

  • 9th and Lincoln

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
  • Mailing Address:

  • PO Box 5808

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921


Contact Information




Services Schedule

 

Weekend services: the weekend schedule is fixed for most of the year. The services take place in Carmel-by-the-Sea, at All Saints Church, lower level, 9th and Lincoln.

Saturdays: 5:00pm Vespers

Sundays:   8:30am Matins

                   9:45am Liturgy

Week-day services: during the week we may celebrate the major feast days of the Church either in Carmel or in Salinas. Please check the calendar! The schedule pattern is:

Wednesdays:  6:00pm Paraklesis

Eve of feasts: 6:00pm Vespers

Feast days:    8:30am Matins

                       9:45am Liturgy


Past Bulletins


Schedule of Services

February 21
    6:00pm  Vespers
Saturday, February 22 Saturday of Souls
    8:30am Matins + Liturgy + Memorial Service
    5:00pm  Vespers
Sunday, February 23   Judgment Sunday (Meatfare)
    8:30am  Matins
    9:45am  Liturgy
    12:00pm  Council of Ministries with the whole community (COM-3): Strategic Objectives
Tuesday, February 25
    11:00am  Book Forum: Wounded by Love
Wednesday, February 26 
    6:00pm  Paraklesis
Friday, February 28
    6:00pm  Vespers
Saturday, February 29   Saturday of the Ascetics
    8:30am  Matins + Liturgy + Memorial Service
    5:00pm  Vespers
Sunday, March 1   Forgiveness Sunday
    8:30am  Matins
    9:45am  Liturgy
    12:00pm  Orthodoxy 101 - Catechism Class  and Sunday School
    6:00pm  Forgiveness Vespers 

             + + + BEGINNING OF THE GREAT AND HOLY LENT + + +
Monday, March 2
    6:00pm  Great Compline w. Canon of Saint Andrew (1/4)
Tuesday, March 3
    10:00am  Congregational Chanting
    11:00am  Book Forum
    4:00pm  Ladies I-Help and I-Pray
    6:00pm  Great Compline w. Canon of Saint Andrew (1/2)
Wednesday, March 4
    5:30pm  9th Hour
    6:00pm  Presanctified Liturgy
    7:30pm  Lenten Potluck and Lecture by Father John Takahashi
    8:30pm  Canon of Saint Andrew (3/4)
Thursday, March 5
    6:00pm  Great Compline w. Canon of Saint Andrew (4/4)
Friday, March 6
    5:30pm  9th Hour
    6:00pm  Presanctified Liturgy
    7:15pm  Light Dinner
    7:30pm  Salutations to the Theotokos (1/4)
Saturday, March 7   Saturday of the Kollyva Miracle by Saint Theodore
    8:30am  Matins + Liturgy + Memorial Service
    5:00pm  Vespers
Sunday, March 8   Sunday of Orthodoxy
    8:30am  Matins
    9:45am  Liturgy
    12:00pm  Orthodoxy 101 - Catechism Class and Sunday School

See the whole calendar at http://www.stjohn-monterey.org/parish-calendar

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Community Calendar

February 22 - Saturday of the Souls
February 23 - Meatfare (Apokreatiko)
February 23 - COM-3 Council of Ministries with the whole community: Setting Goals
February 29 - All Saints Church Outreach Fundraiser
March 1 - Forgiveness Sunday + Forgiveness Vespers => BEGINNING of the GREAT and HOLY LENT
March 4 - Wednesday Night Lenten Presentation: Embodiment of Christ's Body - by Father John Takahashi
March 11 - Wednesday Night Lenten Presentation: t.b.d.
March 18 - Wednesday Night Lenten Presentation: Saint Joseph the Hesycast  - by Dr. Michael Bachik
March 25 - Annunciation
March 29 - Hosting ASC for lunch (the 5th Sunday of the month)
April 1 -Wednesday Night Lenten Presentation: Saint Iakovos of Evvia - by Charles Leontis
April 8 - Wednesday Night Lenten Presentation: t.b.d.
April 19 - Christ is Risen! - Paschal Picnic
July 24-26 - Our 34th Greek Festival
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News & Events

REMEMBRANCE OF THE DEAD - SATURDAY OF SOULS

Kollyva with candle lights, long lists of names of beloved ones who have fallen asleep and the prayer of those gathered to remember them - just some of this upcoming Saturday's remembrance of the dead. More than this: the "essential rediscovery of this world as dying and death" (Fr. Schmemann), manifested love for one another and the longing for the Resurrection. Please bring the list of names and the kollyva to saint Nektarios Chapel this Saturday morning. Vespers on Friday, 6pm.


COM-3: COUNCIL OF MINISTRIES with the WHOLE COMMUNITY

The participation at COM-2 was fantastic. It seemed everyone had an interest in forming our new Vision and Mission for the coming 3 years, and had something to contribute to that end. Thank you to everyone who attended.

Rather that drag out the discussion to finalize the Vision and Mission, the meeting closed with a healthy list of suggestions and comments for the Vision 2020 committee to take and consolidate into statements to present back to the group at the next meeting, COM-3, this Sunday, February 23.

This meeting is not limited to just those who attended COM-2. No, no. It is our hope the entire parish is now wondering what the next steps are and wants to participate in making those decisions. So PLEASE mark your calendars to stay after the fellowship lunch on Sunday (which will be an all meat Apokreatiko – Meatfare meal).

COM-3 will not only be your opportunity to review, tweak, approve the parish Vision of where we want to be in 3 years and our Mission of what we see ourselves doing to achieve the Vision. We will also be identifying some goals and accomplishments we want to take on to reach that Vision. And this is where the real excitement takes place. This is where we can see real action taking place and our dreams becoming a reality. So you can see it is very important EVERYONE be involved. It’s your dream, too, for this great parish of ours.

Join us
This Sunday, February 23
Following Fellowship Hour/Apokreatiko Lunch


A PREPARATION TIME

By God's grace we have already taken the big turn in our spiritual life, to face the great ascent to Pascha. This Sunday, the third of the Triodion period, is of the Fearful Judgment. The powerful lesson of the Sunday Gospel reading will be taught, explained and enriched by the hymns of the Vespers and Matins services.

On our website, you may find a plethora of excellent audio resources (podcasts) easily accessible and also structured in the flow of our Journey to Pascha.

Also, the small diagram above is loaded with hyperlinks to great info about all the events. To be able to use this new feature, you must download the pdf version of the diagram which is attached. Click on the little icon of this message and then learn, prepare and climb up!


THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

With the Forgiveness Vespers we enter the most precious, beautiful and rewarding time of the year: The Great and Holy Lent. Its first week is loaded with evening services meant to add collective prayer to the private fasting day. Please see the schedule of services in this bulletin or online and budget for extra church time. May our effort to repent helped by fasting, prayer and alms-giving, be blessed by the Lord through His abundant grace and mercy that they may they take us closer to Him!

  • Great Compline with Canon of Saint Andrew (Monday-Thursday)
  • Presanctified Liturgy (Wednesday and Friday)
  • Akathist to the Theotokos (Friday)

LENTEN FOOD FOR BODY AND SOUL

In addition to the many special week-day Lenten services and homilies, this Lent season we will again come together to enjoy good food for our body and soul. On Wednesdays other than March 25, after the Presanctified Liturgies, we will have dinner together (Lenten potluck) and engage in a presentation followed by discussion. The schedule is as follows:

  • March 4: Embodiment of Christ's Body by Father John Takahashi
  • March 11: t.b.d.
  • March 18: Saint Joseph the Hesycast by Dr. Michael Bachik
  • March 25: Annunciation - no Presanctified Liturgy/ presentation
  • April 1: Saint Iakovos of Evvia by Charles Leontis
  • April 8: t.b.d.

Also, on Saturday, March 28, we will hold our Lenten Retreat. Father Basil Rhodes from Saint Nicholas Church in Saratoga (OCA) has kindly agreed to return for another enriching retreat with us. More info to be released soon.


ORTHODOXY 101/ (RE)CATECHISM CLASS

The Catechism/ Orthodoxy 101 Class will continue on Sunday March 1 with topics #15: Faith and Works - Judgment and Forgiveness and # 14: Death and the Mystery of the Funeral. The curriculum including audio resources can be found at our web site under Adult Education.

Our visitors and newcomers are encouraged to attend and participate. The class is also offered as RECATECHISM to all for their own benefit, for connecting with our visitors and catechumens and for strengthening our community. No asked questions are silly. Come, ask, learn, change and be transformed!


BOOK FORUM

The Book Forum ministry brings to your attention "Wounded by Love" by Saint Porphyrios. This is a magnificent writing perfectly suitable for the Great and Holy Lent which we will soon begin. You may find the book at our bookstore. Consider it an investment to serve you for the rest of your life. Our next meeting to discuss Wounded by Love is scheduled for March 3 to continue with Part 1.

Newly canonized Saint Porphyrios, a Greek monk and priest who died in 1991, stands in the long tradition of charismatic spiritual guides in the Eastern Church which continues from the apostolic age down to figures such as Saint Seraphim of Sarov and Staretz Silouan in modern times. In this book he tells the story of his life and, in simple, deeply reflected and profoundly wise words, he expounds the Christian faith for today.

This book was compiled after his death from an archive of notes and recordings of his reminiscences, conversations and words of guidance, and was first published in Greek in 2003.

The vibrant personality of Saint Porphyrios at all times shines through his words with great transparency and charm. In his introduction to the Greek edition Bishop Irenaeus of Chania writes: ‘The words of blessed Saint Porphyrios are the words of a holy Father, of a man with the gift of clear sight, who was ever retiring, humble, simple and ardent and whose life was a true and authentic witness to Christ, to His truth and to His joy. Through his presence, love, prayer, counsel and guidance he supported an untold number of people in the difficult hours of illness, mourning, pain, loss of faith and death. He is a god-bearing Father of our days, a true priest and teacher who in his ascetic way fell in love with Christ and faithfully served his fellow man. His teaching is deeply impregnated with the ethos and theology of the Orthodox Church and is dominated by the person and image of Christ our Saviour.’


CONGREGATIONAL CHANTING WORKSHOP

The Congregational Chanting Workshop will take place this week. The next class will be on Tuesday, March 3, from 10 am (before the Book Forum). Open to all.


THE 2020 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ORATORICAL FESTIVAL

Our church will hold its parish Oratorical Festival this Sunday, April 5.

The Topics for this year and a collection of hints can be found here. The age categories are as follows: Junior Division (grades 7-9) and Senior Division (grades 10-12). Children of any age may participate outside of the competition. Please see Presbytera Ana for information about participating in this ministry. Visit our Youth Ministry web page for recordings of the last years' participants.

The purpose of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is to give children and teenagers an opportunity to learn, write, and speak about their Orthodox faith, church and heritage. This process will enhance their understanding and appreciation of their identity as Orthodox Christians and cultivate spiritual growth and maturity.


SERVING THESE SUNDAYS

Serving this Sunday in church and at the fellowship hour following Liturgy:

February 23Meatfare Sunday
Parish Council member: Euthimios Saites
Greeter: Nadia Zajicek
Fellowship: Green Team – Every 4th  Sunday - with contributions from the entire parish for a meatfare meal. Clean out the refrigerator. Bring meaty dishes to share and prepare for the Lenten Season that approaches.

March 1Cheesefare Sunday
Parish Council member: Corkey Balcom
Greeter: Carrie Voyce
Fellowship: Gold Team – Every 1st Sunday - with contributions from the entire parish for a cheesefare meal. Clean out the refrigerator. Bring egg and dairy dishes to share and prepare for the Lenten Season that approaches.

If you'd like to join the Welcome Ministry, please contact Temia Demakopoulos. And if you’d like to join the Coffee Hour team, please contact Corkey Balcom.


FORGIVENESS VESPERS

The crossover point into the Great and Holy Lent will take place at the Forgiveness Vespers which we will celebrate on Sunday, March 1, from 6pm. This is a most solemn moment in our lives and in the life of our community. It is opportunity to begin the Lenten work of repentance in a healthy way, with humility, love and forgiveness.


CONFESSIONS AT SAINT JOHN’S

Father Ion is available to hear confessions after services and also by appointment at other times. If you need to do confession, please contact Father Ion ahead of time.


METROPOLIS YOUNG ADULT RETREAT

Calling all Young Adults! Join us for the Metropolis Young Adult Lenten Retreat at St. Nicholas Ranch & Retreat Center, April 3 - 5, 2020. This retreat is open to all Orthodox young adults ages 18-30's from across the Archdiocese. Please share this with your friends and encourage them to register as well!

SPEAKERS: Fr. Tom & Pres. Pat Tasgalakis from the Metropolis Family Wellness Ministry.

THEME: "Let Your Light So Shine" Living out our Christian faith amidst a complicated world.

We will spend time having discussions and fellowship at St. Nicholas Ranch, as well as visit and help the Sisters at the Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring with a work project on Saturday. You won't want to miss out!

DATE: April 3-5, 2020
LOCATION: St. Nicholas Ranch & Retreat Center, Dunlap, CA
COST:
$140 for a Dorm Room (cabins with multiple bunk beds)
$180 for Double Occupancy Lodge Room (hotel style room with two queen beds)
$250 for Single Occupancy Lodge Room (hotel style room)

ONLINE REGISTRATION & MORE INFOhttp://gosfyouth.org/young-adult-lenten-retreat

AGES: Young Adults, ages 18-30's
ARRIVAL TIME: Arrivals begin at 5:00pm on Friday and continue throughout the evening.
DEPARTURE TIME: 1:00pm on Sunda6

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/809504842806321/


ASC OUTREACH FUNDRAISER

The All Saints Church Outreach Committee will hold the annual chili, cornbread, beer and wine fundraiser on Saturday, February 29, 5 pm.  A delicious assortment of spicy, tame, meaty and vegetarian chilis and cole slaw will be served. Tickets are $20.00.  Raffle for a week’s stay in 2021, at a lovely cottage in Hawaii at $25 a ticket. We have been cordially invited to attend.


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Gospel and Epistle Readings

Matins Gospel Reading

Third Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Mark 16:9-20

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.


Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 4th Mode. Psalm 146.5;134.3.
Great is our Lord, and great is his power.
Verse: Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.

The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8-13; 9:1-2.

Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol's temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.


Gospel Reading

Judgment Sunday (Meatfare Sunday)
The Reading is from Matthew 25:31-46

The Lord said, "When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


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Hymns of the Day

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the 3rd Mode

Let the heavens sing for joy, and let everything on earth be glad. * For with His Arm the Lord has worked power. * He trampled death under foot by means of death; * and He became the firstborn from the dead. * From the maw of Hades He delivered us; * and He granted the world His great mercy.

Apolytikion of Saint John the Baptist in the 1st Mode

The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord's testimony is sufficient for you, O Forerunner; for you have proved to be truly even more venerable than the Prophets, since you were granted to baptize in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. Wherefore, having contested for the truth, you did rejoice to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades: that God has appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the 1st Mode

When You come down to the earth, O God, in Your glory, all things will cower tremulous, and a river of fire will draw before Your Judgment Seat; the books shall be opened up, and public knowledge will things hidden be. Rescue me, then, I pray, from unquenchable fire, and count me worthy to stand at Your right hand, O You, the most righteous Judge.
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Saints and Feasts

Lastjudgement1
February 23

Judgment Sunday (Meatfare Sunday)

The foregoing two parables -- especially that of the Prodigal Son -- have presented to us God's extreme goodness and love for man. But lest certain persons, putting their confidence in this alone, live carelessly, squandering upon sin the time given them to work out their salvation, and death suddenly snatch them away, the most divine Fathers have appointed this day's feast commemorating Christ's impartial Second Coming, through which we bring to mind that God is not only the Friend of man, but also the most righteous Judge, Who recompenses to each according to his deeds.

It is the aim of the holy Fathers, through bringing to mind that fearful day, to rouse us from the slumber of carelessness unto the work of virtue, and to move us to love and compassion for our brethren. Besides this, even as on the coming Sunday of Cheese-fare we commemorate Adam's exile from the Paradise of delight -- which exile is the beginning of life as we know it now -- it is clear that today's is reckoned the last of all feasts, because on the last day of judgment, truly, everything of this world will come to an end.

All foods, except meat and meat products, are allowed during the week that follows this Sunday.


Allsaint
February 23

Polycarp the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Smyrna

This apostolic and prophetic man, and model of faith and truth, was a disciple of John the Evangelist, successor of Bucolus (Feb. 6), and teacher of Irenaeus (Aug. 23). He was an old man and full of days when the fifth persecution was raised against the Christians under Marcus Aurelius. When his pursuers, sent by the ruler, found Polycarp, he commanded that they be given something to eat and drink, then asked them to give him an hour to pray; he stood and prayed, full of grace, for two hours, so that his captors repented that they had come against so venerable a man. He was brought by the Proconsul of Smyrna into the stadium and was commanded, "Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, 'Away with the atheists.'" By atheists, the Proconsul meant the Christians. But Polycarp, gazing at the heathen in the stadium, waved his hand towards them and said, "Away with the atheists." When the Proconsul urged him to blaspheme against Christ, he said: "I have been serving Christ for eighty-six years, and He has wronged me in nothing; how can I blaspheme my King Who has saved me?" But the tyrant became enraged at these words and commanded that he be cast into the fire, and thus he gloriously expired about the year 163. As Eusebius says, "Polycarp everywhere taught what he had also learned from the Apostles, which also the Church has handed down; and this alone is true" (Eccl. Hist., Book IV, ch. 14,15).


07_john2
February 24

First & Second Finding of the Venerable Head of John the Baptist

The first finding came to pass during the middle years of the fourth century, through a revelation of the holy Forerunner to two monks, who came to Jerusalem to worship our Saviour's Tomb. One of them took the venerable head in a clay jar to Emesa in Syria. After his death it went from the hands of one person to another, until it came into the possession of a certain priest-monk named Eustathius, an Arian. Because he ascribed to his own false belief the miracles wrought through the relic of the holy Baptist, he was driven from the cave in which he dwelt, and by dispensation forsook the holy head, which was again made known through a revelation of Saint John, and was found in a water jar, about the year 430, in the days of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger, when Uranius was Bishop of Emesa.


Photini
February 26

The Holy Great Martyr Photine, the Samaritan Women

Saint Photine was the Samaritan Woman who encountered Christ our Saviour at Jacob's Well (John 4:1-42). Afterwards she laboured in the spread of the Gospel in various places, and finally received the crown of martyrdom in Rome with her two sons and five sisters, during the persecutions under the Emperor Nero.


Allsaint
February 27

Raphael of Brooklyn

Saint Raphael Hawaweeny was born on November 8th, 1860 A.D., in Damascus, Syria, to pious Christian parents. He studied Arabic grammar and mathematics at the Antiochian Patriarchate parochial school where he was tonsured a reader in 1874. His strong academics served him well throughout his life, providing for him numerous opportunities to succeed and grow. He accepted a position in 1877 as an assistant teacher of Arabic and Turkish, which became full time in 1879. In 1889 he was tonsured a monk while working with Patriarch Hierotheos at the patriarchate, traveling with him on pastoral visits and serving as his personal assistant.

Longing to continue his theological studies, Raphael petitioned the Patriarch for permission to study at Halki Theological School, which was the only option for students of the Antiochian Patriarchate as the Balamand Seminary in Lebanon had been closed since 1840. After much persistence, Raphael received the blessing of the Patriarch and enrolled in Halki Seminary where he was ordained a deacon in 1885. After completing his degree at Halki, the young Deacon Raphael studied at the Kiev Theological Academy, working as a liaison between the Moscow and Antiochian patriarchates. Deacon Raphael was ordained to the holy priesthood in 1889 while in Kiev, continuing to serve that community for many years.

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 led to the subsequent collapse of the silk industry in the Middle East, causing many Syrians and others to immigrate to the United States. These new citizens desired to have their religion present in their new homeland and sent letters to their mother churches for pastoral help. A few priests were sent, but none lasted, and so the people asked for Father Raphael Hawaweeny to come to America and serve. Both the Antiochian and Moscow Patriarchs agreed to this idea, and Father Raphael left for America where the people greeted him with great love. Father Raphael then spent many years serving the Syrians in Brooklyn, New York, but he desired to scan the continent for Syrians and other Orthodox Christians who were without spiritual leadership. He traveled by train and carriage across the nation, finding Orthodox Christians, recording their location, and performing liturgies, baptisms, and weddings. Upon his return to Brooklyn, Father Raphael worked to find clergy to send to these dispersed communities, giving them a full time pastor to minister to their needs.

In 1909, by the hands of Bishops Tikhon and Innocent of the Moscow Patriarchate, he was the first bishop consecrated in the New World. The now Bishop Raphael continued his ministry to the Christians throughout America. Bishop Raphael worked tirelessly in Brooklyn to mediate disputes between the Orthodox Christians from Syria and Maronite Catholic Christians who often fought violently with one another. Despite numerous outbursts and setbacks, Bishop Raphael continued his ministry serving the Orthodox throughout his vast diocese. One such incident was when an influential leader of the Maronite group was killed and many people accused Bishop Raphael of ordering his murder. This led to many people attempting to harm the bishop, but he endured it all willingly. He was arrested under attempted murder charges, but was eventually cleared and let go after much time and money was spent in his defense.

 

Throughout his time in North America, Bishop Raphael founded 36 parishes to bring the Church to the faithful who were without a priest to guide them. Bishop Raphael truly lived out Gospel in all aspects of his life, striving tirelessly for the people in his care, even to the point of sacrificing his own physical health in order to maintain the spiritual health of his people. Bishop Raphael died on February 27th, 1915, at his home in Brooklyn. His funeral was attended by hundreds of people, including clergy from all ethnic backgrounds, illustrating his love for all of the people of God regardless of where they came from. The sacred relics of Saint Raphael, “the good shepherd of the lost sheep in North America,” were first interred in a crypt beneath the holy table at his Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn on March 7th, 1915, before being moved to the Syrian section of Mount Olivet Cemetery in Brooklyn on April 2nd, 1922. They were finally translated to the Holy Resurrection Cemetery at the Antiochian Village near Ligonier, Pennsylvania, on August 15th, 1988. His sanctity was officially proclaimed by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on March 29th, 2000, and his glorification was celebrated on May 29th of that year at the Monastery of Saint Tikhon in Pennsylvania.


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Wisdom of the Fathers

"Christian love is the 'possible impossibility' to see Christ in another man, whoever he is..."
Alexander Schmemann
Great Lent, 20th Century

. . .The day will come when we shall stand before God and be judged, but as long as our pilgrimage continues, as long as we live in the process of becoming, as long as there is ahead of us this road that leads to the full measure of the stature of Christ which is our vocation, judgment must be pronounced by ourselves.
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

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