FRIDAY AFTER EASTER / ZOODOCHOS PEGHE
FEAST DAY OF THE LIFE-GIVING SPRING OF CONSTANTINOPLE
One of the least known, yet significant feast days of the Orthodox Church is celebrated on Friday each year after Easter. It is on this day we celebrate the dedication of one of Orthodoxy’s most precious possessions, the Life-Giving Spring of Constantinople. It has a most amazing history and all Orthodox Christians should share in the knowledge of this treasured shrine of Orthodoxy.
During the early years of the Byzantine Empire, there lived a very pious man named Markellis (who later became Emperor of all Byzantium who was called Emperor Leo). Markellis was a simple layman who loved to walk in the forest surrounding the city of Constantinople. During one of his “meditation” walks, he met a blind man who was in dire need of water to quench his thirst. Markellis tried to lead him to water in the forest, but in vain. As he searched diligently for water, Markellis became somewhat disheartened. Suddenly a voice from heaven was heard saying, “Emperor Leo, you will find water deep in the forest, wash the blind man with this water and you will see the power of the Lord.”
Markellis was amazed, not only because of the strange voice from heaven, but also of the fact that he was addressed as ‘Emperor Leo.” He did as the voice commanded him, and lo and behold he found a spring deep in the forest. As he bathed the eyes of the blind man, suddenly the blind man could see the world for the first time in his life. Markellis was quite shocked at the course of events. In time, however, he did eventually become “Emperor” (457-474AD) of the vast Byzantine Empire which included more than half of the civilized world. He immediately erected a magnificent shrine at the place where he had found the Life-Giving Spring.
The shrine became very famous over the years, and thousands journeyed to this sacred spot and were healed of their illnesses. The Emperor Justinian (527-565AD) was healed of a strange sickness and to show his appreciation he also erected a beautiful Church at the Life-Giving Spring. The Spring became known as the “Life-Giving Spring” during the 11th century. Four pilgrims from ancient Thessaly began a pilgrimage to this sacred spring, but one of the pilgrims died before they reached their destination. Before he died, the pilgrim requested that he be anointed with water from the sacred spring and then buried nearby in the forest. As his fellow travelers carried out his dying wish by bathing him with the water from the miraculous spring, the dead man suddenly came to life. Since that time it has been called Zoodochos Peghe (the Life-Giving Spring).
Many faithful have visited this beautiful spring outside the ancient walls of Constantinople. Adjacent to this beautiful shrine is a Greek Orthodox hospital for the sick and the afflicted. It is called the hospital of Valoukli. Many of our former Patriarchs are buried in the rear of the Church of the Life-Giving Soring. This Church has been destroyed many times by earthquakes and by the Moslems, but the Orthodox have managed to rebuild it. The Church was dedicated on Friday after Easter, thus we commemorate this important event every year at this time.
CHRIST IS RISEN / CHRISTOS ANESTI
May the glory of the Lord uplift you!
May His radiance embrace you!
May His mercy walk with you, all the days of your life!
For Christ Is Truly Risen Indeed!
The Pentecostarion Period Has Arrived
We have now reached the next liturgical period of time of our Orthodox Church….the PENTECOSTARION Period (the 50days between Pascha and Pentecost). This period is a well-spring of insight and continued renewal, that aids us in harvesting the fruit of Great Lent. We need during the Pentecostarion Period to stay focused and to be watchful to continue on with the renewal that we hopefully gained during Great Lent, for the various Lenten disciplines that are a focus during Lent, (serving as a time for enhancement) are not something for just the six weeks of Lent and Holy Week, but rather year round (and life long). The good habits and virtues that grew during Lent must now be harvested. Although less time is spent in church in the Pentecostarion and the ability to eat freely is a reality, we must not lose our self-control in all things, nor should we ignore alms giving and the performance of good works, regular prayer and study; nor the Wednesday and Friday food fasting of Orthodoxy. We need to be sure to be the “NEW PERSON” that Christ came to develop. We need to be people with a new mind and a new heart, or else, Christ’s suffering and death was wasted.
With our Orthodox Christian Easter having been rather late this year, next year it will be at the more normal time frame and in fact both Western & Eastern Easters will be together – Sunday April 16. The Triodion will begin Feb 5, Great Lent will begin Feb 27, with Palm Sunday on April 9. Mark your calendars from now and chart travel plans accordingly.
Please note that Confessions are heard year round (not simply during Great Lent or the other Lenten Periods). House Blessings and business Blessings are also held year round, not simply at the Theophany Season. Those desiring either of these special services can contact Fr Andrew or Fr Emanuel.
BIBLE STUDY WILL RESUME
We will resume the weekly Thursday Bible Study and continue with the theme from the winter study of “The Great I Cames of Jesus” running 7:30—9PM starting on May 12.
SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE
Please be reminded that applications for both the Annunciation Scholarships and the Savvides Scholarship are due by May 20th. Please also keep in mind the school transcripts are required with submittal.
The Ahepa Scholarship Committee is accepting applications for the local 106 Sophocles Chapter Scholarship. The applicant has to be a son, daughter or grandchild of a chapter member in good standing. The student has to have completed at least one semester at a College or University and must be currently enrolled at that institution. Please call Mike Haveles at 401-965-0266 or John Vanikiotis at 401-480-9291 for an application to be mailed out. Applications must be returned by May 15, 2016.
This Year’s Graduates – In Next Annunciator
Please submit the names of parishioner graduates from high school, college, university, vocational schools and graduate degree programs to the parish office by May 20 so that we may list them in the June issue of the Annunciator, sharing in the joy and success of each household with a graduate. Be sure to state name of school, degree received and future plans. These can be e-mailed to the parish office at <email@example.com> or sent in by regular mail “Attention Newsletter”. Mark your calendar as well for our annual Graduates Sunday Coffee Hour set for Sunday June 12, 2016.
“Our Biggest Event of the Year—Planning is About to Start”
Greek Festival Meetings Begin
We welcome people who have not served on the festival planning committee before to come join in this year and help plan for September’s big event. We proudly gather to structure this event presenting our Greek heritage and Orthodox tradition. The first planning meeting will be held on: Tue. May 31, at 7:30 pm. The Festival dates this year are, September 9, 10, & 11.
SAVE THE DATE: SPRING PARISH ASSEMBLY
Our biennial Spring Parish Assembly will be held on Tue. June 7th at 7 pm. Plan to attend to hear the various reports and up-dates on special programs such as the Phase 2 renovations.
Parishioners who hold leadership positions in our various organizations are especially urged to attend.
SAVE THE DATE—OUR PARISH GOLF TOURNAMENT
Sunday, August 21st at Metacomet Country Club
Watch for details soon!
Dr. Mary Despina Lekas Endowment Fund News
Financial Report for the period ending 3/31/16
Endowment Fund Portfolio $764,111.48
Endowment Fund Checking Account $2,073.28
In Honor of Harry Bablenis, Parish Recognition Award, donation made to the Endowment Fund: by Mary Samaras
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
A gift to the Endowment Fund will last as long as the fund is in existence. It is a way to make a lasting contribution to support our church.
Gifts that mark Special Occasions:
Baptisms Birthdays Weddings Anniversaries Memorials Celebratory Events
Endowment Fund Secretary
We look forward to your responses to our “What If” message in the April issue of the Annunciator. Send us your thoughts and suggestions!
Recent Joint Fund Raiser
The special gathering sponsored jointly with the Assumption Parish benefited each parish with receipts of $5,010.00. As announced prior to the event, our parish would donate a portion of the proceeds for the construction of the St Nicholas National Shrine at Ground Zero. At it’s April regular meeting, our parish council designated $2,000 for this important purpose. Also from the proceeds, $500 was donated to the Inter-Faith Food Ministry. The remainder of the proceeds will benefit the general budget. THANK YOU to all who attended the event and supported it in any way.
Nicholas Apostolou, Theodora Bovis-Koch & Thomas Bovis (in memory of Hercules & Mary Bovis), Donna Broccoli, M/M Constantine Christelis, M/M Gaby Daiaa, M/M Nicholas Filippou, Anna Gountra, M/M Nicholas Hantzakos, M/M Elias Haralambides, Julie Karahalios, Angelo Lazarides, M/M Vasilios Malatos, M/M Kyriakos Marantidis, M/M Vasilios Melanis, M/M George Moragemos, Dr.& Mrs. Kenneth Morrissey, Angela Provost, John B. Quinn, Shirley Sears, M/M Robert Senerchia, M/M Peter Simone (memory of Anthony, Helen & George Psilopoulos, M/M Angelos Trombettas (in memory Presv. Maria George), Sophia Tzanetos, M/M Frank Vasiliadis, James Vose, Zambeta Xiarhos.
BAKING DATES FOR SPRING FOOD FAIR SET
Tues May 3 = 6PM
Weds May 11—6PM
All are welcome—men, women, especially teens & young adults!
AHEPA EVENTS AHEAD
District Convention—May 27-28-29 in Newport, RI
National Supreme Convention—July 24-30—Las Vegas, NV
Contact Lakis Andriotis or Michael Haveles for information & details.
DID YOU KNOW….
We have a (Certified Nursing Assistant) available within our parish to help with elder care. She has a warm and very caring personality, excellent references, and has already assisted several within our church. She works privately and has experience with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and surgical patients among others. Her work includes personal hygiene, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, etc. This is a GREAT resource for us! Feel free to give Christina Florio a call at (978) 317-9155 she lives in RI has helped out with our annual Festival for many years…You may already know her!!
SEEKING A NANNY
In early September one of our parishioners in Providence would like to hire a Greek-speaking nanny for 4 days a week for approximately 40 hrs. per week. Duties would include routine infant care as well as some light household duties. Salary is negotiable. For questions and to arrange for an interview, call 203-233-4526.
SUPPORTING BOY SCOUT TROOP 6
Our parish is the formal sponsor of Cranston Boy Scout Troop 6 which meets in our Mihailides Center most Thursday’s of the school year. They provide various courtesies to our parish in the way of special projects and especially with the Greek Festival set up, clean up and tear down. Annually they host a fund raiser for their various troop expenses, which takes the form of a “Macaroni and Meatball Dinner”. This year it will be Sunday May 22. Let us all make an effort to support them by staying and eating here after Liturgy that day.
Dr Charles Allendorf of Warwick, at age 73 passed on April 19, Funeral and burial on April 25. The sister of our parishioner Lakis Andriotis passed away in Greece. The sister of our parishioner Michael Haralambides (Marika Staka) also passed away in Greece.
~May Their Memory be Eternal~
2015 PLEDGE PROGRAM REPORT
Since our last newsletter the following pledges have bee received for 2015:
Alex Dimitriadis, M/M Steven Renzi, Maria Vlahos
2016 PLEDGE PROGRAM REPORT
We have to date parishioners with the pledge of $155,683.66
The actual amount received to date is $113,122.98
John Alexion, Pauline Alexion, Dr. & Mrs. Peter Barth, Donna Broccoli, Artemis DiCarlo, Dr. & Mrs. Michael DiMaio, Alex Dimitriadis, M/M Stephan Erinakes, M/M Thomas Frank, Rev. Fr. Andrew G. George, Anthony George, M/M David Grosiak, Dr. & Mrs. James Karon, Dr. Mary Lekas, M/M Brian Leroux, M/M Kyriakos Marantidis, Nicoll Marshall, Dina Mihos, Christopher Mitrelis, Dr. & Mrs. Kenneth Morrissey, Melissa Morrissey, Stephen Morrissey, M/M George Nonis, Nicoletta Panos, Dr. & Mrs. Peter Petropoulos, M/M Lyle Rawlinson, M/M Lefteris Simijis, M/M Peter Simone, M/M Raymond Sinapi, M/M Stefanos Svitlitsas, Christos Vasiliadis, M/M Frank Vasiliadis, Adam Vinhateiro, Maria Vlahos, M/M Christos Xenophontos.
Money becomes a sacrament when it is offered to God. It becomes a visible expression of our commitment, faith and love for Jesus. Once given to God, our gifts are consecrated by the Holy Spirit, who translates them into works of mercy that brings glory to God.
Thank you to Quick Stop, Steve Drager, Stephanie DiSumma & Alexandra Drager
STEWARDSHIP PAYMENT PLANS
In paying their stewardship, we have a number of parishioners who have their checks sent to us monthly from their accounts automatically. Others can do likewise. Just contact your bank and have them directly withdraw payment from your account and sent to us directly.
We also remind everyone of the “Monthly Payment Booklet: that contains a return slip to submit a payment each month for your pledge, similar to all your monthly commitments for your home. You can stop by the office to obtain one or we can mail it out to you.
We thank the hard working ladies of our Philoptochos Society who each and every year give donations to the parish. In specific-$5,000.00 to the General Fund, $1,000.00 to the Greek School expenses and $1,000.00 to the Sunday Church School. Of course different years vary with other donations made for specific purposes, such as a recent $10,000.00 to the St. Nicholas Shrine Church construction at ground zero.
THE FINANCIAL CORNER
We have our annual Greek Food Fair coming up on Saturday May 14 and Sunday May 15. This is a two-day event that is held in our hall each year. It is also the 2nd largest fund raising event we have beside the summer festival. It has been a very successful fund raiser for the church over the past six years. Please see below how successful it has been.
Gross Revenues Total Expenses Net Profit
2010 $15,857.00 $5,132.32 $10,724.68
2011 $19,732.76 $7,492.40 $12,240.36
2012 $27,571.50 $7,358.54 $20,212.96
2013 $29,692.50 $12,540.52 $17,151.98
2014 $31,119.75 $11,086.52 $20,033.23
2015 $34,788.54 $12,815.53 $21,973.01
6 YRS $158.762.05 $56,425.83 $102,336.22
Needless to say, for a two-day event these numbers are fantastic. It is also a tremendous amount of work to organize and prepare for this event. We need to thank everyone who has worked and participated in this fundraiser.
With that said we are currently reaching out to people who would like to volunteer their time and help. There are many areas that require help such as baking pastry, serving on the food line, working in the kitchen or working a cash register. Please contact our church office and volunteer to help. This is a very important event.
Cordially submitted by
GREEK FOOD FAIR 2016– May 14th & 15th
Invite your family, friends and neighbors and come enjoy the same great food as our festival! Our traditional menu will include gyro, souvlaki, lamb dishes, pastries and Greek coffee.
GIFT CARDS FROM THE GREEK FESTIVAL WILL BE HONORED CARDS ARE ALSO CURRENTLY ON SALE FROM THE PARISH OFFICE
Saturday, May 14th, 11am – 7pm / Sunday, May 15th 11am – 6pm
We ask you to offer your time and talent to this parish event! Submit the sign-up form below to the parish office by designating your preferred work area and suggested shift schedule OR contact Elaine Crabtree at (401) 821-1058 / firstname.lastname@example.org with your choice of date (s) and times. Flexible shift hours will be accommodated! Thank you for your support!
PHILOPTOCHOS ANNUNCIATOR – MAY, 2016
CHRISTOS ANESTI! The Easter preparations are behind us now, and we thank all the women who in any way contributed to the many activities and responsibilities associated with this time of the year. We are grateful to all the women who accompanied Father Andrew and Father Emanuel on Easter visits to our homebound parishioners. Thank you to all who purchased Easter Breads this year in support of Hellenic College-Holly Cross, chaired by Helen Argeris and Mary Quinn. As we come to the end of another Philoptochos year, we wish to thank you for all you do to help us in our ministry. This has been a very rewarding year:
Our Annual Food Fair and Christmas Bazaar was a financial and social success, and we continue this long-standing event that our mothers and grandmothers started many years ago. Thank you to all who continually help and support us each year. We are now planning for our next Bazaar which will be held on Nov. 12th-13, 2016. We will be working throughout the summer. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please call Georgia Pappas, 351-3927. We welcome all your suggestions.
Operation Housewarming Veterans’ Baskets:
A grateful “THANK YOU – EFHARISTO”
For the support Philoptochos received for this most worthwhile project for our Homeless Veterans. Whatever the donation…..a complete basket, items for the baskets, or monetary donations, we thank you all: Josie Aliferakis (in memory of William J. Aliferakis), Betty Ann Andriotis (in memory of Bill Pappas and Spiro Retsinas), Nicholas Apostolou, Kosta and Beth Baryiames, Artemis Frangos (in memory of Peter Frangos), Anna Gountra, Bruce and Victoria Kenyon, Chris Latos, Papigiotis Family (in honor of Michael Papigiotis), Ernest, Helen and Georgia Pappas (in memory of Arthur G. Pappas and Louis Culla), Kevin and Marianne Phelan, Roula Proyous, Gus and Koula Rougas (in memory of Peter Frangos), Danielle and Richard Scott (in honor of Richard A. Scott), Dorothy Stone, Ethel Strekouras, Eleni Trikoulis, Stella Vassilopoulos, Carol Xanthakis, John and Eleni Zervos, Carroll and Angela Promades.
We also thank the St. Gregory Philoptochos, Mansfield, MA. for their donations. His Eminence, Metropolitan Methodios, and the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos have asked that this be an on-going Project for all Philoptochos Chapters. Thank you to Marianne Phelan, assisted by Nancy Harritos, for completing this phase of the Project. If you would like to donate in any way, please call Georgia Pappas with your donation 351-3927. Thank you so much.
Prayer Shawl Ministry Project: We continue to meet on most Monday mornings, and are always looking for ideas to expand this Project. Over the last few weeks, we began making small Teddy Bears which will be specifically for children who are ill. At the same time, we are crocheting our Prayer Shawls, 40-Day Blessing Baby Blankets, Preemie Blankets/hats.
Thank you to all the women who come on Monday mornings or crochet at home. Diane DiCarlo, Lynda Poulos Theroux, Carole Xanthakis, Koula Rougas, Josie Aliferakis, Bessie Papigiotis, Anna Demetrakas, Linda Takoudis, Argiro Gionis, Georgia Pappas and Maria Zaharakos.
End-of-Year Celebrations– Save the Date: We are in the process of making plans for our end-of-the year celebration SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2016. Please circle the date, and we will announce the plans as soon as they are completed.
As always, we thank you so much for all that you do and continue to do to help Philoptochos fulfill its mission…to help those in need in whichever way we can.
GEORGIA PAPPAS, PRESIDENT
KAREN DRAGER, CORRESPONDING SECRETARY
APRIL GOYA LOCK IN REVIEW
The revised format of the GOYA LOCK IN which was held on Saturday, April 9 –10 was a HUGE success. The lock in started Saturday afternoon and culminated with attending Orthros on Sunday. We had 15 kids that spent Saturday doing team building activities, going to Monster Golf, and watching “God is not Dead.” Much fun and growth was had by all!
UPCOMING FAMILY NIGHT…..FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2016
Join us for the next family night on May 20h from 5:00 pm—7:00 pm for an evening of fun, food and fellowship. There will be sessions for both children and parents. RSVP to CJ Mitrelis @ 632-8752.
GOD BLESS OUR GREEK READERS
We thank the following Greek School students who participated as “readers” in our Friday Night Salutation Service who offered the Prayers in the original Greek text:
Alexandros Titelis, Gianna Degaitas, Alexandros Vanikiotis, Angela Marses, Nicholas Lambros, Evgenia Meltsakos, Dimitri Petrou, Elizabeth Halkidis, Savvina Arsenis.
DISTRICT ORATORICAL FESTIVAL
The April 2nd Oratorical Festival for South East New England was held at our parish, with teens from 4 of our region’s parishes. Those “ranked” to go to the next level (The Metropolis Festival) on May 14th were all from our parish.
Jr. Division: 1st place>>Katherine Mitrelis
2nd place>>Nathaniel Nichols
Sr. Division: 1st place>>Eleni Mihailides
2nd place>>Alexandra Nichols
SCHOOL PROGRAMS CLOSING
Just ahead our parish school programs will be ending for the summer
Sunday Church School—Sunday May 29
Greek Language School—Sunday June 5
CRANSTON WEEK AT METROPOLIS CAMP
Our youth may go on the week best for them but Fr Andrew will be there the July 25th week (5th session).
GREEK ISLANDERS TO BE NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Daniel Boffey, Policy Editor, The Guardian
Greek islanders who have been on the frontline of the refugee crisis are to be nominated for the Nobel peace prize with the support of their national government. Of the 900,000 refugees who entered Europe last year most were received— scared, soaked and traveling in rickety boats—by those who live on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
The islanders, including fisherman who gave up their work to rescue people from the sea, are in line to be honored with one of the world’s most esteemed awards. Eminent academics from the universities of Oxford, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and Copenhagen are drafting a submission in favor of awarding the prize to the people of Lesbos, Kos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes and Leros.
A petition on the website of the campaign group, Avaaz, in favor of the nomination has amassed 280,000 signatures. According to the petition:
“On remote Greek islands, grandmothers have sung terrified little babies to sleep, while teachers, pensioners and students have spent months offering food, shelter, clothing and comfort to refugees who have risked their lives to flee war and terror.”
While the official nomination letter is yet to be finalized, it is understood the academics will implore the Nobel committee members to accept their nomination. They say it must be noted that a people of a country already dealing with its own economic crisis responded to the unfolding tragedy of the refugee crisis with “empathy and self-sacrifice”, opening their homes to the dispossessed, risking their lives to save others, taking care of sick and injured.
In December, the image of Antonis Deligiorgis, a 34-year-old Greek army sergeant, rescuing a refugee from the turbulent waters off Rhodes was singled out as a striking illustration of the valor of those in the islands. Only individuals or organizations are eligible to win the prize so it is likely that the “solidarity networks” on the islands—groups of volunteers who organized to help the refugees—or individuals within groups will be the official nominees.
The volunteer networks on the Greek islands have provided accommodation, hygiene packs, food, clothes and help with the next steps for refugees. It is claimed that the instincts of the majority of islanders set the tone across Europe towards the refugees’ plight. Spyro Limneos, an activist in Greece for Avaaz who distributed aid on the islands, said:
“The people involved in the solidarity networks organized and helped the desperate when the governments weren’t even willing to recognize that there was a crisis By opening their hearts the islanders sent a powerful message that human ty is above races, above nations. I will never forget seeing young girls being rescued from a boat on Leros. They were smiling. They didn’t have suitcases or any possessions except their end-of-year school certificates written in Arabic. They laid those down in the sun to dry out. It was a combination of tragedy and hope.”