Bulletin for December 4, 2016

Slava Isusu Christu! Slava i vo viki! + Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory for ever!

From the Fathers of the Church…
St. Cyril of Alexandria

Having met the Savior, therefore, the lepers earnestly besought Him to free them for their misery, and called Him Master, that is, Teacher. No one pitied them when suffering this malady; but He Who had appeared on earth for this very reason, and had become man that He might show pity to all, He was moved with compassion for them, and had mercy on them. And why did He not rather say, I will, be you cleansed; as he did in the case of another leper, but commanded them rather to show themselves to the priests? It was because the law gave directions to this effect to those who were delivered from Leprosy (Lev. 14:2); for it commanded them to show themselves to the priests, and to offer a sacrifice for their cleansing. He commanded them to go, therefore, as being already healed, and, that they might, so to speak, bear witness to the priests, as rulers of the Jews, and ever envious of His glory, that wonderfully, and beyond their hope, they had been delivered from their misfortune by Christ’s willing that they should be healed … (Cf. Luke 5:12) … The nine then, as being Jews, falling into a thankless forgetfulness, did not return to give glory to God; by which He shows that Israel was hard of heart, and utterly unthankful: but the stranger – for as being a Samaritan he was of foreign race, having been brought there from Assyria, for the phrase in the middle of Samaria and Galilee’ is not without meaning – returned with a loud voice to glorify God. It shows, therefore, that the Samaritans were grateful, but that the Jews, even when benefited, were ungrateful.

· Last Sunday, 62 souls came to pray at St. Philip’s, our tithes to the Lord were $___, donations $___, Clergy Medical $___, Gift Shop $__. Thank you for supporting our church, may God bless you abundantly for your generosity. Please consider making St. Philip’s parish a part of your estate planning.

· Prayer requests. Fr. Jozef, Fr. Randall, Fr. Martin, Fr. Ted, Fr. Brendan, Sr. Patricia, Oceana, Gary and Ingrid, Margaret and Don, Walter, Adam, Joan, Margaret, Becky, Alexis, Marion, Rachel, Curtis, Ronald, Taylor, Margaret, Lorrie, Mary, Jude.

· Hospitality sign-up sheet: Dec 11 – potluck, in honor of St. Nicholas. Please sign up for hospitality for the upcoming Sundays; the list is in the parish hall. Thank you to Murin family for providing hospitality for us last Sunday.

· Is Saint Nicholas coming to visit St. Philip’s children? To find out, come to church next Sunday, December 11th. The actual feast of the Holy Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia is this Tuesday, December 6th.

· Retired Religious Collection will be taken next Sunday, December 11th. This annual special collection is organized by USCCB and is taken in all catholic dioceses/eparchies. Its purpose is to support service to our retired religious. Please consider supporting this cause. May God bless you for your generosity.

· Fall 2016 online Adult Education classes – through the Fuze online platform, from 7:00-8:00pm Pacific Time. All Classes Are Free. Tuesday night ongoing classes: Eastern Christian Spirituality, 11/8/16 – 12/13/16 • Fr. Joseph Stanichar. Thursday night Stand Alones: The Traditions of Christmas and Theophany, 12/15/16 • Fr. Michael Bezruchka. For more information or to register visit: http://eparchyofphoenix.org/faith_formation.html. Email Dcn. Basil Ryan Balke with questions or to register at dcnbasil@eparchyofphoenix.org.

Liturgical schedule

Dec 6th
5:30 PM Divine Liturgy.
Nicholas the Wonder-Worker, Archbishop of Myra.
Solemn Feast.

Dec 8th
5:30 PM Divine Liturgy.
Maternity of the Holy Anna (Immaculate Conception).
Solemn Feast.

Dec 11th
8:30 AM Confessions.
9 AM Prayers
9:30 AM Divine Liturgy.
Sunday of the Forefathers (30th after Pentecost).
Tone 5.

For Confession, please come half an hour before the scheduled services, or schedule an appointment. Fridays in general are days of penance, abstinence from meat foods is observed. Let us remember one another in our prayers.

By Fr. Michael Hayduk

The Eastern Churches have a special love and devotion to Saint Nicholas. This love has been enhanced by the liturgical cult that has grown around the virtuous life of Nicholas, who was to be Bishop of Myra in Lycia. Saint Nicholas was born in Patara, Lycia, Asia Minor, in the latter part of the third century. He was raised in a good Christian home by his parents, Theophanus and Nina. Nicholas, blessed with a good memory, loved to read the Holy Scriptures and sing in Church. His uncle, who was the Bishop of Patara, realized that Nicholas was leading a holy life and had sufficient learning to become a priest. His parents agreed and Nicholas was ordained a priest at age 21. He led a simple life as a priest devoted to God in service to the poor and needy. When his parents died, he inherited their property, which he sold to help the poor. His charity and service to those in need are undoubtedly the virtue by which he is known to us. Many legends and miracles have been attributed to Saint Nicholas. Each of them personifies him as a “model of faith and an example of virtue.” One legend tells that the father of a destitute Christian family decided to sell his daughters into slavery. When Nicholas heard of this, he secretly threw some money into the house. He did the same for all three daughters. When the father discovered that Nicholas was the benefactor, in compliance with his wishes, he promised not to reveal Nicholas’ name. Most of Saint Nicholas’ great works of charity were done in secret. He firmly believed in the Gospel command: “Be on guard against performing religious acts for people to see. Otherwise expect no recompense from your heavenly Father,” (Mt. 6:1). After a brief time in monastic life in the Holy Land, Nicholas returned to Myra at the time the bishop of this city died. A council was held but they could not agree on a candidate to be the next bishop. One bishop was told in a dream to stand at the doors of the church and select the first man who entered and make him the bishop. At Matins the next day, Nicholas was the first to come into the church. Nicholas, being a man of great humility really wanted to refuse the appointment as bishop. There is a tradition that says Nicholas was so troubled in spirit about accepting the episcopacy that he only gave full consent on the day before his episcopal ordination, after having a dream. In this dream Nicholas saw Jesus Christ handing him a Gospel Book and the Mother of God holding a bishop’s omophorion. Many popular icons of Saint Nicholas have Christ and the Mother of God pictured on each side of Nicholas depicting this dream. Bishop Nicholas was a model of Christian living and leadership. He eagerly fulfilled his tasks as preacher, defender of the faith and provider of the poor. Saint Nicholas did not have an easy life as a bishop. Though he and his flock were persecuted Nicholas brought courage and spiritual comfort to his people. Many more miracles and legends have come to us showing Saint Nicholas’ great mercy, uprightness and service to those in need. Nicholas lived to an old age and died on December 6th, 342 or 345. We pray with our Church to follow his lifestyle and gain “greatness through humility and wealth through poverty.” O Holy Father Nicholas, pray to God for us!

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