Bulletin for 17 Oct, 2021 – 21st Sunday after Pentecost

O Holy Apostle Philip, Intercede with the merciful God

That He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost & Sunday of the Ecumenical Councils.

This Sunday we celebrate the Sunday of the Ecumenical Councils. On this day we celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit inspiring wise and holy Fathers who through the first seven Ecumenical Councils helped to enunciate what we essentially believe. The Fathers instruct us with many topics typically answering the questions of their time. We should remember that Christianity had over times to answer questions when what was generally held by all and at all times and in all places was beginning to be doubted or replaced by something foreign to what was then the deposit of faith. Thus the Church had to answer questions as to who Christ really is (Nestorius asserting that Christ is a Creature and not equal to the Father). Later doubts would come as to the divinity of the Holy Spirit (Eunomion Heresy). The last Ecumenical Council answered the questions as to Icons at the time of the Iconoclast heresy. As a result we more or less have the sum of what we believe defined at these Holy Councils.

These Councils therefore still continue to shape us to this day. It remains for us to follow their sacred Teachings as we ask “who is Christ?” As the Logos, the measure, the Word, does He measure up as the Truth we follow and we adhere to? In a philosophical sense is He the Wisdom that guides our outlook on all things around us as we live our lives. Truly, Christ as Word, is the revelation of the Father and even in his humanity he instructs, albeit by his own words or actions.

In addition to the faithful and orthodox teachings which the Fathers pass on to us we could also look at their personal and spiritual lives as sources for their definition of the dogmas we believe. Following and loving Christ they merited the grace to understand Who He is and to live lives radiating light and truth around them. We could think of St Basil the Great who in his day blazed the trail with his teaching that the Holy Spirit should be paid Equal Honor. He knew that it would take time, reflection and grace to penetrate the mystery, and after seeing all the turmoil resulting from the Christological debates, he taught that equal honor should be given to the Holy Spirit. He was confidant that putting aside human anger and pride, along with the help of the same Holy Spirit, over more time and reflection this question would be solved. Solved it would be, but in a spirit of calm, fraternal charity and reflection.

Thus, the patrimony of the Seven Ecumenical Councils must still shape us down to our own day.

Announcements

  • Fr Christopher: This past week: Thankfully, I finally managed to register my car from Texas with Californian plates. There was also another visit to the Roman Chancery and paper work in order to facilitate receiving faculties to serve the diocese of Sacramento as a supply priest. Finally, yesterday I attended the funeral of Mr Jeff Long, along with other parishioners. I am led to believe that we will see his widow, Rebecca, back with us for worship from time to time. We will also celebrate a Panachida for Jeff on Sunday November 7 which will be about the 40th day since his passing. Meanwhile keep Jeff, Rebecca and their family in your prayers.
  • During the coming week I will be absent at the Eparchial Retreat for Clergy which is being held in Phoenix. As a result there will only be a sung Akathist at 5.30 pm on Wednesday.
  • Tithes and Donations. Last Sunday, we received in tithes $, donations $, gift shop $, hospitality $, candles $ and miscellaneous $. Thank you for your generosity, may God bless you always. The collection amounted to $
  • Hospitality after Sunday Liturgy. If you wish to help out please put your name to the signup sheet.
  • Mystery of First Confession: If you have a child ready to make his or her first confession please see me and I will start by instructing those who need it. This shouldn’t take too long, about 5 weeks and after that I hope that we will be able to relaunch Catechism for the children after Sunday Liturgies. Parents are invited to sit in on the classes, so as to be able to help their children with the homework. Also as part of ‘Safe Environment’ there will be another adult present.
  • Youth Group: After having spoken at the bi-weekly youth group with parishioners from 4 parishes and 4 Rites, I will continue to host a talk followed by ‘fun and games.’ There were about 20 or so youth. The meetings are mentored by Abouna Hezekiah (Melkite) and now by me. For details contact me or Tim Del Castillo. Ages range from early to late teens.

Liturgical schedule

Wed, Oct 20th – 5.30 PM Akathist.

Sun, Oct 24 –  8:30 AM Confessions

                        9:30 AM – Divine Liturgy – Tone 5

                                         Cantor Amy Seyfried

                                         Reader: Tim Del Castillo

For Confession, please call Fr. Christopher for an appointment, or come 30 minutes before or after scheduled services. If you desire Spiritual Direction then please see Fr Andrews for an appointment during the week so as to allow everyone an opportunity on Sundays for Confessions. Please consider those traveling from long distances.

Fridays in general are days of penance and fasting, we observe abstinence for meat foods. Let us remember one another as we offer our prayers and sacrifices to the Lord.

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Bulletin for 10 Oct 2021 – Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

O Holy Apostle Philip,

Intercede with the merciful God

That He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

xxx xxx x xxx xxx

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

This week we read of the widow of Naim. This account of St Luke shows us Christ moved with pity for her plight. This compassion of Christ is reflected in the Church when we pray for those who are spiritually dead, that they may be raised to life and closeness to Christ. I am sure that many of us have loved ones we would like to see return to the practice of the Faith. Indeed, in the Latin Church, this Gospel is read on the feast of St Monica who prayed earnestly (and was heard) for the conversion of her son. Thanks to her tears and prayers the Church honors Augustine as a great Doctor.

St Ambrose speaks of this miracle and reminds us that the dead man was raised when Christ touched the funeral bier, a symbol of the life given to us after Christ was nailed to Wood his Body touched, namely, the now life giving Cross.

Like Christ, we too should be moved to compassion. It is so beautiful to see His heart moved at the misery of this poor woman. Living in the modern world where people receive government help and perhaps a pension, we forget just how hard life would be for this widow whose only son, whose only source of comfort and support, in her old age had died. Christ was moved at her plight. Have we forgotten that St Paul tells us that pure religion is to minister to orphans and to widows?

We can also note that this miracle was not brought about by a request. Neither the Mother nor anyone in the crowd entreated Christ. Rather, Christ himself, touched in his humanity at so pathetic (pathos) and sad sight was moved to show mercy.

Lastly the Gospel gives us a final message: whenever there is the restoration to life the crowds praise God and are in wonder. How often have we been raised to life when forgiven first at Baptism and then when we celebrate the Mystery of Confession? Should we not rejoice and praise God, bespeaking his Goodness in us and toward us, simply by our Christian living?

Announcements

Fr Christopher: This past week: Home visits continue. Please give me your phone number and address to facilitate these visits.

During the week I was invited by Bishop Jaime Soto to attend his diocesan retreat. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with the local Presbyterate. Among those there were Fr John Bolls who in the past has celebrated Divine Liturgies here and who plans to visit us soon. I have received invitations to speak at parish youth groups and even to celebrate Liturgy in other parishes which will make our Divine Liturgy known to other Catholics in the area.

Jubilee Celebrations: Alas, the hall which was recently made available to us, is no longer available for November 14. Therefore we shall have a simple celebration on the very day November 14 and postpone a more formal celebration until sometime in May 2022. Fr Francis himself had came across the very same difficulties trying to find a hall. The upshot is that we have more time to plan and in May there is a chance that Fr Francis will return on a visit. Stay tuned!

Mr. Jeff Long. I learned of the passing of Mr. Long on Friday. I have already written to his wife to assure her of closeness in prayer. Eternal Memory, blessed repose grant to your servant O Lord.

  • Tithes and Donations. Last Sunday, we received in tithes $, donations $, gift shop $, hospitality $, candles $ and miscellaneous $. Thank you for your generosity, may God bless you always. The collection amounted to $.
  • Hospitality after Sunday Liturgy. If you wish to help out please put your name to the signup sheet.
  • Mystery of First Confession. If you have a child ready to make his or her first confession please see me and I will start by instructing those who need it. This shouldn’t take too long, about 5 weeks and after that I hope that we will be able to relaunch Catechism for the children after Sunday Liturgies. Parents are invited to sit in on the classes, so as to be able to help their children with the homework. Also as part of ‘Safe Environment’ there will be another adult present.
  • Prayer requests. Fr. Michael, Fr. Marcus, Fr. Chris, Fr. Randall, Fr. Michal, Fr. Patrik, Sr. Patricia, Margaret, Gary and Ingrid, Margaret, Slawomir and Oceana, Darlene, Becky, Alexis, Marion, Curtis, Ronald, Jeannine, Taylor, Lorrie, Frances, Alex, Leroy, Michael, Thomas, Carol, Michael, Jennifer, John, Elizabeth, Judy, Ruth, Dimitri, Christie, Viktoria, Emily, Margaret, Patricia. Nadezda, Dan, Doug.

Liturgical schedule

Wed Oct 13th 5:30 pm Akathist

Fri Oct 15th     6:30 am Divine Liturgy

Sun Oct 17th   8:30 AM Confessions. 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy.

                         Tone 4. Cantor: Tim Del Castillo Reader: Richard Agayoff

For Confession, please call Fr. Christopher for an appointment, or come 30 minutes before or after scheduled services. If you desire Spiritual Direction then please see Fr Andrews for an appointment during the week so as to allow everyone an opportunity on Sundays for Confessions. Please consider those traveling from long distances.

Fridays in general are days of penance and fasting, we observe abstinence for meat foods. Let us remember one another as we offer our prayers and sacrifices to the Lord.

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Bulletin for 3 Oct 2021 – 19th Sunday after Pentecost

O Holy Apostle Philip,

Intercede with the merciful God

That He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The Gospel of today tells us to be merciful and to forgive our enemies. The truth that we see in the lives of the Saints is that they are not bitter. They are joyful and have in a sense cast their cares on the Lord as they await that he will raise them up. So often the devil weighs us down with thoughts of revenge which so often we cannot accomplish and which make us focus on distractions.

We celebrate this week the feast of the troubadour of Christ, the Poor Man, St Francis of Assisi. As troubadour he was a poet singing God’s praise of creation around him and he showed that heavenly riches were dear to his heart. St Francis shines as a model in opposition to the fleeting joys offered to us by the Gospel of Hollywood.

We also celebrate the great Apostle St Thomas, who died as a martyr in southern India. St. Thomas is the patron of India. He followed the Roman trade routes in 52 AD and established churches along India’s coast, from the Indus valley south, converting both Jews and Hindus. He was martyred in 72 AD. The northern churches were overwhelmed in the Muslim invasions, but the southern ones flourished as the Syro-Malabar and Syro- Malankara Churches, both Catholic and Oriental Orthodox, where they are known as Thomas Christians.

Thomas is often called “Doubting Thomas” because he did not believe Jesus was risen from the dead. It is worth noting that the inscriptions of Icons of this event never say “Unbelief” or “Doubting” regarding Thomas. In Greek, the inscription reads Η ψηλάφησητουΘωμά, that is, the “Touching of Thomas,” making no reference to Thomas’ doubt. The title implies Jesus touching Thomas, both in body and soul, and not the other way around. In Slavic icons, the meaning is even clearer because the inscriptions always read УверениеФомы, i.e. the “Assurance of Thomas”.

Usually, English icons mistranslate the Slavonic and inscribe their icons “The Belief of Thomas”. They miss the point: the Slavonic emphasizes that Jesus assures Thomas of the reality of His resurrection, His glorified body which still is wounded, His living presence.

So too, for us moderns who think we know everything – Christ touches us, Christ comes to us. He takes the initiative, and we are healed as a result.

Announcements

  • Fr Christopher: This past week: On Monday I was able to visit Margaret Dean in Modesto. Margaret sends her regards to all in the Parish and even though distant in Modesto, still remains close with the offering of her prayers. She was able to share many stories from the beginning of the parish. I had the joy of bringing her Communion for the first time since the pandemic began and anointing her as well. Afterwards I visited the Cardona family and was graciously entertained by them.  Visits to parishioners continue and if all you have to do is give me your addresses.
  • Mystery of First Confession: If you have a child ready to make his or her first confession please see me and I will start by instructing those who need it. This shouldn’t take too long, about 5 weeks and after that I hope that we will be able to relaunch Catechism for the children after Sunday Liturgies. Parents are invited to sit in on the classes, so as to be able to help their children with the homework. Also as part of ‘Safe Environement’ there will be another adult present.
  • Court of the Gentiles’: As mentioned we will begin with a rapid fire of questions after our brunch in which Fr Christopher will answer questions you may have about the Liturgy, the Parish and upcoming events.
  • Prayer requests. Fr. Michael, Fr. Marcus, Fr. Chris, Fr. Randall, Fr. Michal, Fr. Patrik, Sr. Patricia, Margaret, Gary and Ingrid, Margaret, Slawomir and Oceana, Darlene, Becky, Alexis, Marion, Curtis, Ronald, Jeannine, Taylor, Lorrie, Frances, Alex, Leroy, Michael, Thomas, Carol, Michael, Jennifer, John, Elizabeth, Judy, Ruth, Dimitri, Christie, Viktoria, Emily, Margaret, Patricia. Nadezda, Dan, Doug.
  • Tithes and Donations. Last Sunday, we received in tithes $, donations $, gift shop $, hospitality $, candles $. Thank you for your generosity, may God bless you always. The collection amounted to $.
  • Feast of the Holy Protection of Mary: we had a very good turnout of the faithful. Both Liturgies drew 17 to celebrate the Protection of Mary marking the historic feast, while yet being confident of Mary’s Protection in the future. Thus for the major feasts we will be having a Vigil Service and a morning Liturgy the next day.
  • Hospitality after Sunday Liturgy. If you wish to help out please put your name to the signup sheet.

Liturgical Schedule

Wed Oct 6th –     6:30 a.m. – Divine Liturgy

Fri Oct 8th –       5:30 p.m. – Akathist

Sun Oct 10th –   8:30 a.m. –  Confessions

                          9:30 a.m. – Divine Liturgy, Tone 3

For Confession, please call Fr. Christopher for an appointment, or come 30 minutes before or after scheduled services. If you desire Spiritual Direction then please see Fr Andrews for an appointment during the week so as to allow everyone an opportunity on Sundays for Confessions. Please consider those traveling from long distances.

Fridays in general are days of penance and fasting, we observe abstinence for meat foods. Let us remember one another as we offer our prayers and sacrifices to the Lord.

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