Message of His Eminence, Archbishop Nicolae at the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God
To the beloved Clergy and right-believing Christians of our Holy Archdiocese
Most Reverend Fathers,
The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is the crown of all the feasts dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary. This is not only because it is her last feast in the Church Year, but also because it reveals the fulfillment of the mission of the Mother of God. This is strongly suggested in the troparion of the Feast:
"In giving birth thou didst preserve virginity, and in thy dormition thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos, for thou wast translated unto life for thou art the Mother of Life. By thine intercessions, deliver our souls from death."
God chose the Holy Virgin in order to fulfill His plan for the salvation of mankind. St. Nicholas Cabasilas expresses this reality in very meaningful words, "The Virgin offers herself and is also involved, a fact which attracts the Divine Architect to earth and starts his creative hand working. Ornamenting her soul and body with so much beauty, she attracted the eye of God and revealed the beauty of our nature through her beauty. She thus attracted the Sinless One; the One which man had driven away through sin was made man through the Virgin." We understand how the Virgin gave birth to the Giver of Life, becoming the Mother of Life. And we also understand how, through giving birth in purity to the Savior of the world, St. Mary became the Mother of all those who believe in Him. In this way, the Mother of God fell asleep but did not forsake the world, for in her quality as Mother she is with us and she hears our prayers and lifts them up to the throne of the Heavenly King.
Like the Mother of God, every mother brings children into the world, not only for this world but for the eternal Kingdom. Thus our mothers have the holy mission of giving us physical life, but also spiritual life by bringing us to Holy Baptism. And Baptism is followed by Christian education so that every child may receive the Faith and grow up under the care of the Church, the Mother of the children of God and the Bride of Christ.
The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos reminds us of the value of this life, but also of eternal life. In this life we work out our salvation, and our present deeds gain eternal value for us and our descendents. My challenge at this glorious Feast is addressed to our mothers: let us be attentive to our children and let us give them life, but also faith. Let us be like the Mother of God in this offering of life, and let us also lift up our prayers to the Lord for our children. Thus we will fulfill our mission as parents on this earth, and we will rejoice together with all mothers and with the Mother of God at our own passing from this life into the perfect life in heaven.
On this glorious Feast, I would like to wish much fulfillment with peace and joy to all those parishes, as well as the faithful, who are named for the Holy Virgin. May the Theotokos guide us all and make us worthy to be called children of the Heavenly Father.
SCOBA/SCOOCH Statement On Iraq Church Bombings
August 5, 2004 - The hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches in America (SCOOCH) learned with great sadness the news that religious edifices were targeted by certain extremist elements in Iraq.
SCOBA and SCOOCH have been and are deeply committed to interfaith dialogue. In Iraq, citizens of different faith backgrounds have lived together peacefully and harmoniously for centuries. "We deplore the violent and destructive acts of persons seeking to create disharmony and division among people whose faiths derive from one common Abrahamic source," stated Archbishop Demetrios, chairman of SCOBA and Metropolitan Philip Saliba, vice-chairman of SCOBA.
Archbishop Barsamian, chairman of SCOOCH, added, "We pray for the victims of these divisive forces. We pray for the enlightenment of those who sow division. And we express our love for and solidarity with all persons of good will in Iraq."
Saturday August 14
- Vespers at St. Mary-s Cathedral in Cleveland.
Sunday August 15
- Dormition of the Mother of God - Divine Liturgy at the same parish on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the oldest Romanian parish in the USA.
Between August 18 and September 1, His Eminence Nicolae will be in Romania.
The list of the donors for the IOCC program for Romania
|St. Parascheva Boston||637.00|
|Holy Cross Hollywood||500.00|
|St. Mary Houston||500.00|
|St. Nicholas New York||1,000.00|
|New St. George Lansing||2,010.00|
|St. Mary Fort Wayne||700.00|
|St. George Las Vegas||150.00|
|St. Andrew Las Vegas||125.00|
|St. Mary Atlanta||698.00|
|St. Nicholas Worcester||2,000.00|
|Fr. David Hudson||100.00|
|Sts. Constantine and Helen Chicago||3,618.00|
|St. Nicholas Vancouver||500.00|
|St. Dimitrios Winnipeg||925.00|
|St. George Windsor||540.00|
|Sts. Constantine and Helen Edmonton||500.00|
|Descent of the Holy Ghost Windsor||2,350.00|
|Holy Resurrection Hamilton||600.00|
|St. Andrew Mississauga||1000.00|
|St. George Vancouver||200.00|
We thank to all the priest and faithful for their support to this cause. We are deeply impressed by the mobilization of some parishes and their effort for the children from Romania who need help. We do hope that the other parishes will follow their example. May God repay your donation.