Reverend Father Thomas G. Schaefer of Pittsburgh, Pa. unexpectedly fell asleep in the Lord on July 3, 2021 while vacationing in California. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on July 7, 1951, the only child of the late Gerard and … Continue reading
The power of the Holy Spirit is revealed to us each time we celebrate Pentecost. We hear the Pentecost story of the rush of wind, the appearance of flames upon the heads of the apostles, and the reception of the … Continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we offer our works and lives to the Lord Palm Sunday reminds us of the transition from the Great Fast to the preparations for the Paschal celebration on Easter Sunday. The somber Lenten hymns will give way … Continue reading
The season of the Great Fast is upon us. Our liturgies, fasting, prayer and service to others remind us of our need to let go of what holds us back and do what brings us closer to God. When I … Continue reading
The Sunday of Zacchaeus begins our planning for our Lenten efforts to open our hearts for the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord. For all, there are the pastoral guidelines for fasting and attendance at weekend Divine Liturgies and Pre-sanctified, and Holy and Great Week services. As always, there is the goal that we do something extra to spiritually help us to grow closer to God during the Season of the Great Fast.
When I ask someone how they feel about their physical health, they are able to explain their list of illnesses and what medicines they take and their efforts to stay healthy. For young people, they are more active and unrestricted in what they can eat and do. As they get older the lists of drugs and operations gets longer and the efforts to stay healthy get shorter or more difficult to maintain. The measures of body weight ad vital statistics give a clear indication of whether they are getting stronger or weaker physically.
When I ask someone how they feel about their spiritual health, most people look puzzled, but when you ask them the question if they feel like they are getting closer to God and what is holding them back, they are able to answer. They know how often they attend their church, how often they confess their sins, how they schedule their personal prayer and fasting, and what they do to serve their church and community.
Like physical exercise, it gets harder for most to do the spiritual and community tasks as we get busy. The actual measures of spiritual health are less defined than physical health. But after explaining what they are doing, most people are able to say whether they are falling away from or growing closer to God.
Whether you feel that you are growing closer or falling away from God the question remains the same. What are you going to do for the Great Lenten Fast?
For children and for beginners, we chose something to give up for during this Great Fast. Cutting out chocolate or some other food for children or even adults can still be an excellent daily reminder of our connection to loss and suffering of Christ, who died for our sins. The return of the missing treat on Easter Continue reading
Byzantine Catholic Teens Convene Every other year, teenagers from parishes of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church across the U.S. gather in an atmosphere of fellowship, prayer, and spiritual enrich-ment. The ByzanTEEN Youth Rally offers a rich opportunity for young Byzantine … Continue reading
Vocations Office Notches 9th Annual Event PITTSBURGH — Altar servers of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh gathered Wednesday July 20 with clergy and chaperones for the 9th annual “Faith & Fun Day” sponsored by the Archeparchy’s Office of Vocations. Comprised of … Continue reading
‘Come and See’ October 14-15-16 at Seminary To be a priest … don’t you have to give up everything – your family, your friends, the things you enjoy? Don’t you have to be super holy, super smart, or somehow different? … Continue reading
75th, 50th Jubilees celebrated by three nuns by Sister Elaine Kisinko OSBM The Sisters of Saint Basil of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province, Uniontown, Pa. recently honored their sisters who were observing jubilees and significant year anniversaries. On Sunday, … Continue reading
For our pilgrimages during this Year of Mercy, we receive special blessings by passing through the designated places of the Doors of Mercy. We will have this opportunity both during the Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Uniontown over Labor Day weekend and during the Pilgrimage for the Holy Year of Mercy to Rome in October.
The journey of the pilgrimage is always an adventure. The way of the pilgrim deepens our prayer life. The way is never easy or without cost. Weather or other easier paths can direct us away, but the call to begin the journey continues.
The feast in the Eastern Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God, or as it is also known in the Church of the West as the Assumption of Mary, is one of the most ancient Holy Days celebrated. It marks the passing of Mary the Mother of God into heaven. In Eastern European countries, the most important date for the remembrance of a Christian is the day of passing into heaven. It is remembered and celebrated as the birthday into eternal life.
The reading from the gospel of Saint Luke is used for many feasts of Mary in the Byzantine Tradition. In the ending verses 11:27-28, we hear a woman cry out “Blest is the womb that bore you and the breast that nursed you!” “Rather,” Jesus replied, “blest are they who hear the Word of God and keep it.”
Through Mary’s giving birth and raising Jesus, the Lord blessed her in a special way. The Lord revealed to her alone special knowledge and blessings by her contact and relationship with Jesus. It is a role which is shared by all women who have the special role to bring new life into the world. We are all blest by Jesus if we hear the Word of God and keep it. Continue reading