Melina To The Rescue

Fr. Dean and I recently noticed that the corpus from the big cross behind the altar had more than its share of nicks, dings and lipstick stains from people reverencing it, so we contacted the talented Melina Barber, who graciously agreed to do some restoration work on it.  Melina is a gifted artist and decorator (if you have visited the Flying Rhino you will know what I mean) and she can add icon restoration to her list of skills.  This is a picture of Melina doing some restoration on the corpus while it remains down from the cross until we put it back the day before the Ascension.  She will also at some point in the near future take care of the many lipstick stains on the iconostasis.  Vexingly, the chemical content of many kinds of lipstick means that these stains are very difficult to safely remove.  We are blessed to have people like Melina and the many others who selflessly give their time and skills to the Cathedral.

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April 28th, 2010 by Fr. Greg

More Parade Pictures

The Greek Boston site has more parade pictures.  If you click here it should bring you to the first of our pictures.  Continue clicking on the right arrow above each picture to see all of them.  There are about 5 or 6 showing our group.

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April 27th, 2010 by Fr. Greg

Robin And Batman at the Greek Independence Day Parade

Today was the annual Greek Independence Day parade in Boston, and it turned out to be fabulous.  We were all expecting rain (I, who has no umbrella, was particularly dreading walking and getting soaked).  And we ended up having a fairly sunny day and pleasant, not-too-warm-or cold weather.  It is funny because today was the feast of St. Mark, and the Liturgy of St. Mark includes prayers for rainfall (it is a liturgy from Egypt, so it has these prayers and prayers for the rising of the Nile) and yet most people were saying “please pray for _no_ rain!”.  The Greek School children marched with vigor, and the float was in tip-top shape.   Many thanks to the Marine USA, who graciously wrap and store our float each year, as well as the Greek School teachers and PTA.  Here is a picture that Eva P. took of Robin (me) and Batman (Fr. Dean).  A cropped version of this is my new profile picture on Facebook.  I imagine the Greek Boston site will have pictures up soon, and I will link to it when that happens.

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April 25th, 2010 by Fr. Greg

Potato Soup

This hearty soup is probably more of a winter dish but, this being New England, you never know when winter-like weather will pop up again – I think it is about 40 degrees out as I write this.

3 potatoes, sliced thinly

4 stalks celery, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 chicken sausages, cooked, cut up and casing removed

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed

Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot heat a 1/4 cup or so of olive oil.  Add the celery, garlic, green onion and onion and heat until they start to soften a bit.  Add water – the amount depends on how soupy you want the soup – and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, throw in the potatoes and bring back to a boil – it takes about 5 minutes to get the potatoes cooked.  Turn off the heat and add the beans, bouillon and sausage.

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April 19th, 2010 by Fr. Greg

A Splendid Morning At Venerini…And Vampires

Thursday morning I rolled to Venerini Academy to read to Sister Roberta’s 5th grade class.  They were having some sort of community reading day thing, and I was invited by Pam G., who is one of the school’s parent-volunteers.  A bunch of us (including a Coast Guard Band musician, an attorney, etc.) were matched up with a specific class and had an hour to talk to the students and read something of our own choosing.  I am not really connected with the pop-culture world of 5th graders, but I figured there was some interest in vampire literature.  Surely enough, when I asked the students what they read, they all answered Twilight and Vampire Diaries.  I told them I had the granddaddy of them all – Dracula – and read a few excerpts from the beginning (Harker arrives at the Castle, the shaving incident, and Harker seeing the Count crawl down the castle wall head-first).  We had a great discussion about suspense, the purpose of the author going into detail of the scenery, etc., and good and evil.  The novel remains a model of the stark difference between good and evil, whereas these modern vampire novels have a different agenda.  The students were fabulous and totally into it. 

After reading to the class I was brought to the library and chatted with some of the mothers, who offer their time to the school with enthusiasm and generosity,  as well as the staff.  The whole experience reminded my of my Catholic elementary school experience – volunteers helping the understaffed school, as well as the astonishing demands on elementary school teachers.  One teacher has the same students all day long and has to make science, math, history, English and whatever else interesting and relevant to high-energy students who are inside for much of the day. 

A final note – we have many Cathedral kids at Venerini, and I got to see a bunch of them.  One particular highlight was seeing Lia M. in her Latin class.  Yes, Latin is required at the school.  I floated the idea of Lia reading the gospel in Latin at next year’s Agape service, and have no doubt she would make a great reader.

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April 16th, 2010 by Fr. Greg

The Facing East Boys Are Back

There is a new Facing East podcast up, and we are recording another one tomorrow.  Check it out here or download it for free on iTunes.  It is a typical episode for us – driving around and talking about random stuff.

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April 12th, 2010 by Fr. Greg


I just got back from a fabulous event at the College Of The Holy Cross.  Our OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) group there put on a Food Festival featuring Greek, Syrian and Russian food, dancing, and displays about our faith – icons, chant, scripture, etc.  There were over eighty people in attendance, including some from other schools (the Assumption OCF came as well).  The students did a great job making and getting the food (Catherine’s mother’s golumpkis were out of this world – I love Russian food), decorating the room, putting together the program book, and getting the word out.  A nice touch was having it in Loyola Hall, with a great view of the city.  Prez Cindy and I represented the Cathedral and are very proud of our kids. 

The night ended with dancing but before that there was a bittersweet moment.  The OCF members presented Christina and Catherine, outgoing co-chairs of the group who are graduating this year, with flowers.  More than a few tears were shed at this.  “Cat” and “Tina” founded the group in 2007 and made it what it is today.  We will all miss them when they graduate next month.  They are of course no strangers to our Cathedral – here is a picture, with flowers:

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April 10th, 2010 by Fr. Greg