Orange Street, Worcester

Yesterday John L. was taking pictures inside the Cathedral for the planned Holy Trinity calendar (with pictures from all 12 Council churches).  Serena was there along with George Photakis, who was early for a baptism, and we spent some time chatting about the old church on Orange Street.  Both the church and the street are long gone – they were located where the Worcester library is.  I mentioned that I have never seen pictures of the interior of the old church, although there are several exterior shots hung in the Cathedral hallway.  Both George and John’s parents were married there, so we figured out at least wedding photos exist to show what it looked like.  George then started talking about the building of the Cathedral and, while looking at the stained glass windows, I noticed a mistake in one of them.  Can you pick it out?

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June 23rd, 2010 by Fr. Greg

Mint Drying At Teita’s House

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June 21st, 2010 by Fr. Greg

Remarks From The Metropolitan

Last Sunday groups of people from most of the 64 communities in the Boston Metropolis converged at Lombardo’s in Randolph, MA, for the annual Metropolis ministry awards dinners.  This is always a big event – there were something like 800 people there.  A hearty Axios to Al Matulaitis, who earned the laity award from our community.  Below are the His Eminence’s remarks from the evening:

“Tonight, as our Metropolis gathers for the 24th time to honor the recipients of the Ministry Award, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Camp Ministry.   Since 1990, over 4500 youngsters from throughout New England, America (and for that matter throughout the world) have attended our Summer and Winter Camp programs  which have been hosted since 1999 at our St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH.  We hope that many camp alumni will attend our 20th Anniversary Reunion and Open House on Saturday, July 24.

            The camping experience has been one of fun and fellowship which has sought to strengthen the faith of our young people.

            The well organized program affords them the opportunity to engage in discussions with clergy and well trained councilors concerning issues they face in their lives.  They learn how to effectively respond to life’s challenges.  They have the opportunity to discuss their life experiences which are examined under the lens of our faith heritage.  We try to help our young people see clearly which direction they should seek in their lives.  We encourage them to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and look forward to the future with confidence.  We encourage them instead of striving for worldly success to strive for lasting significance.

            What has made the Metropolis of Boston Camp so successful is that it is a fun experience.  Campers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of different activities such as volleyball, baseball, basketball, arts and crafts, fishing, dancing, cooking, swimming and numerous other activities.  The fun and fellowship they share provide opportunities to build lifelong friendships amongst not only their peers, but with the dedicated staff members who serve as role models and mentors.

            What we have achieved at our camp is thanks in great part to the Youth Ministers of our Metropolis over these 20 years.  I thank once again our Youth Directors, Father Chris Foustoukos, Father Ted Barbas, and Father Phil Mussis, Mike Sintros and Dino Pappas and the hundreds of staff members and volunteers who have offered such a dynamic ministry.

            It has long been our vision to reach out to offer similar ministries to the adults of our parishes.  Last September, we opened the doors to our new Retreat House on the grounds of the Faith and Heritage Center.  It has fast become a spiritual home away from home where everyone finds joy, peace, healing and salvation.

            It is there where the power, truth and beauty of our Faith may be experienced in a pristine environment.

            We hope that our ministry to adults– to our Parish Councils, Philoptochos, Choir Members, to our educators, senior citizens, etc. — be as effective as has our outreach to our campers who have enjoyed a life changing experience.

            The life of prayer, the study of our theology and the emulation of the lives of the Saints equips all of us—young and old alike–to address the many challenges and opportunities of life.

            It is of vital importance that our Retreat House be a beacon of faith and hope because we seem to have lost sight of what is important and genuine in life.

            The popular mindset today defines  happiness as the ability to acquire the next pleasure as quickly as possible whether that be in the form of a better job, more money, luxury, fashion, etc.

            Living as we do in a culture of entitlement, we have been lured into believing that we deserve everything we have and desire.

            We are experiencing an unparalleled crisis of the human person, of marriage and family, and the Church must respond effectively.

            Sadly, the world around us has come to tolerate, embrace and even champion behaviors and lifestyles that were unacceptable to past generations. The Ten Commandments are nowhere to be found in public places in America.  Our courts have surgically removed every vestige of Christianity from our children’s classrooms.   Traditional Christian values are rejected, ridiculed and demonized.  Sadly, we have become tolerant of all sorts of evil, and of those who promote behavior and beliefs foreign to the eternal truths of the Gospel.  All of us– but especially our young people–are seduced to debauched forms of self expression. Self destructive behavior has been systematically transformed into acceptable—even preferable lifestyles!  Corruption, selfishness and foolishness are packaged today as enlightened, liberated and even spiritually advanced behavior.  Evil has been made to appear as good, and good to appear as evil.  Moral confusion and relativism have permeated our lives.  Their proponents are leading society to abysmal levels of banality never before known to mankind.

            This is why it is so very important that we all be vigilant, that our Retreat House be a beacon of Faith and Hope effectively addressing the needs of the our people.

            With your encouragement we will do our best to meet the challenges of our time.

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June 19th, 2010 by Fr. Greg

Kronos Tzatziki: No Yogurt, Lots Of Bad Stuff

Sarah came up to me today at Little Angels and said “This tzatziki has no yogurt in it!”.  She had a tub of the stuff made by Kronos, which is a popular brand among Greek-Americans and among the general population.  It doesn’t take much to make tzatziki – strain some yogurt, chop us some cucumber and dill and add garlic and you are pretty much all set.  This stuff not only had no yogurt but had an ingredient list a mile long with all kinds of bad stuff in it.  What a travesty!  For everyone eating this product out there, especially non-Greeks, please realize that this is not even close to the real thing and, I imagine, is not very good for you!  Some other major brands are also guilty of the artificial/bad stuff ploy as well.  I tried to take a picture of the ingredient list but it didn’t come out well on my cellphone camera and, not surprisingly, the company website does not list ingredients either.  The lessons here?  Whenever possible make your own stuff, and always, always read the label.  And many thanks to Sarah for the heads-up on this issue.

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June 16th, 2010 by Fr. Greg

Garden/Back To Blogging

I have been shamefully neglecting the blog.  A lot of things have happened recently – festival, laity award dinner, all kinds of stuff – so let’s start fresh.  Coincinding with the first day of sun after over a week of rain and overcast days, our garden is fully up and running, so how about we start with that.  I moved the location this year from the side of the house (where the soil would get washed away during the heavy rains we often have here in Worcester) to the peninsula next to the driveway and my neighbor (and gardening guru) Karen’s garden.  I picked up compost from Hope Cemetery (they have a mountain of it for the taking) and spent spare time the past few weeks getting things ready.  Here is what I planted:  Cucumbers, cantaloupe, cayenne peppers, pumpkin, garlic and tomato in the main garden.  Next to the house, in the old garden space, I have pots with basil, mint, strawberries, bell peppers, sunflowers, parsley, cilantro, and another tomato plant.  In addition we have a pot in the back with two garlic plants, a TopsyTurvy planter (As Seen On TV!) hanging in the front, a small pot with thyme, the blueberry bushes and the apple tree.  I also have the mushroom log inside the house. 
The first thing I harvested was pussy willow stalks in the earliest days of spring.  You can’t eat these, of course, but they make for a nice decoration in the house or a gift when visiting someone.  I also harvested thyme, which grows early and often, and dried it out for seasoning use.  I have a bell peppers that should be ready soon and cayenne peppers which should turn red in the next week.  Sadly, I think we will not get too many blueberries, for whatever reason (last year we had a seemingly endless supply) but there are tons of apples coming out on the tree, so hopefully that will pay out.  The tree  has five different varieties of apples, and the granny smiths always come out first.

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June 15th, 2010 by Fr. Greg

Nice Press!

Great article in the local paper today on the Grecian Festival.  You can also see a bunch of Cathedral peeps, including me, in this video.   (I still can’t figure out how to embed video).  Here is a nice picture of Gus and Joan from the T&G article:

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June 3rd, 2010 by Fr. Greg