Long Day/Yup, He’s Orthodox Part II

Today has been a long day – we had service in the morning with the traditional procession of icons for the Sunday of Orthodoxy – check out photos here – as well as our March 25 Greek School program during coffee hour.  This evening I joined all of the local Orthodox priests for a vespers service.  Among all of this, today was the feast of St. Cuthbert the Wonderworker – read his story here.

Cuthbert – the “bert” part of his name is cognate with “bright” – is, let’s just say, not a common Orthodox name, although it is well represented as an English last name – think of the popular Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert.  The saint’s commemoration today, though, reminds us that there are tons of saints that we don’t think of as part of our Orthodox tradition because they aren’t from the eastern Mediterranean or Russia.  There is much value in exploring the lives of saints such as Patrick, Brigid, Kenneth, and Cuthbert.

Onto tomorrow!  We will be having Bible Boot Camp at 19:00 hours.  Dismissed!

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March 20th, 2016 by Fr. Greg

Leap Day Thoughts

Happy leap day – February 29!  Here in New England it was a rare “warm” – 55-60 degrees in many places – February day.  Two thoughts about leap day/leap year:

-I was born in late February – I just celebrated my birthday – and ever since I can remember, when people find out my birthdate they most always say something like “you were almost a leap year baby!”.  The problem with this is I was born in an odd, not even, year – it could not have been a leap year.  Of course, if it had been a leap year, I would have indeed been a leap year baby whatever date I was born. I would have been a leap day baby if the day was right.

-How does the Orthodox Church calendar handle the leap day?  The main saint who is celebrated is St. John Cassian – more about him here.  Interestingly, when it is not a leap year his feast moves to February 28.  This has never made sense to me – if you are born on Feb. 29 you would, I imagine, celebrate your birthday during non-leap years on March 1, which is one exact year after  Feb. 29.  The wiki site has the other saints commemorated on this day, but there is nothing about how or if readings shift.  During the course of the calendar year, the entire New Testament, except for Revelation, is read.  Some days will have the same readings – very often martyrs have the same passage read, for example.  I would think the readings today are repeated from another day.

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February 29th, 2016 by Fr. Greg

Day 28: Kitchen Table

Today we are charged with writing about our kitchen table, which Fr. Peck calls the most important piece of furniture in our house.  I imagine this is because it is the one thing where everyone will, hopefully, be gathered around at the same time, thus facilitating conversation and interaction.  There was a great Seinfeld episode where Jerry decided he wanted to get married and Kramer tried to dissuade him of the notion: “marriage, man made prisons… You talk about your day. How was your day today? Did you have a good day today or a bad day today?”

But Kramer was wrong – it is good to talk about your day!  But it can be tough to do this.  In my cultural milieu many people own their own business which makes any kind of 9-5 day where you theoretically eat two meals together as a family out of the question.  In addition our children are so busy with activities that families are rarely together even once a day.  Finally, for those who theoretically may work 9-5, who actually can get away with not going in early and not leaving late and still get all the work done?  So this assignment is a good reminder to all of us.  I have a busy but flexible schedule, but I find when I am home for meals I am often dealing with phone calls or otherwise “working”.  And due to the fact that I often work at night and stay up late, breakfast time is not my best time for conversation.  Fr. Peck’s assignment for us today is a nice reminder of what we need to prioritize.

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December 15th, 2014 by Fr. Greg

Less Is More

Friday’s assignment – Black Friday’s assignment – in our blogging exercise is “less is more”.  I am psyched to write about this because I had the best Black Friday of my life, and my friends and I had more fun than anyone else in the Worcester area.  We continued a tradition, or perhaps established one is the better phrasing, since this is the second year of doing this – we played rugby at high noon at Crompton Park in Worcester.  The twist this year was there was snow on the ground.  It was quite cold, but last year was colder and the ground was wet – miserable stuff.  We were fortified with hot chocolate and other beverages.  After the game we went over to The Nines on Milbury St. for chili and fellowship.  Below is a picture of me running with the ball.  How does this fit into the less is more theme?  Well, we did spend money at the bar, but rather than shopping and going crazy we had a great time together.


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November 29th, 2014 by Fr. Greg

A Prayer Of Thanksgiving

Fr. Dimitri Moraitis, Fr. Dean’s successor in Worcester and  a good friend of mine, posted this Thanksgiving prayer on Facebook:

A Prayer for your Thanksgiving Table
O Lord of all creation: Be blessed for the earth and all it holds, for the seas and all their riches, and for the heavens and all that fills them. Be blessed for the mountains and valleys, for the lakes and rivers and streams, for the forests, deserts, and plains and all that inhabit them. In relishing the blessings of this day, we are well aware of the way you have dealt with us at all times. Your mercy is so abundant and your love for us is so great that, although we were spiritually dead in our disobedience, you brought us to life through your Christ. Therefore, Master, enable us to reflect on this mystery throughout the coming day, calling to mind all you have done for us, that we may reap the benefits of the day, while enjoying the company of those we love.

For you deserve all glory, honor, and worship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever, and unto ages of ages. Amen

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November 27th, 2014 by Fr. Greg

Beardless Men



This was today’s assignment in the blogging exercise – just the quote – and we are free to run with it.  It is a great line from Philipians about how God does not let us down.  I think we can apply this to our mentors as well.  We had a clergy meeting this morning – a monthly occurrence – for our Metropolis, and the turnout was especially big because we celebrated His Eminence’s name day.  A lot of our older priests were there and all of them, true to when they came of age, were without beards (again I am talking about beards).  These are the clergy I have always looked up to.  Due to health reasons my main mentor Fr. George Karahalios was not there.  This bio is decent – there are glaring mistakes such as his dear wife’s name – it is Calpyso (Lee), not Eleni.  Our elderly clergy are treasures and great resources for us.  Please pray for them and, for my fellow clergy, take advantage of their presence and learn from them.



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November 19th, 2013 by Fr. Greg

More Horrible, Though Not Surprising, News

Bloggers Choice today for the 40 day exercise – Fr. John has given us free reign to choose a topic.

Those of you who know me know that I am into the “Food Movement” – basically, educating yourself about what we eat, where it comes from, what is in it, etc.  This naturally leads us towards organic, non-genetically modified food or, as it used to be called years ago, food.  There are many, many reasons to go this route but the basic one is that what we put into our bodies should be what we are meant to eat.  Our bodies are not designed to process artificial ingredients, GMOs, insanely high gluten content from hybridized wheat, chickens who have never seen the light of day, etc.  I addressed the spiritual element to this a few days ago in my post about fasting.  The good news is that there are people out there doing yeoman’s work on this topic.  Recently the Food Babe posted on Subway, which is the largest chain restaurant in the world and one that many of us consider to be a healthful alternative to your typical fast-food place.  Well, check out the chart that she has developed through her own research and tell me what you think.


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November 18th, 2013 by Fr. Greg