Volume 51; Number 12 March 22, 2015
ST JOHN OF THE LADDER
Today, brothers and sisters, on this fourth Sunday of Great Lent, we remember Saint John Climacus who is known as Saint John of the Ladder. The icon of The Ladder of Divine Ascent in our church shows the monks that are climbing up towards Jesus Christ. It is a metaphor for our life and for how we must continually ascend, we must continually add virtue to virtue.
But where should we begin? The Lord gives us a place to begin. He says to us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” This is the beginning.
Pride destroys anything that is good. To be poor in spirit is to be humble, to recognize what is in yourself, to recognize how strong you are, that you are weak without Christ. It is to recognize that you are like the man who looks in the mirror but unlike the one in the scriptures, remembers when he leaves what he still looks like. It is to be the person who knows that he owed ten thousand talents and had it all forgiven. This is to be poor in spirit.
This is not a small step. It is the beginning, but it is a great step because it is in direct contradiction to the world. The world is full of pride, full of arrogance, blind and self-centered self-love. And unfortunately we should not be of the world, but we are, and so we are like that as well. We love ourselves more than others. We think of ourselves more highly than others. We continually put ourselves in advantageous positions. If you look at your life carefully, you will see that you’re far from being poor in spirit, and this is only the first rung. But to at least begin is a good thing.
So let us remember that we are the person who did owe the ten thousand talents. We are the person that was formerly far off in exile and has now been brought near to Christ, and by grace we have been saved through faith and that it is not of ourselves.
If we remember those things, then there will be opportunities in our life when we somehow by the grace of God and not of ourselves that we recognize the kind of person we are, and that recognition motivates us to do the right thing at the right time.
Borrowed from St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
READINGS FOR Today Third Sunday of Lent, The Cross
Epistle: Heb. 6:13-20; Ephesians 5:8-19 Gospels: Mark 9::17-31; Matt. 4:25-5:12
Remembered at the Litany for the Departed today are Protopresbyter THOMAS HOPKO; NINA MALINOWSKI and all recent victims of natural disasters, epidemics and war.
Last Thursday Fr. Rastko came home from the hospital after having a tumor successfully removed. As you can imagine, Father is in need of rest to get his strength back. He will be getting therapy at home for the next 8 weeks. Thank you for your cards and calls. Visiting Fr. Rastko is discouraged during his recuperation; however, he’s thinking about all of you each day, and is grateful for all of you at St. Stephen’s. God bless you all.
Serving for Fr. Rastko today is Fr. Stephen Gousios, who will be serving Vespers next Saturday night. Today is the last Sunday prior to the Feast of Pascha/Vaskrs that Fr. Steven will be with us. He will be serving in Michigan for Holy Week. Please greet Fr. Steven and wish him a blessed Pascha. We hope to see him after Pascha again. God bless your journey to the Upper Peninsula for Holy Week, Father Steven!
RED EGG DYE is on sale at the Tutor’s Stand. $2.00 each or 3/$5.00.
FISH FRIES are held at our parish every Friday through April 3, from 4–7 PM. We have had excellent attendance from our community. Only two more Fish Fries are left this year. If you haven’t been to one of our Fish Fries, it’s not too late.
FLOWERS FOR THE TOMB OF CHRIST and CANDLES Donations are being accepted at the Tutor’s Stand. Pascha (Easter) is coming quickly. Make your donation today to help beauty our Church for this great Feast! Thank you!
High School class Lenten Collections continue today. Today we are collecting pasta and pasta sauce. Next Sunday we will collect tooth paste and tooth brushes. Let us remember, fasting time is also the time for almsgiving. Donations to date include 92 rolls of toilet paper; 65 deodorant, 79 shampoos, 90 tuna, 84 soup cans, 32 dish detergent, 18 laundry detergent, 55 toothbrushes, 35 toothpaste, 111 bar soap, 18 spaghetti sauce & 19 lb. spaghetti. In addition, 37 miscellaneous food items and toiletries have been donated. May God see your good works and bless you!
PREPARING FOR THE SACRAMENTS OF CONFESSION AND COMMUNION is an important Lenten effort. All our parishioners are called to prepare themselves and to receive Holy Communion as often as possible. Do not wait until the last minute to come to Confession during Great Lent. Confessions are heard after Vespers each Saturday night. Appointments for Confession can be made by calling the parish home, 823-2846. On March 29, Fr. Mihailo Doder will be serving and can hear confessions in Serbian. Put Confession in your weekly schedule and plan to come on Saturday nights or at times other than on Sunday mornings. No confessions will be heard on Pascha (Easter morning).
PLEASE KEEP THE FOLLOWING SOLDIERS IN YOUR PRAYERS: Thomas Vukcevic; Benjamin Pappas; Paul Campbell, Michael Rapasky; Brady Sexton, Jeffrey Izo, Michael Greenwood, James Koch, Adam Paich, John Stanz, Peter Mrvos, Michael Antecki, Matthew Ross, Steven Marrocco, Dane Gaynor. These soldiers are remembered at the Proskomedia at every Divine Liturgy. (Service of Preparation) before every Divine Liturgy. If you have names to contribute to this list of servicemen serving overseas, please share them with Father.
SUNDAY, March 22 through SUNDAY, March 29, 2015.
Sunday Divine Liturgy and Church School 10 AM; Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of St. John of the Ladder. Parastos for Nevenka (Nina) Malinowski
Pan Orthodox Vespers at St. George (Lewiston) 5 PM.
Monday Tammies & Dancers 6 PM;
Friday Fish Fry 4 to 7 PM; HOLY WEEK CHOIR REHEARSAL WILL BE HELD
Saturday Vespers & Confession 6 PM (Fr. Stephen will be serving and hearing confessions)
Sunday Divine Liturgy and Church School 10 AM; Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt.
SIGN UP FOR ROASTED LAMB, WHICH IS AGAIN BEING SPONSORED BY OUR TAMMIES AND DANCERS PTO. JOIN IN THIS DELICIOUS PASCHAL TRADITION AND SUPPORT THE TAMMIES AT THE SAME TIME!
ST. PANTELEIMON COMMITTEE
Pray for the health of all our ailing brothers and
Litany of Fervent Supplication: Paula Darmstedter; Father Rastko (Home); Popadija Nancy Hutnyan; Fr. Joseph Cervo; Archmandrite Roman Braga (MI); Metodije Damljanovic; Irene Fruhauf; Theodora Pappas; Branka Sciuk; Georgene Stevanoff (OLV); Rick Zivic; Elizabeth Korbut; Martha Masich Olka; Martin Darmstedter; Mother Ana; Ilinka Tomic; Rebecca Todd; Alexandra Lapchuk (NJ); Boranka Kajtaz (Banjaluka); Andrew Wojtaszczyk; Sam Poznanovich; Mary Ann Tomich (PA); Dan & Marilyn Wilson; Lauren Tasseff; Leisa Wheeler; Katie Repaski; Andrea Simich; Caroline Magaris; Paul Just; Kosa Opacic; Danica Opacic; Janice LeGresley; Eugenia Babitsch; Christine Schulz; Angeline Pappas; Zora Palavestra; Stephanie Frauer; Mildred Kokanovich; Brady Mclaughlin (FL); John Schmitz; Spencer Calos; Kristin Engelhart; James Kovacevic (PA); Scott & Maxine Smatlak (PA); Carly Serra; Conrad & Mary Jean Toepfer; Linda Moran (MN); Olga Tracy (TX); (Ca); Dragan Reznicak (W.VA); Martha Pavlakis; Stojan Kosovac (Hamilton); Anna Tonarely (FL);.
Proskomedia: Deacon Mark Hoeplinger; Helen Biggs; Jovana Marjanovic; Fr. Christopher Rocknage; Milenko Zdjelar; Erika Tiem (Germany); Carl Heinz Blashke (Germany); Dusan Curuvija; Popadija Tamara Spasojevic Natalie Hawkins; David Preljeva; Susan McLaughlin; Doreen Szczesniak; Mirjana Pavlica; Steven Munich; James & Joann Raditic; Anna Evanoff Viruet; Svetozar Grgurevich; Tanja Trifkovic; Amanda Szczesniak; Milenko Zdjelar Sr.; Stevo Jojic; Wade (Vladimir) McFarland; Michalene Conti (FL); Annabelle Sauer; Melanie Rozwood; Milka Karlovic; Dan & Mary Stojanovich; Vladimir Popovic; Fr Laurence Lazar; Fr. John Nehrebecki; Fr Zvonimir Kotorcevic; Fr George Yatsko; Fr. Stephen Gousios; Paula Hughes; John & Joan Munich; Milan Pajic; Ljupka Palavestra; Kelly Pavich; Christine Kmitch (FL); Dan Bolam; Marcia Yunke; Katherine Lippard; Stephen Todorovich; Mile Zdjelar; Daniel Pavichevich (CA) Vladimir Jovic; Valu Tumpaloff; Nicole Dicioccio; Milka Bosilkovski; Nada Zdero; Nicholas Skirpan; Daniel Metz; Karl Stefanovich; Branko Guskic; Kathryn Frederick; ; Joseph York; Henry Darmstedter; Milan Jovic; Stevo Simic; Nancy Healy; George & Carol Kovacevic (NC); Jacqueline Fuellhart; Patricia Wilson; Maurie & James Jachimiak; Joann Panek; Vera & Mark Markoff; Darinka Nedelkov; Ramon Murphy; Matthew Barusic; Vukica Stojanovic; Milena Corhasanovic; Dale Hauser; Basil Korbut; John Stanz; Vidosava Toskovic; Miss Mary Korach (FrBakerMan); Leiselotte Siljegovic; Dragana Salom (Il); Robert Setter; Chrisante Gassett; Zarka Popovic (CA); Robert Boller; Wayne & Thomas Jousma; Marge Spano, Anthony Dipiano; Jeanette Stanley; Mary Karolewski; Marija Trbojevic (Il); Iso Bjelanovic; Dusan Samardzija; Drazen Jokanovic; Mary Parillo (MA); Wyatt & Tony Lamb; Kathy Hanny (FL); Jane Glass (Hamburg); Anname Gracer; Daniel Dicioccio; Joanne Hamilton; Christine Madej (MA); Diane & Ronald Kukavica; Miljan Vanovac; Richard Wyse; Arlene Schmitz; Peter Mitich; Dusko Vanovac; Anastasia Hiles (PA); Olga Yandrich (Pgh); Stephen Engle; Dorothy Baron (PA); Danielle Williams; Patricia Maletich (OH); Richard Carney; Vlado, Jennifer, Peter Popovich; David Donald (PA); Ljubica Jevtic; Mary Beth Buntich (NM); Fr. Srboljub Bulich (Belgrade); Fr. Herman Schick; Fr. Miladin Garich; Fr. Michael Zaparyniuk (FL); Fr. Dennis Pavichevich; Joanne Markey; Joseph Rozwood Jr; Rose Gardina; Elaine Daminski; Paula Russian (FL); Gregory Smith (DC); Dan Neary; Margaret Nigrelli; Adam Brevner (Li); Richard Lockwood; Christine Marx (IL); Arthur Reis; Vera Sredanovic (CA); Ronald Bede (OH); Mary Lou Bremmer; Helen Tanner (FrBakerMan); And any ill or hospitalized parishioners we may have missed.