Monday, September 03, 2012

Annual Picnic and Bishop Visit

Holy Transfiguration Mission Parish was blessed by a visit from His Eminence Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim, Metropolitan for the Eastern US Diocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church, during the time of the annual picnic. 

> Please scroll down for all five picture collages. Photos by MM, CRP and JBP.<

His Eminence spoke at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Madison, on Saturday night. First, he offered memorial prayer for His Holiness Abune Paulos of the Ethiopian Church who passed on August 16.  His Eminence then  spoke about the Orthodox Church in Syria, telling of the Belt of St. Mary and other relics of St. Thomas the Apostle that were kept at the Syrian Church in Homs.  They have been moved to safety due to the violence there. He reported his own family is safe in a town near the border with Turkey. H.E. did a great job of weaving together current events, our particular church tradition, and the current events of contemporary Syria.  Afterwards we had a short coffee hour.  Many thanks to Father Micheal Vanderhoef of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church for his hospitality and kindnesses. (continued below)

HE Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim spoke at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (Saturday, Aug. 18)
and at Holy Transfiguration Mission (Sunday, Aug. 19)

His Eminence attended Qurbana (Qurbono) at the mission chapel on Sunday. He was encouraging in comments about the mission and spoke further about St. Mary.  His Eminence said that Holy Transfiguration Misson "successfully blends and includes multiple cultural influences and elements (i.e. Indian, Ethiopian, etc.) into its worship/liturgy service, which makes for a truly unique experience."  He also congratulated the mission for "warmly embracing a diverse group of worshippers who may have come from different religious or spiritual backgrounds before coming to the Orthodox faith." (continued below)

HE Mor Cyril received a token of affection for his visit from Fr. John Brian at Sunday services.  

He also spoke about the importance of humility and the powerful and special role of the Virgin Mary as intercessor. At the end of the archbishop's remarks, Fr. John Brian presented him with a panagia, a large pendant of St Mary, as a token of affection and appreciation.  (continued below)

Everyone received HE Mor Cyril's blessing before going to the park for picnic.
One visitor wrote: "... I found the service, possibly the whole weekend intensely moving.  part of this may be how seriously your group takes Christianity... your (Sunday) service makes many Protestant services seem worldly. In fact, Protestants don't take their Christianity seriously by comparison." (continued below)  
Procession from chapel to the park with Ethiopian song, drum and bells for the Trinity.
A member wrote: "Our procession to the park worked well and was delighted that a group of people arranged to sing traditional church songs accompanied by the drum. The food was wonderful and plentiful--a heartfelt thanks to all those who prepared it--despite two large baskets of fruit that went missing between the beginning of Holy Quarbana and the procession to the park. ... In the end, before he took leave of us, he thanked us for our hospitality."  (continued below)

HE Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim blessed the fruit at the picnic.

HE Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim wrote: "Thank you Fr. John for the hospitality I received from you and from the members of the congregation. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with you. † Hasio"

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for  us!
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church - Photo by JBP

  • Holy Transfiguration Publications: books by Fr John Brian

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