St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 272 - March 8/March 21, 2004

Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Parish Priest - Fr. Rodney Torbic
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320

March 8/March 21, 2004
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent - St. John Climacus
No. 272

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Services This Past Week

March 14 - Thirty people came for Divine Liturgy. Three communicants.
March 15 - Two people came for First, Third and Sixth Hours at St. George Church. Five people came to Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. Two people came for Grand Compline at St. George Church.
March 16 - One person came for First, Third and Sixth Hours. One person came for Grand Compline.
March 17 - Four people came for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. One communicant. One person came for Grand Compline.
March 18 - One person came for First,Third and Sixth Hours. Four people came for Grand Compline with Canon to the Theotokos.
March 19 - Eight people came for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. Five communicants. One person came for Grand Compline and Canon for Departed.
March 20 - One person came for Matins and Akasthist for Departed. One person came for Akathist for Holy Communion and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy is held each Sunday at 10:00 AM except on Pascha when it is held earlier.
Consistent with His Grace Bishop MITROPHAN, we are holding a Parostos today for the victims in Kosovo and Metohija who lost their lives this past week.
Morning services - Monday and Saturday at 6:30 AM.
Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 AM - Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.
Thursday - Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at 8:30 AM.
Services will be held at least hourly if not more frequently throughout the day Thursday until 3:00 PM.
Afternoon services - Friday and Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

March 21 - Fourth Sunday of Great Lent-St. Nicholas Church, Monroeville, Vespers at 5:30 PM.
March 24 - Nativity of Virgin Mary Church, Clairto, First Vigil at 6:30 PM.
March 25 - Parish Retreat
March 26 - St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa, Akathist at 5:30 PM.
March 28 - St. Nicholas Church, Johnstown, Vespers at 5:30 PM..
April 4 - Entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday, Holy Resurrection Church, Steubenville, Vespers at 5:30PM.
April 7 - Holy Annunciation.
April 7 - Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh, Holy Unction at 7:00 PM.

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Please sign on the bulletin board if you plan to attend the retreat on Thursday.
Please pray for the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.
Honor the fast until the Paschal Divine Liturgy on April ll.
Four people came for Adult Class this past Thursday. Great Lent was discussed.
Thank you to Stan Brozik, Milosh "Serb" Krewasky and Mary Trbovich for making the long trip to Midland last Sunday for Vespers. It was good to see Josphine Gresko made the long trip from Carmichaels.
Protonica Romana Prodanovich well known in this parish was at the Vespers in Midland.
Pray for the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Pray for the sick, the suffering, those in prison, treatment programs and care homes.
Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast each Sunday afternoon at 12:15 on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown.

A Thought from St. Bishop NIKOLAI Velimirovic

It was Kosovo that made us a great nation. It is our national Golgotha but it is at the same time our national resurrection, spiritual and moral. Yet, the holy body of Lazar's, imbued with Heavenly power, lies whole even today curing all human inabilities. The bodies of the other knights of the cross were not lost although they remained on the battled field. Their bodies were sanctified by their holy souls and the entire land of Kosovo was dedicated by their holy bodies.
(Kosovo Revisted, 1989 )

Remember the Students at St. Sava School, Libertyville

To Consider

The Christian witness of the monks and nuns and faithful in Kosovo.
The tragic loss of life in Kosovo this week.
The immeasurable damage to hearts and souls in Kosovo this week.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

March 12 - Blessed one business establishment.
March 13 - Held Memorial Service in cemetery for parishioner.
March 14 - Travelled to Midland for Vespers.
March 15 - Travelled to Fairmont, West Virginia for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.
March 15 - Visited one parishioner in rehab in Morgantown, West Virginia.

From the Desert fathers

He (Hyperechius) also said, "Let your thoughts be ever in the kingdom of heaven and soon you will possess it as an heritage."

The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent

Mark 9:17-31
Matthew 4:25-5:12

Great multitudes followed Him-from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not. He answered him and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me." Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, 'Why could we not cast it out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.

Today we gather in the relative safety of southwestern Pennsylvania in this St. George Serbian Orthodox Church. We are here in the United States of America celebrating the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil.

We are here to worship, to pray to God and to give glory and thanksgiving to God. We come seeking comfort, direction and peace. We come to learn about God and to know God.

We come before God with repentant hearts seeking forgiveness of our sins. We are Serbian Orthodox Christians here to partake of the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the past few days, we have learned of tragedy striking once again in Kosovo and Metohija and elsewhere for the Serbian People. Serbian Orthodox Christians have come under sustained and organized attack. Serbian churches and monasteries have been set on fire or have been exposed to damage in different ways.

Serbian believers have been injured, killed, driven from their homes and living under threat of loss of life. Monastics have had to leave their place of prayer.

What kind of people would burn and attack Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries? What kind of people chase believers from their homes?

Years ago, His Eminence Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER spoke at the Most Holy Mother of God Serbian Orthodox Monastery at Shadeland . His Eminence said: "Bad people do not build churches!"

We cannot live in isolation here in southwestern Pennsylvania. We cannot forget our suffering Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Kosovo and Metohija.

We have a church here today because of the Serbian Orthodox faithful through the centuries remaining true to Christ.

We are direct beneficiaries of prayers through the centuries of martyrs and saints and faithful in Serbia and other Orthodox lands. Today, we continue to be beneficiaries of prayers originating in Kosovo and other areas of Serbia where Orthodox believers worship.

This is Great Lent. This is the time for repentance. This is the time to return to God. The value of prayer and fasting is reaffirmed in today's Gospel of St. Mark. The Beatitudes found in the Gospel of St. Matthew are once again put before us.

The Beatitudes are so important for believers that the Holy Orthodox Church has incorporated them into the Divine Liturgy that we may hear them with regularity. Peace, mercy, righteous and meekness are ingrained in the Orthodox mind and heart.

Here in southwest Pennsylvainia, we can help our suffering and threatened Serbian Orthodox Brothers and Sisters in Kosovo and Metohijia by fervent prayer and fasting. We can help by appealing to God to protect the Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries and the faithful who use them.

God is good and merciful and listens to prayers. God recognizes faithfulness. Many examples exist in the Holy Scriptures of those who pray with great fervor and are completely faithful to God.

We can look to the Holy Prophet Elijah as a primary example of one stalwart in prayer. (I Kings 18:20-40) We can look to the persistent woman who came before the Lord Jesus Christ to seek help with her daughter possessed with a demon. (Mk.7:24-30)

We can look to the complete faith of Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac in obedience to God. (Gen.1:22:1-18) God heard the prayers of Elijah. The demon possessed daughter was healed by Jesus Christ. Isaac was spared by God.

His Holiness Patriarch PAVLE went to the St. Sava Church on Vracar to serve a memorial service for those who lost their lives in this week's violence. We, too, can pray for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed this life. We can pray for the comfort and strength and healing of the families losing loved ones in this week's violence in Kosovo and Metohija.

Great Lent emphasizes prayer and fasting and alsmgiving. Let us embrace these fundament practices of Great Lent, looking to Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Heb.12:2)

Now is the time to make full use of Great Lent. Now is the time to repent and prepare with great seriousness to come to the Holy Confession and Communion. Now is the time to come before God with fervent prayers for the suffering Serbian People.

The Cross of Christ is never far from the minds of believers. The Cross of Christ is always on the minds of serious believers during Great Lent. The Cross is the sign of victory, pointing to the Resurrection of Christ.

May the Serbian People suffering today in Kosovo and Metohijia look forward with confirmed hope in the Risen Christ to celebrate the Holy Pascha in peace.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent. St. Theofilact, Confessor.
March 8/March 21, 2004

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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