St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 318 - January 24 / February 6, 2005


The Orthodox Faith


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
January 24 / February 6, 2005
Thirty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
No. 318

Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast each Sunday afternoon at 12:15 on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown.

Matthew 15:28

Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Services This Past Week

January 30 - Twenty-six people attended Divine Liturgy. Prayers were offered at the Monongahela River for those who travel, work on and benefit from the river. Samuel Joseph Pitasky, son of Joseph and Renee' Pitasky was Baptized and Chrismated.
January 31 - One person came for Midnight Office and Canons to Jesus Christ and the Mother of God at St. George Church. Two people were present at St. George Church for Matins and First Hour. Two people were present for Ninth Hour and Vespers. Six people were present at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission in Fairmont for the Divine Liturgy and remembrance of St. Sava.
February 1 - One person was present for Midnight Office and Canons to Jesus Christ and the Mother of God. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Three people were present for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 2 - One person was present for Midnight Office and Canons to Jesus Christ and the Mother of God.
February 3 - One person was present for Midnight Office and Canons to Jesus Christ and the Mother of God. In the evening Akathists to the Holy Trinity and to Jesus Christ were held. Two people were present.
February 4 - One person came for Midnight Office and Canons to Jesus Christ and the Mother of God. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people were present in the afternoon for the Akathists to the Cross and to the Holy Trinity.
February 5 - One person was present for the Midnight Office and Canons to Jesus Christ and the Mother of God. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week

Today - Divine Liturgy
Mornings - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 5:30 AM, Midnight Office, 6:30 AM - Matins and First Hour.
Divine Liturgy - Holy Trinity, Fairmont at 10:00 AM Saturday.
Afternoons - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday at 4:30 PM, Ninth Hour and Vespers.
Thursday at 6:30 PM - Two Akathists.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

February 7 - St. Gregory the Theologian
February 12 - Holy Three Hierarchs
February 14 - Forefeast of the Meeting of the Lord
February 15 - Meeting of the Lord

If you are too busy to pray...you are too busy!

Parish Life

Thank you to all parishioners participating in and supporting the St. Sava Program.
Thank you to all parishioners going to the Monongahela River for prayers and the placing of the Cross in the river.
Three people came to Adult Class on Thursday evening to discuss St. Gregory the Theologian. Class again this Thursday at 7:00 PM following the 6:30 PM service.
Today a special collection will be taken for the St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, Illinois.
Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast at 12:15 PM each Sunday on station 590AM.
Remember those who are in hospitals, care and nursing homes, rehab centers, jails and prisons.
Home blessings will continue this week.
Come to church one additional weekday service per month.
Thank you to the Kolo for baking this past week.
Read the daily Scriptures readings of the Church and learn the saints for each day.
May God give comfort and strength to the family of +Rose Zorich.

A Thought from St. Athanasius

For God is good - or rather, of all goodness He is Fountainhead, and it is impossible for one who is good to be mean or grudging about anything. Grudging existence to none therefore, He made all things out of nothing through His own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ; and of all these His earthly creatures He reserved especial mercy for the race of men. Upon them, therefore, upon men, who as animals, were essentially, impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked-namely, the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in limited degree, they might continue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise.
(St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation.. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1996, p. 28. )

Remember the Students from St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville

To Consider

The continuous need for priests in the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The importance of maintaining a School of Theology in the United States.
The large number of graduates of St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville serving as priests in the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Served at wedding of Petar and Gordana Kodic, St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa on January 22, 2005.
Visited parishioner in Beverly Health Care, Waynesburg on January 31.2005.
Visited parishioner at home on February 1, 2005.
Went to Diocesan Center, Mars on February 3, 2005.
Blessed one home on February 5, 2005.

From the Desert Fathers

A certain brother asked the abbot Pimenion saying, "What is faith?" And the old man said, "To live ever in loving kindness and in humbleness, and to do good to one's neighbour."

Thirty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost 2005

Matthew 15:21-28

Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed. But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Send her away for she cries out after us." But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, "Lord help me!" But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master's table." Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Today we come to this beautiful Serbian Orthodox Church to hear the Holy Gospel. We come to learn about God. We come to learn the ways of God. We come to learn how we can be better Serbian Orthodox Christians.

We come to experience God in the Divine Liturgy. We come to praise, worship and pray to God. We come to God with our problems and our hopes. We come to God in search of lasting peace.

We join with Orthodox Christians around the world in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. We join with Orthodox Christians through the centuries in the Divine Liturgy. We come with expectation of the glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We express our beliefs during the Divine Liturgy. We hear the Epistle and Holy Gospel. We view the precious icons. We lift up voices in prayer.

Coming to church is an act of faith. Coming to church is a profession of faith. Coming to church we nourish our faith.

Today's Gospel is about a woman of faith, a woman of great faith. Today's Gospel is about the healing of a demon-possessed daughter of a believing mother. How many parents through the centuries have turned to God in prayer? How many parents have had their prayers answered, their children healed or protected?

In these times when we are at war for the souls of our children, God can help us through prayer. In these times when we may have fears about the future, God can be reassuring.

In the book Healings of Soul and Body: Saint Basil of Ostrog we read documented healing of individuals experiencing mental illness or being possessed.1

In the book Illness and Cure of the Soul in the Orthodox Tradition, Archimandrite Hierotheos Vlachos states the "Church embraces all people with all their problems and worries, and strives to transfigure them." Archimandrite Vlachos describes the Church as a spiritual Hospital to heal spiritual illnesses.2

On file at the University of Pittsburgh is a doctoral dissertation by the Serbian Orthodox priest, Father Srboljub Bulich. In his dissertation, Father Bulich described healing associated with the Divine Liturgy.

It is important that we think further about the healing experienced through the Church. Traumas of life require attention. The Church is sufficient for people of faith. We know from the Gospel of St. Matthew, "With God all things are possible." (Mt.19:26)

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Philippians: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil.4:13)

We have the opportunity to experience Christ each day of our lives. We have the opportunity to know Christ in ways we never imagined. The Church in Her fullness offers us daily opportunities for growth.

The mother in today's Gospel turned to Christ with the words: "Lord help me." The mother's request was heard. Every prayer and every request is heard. We must be astute enough to understand the response.

Everyday we establish our relationship with God. Everyday we have the opportunity to strengthen and renew our relationship with God. Everyday we have the opportunity to find the joy and peace and understanding that come from God.

The time of each day is a gift from God. The life for each day is a gift from God. The way we chose to use each day can be an expression of appreciation to God.

St. Gregory Palamas said wisdom comes to man through effort and study. He said the Lord dwells in men in different and varied ways according to the worthiness and way of life of those who seek Him.3

The choices we make each day about God determine our course of life. The choices we make each day about God determine the degree we come to know and experience God.

The time we give to prayer each day, the time we give to reading the Holy Scriptures each day, the time we give to the work of God each day determines the kind of life we live.

Each believer has the opportunity to read the Psalms. Each believer has the opportunity to learn of the lives of the saints. Each believer has access to the Holy Gospel.

If we immerse our lives in Christ, if we are constant in seeking to learn more about Christ, our lives will reflect this rooting in Christ. The word of God lives and abides forever. (I Peter 1:23)
1Healings of Soul and Body: Saint Basil of Ostrog. Translated from Serbian by Ana Smiljanic. Svetigora, Cetinye, Serbia and Montenegro, 2003.
2Archimandrite Hierotheos Vlachos. The Illness and Cure of the Soul in the Orthodox Tradition. Translated by Effie Mavromichali. Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, Levadia, 1993, p.21
3St. Gregory Palamas. The Triads. Translated by Nicholas Gendle. Paulist Press, New York, 1983, p.83.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 24 / February 6, 2005
St. Xenia of Rome and her two female slaves

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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