The Holy Fire from the Lord's Tomb in Jerusalem was brought to St Herman's and burns on our altar and on our "Golgotha" Table.
[We are now live-streaming the Divine Liturgy every Sunday morning.]
WITH JOY, we baptized Cyprian Wesche yesterday morning, and in the grace and power of the Savior’s Holy Spirit, we raised him from death to life as a child of God!
TODAY IS THE FIFTIETH Anniversary of the Glorification of our patron saint, Herman of Alaska and all America. St Herman is the first canonized saint of the Americas. He was canonized by the, at that time, newly autocephalous Orthodox Church in America. This morning, we are singing Alaskan melodies. The Beatitudes were arranged by our own Peter Tabeling.
THE DORMITION FAST concludes this Saturday with the Feast of the Holy Dormition of our Beloved Lady Theotokos. We serve Vigil with Litya for the Feast on Friday evening, Aug 14, at 630 pm.
WE BLESS FLOWERS on the Feast of Dormition. Bring flowers to the Vigil this Friday evening, Aug 14, to be blessed.
OUR CHARITY for this second quarter is Holy Dormition Monastery. Supporting Holy Dormition with our monetary gifts is one way we keep ourselves connected to the monastery, which is very important for a parish’s spiritual health. Our charity for last quarter was ZOE, an Orthodox ministry to unwed mothers. Our donation to ZOE, according to an updated treasurer’s report was $725. Thank you for your generosity!
PARISH COUNCIL pushed its meeting back to this Monday at 7 pm.
REVIEW OF NAMES DRAWN FOR THIS SUNDAY, August 9:
Corinne & Paul
Dan Faust (& Rachel)
Tim & Thecla
NAMES FOR NEXT SUNDAY, (Aug 16)
Kristin Oscarson (& guest)
Let Fr Paul know when you’re ready to be added to the rotation, or if you need to be taken off, or if you think you’re being overlooked!
Today, August 9, Orthodox Christians throughout the world celebrate the God-pleasing saint, Herman of Alaska. Orthodox Christians celebrate his memory, marvel at his great asceticism, and adore his humble and pious demeanor. These are appropriate reactions when thinking about St. Herman. However, for those Orthodox Christians in North America, it is much more personal.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the canonization of our holy missionary, St Herman. He was the first to bring Orthodoxy to this part of the world. In 1793, St. Herman began to plant the seeds of the gospel in the New World. They would grow and yield spiritual treasure with such abundance that Orthodox Christians in this land are still reaping its harvest.
Who would question this plan from God to send us Father Herman? Our Almighty Father could have sent great delegations, hierarchs, pious rulers, envoys of theological minds and teachers; but, he sent us a humble delegation of monks from Valaam Monastery carrying our beloved saint.
How appropriate, how fitting it is that Fr. Herman is the first to bring us the Faith of Christ and the Apostles! Through his simple and God-pleasing life, he provided us in North America with the spiritual map for living our life so that we draw near to the Immortal King.
St. Herman did not conquer America by great acts, institutions or intellect. He captured the attention of divine Grace with his humility. He was in a foreign land surrounded by strangers who did not know God; yet, he made them his family by his kindness filled with the compassion of Christ. He was overwhelmed by uncertainty. But, he showed us that through prayer and steadfastness, the Lord will hear us and provide for our needs. He had little to no possessions, but through his tireless labor, he provided shelter and food for himself and others. He did not have the pleasure of hearing the bells of the Lavra, or entering the beautiful cathedral of his beloved Valaam. But, by his purity, he entered into the very presence of the Holy Trinity, the Mother of God, and the saints.
So many examples of Fr. Herman’s legacy have been left for his children in North America! His life makes visible the path on which we find ourselves in the New World: small, humble, lonely. We are overwhelmed by the challenges surrounding us in a world that has forgotten God, and shows little interest in seeking Him; and yet, we are shown the impact that can be left by living simply and staying true to the gospel and cultivating the love of Christ for our neighbor.
Fifty years ago, at the canonization of St Herman, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America proclaimed: “We believe that it was the will of God to reveal to us on this continent, and in this country, the Spiritual Father Herman as a sublime example of the Holy Life, for our spiritual benefit, inspiration, comfort and the confirmation of our Faith.
Therefore, we the Bishops of the local Orthodox Church of America, the beginning of which was laid in Alaska, have decided by the manifest will of the Holy Spirit, and our Archpastoral action, to canonize the Spiritual Father Herman of Alaska of blessed memory, and to enter his name in the catalog of Saints of our local Church in America.”
One feels the joy of Pascha in this proclamation. There is a special intimacy one feels with Father Herman in his canonization effected by the newly autocephalous Orthodox Church in America. St. Herman dug his very hands in the soil of North America while his prayers ascended into the heavens. He walked through the great Spruce trees of Alaska; he endured its harsh and turbulent weather, and he remained obedient to God’s will.
Orthodox Christians throughout the world venerate and call on the name of St. Herman for help; but for us struggling to live the Orthodox life in the New World, he is our great pillar and intercessor. He is our father, the North Star guiding us to the bosom of our Heavenly Father.
Fr Alexander Koranda, Rector, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago