Dear and Faithful Orthodox Christians,
In these final days of the Fast, as we approach the Feast of the Nativity of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, we rejoice together in all the blessings we have received from the Lord over the last twelve months as we celebrated our Ten Year Anniversary of the founding of Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral.
And what a year of blessings it has been for us! Our beloved Metropolitan Gregory, our Father and Elder Isaac, Father Bohdan, and Father Sergey all joined in the Hierarchical celebration of our Ten Year Anniversary, during Great Lent, on the Sunday of the Holy Cross on March 27. In April, our brother Justinian was baptized into the Orthodox Faith and we celebrated together with him and his extended family following the Service. In June, my dear mother Patricia was baptized, and in August, Timothy and his family, Christine and Eva, were baptized the day before the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. During the year, we also received Elias and Peter as members of our Parish and Orthodox family.
We also ensured the improvement of the Cathedral replacing the entire, very large roof, in the fall. Six of our Parishioners joined the Metropolitan on a pilgrimage to the sacred places of Georgia. On that pilgrimage, through a number of donations, we commissioned and received a beautiful enamel Icon of the “Meeting in the Temple” made according to method of medieval Georgia enamel artists. And the Cathedral was further adorned with our Bishop’s throne hand-carved in Greece and received through the generosity of a few parishioners
Our Metropolitan Gregory celebrated with us again in May for the Feast of the Translation of the relics of Saint Nicholas during which he provided to Father Anthony a number of holy relics as most sacred treasures, including a relic of the Holy Chief Apostle Saint Paul. Father Protodeacon George and Father Anthony traveled to the Mother of God Church in Calgary as our brother in the Faith, Subdeacon Antony was ordained Deacon on October 16/29. Axios, Father Deacon Antony!
And just over a week ago, Metropolitan Gregory, Father Isaac, Father Sergey, and Father Deacon Antony served at the Cathedral on Sunday and Monday December 6/19 as we honoured our holy patron on the Feast of Saint Nicholas. We were all very excited as the servant of God, Nektarios, was ordained a Reader just before the Liturgy on Monday morning. All these blessings made our Luncheon together after Liturgy, and our spiritual talk with the Metropolitan even more special.
Strengthened and encouraged by all these blessings, dear Faithful, let us all prepare now to offer our Saviour our love and gratitude at the Feast of His holy Birth. And let us call to mind this wonderful hymn of the Forefeast of the Nativity:
“Behold, the time of our salvation is at hand. Prepare, O cave; the Virgin draweth nigh to give birth. Rejoice and be glad, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, for from thee our Lord is risen up as the sun….for Christ cometh.”
Glory to God for all things!