Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, November 20, 2016



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 WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost:
The Holy Martyr Hieron & Thirty-three Martyrs in Melitene;
The Venerable Lazarus of Mt. Galesius


RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FIVE:
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted upon the Cross in the Flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection.

TROPARION TO THE HOLY MARTYRS OF MELITENE – TONE FOUR: Your thirty-three holy martyrs, O Lord, through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.  For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.  Through their intercessions, save our souls.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE FIVE: You descended into hell, O my Savior, shattering its gates as Almighty; resurrecting the dead as Creator, and destroying the sting of death.  You have delivered Adam from the curse, O Lover of Man, and we all cry to You: O Lord, save us!

KONTAKION TO THE HOLY MARTYRS OF MELINTENE - TONE TWO: The radiant choir of martyrs, the light-bearing company, spiritually descends to us, enlightening the Church with brilliant rays.  Therefore as we celebrate their honored memory, we ask You, our Savior: through their prayers deliver us from misfortunes so that we may sing to You, ‘Alleluia.’

HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD - TONE SIX: Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant advocate before the Creator, do not despise the cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith.  Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you! 

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 5th Tone:
You, O Lord, shall protect us and preserve us from this generation forever.
Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost: Galatians 6: 11-18
Brethren, see with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!  As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.  For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.  But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.  From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.  Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.  Amen.

The Alleluia Verses:
I will sing of Your mercies, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your truth from generation to generation.  You have said: Mercy will be established forever, and My truth will be prepared in the heavens.

GOSPEL READING

Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost: Luke 16: 19-31
The Lord told this parable: “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.  But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.  Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.  The rich man also died and was buried.  And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’  But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.  And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’  Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house – for I have five brothers – that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’  Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’  But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

From The Prologue
November 7/20 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:
The Holy Martyr Hieron and his companions

Hieron was born in Tyana in Cappadocia of a good and devout mother, Stratonika, who was blind. Hieron was a very zealous Christian and served his blind mother with great filial love. For two reasons he did not wish to join the army, and he resisted and drove off those who had been sent to take him. Hieron was loath to leave his helpless mother, and it was grievous for him even to consider that, as a soldier, he would be compelled to offer sacrifices to idols. Finally, Hieron was arrested along with other Christians, and they were all taken before the eparch of the town of Melitene. While they were still on the road, a man clad in a brilliant white garment appeared to Hieron one night and said: “Behold, Hieron, I proclaim salvation to you: you shall not wage war for an earthly king, but for the Heavenly King you will complete your struggle, and you shall soon come to Him to receive honor and glory.” At this, Hieron’s heart was filled with inexpressible joy. In Melitene they were all thrown into prison and Hieron, with great zeal, strengthened all the prisoners in the Faith, urging that not even one of them fall away, but that all willingly offer their bodies to torture and death for Christ. All but one confessed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The exception was Hieron’s kinsman Victor, who fell away from the Faith. The tormentors cut one of Hieron’s hands off, then flogged and tortured him in various ways until they beheaded him and the others. Going to the place of execution, these thirty-three martyrs chanted the Psalm: Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord (Psalms 118:1). Here we will name the honorable martyrs whose names are written with his in the Book of Life: Hesychius, Nicander, Athanasius, Mamas, Barachius, Callinicus, Theogenes, Nikon, Longinus, Theodore, Valerius, Xanthius, Theodulus, Callimachus, Eugenius, Theodochus, Ostrichius, Epiphanius, Maximian, Ducitius, Claudian, Theophilus, Gigantius, Dorotheus, Theodotus, Castrichius, Anicletus, Themilius, Eutychius, Hilarion, Diodotus and Amonitus. A man named Chrysanthus purchased Hieron’s severed head and honorably buried it, later building a church over it in the saint’s name. The martyr’s severed hand was brought to his blind mother. St. Hieron, with his companions, suffered in the year 298 and entered the glory of Christ.

The Holy Martyr Thessalonica with Auctus and Taurion
This maiden was the daughter of a pagan priest, Cleon, a rich and arrogant man. Because of her faith in Christ, her father drove her from the house and city. Two honorable citizens, Auctus and Taurion, reproached Cleon for his inhuman treatment of his daughter, and he in turn denounced them as Christians. They were bitterly tortured and beheaded for Christ. Thessalonica was then tortured and slain as well. They suffered in the Macedonian city of Amphipolis near present day Kavala. Thus, these martyrs were made worthy of the Immortal Kingdom by their honorable suffering.

The Venerable Lazarus of Galesius
A pillar of light appeared above the house where he was born. Lazarus left his village of Magnesia and went to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to the holy places. There, he was tonsured a monk in the Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified. After ten years, he settled on Mount Galesius and lived a life of asceticism on a pillar as a stylite. Lazarus was a miracle-worker both during his life and after death. Emperor Constantine Monomachus had great respect for him. Attaining old age, St. Lazarus entered into eternity toward the end of the eleventh century.

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Holy Martyr Hieron and his companions
Prisons are peculiar palaces!
In prison, St. Hieron spoke:
“O my brethren, thirty companions,
Hold to God’s word,
To God’s word and His law.

Behold, from time immemorial, the serpent has risen up,
Seeking to ensnare you with a glance,
So that, one by one, you would follow it to hell.

Do not succumb, brethren, true believers,
Oh, hearken to humble Hieron!

Whatever the serpent promises you
Is as fleeting as the green grass.

Courageously endure your sufferings:
Do not trade the eternal for the temporal;
Today or tomorrow, death will arrive,
Then all must go to the judgment of God.

Blessed is he who is not ashamed
When he sees his Judge before him.

Even more so is he who can show the Judge
The blood he has shed for Him,
And the wounds he bears for His name.

Such a one will reign eternally with Him.”

REFLECTION

There are decisive moments in life upon which a man’s eternal life or eternal death depend. We do not know when this decisive moment will come for us—perhaps today—and because of this we must be unceasingly vigilant. Victor, a kinsman of St. Hieron, was arrested with him. On the day before their torture, Victor, in terror of the impending tortures, went to the prison warden and begged him to take his name off the list of the condemned and release him, promising to give him his land. The warden removed his name and released him. However, upon returning home, Victor died of natural causes in the same moment that St. Hieron and his companions died in torments for Christ. Thus Victor vainly missed the decisive moment: he lost his land, his friends and both his earthly and heavenly life. In that same decisive moment, Hieron gained all. No one vied for Victor’s body, while many vied for Hieron’s body. When Christians sought the head of Hieron from the eparch, he asked as much gold for it as it weighed. Chrysanthus, a wealthy and devout man, paid that much gold for the martyr’s honorable head. Anthony and Matronian hid one of St. Hieron’s severed hands and brought it to Hieron’s mother, the blind Stratonika. She took her son’s hand and wept bitterly: “O my beloved son, I gave birth to you whole, and now I have only one part of you!”

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the malignant power of an evil spirit over those who serve him (Acts 19):

1. How seven Jews tried to imitate Paul in driving out spirits from possessed people, attempting this for their own gain;

2. How the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

3. How the man with the evil spirit leaped on them and overwhelmed them.

HOMILY
on the dark paths of mankind before and apart from Christ

… in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).

This is all one and the same path—the path to destruction. According to the course of this world means inclination toward sinfulness; according to the prince of the power of the air means according to the will of those chiefs of the demons who inhabit the air; in the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience means that in the same way that the opponents and adversaries of God now live, all men lived before the advent of Christ, including those to whom the Apostle writes the epistle. What is this power of the air, brethren? This is the order of evil spirits who exist in constant movement in the air. They make the air lethal and they impede the souls of the departed as they make their way to heaven. They deceive the spirit of man to work every evil; they tempt it with every sin. Yet, they do not command the spirit to sin, for they lack the power to do that; they can only tempt and corrupt. They acted more strongly and directly on the pagans than on the Israelites. They fell upon the pagans as a swarm of flies on a carcass, but the Israelites they watched from a distance, corrupting and tempting them more subtlely. They stood at a distance from Israel because of the name of God, which was preserved and spoken among the Israelites. The Lord Jesus Christ scattered them all and plucked out their poisonous stings, so that they remained only as empty phantoms, as miserable, inconstant shadows that vanish instantly at the mention of the name of Christ or at the tracing of the sign of Christ’s Cross.

O Lord Jesus, our Commander and Deliverer, help us to live in Thy freedom.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


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DIARY OF THE COUNCIL:Reflections from the Holy and Great Council at the Orthodox Academy in Crete,June 17-26, 2016. (In Serbian and English) by Bishop Maxim. 

Bishop Maxim has bequeathed to posterity an eyewitness record of the Great and Holy Council of Crete, 2016, the first synodal gathering of hierarchs from all churches in centuries. Ever mindful of the charismatic event of the Council, appropriately timed to begin with Pentecost, he reflects theologically, philosophically, personally, and even poetically on this historic event. 

128 pages, soft bound, published in 2016 • price $15

ORDER TODAY!

Serbian Version English Version

 

let there be light sm

A book for Children! 
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Covek zajednice u Hristu

Човек заједнице у Христу
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MANY ONGOING MINISTRIES...


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Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, November 13, 2016



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Website | Calendar | Sebastian Press Bookstore | Blog | Podcasts

eserbia   holyicon.org


WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost: The Holy Apostles Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Aristobulus, & Companions

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FOUR: 
When the women disciples of the Lord learned from the angel the joyous message of Thy Resurrection; they cast away the ancestral curse and elatedly told the apostles: Death is overthrown! Christ God is Risen, granting the world great mercy.

TROPARION TO HOLY APOSTLES STACHYS, AMPLIAS, URBAN, ARISTOBULUS & COMPANIONS - TONE THREE: 
Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles, and Aristobulus, entreat the merciful God to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE FOUR:
My Savior and my Redeemer as God rose from the tomb and delivered the earthborn from their chains. And He has shattered the gates of hell, and as Master, He has risen on the third day!

KONTAKHOLY APOSTLES STACHYS, AMPLIAS, URBAN, ARISTOBULUS & COMPANIONS - TONE EIGHT: Let us thankfully praise the wise Apostles Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles, and Aristobulus, those treasures of the Holy Spirit and rays of the Sun of glory, who were gathered together by the grace of our God.

HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD - TONE SIX: Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant advocate before the Creator, do not despise the cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith.  Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you!

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 4th Tone:
O Lord, how manifold are Your works!  In wisdom You have made them all.

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost: Galatians 2: 16-20
Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.  But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin?  Certainly not!  For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.  For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

The Alleluia Verses:
Go forth and prosper and reign, because of truth and meekness and righteousness.  You love righteousness and hate iniquity.

GOSPEL READING

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost: Luke 8: 5-15  
The Lord told this parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed.  And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.  Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.  But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.”  When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”  Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”  And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.  Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.  But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.  Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”

From The Prologue

October 31/November 13 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Holy Apostles Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles and Aristobulus

They were all of the Seventy. Stachys was an assistant to St. Andrew the First-called. St. Andrew appointed him Bishop of Byzantium. He established the church in Argyropolis and governed his flock faithfully and zealously. After sixteen years as bishop, he entered peacefully into rest in the Lord. Amplias and Urban worked likewise with St. Andrew, and were ordained bishops by him—Amplias in Lydda of Odyssopolis in Judea, and Urban in Macedonia. Both died as martyrs for Christ the Lord. Narcissus was appointed Bishop of Athens by the Apostle Philip. St. Apelles was Bishop of Heraclea in Trachis. Aristobulus, brother of the Apostle Barnabas, preached the Christian Faith in Britain and reposed peacefully there.

The Holy Martyr Epimachus

He was born in Egypt and labored there in asceticism, ending his earthly life as a martyr. Imitating St. John the Baptist, he withdrew to the wilderness while still a youth. Because of his great love for God, the Spirit of God led him to every truth and, with no other teacher, taught him how to live a life of asceticism. Then, Epimachus learned that the unbelievers were torturing and killing Christians in Alexandria for the sake of Christ. All aflame with zeal for the Faith, he went to the city and smashed the idols. When the pagans tortured him for this, he cried out: “Smite me, spit on me, put a crown of thorns on my head, put a reed in my hand, give me gall to drink, crucify me on a cross, and pierce me with a spear! This is what my Lord endured, and I too want to endure it.” In the crowd of people who witnessed the torturing of St. Epimachus, there was a woman who was blind in one eye. She wept bitterly, watching the heartless torture of this God-pleaser. When the tormentors scraped the body of the holy martyr of Christ, blood spurted from him, and one drop of blood touched the blind eye of that woman. Suddenly, her blind eye regained vision, and was as whole as the other. Then she cried out: “Great is the God in whom this sufferer believes!” After this they beheaded St. Epimachus and his soul took up habitation in eternal joy, in about the year 250.

The Holy Martyr Nicholas of Chios

Nicholas was a pious youth and a great zealot for the Christian Faith. He was born in the village of Karyes on the island of Chios, where he was tortured and beheaded by the Turks in the year 1754, and gave his righteous soul to God.

The Venerable Spyridon and Nicodemus

They were monks and prosphora-bakers in the Monastery of the Kiev Caves. Though illiterate, Spyridon knew the entire Psalter by heart and worked many miracles during his lifetime. He entered into rest in the year 1148.

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Holy Martyr Epimachus

Epimachus, the saint of God,
Felt no fear in his heart,
Either of men or of devils,
And even less of dead idols.

Epimachus rejoiced in his torture;
With his smile he whipped the judge.

His body in torment, his mind in heaven,
Epimachus was adorned with wounds.

He wanted to suffer like Christ,
To stand as a martyr before Christ—
And what he desired, God gave him,
And endowed him with wondrous power
To heal the infirmities of the people,
And to gladden men with grace.

A knight of Christ with the sign of the Cross,
A precious stone among precious stones,
Epimachus shines like a star—
A soul such as only Christ can raise.

O Epimachus, wondrous martyr
And glorious prisoner of the true Faith:
Defend us from evil by your prayers,
And protect the Church of God unto the end.

REFLECTION

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me, said the Lord (Matthew 10:38). The holy and venerable Martyr Timothy of Esphigmenou (October 29) was at first a married man and had two daughters. Later, as a monk, he decided to suffer for the sake of Christ. Already prepared for the path of suffering, he begged the abbot for a blessing to stop by his village of Kessana to say farewell to his daughters. The abbot would not allow him to do that out of fear that a meeting with his two daughters would soften him, and turn him away from martyrdom for the Faith. But Kessana lay on the road to Propontis, where Timothy was headed. When he got to his village, he met a former neighbor, conversed with him and gave him a farewell message for his daughters. In vain, the neighbor begged him to stay and see his daughters, and rest. Timothy went hurriedly on his way. The daughters heard about their father from the neighbor and ran to see him. And now was seen a rare and majestic sight. The daughters raced to overtake and embrace their father, while the father fled from his daughters, so as not to transgress the command of his abbot. The daughters ran quickly but their father ran even faster. The daughters hurried to embrace their father, and Timothy, fleeing from them, hurried to embrace death. The daughters became weary and turned back in despair, and their father disappeared. Before his death Timothy begged his spiritual father, Germanus, to stop by his village and inform his daughters of his end by martyrdom. The Turks then beheaded Timothy and threw his body into a river. Germanus succeeded in retrieving just one garment from the martyr. He brought it to Kessana, found Timothy’s daughters and related their father’s heroic death to them, and showed them his garment.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the miraculous guidance of the apostles by the Holy Spirit (Acts 16):

1. How Paul and Silas wanted to go from Mysia to Bithynia;

2. How the Spirit would not allow it;

3. How, in a vision at midnight, a Macedonian man appeared to Paul and summoned him to come to Macedonia.

HOMILY
on the certainty of the righteous one that he shall not die

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 117:17).

Who can say: I shall not die? He who cleaves to the Living Lord. Who can confirm with confidence: but [I shall] live? He who sees the Living Lord before him. Enoch and Elias did not die, but were taken into eternal life. The Lord took them in His mercy, and as proof to mankind of immortal life. Jesus Christ the Lord died and resurrected in accordance with His power, and as proof to mankind of the resurrection from the dead. The apostles and saints were slain, but many of them appeared from the other world in their love for mankind, and as proof to mankind of eternal life. Thus, those who were taken up to heaven in the flesh and those whose bodies reposed, live with the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ in the Immortal Kingdom. I shall not die, but live, said King David with great certainty, even though he lived on earth before the Resurrection of the Lord, and before the announcement of the General Resurrection of the righteous. With still more certainty, each of us Christians must speak this too: I shall not die, but live, for the resurrected Lord is the foundation of our Faith, and our eyes have seen and our ears have heard more—much more—than the eyes and ears of King David. After the Cross of Christ, the devil became as smoke; and after His Resurrection, death became like a mere fog through which one passes to the sunlit field of immortality. Blessed is he, brethren, who becomes worthy to live, and declare the works of the Lord.

O Living Lord, enliven us and save us.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


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NEWEST PUBLICATIONS


diary of the council

DIARY OF THE COUNCIL:Reflections from the Holy and Great Council at the Orthodox Academy in Crete,June 17-26, 2016. (In Serbian and English) by Bishop Maxim. 

Bishop Maxim has bequeathed to posterity an eyewitness record of the Great and Holy Council of Crete, 2016, the first synodal gathering of hierarchs from all churches in centuries. Ever mindful of the charismatic event of the Council, appropriately timed to begin with Pentecost, he reflects theologically, philosophically, personally, and even poetically on this historic event. 

128 pages, soft bound, published in 2016 • price $15

ORDER TODAY!

Serbian Version English Version

 

let there be light sm

A book for Children! 
Order Today!


Covek zajednice u Hristu

Човек заједнице у Христу
"Participation in God" in the Theological Anthropology of St Gregory Nazianzen and St Maximus the Confessor
by His Grace Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic

Read More...

sts mardarije sebastian

Read More...

serbian americans
Read More...

no faith
Read More...


synaxarion flyer

Read More...

festive fast

Read More...

the forgotten mystery korica

The Forgotten Mystery: The Ecclesial Consequences of Holy Chrismation
Read More...


Also on Kindle 
at Amazon:

Our Newest Addition

 No Faith is More Beautiful
than the Christian Faith

The Art of Seeing

The Thunderbolt
of Ever-Living Fire

The Presence of Transcendence: Essays on Facing the Other through Holiness, History, and Text

Man and the God-Man

The Meaning of Reality

The One and the Many

The Prologue of Ohrid

Treasures New and Old

History, Truth, Holiness

 

 

 ....................................................................


 HELP SUPPORT
THE WESTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE AND THE
MANY ONGOING MINISTRIES...


Pay with Paypay or Credit Card

download

Or you may ..

Mail your Contribution to: 
Western American Diocese
1621 West Garvey Avenue, Alhambra, CA 91803

 

malibu-stamatis
THE DYNAMIC EARTH
Stamatis Skliris’ Vision of the Past, Present, and Future of American Natural Treasures

http://holyicon.org/shop

VIEW CATALOGUE
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