Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, February 26, 2017



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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday of Forgiveness (Cheese-fare); The Venerable Simeon
the Myrrh-flowing (Stefan Nemanja)

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE THREE:
Let the heavens rejoice!  Let the earth be glad!  For the Lord has shown strength with His arm!  He has trampled down death by death!  He has become the firstborn of the dead!  He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted to the world great mercy!

TROPARION TO VENERABLE SIMEON THE MYRRH-FLOWING (STEFAN NEMANJA) - TONE THREE:
Having been illumined with divine grace you have shone, even after death, with the light of your life, by issuing sweet-scented myrrh from your relics for those who hasten to your tomb.  You have led your people to the light of the knowledge of God, O our father Simeon.  Pray to Christ our God that He may grant us His great mercy. 

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE THREE:
On this day You rose from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the gates of death.  On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices; with the prophets and the patriarchs they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Your power!

SUNDAY OF FORGIVENESS KONTAKION - TONE SIX: 
Teacher of wisdom, Bestower of reason, Instructor of the foolish and Protector of the poor; strengthen and enlighten my heart, O Master.  You have given me words, O Word of the Father, and behold, I will not restrain my lips from crying to You: ‘O Merciful One, have mercy on me who am fallen.’

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 8th Tone:
Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God.

Sunday of Forgiveness: Romans 13: 11 – 14: 4
Brethren, do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand.  Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.  Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.  For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.  Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.  Who are you to judge another’s servant?  To his own master he stands or falls.  Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

The Alleluia Verses:
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your mercy in the morning, and Your faithfulness by night.

GOSPEL READING

Sunday of Forgiveness: Matthew 6: 14-21
Jesus said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance.  For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

From The Prologue
February 13/26 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Venerable Simeon the Myrrh-gusher
Stefan Nemanja, the great ruler of the Serbian people, consolidator of the Serbian lands, creator of the independent Serbian state, defender of Orthodoxy and eradicator of heresy, was first baptized in the Latin Church, but later he left it and entered the Orthodox Church. In the beginning he was dependent on the Greeks with regard to the state, but later he freed himself from this dependence and became completely autonomous. After Stefan had strengthened the state and the Orthodox Faith within the state, he followed the example of his son Sava. He received the monastic tonsure in Studenica Monastery in the year 1195, receiving the name Simeon. His wife Anna withdrew to a women’s monastery, embraced the monastic tonsure and received the name Anastasija. After two years as a monk in Studenica, Simeon traveled to Athos, the Holy Mountain. There he took up residence in the Monastery of Vatopedi together with his son Sava. Father and son spent their days and nights in prayer. There they built six chapels: to the Savior, the Unmercenary Saints, St. George, St. Theodore, St. John the Forerunner and St. Nicholas. They purchased the ruins of Hilandar and erected a glorious monastery, in which Simeon lived only eight months and then died. When Simeon was on his deathbed, Sava, according to his father’s wishes, placed him on a simple mat. With eyes directed toward the icon of the Mother of God with the Savior, the blessed elder spoke these last words, Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6), and took up his habitation with the Lord, on February 13, 1200.

The Venerable Martinian
The glorious and most wonderful life of Martinian is worthwhile to read in its entirety. What did he not endure just to fulfill the commandments of the Lord? At age eighteen, Martinian retreated to a mountain in Cappadocia called the Place of the Ark, where he lived for twenty-five years in fasting, vigils and prayer, struggling with many temptations. When a woman came to tempt him, Martinian, perceiving that he would succumb to sin with her, leapt into the fire barefoot and remained in the fire until the pain brought tears to his eyes and subdued all lust within himself. When another temptation erupted, Martinian fled to an isolated rock in the sea and lived there. Following a shipwreck, a young woman swam to this rock. Martinian jumped into the sea to avoid any further temptation, but a dolphin rescued him on its back and by God’s providence brought him to shore. Martinian then decided never to make any place his permanent home but to continually travel. In two years, Martinian passed through 164 towns, correcting and counseling the people. He finally reached Athens, where he reposed in the year 422.

Saints Zoe and Photina
At first Zoe was a prostitute and a temptress of St. Martinian. When she saw this ascetic leap into the fire to subdue all lust in himself, she bitterly repented. Zoe retreated to a convent in Bethlehem, where, as a faster and recluse, she heroically lived a life of asceticism. Repenting of all her sins, she received from God the gift of working miracles. St. Photina was cast by the winds of the sea onto the island where St. Martinian had isolated himself. Martinian immediately fled the island, and Photina remained there in fasting and prayer until her death.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Zoe

Zoe looked at the monk in the fire with horror,
How he burned with neither complaint, nor fear, nor sighing!

With horror and with shame, Zoe repented:
“Oh, what this man does, just to save his soul!”

Bowing and begging forgiveness, she began to weep,
Asking how to resist evil,
To save the soul, and resist evil in the flesh.

The man of God, he too began to weep for joy.

To Bethlehem, to the blessed Paula he sent her:
“Depart woman, save yourself. Go and do not perish,
Blessed Paula will tell you everything else.”

Completely humbled, Zoe departed over the turquoise sea;
Paula received her like a little sister, and instructed her.

Zoe cried, Zoe listened, endured and remained silent.

So twelve summers passed, twelve years.

Sister Zoe became known as an ascetic.

She washed her face with tears, and before her death she asked God—
Has God forgiven her? Has He or has He not?

At that moment a blind woman was led before Zoe’s door:
“Pray that I might see—pray, pray!”

In tears Zoe prayed, and the woman received her sight.

Thus did Zoe know that she was forgiven.

God is glorified through sinners when they repent;
Then, through their miracles on earth, they shine like the stars.

REFLECTION
The great Stefan Nemanja—whose authoritative words were unconditionally heeded by everyone, and who caused people and emperors to tremble—became a monk and served the monks of the Holy Mountain as an ideal example of meekness, humility, goodness and piety. Even his death was the death of a truly godly man and spiritual director. He became bedridden on February 7. He summoned St. Sava, placed his hands on him, and blessed him, saying: “My beloved child, light of my eyes, comfort and protector in my old age! Behold, the time of our separation has arrived. Behold, the Lord is releasing me in peace. But you, my child, do not mourn because of our separation. For parting is the common cup of each and all; here we part from one another, but we will meet there, where there is no separation.” On February 12, St. Simeon asked Sava to clothe him in a burial cassock, to spread a mat on the ground, lay him there and place a stone under his head. He then summoned all the monks and asked their forgiveness. At dawn on February 13, the voices of the monks chanting Matins reached the cell of the dying one. Once more St. Simeon’s face beamed, and he gave up his soul to his God.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God:

1. As the Lamb born in the dwelling place of lambs;
2. As the Lamb persecuted by men of wolflike temper, such as Herod and others;
3. As the Sacrificial Lamb, Who patiently endured pain and death;
4. As the Victorious Lamb of God on the heavenly throne.

HOMILY
on the love above every other love

He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me (Matthew 10:37).

The entire Gospel teaches that we should leave the lesser for the sake of the greater, the transient for the enduring, the worst for the best, the less valuable for the more valuable. If the Good News did not promise greater worth, who would leave the lesser? If the Gospel did not reveal the splendor of precious goods, who would leave the cheaper goods? Who would leave milk and honey if he did not find something sweeter? Who would leave father and mother if he did not find someone closer in kinship? Who would leave children and friends if he did not recognize someone more dear? Who would willingly give his life over to suffering and death if he did not perceive immortal life? The Lord Christ is sweeter than milk and honey; He is a closer kinsman to us than our father and mother; more dear to us than our own children and friends; more precious than all visible treasures; more costly than this life, for He gives life eternal. Compared to Him, everything in the world is inferior, trivial, bitter, weak, cheap and transitory. To whoever receives Him, it is easy to leave everything, because he has received the best and Him Who is the very best.

O Lord Jesus, Treasury of all eternal riches, help us to unbind ourselves from everything and to cling to Thee, our Good and our Life.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

 


+++ DIOCESAN NEWS +++

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Jackson Retreat 2017 2

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MANY ONGOING MINISTRIES...


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S
;SAINT SYLVESTER,BISHOP OF ROME
 
 

Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, February 19, 2017



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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meat-fare); Saint Bucolus, Bishop of Smyrna; Saint Photius,
Patriarch of Constantinople

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE TWO:
When Thou didst descend to death, O Life Immortal, Thou didst slay hell with the splendor of Thy Godhead! And when from the depths Thou didst raise the dead, all the powers of heaven cried out: O Giver of Life! Christ our God! Glory to Thee!

TROPARION TO SAINT BUCOLUS - TONE FOUR: 
You shone with the rays of virtue received from him who leaned on the Master’s breast.  Resplendent, God-inspired hierarch, you led your flock to the pastures of truth.  Entreat Christ our God for those who honor you, father Bucolus.

TROPARION TO SAINT PHOTIUS - TONE FOUR:
Follower of the Apostles’ way and teacher of mankind: intercede, O Photius, with the Lord of all, to grant peace to the world, and to our souls great mercy.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE TWO:
Hell became afraid, O Almighty Savior, seeing the miracle of Thy Resurrection from the tomb!  The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with Thee! And the world, O my Savior, praises Thee forever.

KONTAKION TO SAINT BUCOLUS - TONE TWO:
He who was beloved of Christ saw the purity of your life; he made you a shepherd of the Church and a radiant lamp of godliness.  Holy father Bucolus, you truly emulated his virtues.

SUNDAY OF THE LAST JUDGMENT KONTAKION - TONE ONE:  When Thou, O God, shall come to earth with glory, all things shall tremble and the river of fire shall flow before Thy judgment seat; the books shall be opened and the hidden things disclosed.  Deliver me then from the unquenchable fire and make me worthy to stand at Thy right hand, O Righteous Judge.

EPISTLE READING


The Prokimenon in the 3rd Tone:
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.

Sunday of the Last Judgment: 1 Corinthians 8:8–9:2 
Brethren, food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.  But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.  For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?  And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?  But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.  Am I not an apostle?  Am I not free?  Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?  Are you not my work in the Lord?  If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you.  For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

The Alleluia Verses:
Come let us rejoice in the Lord!  Let us make a joyful noise to God our Savior!  Let us come before His face with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with psalms!

GOSPEL READING

Sunday of the Last Judgment: Matthew 25: 31-46
Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry, and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’.  Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me’.  Then they will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me’.  And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

From The Prologue
February 6/19 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

Saint Bucolus, Bishop of Smyrna
Bucolus was a disciple of St. John the Theologian, who consecrated him Bishop of Smyrna. In Smyrna there were few that were baptized. In the darkness of paganism, St. Bucolus shone as a bright candle. He distinguished himself with every virtue, especially meekness and humility. Before his death, Bucolus consecrated the glorious Polycarp as his successor to the episcopacy. He died peacefully and took up his habitation with the Lord.

The Holy Martyr Fausta
Fausta was martyred for Christ during the reign of Emperor Maximian (305–311). By her heroism, Fausta astonished her persecutors and succeeded in converting two of them to Christianity: the eighty-year-old pagan priest Evilasius and the Eparch Maximus. When the judge threatened Fausta with more severe tortures, she asked him to make her a picture depicting all those tortures with which he threatened her. When the picture was completed, it was shown to her. St. Fausta said: “As this picture feels no pain, so my body feels no pain from your punishments, for my soul is secure in the Lord.” The judge then threw her into a vat of boiling hot water, where this thirteen-year-old girl died with prayer on her lips, and her soul entered Paradise.

The Holy Martyr Dorothea
Dorothea was a prominent and beautiful maiden from Caesarea in Cappadocia. Sapricius, the administrator of the province, turned Dorothea over to the two pagan sisters, Christina and Kallista, in order to turn her from Christ. But the opposite occurred: Dorothea succeeded in converting both sisters to the Christian Faith. Enraged, Sapricius ordered that the two sisters be bound back to back, thrown into a vat of pitch and set on fire. He then sentenced Dorothea to death. She joyfully heard the sentence and cried out: “I give thanks to Thee, O Christ, Lover of souls, that Thou art leading me into Thine all-holy mansions!” Theophilus, a certain nobleman who was present, laughed at these words and cried out to Dorothea: “Listen, O bride of Christ—send me apples and flowers from the pomegranate tree in your bridegroom’s Paradise.” “Indeed, I will do that,” replied the martyr. When Dorothea was at the place of execution, suddenly a beautiful young man appeared with three beautiful apples and three red flowers from the pomegranate. This was an angel of God, and it was winter. Dorothea asked the angel to take them to Theophilus and tell him: “Behold, this is what you desired!” When Theophilus received the message and saw the gift, he was thoroughly frightened. Everything turned upside down for him, and he, a confirmed pagan, became a Christian. He was tortured and slain for Christ, and his soul entered the Paradise of the Lord Jesus soon after that of St. Dorothea.

Saint Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople
Photius was a great beacon of the Church. He was a relative of the emperor and a grandson of the glorious Patriarch Tarasius. He vigorously protected the Church from papal love of power and other Roman distortions of the Faith. In six days he went through all the ecclesiastical ranks, rising from a layman to patriarch. He was consecrated Patriarch on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ in the year 857, and he reposed in the Lord in the year 891.

The Venerable Saints Barsanuphius and John
Both Barsanuphius and John were great ascetics, clairvoyants and miracle-workers from Gaza. They left a famous work entitled The Book of Answers, which deals with many questions about the spiritual life. They lived in the sixth century.

The Holy Martyrs Martha and Mary, and their brother Lycarion

All three were crucified for Christ and then pierced and slain with a lance.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saints Martha, Mary and Lycarion

Saints Martha and Mary are sisters by birth,
And Lycarion is their small brother, of little strength.

Their aged mother, a sweet soul, teaches them well:
“Love Christ, my children, for He suffered for us.”

Here the commander comes, awesome and powerful.

A violent man, he slays those faithful to Christ.

The sisters open the door to their home;
They have no fear of the belligerent man.

“Hearken, O commander of the Emperor, we are Christians;
We are not like you, whom the demon sold to the devil.”

The malicious commander raised them on a cross;
At that moment the young Lycarion drew near:
“I too, I too am a Christian! Crucify me also!”

The pains on the cross are unbearable; their mother trembles.

She kisses the feet of each of her children—
Their broken feet that hang down, bloodied, from the cross.

With tormented voices from their crosses, the daughters console her:
“Do not be broken with sorrow for us, dearest Mother.
You taught us love for Christ.
The torment is brief, Sweetness will be sweet in Paradise.
In the radiance of Paradise we will await you, Mother—
Your glorious son Lycarion and your two daughters—
Oh, rejoice in such fruits of your womb!”

Like a fiery pillar, the mother’s countenance begins to beam:
“Blessed are you, my dear children—oh, blessed am I!”

REFLECTION
St. Barsanuphius, who for fifty years lived secluded in a cell and did not allow himself to be seen by any living person, attained exceptional purity and perceptiveness through divine contemplation and prayer. Here are a few thoughts from his Book of Answers: “Every thought which is not preceded by the silence of humility does not proceed from God. All that is from the devil occurs with confusion and disturbance.” “When you pray and God delays fulfilling your request, He does this for your benefit, in order to teach you forbearance.” “Visible thieves are servants of invisible, noetic thieves.” “The Lord Jesus Christ endured all things and finally ascended the Cross, which signifies the deadening of the body and the passions and a holy and perfect rest.” “Our Lord wants you to honor every man more than yourself.” When they asked the elder whether they should hire an advocate regarding a dispute between the monastery and certain men, the elder replied: “If you purchase the defense of men, then God will not defend you.”

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the Lord Jesus as a Laborer:
1. As a physical Laborer through many long years;
2. As a spiritual Laborer, Who constantly taught man, comforted man and healed man, giving the new covenant to the world;
3. As a tireless Laborer, Who left the commandment: Walk while ye have the light (John 12:35).

HOMILY
on the mutual knowledge of the Father and the Son

I know Him: for I am from Him, and He hath sent Me (John 7:29).

No one has ever dared say that he knows God. Many have merely said that they believe in God. Only our Lord Jesus Christ spoke the words I know Him. And immediately He explained from where He knows Him, saying: For I am from Him, and He hath sent Me. The first reason, I am from Him, testifies to the eternal being of the Son; and the second reason, and He hath sent Me, testifies to the manifestation of the Son in time, in the physical world, as an emissary of the Holy Trinity.

For us who are Christ-believing, it is not given to know the Father as His Only-begotten Son knows Him. To us it is given and commanded that we believe. Our merit is in believing and not in knowing. If all of us knew God by seeing, no one would have any merit. For what kind of merit is there in seeing and recognizing? However, not to see and yet to believe—in this there is merit, in this there is virtue, in this is our salvation. We are not worthy to see God and by seeing Him to know Him, for we are weakened by sin and alienated from God. But the mercy of God gives us faith while in this life, which is able to bring us closer to God and lead us into the Eternal Kingdom of seeing and knowing in the life to come. O my brethren, let us believe in Christ the Lord, for He knows. He does not speak by faith but by knowing.

O Merciful Lord, strengthen our faith. Extend the hem of Thy garment that we may hold onto it to the end of our lives.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


+++ DIOCESAN NEWS +++

STS. SEBASTIAN & MARDARIJE ORTHODOX INST. DAY TWO
15 Feb. 2017
STS. SEBASTIAN AND MARDARIJE ORTHODOX INST. DAY ONE
14 Feb. 2017
2017arcadiaserbfest 045 SerbFest in Arcadia, California
04 Feb. 2017
20160114 eugene portland 07

Bishop Maxim Visits Eugene and Portland, Oregon!
14 Jan. 2017

2017 christmas open house24 15 Jan. 2017
san marcos 07 Serbian Father's Day at St. Petka Church with Bishop Maxim
02 Jan. 2017

UPCOMING RETREATS 

 
Jackson Retreat 2017 2

Flyer | Schedule   


SAVE THE DATE! 
SKSS LENTEN WOMEN'S RETREAT
MARCH 31 & APRIL 1, 2017
ALHAMBRA, CALIFORNIA

NEWEST PUBLICATIONS


psychology in the service of god

Psychology in the Service
of the Church

Read More...

seeing the invisible

SEEING THE INVISIBLE: PROCEEDINGS OF THE SYMPOSIUM ON AESTHETICS OF THE CHRISTIAN IMAGE

Read More...

welcoming the christ child

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day of the Nativity lent.
Read More...


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. 

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...


Also on Kindle 
at Amazon:

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

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S
;SAINT SYLVESTER,BISHOP OF ROME
 
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