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20525 Center Ridge Rd. #301
Rocky River, OH 44116
United States

(440) 941-4850

A Pan-Orthodox ministry that displays Christian love, mercy and compassion to the individuals, families and facilities it serves.

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A Pan-Orthodox ministry that displays Christian love, mercy and compassion to the individuals, families and facilities it serves.

Prayer List for the Week of February 12, 2017

Gerald Largent

For healing: Fr. James, Fr. John, Deacon Bogdan, Matushka Katherine, Matushka Laryssa, Brother Demetrios, Ross, Justin, Steven, Marian, Paul, Dale, Roger, Susanna, Nancy, Barbara, Claire, Michael, Paul, Maria, Victoria, Patricia, Mark, Nikolai, Anastasia, Joseph, Stefan, Carrie, Nancy, Antoinette, Agnes, Annie, Anne, Pauline, Kevin, Carol, Nora, Helen, Michael, Angelo, Metodije, Annabelle, Dmitry, Elizabeth, Daria, Adriana, John, Joanna, Alice, Jacklyn, Howard, Mikolay, Katherine, Kathleen, Walter, Jay, Denise, Denise, Thomas, Leslie, David, Andrew, Anthony, Heather, Alexis, Robert, James, Chesney, Christina, Carol, Nicholas, Dorothy, Millie, Sharon, Nicholas, John, John, Mary, Joseph, Thomas, Harry, Donald, Joel, Nicholas, Gerald, Lillian, Robert, Stefan, Anna, Margaret, William, Sylvia, Catherine

For God’s protection: Archbishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim; all captives; all persecuted Christians throughout the world

For God’s protection: all those in the military

For God’s mercy and peace: those who are in hospice care

For God’s mercy, direction and protection: those who are unemployed, poor, hungry and/or homeless

*** We pray for: those who love us; those who hate us; those who have no one to pray for them; those who have asked us to pray for them, even though we are unworthy. ***

Departed: Russell, Lillian, Thomas, Marguerite, Lydia, David, Monk Joseph, Alianna, Evdokia, Helen, Michael
 

Readings for the Week of February 12, 2017

Gerald Largent

2/12: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Luke 15:11-32
2/13: 1 John 2:18-3:10; Mark 11:1-11
2/14: 1 John 3:11-20; Mark 14:10-42
2/15: 1 John 3:21-4:6; Mark 14:43-14:72
2/16: 1 John 4:20-5:21; Mark 15:1-15
2/17: 2 John 1:1-13; Mark 15:22-25, 33-41
2/18: 1 Corinthians 10:23-28; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Luke 21:8-9, 25-27, 33-36; John 5:24-30    

 

Thoughts on the St. Panteleimon Ministry: Lea Khoury

Gerald Largent

Nora (not her real name) was truly one of a kind. She was a classy lady with an old-world elegance. She grew up in Istanbul, the daughter of Armenian aristocratic parents. She knew 6 languages fluently and was one of the only women of her era to receive a college education in business. I met Nora when she was 90 years old as a neighbor on my street in the Cleveland area. We became fast friends despite our age difference and quickly learned that we shared the Orthodox Faith. Nora hadn't been to church in quite some time and longed to reconnect with her faith. She couldn't drive and was essentially homebound. I tried taking her to church with me on a handful of occasions, but it was very difficult for her to get around. A broken hip a little while later led to her moving to Westlake Village. It was not the home she desired, but it turned out to be a great blessing. For the next several years, Nora became an active participant in the St. Panteleimon ministry. She would look forward to every Saturday service offered at Westlake Village. I had the privilege of attending some of these services with Nora, and it was beautiful to watch her face light up as she did the sign of the cross or said the Lord's Prayer and the Creed with great conviction. She was so grateful, as was I, that she could once again be an active participant in a community of faithful people. Nora was blessed with a few more years but passed away in the fall of 2015. I truly believe that the ministry of St. Panteleimon played a critical role in Nora's life. During her final years, months, weeks, and days, Nora was able to refocus on our Lord Jesus Christ and participate in the prayers of His Holy Church. Through St Panteleimon's ministry, God gave Nora, and all of us who knew and loved her, a great gift: she was able to use the last season of her life to prepare herself for eternity.

 

Thoughts on the St. Panteleimon Ministry: Erika Sullivan

Gerald Largent

    The ministry that St. Panteleimon offers is invaluable and unique. I don’t know of another Orthodox ministry around that offers anything similar to what the St. Panteleimon ministry offers. Bringing Orthodoxy into assisted living/nursing home facilities is so special. The ministry provides Orthodox residents a time to pray together in a way they are accustomed to. My yia-yia was in an assisted living facility for several years, so I know the importance of visiting people in these facilities, and bringing familiar things to them that they go no longer go out and do on their own. This ministry also benefits the non-Orthodox, as all are welcome and encouraged to attend services.
    I thank God for the St. Panteleimon ministry--a ministry focusing on the elderly and shut ins, who can be forgotten about or neglected at times unfortunately. It brings worship and joy to these beautiful residents' lives; it provides a time to pray and sing to the Lord; it spreads the Orthodox faith and welcomes all to join.

Praying with Alzheimer's/dementia residents

Gerald Largent

This past week St. Panteleimon Orthodox Christian Outreach held a prayer service at a senior residence that has both assisted living and memory care residents. About 20 people attended, which is a typical gathering for that community. Some of the residents participated in the service by singing or reciting prayers as a group, while others did not. However things changed a bit when it came time to say the Lord's Prayer. It was moving to hear all the residents, regardless of their limitations, loudly proclaim: "Our Father Who art in heaven..."

This illustrates that God is able to lift the fog of dementia and Alzheimer's when people engage in prayer. Please take time to pray with anyone you may know who is afflicted by this type of illness. Their souls will benefit and so will yours.

A Simple Gesture of Thanksgiving

Gerald Largent

Yesterday I was at an assisted living facility for a prayer service through the St. Panteleimon ministry. At the conclusion of the service a resident walked into the chapel, went over to the icon of Christ and said "Thank you, Jesus, for helping me and letting me wake up this morning." Then he turned to the icon of the Mother of God and said, "Thank you, Mary, for bringing Jesus into the world." His simple act should serve as a reminder for all of us.

If you would like to get involved with the St. Panteleimon ministry in any way please let me know. The residents would love to see you, and you never know what they will teach you spiritually.

 

Called to Serve

Gerald Largent

    A man once asked some of his friends the following question: "What comes to mind when you hear the word 'ministry'?" He received many answers to the question, but two of them were rather unfortunate. "That's Father's job," one friend replied. Another friend answered, "Ministry is what the Protestants do." While these answers are in fact true, they indicate ignorance (or perhaps apathy) regarding ministry. The fact of the matter is that ministry is something that every Orthodox Christian is called to do. That is, we are all called to serve.

    There are numerous ministry opportunities for Orthodox Christians both in the parish and in the community at large. Most parishes have ministry opportunities such as Altar servers, choir members, chanters, readers, greeters, church school teachers, and many more. Feel free to ask your priest how you may get involved in one or more ministries at your home parish. He would be glad to discuss this with you!

    It is also important for us to serve those who are beyond our home church's walls: the community at large. Though opportunities may vary from one city to another, there are many Orthodox ministries that are in need of volunteers and/or donors. Again it is best to ask your parish priest for information about ministries near you.

    Throughout the New Testament there is a mandate for Christians to serve God through the service of others. We will simply look at two Gospel passages in this article for the sake of brevity. Every year on Meatfare Sunday, two Sundays before the beginning of Great Lent, we hear the Gospel account of the Final Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). Christ gives a sobering account of the judgment of the righteous and the wicked. The righteous inherit eternal life, having acts of mercy as evidence of their faith in Christ. The Lord places them at His right hand, stating "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." The wicked, on the other hand, are sent to eternal punishment for their lack of mercy. "'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me." Our Lord identifies with those in need, and our response to them is an indication of our response to Him.

    Elsewhere Christ’s mandate to His people takes on a personalized theme. In Luke 6:31 we read: "And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them." Here Jesus teaches us what is often called the "Golden Rule". While other world religions claim to teach the same thing, this teaching is unique to Christianity. All other religions teach "do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you." For example, I would not like someone to steal something from me, therefore I must not steal from them. Similarly, I would not want someone to slander me, so I must not slander them. Our Lord, of course, would condemn stealing and slandering, but He also "raises the bar" so to speak for Christians. It is not simply enough for us to refrain from doing to others what we would not want them to do to us. On the contrary, we are called to treat others the way we would like to be treated. This teaching has a profound impact on Christian service. If I see someone who is hungry or thirsty, I am expected to help them with their need, to serve them as I am able, because I would want another person to do the same for me if the situation was reversed. In short, our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ calls us to look at situations from the point of view of someone who is in need. Our mission, then, is to act as we would like others to act toward us.

    Imagine for a moment that, through no fault of your own, you were forced to leave your home and move into a senior living facility. Imagine what it would be like if you were no longer able to go to church regularly, if at all. Would you want to find a way to keep in touch with the Church and her worship?

    In Cleveland, Ohio, we have a rather unique ministry, St. Panteleimon Orthodox Christian Outreach, which exists to provide an Orthodox presence at senior living facilities throughout our metropolitan area. Founded in 2010, the St. Panteleimon ministry differs from many parish shut-in ministries in that it focuses on group residences (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, independent living facilities and memory care residences) with an emphasis on Orthodox worship. One-on-one visits can be arranged, but they are secondary to group prayer services and Bible studies. Many of the residents are no longer able to attend services at their home parish, which creates a significant void in their lives. The ministry’s goal is to fill that void by holding reader’s services—Orthodox services that can be done in the absence of a priest, if necessary—on a regular basis at each facility. Most services last roughly 30 minutes, and include many hymns from the Divine Liturgy (Antiphons, Only Begotten Son, Holy God, hymns of the saint of the day) as well as the daily readings. This is a way to keep Orthodox residents connected to the daily worship of the Church, and to give other residents perhaps their first-ever exposure to Orthodoxy. Programming is geared toward Orthodox Christian residents; however all are welcome who wish to worship the Holy Trinity in the Orthodox manner. The St. Panteleimon ministry is Pan Orthodox in its scope, having served 20 of Cleveland's parishes during its five year existence.

    Some people may ask, "Why do I have to serve the less fortunate? Why can't I just worry about my family and friends?" This is a valid question, and it is important to look after our friends and relatives, and to serve them during their times of need. However, Jesus is clear that it is to our benefit to serve those who cannot repay us. In the Final Judgment passage He uses the following people as examples: The hungry, thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned. (One could argue that people living in nursing homes are a combination of the last two groups.)  Let us also consider the Savior's words in Luke 6:34: "And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again."

    Christ teaches us again about mercy: "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:36). St. Panteleimon, whose name means "all merciful", is an example for us in showing mercy to others. A physician by trade he healed those who were in need free of charge, because of his Christian faith. May we emulate the mercy of Christ as we serve those around us. Through the prayers of St. Panteleimon, as well as those of all the other saints, may Christ our God have mercy on us and save us.

In Appreciation

Gerald Largent

St. Panteleimon Orthodox Christian Outreach would like to thank the following parishes and organizations for their financial support during the year 2013.

Grant
Ganister Orthodox Foundation

Parishes
Holy Ghost Orthodox Church -- Sterling Heights, MI
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church -- Parma, OH

Organizations
Daughters of Penelope -- Erinys Chapter
Daughters of Penelope -- Icarus Chapter
Eastern Orthodox Womens Guild of Greater Cleveland
St. Paul Ladies Philoptochos -- North Royalton, OH

We also wish to thank Largent Sales Group, LLC (Wellington, OH) and all of our individual benefactors.

Thank you for your support, which is vital to the sustainability of this ministry. May God grant you all many years!!

Many Thanks

Josh Walsh

St. Panteleimon Orthodox Christian Outreach would like to thank:

  • Holy Trinity Orthodox Church for hosting our 4th annual cookie walk.
  • Holly Sales of Northern Ohio--4720 Warner Rd. in Garfield Heights --for providing the scale that was used to weigh cookies.
  • Everyone who baked cookies and other items for sale.
  • Everyone who supported this important fundraiser.

It is difficult for Christian charities to survive in tough economic times, and we truly appreciate all of your efforts to ensure that the St. Panteleimon ministry continues serving the people of Northeast Ohio.

May God grant you all many years!!

Nativity Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

Gerald Largent

I behold a new and wondrous mystery! My ears resound to the shepherd's song, piping no soft melody, but loudly chanting a heavenly hymn!

The angels sing!

The archangels blend their voices in harmony!

The cherubim resound their joyful praise!

The Seraphim exalt His glory!

All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead herein... on earth and man in heaven. He who is above now, for our salvation, dwells here below; and we, who were lowly, are exalted by divine mercy!

Today Bethlehem resembles heaven, hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices and, in place of the sun, witnessing the rising of the Sun of Justice!

Ask not how this is accomplished, for where God wills, the order of nature is overturned. For He willed He had the powers He descended. He saved. All things move in obedience to God.

Today He Who Is, is born ! And He Who Is becomes what He was not! For when He was God, He became man-while not relinquishing the Godhead that is His...

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him angels, nor archangels, nor thrones, nor dominions, nor powers, nor principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Yet He has not forsaken His angels, nor left them deprived of His care, nor because of His incarnation has He ceased being God. And behold kings have come, that they might serve the Leader of the Hosts of Heaven; Women, that they might adore Him Who was born of a woman so that He might change the pains of childbirth into joy; Virgins, to the Son of the Virgin...

Infants, that they may adore Him who became a little child, so that out of the mouths of infants He might perfect praise; Children, to the Child who raised up martyrs through the rage of Herod; Men, to Him who became man that He might heal the miseries of His servants;

Shepherds, to the Good Shepherd who was laid down His life for His sheep;

Priests, to Him who has become a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek;

Servants, to Him who took upon Himself the form of a servant, that He might bless our stewardship with the reward of freedom (Philippians 2:7);

Fishermen, to the Fisher of mankind;

Publicans, to Him who from among them named a chosen evangelist;

Sinful women, to Him who exposed His feet to the tears of the repentant woman;

And that I may embrace them all together, all sinners have come, that they may look upon the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! Since, therefore, all rejoice, I too desire to rejoice! I too wish to share the choral dance, to celebrate the festival! But I take my part, not plucking the harp nor with the music of the pipes nor holding a torch, but holding in my arms the cradle of Christ!

For this is all my hope!

This is my life!

This is my salvation!

This is my pipe, my harp!

And bearing it I come, and having from its power received the gift of speech, I too, with the angels and shepherds, sing:

"Glory to God in the Highest! and on earth peace to men of good will!"

Feast Day Celebration

Josh Walsh

Please join us for our feast day celebration on Thursday, July 26, at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church (2101 Quail St., off of Madison) in Lakewood. Parking is available on the street, in the parish driveway and in the parking lot adjacent to Harrison School. Great Vespers begin at 6:30pm. All are welcome!

NOTICE

Gerald Largent

All St. Panteleimon Ministry programming for Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26 will be cancelled so that we may attend the funeral of Metropolitan CONSTANTINE. May his memory be eternal!

The Meaning of "Pascha"

Gerald Largent

By Igumen Gregory (Valentine)

Recently I was asked this question: "Why do we use the word 'pascha' to describe this present  feast of the church? What does it mean and why is it so important to us Orthodox Christians?" Let me address the answer now so that all can hear and reflect upon the richness of this feast.

The  New Testament teaches us that the final three days, culminating in the  resurrection of Jesus, which Pascha celebrates, is the foundation of the Christian Faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. But it was necessary that Christ should undergo the events of Great Friday and remain in the tomb on Holy Saturday in order for God to give Christians "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life. But like Christ we too must endure difficulties, illnesses and crosses in order to die with Christ that we might live with Christ.

Pascha, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Pesach or Passover, is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt as recorded in the Old Testament and recounted in ritual read at the Seder Meal. In the New Testament the Mystical Supper, held on Thursday evening, and the Crucifixion of Christ that preceded the Resurrection are re-presented liturgically at the Divine Liturgy. Passover is for both the Jewish people and for the Christians, then a series of events stretching over a period of time, which find fulfillment in a remarkable conclusion. For the Jews it was the forty year wandering in the desert, finally arriving at the Promised Land of Canaan and ritually celebrated for 8 days. For Christians we begin our preparation during the 40 days of the Great Lent, which then flows into the mixture of joy and immense sorrow of the Holy and Great Week. The Paschal Feast itself reaches its high point in the Resurrection Services, and has an extended celebration for 50 days, culminating in the Ascension of Christ into heaven and His subsequent sending of the All Holy Spirit from His Father in the form of fiery tongues upon His Holy Apostles and the entire new creation, the Holy Orthodox Church. The final days of the Paschal season is celebrated on Pentecost, (Greek for 50) Sunday, also called Troitsa or Sunday of the Trinity.

Both Christians and Jews observe events which are celebrated in a ritualized meal that seeks to express in time that which is timeless, doing so in order to recall the care of God for His People. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the pre-Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death by a special meal in the upper room during the Mystical Supper. He gave the sanctified loaf of bread and cup of wine as His Body soon to be sacrificed and His Blood soon to be shed. St. Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; this quote refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the paschal lamb. One interpretation in the Gospel of John is that Jesus, as the Passover lamb, was crucified at roughly the same time as the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple, on the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan, roughly equivalent to early to mid April in our calendar. The scriptural instructions specify that the lamb is to be slain "between the two evenings", that is, at twilight. Christ was taken down from the cross some time after 3 PM on that Great Friday.

Unlike the Old Testament Passover, which is celebrated annually, our Paschal Feast is to be done again and again in His Memory, which we do at every Divine Liturgy. Once a year we give the Feast a special emphasis during Holy Week and the Bright Resurrection. This is, par excellence, the Great Paschal Mystery. The high point occurs at the Holy Saturday Liturgy, the event in which often catechumens receive their final instruction and then are admitted into the Church through the Rites of Christian Initiation, which include Baptism, Chrismation, and Holy Communion. Carried out in the context of this service, in a most dramatic sense they do mystically die and then rise with Christ. I have experienced the joy of this Holy Saturday Initiation Rite a number of times during my years as a priest. What a blessing it has been!

Perhaps the most notable reason why few contemporary Orthodox Christians are really able to make the connection to the Passover of the Old Testament, is because they seldom, if ever, have attended the Holy Saturday Divine Liturgy. If one were to attend that Liturgy one would hear 15 lessons from the Old Testament that prefigure Christ in the lives of various persons and in the events of the first passover before the Jewish people were delivered from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, who is a prefigurement of Christ the Liberator. It is preeminently in this Liturgical Rite that the passover is so clearly and richly presented. It takes about one hour to read and listen to these lessons, which then lead into the epistle of St. Paul who declares Christ to be our new Passover, followed by the reading of the Gospel of St. Matthew which announces Christ’s Resurrection from the dead, coupled to the Eucharistic Sacrifice, our new Pascha in deed. The combination of all these lessons, while admittedly lengthy, nevertheless, is so worth while for our deeper understanding of the Paschal Mystery, as we recount its unfolding for the Jews in one way, and for us in another and more perfect Way. The Fathers tell us that the New Testament is hidden within the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New. Hence the Orthodox Church maintains a point of contact with the Old Testament community in terms of the Scriptures that we read along with the Gospels, Epistles, Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelation, which together form the New Testament.

But as was stated earlier, we are not limited to just this time in our liturgical calendar. In a real sense, Pascha is observed by Orthodox Christians whenever we gather to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, and, in deed, in every major Sacrament of the Church. What a great blessing we have received as a Gift from our Risen Lord!

Today we remember the Holy Myrrh bearers, this being the 3rd Sunday of Pascha. Let us now unite ourselves today with these women and men who were with Christ during His final hours on the first Great Friday, and who were then rewarded by being among the first to greet the Risen Lord. They sought a dead body to anoint but encountered the Risen Lord Jesus. In the Paschal Canon we sing during Matins of Pascha: "Why do you seek the living among the dead, why do you seek the Incorrupt amid corruption? Go, tell His apostles that He is Risen as He foretold." May we too do the same today as we proclaim:

CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

Amen.

Alleluia!

The First Paschal Sermon of St. Gregory the Theologian

Gerald Largent

Yesterday the Lamb was slain And the door-posts were anointed,

And Egypt bewailed her Firstborn,

And the Destroyer passed over us,

And the Seal was dreadful and reverend,

And we were walled in with the Precious Blood.

Today, we have escaped from Egypt and from Pharoah; And there is none to hinder us

From keeping a Feast to the Lord our God —

The Feast of our Departure;

Or from celebrating that Feast,

Not in the old leaven of malice and wickedness,

But in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, Carrying with us nothing of ungodly and Egyptian leaven.

Yesterday, I was crucified with Him;

Today, I am glorified with Him;

Yesterday, I died with Him;

Today I am quickened with Him;

Yesterday, I was buried with Him;

Today, I rise with Him.

But let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us — you will think perhaps that I am going to say gold, or silver, or woven work, or transparent and costly stones, the mere passing material things of earth, that remains here below, and is for the most part always possessed by bad men, slaves of the world, and of the Prince of the World.

Let us offer ourselves,

The possession most precious to God, and most fitting; Let us give back the image that is made after the Image, Let us recognize our Dignity; let us honour our Archetype;

Let us know the power of the Mystery,

And for what Christ died.

Let us become like Christ,

Since Christ has become like us.

Let us become God's for His sake,

Since He for ours became Man.

He assumed the worse

So that He might give us the better;

He became poor,

So that we through his poverty

Might become rich;

He took upon Him the form of a servant

That we might receive back our liberty;

He came down,

That we might be exalted;

He was tempted,

That we might conquer;

He was dishonoured,

That He might glorify us;

He died,

That He might save us;

He ascended,

That He might draw Himself to us,

Who were lying low in the Fall of sin.

Let us give all, offer all,

To Him who gave Himself

As Ransom and a Reconciliation for us.

But one can given nothing like oneself,

Understanding the Mystery,

And becoming for His sake,

All that He became for ours.

The Paschal Greeting (Christ is Risen!)

Gerald Largent

Albanian - Krishti u ngjall! Vërtet u ngjall!Aleut - Kristus aq ungwektaq! Pichinuq ungwektaq! Arabic - Al-Masih-Qam! Hakkan Qam! Church Slavonic - Christos Voskrese! Voistinu Voskrese! French - Le Christ est ressuscité! Vraiment Il est ressuscité! German - Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden! Greek - Christos Anesti! Aleithos Anesti! Hebrew (modern) - Ha Masheeha houh kam! A ken kam! Italian - Cristo è risorto! È veramente risorto! Latin - Christus Surrexit! Surrexit vere! Romanian - Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat! Spanish - Cristo ha resucitado! Verdaderamente, ha resucitado! Yupik - Xris-tusaq Ung-uixtuq! Iluumun Ung-uixtuq!

Akathist to the Holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon

Gerald Largent

Leader: Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. People: Amen.

From Pentecost Sunday through Holy Saturday: O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, You are everywhere present, and fill all things. Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life, come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

During Pascha: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down Death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (3 times)

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Your Name's sake.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil.

Leader: O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.

People: Amen.

Lord have mercy. (12 times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Come, let us worship God, our King! Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God! Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and our God!

Kontakion 1 Chosen passion-bearer of Christ and gracious healer, who freely grants healing to the sick, we praise you in songs as our protector. As you have boldness with the Lord, free us from all harm and sickness who cry with love to you: Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 1 We know you, glorious Panteleimon, as an earthly angel and a heavenly man. For adorned with angelic purity and martyrdom you have passed from earth to Heaven, where with angels and all the saints standing before the throne of the Lord of Glory, you pray for all of us on earth who venerate you with these invocations: Rejoice, torch of piety! Rejoice, most glorious lamp of the Church! Rejoice, adornment of venerable martyrs! Rejoice, support of the faithful in fearless endurance! Rejoice, outstanding boast of youth! Rejoice, warrior of Christ of invincible courage! Rejoice, you who having grown up in the world were not of the world! Rejoice, angel in the flesh, surpassing mortals! Rejoice, all-blessed dweller in Heaven! Rejoice, vessel of divine knowledge! Rejoice, you by whom faith has been exalted! Rejoice, you by whom delusion has been dethroned! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 2 Seeing you to be a chosen vessel, the Lord loved the beauty of your soul; for, despising all earthly glory and pleasure, you longed to adorn yourself with the crown of martyrdom, wounded with divine love and singing inspiringly: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 2 Possessing divinely inspired knowledge, O valiant warrior Panteleimon, you astounded the Emperor Maximian by the courage of your soul and by the words with which you fearlessly preached Christ. Therefore, praising your boldness we say to you: Rejoice, you who despised Maximian's threats! Rejoice, you who did not yield to the advice of the godless! Rejoice, propagator of true adoration! Rejoice, uprooter of demon worship! Rejoice, accuser of the fury of the torturers! Rejoice, overthrower of the delusion of idols! Rejoice, you who dispersed the assembly of the godless! Rejoice, you who exchanged corruptible for heavenly joy! Rejoice, converser with immaterial angels! Rejoice, fellow-chorister of long-suffering saints! Rejoice, you by whom Satan was put to shame! Rejoice, you by whom Christ is glorified! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 3 By the power of the Most High given to you and by your strong patience you rendered powerless the torturer's insolence, O valiant victor, undaunted by fire, wild beasts, and the wheel. When beheaded with the sword, you received the crown of victory from Christ the Lord, crying to Him: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 3 The monastery which has your precious head as a great treasure, O divinely wise martyr, is filled with joy over it, and praising with love the Grace of healing given you by God, thankfully cries to you: Rejoice, all-radiant lamp of Nicomedia! Rejoice, unsleeping guardian of the monastery that honors you! Rejoice, you through whom godlessness grew cold! Rejoice, you through whom the knowledge of God has increased! Rejoice, bright glory of passion-bearers! Rejoice, joyous report of the Orthodox! Rejoice, gracious source of healings! Rejoice, container of great gifts! Rejoice, fragrant myrrh that sweetens souls! Rejoice, for you help those who call upon you! Rejoice, you who gave sight to the blind! Rejoice, you who caused the lame to walk! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 4 Possessed by a storm of polytheistic thoughts, the impious Emperor was confused on learning from the doctors who were jealous of you that you heal all kinds of incurable illnesses by the name of Christ. And we, glorifying with gladness our wonderful God in you, cry to Him: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 4 When the people of Nicomedia heard of your great compassion for the suffering and of your free healing of all illnesses, all rushed to you with faith in the healing Grace in you, and receiving swift healing of all their diseases they glorified God and magnified you, their most gracious healer, crying to you: Rejoice, you who are anointed with the myrrh of Grace! Rejoice, sanctified temple of God! Rejoice, great glory of the pious! Rejoice, firm wall of the oppressed! Rejoice, you who surpass the wise in knowledge! Rejoice, you who enlighten the thoughts of the faithful! Rejoice, recipient of divine gifts and source of many of the Lord's mercies to us! Rejoice, speedy helper of the suffering! Rejoice, harbor of the storm-tossed! Rejoice, instructor for those astray! Rejoice, you who heal the sick freely! Rejoice, you who impart healing abundantly! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 5 The Lord worked a glorious miracle through you when, through His servant Hermolaos, He called you into His marvelous light. For after your prayer to Christ a child who had died from snakebite at once revived and stood up healed. Then recognizing the Lifegiver as the true God of all, with firm faith you cried to Him: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 5 The blind man whom you touched with prayer in the name of Christ recovered his sight, O glorious Martyr. Then, renouncing your father's polytheism, you were baptized by the priest Hermolaos and embraced your mother's religion with which you also enlightened your father. Therefore we cry aloud to you as to a glorious servant of God and wonderful healer: Rejoice, you who have great devotion to God! Rejoice, you who are ever aflame with the fire of divine love! Rejoice, attentive listener to the teachings of the priest Hermolaos! Rejoice, you who followed the advice of your mother Eubule! Rejoice, you who gave away everything to obtain Christ! Rejoice, you who vanquished love for the world by love for God! Rejoice, for instead of the pleasures of the world you accepted for Christ cruel sufferings! Rejoice, for you became a partner of Christ's Passion! Rejoice, you who overcame all the passions! Rejoice, you who through Grace were adorned with dispassion! Rejoice, you who fill with joy those who hasten to you! Rejoice, you who heal all freely by the Grace of Christ! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 6 The blind man enlightened by you in body and soul became a preacher of the truth for, like the blind man of the Gospel, he boldly preached Christ to all as the true light that enlightens every man. But for reproaching the impious Emperor and the pagan gods he was beheaded and rose to the unwaning light in Heaven to sing to God: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 6 Standing before the Emperor's tribunal with a radiant face you boldly declared in the hearing of all, thrice-blessed martyr: My all-healing power and glory is Christ, the true God, the Lord of all, Who raises the dead and heals all infirmities. For this confession we bless you and say: Rejoice, thundering mouth of the deity of Christ! Rejoice, melodious tongue that declares His plan of salvation! Rejoice, orator of sublime theology! Rejoice, wise sower of piety! Rejoice, sweet-sounding flute of faith! Rejoice, glorious preacher of Orthodoxy! Rejoice, you who were shown to be marvelous before your death! Rejoice, worker of wonders after your death! Rejoice, seer of Christ's glory! Rejoice, listener of those who pray to you! Rejoice, giver of help to those who need it! Rejoice, obtainer of blessings for those who honor your memory! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 7 Myrrh was poured out on your soul, O divinely wise healer, from the Comforter Spirit, therefore after your death your venerable relics, by their fragrance banish the stench of passions and give healing to those who with faith cry to God: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 7 When the worshipers of idols beheld, O Saint, the paralyzed man raised and walking through your prayer many believed in Christ; but the demon's priest, consumed with jealousy, incited the Emperor to anger. Therefore, to you who was mercilessly tortured and burnt for Christ, we cry with compunction: Rejoice, you who despised earthly pleasures! Rejoice, you who were above material comforts! Rejoice, for you regarded as nothing all the beautiful things in this world! Rejoice, for you shook yourself free of fleeting glory! Rejoice, you who remained free from the nets of the devil! Rejoice, you who vanquished the wiles of the torturers! Rejoice, you who did not spare your life for Christ! Rejoice, you who were shown to be an enemy of hostile flesh! Rejoice, you who oppressed the spread of polytheism! Rejoice, you who by the power of God defeated the idols! Rejoice, sharp arrow by which enemies are wounded! Rejoice, mediator who defends the faithful! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 8 The Lord appeared to you in a wonderful way, encouraging and upholding you in the tortures for His name. For in the person of the priest Hermolaos He cooled the boiling lead into which you were thrown, and in the sea He untied the great stone from your neck and brought you unharmed to land. But you, having been brought again before the Emperor, sang triumphantly to Christ our God: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 8 While dwelling noetically wholly in Heaven, you do not leave those below on earth but remain with us through the relics of your holy skull, O great passion-bearer of Christ, receiving from the Lord enlightenment and sanctification and giving it to those who cry to you thus: Rejoice, you who are filled with divine wisdom! Rejoice, discerner of God's providence! Rejoice, delight of minds made wise by God! Rejoice, gladness of souls who love God! Rejoice, bright pearl of Christ! Rejoice, you who were sanctified in soul and body! Rejoice, dweller in the courts of the firstborn in Heaven! Rejoice, inhabitant of the ever-blessed bridal halls! Rejoice, beholder of the light of the Trinity! Rejoice, fervent mediator in your prayers to God for us! Rejoice, you who grant illumination to souls! Rejoice, you who send comfort to the afflicted! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 9 All nature marveled, O Panteleimon, at the radiance of Grace and wealth of virtues in you: thine angelic purity, your great courage in cruel sufferings, your strong love for Christ and great compassion for people, for whom you do glorious things that they may sing: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 9 Eloquent orators cannot worthily praise your struggles, O glorious victor, as by the invincible power of God, though young in years you conquered the ancient, primordial enemy and put to shame the delusion of idols. But we, filled with wonder, cry to you: Rejoice, joyful sight of angels! Rejoice, reverent wonder of men! Rejoice, you who shed your blood for Christ, and in death shed milk! Rejoice, you who gave up your body to a martyr's death for His sake! Rejoice, model of confession! Rejoice, valiant warrior of the King of kings! Rejoice, you who conquered the ruler of darkness! Rejoice, you who by your victory gladdened Heaven and earth! Rejoice, blessed inhabitant of the world above! Rejoice, wise pilgrim of the world below! Rejoice, tree adorned with the fruits of the gifts of Grace! Rejoice, you who carry palms of victory! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 10 Filled with compassion, as a true imitator of the Lord, the Giver of mercy, O venerable martyr, you were renamed by Him Panteleimon (that is, all-merciful), for you pour mercy on all who resort to you; pour it also abundantly on us who cry to God concerning you: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 10 Finding you a strong wall invulnerable to all kinds of torture, the torturer tried to crush your strength by the teeth of wild beast and the spikes of the torture-wheel, but all to no effect. For the power of Christ subdued the fierceness of the beasts and the frightful wheel, on which your body was turned, immediately broke to pieces. So to you, invincible passion-bearer, we cry: Rejoice, precious chosen one of Christ! Rejoice, unblemished fragrance of God! Rejoice, firm diamond of the Church! Rejoice, unshakable tower reaching to Heaven! Rejoice, tamer of visible beasts! Rejoice, crusher of invisible dragons! Rejoice, you who were stained with your blood shed for Christ, mixed with milk! Rejoice, you who have received unfading crowns! Rejoice, you who cause joy to angels and men! Rejoice, you who have been glorified by God in Heaven and on earth! Rejoice, celestial one, who sings in choir with the martyrs! Rejoice, you who are satisfied with the sweet vision of Christ! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 11 A funeral song we offer to your sacred sacrifice for Christ, in which milk instead of blood flowed from you, Great Martyr, and the olive tree under which you were beheaded was all covered with healing fruit. Therefore we cry fervently to Christ Who wonderfully glorifies those who glorify Him: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 11 A luminous ray were you, O divinely wise one, to those sitting in the darkness of polytheism, leading them to the Sun or righteousness, Christ God. Him do you entreat that we who offer you these glad praises may ever live in the light of His commandments: Rejoice, bright star, shining in the noetical firmament! Rejoice, ray of light shining for Christian people! Rejoice, you who were mystically illumined by the Sun, Christ! Rejoice, you who in spirit roam the earth! Rejoice, beautiful tabernacle of the Most Holy Spirit! Rejoice, honorable vessel that pours out healing! Rejoice, treasury of purity! Rejoice, namesake of mercy! Rejoice, heir of the Heavenly Kingdom! Rejoice, partaker of eternal glory! Rejoice, patron of those in distress on the sea of life! Rejoice, unmercenary healer who helps those who invoke you with faith! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 12 You received an abundance of Grace, thrice-blessed one, according to the greatness of your love for Christ God, Who also showed you to be a source of healing, for you cure free of charge the sicknesses of soul and body of those who come to you with faith and cry to God: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 12 Chanting of your long-suffering labors for Christ, O glorious passion-bearer, we praise your great patience, we bless your martyr's death, and we honor your holy memory, O our defender and healer, and in praise we cry to you: Rejoice, sweet-sounding trumpet of piety! Rejoice, sword which cuts down impiety! Rejoice, you who were scraped on a tree for Him Who stretched out His arms on the tree of the Cross! Rejoice, for, being burnt for Him, you extinguished the furnace of delusion! Rejoice, you who wounded the enemies by your wounds! Rejoice, you who dried the streams of idolatrous blood by your blood! Rejoice, you who were thrown into boiling lead for Christ! Rejoice, you who were sunk in the sea for His name! Rejoice, you who remained unharmed therein by the providence of God! Rejoice, you who passed through tortures of fire and water into the peace of Heaven! Rejoice, you who poured unfailing streams of mercy on the faithful! Rejoice, gracious and compassionate physician who grants healing through Grace! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 13 O, our long-suffering and wonderful Passion-bearer of Christ and Healer Panteleimon! Graciously accept from us this small offering, heal us of our many and various ailments, and through your intercession protect us from enemies visible and invisible and pray to the Lord that we may be delivered from eternal torment, that we may continually sing in His Kingdom: Alleluia!

O, our long-suffering and wonderful Passion-bearer of Christ and Healer Panteleimon! Graciously accept from us this small offering, heal us of our many and various ailments, and through your intercession protect us from enemies visible and invisible and pray to the Lord that we may be delivered from eternal torment, that we may continually sing in His Kingdom: Alleluia!

O, our long-suffering and wonderful Passion-bearer of Christ and Healer Panteleimon! Graciously accept from us this small offering, heal us of our many and various ailments, and through your intercession protect us from enemies visible and invisible and pray to the Lord that we may be delivered from eternal torment, that we may continually sing in His Kingdom: Alleluia!

Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for [Name(s)] for the healing of his (or her, their) soul(s) and body (bodies).

Ikos 1 We know you, glorious Panteleimon, as an earthly angel and a heavenly man. For adorned with angelic purity and martyrdom you have passed from earth to Heaven, where with angels and all the saints standing before the throne of the Lord of Glory, you pray for all of us on earth who venerate you with these invocations: Rejoice, torch of piety! Rejoice, most glorious lamp of the Church! Rejoice, adornment of venerable martyrs! Rejoice, support of the faithful in unflinching endurance! Rejoice, outstanding boast of youth! Rejoice, warrior of Christ of invincible courage! Rejoice, you who having grown up in the world were not of the world! Rejoice, angel in the flesh, surpassing mortals! Rejoice, all-blessed dweller in Heaven! Rejoice, vessel of divine knowledge! Rejoice, you by whom faith has been exalted! Rejoice, you by whom delusion has been dethroned! Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 1 Chosen passion-bearer of Christ and gracious healer, who freely grants healing to the sick, we praise you in songs as our protector. As you have boldness with the Lord, free us from all harm and sickness who cry with love to you: Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

The Dismissal More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Word. Truly the Birthgiver-of-God, we magnify you.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy. O Lord, bless us.

Leader: Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.

People: Amen.

Troparion of St. Panteleimon – Tone 8 You received an invitation from the lips of Hermolaos which came from heaven itself. You embraced your mother's faith and rejoiced when you were martyred for it. In return you received the grace to heal. Therefore, Great Martyr Panteleimon heal our infirmities for we honor you.

Kontakion of St. Panteleimon – Tone 5 You emulated the Merciful One, and received from Him the grace of healing, O Passion-bearer and healer Panteleimon; by your prayers, heal the diseases of our souls and continually drive away the temptations of the enemy from those who cry out in faith "Save us, O Lord."

Mary Grechny

Gerald Largent

Until two years ago, I gave only an occasional thought to those confined to a nursing home. Life certainly can change quickly. My mother is a devout Orthodox Christian who attended church services regularly and had an active life in her parish. As her age advanced and she was no longer able to drive, I made sure that she attended her church every Sunday, feast days, and stayed connected to her church family. After almost nine years, this came to an abrupt end....she fell and broke her hip.

Mom endured sudden hospitalization, surgery, and was now confined to a skilled nursing facility. She told me that she felt like she was in jail. For almost three months, I spent many hours, every day, at the facility, keeping an eye on her medications, meals, physical therapy, and more. The staff was encouraged that someone cared and visited regularly. This gave me the opportunity to interact with both, permanent residents and those who were there for rehabilitation. Very few had visitors, even on weekends. I felt their loneliness. Thank God that Mom's priest visited her weekly and helped to lift her spirits. Other residents became curious about her faith, so she often talked with them about Orthodoxy and why her priest took the time to visit and pray with her. She explained how he made her feel loved and still connected to her church.

Weeks went by and with daily physical therapy, Mom worked hard at being able to walk again. But her biggest fear was “will I ever go to my church again?” Her heart would sink every Friday morning when she would hear volunteers knocking on residents' doors announcing that a Catholic prayer service would soon begin. And, each time that I heard this, I wondered why we “Orthodox” didn't do something like this. Well, now we do!

Almost a year and a half ago, I attended my first prayer service held by St. Panteleimon Orthodox Christian Outreach. It didn't take long for me to realize that praying with and serving the residents blessed me! So much appreciation lights up their faces through their smiles. They are so happy to share their own church backgrounds and family life. This special time helps them feel loved and connected to their church. Often, there are questions about our faith. A new Bible Study class at one of the facilities was well attended.

To continue this important work, we need your help. Please give prayerful consideration to supporting this ministry. Please help those who cannot attend their church any longer. Volunteering is easy! Come when you can. Come and visit. You can help at a service by setting up the table, icons, lights, pass out folders so that those attending can follow, join in singing, reading the epistle, and pass out the bulletins. Or most of all, just come and pray with us. Come and experience the joy of serving. We welcome all ages, all help, all talents (yes, a real “Talent Show” earlier this year entertained residents). We will gladly work around your work and school schedules. For students, we'll be happy to provide documentation for your time spent volunteering.

If you would like to learn more or have any questions, please contact me.

Thank you, Mary Grechny (Holy Trinity Orthodox Church) maryg@stpanteleimon.com Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator St. Panteleimon Ministry

COOKIE WALK!

Gerald Largent

The St. Panteleimon Cookie Walk is quickly approaching. Saturday, December 10, from 10am-2pm. The event will be held at North Olmsted United Methodist Church: 4600 Dover Center Rd. Parking is available behind the church building. St. Panteleimon's has all the bases covered for your holiday bakery needs. Our cookies are priced at $8/lb. Those who sign up for our electronic newsletter will be able to purchase cookies for $7/lb. It's the best deal in town!

We will also have baklava, nut rolls, and various breads. There's something for everyone. Best of all, 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the St. Panteleimon Ministry.

Call 440-941-4850 for more information. See you on the 10th!

From the Director -- November 2011

Gerald Largent

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!As we publish this first issue of our monthly newsletter I feel as though an introduction is in order for those of you who are not yet familiar with the St. Panteleimon ministry. This organization officially incorporated in July 2010, however God began laying the foundation for it in the fall of 2006. My family and I first became aware of what life is like in a nursing home when my grandmother (“Baba” as we affectionately called her) moved into one after suffering a broken hip. Within a few weeks it became apparent that the spiritual needs of nursing home residents are oftentimes neglected by senior living facilities. Activities departments fill their schedules with Bingo, card games, movies, singers and entertainers at the expense of spiritual programming. Baba was upset that she was unable to go to church services at a local Orthodox parish during this time, so after receiving the blessing of my parish priest, Fr. Dennis Kristof, I inquired with the activities department about the possibility of leading an Orthodox prayer service for any interested residents. The first service was held in November of 2006, and it soon became a part of the weekly schedule for the nursing home. Baba departed this life in the hope of the Resurrection in 2009, but the ministry continues at Westlake Health Care Center on a weekly basis to this day.

While the primary focus of St. Panteleimon Orthodox Christian Outreach is to minister to Orthodox Christians, non-Orthodox residents and their families are welcome to take part in our services and programs if they wish to do so.

We have had inquirers about Orthodoxy from time to time. An un-churched resident who once lived across the hall from my grandmother accepted the Orthodox Faith and was received into the Church by Fr. Dennis. More recently, a Presbyterian woman approached our team after a prayer service and expressed an interest in learning more about the Faith. Instruction is presently underway.

God has opened several doors for this ministry in its 16-month existence. As the number of referrals has increased from clergy and laypeople so has the number of facilities served. Our most recent ministry statistics will be presented at the conclusion of this letter. Ultimately our goal is for the St. Panteleimon Ministry to be of service to every parish in the Greater Cleveland area. Obviously, the most important spiritual care that Orthodox residents receive is the sacramental care provided by their parish priest. The ministry of St. Panteleimon Orthodox Christian Outreach is to provide a “spiritual snack” (for lack of a better term) until the residents are able to receive their next spiritual meal. We will be happy to provide visits and other programming wherever there are Orthodox Christians who are no longer able to attend church services on a regular basis. This ministry is for you, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Please let us know how we may best serve you or someone you know who is in a senior living facility.

Yours in the All-Holy Trinity, Gerald Largent

Angie Giallourakis

Gerald Largent

Picture this scenario: Your mother has Alzheimer’s disease and lives in a respectable Assisted Living Facility, where all her physical needs are being met. In fact, you ask the Activities Director to include her in any Christian Programs that become available during the day. The programs are very nice and wholesome, but...: (1) Your mother is a Greek Orthodox Christian (2) She cannot communicate her feelings but can still recite the prayers of the church (3) She can still sing the hymns of the church (4) Sometimes has Evangelical Christians asking if my mother is a “true Christian” (whatever that means).

This was my mother’s story.

My mother did have visitations from our wonderful parish priest, which were always very spiritually uplifting. Unfortunately our priest, like many other Orthodox Christian Priests, had many people like my mother to tend to during a typical week of visiting shut-ins. When my mother lay dying in her bed I played a CD of Greek Orthodox Christian Hymns for her to listen to in hopes of experiencing a more peaceful ending to her life. It was all I knew to do.

Witnessing my mother going through the tribulations of Alzheimer’s disease was very difficult for me. I felt very alone. The entire time I wished there was a ministry, similar to other Christian groups that provided support to shut-ins within the context of the Orthodox Christian Faith!!!

Two years ago my aunt suffered a severe stroke and was undergoing rehabilitation in a facility where the St. Panteleimon Ministry was being made available to residents. Imagine my delight in knowing that a loving family member would be able to participate in an Orthodox Christian prayer service while going through rigorous rehabilitation. I attribute my aunt’s recovery to the loving support of the St. Panteleimon community.

By the Grace of God, we have a ministry available to individuals in the NE Ohio area designed to address the needs of Orthodox Christian’s living in Nursing Facilities. Now members of the Orthodox Christian community can participate in regularly scheduled prayer services without having to leave their residence. This is particularly important for individuals who have health issues that require them to remain “in-house”.

It is an honor to be a Board Member of the St. Panteleimon Ministry. I am hopeful that you will consider being a supporter of this important ministry.

Thank you. Angie Giallourakis angiegiallourakis@yahoo.com Corresponding Secretary St. Panteleimon Ministry