May 2005

Fr. Antony PortraitDear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

Greetings during this most beuatiful Paschal Season! Let us be eternally grateful to God for blessing us with resurrection, with forgiveness, with incomparable grace and boundless mercy. The Light from the Empty Tomb has filled our hearts and minds with joy and peace.

I cannot help but give thanks for the warmth of the fellowship we enjoy in the Holy Spirit at St. Mary's. It holds us together and continues to draw others to us each year. Eleven new Orthodox Christians received Illumination on Holy Saturday Morning this year increasing the joyful anticipation we already felt as we gathered together for that most wondrous Liturgy. Welcome to all of them.

The music of the choir and chanters was exquisite throughout Holy Week and although that is what we have come to expect we must never take it for granted. The hard work and devotion it takes to sing the praises of God with such care is a gift each choir member and chanter voluntarily gives to st. Mary's. It is a gift more precious than gold.

Special thanks to the clergy and altar servers who labor tirelessly with me throughout the year, but never more than at Holy Pascha. Fr. Peter, Dn. Jeff, our Sub-deacons and acolytes deserve our deepest thanks.

The Women's Club, the Fellowship of St. John, Teen SOYO, and the members of the Order of St. Ignatius all cooperated to make our celebration special this year. It is a blessing to know that whatever the community needs, one or more of these groups always steps forward to volunteer time, talent and effort. Under the able leadership of our incomparable Parish Council, we all work together. Rarely have I ever seen such harmony in a parish. Thank you. Serving such a community is a privilege and a blessing.

St. Mary's is a unique place. It is home for many, a safe haven and refuge for others. It is a parish in which the worship of the Holy Trinity is paramount; a place where everyone is welcomed and no one is turned away. St. Mary's is a community filled with love. Each of you has contributed something of your own without which we would all be poorer. Thanks to one and all!

May the Light of His Glorious Resurrection be with you now and forever.

Gratefully yours,

Fr. Antony Hughes