Monthly Reflections from Fr. Antony Hughes

Fr. Antony reading the Gospel In every edition of our parish's newsletter, Fr. Antony offers a short, but inspiring message to complement the activities, minsitries, and current events of the life of the church.  Below is a collection of these messages.

March 2005

As we approach the Great Feast, let's do all we can to enter into the true spirit of fasting. It is so easy to fall into the rigors and completely miss the purpose oand to blindly adhere to tradition without allowing the tradition to transform us. To do this, we must go to the prophet Isaiah who addressed this very issue when speaking of the illegitimate fasting of the people of Israel in his day. Read more »

February 2005

Your response to the Tsunami Relief effort has been truly outstanding! As of this writing, over $2,300.00 has been collected with one more Sunday to go. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. All the monies collected will be sent to the International Orthodox Christian Charities for distribution where it is most needed. Read more »

January 2005

The spiritual traditions of the desert constitute an essential treasury for us. The lives of the remarkable womean and men who inhabited the barren wastes of the Middle East point us to a radical and uncompromising way of life that resembles nothing less than the Savior Himself. Read more »

December 2004

While the Nativity Season rings its customary joy we also do well to remember those who will not be celebrating. Remember in your prayers the families and friends of the soldiers and civilians who have died or been maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan and those who face the same every day. Remember the agony of the refugees and people in Palestine, Darfur and the Ivory Coast. Remember with more than your prayers the poor, the hungry, the naked, the imprisoned, the homeless, the oppressed and disenfranchised. Read more »

November 2004

The great and holy season of Advent is quickly approaching. It is hard to believe that November is already here! I dearly love this time of year with its dramatic change of weather and spiritual emphasis. Talk about the commercialization of Christmas is cliche. You may have noticed that holiday decorations are now popping up in department stores well before Halloween; perhaps an indication of a sputtering economy and consumer insecurity, but also I think of a longing for something to celebrate. Read more »

October 2004

It is vital that we remember our children in prayer, particularly those who are away studying in college. I feel this strongly now that my eldest is among the latter. I received an encouraging and thoughtful e-mail from a parishioner, who shared with me a prayer from the Akathist to St. John of Kronstadt I would like to pass on to you. Read more »

September 2004

Our faith teaches us that at all times and in every place we are accompanied by the grace of God. We live and breathe and move in it. in face we cannot survive without it. God is always near, as some fathers say, closer than our own heartbeat or than our breath. This is a comforting thought. Read more »

July 2004

This summer brings with it the usual things: conferences, heat, humidity and summer hours. What is different this year is that the Archdiocese has called a special convention to address important issues regarding its new Self-Rule status. Read more »

June 2004

Our parishioners have been working hard to make the coming Parish Life Conference a success. The rooms are nearly all booked. Attendance will be high. The worship services, festivals, meetings and workshops planned should provide everyone with something worthwhile to do. The social events have been well-planned and should be fun for all members of the family. Read more »

May 2004

I learned during Holy Week of a wonderful event: the glorification of new saints by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Not only does the fact that these new saints lived in Europe among the population of Russian emigrants surprise and delight us, but the identities of these holy ones does as well. The glorification will take place at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris the first week of May 2004. Read more »

April 2004

It is with great joy that I greet you in this Bright Paschal Season. The beauty of Holy Week at St. Mary's is an incomparable reminder of the life, death, and resurrection of the Savior of all. But we do not remember only; we are granted the grace to enter into the mystery of the Faith existentially. Read more »

March 2004

Fr Robert is a Roman Catholic priest who has dedicated his life to working with gang members in New York City. He has been very successful in helping kids get off the streets, find jobs, go to school and clean up their lives so that they can live productively in society. A year or so ago he was diagnosed with leukemia and given only a short time to live. During that time ex-gang members began to repay him for all he had done for them. Read more »

February 2004

There are few things more beautiful than entering the church when the weather is cold and the winter darkness is falling. The vigil lamps make a valiant stab against the gloom. The church is warm and inviting, safe, alive, welcoming. The atmosphere makes it easier to leave behind earthly cares and to immerse oneself in the life of God if only for an hour or two. I live for these moments. Read more »

January 2004

There is no more wondrous message in all the world's religions than that which comes at Christmas. The love of God could no bind itself merely to expression through nature or through laws and holy books. His love took the final step of touching humanity in Person. All other revelations are inadequate. Only the Incarnation of God could fulfill the deepest needs and longings of creation and express the unfathomable depths of the love of God. Read more »

December 2003

The Orthodox services and hymns for the Nativity of our Lord are incomparable, deeply mystical, gems of liturgical worship and theological reflection. It is only right that we commemorate the birth of the Son of God with special reverence and solemnity. What kind of parish would we be if we ignored the majesty of Christmas? Read more »

November 2003

God has given to the earth the breath which feeds it. it is His breath that gives life to all things. And if He were to hold His breath, everything would be annihilated. His breath vibrates in yours, in your voice. It is the breath of God that you breathe - and you are unaware of it. Read more »

October 2003

To those of you who helped make Metropolitan PHILIP’s pastoral visit such a wonderful affair, I offer my heartfelt thanks. By the grace of God every event went smoothly and was well-attended. The highlight, of course, was the Sunday Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the ordination to the Holy Diaconate of our own Peter Defonce, the beautiful chanting and singing of the service, the sermon of our Chief Shepherd who exhorted us to take up the Cross, the reverent reception of the Holy Eucharist and finally the induction of fourteen of our parishioners into the Order of St. Ignatius. Read more »

September 2003

I am so grateful to all of you for the work you are doing in our beloved parish. A few months ago two small groups were formed to encourage spiritual growth and help in the further development of the parish as a primary community. Read more »

Summer 2003

By the time you receive this Cornerstone, the Paschal Season will be over; but the light of the Resurrection is always shining. This is the light that illumines the path of Orthodox believers every day of their lives. Every Divine Liturgy on normal Sundays is a celebration of Christ's rising from the dead. St. Seraphim of Sarov welcomed people to his hermitage with the Paschal greeting all year round. Read more »

May 2003

Rightly we celebrate Holy Pascha with great joy! This is the festival of festivals, the feast of feasts and the night that is brighter than day. How easily we get caught up in the panoply of light, song, pageantry and excitement. Read more »