Log in using OpenID

16 October 2011 - Hellenic Community

Fr. Elpidios Karalis
9328 7452 (T&F)
0407 260 071 (Mobile)
Email address: [email protected]
Issue: 16 October 2011
A few thoughts on Greece
By Fr Elpidios
In this edition of the Church Bulletin I would like to share some of my
wonderful moments while in Greece. Firstly I would like to mention my visit
to the island of Aegina.
When I arrived in Aegina I conducted the Divine Liturgy at the female
Monastery of the Holy Trinity. It was at this monastery that St Nektarios
would often serve when he lived on the island. A number of faithful attended
the Saturday morning service bringing their fanouropites to be blessed as it
was the feast day of St Fanourios. Fanouropites are pies brought to the
church on the feast day of St Fanourios (27 August) where the priest blesses
them. After the Divine Liturgy the pies are cut and everybody is welcome to
take a piece.
Following the Divine Liturgy I was allowed to view the vestments worn by
St Nektarios which are kept in a special room and only shown to the public a
few times a year. To enter this room one would have to pass through St
Nektarios’ bedroom which to this day still has the bed that he rested on and
various other personal items of the saint.
During the afternoon I visited another female monastery on Aegina– St
Mena. During the time of St Nektarios this monastery did not exist but only
a small church dedicated to St Mena. St Nektarios would often visit this
place together with some of the sisters of the Holy Trinity Monastery. He
would say to the sisters that one day this place will become a Great Lavra (a
large monastery). Today this monastery has about 40 nuns.
Holy Martyrs of Pantocratoros in Ntaou Pendeli
Another female monastery that I visited was that of the Holy Martyrs of
Pantocratoros in Pendeli which is a town and a municipality in the North
Athens peripheral unit, Attica, Greece. This monastery was unknown to me
until His Grace Bishop Nicandros, who also was in Athens at the time,
recommended that I visit it.
This monastery, as outlined by one of the nuns, has a very interesting
history. Originally the monastery of the Holy Martyrs of Pantocratoros, built
before the 10th century, was a male monastery reaching a number of
approximately 600 monks at its prime. It had (and still has) 8 Holy Altar
Tables in the main Church (Katholikon). The reason for this was that every
three hours the Divine Liturgy was being conducted on a different Holy
Alter Table by a different priest (According to Orthodox Canon law we can
only serve one Divine Liturgy within 24 hours on the same Holy Altar
Table. In addition a priest can only conduct the Divine Liturgy once within
24 hours). Thus within 24 hours 8 Divine Liturgies were being celebrated by
8 different priests. This indicated that the Pantocratoros Monastery was one
of the rare akoimiton (unsleeping) monasteries that existed. That is, it was a
monastery in which there was continuous prayer twenty-four hours a day
and seven days a week.
During the 17th century the monastery of Pantocratoros underwent an attack
by pirates killing 179 monks on Easter night in the year 1680. The sad thing
was that a servant of the monastery, for some unknown reason even until
today, betrayed the monks of the monastery and told the pirates of an access
point otherwise unknown to outsiders. However, two monks managed to
escape martyrdom. They were not at the monastery during the time of the
invasion, as they travelled to neighboring Nea Makri to serve the Paschal
Divine Liturgy. Upon their return to the monastery on Easter Sunday
evening they found two dead monks at the entrance and their monastery
burned down, except for the main church which survives till today. When
they entered the main church, they saw dozens of the fathers in a pool of
Today when pilgrims visit the monastery they are escorted to the glass
tombs of the martyrs where they kneel down and venerate their holy relics.
Mt Athos – the Garden of the Virgin Mary
Spending 5 days on Mt Athos was also an experience. Each day would begin
at 3am with the Matins service followed by the Divine Liturgy. The Church
was dark and all you could see were the flickering candles and oil lantern
flames as the fathers of the monastery gently chanted and walked up and
down in their black robes. No one was looking at their watch to see if the
service was running late but everyone took this opportunity to reflect on the
inner state of their soul. When the service ended we all received the antidoro
from the hand of the priest celebrating the Divine Liturgy and in silence
everyone would exit the church and return to their cells.
Visiting the monastery of Vatopedi was also a great experience. At the end
of the Saturday Vesper Service, that was attended by about 200 monks and
lay people, a number of relics were brought out for the faithful to venerate.
We venerated the belt of the Virgin Mary as well as a portion of the Skull of
St. John Chrysostom. This portion included his incorrupt ear in which St.
Paul spoke to him to help in his interpretation of his epistles.
Finally, I would like to mention a very important point that I observed in the
monasteries while on Mt Athos. I noticed that the meal time was seen as
being a very sacred moment and was treated as being a service in itself. For
example, on Sunday morning following the Divine Liturgy, the Abbot was
escorted by a small number of monks who proceeded from the main church
towards the dining room. During the procession the monks were chanting
the Sunday Dismissal hymn while incensing until they reached the dining
table. Once the meal prayer was read everyone sat down and commenced
eating. Everyone waited for the Abbot’s blessing before they could start
drinking. No talking was permitted while eating but instead everyone was
listening to a monk read from a spiritual book. Once everyone had eaten all
stood and a hymn to the Virgin Mary was chanted. Further incensing was
done while each person was given a small portion of blessed bread.
Following this the Abbot, priests, monks and laypeople (in this particular
order) all formed part of another procession and exited the dining room and
returned back to the main church of the monastery where the final
benediction was recited by the Abbot. This concluded the Sunday morning
meal and all returned to their cells glorifying the Name of the Trinitarian
Above: Relics of St ektarios (Aegina)
Are you interested in helping us make
our Church Candles?
If yes, then please contact Fr Elpidios
at [email protected]
Sts Constantine and Helene
Food Drive for Homeless Connect
Homeless Connect Perth 2011 will be held on Wednesday 16 ovember at
the Hellenic Community Centre and Russell Square in Northbridge. It is
about the whole community working together to extend some hope, dignity
and joy to homeless people and show them that their wellbeing and life
This year, as like last year, the Church of Sts Constantine and Helene will
participate in Homeless Connect by donating Non Perishable Foods and
various other goods. For this reason we are now asking everyone to assist us
by donating various non perishable goods and items such as tin food, pasta,
long life milk, biscuits, rice, cordial, long life orange juice, chocolates,
crackers, sugar, soups, sleeping bags, blankets, nappies, books, toys, soap,
deodorant, baby items and toothpaste.
The last day for bringing in goods is Sunday 13 November.
Do you have any questions relating to
our Orthodox faith?
If yes, then feel free to email us your
question at [email protected]
TIME: 10.00 – 11.00AM
(In the classroom adjacent to
Fr Elpidios’ office)
All Children Welcome to attend
Infant Baptisms
The following parents recently christened their children at the church of Sts
Constantine and Helene:
Raad Gillies and Sophia (nee) Kouzinas. The child received the name
Christianos. The godmother was Ekaterina Phylactou.
Gerasimos Couanis and Maria (nee) Agostino. The child received the name
Anton. The godfather was Gerasimos Couanis.
Michael Spartalis and Despina (nee) Kounis. The child received the name
Dialecti. The godmother was Jessica Pritchard.
Andrew Blythe and Ekaterina (nee) Yiannakis. The child received the name
Thomas. The godmother was Michelle Vlahos.
Jason Allardice and Eleni (nee) Xanthis. The child received the name
Antonios. The godmother was Demetra Xanthis.
Paul Pruiti and Ekaterina (nee) Toutountzis. The child received the name
Vasiliki. The godmother was Zoe Sarris.
Athanasios Dimitriou and Anastasia (nee) Tsafi. The child received the
name ikolaos. The godfather was Evangelos Battalis.
Anastasios Hatzianastasiou and Dominca (nee) Daniele. The child received
the name Sophia. The godmother was Evangelia Capece.
Duncan Purtill and Emily (nee) Tsokos. The child received the name Ilia.
The godmother was Despina Tsokos.
Michael Tringas and Maria (nee) Fotinos. The child received the name
Mihaela. The godmother was Angela Fotinos.
Todd Kay and Suzanne (nee) Pendelton. The child received the name
Patrick. The godmother was Pauline Treeby.
Our deepest sympathy to the families of the following people who recently
reposed in the Lord. May God grant eternal rest to their souls.
Kaliope Haldoupis aged 100
Ioannis Begos aged 64
Nikolaos Pinakis aged 82
Christos Mylonas aged 85
Week Day Divine Liturgies
18 October
Thurs 20 October
21 October
26 October
28 October
Tues 01 November
Tues 08 November
11 November
14 November
Tues 15 November
16 November
21 November
25 November
26 November
Luke the Evangelist
St Gerasimos
St Hilarion the Great
St Demetrios
Holy Protection of the Theotokos
St Kosmas and St Damian (Agiasmo)
Archangels Michael and Gabriel
St Menas
Apostle Philip
St Elpidios
Apostle and Evangelist Matthew
Entry of the Virgin Mary in the Temple
St Katherine
St Stylianos
780 Email Addresses on the Church Database
If you have a friend or relative who would like to join the Sts Constantine &
Helene Church Database then email their name and email address to
[email protected] This will allow them to be updated with various
activities taking place in the parish as well as receiving an electronic copy of
the Church bulletin.
Learning to Love
By Deacon John Athanasiou
I recall some years ago watching some very young children play a game of
soccer. The two teams were enthusiastically engaged in chasing the ball –
with the active positive encouragement of their parents on the sidelines.
After the game, one of the parents asked me whether I had enjoyed the
game. I answered that I had and made the comment that the children didn't
appear to worry about the offside rule. The response of the parent was "first
we teach them to love the game, then, we teach them the rules".
That response struck me as being most profound. First, comes in love and
secondly, come the rules. These children grew to love the game and as a
celebration of that love engaged in the rules so they could better understand
the game and their love would grow even deeper.
That message is something that perhaps we as Christians have forgotten. We
tend to have rules for almost all facets of our faith following. Indeed, the
rules themselves are sometimes parodied by us to the point where most of
their meaning is emptied and the original purposes of the rules are lost. So,
for instance, instead of fasting being a time for collection and recollection of
thoughts towards our loving Creator it becomes an activity whereby we
actively read the ingredient labels on foodstuffs played out amongst the
supermarket aisles of our local supermarket.
Let us return to the idea of love. The two supreme examples of love are
shown to us, firstly, by God who so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have
everlasting life, and, by His Son Jesus Christ who self emptied himself on
the cross so that we can become gods by grace. It is the fact that God that
offers Himself in love for each one of us that should excite us and motivate
us to imitate Jesus Christ.
As parents we have a responsibility to offer unconditional love to our
children just as God gave unconditional love to us. It is by showing children
the way to love that they can in their turn come to know love. Make no
mistake; a child will absorb life lessons that their parents demonstrate to
them – either good or evil. Accordingly, it is our responsibility as parents to
teach them to learn to love the game – whether it be sport, social
relationships, relationships within the family and with each other or
whatever else it may be. As the children grow in that love we can, as loving
parents, then begin to influence them with our values and rules of life.
The greatest ally that we as parents have is the Church. The Church is love.
To be sure there are rules but those rules flow out of love and are there to
better promote and understand the developing love relationship between the
Creator and His creature. Thus, encourage your children to come to Church.
Let them see that you have a loving relationship with God. Let them see that
you love and in turn they will also grow in love. Try it, you may be
pleasantly surprised.
Special Service for our Yr 12 Students
The Church of Sts Constantine & Helene is having a Special Artoclasia
Service (blessing of the loaves) for all our Year 12 students who will be
sitting for their final Examinations starting on 31 October. This special
service will take place on Sunday 16 October 2011 at the end of
the Sunday service. All Year 12 students and their families are invited
to attend.
Singers required for Christmas Carols
We have started rehearsals for the 2011 Christmas Carol evening scheduled
to take place on Saturday 10 December (more information on this event will
be emailed to you in the near future). We are a little short on voices as some
people from last year are unable to participate this year.
For this reason we are looking for people with good voices.
Anyone interested in taking part are asked to contact John Stamatis on
0407 385 844 or via email at [email protected]
Οι άγιοι Οσιοµάρτυρες της
Ι. Μ. Παντοκράτορος Νταού Πεντέλης
(Τέλη 17ου αιώνος)
Οι µοναχοί της Ι. Μονής Παντοκράτορος ( Νταού) Πεντέλης σφαγιάστηκαν
από Αλγερινούς πειρατές, κατ’ άλλους Τούρκους ή Τουρκαλβανούς. Την
εποχή εκείνη αλγερινοί πειρατές ερήµωναν τα παράλια µέρη . Είχαν
ελλιµενισθεί στη Ραφήνα κατά την Μεγάλη Εβδοµάδα. Την ηµέρα της
Αναστάσεως κάποιος υπηρέτης της µονής, που εχθρευόταν τους µοναχούς,
τους έβαλε στο µοναστήρι την ώρα που οι αδελφοί εόρταζαν την Ανάσταση.
Τους κατέσφαξαν όλους. Σώθηκε µόνο ένας ιερέας ο οποίος είχε πάει µε ένα
υποτακτικό στο µετόχι Χεροτσακούλι . Οι πειρατές µετά το φονικό
λεηλάτησαν την µονή και έφυγαν.
Το απόγευµα ,όταν επέστρεψε ο ιερεύς µε τον υποτακτικό, είδαν έξω από τη
µονή δυο µοναχούς σκοτωµένους. Έφυγαν και διανυκτέρευσαν πάνω στο
Την άλλη µέρα, όταν είδαν να αναχωρούν τα πειρατικά πλοία από τη
Ραφήνα, κατέβηκαν στη µονή όπου βρήκαν όλους τους µοναχούς
Πήγαν τότε στην Ι. Μονή Πεντέλης και αφού παρέλαβαν µοναχούς από εκεί
επέστρεψαν και ενταφίασαν τους αδελφούς.
Η ηµέρα της Αναστάσεως του έτους εκείνου, προ του 1692, αποτέλεσε
ορόσηµο στην ιστορία της µονής , διότι ανέδειξε µάρτυρες, καθώς οι
µοναχοί δεν έστερξαν να αλλαξοπιστήσουν και να συµβιβαστούν προς τους
µουσουλµάνους επιδροµείς.
Μετά την µαρτυρική κατάληξη η Μονή έγινε µετόχι της ιεράς Μονής της
Πεντέλης, της Κοιµήσεως της Θεοτόκου. Στη συνέχεια έµεινε έρηµη και
ακατοίκητη πάνω από 270 έτη. Η µονή λειτούργησε µετά από τρεις σχεδόν
αιώνες ως γυναικεία πλέον και το καθολικό της µονής συντηρήθηκε και
Από τον µαρτυρικό θάνατο των πατέρων της Μονής τα άγια λείψανά τους
παρέµεναν ανεύρετα. Πολλοί ηγούµενοι της Μονής Πεντέλης είχαν
καταβάλει προσπάθειες για να τα βρουν αλλά µάταια.
Η Αρχαιολογική Υπηρεσία είχε αρχίσει τις εργασίες για τη συντήρηση του
Ναού τον Σεπτέµβριο του 1963 .Η ηγουµένη µε τις µοναχές έκαναν επί 40
ηµέρες καθηµερινή παράκληση για να βρεθούν τα άγια λείψανα των
σφαγιασθέντων µοναχών. Την 40ή ηµέρα και ενώ διευθετούσαν οι εργάτες
το δάπεδο του ναού για να τοποθετήσουν πλάκες, αντελήφθησαν ότι κάτι
παράξενο συµβαίνει, διότι αισθανόντουσαν ευωδία ανεξήγητη . Πράγµατι
µπροστά στον τότε Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αθηνών Χρυσόστοµο Β’ , την γερόντισσα
και τις αδελφές, αποκαλύφθηκαν ενταφιασµένοι ,κατά την αρχαία συνήθεια
εντός του ναού , οι Πατέρες.
File Size
923 KB
Report inappropriate content