March 2008 letter
The great lent is approaching and we should seize this chance to enjoy a spiritual time. It is also important to remember that the Lent is not a relationship with food: depriving ourselves from certain foods, or when to eat, how much we eat from this food, but rather we should use this exercise to meditate and read the Holy Bible. We also use this time to memorize psalms and participate in other spiritual exercises that encourage our fasting. We should also remember that the Great Lent is not only changing the types of food with non dairy and vegetarian, but there also has to be a certain time during the day where there is total abstinence of food and drink.
In this same meaning Saint Sophronius said: “Abstinence from food is the least degree of fasting, it’s as if a worker wears his uniform to do his job. He is likened to a man who abstains from food but does not pray.” Fasting is the road towards accomplishing our spiritual goals. For example: fighting against a certain sin, learning a spiritual virtue, learning to improve our relationship with others to gain meekness, kindness, long-suffering, and peace.
Hereunder is the schedule of the liturgies in our church during the Holy Lent:
v Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
v Friday: 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
As usual we have attached the liturgy timetable for our neighboring churches during the Holy Lent so that everyone can choose a suitable mass according to their schedules. We thank the Lord that He has provided us with all these churches, liturgies, and prayers in this part of the U.S.A.
We would like to remind you of our annual celebration of the feast of His Holiness Pope Kyrollos VI on Saturday March 8th at 7:00 p.m. during the vesper prayers.
Regarding the news of the church, the constructing of the mausoleum close to the church in Belleville has been finalized. We have attached a letter from the owners if you would need to buy a spot.
Asking you to remember the church, its priest, servants and all its services always in your prayers, and may the blessings of St. Mary and St. Mercurius, and the blessings of this Holy Lent be with us always Amen.
Fr. Youssef Halim
Belleville, February 28, 2008