Baptism of Luke Shephard
“Having preserved the gift of the Holy Spirit, and increased the measure of Grace committed unto them, grant that they may receive the praise of their high calling, and be numbered with the first born whose names are written in heaven."
On July 8th, the parish celebrated the Baptism of Luke Shephard, son of Subdeacon David and Sara, and grandson of Tina and Scott. Congratulations to the entire family, and to the God parents Reader Gregory and Tricia! May God grant you all many blessed years in His service!
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Registration Opens for Vacation Church School!
We are excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2018 Pan Orthodox Vacation Church School! This year, the theme is "Noah's Ark". The program will run from August 6th to August 9th, from 6-8:30 PM. The cost is only $12 dollars per child, and is for children from Pre-School to Sixth Grade.
If you would like to register your children, or would like to volunteer to help out at this year's Vacation Church School, please click the following link:
Visitation of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God
A Once in a lifetime miracle
On June 29th and 30th, our parish family was blessed to welcome well over a thousand pilgrims to our little Church in the woods to witness a true miracle: An Icon of the Mother of God and her Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, weeping in the middle of the Church.
The above video shows footage of the icon weeping over the head of our Archbishop Alexander, as well as remarks made by His Eminence after one of the Divine Services with the Icon.
Monastery Pilgrimage 2018
From March 12th-March 14th, several parishioners of St. Mary Magdalene set off on a journey to the oldest Orthodox Monastery in the country--St. Tikhon's in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Elwood City, PA
Along our journey, we were able to stop for a quick visit to Holy Transfiguration Monastery. We were able to celebrate Lenten Services with the nuns and were given a tour of the Monastery where we learned of it's history. The monastery was founded in 1967 by Mother Alexandra (the former Princess Ileana of Romania), whose dream it was to provide a place where American Orthodox women, from all ethnic backgrounds, to come live the monastic life and benefit from a liturgical cycle of the Church in English. This dream was eventually realized at Holy Transfiguration Monastery!
Before we departed, we were graciously given a delicious Lenten lunch prepared by the sisters.
St. Tikhon's Monastery, South Canaan, PA
After departing Elwood City, we took the long drive through Pennsylvania to our final destination: St. Tikhon's Monastery.
We arrived on a very snowy evening to the open arms of the monks and seminarians. While at the Monastery, our pilgrims were able to celebrate Lenten Hours, Matins and a Presanctified Liturgy with the brotherhood and students at the Monastery and Seminary.
Fr. Sergius, Abbot of the Monastery, was gracious enough to offer us a tour of the OCA Metropolitan Museum, where we were able to see some incredible history of the Orthodoxy Church.
After a day of walking around the beautiful monastery grounds, nestled on top of the Pocono Mountains, Fr. Herman of the monastery gave us a talk about the Myrrh Streaming Icon of St. Anna, which was held in the Monk's Private Quarters.
The group ended its trip with a visit and blessing from Archbishop Mark of Eastern Pennsylvania, as well as with His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman, who gifted the pilgrims with relics of St. Alexis Toth's tomb..
The Weeping Icon of the "Kardiotisa" (Tender Heart), Taylor, PA
As for one of the highlights of the trip, our Pilgrims were beyond blessed to have a nearly four hour visit with the miraculous myrrh streaming Icon of the Kardiotisa.
While we waited for the priest to come show us the Icon, we sang hymns with an Akathist to the Theotokos as the Mother of God literally wept tears onto the floor of the church. Our pilgrims witnessed a miracle of myrrh gushing forth from the Icon, at some points literally filling the hands of those present with the fragrant tears.
The First Week of Great Lent
"My Soul My Soul Arise! Why Are You Sleeping? Awake Then and Be Watchful, That Christ our God May Spare You, for He is Everywhere and Fills All Things!"
The Canon of St. Andrew
The first week of Great Lent began with The Canon of St. Andrew of Crete and the Evening Compline Service, which was done by candlelight. The imagery and power of this ancient service helps us get into a proper mindset as we enter into the season of repentance.
On the first Sunday of Great Lent, we were blessed with some sunshine. After Divine Liturgy, we processed outside with all of our icons to celebrate Orthodoxy Sunday, which commemorates the restoration of icons to Christianity in the 9th Century.
Orthodox Clean Week
With services every day of the first week of Lent, some traditions call this first week Clean Week. This prepares our souls and hearts for the journey that we will all make with Christ towards Golgotha and His Glorious Resurrection.
Fr. Gabriel and the ice cross made of Holy Water and basil.
A full Church to celebrate the Divine Liturgy.
A new catechumen being welcomed into the Church.
Everyone was sure to bundle up for the procession!
A new catechumen receiving prayers at the Litany of Catechumens
Fr. Gabriel after throwing the ice cross into the flowing river beneath six inches of ice!
The Altar Services and Faithful braving the cold temperatures to process to the river.
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Relics of Our Patroness
For those of you who have not heard, our parish now has the blessing of the Holy Relics of our Patroness, St. Mary Magdalene, from Jerusalem. I hope that everyone in our parish understands what a tremendous blessing it is to have a first century relic in our midst here in Fenton! Through the prayers of our patroness, may we continue to grow in faith, love, and as a parish family! What a blessing!
Here is some spiritual nectar from the book "Our Thoughts Determine our Lives":
One cannot say that Christianity is a religion. Christianity is a revelation of eternity and life. The angels rejoice greatly because God has revealed Himself mystically to His creature, man. Our human nature has become part of the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and that is a great gift which we do not even appreciate; instead, we have cleaved to the things of this world. We have been given the opportunity to prepare ourselves for eternity, to vanquish evil, and to always be with the Heavenly Father.
Let us strive to live out our lives, not with our focus on the things of the earth, but with our eyes fixated towards things Divine!
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Please click on the video below to hear a special message from our rector, Fr. Gabriel!