24 February 2009

What do you do with leftover Pączki?

For those who live where the Polish heritage is strong or dominant, such as Detroit or Chicago, today is Pączki Day (pronounded "punch-key"). Simply put, a pączki is very much like a high cholesterol, high calorie (and therefore, much tastier) filled doughnut. It's traditionally served on "Fat Tuesday"--the day before Ash Wednesday--as a way of both cleanining out the cupboard of foods forbidden during Lent (according to the older Catholic rules), and gorging oneself one last time before Lent.

So you shouldn't save the leftovers for another day. If you don't eat them today, you should throw them out.

However, I have a better solution. Take your leftover pączki to your local Orthodox church, or give them to your Orthodox neighbor. Why? Because our Lent doesn't begin until next week.

18 February 2009

Photos from the Consecration

Last Saturday (14 February 2009), His Grace Bishop MARK, Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest, consecrated the new altar at Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church.

The ceremony included sprinkling the altar with holy water while processing around it; sealing the relics of St Sebastian, martyr, and St Peter, Bishop & Confessor, in the altar stone; anointing the altar stone with Sacred Chrism and the Oil of Catechumens; and burning incense within each of the five incised crosses on the altar stone.

Included here are a few samples of the full array of photographic scenes of the consecration which may be viewed at the Holy Incarnation website.

A story about James and St James

On Sunday after Mass, I went to Denver for a two day meeting with several priests from the Vicariate. As I was leaving the meeting Tuesday afternoon, Fr John Connely presented me with a wonderful gift for my 3 year-old son James--an icon of St James, the Brother of the Lord.

This morning I gave the gift to little James. He, of course, recognized it as an icon, and wanted to know who it was. I said, "It's St James." He was very pleased--so pleased, in fact, that he ran to his mother with the icon and said, "Look, an icon of St. Me!!"

Then James looked at the icon more carefully. He noticed that St James was holding something in his hand. So little James said, "What am I holding?" His mother explained that it was a bishop's staff. I expected (and really wanted) him to say, "Oh, am I a bishop?" Thankfully, he did not since we'd been through that phase already when our diocesan bishop had visited last summer.

Anyway, James continued to admire the icon. Finally, he announced to his mother, "I like me!"

09 February 2009

Consecration of New Altar

On Saturday, February 14, The Right Reverend Mark (Maymon) will consecrate the new altar at Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church in Lincoln Park. The ceremony will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will be followed immediately with Mass. The consecration will include sealing the relics of St Sebastian into the altar.

To the left is a photo of a portion of the new sanctuary. To the right is a photo detailing the newly built altar. To view more photos of the Sanctuary Project, click here.