Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Saints Aren't Dead

From the Sounding on the Orthodox Christian Network...

Yesterday I read a comment to a blog post stating that the saints are dead and we only have to pray to God.  Well. the saint's aren't dead, but not only that, they are making their presence known.  

Oil from Icon Is a Sign of Saint’s Presence

 I don’t normally get my news from facebook, but recently a friend posted about a miracle icon in Homer Glen, Illinois and I was thrilled!  I called the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church right away and spoke with Fr. Sam (Sotirios) Dimitriou.  He said the oil has been on the icon of St. John the Baptist since mid- July, but recently there was more activity.  The icon is on the iconostasis, the icon screen that separates the altar from the nave.  (Keep Reading...)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It's Proper to Enjoy Life!

From the Sounding on the Orthodox Christian Network...

A few years ago I watched a YouTube video of Danny Kay singing with Nana Mouskouri and Harry Belafonte.  They sang Opa Nina Nina Nai. or a slight rendition of it, and it touched a place in my soul I had ignored for years.   I called my mom to see if she could explain it because I couldn’t figure out why such a delightful song would pierce me so deeply.  She said my dad used to sing it all the time.   My dad died 10 years ago.
It pleased him when we Greek danced at weddings and social events.  My father, a Greek immigrant, struggled at times to bond with his 4 American daughters.  He loved to dance and Greek dancing was one of the ways we all connected.   But what was it about this song, from all the other hundreds of songs we grew up listening to?  As I sang it over and over in my head, tapping my foot and remembering my youth, I noticed one of the lyrics:
We only live once in this fake world, it is proper to enjoy ourselves a little.
These lyrics explain a lot about my dad.  He had a rough start to his life.  (Keep Reading...)

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Thanking Clergy

 In honor of Clergy Appreciation Month I wrote the following in gratitude to the many Clergy who were always there for me.  The ones from my childhood to now.  They all have a special place in my heart.   It's like the song, To Sir With Love... How do you thank someone who has taken you from crayon to perfume?   Only prayer can equal the value of gratitude. 

October is Clergy Appreciation Month!
It’s like Father’s Day, but not really.  On Father’s Day we show appreciation for our fathers (and father figures) who have guided and loved us through all our faults and graces.  They love us because of the sincere and intimate relationships we have with them: we come from their gene pool, they encourage us to persevere, or they protect us from the world.  Our Fathers deserve the day of recognition for the sacrifices they make out of love and obligation.
Do we need a Clergy Appreciation Month?  It can be challenging to say “thank you” to clergy because we might not see clergy as people who genuinely love us.  For some people, the fact that the church signs a check for the priest’s salary implies that the priest has to love them.   “It’s their job.”   They have to come to the hospital in the middle of the night. “It’s their job.” they have to listen to our burdens until we find peace.  “It’s their job.” The truth is, the love a priest has for his parishioners is a gift from God.  Most clergy are willing and enthusiastic to go above and beyond the “call of duty” to care for parishioners entrusted to their care.  They respond to a calling from our Creator, not a paycheck.  Their love is genuine, not serviced.  (To keep reading...)

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

There is More Than One Saint John

Did you know there are 46 different Saint Johns?  I recently posted this article on the Orthodox Christian Network:
Recently we were invited to Baby John’s baptism and I was planning to gift an icon of Epiphany.  We always gift an icon of Epiphany for baptisms, if we can.  It’s the icon of St. John the Forerunner and Baptist, baptizing Jesus.
I started to wonder if he was being named after the Baptist or a different John.  You’d be surprised how many Johns there are.  I searched the name “John” on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.  They have a “Search for a Saint” tab.  I found 61 listings! Some were finding and re-finding relics and heads… it seems we lost the head of St. John the Baptist a few times.  Conception and Nativity were included.  Also listed was the Synaxis, the “piggyback” feast, following Epiphany, when most people celebrate his feast.  Finish reading...

Saturday, October 03, 2015

I've Been Pretty Busy

I've been busy since I started working for the Orthodox Christian Network a year ago.  As a result, my personal blog has been neglected.  So tonight, I thought I'd share a bit of what  I've been doing this past week or so. 

Here are a few of my favorite articles on OCN:

My work has kept me from posting my recipes.  I'm still cooking.  I'm just not finding time to blog about it. Here are a few of my favorite recipes for the cooler weather

I'm also sketching. It activates a part in my brain that gives me peace, like prayer, but not the same.

I'm still drawing on lunches.  I hope I always do this.  It's a nice way to communicate with my son.

And I'm still selling cards.  If you are looking for cards, please consider  We'd love to have your business.

Thanks for coming to my page.   -Presvytera Vassi