On the Sunday of Forgiveness, March 6, 2022, our Parish of the Holy Resurrection of Christ in Lebanon PA, had the blessing and the honor to welcome our Father and Bishop Irinej who presided over the Divine Liturgy.
After two difficult years of separation during the pandemic, seeing our Shepard in our midst, His Grace Bishop Irinej, was a true blessing and an opportunity for many of our new parishioners to meet with him and talk to him in person.
As St. Paisios the Athonite used to say, the visit of His Grace to our Parish “charged our spiritual batteries” before the beginning of Great Lent. This much needed spiritual visit by our Father and Bishop Irinej was indeed a true blessing for all of us here in the Holy Resurrection of Christ Parish.
During his edifying sermon His Grace Bishop Irinej, emphasized the importance of the Great and Holy Lent and returning into the Garden of Eden where, after the food that became the reason of our fall and eviction from paradise, the Eucharist, now becomes “the new food” and the nourishment of our salvation, that brings us back into to bosom of our God. His Grace’s homily interpreted the three most important components of this Cheesefare Sunday’s Gospel reading: the forgiveness, fasting and riches.
Our parishioners received the Body and Blood of Christ through the hands of our First Hierarch and many of our catechumens were able to meet His Grace and get his blessing for their personal journey through the Great and Holy Lent and entering into the Orthodox Church. His Grace could not hide his delight at seeing so many new parishioners that filled the church to capacity. In particular, the Bishop immediately turned his attention to the many children, pleasantly surprised that their parish family now has 50 pupils enrolled in their church school classes.
As always, our parishioners prepared a festal Agape meal in our Church Hall for all who were able to come and share this joyful and blessed event for our Parish.
The words of the Psalm: “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” were fulfilled since we realized the time flew so fast when we had to separate from our Father and Bishop Irinej whom we hope, with God’s help to see him again on our Parish Slava celebration on Antipascha – St Thomas Sunday this May 1st, 2022.
We hope and pray to see each other soon and feast together in the Lord for many years. Asking for forgiveness and blessed beginning of the Great and Holy Lent, through the prayers of our Father and Bishop Irinej, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us!
Many Years, Eis polla eti Despota!
Његово Преосвештенство Епископ источноамерички г. Иринеј началствовао je 6. марта 2022. године, у Недељу праштања, светом архијерејском Литургијом у храму Светог Васкрсења Христовог у Лебанону, Пенсилванија.
Посета Владике био је велики благослов за парохију уочи почетка Великог поста. Црква је била испуњена верницима који су дошли да виде Епископа и затраже његов благослов пред Васкршњи пост. Том приликом Владика је био веома задовољан упознавши се са чињеницом да је 50 деце уписано на часове веронауке које организује та парохија.