Sunday, April 19, 2009

My parish of Sts. Peter and Paul

This is my first official parish assignment as a priest -- Sts. Peter and Paul in Nea Ionia, Greece. I'm the third priest, but the second priest was sent out to a village from Thursday to Sunday of Holy Week, so I was the main helper to Fr. Christos, who has served this parish for 33 years, practically since it was built in 1974.

The second photo shows some of the iconography adorning the inside of the church. The life of the Holy Apostle Paul runs along one side of the church, and St. Peter along the other. Here you see St. Paul being baptized and St. Paul preaching in the synagogue.

Below, you see the inside of the church before the service on Holy Thursday evening. The bottom photo is taken from the inside of the church out the main door.

Like most Greek churches, this parish is blessed with a small core of dedicated people. Together with Fr. Christos and Fr. Stephanos, they recently completed constuction of a separate parish building, where they can gather for the equivalent of the American "coffee hour," teach the kids, and where they also have a full kitchen, where they prepare meals and distribute them to the needy in the area.

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