Sunday, May 10, 2015

Around Portaria

Not far from our house, we have a chapel dedicated to St. George, built in 1765, where we celebrate his feast day. Here is a photo from just before we began Vespers service. In the foreground is our friend Alexandros, who immigrated from Afghanistan about 12 years ago. He is now becoming a novice on Mt. Athos. After the service, he told his amazing story in our parish hall, located next door to St. George's, while we had some tea and cookies.

After Liturgy for the feast of St. George, our neokorisa (church cleaner) clowns around at the coffee hour by wearing the beret of one of our parish council members.

We had our first BBQ of the year the other day. The boys love climbing up on the covered area out in our yard.

On Friday, April 24th, the bishop came to celebrate Divine Liturgy for all the school children in Portaria--pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary school. In Greece, there's a actually a law that says kids have to attend church once a month on a school day. This, however, was different. The bishop has been going around doing "Catechetical Liturgies" for school kids of all ages. Essentially, the Liturgy takes place out in the center of the church, and the bishop stops at a few points to explain what is happening in the Liturgy. Everywhere he has gone, the kids--as well as teachers and parents--have been very enthusiastic. Many--if not most--don't understand almost anything that is happening in the church services. 

The kids have been on Portaria's soccer team since the fall, and they recently had their first tournament on a Saturday. Portaria's team is in green. In the background, behind a cypress tree, you can see one of our chapels, dedicated to St. Symeon the Stylite.


Larry Edwards said...

Was Alexandros Christian when he lived in Afghanistan?

Fr. Gregory said...

No. In fact, he worked for the Taliban. I've now added a link to his story in the text above. It's also here: