St. Nicholas of Myra Orthodox Church
in Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Clergy: Fr. George Psaromatis, Presbyter;
Ecclesiarches: Kyriakos Gerassimou (Warden), John Psaromatis
Readers: Daniel Guetzkow, Nicholas Snogren
We, here at the parish of St. Nicholas, have reason to believe that the holy Hierarchs, St. Nicholas of Myra and St. John of San Francisco, are good friends! As many in the Metropolis know, our parish had been holding services in parishioners’ homes, and then in a cramped office space in Crofton, Maryland, for about four years. This was a special problem for us, especially given that our parish has over 50 children who regularly attend (the majority of which are under age 5, it seems…).
We had been actively fundraising and looking for a new property to house our parish. Thanks to the love and generosity of many faithful from all over the Metropolis, as well as to Fr. Nicodemos and our sister parish of St. Seraphim of Sarov, who donated $15,000 to our effort, we were slowly getting to be in good position for making an offer on a new property. In the meantime, the building committee had been looking at dozens of potential properties, over the course of many months. Slowly, we began to become disheartened by problems and deal-breakers that would come to the surface with every property that initially showed promise. One was too close to power lines, another did not have a commercial property license, and yet another was snatched away by a higher bidder, etc. etc. etc. The building committee met multiple times, and parishioners worked hard in their search for a suitable property within our budget that would work, but to no avail.
And then came the Thyranoixia service for the official opening of the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco, in in Cobleskill, NY, on the weekend of the Feast of the Saint, July 2nd – 3rd of 2016. Through God’s mercy, many of our parishioners were able to attend this blessed event. What an unforgettable, grace-filled service! We parishioners of St. Nicholas were especially moved by a miraculous, myrrh-streaming icon of our Patron, St. Nicholas, that was present on this occasion. This icon was from a nearby Russian Monastery, and had been visibly gushing forth myrrh for many months. Our Russian Fathers had brought the icon on the Feast of St. John as a special blessing to us all. As they anointed us with the miraculous myrrh, one parishioner was heard saying, “May St. John on his Feast work together with St. Nicholas that we may find a home!”
Well, the next day, on July 4th, that’s what happened! Presbytera Mary was searching her app for available properties, as she had done frequently over the course of the previous two years, and she saw it! “Fr. George,” she said, “I don’t think we have looked at this one…” Fr. George was not immediately enthusiastic because of the previous disappointments, and said that he didn’t think it would work geographically. Presbytera continued to look at the features of the property, and said, “Fr. George, I think this one might work…” And they drove out to see it. It was perfect!
Glory to God! How grateful we are to St. Nicholas, and his Co-worker in this blessing, St. John of San Francisco! And we are very grateful to EVERYONE who donated or who prayed for us to finally get our St. Nicholas home!
On the weekend of December 18-19 n.s., His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrius of America, together with Fr. Agathaggelos, Chancellor of the Metropolis, Fr. Nicodemos Gayle, Fr. Christos Patitsas, Fr. Andrew Frick, Fr. Deacon Andrew Wales, and Fr. Deacon Joseph Clatterbuck, joined us for the celebration of St. Nicholas in our new home! Yes, there is still much that needs to be done, but we have a home! And we all fit! Glory to God.
Please continue to keep our parish in your prayers.
Iftar, refers to the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is done right after sunset.
We report the following unchanged as it was published:
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Q. There seems to be a lot of variation in how people observe fasting, but my confessor told me to fast from oil on Wednesday and Friday. Oil is a pretty vague category, though, and I was wondering if I could get a more explicit description of what kinds of food and drink are excluded on strict fast days. Read more...