Messages

 

CURRENT MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Anastasia (Anne) Michals

 
 

PASCHAL MESSAGE 2015

The Angel stood by the tomb and cried out to the women bringing ointment:
“Ointments are for the dead, but Christ has shown Himself not subject to corruption; so now cry out:
‘The Lord is risen, bestowing great mercy upon the world.’ ”

TROPARION

Beloved Philoptochos Sisters and Stewards,

As we begin Holy Week, together let us experience Christ’s Passion by participating as fully as possible in His journey towards crucifixion. As we await the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, let us forgive each other for our transgressions and look towards the blessed event that did bring us out of darkness, into the Light that is Our Lord.

As Philoptochos women you are willing examples of his Word. As the Myrrh Bearing women of an age that went before us did, you take great care to believe in the task at hand. You understand that often it might be necessary to put aside your personal agenda in order to rescue someone who cannot provide life’s essentials for his or her family. Your strength to persevere, as did the Myrrh Bearing women, lies in your faith, which reminds us that all things are possible through Christ’s love.

As Greek Orthodox faithful, we know that it was the Myrrh Bearing women that went to Christ’s tomb to anoint his body as part of a proper burial. It was these women that through their faith and belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior, feared not the implications of their deed and crossed through soldiers and persecutors to complete their task. The Lord made it possible that through His love they were the first to see the sacred miracle of the Resurrection. They were the first to be able to spread the word that the darkness had been lifted, Christ had Risen and that salvation was offered to all through the unconditional love of Our Lord. As we celebrate Pascha, let us remember the hope He brings to us all through His Glorious Resurrection.

Under the guidance and with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and on behalf of the Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos, I thank you for your extraordinary service to Christ and His Church. We humbly extend our love and best wishes to you and your families. May the peace of Our Lord be with all of you and may His Love be a shining beacon to you, as it was when He rolled the immovable stone from the Sacred Tomb of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, laying empty the cave and filling us with everlasting love.

Anne Michals, President
Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos
 

Note: You can download the President’s 2015 Paschal Message as Acrobat PDF file here: PaschalMessageMetropolisofNJPhiloptochos2015

 


 


 

PAST MESSAGES

 
 

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2014

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.”

Isaiah 9:6-7

Beloved Chapter Presidents, Metropolis Board Members and Philoptochos Sisters,

Under the Arch-pastoral Ministry of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, I greet you with love in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is a most wonderful and busy time of year, as we prepare to celebrate with family and friends the Miracle of His Birth. Let us all reflect on the blessings that have come to each and every one of us through this Miracle. On behalf of the Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos Board of Directors I extend my deepest gratitude, love and admiration for your steadfast as Sisters in Philoptochos.

As we consider the Miracle of the Nativity let us reflect on the words of St. Gregory Palamas (1296-1359).

“The pre-eternal, uncircumscribed (without limits), and almighty Word is now born according to the flesh – without home, without shelter, without dwelling – and placed as a babe in the manger — seen by men’s eyes, touched by their hands and wrapped in layers of swaddling bands.

He is not a spiritual creature coming into being after previously not existing, nor flesh which is brought to birth but will soon perish, nor flesh and mind united to form a rational creature; but He is God and flesh – mingled without confusion by the divine Mind…Who entered the Virgin’s womb for a time.

By the good pleasure of the Father and the cooperation of the Spirit: The Word, Who transcends being, came into being within this womb and by means of it; and now He is delivered from it and born as an Infant — not loosing, but preserving the signs of virginity.”

“He is born without suffering, as He was conceived without passion; for His mother was shown to be above the pleasure of passion when she conceived, so she is above grievous pains when she gives birth. “Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child”, as Isaiah says [Isa. 66:7], and she brought forth in the flesh the Pre-eternal Word.

Not only is His divinity inscrutable, but the manner in which He was united with flesh is past understanding. His condescension unsurpassable. And the human nature he assumed: divinely, ineffably sublime; and so far above all thought and speech that it does not admit of any comparison with creation. Even though you see in the flesh the Child born to the Maiden who knew no husband, He is still beyond compare.

As we await the Birth of Christ, we become more keenly aware of the incredible nature of the Miracle that is His Birth and the blessings brought about by this Gift. The words of St. Gregory Palamas are very deep and thought provoking but they truly express the great mystery that is the Incarnation of Our Lord.

This year, which continues to be challenging for many, the hope for salvation and rescue is once again found in our faith, which is rooted in our worship of Him. It serves as an answer offered to those who have found themselves in the direct path of disaster. It serves as a path to healing, offered to those who have found themselves saying goodbye to a loved one after an agonizing struggle with illness. It serves as an offering of strength to all of us, as we find ourselves seeking the will to continue to offer our gifts of love, hope and charity to humankind.

Let us celebrate the Christmas Miracle while thinking about the needs of others. Let us pray for God’s eternal love and blessings to be upon the needy that day in particular. Let us find the depth of our faith and commitment in the awesome Miracle of the Nativity, mysterious as it is.

The Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos thanks all of you for exhibiting the understanding of your faith throughout the challenges we faced, both together and separately, this past year. It is our fervent prayer that you continue to open your hearts to those in the midst of struggle, no matter where and when you see it. As you give of yourself you will truly feel the blessings of the Gift, the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ now and throughout the New Year.

With Love in Christ,
Anastasia Michals, President
Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos

 

Note: You can download the President’s 2014 Christmas Message as Acrobat PDF file here: 2014ChristmasMessagePresident

 


 
 

THANKSGIVING MESSAGE 2014

from Bishop Sevastianos

My dear sisters in the Lord,

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge– because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I thank the Lord for you and your service as I read the wonderful words of St. Paul from the above quotation. It has truly been an amazing year for us personally and for our Philoptochos. From acquiring the new Philoptochos Center and home, to the successful National Convention, to the domestic and foreign charities to which you dedicated yourselves, God has blessed us abundantly.

To read the rest of the Thanksgiving Message, please click the link below and download the PDF file:

Thanksgiving_Message_2014_from_Bishop_Sevastianos_

 


 
 

THANKSGIVING MESSAGE 2014

from the National President Maria Logus, Esq.

November 26, 2014

Dear National and Metropolis Board Members, Chapter Presidents and Stewards of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society,

In 1863, in the midst of a Civil War that challenged the spirit of a still young nation, President Abraham Lincoln turned to the war-torn union and its people and issued a proclamation declaring that thanks be given to God for the blessings that the nation had been given and asking that prayers be offered for healing the wounds of the country. And thus America’s national day of Thanksgiving was established.

More than 150 years later, we reside in a country still blessed by great bounty and stirred by great challenges. And still today, thanksgiving and prayers should be offered by all of us – to God with reverence and gratitude for His love for us.

As stewards of our beloved Philoptochos, we give thanks for the opportunity to assist the needy, to comfort the infirm and to support the institutions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This year, we have an opportunity to add to our holiday traditions by participating in Giving Tuesday. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charitable organizations, families, businesses, community centers and students across the world will come together for a common purpose – a celebration of giving.

To read the rest of the Thanksgiving Message, please click the link below and download the PDF file:

Thanksgiving_Message_2014_from_National_President_
 

 


 

PASCHAL MESSAGE 2014

from our President, Anastasia Michals

“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in the newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of
His resurrection.”

Romans 6:4

Beloved Philoptochos Sisters and Stewards,

You are the willing examples of the Faith, as you walk in the light of Christ and offer your time, talent and treasure to those in need. Just as the Myrrh Bearing women of an age that went before us did, you take great comfort in believing in the task at hand. You understand that often it is necessary to put aside your personal goals in order to rescue someone who cannot provide life’s essentials for his or her family. Your strength to persevere, as did the Myrrh Bearing women, lies in your Faith that tells you all things are possible through Christ’s love.

As Greek Orthodox faithful, we know that it was the Myrrh Bearing women that went to Christ’s tomb to anoint his body as part of a proper burial. It was these women that through their faith and belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior, feared not the implications of their deed and crossed through soldiers and persecutors to complete their task. The Lord made it possible that through His love they were the first to see the sacred miracle of the Resurrection. They were the first to be able to spread the word that the darkness had been lifted, Christ had Risen and that salvation was offered to all through the unconditional love of Our Lord.

As we begin Holy Week, let us experience Christ’s Passion by participating as fully as possible in His journey towards crucifixion. As we await the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ let us forgive each other for our transgressions and look towards the blessed event that did and will continue to bring us out of darkness, into the light that is our Faith. As we celebrate Pascha, let us remember the hope He brings to all through His Glorious Resurrection.

Under the guidance and with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and on behalf of the Metropolis of NJ Philoptochos, I thank you for your extraordinary service to Christ and His Church. I humbly extend my love and best wishes to you and your families. May the peace of Our Lord be with all of you and may His Love be a shining beacon to you as it was when He rolled the immovable stone from the Sacred Tomb of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, laying empty the cave and filling us with everlasting love.

With Love in Christ,
Anne Michals, President
Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos

 

Note: You can download the President’s 2014 Paschal Message as Acrobat PDF file here

 


 


 

January 22, 2014

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of my brothers,
even the least of them, you did it to Me”

Matthew 25:40-45

Ladies of the Metropolis Board and Region IV and V Chapter Presidents/Officers,

It was with complete joy that the Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos Board met you all at the Annunciation Cathedral, Norfolk, Virginia, this past weekend for the Regional Presidents Workshop/Meeting.

We had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the beauty of your commitment to Philoptochos, your chapters and churches. When we take the opportunity to meet face to face, as we did this weekend, and share both our joys and challenges, it becomes more and more apparent that the love we share as Sisters in Christ makes our Philoptochos Sisterhood stronger and more valuable to those who are in need of our loving attention.

On behalf of the entire Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos Board, I thank the Very Reverend Archimandrite Ambrosias Bitziadis-Bowers for fully welcoming us to the Annunciation Cathedral.

Additionally, on behalf of the Metropolis Board, I thank the Ladies Philoptochos of Annunciation Cathedral for their gracious and generous hospitality as well as all those who sacrificed time with your families in order to attend the day’s event. I know the Board joins me in expressing our admiration and love for the work you do on a daily basis to bring the love of Christ to the doors of those who are sorely in need.

With Sisterly Love in Christ,
Anne Michals, President
Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos

 

 


 

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

December 6, 2013

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.”

  Isaiah 9:6-7

Beloved Chapter Presidents, Metropolis Board Members and Philoptochos Sisters,

Under the guidance of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, and with his blessing, I greet you with love in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On behalf of the Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos I extend my heartfelt gratitude and admiration for your steady work as Philoptochos Stewards.

As we await the Birth of Christ, we are more keenly aware of the blessings brought about by this Miracle and Gift. We also reflect on the needs of others in a world that continues to astound our senses with hardship and pain all around us. Yet our faith tells us, ‘Trust in Him at all times, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.’ Psalm 62:5-8.

This year, as in all times of challenge, the hope for salvation and rescue has been found in our faith. It serves as an answer offered to those who have found themselves in the direct path of disaster, such as those in the Philippines who are struggling to stay alive in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. It serves as a path to healing, offered to those who have found themselves saying goodbye to a loved one after an agonizing struggle with illness. It serves as an offering of strength to all of us, as we find ourselves seeking the will to continue to offer our gifts of love, hope and charity to humankind.

Even as we celebrate our Christmas bounty, most of us will be thinking of what else we could have done before the Blessed Day to help ease the suffering of our brothers and sisters, not only in our own communities but also around the world. As the laughter and joy of our own families surround us, let us reflect on the needs of others. Family and friends will look at us knowing that indeed we are praying for God’s Love and Blessings to be upon the needy that day in particular.

Under a blessed decade of the Arch-pastoral Ministry of our beloved Spiritual Father, His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, we find the depth of faith and commitment to continue our philanthropic work for the Church. May the Lord continue to bless him with strength and wisdom as he leads our Holy Metropolis for the greater good and glory of God.

The Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos thanks all of you for exhibiting the understanding of your faith throughout the challenges we faced, both together and separately, this past year. It is our fervent prayer that you continue to open your hearts to those in the midst of struggle, no matter where and when you see it. As you give of yourself you will truly feel the blessings of the Gift of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ now and throughout the New Year.

With love in Christ,

Anastasia Michals, President

 

 

Note: You can download the President’s 2013 Christmas Message as Acrobat PDF file here

 


 

New Jersey Philoptochos Retreat, November 9, 2013

Reverend Parish Priests

Members of the Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos Board

Presidents and Members of Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos Chapters

 

Dear Friends:

We are pleased to invite you to attend our annual Metropolis of New Jersey Ladies Philoptochos Society Retreat on Saturday, November 9, 2013, at 10:00 AM, at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison, New York.

Please join us for a day of introspection and spiritual renewal amid the beautiful surroundings of Saint Basil Academy.  In addition to sharing a rich liturgical and spiritual experience, this program will help us keep in touch with Reverend Father Constantine Sitaras and the wonderful children and staff of the Academy.  While we share continued pride in the founding of Saint Basil by our beloved Philoptochos, our visit will allow us to draw inspiration from one another, as we enjoy the advancement made possible by our faithful support and prayers.

Luncheon will be served on the day of the Retreat; we suggest a donation of $25.00 per person.  Advance notice is necessary and all participants’ checks should be made payable to “Saint Basil Academy”.  Please complete the form below and list the names of all those attending.  Mail the form and each guest’s check to Eleni Constantinides @ 33 Sunnyhill Road, Dover, New Jersey 07801 by October 20, 2013.

We urge you to encourage your members to attend this uplifting and inspiring event.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Chairperson Eleni Constantinides at 973-343-2979 or through email at eleni.constantinides@urs.com

In Christ’s Love,

Anne Michals, President

Eleni Constantinides, 2nd Vice President

 

 


 

PASCHAL MESSAGE

2013

“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!”

  Luke 24:1-6

My Dearest Sisters In Christ,

As we await the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I humbly ask that together, we forgive each other for our transgressions and look towards the blessed event that did and will continue to bring us out of darkness, into the light that is our Faith.

As Greek Orthodox faithful, we are reminded that it was the Myrrh bearing women that went to Christ’s tomb to anoint his body as part of a proper burial. It was these women that through their faith and belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior, feared not the implications of their deed and crossed through soldiers and persecutors to complete their task. The Lord made it possible that through this love they were the first to see the sacred miracle of the Resurrection. They were the first to be able to spread the word that the darkness had been lifted, Christ had Risen and that salvation was offered to all through the unconditional love of Our Lord.

You, as  Philoptochos Stewards are the willing examples of the Faith, as you walk in the light of Christ, even as you offer your time, talent and treasure to those in need.  Just as the Myrrh bearing women of an age that went before us did, we take great comfort in believing in the task at hand.  Even in our haste to accomplish our personal goals and dreams, we understand that often they must be put aside in order to rescue someone who cannot provide life’s essentials for his or her  family.

Even as we celebrate our Pascha table, most of us will be thinking of what else we could have done before that day to help ease the suffering of our brothers and sisters, not only in our own communities but also around the world.  We will breath a deep sigh at the table, as the laughter and joy of our own families surround us.  Our husbands and older children will look at us knowing that indeed we are praying for God’s Love and Blessings to be upon the needy that day in particular.

Under the guidance and with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and on behalf of the Metropolis of NJ Philoptochos, I thank you for your extraordinary service to Christ and His Church.  I humbly extend my love and best wishes to you and your families.  May the peace of Our Lord be with all of you and may His Love be a shining beacon to you as it was when He rolled the immovable stone from the Sacred Tomb of Our Savior Jesus Christ, laying empty the cave and filling us with everlasting love.

In Christ,

Anastasia Michals, President
Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos

 




Past Messages from
His Eminence Metropolitan EVANGELOS of New Jersey
and from our New Jersey Philoptochos President
can be found at:

ARCHIVED MESSAGES FROM OUR METROPOLITAN AND OUR PRESIDENT