Philoptochos Chapter 1009: Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church, Vineland NJ

Spring 2012 News:

Membership Recruitment Activities:
Our chapter will distribute flyers/invites and have them available during our Valentine’s Breakfast that will be held on Sunday, February 17th. We also have open enrollment reminders in their Church’s monthly bulletin.

Panagiota Papamihalakis, President

Vineland Chapter 1009 Paschal Wishes

Preparations are under way in Vineland, NJ for Easter, the most sacred observed holiday in the Greek Orthodox faith. Our devoted Philophtochos ladies have baked the traditional, delicious, tsourekia which are on sale now throughout the Easter season. Our Greek school mothers are also busy making beautiful baskets filled with delicious koulourakia.

Philophtochos will also make the special labathas. The candles are decorated with beautiful ribbons as well as the children’s favorite characters and will be given to the children from their parents and god parents. On Saturday, April 7th, the Sunday School children with the rest of the youth are invited to the church to make the Palm Crosses at noon after Liturgy. Breakfast will be provided.  Palm Sunday, our parish council will be hosting the fish luncheon and all members will be going to our community center for lunch. Holy week of course is the busiest of all. In addition to our busy schedules, members will be attending church services every evening. On Holy Wednesday, a few of the Philophtochos ladies will stay after the service to dye eggs. The next day the eggs will be wrapped with tulle and placed in a basket. They will then be ready for Holy Saturday. Services will be in session on Thursday morning as well as in the evening. Thursday’s service is a symbolic representation of the crucifixion, which is when the period of mourning begins. In many areas in Greece, Christians will remain in the church throughout the night in traditional mourning. The Royal Hours will be held in the morning on Holy Friday and immediately following services. Philophtochos and other members of our church will join to decorate and prepare the Kouvouklion of the Epitaphio. Upon completion of the decoration of the Kouvoukion, we will have a Lenten luncheon for all who helped. Everyone will bring a dish such as the lentil soup, olives, boiled potatoes and bread to satisfy our strict fasting diet. Members will stay for the afternoon 3:00pm service- Vespers of Holy Friday (Apokathelosis and Burial) and then return for the midnight Service of the Resurrection – The Anastasi! We encourage all the young girls who would like to be myrrh-bearers on the evening of Holy Friday to wear a white dress. In conclusion, after everyone has taken communion and receive a red egg from our priest, they will join their families in the tradional mayirista soup. On Easter Sunday, there will be an Easter egg hunt for the children after the Agape service and the feasts may begin!

Easter Monday is a day to relax and take things slowly, it is also a day filled with many delicious leftovers.

The Philophtochos of St Anthony’s church wishes you and your families a fun and Happy Easter!



Winter 2012 News:

President: Panagiota Papamihalakis
Vice President: Panagiota Mallouris
Secretary: Cynthia Obelenus
Treasurers: Arjorie Isihos and Mary Frangomihalos

St Anthony’s Philophtochos wishes all of you a healthy joyous new year 2012 and above all, peace in your homes and around the world!

Over the Christmas Season our parish started 3 new charity projects: (1) An Angel Tree to have our children collect presents for homeless children of a local Homeless Shelter, (2) volunteer work and donation of toys for poor children in a local Soup Kitchen, and (3) hosting and blood donation in a Red Cross blood drive at out Community Center. The participation of our parishioners in all 3 projects exceeded expectations and inspires us with blessed hope that with even more participation we will continue growing our philanthropic ministry throughout the new year.

The participants in the Angel Tree project were Maria & Dimitri Papadaniil, Hariklia & Yanni Kastrounis, Maria & Geno Ballassi, Eleni Seites,
Tsambikos & Yanni Stergiou, Antonia & Saki Mertis, and Elias Topalis. All these children with their mothers and Fr. Sokratis, followed separately by Christina Kanakis, visited the Shelter and handed their presents directly to the homeless children.

The volunteers in the Soup Kitchen were Yota Papamihalakis, Ploumou Kanos, Stephanie Ballassi, Jamie Reiss, Chrysoula Athans, Denise, Eleni & Yanni Dendrinos, Arjorie & Litsa Isihos, Yannoula Dinos, Mary Frangomichalos, Angela & Byron Calakos and Fr. Sokratis, while those who donated toys for the Soup Kitchen Children were Chrysoula Athans, George & Elisabeth Hawriluk, Stephanie Ballassi, Christina Sofkos, Dina Cook, Yota Papamihalakis.

The participation in the Blood Drive which started very slow eventually grew to include over 30 parishioners and several non-parishioners to meet the Red Cross’ expectation.

Congratulations to all the volunteers in all 3 projects.

The Philophtochos also donated to four needy families. We helped an ill child with serious medical problems and to a widow with two children who’s husband died just before Christmas.

St Anthony’s Philophtochos will continue to assist and support those in need and take responsibility to share in giving for those less fortunate than us.

Best wishes,

Panagiota Papamihalakis

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