A Message of Love and Unity from the Houston Community
January 13, 2023
By Elias Neofytides
From left to right, Father Luke Paloubis,
Vassilis Paloubis, and Bishop
Constantine. (Photo: TNH/Elias Neofytides)
HOUSTON, TX – Happy New Year from the community of St. Basil in Houston! We finally said goodbye to 2022! 2022 was a year that highlighted the need for fellowship and support for our fellow man – members of our community donated food for the poor and homeless as well as warm clothes, coats, and blankets.
After the recent challenges, we hope that from now on all people will take an interest in their neighbours and if they see that they are in need, help them. Greek hospitality is not only found in our homes but wherever there is a need.
In the midst of all this there is the very positive development for the community of St. Basil. We welcomed the new Bishop Constantine to the Metropolis of Denver. On Saturday, December 31, at about 3:30 in the afternoon, the Bishop met with the 20 children of the parish of St. Basil and discussed the role, the names, and the uses of the various items in the Sanctuary of the Church. After their hour-long discussion, the Bishop was particularly pleased with the children’s knowledge.
The children, together with the priests and Bishop Constantine, gathered at the church offices building for lunch. At 5 PM Great Vespers followed, attended by over 100 Greek and non-Greek Orthodox Christians.
At the end of the service, Vassilis Paloubis, the son of Father Loukas, followed, was tonsured a Lay Reader. Vespers was celebrated by the priests of St. Basil, Father Luke, Father Demetrios, and Father John, as well as Deacon John from the community of the Annunciation, along with Father Michael and Father Jeremiah.
Saying goodbye to 2022, our community welcomed 2023 by celebrating the feast of its patron saint, St. Basil.
In the church, Orthros began at 8 AM while in the kitchen, Peter Skoumbourdis with his wife, Markella, his two sons, Dimitris and Nikos, my grandson Christos Papadopoulos, Michalis Fykaris with his wife Vicky, and Kostas Taxiarchou cooked a rich lunch for more than 150 people who were going to come after the the Liturgy to have lunch with Bishop Moralis and our priests.
In the church there was an Archieratical Liturgy with Bishop Constantine, who even used a little humor in his sermon because, as he said, life needs humor.
Our three priests, the deacon, the chanters, Diamantis Diamantaras and Argyris Voutsas, and the 20 altar children were in the sanctuary. The Epistle was recited in Greek by Diamantis Diamantaras and by Vassilis Paloubis, who is only 10 years old.
At the end of the Liturgy, Bishop Constantine swore in the new Parish Council and the cutting of the annual Vasilopita cake followed. A hearty meal was served in the community hall followed and we enjoyed the company of our extended St. Basil family along with our new Bishop. We wish a Happy New Year with health and blessings to all!
NEW YORK – Italian actress Monica Bellucci offered her own interpretation of the iconic Maria Callas in a one-night-only performance of ‘Maria Callas: Letters and Memoirs’ at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan on January 27.
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