Fr. Nicholas Livingston, presiding priest at St. Philip’s parish in Nasua, New Hampshire, presents an award from the Metropolis of Boston to Don Lebrun. Shown is his wife Marcia. (Photo by TNH/Theodore Kalmoukos)
BOSTON – Don Lebrun could be described as the personification of faith, devotion, volunteerism, and service to the Church. He is the first one to arrive on Sunday morning to open the St. Philp church in Nashua – even before the priest, the cantor, and the parish council members arrive.
He welcomes people at the entrance of the church with a smile and a good word for everybody. Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, upon the recommendation of St. Philp’s parish, honored him last June with an award for his dedication and service at St. Philip’s. Because he was unable to attend the event, the award was given to him by Fr. Nicholas Livingston presiding priest at St. Philip’s during a light luncheon after the Liturgy on Sunday September 17. Fr. Nicholas praised Lebrun and expressed the gratitude of the entire parish. Lebrun is a proud and dedicated convert to Orthodoxy and he has become its ‘preacher’ with his example in word and deed. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Speaking to The National Herald after the ceremony, he said that “I was introduced to St. Philip in 2000 by my friend at the time Marcia Kostoulakos. I became a weekly attendee. I became more involved as time went by and as I felt more a part of the church. Three individuals took me under their wing to teach me the most important aspects of the Greek orthodoxy. George Papadopoulos, George Betsis, and Charley Paskaley made me feel very comfortable very quickly because they were so well respected by everyone in the church and community.”
He also said “the parishioners showed acceptance of me and wanted me to feel at home. I began feeling like I was indeed part of the church. Very quickly I began to offer my time and talent to various projects. For the next 20 years I offered to help with the cooking, baking, serving at the festivals. I enjoyed the work as well as being with the people involved. I soon began to feel I was as much a part of St. Philip as everyone else.”
Lebrun was converted to Orthodoxy in 2014. He said “in 2014 Fr. Alexander Chetas, the priest at time, and I agreed it was time to convert. I was then chrismated into the Orthodox Church. I believe I have continued to grow in my faith. For the past ten years I have served on the parish council. It is a commitment I take very seriously. In 2020 I contracted COVID and can no longer do the physical needs I once enjoyed so much. That leaves me with contributing to the financial needs. While the individual who initially introduced me to St. Philip is now my wife and takes care of our stewardship, I take care of helping to finance individual organization financial needs.”
Asked what the church means to him, he said “the church serves my spiritual needs in dealing with adversity and the ups and downs that befall us as we journey through life. Certainly St. Philip picked me up when I was not sure what life was going to offer me back in 2000 when this journey all began. I have much to be thankful for to the church and the people who make up St. Philip.”
He added that, “I have always believed that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour. I needed a vehicle to enhance that belief and St. Philip has provided that need. I owe thanks to the priests and parishioners for helping me to profess my beliefs on a regular basis. My sincere thanks to those who recommended for this award, which I am so grateful to receive.”
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