Family Day 2007
April 26, 2007
JOHNSTOWN, PA - His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas has issued the following pastoral letter regarding the upcoming Family Day Celebration at Camp Nazareth:
Concern for spiritual things will unite the family
(St. John Chrysostom, Homily 21).
To the Very Reverend Protopresbyters, Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers, and Beloved Faithful of the Diocese:
Christ is Risen!
Dear Fathers and Faithful:
As you are aware, His All-Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew, has proclaimed this 2007 calendar year as the "Year of St. John Chrysostom." As a Diocese we join the Orthodox world in remembering this great Saint of the Holy Church on the 1600th anniversary of his falling asleep in the Lord.
In reflecting upon the life, witness and influence of St. John, it is clear why he is ranked among the greatest of Saints and heralded as the "golden-mouthed" preacher of the ages. His words were truly inspired by the Spirit, flowing from the wellspring of Divine wisdom. They continue to invite all to the true knowledge of God and offer practical advice for the life of piety and holiness.
Consider the profound wisdom expressed in his advice for families: "Concern for spiritual things will unite the family" (St. John Chrysostom, Homily 21). At a time when the family is being redefined by the culture around us and the spiritual life has been relegated to insignificance and obscurity within the home, we would do well to heed the advice of godly wisdom. The key to restoring the fractured family is truly the concern for spiritual things.
Consider, further, the following admonishment St. John offers to parents: "We are so concerned with our children's schooling; if only we were equally zealous in bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Homily 21). When it comes to things that we as parents consider essential for the good and well-being of our children, we insist that they be observed. Children are required to get up in the morning and go to school. We are diligent in making sure that this is taught and understood. Why? Because, like it or not, it is important for their future and, therefore, a priority imposed and enforced by the parents. Are we teaching them the importance of the Church and a relationship with God as essential for their eternal future? Not if everything from sporting events to Sunday morning cartoons are allowed to take priority over attending the Sunday Liturgy. There was a time not so long ago when going to church on Sunday morning was a foregone conclusion, regardless of where we were the night before. What has changed to no longer make this a reasonable expectation? Remember, our present choices form the values of the future.
With this in mind, I invite all of our Diocesan faithful to join me at Camp Nazareth for the annual Family Day festivities on Sunday, June 3, 2007. Join me as we celebrate the family and unite under our concern for spiritual things. The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m followed by the Family Day Luncheon. Faithful are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance by contacting Fr. Michael Ellis, Camp Administrator, at:
339 Pew Road
Mercer, PA 16137
Advance ticket reservations ($12.00) should be made by Sunday, May 20, 2007. Tickets will be available at the door at a cost $15.00.
Looking forward to your participation in this year's Family Day celebration and assuring you of a remembrance in prayer, I remain
Most sincerely yours in Christ,
+ METROPOLITAN NICHOLAS