1 THE SHEPHERD • MARCH 2021 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO The Shepherd I S S U E 2 9 8 • MA R C H 2 0 2 1 The official newsletter publication for the parish of Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church of San Diego FROM THE DESK OF FATHER ANDREW www.theshepherdnews.com The Shepherd Newsletter My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As we look forward to our Great and Holy Lent- en journey, let us pause for just a moment to re- flect upon the coronavirus pandemic jour- ney we have experienced over this past year. The coronavirus has turned our lives upside down and inside out. This little microbe in- vaded our lives a year ago and shook us up. It disrupted our “normal” routine and has forced us to look at things in the world much differently than before March 2020. The clo- sures and the openings; the openings and the closures; the outside and then inside once again. We, as individuals and as a parish rose to the challenge every single time but it was disruptive and concerning all the same. Our knowledge about the coronavirus has grown over the last year but much remains the same. We have physical weapons to com- bat the virus – face masks, six feet of physical distance and diligent hand washing. We also have the very real possibility for the popu- lace to be “fully” vaccinated hopefully in the near future. Yes, we have good and strong physical weapons to help us continue to safe- ly navigate through this period of time. If we practice them with diligence, we continue to pray that we will all remain safe and healthy. Likewise, my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we also have both personal and commu- nal spiritual weapons as well. They include both personal and communal prayer, fast- ing and “good works.” Our personal spiritual weapons include a personal “rule of prayer” whatever that may look like for you. It also includes fasting, fasting from pride, fasting gossip, from lusting, from judging my broth- er, fasting from greed, lying, stealing, fasting from gluttony, cheating, foul language and all the rest. Our Lenten communal spiritual weapons will begin on Monday March 15th and we, as a parish, as a Metropolis, as an Archdiocese and as a Patriarchate will communally and universally enter into the second period of the Triodion (Tri/od/ion) – Great and Holy Lent, which begins on “Clean Monday” – Monday, March 15th and lasts for forty days, hence the title “The Forty Day Fast.” The second peri- od of the Triodion will take us to Great and Holy Week (the third period of the Triodion), which begins Palm Sunday evening, Sunday, April 25th; which will then take us to our communal Pascha Celebration on Holy and Great Saturday evening, May 1st. I join you in prayer and hope and pray that this year will be different from last year when all we could do was watch and participate to the best of our abilities via our parish LiveS- tream; not a bad option for a while but obvi- ously just not the same. I am grateful for all of our dedicated chanters and especially for Michael Haddad and Michael Bertram who took every precaution and chanted each and every Lenten and Paschal service with me from inside our beautiful Sanctuary as the uncertainty of the coronavirus was still be- ing evaluated. But, make no mistake about it, without you, the faithful present, it was very odd and surreal and for me personally chal- lenging on many levels. We remain hopeful that if our situation remains the same or gets better than it is today, we will be permitted to remain with in-person services. Of course, using the established protocol that we have become accustomed to until further notice. So, let us use this coming Lenten period that is upon us to fulfill the task set before us by the Church Fathers beginning with St. Paul and others from the pages of the New Testament – to not only “gather” for in-per- son services but to wash, purify and cleanse continues 3 IN THIS ISSUE FR. ANDREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 1 PRESIDENT OF THE PARISH COUNCIL, WOMEN OF THE WORD . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 2 LIBRARY & BOOKSTORE, DIVINE SERVICES, NEWS FROM THE LOFT, MEMORIALS p. 3 PHILOPTOCHOS NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 4 ZATHAS FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP, PAPANICOLAOU SCHOLARSHIP . . . . p. 5 GREEK SCHOOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 6 HELLENIC CULTURAL SOCIETY. . . . . . p. 7 PARISH CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 10 CONTACT INFORMATION. . . . . . . . . . . p. 12