The journey through Great Lent continues and the sojourn to our Lord’s PASCHA nears its destination. We focus on spiritual awakening and the fruits of repentance through what has been called the “spiritual triad” of prayer, fasting, and charity. Inspired by Bishop Michael’s letter at the beginning of Great Lent (available here), we come to “the middle of the fast” having been blessed and encouraged by the image of the Cross in our midst. Along the journey so far, His Grace celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy in Wantage NJ on March 13th and welcomed His Grace, Alejo, Bishop of Mexico City in South River NJ on the second Sunday of Great Lent.
On the Sunday of Orthodoxy (March 13th) Bishop Michael concelebrated Vespers at Holy Spirit Church, Wantage NJ with 18 priests from both the New Jersey Deanery and the Three Hierarchs Clergy Association of the Lower Hudson Valley New York. The “Triumph of Orthodoxy” Vespers was attended by well over a hundred faithful from the surrounding area. The Holy Spirit parish choir, led by Joanne Patrick, sang the responses.
On the second Sunday of Great Lent (March 20th), Bishop Michael attended the New Jersey Deanery Lenten Mission Vespers at Saints Peter and Paul Church, South River NJ. There, he greeted and welcomed His Grace, Alejo, Bishop of Mexico City. At the invitation of Bishop Michael, Bishop Alejo came to speak to the Hispanic community as well as to the many guests and faithful of the New Jersey Deanery. His Grace’s message spoke of the saving grace of God in Holy Orthodoxy for all peoples. He spoke about the Orthodox Church in Mexico; its presence and work for the fulfillment of the Great Commission of our Lord. Twenty priests of the New Jersey Deanery participated in the Vespers service which was followed by Lenten refreshments and fellowship with both Bishop Alejo and Bishop Michael.