The Annunciation to the Theotokos

The Annunciation to the Theotokos

Though we are in the midst of Lent, we celebrate a holiday on March 25 that is one of the great feast days of the Orthodox Church. The Annunciation to the Theotokos commemorates the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. The angel foretold that Jesus Christ, the...

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Jesus and His Amazing Relationships with Women

Jesus and His Amazing Relationships with Women

Jesus has a way of interacting with women that I find deeply spiritual. There are many good examples of this in the Gospels, and I want to share a few of my favorites with you. The First Sign at Cana Jesus was with His own mother, the Theotokos, at the...

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8 Tips to Raise Children in Today’s World

8 Tips to Raise Children in Today’s World

Thirty-six years ago, I was blessed to marry a wonderful man. My husband, Jim, and I have two grown children and two beautiful grandchildren. The world is a different place than it was when we married. And tips about raising children in today’s world are invaluable. There are many challenges...

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Why I Go to Church

Why I Go to Church

It’s Sunday morning. Maybe it’s raining outside. Maybe it’s a bit chilly. It’s a tempting thought to lay around in my pajamas, sipping coffee, and watching the Sunday morning news programs. When I was a young child, there was no such thing. It was church choir time, and we were...

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Care for the Caretaker

Care for the Caretaker

The 2017 Orthodox Family Ministry Conference was held near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from September 20 to 23. The host parish was All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the 2017 Family Ministry Conference focused on “The...

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The Meaning of Basil at the Elevation of the Cross

The Meaning of Basil at the Elevation of the Cross

When I was a child, I would frequently visit my grandmother (Yiayia) and grandfather (Papou) who lived in a small town east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They had a large yard with a view of the Monongahela River. The climate created the perfect conditions to grow a beautiful garden every summer....

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Cradle or Convert? A Trend in Orthodoxy

Cradle or Convert? A Trend in Orthodoxy

Not long ago my mother and I visited her hometown parish for their annual food festival. My mom still has family and friends there, so it was a wonderful opportunity to visit and reconnect. While there I noticed a table with literature and signage. As I approached, I saw titles...

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A Letter to Dad, Memory Eternal

A Letter to Dad, Memory Eternal

Dear Dad, It has been 20 years since the day you passed. I don’t remember the date, but it was Father’s Day and Pentecost that year. I marveled then and now at how you went out with such fanfare. Choosing both of those holidays in one day was so noteworthy....

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The Common Bond of Motherhood

The Common Bond of Motherhood

An expectant mother holds her belly and feels her baby kick inside. A young woman wipes her child’s tears and kisses him afterwards. A grandmother gently tells her grandchild that she loves her. Even though a mother and daughter are separated by miles, their love for each other is never...

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The Icon of Extreme Humility

The Icon of Extreme Humility

On or around Holy Week last year, I stopped in our church office. A beautiful icon was on the table as I entered. In all my years, I did not remember ever seeing it before. It was the icon of Extreme Humility. As I venerated this icon, I wondered about...

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My Church’s Centennial Celebration

My Church’s Centennial Celebration

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Marvin Sickles. This past October, I had the honor of being the co-chairperson of my church’s Centennial Celebration. It was an amazing experience to be part of the excitement leading up to the grand weekend. Seeing old friends and family come together to honor a rich...

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Archangel Gabriel and the Birth of Christ

Archangel Gabriel and the Birth of Christ

No angel figures more prominently in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ than the Archangel Gabriel. The name Gabriel in Hebrew means “Man of God”. It has also been translated as the “Strength/Power of God”. This archangel has also been called the leader of the heavenly hosts. Gabriel was...

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