Posted 3-27-2020

Attention St. Mary Parish Family & Friends!

I wish to inform you that there will NOT be any Divine Services this Sunday, March 29, 2020 at our St. Mary Parish in Johnstown, PA.

Please know that you are invited to watch the following Divine Services online at the Antiochian Village’s Face Book page …

+  Little Compline with The Akathist Hymn (Stasis 4) … 5 pm … Friday, March 27

+  Divine Liturgy – Commemoration of St. John Climacus, Author of “The Ladder” – Fourth Sunday of Lent … 10 am … Sunday, March 29

Please know that any prayers that you have offered for this Sunday’s Divine Liturgy will be offered at the Antiochian Village this Sunday.

Also, please see my earlier texts for links to other sites that are providing “live-streaming” of our Orthodox Services.  I would ask that you please continue to pray for my mother, Nancy.  She is in a Hospice Home and we are with her as she prepares to pass from this life to the next.

Lastly, please remember these exhortations of love from the Holy Scriptures … Philppians 4:6 & Roman’s 12:12 … God is with us!

Take Care & God Bless!  Be Careful & Pray!

In Christ,

Fr. Don

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Posted 3-23-2020

Dear St. Mary Parish Family & Friends … Christ is in Our Midst!

I just want you to know that, due to my mother being seriously ill, there will not be a Vesperal Liturgy for The Feast of The Annunciation at our St. Mary Church this Wed., March 25.  Therefore there will not be any live-streaming from our St. Mary Parish.  Please use the other links that I provided you with last week to participate in that service.

There should be the regularly scheduled Matins (8:30 am) & Divine Liturgy (9:30 am) this next Sunday, March 29, which will be live-streamed on our St. Mary FaceBook page.

Again, as per the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Directives, the priest, along with a few others, will be the only people physically present in the Church Building.

Thank you for your patience & cooperation as we seek to work together for the health of one & all.  Be safe & pray!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Don

P.S. – Please keep my mother, Nancy, and our Family in your prayers … and please look up this Scripture, which has been shared with us by George Milkie … Roman’s 12:12 … meditate upon it and allow it to build your faith … O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy On Me a Sinner (Jesus Prayer)!

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Posted 3-20-2020
Dear St. Mary Parish Family & Friends:

Christ is in our Midst!

I am pleased to announce that we will be “live-streaming” our Divine Services on FaceBook beginning this evening with “The Little Compline & Akathist Hymn – Stasis 3” at 6 pm.

We will also be “live streaming” Sunday Morning’s Matins at 8:30 AM & Divine Liturgy at 9:30 AM … for “The Veneration of The Precious & Life-Giving Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” … and … this next Wednesday Evening’s “Vesperal Divine Liturgy for The Feast of The Annunciation to our Most-Holy Theotokos” at 6 PM.

If you do not already follow our parish’s FaceBook page, just turn on your computer and type or copy this web address into your browser: https://www.facebook.com/StMaryAntiochianJohnstown/

When you find our page, open it and click that you “Like” our page and click “Follow” … you should now see our “live-streaming” video.

Please offer any comments and suggestions so that we may improve our “live-streaming” … Thank You & God Bless! Be safe and Pray!

If I can do anything for you & your Loved Ones, please contact me at 814-242-0084.

In Christ,
Fr. Don Shadid

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Posted 3-19-2020
Greetings! This information is for our St. Mary Parish Family, including our Sacristans, Chanters & Choir.

Christ is in our Midst!

As a reminder of the March 17, 2020 Archdiocese Directives concerning the Corona Virus Pandemic: except for the Friday Nite Akathist Service, Sunday Matins & Liturgy and the Matins & Liturgy for the Feast of The Annunciation, all other services are cancelled until further notice … and no more than 10 people are to be in the Church Building at t.cany given time for services (i.e. priest, chanters & helpers in the Altar Area) or for any other reason.

As you may or may not have heard, yesterday, in the later afternoon, I received some clarification from the Archdiocese in regards to their March 17, 2020 Directives for “social distancing” in our parishes.

In my first published message I indicated that the church would be open for people to come & pray on their own. This is not true. The church will only be open for the Divine Services listed above.

We are allowed to have “up to ten people” at the Friday Akathist, Sun. Morning Matins & Liturgy and next week’s Liturgy for the Feast of The Annunciation … i.e. only up to 9 people who are assisting the priest with the Services are allowed in the Church Building.

Also, at this point we are not to be hearing Confessions or offering Holy Communion to the general parish membership unless it is due to an emergency.

Thus, the priest is to invite the minimal amount of people needed to assist him with the Liturgical Services. The maximum number of assistants that l am allowed is 9 people. However, the emphasis is to be on the minimum.

I will contact the assistants that I need.

I am so, so sorry. I misunderstood the directive.

Also, this weekend, you should find this Sunday’s Bulletin on our parish’s website … stmaryaocc.org … if you would like a printed copy, please leave a message on the church’s voicemail … 814-255-2148.

The idea of the canceling of services is to try and help keep people’s travel outside of the house at a minimum in case someone is infected … thus helping to stem the spread of the virus.

God is with us!

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Don Shadid

***

Posted 3-18-2020
Dear St. Mary Parish Family:

Christ is in our Midst! Glory be to Jesus Christ!

I pray that this finds you well & safe.

With the information about the Corona Virus Pandemic changing so rapidly, yet consistently following its pattern of spreading as it has in other countries; and after receiving a directive from our Patriarch, His Beatitude, JOHN X in Damascus, Syria, and in order to fully cooperate with our civil & medical authorities, our Father & Chief Shepherd-in-Christ, His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH issued a set of revised directives for the parishes of our Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese yesterday afternoon, March 17, 2020.

These directives are offered so that we might help in the attempts to stem the growth of the Corona Virus through “social distancing.”

Please note that the directives are effective immediately and will be in place until further notice. You can find these, as well as the Archbishop’s full statement to the Faithful, at www.antiochian.org and on the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Facebook page.

The directives concerning the Divine Services are as follows …

Except for the Friday Nite Akathist Service and Sunday Matins & Liturgy, all other services are canceled until further notice … and no more than 10 people are to be in the Church Building at any given time for services (e.g. priest, chanters & helpers in the Altar Area) or for any other reason.

Please note that I have received clarification from the Archdiocese … we are allowed to have “up to ten people” at the Friday Akathist, Sun. Morning Matins & Liturgy and next week’s Liturgy for the Feast of The Annunciation … i.e. only up to 9 people who are assisting the priest with the Services are allowed in the Church Building.

If anyone would wish, or need to receive Holy Confession & Holy Communion, due to an emergency, from the Reserved Sacrament in the Tabernacle on the Holy Altar, please text, call or email (abeenad1@gmail.com) me.

Thus, at this point, we are not to be hearing Confessions or offering Holy Communion to the general parish membership unless it is due to an emergency. I am so, so sorry. I misunderstood the directive.

The idea of the canceling of services is to try and help keep people’s travel outside of the house at a minimum in case someone is infected … thus helping to stem the spread of the virus.

Also, so that we can continue to worship & praise God, and ask for His Divine Mercy, with the Liturgical Prayer of the Church, please note that:

(1) I am including an internet link for “Readers’ Services” that can be prayed at home, as well as links for live streaming, on the internet, of our Orthodox Divine Services … and …

(2) if anyone would wish or need to receive Holy Confession and/or Holy Communion, due to an emergency, from the Reserved Sacrament in the Tabernacle on the Holy Altar, please text, call or email (abeenad1@gmail.com) me.

Please pass this message/information onto whomever you can … and if you know of anyone who does not have access to a computer or the internet, or who is not “computer literate,” please let me know.

Please use the following link for Readers’ Services that can be prayed at home …
https://www.antiochian.org/regulararticle/624

Also, please use the following links to “attend” our Orthodox Divine Services via live streaming on the internet …

St. Mary Orthodox Church (Cambridge, MA)
http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/multimedia/live

Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church
(Potomac, MD)
https://www.peterpaulpotomac.org/live-stream.html

Holy Cross Orthodox Church
(Linthicum, MD)
https://www.sundaystreams.com/go/HolyCrossOnline
And streaming from the Monastic Community of The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad … up to 5 Lenten Services a day …

Holy Cross Monastery (Wayne, WV)
Via Facebook
https://holycross.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4ff9cec8c8400cd81b1dce7f3&id=7bbd9733c6&e=916c7a35a1

Via YouTube
https://holycross.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4ff9cec8c8400cd81b1dce7f3&id=668d24d2e2&e=916c7a35a1

The letter from His Eminence is very well written & encouraging … please read it at “antiochian.org.”

Do not be afraid … God is with us!

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Don Shadid