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Metropolitan PHILIP Visits St. George Church in Norwood, MA

His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP made a visit to the parish of Saint George in Norwood, Massachusetts September 18-20, 2009.  The visit was the first by the Metropolitan in many years and the entire parish had anxiously awaited his return.  The main purpose of his visit was to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Ladies Society and to serve a one-year memorial for the pastor emeritus, Very Rev. Father Nifon Abraham.

Shortly after his arrival in Norwood, His Eminence met with members of the Church School and Teen SOYO for a lively Q & A session.  The Metropolitan thought he had stumped the young folks when he asked “do you know where Saint Ignatius was martyred?”  However, one of the teens came up with right answer (which is of course, Rome.)  The Metropolitan then enjoyed a relaxing evening with the parish council; they chatted about the upcoming New York Jets – New England Patriot football game, but also serious matters, such as church growth and mission work.

On Saturday the Metropolitan and several invited guests were treated to a luncheon prepared by Khouriyee Afefee Abraham.  His Eminence presented to her a photo taken of himself and the late Father Nifon Abraham.  The festivities on Saturday evening began with Great Vespers and concluded with a celebration banquet for the Ladies of Saint George.  The Ladies in Norwood began their work 90 years ago, two years before the parish was actually formed.  At the banquet the Ladies president gave Saidna a check for $1,000 to Al-Kafaat in honor of his 50th anniversary in the priesthood.

Sunday morning the 20th was a special day in Norwood:  as the parish was expecting an overflow crowd in the small church, video cables were run  into the church hall where a large monitor was set up.  The Matins and Hierarchical Liturgy were glorious, thanks in part to the chanting from Holy Cross seminarians and singing by the parish choir.  At the Liturgy, His Eminence made Gheorghe Doros of the parish a subdeacon and ordained Milad Selim (a seminarian assigned to the Cambridge parish) to the diaconate.  Following the Liturgy the Metropolitan served a one-year memorial for Father Nifon and 40-day memorial for Metropolitan ELYAS (Kurban) and Becharaha Saliba (his cousin.)

It was truly a special and memorable weekend.  His Eminence promised Father Joseph Kimmett, the pastor and the parish it wouldn’t be so long before he makes a return visit.