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Bishop THOMAS Celebratees the Exaltation of the Cross with St. George, Allentown, PA

“O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance, and to Thy faithful Kings grant victory of their enemies, and by the Power of Thy Cross, Protect all those who follow Thee.” 

-Troparia Tone 1:  Elevation of the Holy Cross

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On September 10-14, 2009, St. George Church in Allentown, PA lovingly welcomed His Grace, Bishop THOMAS.  Bishop THOMAS celebrated the Feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross with us and it was a true blessing. 

Bishop THOMAS dined and discussed many issues with St. George’s Parish Council on the evening of Friday, Sept. 11th.  His Grace expressed to the Parish Council how happy he was to be with us and that he is pleased with how the parish is doing. Bishop THOMAS was also very excited that St. George Allentown is hosting the Eastern Region Parish Life Conference in 2010 and revealed to us that His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP will also be present.  To end the evening, His Grace gave spiritual insights and talked about miracles that have taken place at different monasteries throughout the world. 

On Saturday the 12th, Bishop THOMAS presided over Vespers, and after that met with the Teen Soyo over pizza and many, many questions. Bishop THOMAS related very well to the youth of our parish and answered all of their questions in a very honest and down to earth way.  On Sunday the 13th, we celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. George and were able to Venerate and Honor the Precious and Life-Giving Cross.  Everyone left church with blessed flowers and then joined together downstairs for a luncheon prepared by our Ladies Altar Society.  The Ladies did a beautiful job and fed our clergy and parishioners to our utmost delight!  On the morning of Monday the 14th, we celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  Bishop THOMAS talked with all of us in both of his sermons on Sunday and Monday about the Cross and what it means for us as Orthodox Christians.  He spoke of the crosses that we all carry and encouraged us to take it up and follow Christ no matter how difficult it may be.  He also taught us the story and miracle of this special feast.  May God grant Bishop THOMAS many years, and may Christ our True God “Protect all those who follow Thee.”