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The Miracle at "' house"

Welcome! !
______

The Brotherhood of Saint George
Denver, Colorado


an open letter to a faithful people

+
any donations to help frey the cost
of this book would be appreciated

Brotherhood of Saint George


361 Forest Street
Denver, Co 80220
(303) 316-7407

Apodosis of Pentecost 2016 ~ Sacred-mission Center


Aghia Paraskevi, Sabeto, Fiji

~ my beloved brothers and sisters,


,
- ! ~
_____________________

As we have celebrated Holy and Great Pentecost, may the Spirit,


the Holy One, have you all well - like the majestic mountains! ~
On these most special days of the Church calendar year, and as the long
awaited Holy and Great Council is taking place in Crete, also in
anticipation of the Feasts of All-Saints and of the Holy Apostles - the true
friends of God, I feel particularly humbled and blessed to be again at my
holy Gheronda's side here on Fiji ~ both in the services and liturgies ~ and
for the "love gatherings" ( ) that are taking place these days

among the grateful, newly-illumined - and other guest-helpers in this


sacred-mission of the Church. Our local Fijian brothers and sisters in their
simplicity and deep gratitude for Orthodoxia - for now becoming
members of the true Church - is truly a holy and great miracle! As the
saintly Gheronda +Amphilochios (+1970) of
Patmos said,

.

"It is a beautiful and wonderful thing to behold people gathered in the love
of Christ." - Gheronda +Amphilochios of Patmos (St Paraskev chapel, Fiji)
On the Feast-day of Pentecost, after a scrumptious traditional Fijian meal
lovingly prepared and served by Presvytera Lydia (the wife of Fiji's first
indigenous priest, fr. Bartholomeos) and their 19 year old daughter
(Paraskevi) and their adopted 6 year old (Ioannis), our Gheronda
graciously (in the Spirit) spoke "a word of thanks" to them and to all his
co-workers () here and afar; those who with deep love for and
commitment to Christ and His Church have assisted him in founding the

Church here on Fiji; and to two individuals in particular (who were still
present before departing for America), Steve Angelides and his faithful
wife, Maria [Gheronda's younger sister] who, though both are elderly,
continuously and throughout the years have been loyally by Gheronda's
side helping all the good works of the Church that His Eminence
responsibly enacts.
Gheronda's blessed words of gratitude inspired me so - that my
thoughts went to you all; to you the particular faithful ones who have
assisted my unworthiness ( ) in so many ways to
continue the Church's and our Savior's work wherever I have been sent and especially from our little monastery* ~ in
Denver (near our beloved Assumption Cathedral) that we all love and
know so well as: the Brotherhood of Saint George (*we use the term
"monastery" in the same way that every mountainside/seaside/urban
chapel is called in Greece). Your eager assistance, your
financial contributions, and your "standing-by" readiness to help create
what has become an "urban oasis of peace and prayer" cannot be
overstated; it never would have been - without you.
My first thoughts go to our
blessed circumstances of
today (17 years after our
blessed beginning). It
was just a few months ago
that we brought adelf
Ioanna with us here to Fiji
to assist in another recent
mission-trip (see photo)
and His Eminence
Metropolitan Isaiah gave

his episcopal blessing for her to be tonsured here by my Gheronda


(Archbishop Amphilochios of New Zealand and Oceana). Adelfi's devotion
to Saint George's however, and the humble and quiet efforts there to help
strengthen our Christians in Denver and from afar, did not only begin
now; for the last three years, she has been faithfully taking care of the
monastery - keeping the daily offices (orthros and vespers), "keeping the
kandili lit," keeping things tidy - and generally "keeping the doors open" for joy and peace to those weary from this life's struggles. Like most of
you, even adelf Ioanna herself has been coming to the monastery ever
since its inception (approximately the same time when she and her belated
and God-forgiven husband, +Vasili/William Myrick, providentially
entered the Church and began assisting all the works throughout our
Metropolis of Denver as well as Saint George's).

! ENTER (please!)

Our Christ says, "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy
laden and I will give you rest" - just so, the welcoming Brotherhood,

We are now also blessed with the "garden chapel" of Saint Nicholas

like all monastic dwellings, awaits all with "the fragrance of Christ." to
come find some rest and renewed courage here ~ to "fight the good fight!"
as Saint Paul says, . Mnach (nun) Ioanna
strives sacrificially, discerningly and lovingly to maintain this "mansion"

of God ( see John 14:2) in the Mile-high City. The assistance that all
of you give continuously (financial support, your intermittent visits and
your genuine gestures and signs of appreciation) combined with adelf
Ioanna's "complete monastic devotion" prove that the Brotherhood is a
work of everybody all together ( ). This work; an offering
which is unique to our Orthodoxy, requires "many hands" (as Saint Paul
alludes to in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, "...the manifestation of
the Spirit is given to each one - for the profit of all." - 1 Cor. 12:7).
To all of you then, this is a simple written expression of the
inexpressible gratitude I feel deep in my heart. My heart informs
me that perhaps now is the time for us to also write a "timeline history"
about God's providential care... how gradually (), God allowed and the Brotherhood of Saint George has come to be...

The beautiful and inviting entrance to the main chapel of Saint George

Our blessed story began like this...

By Metropolitan Isaiah's prayers, it was Mother's Day, Sunday May


8th of 1999 (Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing
Women - and the remembrance of Saint
John the Theologian) when we first began
living at "yiayia's house" (photo at right).
! Glory to God! Who could have
imagined then how God's providence would
unfold? Just a few years prior to this, on one
of my periodic visits to Denver from Moni
Tharri (the monastery of my metnoia
[repentance] on Rhodes), His Eminence first inspired the idea that my
unworthiness might be disposed/available to help
bring traditional Greek-orthodox monasticism to
the Greater Denver area. His suggestion was
made in two different sermons; one on the Feastday of the Nativity of the Forerunner (June 24th c. 1997) at the small monastic abode of the same
Feast-day and on another Sunday at Saint
Catherine's in Greenwood Village.
By the grace
of God, in
March of 1999 (eleven years after
having met my Gheronda on Patmos
(at the foot of the Monastery of St
John the Theologian [left] and
having lived in monastic ascesis
under his tutelage for 10 years at
Moni Tharri [right]), he surprised

me one day when in his compassionately paternal manner he told me to


"pack [my] bags" - that I would be going back to Denver! There to assist
on the "spiritual front" and to found a monastery. In monasticism you see,
obedience is the key to every good outcome: That year I spent Holy Week
and Pascha by the side of our kind and even-keeled Metropolitan Isaiah at
our beloved Assumption Cathedral. How wonderful is that?! And as a way
a letting people know and learn of our hope to found a monastery, His
Eminence welcomed me by having me begin serving on Sundays at all our
area parishes. And as they say, - - - "the rest is history!"
God's loving providence
"Listen and hear" how it happened: One
evening, with then Dean of the Cathedral (fr
Kosta Pavlakos), we decided to do
Panaghia's Paraklesis in the home of
Katina (+Chris) Kapantas (who perhaps
more than anyone continues to this day to
assist in every manner - attending services,
sewing things for the monastery, but
especially with her excellent baking and
cooking!). The others present that evening
were: Angela [Antoni] Manos, Roula [Elia]
Livaditis, Anna [Georghiou] Tzortzis and
Elpida [Georghiou] Tasoulli and Theodora
Demos (all these too, continue faithfully to support Saint George's). That
night, I felt that Panaghia enlightened me with the thought that "if we
were going to establish a monastic presence in Denver it would only be
possible with her help! - she who ceaselessly prays for us all!" (NOTE: To
this point; remember, she is the Protectress of the Denver Metropolis [as
its Cathedral is dedicated the to the Koimisis of the Theotokos] and she is
also Protectress ( ) of the great and ancient
bastion of monasticism in the world today, Mount Athos ~ the Holy

Mountain. Encouraged by the ladies' enthusiasm toward our sublime


goal, we immediately established that we devote every Friday evening to
the Theotokos - invoking her unique motherly assistance. It was only the
beginning, but we grew more bold toward our goal knowing that the
Mother of God is present in every good work. In our supposed "temporary
residence" then, we set up an icon of the Theotokos and a kandili in
yiayia's "old TV room." The word went out through parish bulletins - and
every ensuing Friday night we welcomed humble and faithful people from
the Cathedral and from her daughter churches: Saint Catherine's in
Greenwood Village and from Boulder (Sts Peter and Paul) and from
Colorado Springs (Archangel Michael) and from Pueblo (St John the
Baptist) and Cheyenne and beyond (significantly, the Philoptochos ladies
from all the parishes showed interest). The ladies would bring fasting
treats (Pete's Grocery always sends fruit!) and after the contrite
Paraklesis we would enjoy simple Christian "para." And I would often
read Gherontikn* stories to the children (*stories from the Desert
Fathers). We did not yet see it coming, but Panaghia answered our
prayers: "Yiayia's house" was bound for
glory! - as the beautiful oasis of peace and
prayer that it is today.
We had been doing these Paraklesis services
for about a month when the faithful began
encouraging and suggesting that we adorn
our makeshift "chapel" more - and with
more icons. And this we did. Of the first
icons we put on the walls, was that of the
holy Great-martyr George. How could
we have known then that yiayia's "old TV
room" would become a beautiful chapel
dedicated in his honor!? Who would have known that one day yiayia
+Aspasia's (+N. Maniatis) property would become an oasis of peace and

prayer where hundreds would gather each year on the Feast-day of Saint
George?! And who could have imagined that this little monastic dwelling
would be blessed to have the world renowned Great-martyr George as its
protector - just as he is the protector of all Orthodox monasticism?
(because of his long-suffering love for Christ). God knew; our great God
who is the "All-knowing" ( ) knew before "the foundation
of the world" ( ). And just so - it happened!
The medicine of immortality
Toward our goal of establishing a monastic house of prayer, in June of
1999, so that we might have the
opportunity to receive holy communion

The contrite and moving chapel of the Great-martyr Saint George today
(photo inset - blessed visit of Archbishop Demetrios of America).

more often, we requested of His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah to


celebrate Saturday liturgies in our then "temporary" chapel (see photo
above to see what it has become). His Eminence wholeheartedly agreed
that this would be good and he presented us with an antimintsion (the
special cloth upon which liturgies must be performed for the blessing of
the local bishop). So much grace! From that day on, everything steadily
fell into place.
Holy communion is without question the "lifeline" for all members of
Christ's body, the Church; the very body and blood of our Savior
("...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you
have no life in you." - John 6:53). It is Christ Who nourishes our souls and

A view of the monastery fountain/yard from the Saint Nicholas garden chapel

heals our bodies. As monastics (), "putting on Christ" as the


Apostle says, and overcoming our "old self" is our daily occupation.
! Glory to God! Yiayia's "old TV room" now even received more
loving attention; a temporary altar table was added - - and so, was more
leos! (mercy). In short order monk Nektarios/Theofilos (a former

Catholic monk who Metropolitan Isaiah chrismated/tonsured and asked


me to take "under my wing") together with Mr. Chapekis built a
temporary, "half" iconostasion that eventually became the permanent one
with beautiful icons that still stands today (beautifully refinished by
master craftsman, Demetri Tsilepis).
Anticipation for this first Saturday liturgy (June 21, 1999) grew as people
were made aware. By God's providence again, this first liturgy coincided
with "Assumption Cathedral Greek Festival" weekend. A pious group of
Christians attended that memorable first early morning liturgy before
going over to the Cathedral to welcome the crowds ...and to serve.
(NOTE: "The Greek Festival" has always been a
unique and wonderful tribute to our
Greek Orthodox heritage. It is there
that we have the privilege and
responsibility to warmly welcome
"strangers" to our church home/
grounds
it's
called
[philoxenia = love to the
stranger = hospitality]. God alone
(Who hosts
us all on the earth) knows the
countless people who have been touched by divine grace at Greek Church
Festivals around the world - for merely stepping onto our holy and
sanctified grounds and then being warmly greeted by those baptized in
and by the Holy Spirit!).

Special help in preparing for that day came from Lou and Fran Gonis
(who at a later date actually put up the new iconostasion - and her
parents; +Anastasios [who chanted so solemnly - and encouraged us so
heartily! May God rest his soul] and his pious and gentle widow Katina.
Note: the iconostasion was later detailed by another of our own Tom
Dielman, assisted by his lovely wife Marianthe [Karavites]). Great

assistance too came from Bill and Janie Bruce whose presence at every
ensuing Saturday morning liturgy (for a couple of years running) was a
significant, prayerful encouragement toward our goal. They, together
with adelf Ioanna (then Anna [+William] Myrick), Katina Kapantas and
Yoryah (John) Roberts (who just happened to be yours truly's boyhood
Greek School teacher) and others beautified the gardens and put a
sparkling touch of cleanliness throughout the whole house. Their
enthusiasm for this thrice-blessed project was indeed - foundational.
- our blessed founders
Naturally, none of the good things come out of
Saint George's would ever have been possible
were it not for the very "first offering" of one
particularly special woman - the woman who
gave me birth. Soon after that first Pascha that I
was back in Denver (1999), my mother
suggested that I might like to reside
"temporarily" at her forgiven mother's home
(+Aspasia N. Maniatis ~ thus "yiayia's house")
until God might reveal to us how we might
proceed. After Metropolitan Isaiah's episcopal
blessings, we respectfully remember the adage,
! - "take the blessing of parents and climb to
the mountain top!" The tireless help that my mother and father
(George and Joan Papadeas) have given (and continue to give) to the
functioning of Saint George's cannot be told in mere words - certainly
these "good works" will follow them into "the eternal mansions" of God
(Jn 14:2) Who "will judge each according to his works." Joyfully and at
great sacrifice they "toiled first" for Saint George's. In their "golden
years," they continue to work for and support all the good works done in
Christ's name from the Brotherhood of Saint George. Any expressions of

appreciation () to them for this are commendable and right


~ .
There are many more interesting details and blessed stories (see below,
a walk down memory lane...) about how Saint George's came to be.
Until we find the opportune time to write the complete history, for now...
To each and everyone of you, again a very heartfelt

!
May the true God of history give you and yours
good health and always fill your hearts...
...with the "peace and joy" that brings salvation
gratefully yours, ,
+Christdoulos,
Ierokyrix, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta

One of the annual "Pocket Calendars" from the Brotherhood


~ a blessing to the faithful

and this blessed story continues...


P.S. ...a walk down "memory lane..." ~

Who could forget?

Guest rooms at St George

We haven't even begun to talk


about the always-joyful visits of
the Home-schooling moms and
their children (God rest our
dear +David Louwers). Visits
from Scouting groups? GOYA
and Sunday School groups?
The GOYANs from Chicago who
built the back patio? Or who
could forget the regular visits we enjoyed from seminarians of Holy
Cross?! How about he children learning to paint icons? Who could forget
that sisters; Ariaghni, Tula and Aristea would come regularly and clean?
the first layers of paint inside? How about our first "Friends of Saint
George" meetings at "Del Sol Restaurant" (Tom and Jim's place) and
"Looking Good Restaurant" (Efthimios and Angela Mellisaratos)?

Resident "old man" Vladimir?


and our first overnight guests;
John (+Antonia) Topakes and
son, Daniel? Or kyra +Efthimia
Antonopoulos, the first pious
woman to come by my side for
holy confession? How about one
of the first gifts to the monastery
from the children of +Vasiliki
(Katsimitis) Stames ~ the
crocheted " "? Who
could forget!? And chapters will
be necessary to write about the
Aghia Anna Retreat; how in
1995 at THARRI, God provided
and we received a visit from
+Carroll Hector (may he also
rest among the righteous). How
when he and his widow (Ann, for
whom Aghia Anna was named)
learned of our "dream," and
prayerfully decided to offer their
land in Dumont for a monastery to be built ~ we are all so grateful! Then
there's Anthousa's secretarial help, Adam's eagerness! Then how another
ardent supporter of Saint George's, Stathi Kabylafkas, "saw something" at
the Rock - which is now adorned with one of the most beautiful
mosaics in the world (a work of Cerio Tonelli donated anonymously who also did the Platytera at our Assumption Cathedral). And Daniel
Armstrong (son of frJohn Armstrong) watching over the monastery for a
year? then Demetri and Eleni (Canada) doing duty for four months! And
sister Alina Buzdugan and the work she did?! And the devout sisters;
Pavlina, Georgina and Marina? How about our other anonymously

donated icon of "Panaghia the Life-giving Spring" (by master


Iconographer/mosaicist, Bruno Salvatore) in the gardens? The visit of
Archbishop Demetrios? and of Metropolitans Jonah of Kenya? donations
for new windows and a new roof? Visitors from our Metropolis (Bayard,
Salt Lake City, Missoula, Oklahoma City...and beyond?! the OCMC board
of trustees? the O.C.A.M.P.R. meetings organized by Dr. Aristedes K.
Maniatis and Dee Jaquet? Denver area priests' meetings? and visitors
from Greece (Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Athens) and from around the U.S.?
Who could forget? First icons donated? the many pious Chanters

View of the monastery from Saint Nicholas garden chapel


And the beautiful deck where kaf and conversation are enjoyed - Come!

(too many to name!) who regularly (and some from afar) provide the
beautiful atmosphere of prayer in the Eight Byzantine Tones? The
craftsmanship of Chris Stames, Paul Mitchell, Dino Souleiotis and the
various Iconographers/helpers who adorned the chapel walls with the
Saints? And the seven-year celebration at the Governor's mansion

organized by George Latsis? Who could


forget the pocket Calendars and our
photographers & graphic artists? The
many priests from afar who've come
and celebrated liturgies here? of blessed
memory - Fr +George Stamison and his
first 20 liturgies in the St George chapel
that he helped remodel from "yiayia's
old TV room?" How about all the PanArcadian gatherings/meetings and the
beautiful deck they donated (see photo
above)? The support from Ladies
Philoptochos Society? And the PanCretan picnic? And AHEPA's support?
We've yet to remember when the new
siding was added (compliments of Dr
Bill and Katerina White) when the
monastery took on a whole new look!
Who could forget? God Himself knows of
the visits of +Chrysostomos, +Eddie Demos, +Bill Anadiotes, +Gus Demos
and +Polivios (Paul) Demos and +Andy Maniatis and +Dennis Mantis?
( - their faith and sober outlook gave
us fuel!) Also who could forget how certain men rallied to make the down
payment for the adjacent property (St Nicholas chapel) - which so
perfectly compliments our blessed and beautiful landscape? How about
the New Year's midnight liturgies? and when 10 responsible men came on
the first year commemoration of 9/11 for an all night vigil? And when fr
Dennis Schutte and family lived with us...then Esther and her children;
Who could forget? John-Paul, Nicole, Ashley (Anna) and Katherine? The
catered feasts provided by Kosta Kalasountas and crew ...and by John
and Ann Charchalis ...and by Lukas Lukas? What about the lawn mowing
services of young Constantine Mitchell (son of Paul and Mary)? And the

wood-working craftsmanship of Dn
Thomas Lynch and his brothers? (from
Colorado Springs) And the inspiring
lessons from +Ted Alexander? - his
piano playing, but moreover - his
complete mastery of New Testament
Greek? Can anyone forget the holy
visitation of Panaghia through the
miracle-working icon from Moni
Ypseni of RHODES (above)? and the
sobering and uplifting talks by
Gherondissa Mariam? How about
+Tony Krassas ( )
and his initial support and his
encouragement to stay the course?
(Tony used to plant the gardens, rake
leaves and shovel snow). Of course
there are our tree donors ...and our nearby Greek-orthodox neighbors
who are always watching out for us! and the intermittent continuous
visits of all! The anonymous donors of the brick-work, garden
beautification, the chandeliers, the curtains, each old icon and the new
ones framed? Of course the royal doors of the ancillary chapel of our most
beloved contemporary saint, Saint Nektarios (see photo at left) - and the
miracle for which they were donated? Indeed - Who could forget?
May Christ our true, good and loving God - who knows us,
"even the number of hairs on our heads," by the prayers of our
Panaghia and all the Saints - may He richly bless each and
every one with health and much grace!
And to think - these are just "some" of the people and a "few" of
the memories of the ways that God has been showing us that

the Brotherhood of Saint George was indeed "meant to


be"...that just such a place of traditional monastic
prayer & philoxenia should exist in the Denver Metropolis
complimenting all the good works done by our esteemed priests
and the parishes near and far throughout the Metropolis ~ and
prayerfully overseen by His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah. It all
reminds us of the Apostle's word:

...
"Zero Worrying...

(The encouraging "garden entrance" at the Brotherhood)

...but by prayer and supplication


with thanksgiving let your needs
be made known to God." (Phillip. 4:6-8)

...and God will always help us.

~
All is well in the hands of our good God!

...the above letter was written with


my Gheronda's blessing, when I
found myself here again in Fiji, at
the Sacred-mission Center of
Aghia Paraskev - may her
blessing be with us all.
~

June 2016
_________________________________
! ~ Glory to God for all things!
Co-workers and more... ...

The Brotherhood of Saint George

DEDICATED ON MAY EIGHTH THE YEAR


OF THE LORD NINETEEN HUNDRED AND
NINETY-NINE WITH THE BLESSINGS OF
METROPOLITAN ISAIAH OF DENVER AND
GHERONDA AMPHILOCHIOS OF THARRI IN
MEMORY OF MRS. NICHOLAS P. (ASPASIA)
MANIATIS BY ARCHIMANDRITE
CHRISTODOULOS G. PAPADEAS
TO THE GLORY OF GOD