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Appeal for Fire Victims - 10/16/17

To the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy of the Diocese of the West:

In response to the terrible fires in the Santa Rosa area and the losses some of our people and those their neighbors have endured, Fr. Lawrence Margitich has established a fund through his parish to provide immediate help and assistance. Could I ask you to look at the link below and to encourage your flocks to contribute to it?

Thank you!

+Benjamin,
Archbishop of San Francisco

APPEAL LINK


Update on California Fires from +BENJAMIN - 10/11/17

To the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the West:

 

I ask you all to keep the people of the Sonoma and Napa valleys in your prayers.  As I write this the situation changes hourly.  But I can report there have been no casualties so far.  Some of our faithful and the nuns of both the Kazan Skete and Calistoga have had to be evacuated.  The weather reports promise there will be significant winds today and on the weekend.  This means the fire can and probably will spread.  The danger will persist as well as a depressing sense of uncertainty for everyone for some time.  As of last night, there was zero containment.  But, according to Fr. Lawrence Margitich, no one from the parish has been harmed though one family lost their home.  There are thousands who have been left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  We are grateful to God for the mercy he has shown us and pray the Theotokos will extend her protecting veil over the faithful of the Napa and Sonoma valleys.  The road to recovery is going to be long and difficult even for those who did not lose their homes.  Many businesses, schools and other important civic institutions have been destroyed.

 

Lord, have mercy!

 

+Benjamin


Statement of the Archbishop on Northern California Fires - 10/09/17

Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy of the DOW:

As many of you know already there are some serious fires in the Napa and Sonoma counties. The situation changes by the hour.

I have heard from the nuns in Calistoga and they are fine so far. Though the fires are quite close.

I have spoken with Fr. Lawrence Margitich in Santa Rosa and the church is fine. However, some parishioners have been evacuated and at least one family may have lost their home. He also tells me the nuns of the Kazan Skete are safe, but have been evacuated.

Please pray for those who have suffered loss in these fires.

+Benjamin


Joy of All Who Sorrow Mission Needs Your Help! - 08/30/17

For 22 years, the Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox mission on the Westside of Los Angeles has been growing steadily in progressively larger leased facilities. The parish is eager for a permanent church building. With a hope and a prayer, we are looking for donors with $5 to $500,000 to give! We have established a GoFundMe page to allow donors to help in this project.

Needless to say, I have a personal interest in this because my husband (Archpriest John Tomasi) is the rector and together, with family and friends, we have been here since the beginning. We started with one other family in 1995, when we rented a house that had a one-car garage, which we converted into a chapel. Soon, we moved into a home with a 2-car garage and suddenly our church capacity doubled! In 1999, we found a 1200 sq. ft. storefront wherein we set up a chapel, Orthodox bookstore, and small activity room. One year later, we were officially accepted into the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and have been in the OCA Diocese of the West ever since. Now, 17 years later, we are in our third location and at times can handle 100+ worshippers, even though several may be spilling out into the hallways, dining area, kitchen, children's room, and bookstore.


 




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