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Weekly Bulletin August 6, 2023
by Terrie Evans
On this Sunday we honor the Transfiguration of Jesus. Churches who celebrate the Transfiguration on August 6th are Syriac Orthodox, Indian Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, and the Anglican Church. This feast has existed since the 9Th Century and during the reign of Pope Callixtus III (1455-1458) who would then establish the Transfiguration as a Universal Feast to be celebrated on August 6th and to commemorate the lifting of the siege of Belgrade in 1456. The Transfiguration is one of the five major milestones in the life of Jesus along with the His Baptism, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and the Ascension. Because of its importance, Pope John Paul II in 2002 introduced the “Luminous Mysteries” to include the Transfiguration in the Rosary.
The Transfiguration is the occasion described in the first three Gospels when the divine glory of Christ was shown in a comprehensive way, according to the gospel, Jesus along with Peter, James, and John would go to a secluded mountain to pray. For three years the three disciples followed Jesus, seen his miracles, and have done miracles in his name and that is why he took them away from the other disciples. The three apostles witnessed Jesus’ change in his outward appearance that shone with bright rays of light as Jesus himself became the connection point between Heaven and Earth. Saint Maximus the Confessor stated that the senses of the Apostles were transfigured to enable them to perceive the true glory of Christ, as Jesus was transfigured before them with his garments turning white as the light. Paul the Apostle referred to the “Transfiguration of Believers” as Jesus was transfigured before them.
The narrative of the Transfiguration explains the further revelation of the identity of Jesus as the Son of God to some of His Disciples. It is thought that the spiritual transfiguration of the believer continues to remain a way for achieving a closer union with God, as the transfiguration echoes by Jesus’s teachings; that God is not “the God of the dead, but of the Living.” The Transfiguration is seen as a preview for us as we anticipate the Resurrection. Several churches and buildings were named to honor the Transfiguration and since the 3rd Century, some Christians have named Mount Tabor as the site of the Transfiguration. It is thought that Mt. Tabor is where Jesus, Peter, James, and John joined together to pray and at present where many pilgrims still make their journey. Mount Tabor, located in Lower Galilee, Israel is located eleven miles west of the Sea of Galilee and is shaped like a half sphere reaching 1,886 feet.
The mountain is the location of a Roman Catholic Church of the Franciscan that was built between 1919 and 1924. The Church of the Transfiguration is built on the peak of Mt. Tabor on the ruins of a 5th Century Byzantine and Crusader Church from the 12th Century and is visible from afar. The entrance of the church welcomes visitors with a rock engraved in ancient Greek next to an engraving of a cross. Every August 6th, on the Feast of the Transfiguration, the church will be illuminated by the sunbeams that are reflected off the glass plate on the floor for a memorable display. For the faithful who visit the site, there is also an Eastern Orthodox Monastery and a Franciscan Cemetery located on Mt. Tabor.
San Antonio Parishioners sends their condolences to the Andriacco and Scriveri families on the passing of Mackenzie Mc Carthy. She was the daughter of Geri and Chris McCarthy. She passed away on July 27th at the age of thirty and leaves siblings, Daniel, Mariah, and Megan to mourn their loss. Her celebration of life service was held on Friday, August 4th at St. William Church. Please keep her many family members and friends in your prayers in their time of mourning. We also mention the passing of Vincent “Vinny” Scriveri from a large family with many connections to South Fairmount and our church. A resident of Saddle Brook, New Jersey he was the son of Audrey and Frank Scriveri and brother to Patty, Francine, Carolyn, Pam, and Frank. Vincent leaves wife Diane, children Tara, Anthony, Victoria, and Grandson Sebastian.
On Saturday, August 5th at 10:30 AM, San Antonio Church held a remembrance Mass for Fern (Bonaventura) Webster whose namesake was the late, Fern (Romelli) Roberto. She passed away on July 26th and leaves son Michael (Josie) Webster and Grandchildren Hailey, Zachary, and Madison. She also leaves her beloved sister Estelle (Bonaventure) Ruehl and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.