Saturday, 7 November 2015

Τhefts at our Greek Orthodox Cemetery

Our Community has its own Greek Orthodox section at the local Pinner New Cemetery, which is about 4,3 miles away from our Church of St. Panteleimon and St. Paraskevi.

Recently there were some thefts at our Cemetery. They were properly reported and the local Press has dedicated a news item to this issue.

Let’s hope that this problem will stop here, as it is quite distressing for the families affected.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

International Buy a Priest a Beer Day!

Did you know that September 9 is International Buy a Priest a Beer Day? On this festive day, faithful Catholics all over the world take their priests out for a beer and get to know them better. It’s a beautiful Catholic tradition that goes back to the time of St. Hopswald of Aleyard, the first man to take his priest out for a beer.

Okay, if you’re getting suspicious by now, there’s a good reason. Buy a Priest a Beer Day is not a real holiday. But I would argue that it should be!

Believe it or not, priests are real people, and they enjoy socializing over good food and drink as much as anyone. They also have a thankless and difficult job, a job that we couldn’t get to heaven without. Priests are the lifeblood of the Church, and they deserve some appreciation.

So with that in mind, I would challenge you to do something concrete to show appreciation to your priest in the month ahead. Yes, it could be taking him out for a beer, or it could be inviting him over to share dinner with your family. Be creative if you want, but give back to your priest somehow, and let him know that his ministry is making a difference.

Of course, your priest may be insanely busy and unable to schedule a time for a lengthier visit. That’s okay. You could offer a rosary or a holy hour for him and his intentions (or better yet, more than one), and let him know that you are regularly praying for him. At the very least, express to him your gratitude, in person or via a note, for his faithful ministry and his answering God’s call to the priesthood.

I fully expect there to be a lot of happy, encouraged priests by the end of the month. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying, “I’m in!” Ready, set, go.

Monday, 17 August 2015

St. Panteleimon FC - Blessing & First Game

The official beginning of the new Football season 2015-2016 for the newly founded St. Panteleimon FC had happened on Wednesday 12th August 2015, when Fr. Anastasios D. Salapatas blessed the Team and its sport facilities in Harrow.

The Blessing was attended by many Players of our Team, our Manager Gary Karsa, the Chairman George Frangeskou, Committee Members, Sponsors, and others. Mr. Tony Kleanthous, Chairman of the Barnet FC, whose facilities will be our home ground, attended the ceremony and gracefully greeted our Players!

Fr. Anastasios had written and read the following prayer for our Team:

“Heavenly King, who through Your Holy Cross and the Glorious Resurrection smashed the devil and having abolished the death gave life to us, You granted health and strength to our body and healed our illnesses, and You have also provided those we struggle the good fight and with honesty complete their way with the crown of victory.

You, our Lord, bless this Football Team, its Managers, its Committee, its Sponsors and those who assist, and above all its Players to receive strength with the force of Your power, in order to exercise their bodies and souls and worthily achieve the prize of victory.

Make these sports facilities an arena of noble competition and legitimate exercise, and to all those who practise sports here, send Your blessing.

Thus, we beseech You, make us worthy of Your calling and grant us health and prosperity making us good imitators of our Patron Saint, Saint Panteleimon, the Great Athlete and Healer, who fought the good fight and was glorified by You.

For You are a merciful God Who loves mankind, and to You we send up Glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen”.

At the end of the ceremony Fr. Anastasios greeted everyone with the following words:

“Welcome and a big thank you to everyone for coming here tonight and being a part at this historic moment of the official beginning of our St. Panteleimon Football Team.

This is a new endeavour, which has at its centre the Youth of our Society and the Young Adults. It is a place and a space for all of you to compete, to socialise, to develop your personalities and to grow, both bodily as well as spiritually.

Our local Church and Community of St. Panteleimon by establishing a Football Team is following the tradition of many other Parishes around the country, which had established Football Teams in the past. From what I know most of the major Teams have been established by Churches. If I am not mistaken the first Football Team in England was Derby County FC and it was established by its local Church.

The name of our Team is SAINT PANTELEIMON, which is the name of our local Church. I am going to give you today a small icon of St. Panteleimon, for you to see who is the Saint that you play for, and also to pray to him when needed.

I would also like to offer our thanks and gratitude to Mr. Kleanthous for being so open and welcoming to us, in these excellent sport facilities, together with his staff here. We all wish you Mr. Kleanthous a great and victorious season at Barnet FC this season.

I cannot thank enough our First Team Manager, Gary Karsa, the best man for the job, a man of Premiership status, who is respected by all of us, especially by his Players.

I am Indebted to the Chairman, Mr. George Frangeskou, the Committee, our main Sponcors, Savvas Andreou and Panayiotis Argyrou, as well as the rest of the sponsors.

Above all I would like to welcome with an open heart, with friendship and love our Players and to thank you all for your commitment and dedication.

I really look forward to the start of our season, and I hope and pray that we shall have a successful year, with many joys and victories.

God bless us all !”

Then he offered an icon of St. Panteleimon to Mr. Kleanthous. All Players and all those attending came forward, kissed the Holy Cross and were blessed with the Holy Water.

The following Sunday, 16th August 2015, we had the first ever game of our Team. It was a friendly game, against Pantel FC, a colleague Team from KOPA League. We won 4-0! The best start we could've ever dreamed for!

It was obviously quite a stressful game as it was the first ever time that those Players had played a competitive game together. At the first half the score was 1-0. The score remained unchanged until mid - second half, when our Players felt quite strong and in great shape and form, moved forward the scored three more goals.

The goal scorers were: Demetris Parpottas, Alex Dimgkioka, Nick Salapatas and Costas Mina! Our talented goal-keeper Antony Ioannou had kept a clean sheet!

It is worth noting that numerous supporters had gathered to watch the match and encourage our Players, by chanting their names!

We’ve started our history with a victory!!! We really look forward to a great and successful season!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

St. Panteleimon FC Logo

Our new Community Football Team, called St. Panteleimon FC, has now got a Logo.

The actual Logo is based on a Fr. Anastasios Salapatas’ idea. The motto “Faith First” was suggested by the footballer Nick Salapatas and all the artistic work was done by a dedicated member of the Community Mrs. Evie Efthimiou, whom we would like to thank very much.

The final and official Logo of our St. Panteleimon FC contains the following details:

1). The name of the Team at the centre.

2). The colours of the Byzantine Empire (purple), of Greece (blue) and of Cyprus (yellow and light bronze).

3). The motto FAITH FIRST, with reference to our Christian Faith as well as to the faith in victory that the players should always have.

4). The symbol of the Holy Cross (referring to our Christian identity).

5). The emblem of our Nation (top left).

6). The ancient column (referring to our Classical Civilization of both Greece and Cyprus).

7). The emblem of the Byzantine Empire, with the ball at its centre (referring to our Greek Orthodox Civilization in connection with football).

8). The year of founding -2015- on the top of the column.

This Logo is to be used for all purposes, in relation to the operation of St. Panteleimon FC.