A HOMECOMINGPosted: May 10, 2016
This year’s Paschal joy and celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was augmented by the return home of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church’s (HROC) second deacon, Joseph Ramos. He victoriously returned to us and his family after completing a year’s special study at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, NY.
His departure was featured as a posting in this blog last August 23, 2015. This posting described his departure’s purpose: to become a priest in the Orthodox Church. His mission was accomplished. With his wife, Mka. Felicity and family, and the parishioners of HROC present, he was ordained a priest by His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin on Bright Saturday, May 7, 2016. He now stands among the 2,000 year old company of Orthodox priests who minister to the faithful of the 2,000 years old Orthodox Church!
Fr. Joseph’s first celebration of the Divine Liturgy took place the following day — Thomas Sunday. He took his place before the Altar as his fellow priests of HROC, the deacons, and the faithful worshipped God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In our presence, he exercised for the first time the profound gift of priesthood which allowed him to be used by the Holy Spirit to make present the Body and Blood of Christ to be consumed with faith by the people of God. Fr. Joseph’s new eucharistic ministry is used by God to strengthen our relational union in Christ, to cleanse us of our sins, and to impart to us eternal life. He is now a full participant in the Sacrament of Confession as well. By him, the blessing of our Lord is given to the faithful.
My friend and fellow priest will not be with us long at HROC. Fr. Joseph, Mka. Felicity and two of their children will be departing our company in a few short months. They will leave for Sonora, California where he will serve the mission parish of St. Susanna (www.stsusanna.com). While we at HROC will miss them, St. Susanna Mission will be receiving a faithful and gifted servant. Please continue to pray for Fr. Joseph and his wonderful family.