“Many blessings have happened. They are beyond our imagination, beyond our comprehension.”
From June 25-26, 2022, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph consecrated St. Anthony the Great Church of San Diego, California, officially dedicating it to our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
His Eminence and His Grace Bishop John of the Diocese of Worcester and New England sealed relics of saints and lists of names of the living and departed members of the community, sprinkled the nave with holy water, and anointed the icons and walls with holy chrism.
In his homily after Great Vespers on Saturday night, Sayidna John explained the significance of Sayidna Joseph’s blessing to consecrate the church.
“He sees in this community – in you – a level of maturity that will worship God and be the Church until the end of the world,” His Grace said. “It’s a great expectation that requires a constant renewal.
“We are given a great responsibility to be born anew, to be examples, and to be vessels – like the chalice – where God can be received and encountered, and He can share His life, oneness, peace and love.”
Welcoming both hierarchs were the pastor, V. Rev. John Reimann, the founding pastor, V. Rev. Jon Braun, their brother clergy from the parish and across the country, and more than 200 faithful.
Sayidna Joseph commended the choir for its beautiful and glorious singing. They sang hymns for the resurrection, as well as for their patron saint, and the consecration of a church which “welleth up with streams of grace, it gusheth rivers of miracles, and doth grant healings unto them that now faithfully sing its praise.”
On Sunday, His Eminence commended the congregation for taking this monumental step, but reminded them that consecrating their beautiful holy house is not their final step.
“It’s not just decorations, walls and buildings,” Sayidna Joseph said. “Our salvation must take place in this holy community.
“God’s presence in and through this holy community will produce many types of healing.”
Throughout the divine services, His Eminence tonsured Michael Roeder, Tom Spyrou and Steven Anderson as subdeacons. He also ordained Subdeacons Hallvard Jan Blomgren and Anthony Al Turjman to the holy diaconate. Sayidna Joseph elevated Deacon Thomas Nassif, a founder of St. Anthony Church, to the dignity of protodeacon in honor of his many years of service.
His Eminence also inducted eleven members into the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the charitable arm of the Archdiocese.
Photos by Mr. Jimmy Gabrie