On Sunday, December 9th, Fr. Evan asked the children of the parish of St. Spyridon to come forward at the end of his homily to take a picture with the Icon of St. Nicholas. Flooding the solea, it seemed that half the parish came forward - an indication of how blessed we are at St. Spyridon to have so many children in our home. St. Nicholas the Wonderworker is commemorated on December 6th and is known not only as the patron saint of children, but also as the patron of travelers, those in prison, those in dire need, and those struggling to be faithful to Christ.
As a child, I learned to love St. Nicholas. Every year on December 6th, my siblings and I would wake to find gifts from St. Nicholas in the shoes we had left by the fireplace the evening before. Some years there was a festive breakfast to go along with the gifts. As a 10-year-old, I remember being asked, “Which saints are you close to?” My response was, “St. Nicholas, because he loves children!”
This year, St. Nicholas has filled my heart, and I am grateful. Each one of the children in this picture has brought me life, joy, and has filled me with so much gratitude. I am grateful for the ministry I have been trusted with, unworthy though I am. I am grateful for the Christ-centered community of St. Spyridon, opening wide their arms to me. Amongst the clergy, families, parents and children, I have found a place I call home.
This is my way of saying thank you - No longer my shoes, but now my heart is full.