History & the Bible Come Alive: Crash Course in Salvation History Starts Sunday

History and the Bible will come alive in unexpected ways as Fr. Tom offers a fun crash course in Salvation History – the storyline from creation to the Birth of Christ.

Do you read the Old Testament and find yourself asking: “What is happening?” Does the connection between the Old Testament and the New Covenant of Jesus Christ seem obscure? Why the seemingly endless genealogies….. and who the heck is Melchizedek?

What, when and who are the Patriarchs, Moses, the Burning Bush, Passover, the Golden Calf, the Tabernacle, the Ark, the Lampstand, the Holy of Holies, Aaron, the Kings, Solomon’s Temple, the Levitical priesthood, the United and Divided Kingdoms, the Prophets, the double exile and the return, and the rebuilding of the Temple.

How does salvation history relate to the conquest of Israel by the Assyrians, followed close on by conquest of Judea by the Babylonians, Persians, Alexander the Great, and the Romans?

How is it all pointing to Jesus Christ?

When: Four consecutive Sunday afternoons @ 5:00 pm: February 21 & 28 and March 7 & 14.


Required Materials: A Bible – the best version is the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) but any version will suffice.

Supplemental Materials: Helpful maps, timelines, diagrams, charts and outlines are available here.


Join us for the Akathist to the Mother of God – Fridays during Lent @ 5:00 p.m.

Saint Ann prays the Akathist to the Theotokos on Friday nights during Great Lent. This year the service will begin at 5:00 p.m. on the consecutive Fridays of February 19 & 26, and March 5, 12, & 19.

Please join us – lift your soul with prayer!

A much loved hymn to the Mother of God is sung during the Akathist service – Triumphant Leader. The hymn commemorates an event in ancient Byzantium that demonstrated enormous devotion to and faith in the Theotokos:

“While the Emperor of Byzantium Heracleios was on an expedition to fight the aggression of the Persians on their own grounds, there appeared outside the walls of Constantinople barbaric hordes…. The siege lasted a few months, and it was apparent that the outnumbered troops of the Queen City were reaching desperation. However as history records, the faith of the people worked the impossible. The Venerable Patriarch Sergius, with the Clergy and the Official of Byzantium Vonos, endlessly marched along the great walls of Constantinople with an Icon of the Theotokos in hand, and bolstered the faith of the defenders of freedom. The miracle came soon after. Unexpectedly… a great storm with huge tidal waves destroyed most of the fleet of the enemy, and full retreat ensued.” The faithful of Constantinople spontaneously filled the Church of the Theotokos at Vlachernae on the Golden Horn, and with the Patriarch Sergius officiating, they prayed all night singing praises to the Virgin Mary without sitting. Hence the title of the Hymn “Akathistos“, in Greek meaning ‘not seated‘. [Quoted with appreciation from orthodoxchristian.info]

Listen to this beautiful hymn, according to the Melkite usage, here sung by Raja Hourani, here sung by Fr. Justin Rose, a Melkite priest, and here sung by the choir of St. George Melkite Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

Many other beautiful prayers are sung during the Akathist Hymn, such as this one:

St. Ann again this year welcomes donations towards the flowers that surround the icon of the Theotokos during the weekly Akathist services. Several weeks for this year have already been spoken for, so contact Fr. Tom (pastor@saintann.org) if you’d like to honor the Theotokos through this special gift to the parish. You can also make donation for this purpose via the parish’s Paypal buttons, found on the Home page and Giving page of this website; if you do, please be sure to indicate on the dropdown menu that your gift is for the Flowers .


The Journey through Great Lent begins today: travel with the Church – find your way!

To struggle for holiness is always a joy; the Lord is never outdone in generosity.

Sunday, February 14, is the final day of the Pre-Lenten Triodion. St. Ann begins our journey towards Holy Week and the glorious Resurrection of Our Lord with Forgiveness Vespers, on Monday, February 15 at 5:00 p.m.

As we progress through Great Lent Fr. Tom will offer the Presanctified Liturgy on the Wednesday evenings of the Great Fast at 5:00 p.m. and the Akathist on Fridays at 5:00 p.m.

The services celebrated throughout Lent and Holy Week are essentially a toolkit – generously offered to us by the Church – to assist us on our path to holiness.

Along with fasting and abstinence from meat on proscribed days, Lent is a path back to the Garden, where Adam and Eve walked with God and enjoyed the original innocence of creation. A place where God gave them “every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit” as their food. (Gen.1:29). To the wild animals, the birds of the air, and all the living creatures, he gave all the “green plants for food.” (Gen. 1:30). Before the disruption wrought by the Father of Lies, meat was not eaten in Paradise. By abstaining from meat on Fridays in Lent (and on other days if one so chooses), we recall the original harmony of the Garden, where the treasure of kindness and mutual respect were hallmarks of our first parents love. We undertake a simplification of life and extend the liturgical worship into the pulse of daily life.

This Lent let us respond to the Lord’s invitation of mercy by fasting, abstinence, frequent reading of Sacred Scripture, private prayer, and more frequent Liturgical praise, petition, and thanksgiving.

Join us!


Introducing the St. Ann Tabernacle Society

A new ministry has launched at St. Ann!

The Tabernacle Society has been established with an initial group of parishioners who have volunteered for a very particular ministry – to maintain the physical spaces of the church and assist in the decoration and upkeep of the narthex, nave, and Holy Place.

In this way, the Saint Ann Tabernacle Society offers a diakonia of service to the parish family.

The material care of the sacred arena is its principle focus and includes various activities that require regular attention to assure the dignified and beautiful celebration of the central mystery of our faith, the Divine Liturgy, as well as other liturgical services.

Read more about the Saint Ann Tabernacle Society here.


Forgiveness Vespers: Monday, Feb 15 @ 5:00 p.m.

Asking the forgiveness of our sisters and brothers, and for the courage to forgive, we begin our journey to Great and Holy Week and the passion, death, and Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. We will pray the Forgiveness Vespers on Monday, February 15 at 5:00 p.m.

Forgive me, for I am a sinner.

God forgives.

On the evening of the Sunday of Forgiveness the Church traditionally conducts the first service of Great Lent, the Vespers of Forgiveness, a service that guides us on the path of repentance and helps us to acknowledge our need for forgiveness from God and to seek forgiveness from our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the first time during the annual Fast that the Lenten prayer of St. Ephraim, accompanied by prostrations, is read. At the end of the service all the faithful approach the priest and one another, asking for mutual forgiveness.

The Sunday of Forgiveness is also known as Cheesefare Sunday, as it is the last day that dairy products can be eaten before the full Lenten fast begins on the following day, Clean Monday, the first day of Great Lent.


Catch Fr. Tom & Fr. Luke Dysinger discussing COVID-19 vaccines, bioethics, and morals, – recorded today!

Fr. Tom was invited to discuss important issues of bioethics and theology on an internet television show today titled “I Thought You’d like to Know: Vaccines in the Age of COVID-19

He was joined by noted theologian and medical doctor Fr. Luke Dysinger, OSB (read about Fr. Luke here and here) to talk about the currently available COVID vaccines from the theological perspective of bioethics, particularly addressing the concept of “cooperation with evil“. They also examined the moral implications of certain non-COVID vaccines that have been developed from fetal stem cells, a practice they deconstruct during the show in accordance with Catholic teaching.

The show was sponsored by the Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology (ITEST) and can be accessed on the WCAT YouTube channel here.

The show was a prelude to an ITEST webinar to take place this Saturday, February 13: “Is It Moral to Take the COVID-19 Vaccine?” The webinar will address ethical concerns about the new COVID-19 vaccines with two guests. Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D., the Executive Director of St. Philip Institute in Tyler, Texas, and Melissa Moschella, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America and visiting scholar at the Heritage Foundation’s Simon Center for American Studies. Both have recently written on ethics and the new vaccines.


Today: Pray for Your Departed Loved Ones

Father Tom will offer the Divine Liturgy today, February 6, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. On this Saturday of the Dead, parishioners and friends have the opportunity to pray for the souls of their departed family and friends.

Weather permitting, Fr. Tom will also offer a Memorial Service for the deceased parishioners of St. Ann at the St. Peter Cemetery immediately after the Divine Liturgy.

A short history of the services for the Saturday of Souls is here.

“Weep for those who die in their wealth and who with all their wealth prepared no consolation for their own souls, who had the power to wash away their sins and did not will to do it. Let us weep for them, let us assist them to the extant of our ability, let us think of some assistance for them, small as it may be, yet let us somehow assist them. But how, and in what way? By praying for them and by entreating others to pray for them, by constantly giving alms to the poor on their behalf. Not in vain was it decreed by the apostles that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. When the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial Victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense? But this is done for those who have departed in the faith, while even the catechumens are not reckoned as worthy of this consolation, but are deprived of every means of assistance except one. And what is that? We may give alms to the poor on their behalf.”

St. John Chrysostom, “Homilies on Philippians”, c 402 A.D.


Our new Parish Calendar debuts today!

Keeping track of Parish services, celebrations and events just got easier!

Our website’s new Calendar page (you’ll find it under the “Events” tab on the site menu) will be updated regularly with service times and other event details. Also included will be a list of the prayer intentions that are scheduled for each Divine Liturgy.

Let us know what you think – drop us a line at info@saintann.org.

If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to Follow Us on our parish website to have all of our Announcements sent directly to your inbox!


Services for the Feast of the Encounter Feb. 2

The Feast of the Encounter of Our Lord (often referred to as the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple) is Tuesday, February 2, 2021. St. Ann will celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the Feast at 5:30 p.m. Please join us in person or online (Facebook livestream, here)!

The readings for the day will be Hebrews 7:7-17 and Luke 2:22-40.

Now you shall dismiss your servant, O Lord, according to your word in peace: because my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of your people, Israel.

Hail, O full of grace, Virgin and Mother of God, from you has arisen the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, enlightening those who stand in darkness. You, too, O just Elder Simeon, rejoice for you carry in your arms the Redeemer of our souls, who grants us resurrection. (Troparion of the Feast)

You can read more about the Feast here and here.

La présentation au Temple Macha Chmakoff


Happy Birthday Deacon Nicholas!

St. Ann wishes our Deacon Nicholas a happy 80th birthday on December 6, 2020 – St. Nicholas Day!

May God Grant him many years in health and happiness!


Christmas Flower Intentions 2020

St. Ann is accepting donations for the intentions of those who contribute for the Christmas flowers and decoration of the church for this Nativity season.

Intentions can be submitted via the paper forms found at the entrance to the Church, or can be made online.

Donations can be placed in the collection basket (please include a check memo or note indicating the purpose of the donation), or made online below (please specify on the drop-down menu that the donation is for Festal Flowers)

Thank you for helping beautify the Lord’s House!


Support St. Ann’s Matching Grant Drive!

Saint Ann has already received a matching grant pledge of $6,000!

Giving Tuesday is December 1, 2020

This challenge gift, combined with the generosity of our parishioners and friends, will provide important support for the continuing development of the parish infrastructure and other parish needs.

Saint Ann will combine the Matching Grant Drive with our first-ever participation in “Giving Tuesday.” Held each year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day, Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in countries around the world. Millions of people come together annually to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live, work and worship. This year Giving Tuesday falls on December 1st, during our Matching Grant Drive.

Contributions to the Matching Grant Fund may be made through the secure Giving page on our website or through the secure Paypal button below. In either case, please select “2020 Matching Grant” from the drop-down menu on our Paypal page when making your online gift.

Gifts can also be made via cash or check, with a note that the donation is part of the Match.

Thank you for your gifts!

You keep our parish vibrant and alive in Jesus Christ!