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Father Philemon update

   Posted by George Vourvoulias on 9/21/2004, 2:40 am 205.188.117.7

In a post on this Forum Anna states on 9/16/2004, to Harry, "since you are so companionate towards priests, there is one (GOA-Minnesota) that just died suddenly from a heart attack and his family has no money. Actions speak louder than words. Call the archdiocese to do something good rather than only do bad."

Harry responds with, "Could you at least mention which priest reposed in Minnesota?"

Priest Christopher reports, "The name of the priest is Fr. Philemon. He was pastor of Twelve Apostles GOA Church in Duluth, MN. He had a heart attack near the end of August (27th I believe). He was in his young 40's, married with young children. Very tragic".

George Vourvoulias adds:
"Father Philemon was an exceptional young Priest.} He was at the Archdiocese during the tenure of His Eminence Spyridon. He had a great understanding of Writing and Production of books and while at the Archdiocese began a print ministry and was later assigned to the Holy Apostles Church in Duluth. He developed a Saturday Radio Ministry and had a class for converts to Orthodoxy, which at last count was about 60. He also was active in events of the Metropolis of Chicago. Father Philemon was a respected Priest with a great understanding of His Church. A true priest with a calling who lived his ministry every day with his family and all of those whom he touched. He shall be missed by many other people along with his wife and family. I do not know about his financial situation. I do know that he and Presbytera were the parents of "a special child" and am sure that like any family God thinks about, by giving them special children, they may have many needs. I would suggest anyone wishing to assist should call the Metropolis of Chicago or a close personal friend, Father Mark Arey in New York and those sources would be able to give some direction." "A Friend" responds with, "Yes, I believe that there is a fund set up now for his family. They are in need. Contact Fr. Mark Arey, PLEASE. Even just a little bit, if sent by many, can become a lot."

PLEASE ALLOW ME TO GIVE ALL AN UPDATE!
I spoke the other morning to Father Mark Arey, a close friend of Father Philemon. Indeed there are two funds that have been established by the Holy Apostles Parish in Duluth, Minnesota. One is for the future education of his family and the other is for the day to day needs they may have. Presently Father's Health Insurance Contribution for his family is being covered, for a short period of time, until the future needs of his family can be determined. As stated, Father and Presbytera have young children and the Lord had blest them with a "special child"so just switching or changing Health Insurance Companies is not that simple. It is certain that as, "A Friend", has stated, there is a real need!

Imagine the energies exhausted on this Forum regarding "Unity", GOA, A.O.A.A., Metropolitan Philip, Archbishop Demetrios and the many words exchanged daily, sometimes not nicely.
Let us see if there is a real desire to "be one."
Father Philemon "fell asleep in the Lord" let his memory be eternal! As Orthodox Christians, maybe we can all assist in taking care of the needs of one of our own, who has departed so early in his Life. The address and phone number of the Parish is listed below. Let us see if, as "A Friend" posted, "Even if just a little bit is sent by so many, it can add up to be a lot." And do not forget to keep Father and his family in your prayers!

In His Service,
George Vourvoulias, Jr.

The Twelve Holy Apostles Church
632 East Second Street
Duluth, Minnesota 55805
(218) 722-5957 Telephone
(218 722-0592 Fax

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