• January 13, 2018. Parish Meeting.
  • March 25, 2018. Palm Sunday.
  • February 17, 2018. Holy Cross Youth Group.
  • Front of Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church.
  • March 31, 2018. Saturday Evening Hajmeh. Paschal Vigil.
  • April 28, 2018. Be My Witness Parish Meeting.
  • Aerial View of Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church.


Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church Bulletin. Sunday, December 16, 2018.
Sunday of the Forefathers.

December 16. Commemoration of the Holy prophet Aggee (Haggai). Aggee, a Babylonian, came to Jerusalem in the days of Prophet Zacharias. He saw a part of the temple being built by Zorobabel (the work was not completed until 516 BC, at the time of King Daruis). He foretold the Incarnation of Christ and the reconstruction of the temple.

Nativity to Theophany of Christ Schedule:
-Monday, December 24. 4:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy for the Vigil of the Nativity.
-Tuesday, December 25. 11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Divine Liturgy.
-Saturday, January 5. 5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic followed by blessing of Theophany water.
-Sunday, January 6. 11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in English followed by blessing of Theophany water.

Thank you to Our Lady’s Society for hosting last Sunday’s Parish Falafel Luncheon. We raised $680.

Holy Cross Christmas Boutique and Crafts Sale in the hall. December 16, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. Handmade items will be available for sale such as desserts, wreaths, Christmas gift baskets, mugs, crochet hats, and many more items. If you would like to donate any items please contact the office or Koki Choueiri at (714) 726-0087. These amounts will go to our Building Fund: December 2: $1,550 and December 9: $1,040. Total: $2,590. Thank you to everyone who donated and purchased items.

December 31, 2018. Holy Cross Church’s New Year’s Eve Party at The Grand Banquet Hall (300 S. Flower Street, Orange, CA 92868) will start at 7:00 p.m. There will be an open bar, a wide variety of mazza, a delicious Middle Eastern dinner, a variety of music, dancing, midnight champagne, a raffle, and so much more. Come celebrate the New Year with your family and friends. Tickets are $100 per adult and $40 for children. All proceeds go to our building fund.

2018 Building Fund Raffle tickets are now available. The Grand prize is a 2018 Jeep Cherokee. Current Raffle Ticket Sales: $26,580. The drawing will take place on December 31, 2018 during the New Year’s Eve Dinner party at Grand Catered Events (300 S Flower St., Orange, CA 92868). Winner does not need to be present. Raffle tickets are $20 per ticket and a book of 10 for $200. They can be purchased from the Church office, Nadia Saikali, or the table outside church on Sunday.

November 15 is the traditional start of the Nativity Fast according. Some start this fast on December 10. During this time we fast from meat and dairy products. In order for fasting to be effective, it must be accompanied with prayer and acts of mercy and love. St. John Chrysostom reminds us: “What good is it to fast from meat and dairy, if we devour and eat one another.” Please remember to love and forgive during this special time of preparation for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Fast will continue until Christmas Eve.
The Christmas Day Divine Liturgy will be on Tuesday, December 25 at 11:00 a.m. Please take the opportunity now to mark your calendars. How can we truly celebrate Christmas if we skip the Christmas Liturgy? The Christmas season is a very busy time and we have plans to be with friends and family, but let us set our priorities straight and schedule our gatherings around our prayer times. Can you imagine having a birthday party without celebrating the one whose birthday it is? That’s exactly what we do when we don’t attend Christmas Liturgy. Let us begin to change the secularization of Christmas and remember that Christ is the reason for the season.

The What, Who, Why, When, and Where of Fasting by Fr. Sebastian Carnazzo. With the Nativity Fast beginning on November 15, I thought it would be good to review the "what, who, why, when, and where" of fasting! During your breaks today, take a brief moment to read each one of these subjects and also take a minute to think about it.
What: Fasting is the practice of eating less quantity of food or completely abstaining from food, or certain types of food, at certain times.
Who: Christians have been fasting from the beginning. Jesus fasted (Matt 4:2), his disciples fasted (Matthew 6:16-18), and he said that his disciples would fast until his return (Matt 9:15). Jesus taught that there are some evils that can only be done away with through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Hence, the early Church fasted during the time of the Apostles (Acts 13:3; 14:23) and has continued until today. Christians have always fasted. To what degree someone is able to fast or abstain from certain things depends on age and physical health, but there is no way out of it. If you are a Christian you should fast!
Why: Many people think that fasting makes God happy because he likes to see us suffering. That's impossible. First of all, God desires your happiness. Second, God doesn't change. You can't make him happy or sad. Whether you fast or not, it doesn't change God, it changes you. Think of it like spiritual exercises or calisthenics! When you fast you choose not to eat certain things or at certain times. This strengthens your willpower. The more you do this the stronger your will-power becomes. Then, when you encounter somethings that is evil, a temptation to sin, you have the strength to choose not to sin. Fasting does not change God, it changes you!
When: From the early Church, Christians have been fasting weekly, during certain times in the year, and during periods of personal trial. During the time of Jesus, Jews fasted on Mondays and Thursdays each week because, as far as can be discerned, they believed that Moses went up to get the Torah on the mountain on Thursday and came back down on Monday (Luke 18:12). Christians began fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, because these are the days when Jesus was handed over (Wednesday) and crucified (Friday). This practice developed during apostolic times (Didache 8:1) and has continued to today. Over the first few centuries of the Church, larger fasting periods developed as well, of which there are four: The Great Fast in preparation for Pascha, the Apostles Fast, in preparation for the Feast of Peter and Paul, the Dormition Fast, in preparation for the Dormition, and the Nativity Fast, in preparation for the Nativity. Finally, individual Christians, Christian Churches, Christian Communities, also sometimes fast during times of prayer in preparation for coming times of difficulty.
Where: Fasting is something we do for our own spiritual development. As Jesus said, when we fast, we should go about our normal daily routine, and there should not be any indication to those outside that we are fasting (Matthew 6:16-18). Otherwise, we could easily fall into pride, and then the whole purpose of fasting, avoidance of sin, has been lost. At home at meal time, when the whole family is fasting, meals are taken together and fasting is a united effort that strengthens the family bond and encourages each member to keep up the effort. This is like friends or family members committing to go out and exercise together each day. We can also do this when we are alone, taking a meal at lunch at the cafeteria, or even out to lunch with some co-workers, as long as we are careful not to draw any attention to ourselves. It is quite easy to choose a shrimp salad or vegetable soup without anyone taking notice. But be careful. If someone who is not keeping the Fast invites you to dinner, and you are inclined to go, if nothing else but to be polite, you should eat whatever is put before you (1 Cor 10:27). Remember, charity in all things! And so even this can strengthen you. How so? If you have been keeping the fast without fail, and then sometime during the fast you are in a situation where you must break the fast for a moment, such as the above example, it can also keep you from falling into pride, since you cannot say to yourself at the end of the fast, "Look how strong you are! You did it, you kept the Fast! Wow, you must be really spiritual!" Remember, fasting is to help us avoid sin, and pride is the greatest sin of all!
Now, back to the What: From what do we abstain during this coming Nativity Fast? Throughout the year it is customary on Wednesdays and Fridays to avoid alcoholic beverages, oil, and animal products (dairy, eggs and meat [including fish with a backbone]). During the Nativity Fast we continue this practice and also abstain from animal products on all days of the week. Saturdays and Sundays are exceptions, when fish is usually eaten as a lightening or relief from the weekly fast.
Start thinking about these things and, if married, talking with the family about how you will, as a family, keep the Nativity Fast. The above list is simply a customary guideline, not some sort of hard and strict rule. Each person or family has its own needs, age of children, elderly, health, food allergies, and life situation. Remember, the purpose of fasting is to help you avoid sin. Fasting together is like exercising together. The benefits are myriad. May God bless you now and in a special way during this coming Nativity Fast as we prepare to celebrate the great gift of God in the Nativity of our Lord God and Savior in the Flesh!

Thank you to the 18 Holy Cross parishioners who donated $13,400 to the annual Bishop’s Appeal, as of November 25, 2018. We are still $5600 short of our $19,000 parish goal. You may send a check to Melkite Eparchy of Newton 802 Riffle Camp Road, Woodland Park, NJ 02132 or donate online at: Melkite.org

2018 Bishop’s Appeal. As we prepare our hearts and our homes to receive the Eternal Word of God let us remember our Melkite Church by which Christ comes to our families and loved ones. Please give a special end-of-year, tax-deductible gift to the Melkite Eparchy of Newton to support all the vital works of our Church in America.
REMEMBER THE MELKITE CHURCH IN YOUR WILL: Give a lasting gift to help ensure that our Melkite heritage continues to flourish for future generations. Simply add the following statement to your last will and testament: I hereby bequeath to the Melkite Eparchy of Newton the following sum: $_______. Contact Bishop Nicholas personally to inform him of your generous bequest: 3 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132.

$500 donation and November 28, 2018 letter from a parishioner: “For my birthday, the good family and friends who participated at my wonderful party were generous in their gifts. Some game me money, so I rounded it up to $500. I promised myself that whatever money I receive I will give to my preferred charity: Holy Cross Church. My wife and I wish that Holy Cross Church will always prosper under the care of Reverend Father Francois Beyrouti; with all our care and love.”

End of the Year Giving Options: There are several ways to make end of the year donations to Holy Cross Church.
1. Cash, Check, or Credit Card.
-Credit card donations may be made at the office or online at: www.holycrossmelkite.org/donate
-Checks may be brought in personally or mailed to: Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church. 451 West Madison Avenue. Placentia, CA 92870-4537
2. Monthly Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). A convenient way to make donations is through an Electronic Fund Transfer directly to Holy Cross Church from a checking or savings account on a one-time or monthly basis. If you would like to set up automatic payments or electronic funds transfer (EFT) please call us or visit: www.holycrossmelkite.org/parish/news/66-donate-through-your-bank
3. Corporate and Foundation Relations. We welcome gifts and donations from Corporations and Foundations interested in collaborating with Holy Cross Church to fulfill their community involvement objectives.
4. Property. Gifts of real property such as a home, vacation property, vacant land, farmland, ranch, commercial property, or tangible property such as works of art, jewelry, collections and other personal property may be given. You will be given a tax receipt based on assessed value.
5. Securities. A gift of securities, including stocks or bonds, is an easy way to make a gift. By making a gift of your appreciated securities, you can avoid paying capital gains tax that would otherwise be due if you sold these assets. For more information on how to give stocks or bonds, contact your broker, bank, or the Church office.
6. Retirement Assets. We welcome all types of giving, including IRA’s. Contact your IRA representative to learn more about how to transfer contributions.
7. Pledges. Pledges can be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Call the office for more details if you are interested in making your pledge to Holy Cross Church.
8. Specific intentions. You may specifically support some of our ministries, such as Youth Ministry, Sunday School Ministry, Choir Ministry, Our Lady’s Society, or the Building Fund. Make checks, cash, or use EFT and make payable to Holy Cross Church with a memo towards which ministry you are supporting.

Thank you for your generosity and your dedication to the future growth of Holy Cross Church. Deadline for 2018 tax credits is December 31, 2018.

Our Eastern Christian Formation (Sunday School) program for all children in Kindergarten to grade 8 has started. Please contact the office if you are interested and have children in kindergarten to grades 8. It is essential that we enroll our children in Sunday School because this is one of the best ways to teach faith to our children and build a living relationship with God. The registration form is available at: Holycrossmelkite.org/ministries/ecf. If you have questions call: (714) 985-1710.
December 15: 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Christmas play dress rehearsal in the church. Please bring a snack.
December 16: Christmas play following the Divine Liturgy. Come enjoy a beautiful Christmas play hosted by our Sunday School children.

The one-year memorial Divine Liturgy for Linda Raya will be on December 16, 11:30 a.m. at St. John Maron Maronite Catholic Church in Orange. May her memory be eternal.

Thomas Aquinas College Summer High School Program Scholarship. Sunday, July 15 to Saturday, July 27, 2019 at the Santa Paula campus, 70 miles north of Los Angeles. A full scholarship is available to any Holy Cross parishioner going into their senior High School year. This $975 scholarship covers tuition, housing, meals, books, and organized activities off campus.
The pursuit of wisdom begins with wonder — wonder about the causes and principles of man and nature, and wonder about God, who is the first cause and principle of all things. For two weeks, students from around the country and abroad will delight in spirited conversation, engaging firsthand some of the best works of the past 2,500 years. They will read and discuss texts selected from the masters of the Western intellectual tradition. The program will be centered around the College’s unique Great Books program of Catholic education. The High School Summer Program is a time for forging new friendships, for enjoying the give and take of rational argument, and for pursuing the truth, which civilizes, ennobles, and liberates.
Classes are conducted, like all classes at Thomas Aquinas College, using the Discussion Method, guided by members of the teaching faculty. Class size is limited to 17 students in order to allow each student the opportunity to contribute to the discussions. The location is ideal for recreation of all sorts. In addition to daily sports, occasional movies, and hiking, the program includes excursions to local attractions. Students will visit the Getty Museum, take in a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and head to Santa Barbara for volleyball on the beach and an exploration of the historic city.
Thomas Aquinas College is genuinely Catholic and has a rich sacramental life. During the Summer Program, Mass will be offered daily and a chaplain will be available on campus at all times. For further information contact Holy Cross Church and review these links:
On Sunday, January 6, 2019 following the Divine Liturgy, Matthew Plaisted, Admissions Counselor of Thomas Aquinas College, will visit Holy Cross Church to meet with the youth and parents to discuss: “Why attend a Catholic College or University? Catholic education and Thomas Aquinas College.” Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. Please invite your family and friends and remind everyone in the area to join us. We will meet in the hall at 5:45 p.m. to review the hymns and the Divine Liturgy will begin in the Church at exactly 6:30 p.m. on January 13, 2019, at Saint Kilian’s. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (off Marguerite Parkway).
2019 dates: January 13, February 10, March 10, April 7, May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10, and December 8.
If you live or know anyone who lives in the area surrounding Mission Viejo please give us their contact information so that we can keep everyone informed on upcoming events. Please send contact details to the parish office at (714) 985-1710 or email a list of names to Father François at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

Choir practice. “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). Please join our choir practices to review the regular hymns of the Divine Liturgy and learn new ones. Everyone is welcome.
At Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church every Sunday at 9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Holy Cross Youth Ministry Spiritual Meetings take place every Sunday following the Divine Liturgy for all those in grades 9-12.

Holy Cross College Ministry. We are planning social and religious activities to build our College Community at Holy Cross Church. See calendar for event details (holycrossmelkite.org/ministries/college-ministry).

Holy Cross Young Adults Ministry. We are planning social and religious activities to build our Young Adults Community at Holy Cross Church. Feel free to bring your friends and family. Ages 21-35. See calendar for event details (Holycrossmelkite.org/ministries/young-adults). Contact: Tony Helo (562) 371-5466; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Upcoming events:
Thursday, December 20: 7:00 p.m. Christmas Boat Parade. (E St, Newport Beach, CA) at the E street public viewing area on the beach. Bring warm clothes and come early for parking.
Sunday, January 6: 12:30 p.m. Review Sunday Readings and Bowling. AMF Carter Lanes (1501 S Lemon St, Fullerton, CA 92832). Open to College Ministry.

Isaiah House Women’s Shelter. December 30, 2018. Holy Cross Church prepares and serves a meal for the women at Isaiah House (316 South Cypress Avenue, Santa Ana) every month that has a 5th Sunday. Volunteer to help prepare, serve, and enjoy a meal with those in need. Contact the office to participate. Time: 3:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. 2018 dates: December 30. 2019 dates: March 31, June 30, September 29, and December 29. The colder months of the year are coming and the women’s shelter distributes blankets to those in need. Thank you to all those who donated for the purchase of 73 blankets for those in need. If anyone still wants to donate blankets please contact the office.
Isaiah House has invited us to help them take on the last Saturday of the month that does not have a 5th Sunday. If you or your family would like to sponsor, prepare the food, serve, and enjoy a meal with those in need please call the Church office. 2019 Saturday Dates: January 26, February 23, April 27, May 25, July 27, August 31, October 26, and November 23.

An elderly disabled lady is looking for someone to help her with housework and laundry. Lives in Orange County, call Bea (714) 914-9577.

Listen to Melkite audio links on our parish website at holycrossmelkite.org/Melkite-hymns
We uploaded many Melkite hymns for the Divine Liturgy and other important services. To practice or become more familiar with our beautiful liturgical hymns you can listen or download them by visiting the above link.

Vocation Awareness. God needs messengers to continually call people to the great banquet of salvation, but the invited are so often distracted by other concerns. Often as Paul, observes, those called are not open to those of “other” groups who are also called to form the Body of Christ. Priests are urgently needed for this saving ministry. Pray that God call many and that many respond.

Vocation View. Saint Paul urges Christian readers to live a life of communion, in mutual love, and in the love that God has given us. Jesus teaches us the importance and implications of that life of loving communion. Who shall preach and teach it to us today? Pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and monastic life and encourage possible candidates.

A Prayer for Vocations. O Lord God, in every age, You invite men and women to hear Your call to serve You and the Church. We bow before You now, asking that You call forth more persons to serve our Melkite Church in America. Give us priests, deacons, monks and nuns, who will lead and guide your holy people. By Your will, bless us with vocations so that we continue to be the church which You called us to be, centuries ago. Let all hear Your voice inviting them to care for and serve Your people. Strengthen us in being disciples of Jesus Christ, Your Only-begotten Son and fishers of men. Inspire in us the spirit and pride of Antioch, our holy heritage. We ask You, O Lover of mankind, to raise up men and women who appreciate what they have received from You and who want to be generous in their service, willing to offer their lives and all their gifts, to serve others, to give You glory, thanksgiving and worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

Your Sunday donation envelopes are mailed to you every two months. These envelopes are dated with your envelope number on the back. Please contact the office if you are not registered or did not receive your envelopes. Thank you.

Receive the emailed weekly Holy Cross Church Bulletin and Homily. If you or someone you known would like to receive the emailed weekly parish bulletin or homily please sign up on our website or email or call the office. Please also let us know if you are on our list but have changed your email. To read past homilies visit: holycrossmelkite.org/parish/homilies

Do you want to be inspired and learn more about your Catholic Faith? Listen to Relevant, a Catholic Radio station (formerly Immaculate Heart Catholic Radio) on 930 am. For further information visit their website or call 1-888-887-7120.

Thank you for your ongoing generous donations:
-Sunday, November 11 Mission Viejo collection: $555 in 11 envelopes (average of $50 per envelope) + $42 cash = $597.
-Wednesday, November 14 building fund deposit: $3,805.
-Sunday, November 18 collection: $2,205 in 31 envelopes (average of $71 per envelope) + $188 cash + $252 candles = $2,645.
-Wednesday, November 20 building fund deposit: $32.
-Sunday, November 25 collection: $2,248 in 54 envelopes (average of $42 per envelope) + $305 cash + $216 candles = $2,769.
-Wednesday, November 28 building fund deposit: $5,363.
-Sunday, December 2 collection: $2,282 in 38 envelopes (average of $60 per envelope) + $308 cash + $141 candles = $2,731.
-Wednesday, December 5 building fund deposit: $3,207.
-Sunday, December 9 collection: $2,585 in 39 envelopes (average of $66 per envelope) + $140 cash + $110 candles = $2,835.
-Sunday, December 9 Mission Viejo collection: $785 in 11 envelopes (average of $71 per envelope) + $67 cash = $852.
-Wednesday, December 12 building fund deposit: $1,215.

Total deposits in the past four months: September: $20,610, October: $25,604, November: $24,541, December: $10,840.

Sample Holy Cross Church Expenses:
$200.00 paid on November 1, 2018 for gardening services.
$118.63 paid on November 1, 2018 for printer leasing.
$767.08 paid on November 6, 2018 for So Cal Edison Electricity.
$57.07 paid on November 6, 2018 for So Cal Gas.
$50.17 paid on November 6, 2018 for Sparkletts water.
$750.00 for the 2019 calendar. Fully sponsored by the Mieh-Mieh community.
$169.20 paid on November 21, 2018 for Republic Trash services.
$692.49 paid on November 27, 2018 for church cleaning services for October & November.

Hymns: (See our Church’s website for Audio Recordings: holycrossmelkite.org/Melkite-hymns)
Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 5). Let us O Faithful, praise and worship the Word coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation. For He has willed to be lifted in the flesh upon the Cross, and to endure death, and to raise the dead by his glorious Resurrection.
Troparion of the Forefathers (Tone 2). Through faith, You have justified Your Ancestors, O Christ our God, and through them You have espoused in advance the Church set apart from the Gentiles. The saints rejoice in glory because, from the seed of these Ancestors, has come forth the glorious fruit, who gave You birth without seed. Through their intercession, O Christ God, save our souls.
Troparion of the Holy Cross (Tone 2). O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance. Strengthen our Public Authorities in every good deed and protect your nation with your Cross.
Kondakion of the Preparation of the Nativity of our Lord (Tone 3). Today the Virgin is on her way to the cave where she will give birth in a manner beyond understanding to the Word Who is, in all eternity. Rejoice, therefore, universe, when you hear it heralded: with the angles and the shepherds, glorify Him Who chose to be seen as a new-born Babe, while remaining God in all eternity.

Epistle: Colossians 3:4-11. Mia Semaan will read this Sunday’s Epistle. Full reading below. If you would like to read the Epistle please contact the office.
Gospel: Luke 14:16-24. Full reading below.

Today’s Divine Liturgy is celebrated for the repose of the souls of:
Khalil Toubbeh (December 4, 2018), Father Philip Khairallah (November 26, 2018), Odet Kashou (November 19, 2018), Jacqueline Lutfi (November 11, 2018), Suhail Bisharah Dababneh (December 18, 2017), William Awad (December 15, 2016), Ibrahim Doura (August 8, 2012), Wadih Nassar (November 27, 2008), Karim Hattar, Wardeh Hattar, Issam Hattar, Adel Hattar, Romel Hattar, Kamel Hattar, Robert Hussnie, Khaldoon Fakhoury.
the health, safety, and salvation of:
Raji Abou Saada, Adel Hallis, Trinidad Lao, Father Christopher Manuele, Najiba Nasser, Marie Semaan, Florence Shaib.
For vocations to the priesthood, monastic life, and lay parish ministries.
For peace in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and all the troubled regions around the world.

Scripture Memory:
“But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. [9] Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices [10] and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:8-10).

“The master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled’” (Luke 14:23).

Saturday, December 15.
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Christmas play dress rehearsal start time. Bring a bagged lunch. Beverages will be provided.
3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Toys for Tots distribution to needy families in the neighborhood. Location: Holy Cross Youth Room. To volunteer please contact the office.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 16.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy led by Holy Cross Church Children’s choir on third Sunday of the month. Arrive at 10:30 a.m. in the choir room, ready, and dressed in a white button down shirt or blouse, navy blue skirt or pants, and black close toe shoes.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Children’s Christmas Play.
1:30 p.m. This Sunday's Theosis Meeting Topic: Where is Christ's Manger? Meeting in the conference room/ Adult members of Cross Church are invited to learn more about their Eastern Byzantine tradition by attending our monthly meetings to discuss how Scripture and Christ’s teachings show us how God became man in order so that man can become God-like. Anyone seeking more information can contact - Mark Bergeron at (714) 307-2196.

Thursday, December 20.
7:00 p.m. Young Adults Group Christmas Boat Parade. (E St, Newport Beach, CA) at the E street public viewing area on the beach. Bring warm clothes and come early for parking.

Saturday, December 22.
8:00 am - 3:30 pm. Holy Cross Church parishioners will volunteer at OC Toy Collaborative.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 23.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
No class. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
No class. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.

Monday, December 24. Christmas Eve before the Nativity of our Lord.
4:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy for the Vigil of Christmas. Christ is Born. Glorify Him.

Tuesday, December 25. Christmas Day-Nativity of our Lord.
11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Divine Liturgy. Christ is Born. Glorify Him.

Saturday, December 29.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 30.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12. End of the year review.
3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Prepare meal in the Holy Cross Hall Kitchen for Isaiah House Catholic Worker’s Women’s shelter.
4:30 p.m. Carpool to Isaiah House (316 South Cypress Avenue, Santa Ana. http://occatholicworker.org).
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Set up, serve meals, visit with the women, and clean up.

Monday, December 31. New Year’s Eve.
7:00 p.m. Holy Cross Church’s New Year’s Eve Party at The Grand Banquet Hall (300 S. Flower Street, Orange, CA 92868). There will be an open bar, a wide variety of mazza, a delicious Middle Eastern dinner, a variety of music, dancing, midnight champagne, a raffle, and so much more. Come celebrate the new year with your family and friends. Tickets are $100 per adult and $40 for children. All proceeds go to our building fund.

Saturday, January 5. Theophany of our Lord.
5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic followed by blessing of Theophany water.

Sunday, January 6.
On the first Sunday of each month, you may use your building fund envelope (or a specially marked envelope) and deposit it in the regular collection. Thank you for your continued generosity as we move closer to our parish goal of a new hall and church building.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning Prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in English followed by blessing of Theophany water.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.
Topic: “Why attend a Catholic College or University? Catholic education and Thomas Aquinas College.” Presented by: Matthew Plaisted, Admissions Counselor, Thomas Aquinas College (thomasaquinas.edu). 10,000 Ojai Road. Santa Paula, CA 93060 (70 miles north of Los Angeles. Between Ventura and Santa Clarita).
12:15-1:30 p.m. Young Adults Group for ages 21-35.

Saturday, January 12.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, January 13.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.

5:45 p.m. Music practice in the hall.
6:30 p.m. Divine Liturgy. The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.

Thursday, January 17.
10:30 a.m. Eastern Catholic Pastoral Association (ECPA) meeting at Saint John Maron Maronite Catholic Church.
7:00 p.m. “How to Read and P.R.A.Y. the Bible.” Presented by Fr. François Beyrouti (Ph.D./D.Th.) at JMJ's Catholic Books and Gift Store. 310 E Orangethorpe Ave Suite A, Placentia, CA 92870. (949) 812-1799.

Readings for Sunday, December 16, 2018.
Epistle Colossians 3:4-11.
Blessed are You, O Lord, God of our fathers, and Your name is worthy praise and glorious forever.
Stichon: For You are just in all You have done to us, and all Your works are true and Your ways right.

A Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians.
Brethren, when Christ, our life, appears, then you too shall appear in glory. Put to death whatever in your members is of the earth: immorality, uncleanness, lust, evil desire, covetousness, which is a form of idol-worship. Because of these passions, God’s wrath comes upon the sons of disobedience and you yourselves once walked in them when they were your (way of) life. But now, you too put them all away; anger, wrath, malice, abusive language and foul-mouthed utterances. Do not lie to one another. Strip off the old man with his deeds and put on the new, one that is being renewed toward perfect knowledge according to his creator’s image (Cf. Gn. 1:26). Here there is no Gentile and Jew, no circumcised and uncircumcised, no Barbarian and Scythian, no slave and freeman, but Christ is all things, and in all.

Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel among those who called upon His name.
Stichon: The just cried out, and the Lord heard them, and He delivered them from all their trials.

Luke 14:16-24 (The Great Feast)
The Holy Gospel According To St. Luke the Evangelist.
The Lord told this parable, “A certain man gave a great supper, and he invited many. And he sent his servant at supper time to tell those invited to come, for everything is now ready. And they all with one accord began to excuse themselves. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a farm, and I must go out and see it; I pray you hold me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am on my way to try them; I pray you hold me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ And the servant returned, and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant. ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the crippled, and the lame, and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, your order has been carried out, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and make them come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you that none of those who were invited shall taste of my supper.' For many are called but few are chosen.”

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Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church.
451 West Madison Avenue, Placentia, CA 92870-4537
Telephone: (714) 985-1710.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Parish Web site: HolyCrossMelkite.org
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/HolyCrossMelkite
YouTube Page: Youtube.com/HolyCrossMelkite
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HCMelkite

Pastor: Father François Beyrouti.
Electronic mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Cellular phone: (714) 914-1710

Pastoral Associate: Deacon Elias Kashou.
Office Manager: Tony Helo.
Administrative Assistant: Rosemarie Nasr.
Parish Hall Rentals: Hala Nakhoul (714) 920-6180.
Choir Directors: Reader Saad Tashman and Lupe Ojeda.
Sunday School / Eastern Christian Formation Program: Every Sunday after the Divine Liturgy from September-May. Pre-School to Grade 8.
Our Lady’s Society: Iman Lutfi (714) 595-7999.

SATURDAY: 4:30 p.m. Confession. 5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).
SUNDAY: 9:45 p.m. Orthros (Morning prayer). 11:00 a.m. The Divine Liturgy.

ARABIC DIVINE LITURGY: 5:00 p.m. Saturday before the first Sunday of the month. In 2019: January 5, February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4, June 1, July 6, August 3, August 31, October 5, November 2, November 30.

ENGLISH DIVINE LITURGY: 11:00 a.m. First Sunday of the month. In 2019: January 6, February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, October 6, November 3, December 1.

HOLY DAYS AND WEEKDAYS: Please check the bulletin.

MYSTERIES OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION: The three Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Eucharist are always celebrated together in one ceremony. One month notice is required and one baptismal preparation meeting is required with the priest.
MYSTERY OF HOLY CROWNING: Six month notice, an initial meeting with the priest, marriage preparation sessions, and a wedding license are required. You must be an active member of the parish.
MYSTERY OF HOLY CONFESSION: Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
MYSTERY OF HOLY ANOINTING: Available for anyone who is ill.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no charge for the celebration of the Sacramental Mysteries, however, it is appropriate to offer a gift of thanksgiving. Therefore the Parish Advisory Council suggests an offering of $200 for Baptisms; $500 for Weddings; $300 for Funerals; and $100 for a Memorial Service.

MERCY-MEAL ON THE DAY OF THE FUNERAL, MERCY-MEAL FOR THE 40th DAY OR OTHER MEMORIALS: $200.00 for registered parishioners of Holy Cross Church who regularly use donation envelopes.
A PARTY WITH MUSIC, FOOD, AND DRINKS (up to 5 hours of use): $400.00 for parishioners + $100 insurance payable to the diocese. $500.00 for non-parishioners + $100 insurance payable to the diocese.
DAMAGE/CLEANING DEPOSIT: $200.00. Refundable if the hall is left in the condition it was given to you.
SECURITY FEE: $150 charge will be added to cover security for 5 hours.
A MEETING (Use of the chairs and tables only. No use of the kitchen, oven, or refrigerator). $75 / hour for parishioners. $100 for non-parishioners.


2018-11-25 Homily. Fr. François Beyrouti. "More than Just Good"

More than Just Good. Homily. Father François Beyrouti. Sunday, November 25, 2018.

Thirteenth Sunday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Gospel of the Rich Man
Epistle Galatians 3:23-4:5 (15th Thursday after Pentecost)
Prokimenon (Tone 4) Ps.67: 36, 27.
Awesome in his saints is God, the God of Israel.
Stichon: In the churches, bless God, the Lord out of Israel’s wellsprings.

A Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (3:23-29; 4:1-5).
Brethren, before the faith came, we were kept imprisoned under the Law, shut up from the faith that was to be revealed. Therefore the Law has been our tutor unto Christ, that we might be made holy by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. For all you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor freeman; there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

Alleluia (Tone 1) Ps.39: 2, 3. I have waited, waited for the Lord, and he stooped toward me and heard me. Stichon: He set my feet upon a rock; he made firm my steps.

Gospel. Luke 18:18-28.
At that time a certain man approached Jesus and asked him, saying, “Good Master, what shall I do to gain eternal life?” But Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but only God. You know the commandments; ‘Thou shat not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honor thou father and mother.” And he said, “All these I have kept ever since I was a child.” But when Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing is still lacking to you; sell everything you own, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When he heard these things, he was much grieved, for he was very rich. But Jesus, seeing him become sad, said, “With what difficulty will the wealthy enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And they who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” He said to them, “Things men cannot do alone, they can do with God’s help.”

A wealthy man asks Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

This seems like a fair question. We ask this kind of question in our day to day life when we want to reach a particular goal. For example, “What must I do to pass my test or get better grades?” “What must I do to have that particular person as a friend?” Or, “What must I do to get a better job?”

So when it comes to our faith, we naturally ask ourselves: “What must we do to live a Christian life?” “What must we do to get to heaven?” Or “What must we do to better love God?”

The answers to these questions are sometimes clearer than at other times.

When the ruler asks Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responds in a very clear way. He simply recites some of the ten commandments; commandments which any devout person would have known and would have been trying to live: “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not kill,” “Do not steal,” “Do not bear false witness,” and “Honor your father and mother.”

At this point, Jesus does not tell the man anything new or anything he did not already know. The man asks a question and Jesus answered it. We would expect the dialogue to end and everyone to go home.

Then all of a sudden without another question being asked, Jesus continues the discussion by telling him that there is still one thing that he lacks: “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Luke 18:22). This statement is more than a just a challenge to sell everything he had. Above all it is an invitation to follow Jesus in an undistracted way and to not let anything, not even money, get in the way of following Him.

This dialogue reminds us that we can keep all the commandments, but still not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Being good is not good enough. Today, Jesus invites us not to simply be content with “doing” good, but to move towards a daily, real, and living relationship with Him.

There is a story of three guys who went to a church to be baptized. The priest told them to go do something good. After a week they came back to the Church. “What good did you do this week?” the priest asked them. “I helped an old lady cross the road” said the first. “I helped that same old lady cross the road,” said the second. “I helped them help that old lady cross the road,” said the third. The priest asked: “Why did it take all three big guys to help one old lady cross the road? How difficult could that have been.” They said: “Father it was very very difficult because she had a stick and she did not want to cross the road.”

Being a follower of Christ is not only about doing some random good, it is about knowing who we are and knowing where we are in our relationship with God.

We do not need to figure this out, as the Bible tells us many times who we truly are. For example: “You are this day as the stars of heaven” (Deuteronomy 1:10), “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), “You are God’s temple, God’s Spirit dwells in you, you are the image and glory of God (1 Cor 3:16 and 1 Cor 11:7), “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God” (Galatians 3:26), and “You are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

When we become aware of our Christian dignity we progress from asking: “What must I do?” to “What must I be?” If you know who you are you do not have to think much about what you need to do because good actions flow from a right understanding of our dignity.

Though who we are effects what we do, it is not always true that what we do effects who we are. We can practice our faith only at the level of going through the motions. We can come to Church, light a candle, receive communion, but yet all this can not have a real effect on our day to day life.

Today Jesus says: though, keeping the commandments is essential, there is something more, and that is who you are and who you are in relationship with God.

Jesus does not dismiss that to follow Him, there are some specific things that we must do, primary among these are the commandments. However, we need to let what we do flow from who we are, rather than just doing things for the sake of appearing to do something good.

This Gospel is not primarily about money, though sometimes a preoccupation with money distracts us from living our Christian faith. This Gospel is about anything that we place in the way of being a follower of Christ. Sometimes we become obsessed with “being” rich, “being” powerful, or “being” influential. Today Jesus tells that above all we must be concerned about “being” a Christian not in a routine way, but in a real and practical way so that nothing can stop us from responding to Jesus’ call: “Come Follow Me.”

Father François Beyrouti
Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church
451 West Madison Avenue
Placentia, CA 92870-4537
Office: (714) 985-1710
My cell: (714) 914-1710
Sign-up for our homily and bulletin e-mail list: HolyCrossMelkite.org/parish/homilies


MyParish App

Holy Cross Church’s New App. Good news, Holy Cross Church now has its own app on android and apple devices. Simply search for the myParish app on your phone’s app store or click one of the buttons below and once you have the app downloaded search for Holy Cross Melkite Church. Alternatively you could text “App” to 88202 to download our parish app. This app is full of useful features from messages, donations, calendar information, and so much more. If you have any questions please call the church office at (714) 985-1710.

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