Heritage Library

The Heritage Library & Bookstore

The Heritage Library and Bookstore was established in 1994 and is supported by the Educational Endowment Fund. The Fund was started by a group of committed individuals seeking to increase awareness and knowledge of Hellenic heritage, culture and religion in our church. The Library, which is housed in our church center complex, has over 2,000 books available for loan and hosts lectures during the year. The Bookstore has books and religious items for sale. Come and visit and either buy something or borrow a book. Feel free to sit, read and reflect in our wonderful Heritage Library. For more information please contact heritagelibrarybookstore@archangelmichaelchurch.org.

2023 Happenings

2022 Happenings

In The Glow

On the feast day of the Archangel Michael in November of 2022 the Heritage Library and Bookstore was thrilled to bring back VK McCarty. She presented, “In the Glow of Archangel Light.” VK’s lecture included beautifully illustrated slides of angels and archangels. She revealed some of the fascinating history and traditional lore about the angels all around us, including our own Archangel Michael. Copies of the lecture are in the Heritage Library. The Philoptochos provided an outstanding lunch catered by the Cyclades restaurant. It was a very special day! VK McCarty lectures in Ascetical Theology at General Theological Seminary and preaches at St. Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Mission in New York City.

Celebrating Women in Early Christianity

In conjunction with the Rededication of the Heritage Library on March 20, our Spring Lecture will feature VK McCarty, author of From Their Lips: Voices of Early Christian Women. VK will introduce her new book, which explores the lives and ministry of a dozen Early Christian Orthodox saints who were women–after all, they are “half the faithful,” as she says.

In stories taken from the Greek Fathers and other ancient texts, these courageous women stand out as significant contributors to the story of Early Christianity, even though their words were often later edited out of the text. The book opens in the New Testament with the “purple fabric” dealer, Lydia, who was baptized by St. Paul after hearing the Gospel, and it continues on with Paul’s preaching co-worker, St. Thekla, from the Apocryphal Acts.

One of the three elders from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers who was actually a woman, Amma Syncletica, opens the mysteries of mystical prayer for the reader, while the 9th-Century hymnographer, Kassia, praises the Incarnation in hymns still included in the Orthodox Liturgy, especially “Lord, the Woman Fallen into Many Sins,” chanted in Holy Week. From Jerusalem to Antioch, to Alexandria and Constantinople, the expanding faith of Early Christianity included the prayerful witness of several faithful Orthodox female saints.

VK McCarty lectures in Ascetical Theology at General Theological Seminary and preaches at St. Gregory’s Orthodox Mission, both in New York City. Her sermons are available from Public Orthodoxy ( https://publicorthodoxy.org/tag/vk-mccarty/ ), and her book is available at the Heritage Library Bookstore. Please contact the heritagelibrarybookstore@archangelmichaelchurch.org to order your copy today or call Connie Parsons at 516 551-9223. You will also be able to purchase a copy at the lecture where the author would be happy to sign her book for you after the presentation.

We look forward to seeing you at his exciting program on Sunday March 20, 2022 after the Liturgy at 11:45 am in the Angeliades Fellowship Hall.


2021 Happenings

Heritage Library Hosts Not Even My Name Author Thea Halo

The Heritage Library and Bookstore committee was pleased to host author Thea Halo on Sunday, November 21, 2021 in the Angeliades Fellowship Hall of our church. Thea Halo spoke about her book Not Even My Name and then took questions from the audience.

When she was a young girl, Thea Halo promised her mother that she would take her to visit her hometown in Pontos, Ayios Antonios, a formerly Greek village, which is in present-day Turkey. After visiting the village with her mother, Ms. Halo was so moved by the experience that she decided to write a book about her mother’s life there and the subsequent genocide that took place when her mother was a young girl.

Not being a writer by trade, Thea Halo was not sure how to begin her book or what even made a good writer. Shortly after her decision to write this book, while walking down a street in NYC, she came upon a pile of how-to-write books that were being thrown out. Taking this as a sign, she poured over the books and was inspired by one that said, “Just tell what happened.” That is exactly what she did; and after seven years of interviewing her mother and writing down her story, she published Not Even My Name.

Not Even My Name is an unforgettable account of life before and after the genocide that took place in Asia Minor during and after World War 1. There were happy times in Ayios Antonios – weddings, festivals, family dinners, bread making, cows grazing, and farming – and there were devastating times when the author’s mother’s family was kicked out of their home and forced to go on a “death march.” Thea Halo’s mother Themia watched as her mother begged for food and died along with several of Themia’s siblings during the march.

“During those cruel death marches, countless other Pontians lost their lives, for, as intended, there are ways of killing without knives or guns. My mother’s story attests to such ways,” Thea Halo said.

Themia was given to a family in the hope of saving her but who instead treated her like a slave. The family even changed her name to Sano. She finally ended up with another family who treated her kindly but married her off at 15 to someone who was three times her age. After immigrating to America, she and her husband had 10 children. The author Thea Halo was Number 8.

Contrary to what one would expect in response to questions regarding her travails and whether she harbored bad feelings towards the Turkish government, the author’s mother often responded, “Why waste my life hating when there is so much beauty in the world.” One of those beautiful things is this book, which is a page turner.

For more information about this story and the genocide in Asia Minor, visit www.haloheritagefoundation.org. To order the “eloquent and powerful” book Not Even My Name; or to inquire about any other book, please e-mail us at our new address: heritagelibrarybookstore@archangelmichaelchurch.org.