Fr Bill

St. John Chrysostom on Fasting: Do you fast?


Christos Anesti! Thank you all for a wonderful Holy Week. Just as you and your families look forward to a fulfilling Holy Week, my family too anticipates a wonderful Holy Week. I want to thank everyone who attended services to pray with us and everyone who helped. From the Liturgy & breakfast on the Saturday of Laz-araus to the Agape Service & Easter picnic, it was a fantastic and spiritual week, filled with beautiful hymns, prayer, fellowship and community. Thank you to everyone who donated funds and to those who volunteered in the Church, the Altar, at the chanting stand, the kitchen, with set up and clean up, with planning, in the office, with our youth, with the flowers and those who cooked and brought food. I truly enjoyed serving as a priest during Holy Week and look forward to spending many more with you here at St. Basil’s Church. God bless you and your families.



– Fr. Bill Tragus is the pastor of Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church in San Juan Capistrano.

Tags: Holy Week

Message from Fr Bill

Fr Bill

Our family welcomes your family


For Greeks & Greek Americans, family life is considered very important and life revolves around the family, the Church, our community and food. Children often live with their parents until they are ready to marry, and stay close with their parents and siblings once they have married and started a family of their own. Greek children grow up close to their grandparents as well, whom they refer to as yiayia (grandmother) & papaou (grandfather) and form a lasting bond with them that stays with them throughout life. Getting together often to celebrate the joy of life with family and friends while eating yiayyia’s food and pastries is the way we all grow up. The result of this lifestyle is that Greeks live long, fulfilling lives and it is thought that their varied diet of olives, olive oil, tomatoes, lamb, fish, chicken, yogurt, feta cheese and lots of fruits and vegetables keep them healthy… along with a little wine every day. Greeks love life and enjoy sharing it with others in hospitality and celebration.

Greece has a long tradition of hosting festivals as part of the local culture. Most towns in Greece host a festival, which they call a “Panayiri” (meaning a celebration for all) usually coinciding with the Feast day of the main church in the center of town. Usually, the celebration is kicked-off in the main square with a Church service on the Feast day of the churches patron saint. Following the service, a procession with the icon from the church occurs, which parades through the town’s main street. The procession includes priests, local bishops, police, city officials and soldiers from the Greek army, along with other dignitaries. Thousands of people line the streets to witness the procession and kick-off the festival.

Panayiris in Greece are family events enjoying traditional and new foods, music, dancing, carnival rides, shopping as well as attractions for kids. As Americans with Greek ancestry as well as converts into the Orthodox Christian Church, all whom have enjoyed the benefits of this great country, we are delighted to present this year’s festival and share our Greek cultural traditions, hospitality, and our faith as well as some of yiayia’s best food recipes with our local community. We look forward to seeing you on September 29th & 30th, 2018 at this year’s SJC Greek Fest. http://www.sjcgreekfest.org

May God grant you many blessings!

Rev. Fr. Bill Tragus