I just received this email from the wife of Father Michael Lewis who was suffering from pancreatic cancer.
May his memory be eternal.
Beloved in our Risen and Saving Lord,
Blessings to you on this Great Feast of the Holy Dormition!
It is with much sadness that I inform you that our dearest father in Christ, Archpriest Michael John Lewis, fell asleep in the Lord just a little bit ago on this Great Feast of the Holy Dormition at about five minutes to noon. May his memory be ever eternal!
You should all know how much he loved and cared for you. Mere words cannot adequately thank you for the love, support, kindness, generousity, and compassion that you show towards him and his family.
As soon as the dates and times of services are scheduled, I will send another message.
In the meantime, please continue, as I know you are, to pray for the soul of our dear father in Christ. Let us pray that God will grant peace, comfort, and strength to all of his family, and especially to Kyra, Ana, and Katya; his mother, Irena; his brother, Mark, and all of their dear family. At this same time, let us also pray for one another and help each other to bear this sadness. We will all feel the bitter pang of loss for this man who was shepherd to our parish for these last 14+ years - a loving and faithful husband, father, son, brother, uncle, Godfather, friend, and our worthy and devoted spiritual leader.
If you would like to talk to somebody, please feel free to call Fr. Michael Tassos, Fr. Jon Fate, or the church office. The family would appreciate very much if we did not call the house at this time. Thank you.
Although this is a time of great sadness, let us not be as those who have no hope. Our bond of love with one another, in Christ Jesus, does not end at the hour of our death, dear ones. Let us pray that God, in His great mercy, will allow us to enter into the Heavenly Kingdom where we will be reunited with all those gone before us and rejoice in life eternal. And, in the saving words of St. John Chrysostom, let us remember:
"Christ is Risen and death is overthrown! Christ is Risen and the demons are fallen! Christ is Risen and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen and life reigns! Christ is Risen and not one dead remains in the tomb! For Christ, being raised from the dead has become the first-fruits of them that have slept!"
May the memory of our beloved Fr. Michael be ever eternal and may he rest with the saints.
With love in our Risen Lord, anna