Church Women's Cookbook

The Lion’s Feast

125 Years of Food and Fellowship

A Collection of Recipes by

St. Mark’s Orthodox Church

1405 S. Vine St.
Denver, CO 80210

A project of the St. Mark’s Church Women

Recipes Include:

  • Hors d'oeuvres
  • Beverages
  • Soup & Salad
  • On the Side
  • Casseroles
  • Meat Course
  • Bread & Breakfast
  • Sweet Treats
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Desserts
  • Food for Fasting
  • This & That


$6.00 (+ $2.25 shipping)

St. Mark’s Church Women
1405 S. Vine St.
Denver, CO 80228

From the Introduction

Yielding Fruit

A History of the Women at St. Mark’s Parish, Denver

And other [seed] fell on good ground, and
did yield fruit that sprang up and increased.

Mark 4:8

This cookbook is the loving compilation of the women of the congregation of St. Mark’s Western Rite Parish, Denver Colorado. We range in age from 15–97. Our mission is very near to the one espoused by the two Sisters of St. John the Evangelist and the Bishop who sponsored their endeavors for the spiritual benefit of the people of Denver. We owe a debt of gratitude to those two brave Episcopalian sisters, Sr. Eliza and Sr. Hannah. Sr. Eliza came first to Denver in 1871 and was hired by Bishop Spaulding to do mission work in the area. She worked out of a cottage at 1154 Broadway and started a county hospital in a tent with straw beds and gunnysacks. Her mission was known as the Mission of the Holy Comforter, a name which stayed with the parish until 1987. Colorado did not become a state until 5 years later in 1876 and the cornerstone of the first St. Mark’s building was laid nine years later on May 14, 1885 at Broadway and 13th. St. Mark’s was given boundaries within the City of Denver, lying south of Colfax Ave. and East of Cherry Creek. Now our boundaries span the length and breadth of the Front Range within the state. In 1889, the lots were purchased at 12th and Lincoln and the building that housed St. Mark’s until 1987 was built.

At the urging of Sr. Eliza, Sr. Hannah came to Colorado in 1889. Her ticket was funded by Cornelius Vanderbilt and, once here, Sr. Hannah was distressed by the lack of a Women’s Auxiliary and the exclusivity of the churches. Remember, Mrs. Crawford-Hill, remembered as Molly Brown’s snooty neighbor, was a member of St. Mark’s. Sr. Hannah commented in 1915 that People now don't want religion, but pleasure. Indeed she knew how the other half lived. Her family was the distinguished Austin family of Massachusetts after which is named Austin, Texas. There is a street named in her honor in Boston. She used her knowledge of social status to take charge of fund-raising for everything from church bells to money for the poor. Her work here consisted of visiting sick folk in hospitals and at home, calling on strangers and keeping church records. She lived with Sr. Eliza and another of the Sisterhood of St. John the Evangelist, Sr. Mary. They were joined by Sr. Ada and called their house at 1207 Lipan Sister Faith’s house. They began a Motherhouse for the Sisterhood at 1027 Kalamath and it was there that she died on February 13, 1917.

Here are some of her other observations given in 1915:

Fifty years ago, everyone went to church as a duty and pleasure. Today most men consider themselves martyrs if they attend services.

Fifty years ago mission workers did real work. Today they do it via the pink tea route.[ed: ?]

Today women hate to grow old. In my time, they enjoyed old age as an old woman.

There were times when the Sundays, especially in New England, were too puritanical. Now we are on the rebound—we have gone to the other extreme. Today the Sunday attractions of the majority of people is the picture show, the baseball game or the automobile. God does not figure in the plans at all.

Upon her death, Sr. Hannah bequeathed all her estate except $25.00 to the sisterhood. But the fruit of her years of service, which are her estate in Heaven, were much greater; Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Under the leadership of Sr. Hannah, the women of St. Mark’s organized many guilds with many different missions. One of the first was Ladies Aid. Their original purpose was to provide pews and choir seats, to look after the St. Mark’s room in the Old Ladies home, and to send missionary boxes out of the jurisdiction. A Society of Mercy was also organized by Sr. Eliza and the Holy Redeemer Mission. The Altar Guild was established in 1885. Gold, silver, and jewels were sent by the new Altar Guild to Gorham & Co., New York in 1894 to provide a new paten. Following is a quote from their 1892–4 scrapbook:

The King’s Daughter is all glorious within, her clothing is of wrought gold, she shall be brought into the King in raiment of needlework in a vesture of gold wrought about with divers colors.

A limit of expenditure for flowers was $1.00 per Sunday and it was proposed to get new vestments by assessing 50 persons, .50 cents per month to pay for them. Nowadays it would take 100 persons and $40.00 a month. The Mothers’ meetings were started in 1898 and the Womens Auxiliary (in relating to missions) in 1895.

At this time, the local Indians still paddled their canoes down Cherry Creek and Mrs. Doud (Mamie Eisenhower’s mother) was driving her electric car around the Capitol Hill area. The Governor of Colorado was in the Klan and wanted to ban all use of wine. In doing so, he would have not only suppressed the Roman Catholic rites but also our own. But God prevails and his wish was not enacted into law. We can be sure Sr. Hannah would have taken him to task.

In 1897, a guild of St. Perpetua was started for girls beyond Colfax Avenue. The Girls Friendly Society was organized in 1902. The small group had the highest ideals of womanhood, doing preventive, not rescue work, and their slogan was Bear ye one another’s burdens. The GFS was resurrected in the 1940s and there are those among us who were in that group. There were guilds dedicated to St. Anne, St. Margaret (senior girls), St. Agnes (junior girls), St. Cecilia, Dorcas and of course, St. Perpetua. There was also a chapter of the Daughters of the King, a ladies group still prevalent in the Episcopal Church. Each had its specified age group or focus, some doing needlework for the Altar; some performing acts of mercy. The guilds evolved and changed names many times. The Ladies Aid merged with the Rector’s Guild and formed the St. Mark’s Auxiliary. When the parish left our home of nearly 100 years at 12th and Lincoln, the guilds that remained were dedicated to St. Catherine, St. Monica, St. Hilda and St. Mary.

During the tenure of the Reverend Mr. Houghton (1892–1917), the Ladies Aid supplied funds for the salary of an assistant priest. When Mr. Houghton left for New York, the membership of the parish was 1500 with 550 communicants. As the church continued to grow, now Dr. Houghton, returned to St. Mark’s and gave five rules. The first was attendance at services and partaking of the sacraments. The other four were: Care of the children of God; Care of the aged, sick and afflicted; sociability, public functions and interest in public charities; and only lastly to one’s own pleasure. It is this example of self-sacrifice that is our tradition handed down from Sr. Hannah to our own times.

St. Mark’s joined the Antiochian Orthodox Church in 1991 and remains a well in the spiritual desert for those whose faiths have abandoned them. As Bishop Antoun proclaimed We are not here to bargain away the faith. This was exactly what we needed to hear to make our choice. As Fr. John Connely, the present rector, told us then The faith is entire and the sacraments valid. The Spiritual resources…for traditional churchmen (are) unmatched by any other. It is a perfect fit, in both worship and tradition. Orthodoxy was also embraced by those who went before us. Sr. Hannah’s prayers joined with that of St. (then Bishop) Tikhon, after whom our rite is named, when he visited our parish and blessed it on St. Mark’s Day, 1904. The candlesticks which were on the altar that day, remain on the altar even now. They are a light to lighten the darkness and of which guide our prayers and thoughts to that holy martyr, who in offering his life, offered much more than his blessing. As Archbishop of America, he submitted our liturgy in the form of the 1892 prayer book to the Holy Synod of Moscow for review. They decided that with a few minor changes, our liturgy contained all the necessary parts for an orthodox liturgy. It is now used in over half of the parishes in the Western Rite Vicariate. It is a bridge for those dispossessed seekers looking for their true church home, a safe and secure place of love and fellowship; a place to practice, learn and know in our hearts the Word of the Lord. We take this opportunity to thank Metropolitan Philip for allowing the usage of both liturgies of the Western Rite, St. Tikhon and St. Gregory, within the Archdiocese; and we pray for him at every liturgy. These liturgies are the basis of the spiritual life of our parishes. We have been many things formerly: Episcopalians, Baptists, Roman Catholics and Jews but no matter where we have come from, we are Western Rite Orthodox now. We shall continue to observe our Western heritage in sacramental worship and praise, in prayer and thanksgiving.

Throughout our history, the women of St. Marks have provided beds for hospitals, altars for chapels, pews, stairs, vestments for both clergy and choir, church needlework such as kneelers and banners, salaries for assistant priests, food for poor people and clothes for orphans. We pray that the Lord will not find our endeavors wanting of spiritual benefit. We honor Sr. Hannah and Sr. Eliza and all those who have gone before us and that sleep the sleep of peace; and we pray that they will be with us in the Holy Spirit into the next millennium and forever and ever. Alleluia, Amen.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge the following parishioners and friends, without whom this project would not have been possible:

  • Lyn Van den Bos for the artwork
  • Joe Mahan for the proofreading
  • Susan Eklund for the typing and editing
  • Mr. J. Grapas and the Archdiocese of Australia for the use of their article on fasting
  • Jane Long for her printing expertise

Thanks also to the committee: Susan Mahan, Susan Eklund, Elizabeth McDonald, Sandy Albers, Nora Parker, Natalie Lickteig and Matushka Deborah Campbell Connely.