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2011 Parish Council - 12/12/10

2010-2011 Parish Council

Installed on Sunday, December 12th with the blessing of His Grace, Bishop TIKHON.
Parish Council President: John Schilling
Vice President: David Martin
Recording Secretary: Kathy Pankiw
Asst. Recording Secretary: Susan Dotsey
Financial Secretary: Alice Mallick
Asst. Financial Secretary: Joanne Wevodau
Treasurer: John Dotsey

Vestrypersons: Thomas Drebot, Paul Hadginske, David Hancher, Carl Hisiro, Leavitt Keener, Dr. David Pawlush, Carl Polansky, Christine Priggins,  Mark Rodak, and Richard Wood

Auditors: Eleanor Herman & Larry Smith

May God  grant them knowledge, discernment, piety, and many years!

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Nut Roll Baking - 12/05/10

From Monday, December 5th - Wednesday, December 7th members of our parish gathered for our annual Christmas nut roll baking. Over 1,000 nut, poppy, and apricot rolls were produced in two baking days of hard work and wonderful fellowship. Our parish nut rolls are known throughout the region and the country for their generous filling and great taste. May God bless all of our bakers, mixers, rollers, baggers, and clean-up crew for another job well done! Also a special thanks to Thomas Branoff who provided the photos. 

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Weekly Bible Study Class - 11/24/10

On Wednesday November 24th, His Grace Bishop TIKHON joined our weekly noon-time downtown Pan-Orthodox Bible Study at 33 N. 2nd Street in Harrisburg. The group recently completed their study of the Gospel According to St. Mark, and began their study of the Acts of the Apostles. We are thankful for Bishop TIKHON's archpastoral blessing as we continue the work of studying the Holy Scriptures, and using that knowledge to inspire us to be "doer's" of the Gospel as well. Note: All are encouraged to join us every Wednesday at 12pm (33 N. 2nd Street, Harrisburg), contact Fr. Timothy Hojnicki (Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission, Mechanicsburg) or Fr. Stephen Vernak (Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church, Harrisburg) for more information.

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Thanksgiving 2010 Food Drive - 11/23/10

On Tuesday, November 23nd our parish clergy distributed the canned/dried goods, and turkeys so generously donated by our parish faithful, to our neighbors in need. In addition to the food items collected, we also distributed over $420 in grocery store gift cards that were submitted to the parish office. As we pray during the Liturgy, we ask that God will remember "those who remember the poor" and send upon them His rich mercies.

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Fr. Michael Kovach Celebrates 92nd Birthday - 11/21/10

On Sunday November 21, 2010 the faithful of our parish celebrated the Great Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple. To add to the already festive atmosphere, we also celebrated Fr. Michael Kovach's 92nd birthday. At the conclusion of the service Fr. Michael gave some words of advice and comfort, and thanked the community at Christ the Saviour for their love and support. A cake was also shared by the community at the fellowship hour. May God continue to grant Fr. Michael, many years!

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Miraculous, Myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos - 10/21/10

On Thursday, October 21st the Miraculous, Myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Honolulu, Hawaii visited Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA), and was greeted by over 400 faithful clergy and laity from throughout South Central Pennsylvania. A service of Thanksgiving and Intercession was sung by all in attendance, who then came forward to venerate the Holy Icon and receive anointing from the precious Myrrh that flows from Her.

In an age of cold and unbelieving hearts, our Lord has offered us His Mother to help melt away our skepticism and our fear, with the knowledge that we do not face our struggles alone - truly God is with us! Many of the faithful stayed until the very end, when the Icons guardian, Reader Nectary, opened the wooden case and allowed us to see how, indeed, precious and sweet-smelling myrrh was covering the Holy Icon, and that cotton balls replaced just the day before were saturated with it. This was an evening that we hope never to forget, especially amongst our many trials. Most Holy Theotokos, save us!

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Church School Teacher Workshop - 10/09/10

On Saturday October 9, 2010 over 20 church school teachers and directors gathered at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church for an all-day training workshop. The conference, sponsored by the OCA Diocese of Eastern PA and the Dept. of Christian Education, was a Pan-Orthodox event and drew from parishes of various Orthodox jurisdictions from throughout South Central Pennsylvania. The theme "Training Ourselves and our Children in Godliness" accurately captured the essence of the workshop. Our teachers and directors were given a professional framework in which to approach their awesome task, and the spiritual tools to help bring our children into a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord. A special thanks to Carole Buleza, Matushka Myra Kovalak, and Maria Proch who led the workshop, and to Willard Brown who provided the meals. May God bless them and grant them many years!

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His Grace Bishop TIKHON Visits CTS - 10/03/10

From Saturday October 2nd through Sunday October 3rd, His Grace Bishop TIKHON made a pastoral visit to Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA). Bishop TIKHON presided over the Vespers service Saturday evening, and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. It was a special joy to have His Grace with us for a "regular" Sunday - to have him preside at the services and bring even greater fullness to our weekly celebration and proclamation of the Lord's Resurrection and our reception of His very Body and Blood. Many years O Master! Eis pola eti despota!

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Prayer for Students - 09/12/10

On Sunday, September 12th all of the teachers and students in our community gathered at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy for a special prayer and blessing for the beginning of the new academic year. May God keep them, guide them, and preserve them all for many blessed years!

Prayer for Students

"O Lord, our God and Creator, Who didst honor man in Thine own image;
Who didst teach Thine elect, so that those who heed Thy teachings may become wise;
Who didst reveal wisdom to babes: the same Lord, open the hearts, the minds, and the lips of these Thy servants, that they may receive the power of Thy law, and understand what will be taught to them, to the glory of Thine all-holy Name and the building-up of Thy holy Church.
Grant that they may comprehend Thy Will, and fulfill Thy commandments.
Deliver them from every oppression, evil thought, and desire. Amen."

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P I E R O G I - 08/31/10

On Tuesday August 31st members of our community gathered to make pierogie for our annual Parish Family Picnic (held Sept 12th). Our appreciation goes out to our dough makers, potato & cheese ballers, cutters, pinchers, and boilers... you did a great job, they were delicious as usual!!!

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STS Golf Outing - 08/21/10

On Saturday August 21st four members of our St. Alexis Men's Club participated in the Annual St. Tikhon's Seminary Golf Outing near Hazelton. There were over 90 participants in this year's event and we are thankful that we could help support the seminary and provide the golf course with 17 golf balls! 

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"Six Days of Creation" Icon Workshop - 08/21/10

From Monday, August 16 - Saturday, August 21, Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) hosted its second annual icon workshop featuring master iconographer and instructor Xenia Pokrovskaya and her daughter Anna Pokrovskaya Gouriev of Izograph Studios. This year eight students were guided in the technical and theological art of iconography, beginning each day with the Matins service. The workshop is one of many organized throughout the year by the non-profit Hexaemeron, whose mission it is to offer such opportunities "for the beginner and the more experienced, who desire to learn the ancient technique of icon painting in the egg-tempera medium, according to Orthodox Church tradition and ethos." Each of the students completed the course with a finished icon. We look forward to welcoming Xenia and Anna, and whomever God calls - back again next year (most likely the third week of August). Please visit: for more information.

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Night Out at City Island - 07/29/10

On Thursday, July 29th faithful from our parish enjoyed an evening of fellowship at Metro Bank Park on City Island, home of the Harrisburg Senators (affiliate of the Washington Nationals). It was an action packed game with lots of home runs and beautiful weather. This is an annual event organized for the entire parish by our St. Alexis of Wilkes Barre Men's Club. Hope to see you next year "at the ol' ballgame".

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St. Panteleimon - 07/27/10

On Tuesday, July 27 local clergy and faithful gathered to sing an Akathist Hymn to the Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon. This day also marked the 52nd Anniversary of Fr. Daniel' s ordination to the Holy Priesthood. We offer our congratulations to Fr. Daniel and M. Theodora on their many years of service to the Orthodox Church, and especially the faithful of Christ the Saviour in Harrisburg.

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Vehicle Blessing - 07/18/10

For the second year, our parish community blessed vehicles (and other forms of transportation - bikes, scooters, etc.) on the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Elijah (celebrated July 20th). This annual event is a reminder to us to ask God's blessing on every aspect of our lives, but also to intercede with St. Elijah to grant us his disposition of fearless defense of God in spite of a world which often rejects His Gospel. "May He who willed to journey into Egypt with Joseph His foster father, and Mary, His most-pure Virgin Mother" also travel with us, all the days of our life!

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Slavic Food Fest - 07/11/10

From Saturday, July 10th - Sunday, July 11th Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) invited our faithful, as well as members of our local community to our annual Slavic Food Fest. The two day event gave people an opportunity to sample home-made Slavic foods. In addition, our church was open for tours, where many people caught their "first glimpses" of Orthodoxy. We thank God for all of the blessings that came from this event, and hope that we can continue to share our faith and food with our community for many years to come!

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Derek Schmidt Thanks CTS - 06/20/10

On Sunday, June 20th, Derek Schmidt, a 2010 graduate from St. Tikhon Seminary, who was sponsored by our parish with a $6,000/year grant for the past three years, visited our parish to give thanks and offer a token of his appreciation, an icon of the Theotokos and Christ. In his address to the parish  Derek spoke of the strong bond he felt with our community, and commented on the freedom to study without financial worries that the scholarship provided for him. We pray that God will continue to bless Derek as he discerns his future involvement in the life our Holy Church.
In addition, we also honored all of the father, grandfathers, and godfather of our community. May God continue to bless them as they struggle to fulfill the vocation of fatherhood in a devout and holy manner. A special thanks to our St. Andrew "O" Club Chapter, which sponsored gifts for all of the men of our community.

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Holy Transfiguration Monastery Pilgrimage - 06/18/10

From Friday, June 18 - Sunday, June 20, seven women and three children from our parish made a pilgrimage to Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City, PA. In addition to the many services they attended, and the peaceful setting they enjoyed, the women were afforded the opportunity to talk and share meals with the sisters, and refresh themselves in the spiritual warmth and hospitality of the monastery. We pray that God will bless our entire community as these pilgrims bring to us the fruit of their experience and offer encouragement to make our own spiritual pilgrimages as we seek to be refreshed and renewed in our devotion to Christ.

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CTS Honors Graduates - 06/13/10

On Sunday, June 13th, Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church honored 10 graduates associated with our parish, who graduated during the Fall 2009 and Summer 2010 semesters. A special thanks to the St. Mary's Altar Guild for providing the graduate gifts of the newly reprinted Divine Liturgy Book, and the St. Alexis Men's Club for providing a Lenten luncheon following the Liturgy. May God grant all of our graduates many years, and growth in faith and spiritual understanding!

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Fr. Michael Oleksa Visits CTS - 05/30/10

On Sunday, May 30th, V. Rev. Dr. Michael Oleksa (Chancellor of the Diocese of Alaska) visited our parish to con-celebrate the Divine Liturgy. He also offered the homily, in which he spoke about martyred Priest, St. Basil Martysz, who served in the United States before his death in Poland, as well as Blessed Mother Olga Michael, who lived a life of piety as Priest's wife, and who after her death has proved an instrument of Christ's healing and comfort to many throughout N. America. At the conclusion of the service, Fr. Michael distributed icon prints of Blessed Mother Olga. It was truly a blessing to have Fr. Michael with us, and to be introduced to the lives of St. Basil and Blessed Mother Olga, who as Fr. Michael reminded us, lived their Christian lives to their fullest, in time and place God had appointed for them - the same task we have as well. Through their prayers, may we also be faithful to the end!

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First Holy Confession Class - 05/16/10

Throughout this past school year, Grace Firestine, Evelyn Firestine, and Eden Tesfaziow have been preparing to participate in the Sacrament of Holy Confession. They learned that Confession is a Sacrament of Healing, and that we approach our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through Confession, as the Physician of our souls and bodies. We pray that God will continue to bless these young ladies as they continue to grow and mature in Christ's Holy Church. Our special thanks to Deb Hisiro for instructing the class this year, and to Willard Brown and the Men's Club for providing prayer books for each of the girls.

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St. Tikhon Seminary Class of 2007 Reunion - 05/01/10

On Saturday, May 1st, several local alumni of the St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary class of 2007, gathered at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) to con-celebrate the Divine Liturgy with their former Dean, and Bishop-elect of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey- Archimandrite MICHAEL (Dahulich). Fr. Michael will be consecrated (ordained) to the Episcopacy next Saturday, May 8th in Jersey City, NJ. He was joined by Fr. David Cowan ('07), Fr. Andrew Damick ('07), John Diamantis ('07) - who is preparing for ordination to the Holy Diaconate next Sunday, May 9th (Axios!), Fr. Stephen Vernak ('07), as well as fellow alumnis, Fr. Patrick Burns ('09), along with their family's, and the faithful of our parish. It was a grace-filled Liturgy... glory to God for all things!

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Newtonian Physics and Entropy? - 04/25/10

On Sunday, April 25th Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) welcomed special guest speaker, Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk. Fr. Victor is a graduate of St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary ('99), and was raised in the former atheistic Soviet Union. He holds a Master of Science degree from the prestigious Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology ('93). His talk entitled, "What's Faith Got to Do with It: an Orthodox Christian Response to Atheistic and Religious Worldviews", was enthusiastically received by the over 100 clergy, parishioners, and guests who were in attendance. Fr. Victor drew upon his education as a scientist, and his atheistic training and upbringing, as well as his eventual and Providential "coming to Faith" and theological training, to help direct believers on how they should understand theories such as "Big-Bang" and evolution, as well as biblical criticism and other critical methods.
Note: the talk was recorded (video and audio) and we hope to make it available via our website in the near future.

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BRIGHT MONDAY - 04/05/10

On Monday, April 5th we welcomed Fr. Timothy Hojnicki from Holy Apostles Mission and Fr. Patrick Burns from Holy Annunciation Church; as well as members of their communities for the celebration of the Ressurectional Divine Liturgy for Bright Monday. Fr. James Lease from St. Theresa's (RC) was also our special guest. 

The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace: Rejoice, O Pure Virgin! Again I say: Rejoice! Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead! Rejoice, all you people!

Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The Glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exalt now and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!
(Paschal Hymn to the Theotokos)

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Christ is Risen!
Indeed He is Risen!
It is the day of resurrection ! Let us be illumined for the feast! Pascha! The Pascha of the Lord! From death unto life, and from earth unto heaven has Christ our God led us! Singing the song of victory: Christ is risen from the dead!
(First Ode of the Paschal Canon)

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Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday - 04/03/10

During this brilliant service of "transformation" the children and young adults of our parish assisted by reading the Old Testament selections during the Vespers portion of the service. They did an excellent job, glory to God!
Let all mortal flesh keep silent and in fear and trembling stand, pondering nothing earthly-minded. For the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords comes to be slain, to give himself as food to the faithful.

Before him go the ranks of angels: all the principalities and powers, the many-eyed cherubim and the six-winged seraphim, covering their faces, singing the hymn: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
(Cherbuic Hymn sung at the Liturgy of St. Basil on Holy Saturday)

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Matins of Great and Holy Saturday - Lamentations - 04/02/10

"Come, let us see our Life lying in the tomb, that He may give life to those that in their tombs lie dead. Come, let us look today on the Son of Judah as He sleeps, and with the prophet let us cry aloud to Him: Thou hast lain down, Thou hast slept as a lion; who shall awaken Thee, O King? But of Thine own free will do Thou rise up, who willingly dost give Thyself for us. O Lord, glory to Thee."
"Today a tomb holds Him who holds the creation in the hollow of His hand; a stone covers Him who covered the heavens with glory. Life sleeps and hell trembles, and Adam is set free from his bonds. Glory to Thy dispensation, whereby Thou hast accomplished all things, granting us an eternal Sabbath, Thy most holy Resurrection from the dead."

(Matins of Holy Saturday - Lamentations)

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Vespers of Holy Friday - the Burial Service - 04/02/10

Joseph with Nicodemus takes Thee down from the tree, Who clothest Thyself with light as it were with a garment; and when he saw Thee dead, naked and unburied, he mourned with compassionate wailing and said: Alas! Beloved Jesus, so short a time ago the sun beholding Thee upon the Cross covered himself with gloom, the earth trembled for fear, and the veil of the temple was rent in twain and now, lo! I see Thee before me, willingly going down to death. How can I bury Thee, my God, or how can I enwrap Thee in fine linen? How with my hands dare I touch Thy sacred Body or with what chants can I celebrate Thy going hence, O Lord of mercies? I magnify Thy sufferings and I praise Thy Tomb and Thy Resurrection, crying: Lord, Glory to Thee.
(Sung at Vespers of Holy Friday - a.k.a the Burial Service)

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Matins of Holy Friday - Passion Gospels - 04/01/10

Today He Who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the Tree.
Today He Who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the Tree.
Today He Who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the Tree.

Thy King of the Angels is decked with a crown of thorns.
He Who wraps the heavens in clouds, is wrapped in the purple of mockery.
He Who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face.
The Bridegroom of the Church, is affixed to the Cross with nails.
The Son of the Virgin is pierced by the spear.

We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ.

Show us also Thy glorious, Resurrection.
(15th Antiphon, sung at Matins of Holy Friday a.k.a The Passion Gospels)

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Catechumens Received on Lazarus Saturday - 03/27/10

On Saturday, March 27th (Lazarus Saturday) eight Catechumens were received into the Body of Christ, the Holy Orthodox Church at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, PA. Three were Baptized and five were received through Holy Chrism. Our parish community is thankful to Almighty God for His mercy and Divine Providence, which brought us these "newly sealed, and enlisted warriors of Christ our God" and we pray that we may continue to grow as a family in Christ, "bearing one another's burdens" and sharing the Good News of His Gospel. May He plant His servants: Seraphim (Jamie), Elizabeth (Jennifer), Andrea, Sean, Euphemia (Jennifer), Catherine (Grace), Mary (Evelyn), Suzanne, and Mariah - as plants of truth, and continue to build them on the foundation of His Apostles and Prophets.

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Troy Polamalu Meets CTS Members - 03/20/10

Troy Polamalu, All-Pro safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers and a Greek Orthodox, attended a sports card show sponsored by Harrisburg area alumni for Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 20, 2010.   Carl Hisiro, a member of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, was the organizer for the event, and he ensured that Janet Kuzupas, another member of Christ the Saviour and a huge Troy Polamalu fan, had an opportunity to meet Polamalu.  Escorted by the V. Rev. Father Daniel Ressetar, the two of them had the opportunity to chat for a minute with the Steelers' star and take a photo.
Polamalu signed over 800 autographs at the event for his fans.  For those familiar with Polamalu's autograph, he signs his name using three crosses and then looping them together and finishing with his jersey number "43".  The show was a huge success, netting $50,000 for the scholarship endowment fund that the alumni has set up with the Foundation for IUP for Harrisburg area students attending IUP.

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Liturgical Music Workshop - 03/20/10

On Saturay, March 20th, Prof. David Drillock, emeritus Professor of Liturgical Music at St. Vladimir Seminary, led nearly 40 participants in a liturgical music workshop entitled: "Singing with the Angels" at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, PA. Participants were taught not only the technical skills required in singing Orthodox liturgical music, but also learned about the theology of the Liturgy, and the history and development of liturgical music from the early Church to the present day. We are thankful to Prof. Drillock for his willingness to share his many years of experience and evident love for sacred music with us, and look forward to inviting him to be with us again soon.  

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Lenten Pilgrimage and Retreat - 03/11/10

From Thursday March 11 to Saturday March 13, seven men from Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) participated in a Lenten Pilgrimage and Retreat to St. Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, PA. The pilgrimage consisted of participating in the monastic services, sharing meals with the monks, touring the grounds, as well as receiving words of encouragement in the spiritual life from Fr. Sergius, the newly installed abbot. Participants were impressed by the hosptitality and spiritual calm we experienced, and hope to make this an annual event. 

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Frackville Deanery Mission Vespers Service - 03/07/10

On Sunday, March 7th, Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) hosted the clergy and faithful of the Frackville Deanery for the Mission Vespers service. The service was concelebrated by our dean, Archpriest Michael Hatrak (SS. Peter and Paul in Minersville) as well as clergy from throughout the deanery. We also welcomed Archpriest Srboljub Jokovich from St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in nearby Oberlin. Archpriest John Onufrey (St. Herman in Shillington) offered the homily. Following the service the faithful gathered in the parish hall for a delicious Lenten meal prepared by the St. Mary's Altar Guild.

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OCMC Lenten Retreat - 02/27/10

On Saturday, February 27, our parish hosted our local Orthodox clergy association's (OCCSCP) Young Adult Fellowship Annual Lenten Retreat, which featured OCMC Missionary to Albania, Nathan Hoppe. Nathan spoke on the lessons he learned and experienced about Christ's victory over death, in the tragic, yet grace-filled passing of his wife Lynette from cancer. The talk was based upon the book "Lynette's Hope" which contains diary entries and correspondences from his wife duing her battle with cancer. It was a very moving presentation, and those gathered enjoyed the spiritual nourishment, and fellowship it offered us during our Lenten journey.

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IOCC Health Kits - Haiti Relief - 02/21/10

On Sunday, January 21st the young adults at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church assembled Emergency Health Kits comprised of items donated by the faithful of our community over the past month as an act of Christian charity and love to the vicitims of the Haitian earthquake (cf. Matthew 25). In what can only be seen as an act of Divine Providence, Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou (dean of Holy Cross Seminary and guest homilist at our Pan-Orthodox Vespers in the afternoon, as well as father of IOCC Exec. Director Dean Triantafilou) was able to personally deliver six boxes filled with assembled kits to the IOCC headquarters in Baltimore that same evening. Glory to God for all things!

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Sunday of Orthodoxy - 02/21/10

On Sunday, February 21st our community celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy with an icon procession and the solemn proclamation (Synodikon) of the 7th Ecumenical Council, declaring icons to be worthy of veneration. At the same Liturgy we welcomed our newest catechumen (lit. one who is receiving instruction) Jonathan Dunnavent. We pray that God will bless, guide, and instruct him, as he makes this first step in uniting Himself to the Body of Christ, and our parish community. 

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St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visit - 02/14/10

On Sunday, February 14 (Forgiveness Sunday) a quartet from St. Tikhon Seminary sang the responses at the Divine Liturgy. Our parish looks forward to this annual visit, which generates a concrete connection between our community and the seminary. The choir was directed by our "Sponsored Seminarian" Alexei "Derek" Schmidt, along with seminarians Nikolai Breckenridge, Joshua Coolman, & Patrick Henry. We ask God's blessings upon the administration, faculty, staff, and the students and their families of St. Tikhon Seminary, and look forward to hosting the Mission Choir again next year.

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Three Hierarchs Slava - 01/31/10

On Sunday, January 31st our Sunday Morning Adult Discussion Group (which meets at 8:30am before the Divine Liturgy - all are welcome!) celebrated their patronal feast day of the Three Holy Hierarchs through the Serbian Orthodox custom of the Slava. Larry Smith and Lydia Mantle represented the group and John Barns made the three breads, each unique like our fathers amongst the Saints, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. Through the prayers of these Holy Saints, we pray that God will continue to bless this study group, as they grow in faith, love, and spiritual understanding!

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FOCA Scholarship Awarded - 01/10/10

On Sunday, January 10 parishioner Laura Hadginske was presented (for the second year running) with the FOCA Central PA District "Matushka Ann Prislopsky Scholarship". Laura is a junior at Loyola College in Baltimore, MD studying speech therapy. We ask that God continue to bless Laura in her studies and her spiritual growth.

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Susquehanna River Blessing - 01/10/10

On Sunday, January 10th, clergy and faithful from the five Orthodox parishes of Greater-Harrisburg gathered at City Island Park for the 2nd Annual Great Blessing of the Susquehanna River. After a procession from the entrance of the park the Pan-Orthodox gathering prayed that the "Lord our God may send down the blessing of Jordan" upon the water. The event culminated when a cross made of "blessed" ice was thrown into the river. (Photos courtesy of Kyrill Burnett and John Constantine)

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Theophany Eve - 01/05/10

On Tuesday, January 5th our parish hosted a Holy Supper in anticipation of our celebration of our Lord's Theophany. Later in the evening we were joined by even more faithful from our community at the Great Compline and Great Blessing of Water service. We also blessed icons of St. Stephen made by our Sunday School students. May our Lord, "Who blesses and sanctifies all things" allow this blessed water to be an aid to our salvation and the fulfilling of His Gospel, as we drink it, annoint ourselves with it, and consecrate every aspect of our lives (homes, cars, and our very bodies) through it.

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Ecumenical Presentation - 01/03/10

On Sunday, January 3rd our parish was treated to another blessing of the Vasilopita at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, as well as a special presentation by Yelena Ambartsumian about a recent visit by Patriarch Bartholomew to her school (Fordham University). During the visit, he made a point to have an audience with the Orthodox students and give them each a blessing. Yelena presented our parish with a commemorative banner from the event. We are thankful for Yelena's thoughtful gift and her willingness to share her experience with us.

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St. Basil's Day Eve - 12/31/09

On Thursday, December 31st members of our community gathered for a Vesperal Divine Liturgy to mark the feasts of the Circumcision of our Lord, St. Basil the Great, as well as the Civil New Year. Per our parish custom, the Vasilopita (St. Basils bread) was blessed at the conclusion of the service and distributed during the festive potluck which followed. Leavitt Keener received the blessing (and spiritual responsibility) of the coin in his slice of bread! May God bless Leavitt, and each of us, with everything which is necessary for our salvation in this New Year.

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