The Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of Greater Philadelphia and faithful gathered together at St. Mark Orthodox Church (OCA), for Lenten Vespers on the Sunday of St. John Climacus. Celebrating clergy were: Fr. Stephen Hut nick (Sts. Peter and Paul Ukranian Orthodox Church, president of the Clergy Brotherhood), Fr. Martin Browne (St. Mark Orthodox Church), Fr. Gerald Polanski (St. Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church), Fr. Hal Dudash (ret., attached to Sts. Peter and Paul Albanian Orthodox Church), Fr. Victor Gorodenchyk (St. Stephen Orthodox Cathedral), Fr. Nicholas Dellerman (Sts. Peter and Paul Albanian Orthodox Church), Fr. Emmanuel Pratsinakis (ret., St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church), Fr. Mark Kozak (Holy Assumption Orthodox Church), Fr. Milorad Orlic (St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church), and Protodeacon Gregory Moser (St. Mark Orthodox Church. Present were Fr. Vincent Savarino (St. Archangel Michael Russian Orthodox Church) and Protodeacon George Zlatkowski (St. Stephen Orthodox Cathedral). The Pan-Orthodox Choir, under the direction of Dan Drobash, beautifully sang the responses and verses of Vespers.
The guest homilist was Fr. Victor Gorodenchyk. Fr. Victor emphasized the theme of movement towards God, which is an essential theme of the Sunday of St. John Climacus. Great Lent is a time of increased movement toward God, which is to move toward Life, whereas to move away from God is to move away from Life. Fr. Victor punctuated the theme of his homily with many quotes from St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Maximus the Confessor and other holy fathers.
Following Vespers, a fellowship meal was enjoyed by all present. Many thanks to the dedicated members of St. Mark’s for hosting their Orthodox brethren from the Greater Philadelphia area.