On Sunday, May 7th His Grace Bishop Irinej made his first Archpastoral visit to his flock in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Our Church not only celebrated St. George, our patron saint, but also the 30th anniversary of the Church consecration.
Upon his arrival, Bishop Irinej was greeted with traditional flowers. An exceptionally beautiful Liturgy followed. The joy of Christ's Resurrection was among us! Every time the words 'Hristos Voskrese' were spoken, and the joyful Resurrection troparion was sung, we were all reminded of the triumph of Christ's glorious Resurrection.
We were blessed to have with us: the Rev. Presbyter Dragan Goronjic, Dean of the Cleveland Deanery, and parish priest of Holy Trinity in Youngstown, OH; The Very Rev. Protopresbyter-Stavrophor John Zdinak, parish priest of St. Theodosius Cathedral in Cleveland, OH; The Very Rev. Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Rade Merick, Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery and parish priest of Holy Resurrection in Steubenville, OH; The Rev. Deacon Zeljko Jurisic, parish deacon of St. Archangel Michael in Akron, OH; and Rev. Presbyter Vedran Grabic our parish priest. Fathers John and Rade made our celebration even more special as they are former priests of our beloved parish.
During the Slava procession, we were joined by priests of our Shenango Valley Orthodox brotherhood. The Very Rev. Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Andrew Gall, parish priest of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Hermitage, PA; Rev. Presbyter David Mastorberte parish priest of St. John the Baptist Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Hermitage, PA; and the Rev Presbyter Michael Gavrilos, parish priest of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in New Castle, PA.
In a very inspiring sermon, His Grace spoke of the meaning of our celebration. He stated that Church feasts are not only historical events, but they are alive and we live them every time we participate in Liturgical life. The best example of this is in the martyrdom of St. George. With his life and blood, he witnessed Christ's Resurrection and the salvation of God's people. In the brightness of this Paschal time, we changed our vestments from white to red in order to celebrate the unquestionable faith of the holy martyrs of our Church.
This year's Kumovi were Milan and Jagoda Masic, faithful members of our parish, who are generous donors and benefactors not only to our church but to all those in need.
After Divine Liturgy and the Slava Procession, our Circle of Serbian Sisters prepared Agape for all in attendance. We continued our celebration with a beautiful feast.
May the Lord God through the prayers of St. George preserve His church and multiply His flock for many more years to come.