St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania hosted the Lenten Vespers on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent. The Church identifies St. Mary of Egypt with the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent each year as a vivid reminder and example of the value of repentance.
The beautiful Lenten Vespers service was led by our beloved Father Milan Dragovic, Very Rev. Stavrophor Stevan Rocknage, of St. Sava McKeesport, Very Reverend Father George Veselinovich, of St Nicholas Monroeville and Very Reverend George Johnson St John The Baptist of Conemaugh PA.
The St. Nicholas choir sang responses and Bogdan Deiter was the cantor.
At the conclusion of Vespers, Father Milan welcomed everyone and invited all to venerate the relics of St Nicholas which were donated to our church by church member Joseph Golden and to receive blessing from Father Stevo.
Lazo Gjurich welcomed all in attendance, which included parishioners from St Sava, Mckeesport, St Nicholas, Monroeville, Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Johnstown, and St. Mary’s Holy Assumption Church, Central City. A wonderful meal, which was prepared by our Men’s Club and Kolo, was enjoyed by all.
Father Stevo Rocknage was our guest speaker for the evening, his topic “Why Is Repenting of Our Sins & Changing Our Spiritual Habits so Difficult?” His discussion began with asking those attending….”How often do I go to Holy Confession and offer the same sins, in some variation, repeatedly to my Father Confessor?” Why is this? And why do we struggle to ‘escape’ the snare of the Evil One when it comes to our Lord’s command to all those He healed, to ….”Go, and sin no more.”? The discussion that followed strengthened and enriched all believers in attendance and enforced our celebration of St. Mary of Egypt as a vivid reminder and example of the value of repentance.
Father Milan thanked, Father Stevo for his enlightening homily, all clergy for serving and all people for attending and their holy prayers.