The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania has been consistently serving the faithful in the area and in nearby West Virginia for almost seven decades. The parish church was consecrated sixty-eight years ago.
The parish has endured through the economic changes with dramatic job losses in area coal mines. The parish built and sustained by miners and their families has carried on and attracted new members.
When NATO bombs were dropping on beloved Serbs in the former Yugoslavia, the parish offered daily prayers in support of their Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters deeply affected.
During the time of the 9/11 attacks on America and the days that followed, St. George Church offered a peaceful and comforting haven. The parish exists today with resolute faith in a bright and growing future.
In celebration and thanksgiving of God’s blessings during the past 68 years, the parish faithful and friends gathered around their Diocesan Bishop for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and a festal banquet on Sunday, November 6, 2022.
His Grace Bishop Irinej officiated, accompanied by newly elevated host priest Protopresbyter Sasha Nedic, Protopresbyter Stavrophor Dr. Rodney Torbic, Reverend Deacon Daniel August and Reverend Deacon Darko Tripkovic. It was during the Divine Liturgy that the parish joyously experienced the elevation of their beloved priest to Protopresbyter. During the same service, Bishop Irinej prayed for parish faithful living and departed and friends and supporters.
In His heart-centered homily, His Grace spoke with clarity and detail of the Lord Jesus Christ as The Seed planted in hearts to grow in humility to bring forth fruit with patience.
Joy was added to the Divine Liturgy by the festal singing of the guest Tsar Lazar Choir under the direction of George Milosh. Choir members are men from parishes in the Pittsburgh Deanery glorifying God through their singing.
The festal banquet followed at Dolfi’s Restaurant in Masontown. Protopresbyter Sasha Nedic expressed his great joy for having Bishop Irinej, fellow clergy, parishioners, and friends being a part of the celebration.
As part of his remarks at the banquet, His Grace Bishop Irinej recognized the many officials attending the banquet. Recognized were Pennsylvania State Senator Camera Bartolotta, State Representative Pam Snyder, former State Speaker of the House William Deweese, Masontown Mayor Toni Petrus, former Masontown Chief of Police Joseph Ryan, West Virginia House of Delegates’ member Mark Zatezalo and United Mine Workers of America Local #1980 President Jim Riggi.
Following his remarks, Church Board President Stan Brozik was honored by State Representative Pam Snyder with a Certificate of Recognition for his contributions to St. George Church.
Drustvo Orchestra entertained during the banquet for the listening pleasure of the attendees. This was the largest attendance of faithful and friends in more than twenty years, which is a sign of the health of the parish and of God’s continuous blessings.
Father Rodney Torbic