The celebration of our Holy Father and Patron, Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycea, is a highlight of our liturgical year. This year was no different.  Led by His Grace, the Right Reverend Irinej, Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America in the Serbian Orthodox Church, the liturgy and parish Slava were beautiful and inspiring.  His Grace offered an uplifting homily exhorting us to emulate St. Nicholas’ example as we strive to live a contemporary life in Christ. He reminded us that it is only through humility—being poor in spirit—and not impoverished in spirit, that we can ever hope to participate in the Glory of God.


Bishop Irinej, before the liturgy, tonsured Matthew Paul Hoover to the first of the Holy Orders, the rank of Reader – Чтец. Reader Matthew has offered his talents to the service of Christ’s Church throughout his young life. May this tonsuring encourage his continued love and service to the Church.  During the liturgy, His Grace also elevated Presbyter Christopher Rocknage to the rank of protonamesnik or economos.  Father Chris reminded us that he is not worthy to even stand before the Holy Altar, yet the mercy of God and the love of the community makes it so.  Even so, such elevation reflects not upon himself, but upon the entire parish—especially his wife, Protinica Andreja, who lifts him up when he’s been cast down, offering him to God through prayer and love. 


Bishop Irinej also led the parish in the cutting of the Festal Bread - Slavski Kolach, offered by this year’s hosts, Mark, Yovanka and Matthew Hoover.  The Hoover family then exchanged the kiss of peace and the transfer of duties to next year’s hosts, the Milanovich family, led by Marko Milanovich.  May God bless all of them, through the prayers of St. Nicholas.


The parish gathered for a delightful luncheon with His Grace after liturgy.  The celebration continued into the afternoon with the fellowship and Christian love shared through food and drink.  We give thanks to God for His Grace, our Bishop and Father Irinej, for his blessings, his prayers, and his loving presence in our Steelton community.  May God grant him many years!


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Diocese of Eastern America

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