The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Midland, Pennsylvania hosted the Lenten Vespers for the Pittsburgh Deanery on March 19, 2023. The parish has a long history of being the host on the Third Sunday of Great Lent.


This year Protopresbyter Stavrophor Rade Merick, Episcopal Deputy represented His Grace Bishop Irinej. Protopresbyter Dejan Barac, parish priest for St. George Church, was the host clergyman.


Additional participating clergy included Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery, Protopresbyter Stavrophor Stevo Rocknage, Protopresbyter Stavrophors: Dr. Rodney Torbic, Rajko Kosic, Protopresbyters Rumen Stoychev, Sasha Nedic, George Veseliovich, Presbyter-Economos Branislav Golic, Presbyters Dragan Vukovic, Stefan Djuric, and Deacons Daniel August and Mark Matejevich. Reader John Buffalini, Stevan Kosic and Jackson Liller assisted in the Altar.


JoAnn Biscan directed the inspiring choir singing responses.


The Third Sunday of Great Lent focuses on the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ placed in the center of the church. Father George Veselinovic gave an inspiring and instructive homily for the benefit of all attending.


Ten parishes were well represented at the Vesper service and at the Lenten dinner held at the nearby Serbian club. Father Dejan Barac was joined by Parish Executive Board President Alfred Passa in warmly welcoming the attendees.


The Third Sunday of Great Lent represents an increasing intensity of the Lenten journey. Believers honoring and participating in the fast begin to feel the effects.  The Cross in the middle of the Church has a decided impact.


The Cross in the middle of the church offers strength and points the way for the rest of the Lenten journey. Believers ponder the immeasurable love of Jesus Christ as the journey continues.


St. George Church in Midland has a well-established history of serving the community for decades. The parish is known for the hospitality and for its outreach into the community in several different ways.


With the parishes in the Deanery joining together each Lenten Sunday, the collective witness for Jesus Christ has an effect throughout the counties of western Pennsylvania and nearby Ohio and West Virginia.


Clergy and believers participating in the Vespers draw strength from the service, the homily, and the prayers and fellowship of all present. God’s goodness, love, and strengthening become known.


During the remaining weeks of Great Lent, the clergy and faithful of the Pittsburgh Deanery will participate in services in other parishes, This collective journey through Great Lent leads believers to the final destination of Pascha.


Thank God for the Lenten services throughout the Pittsburgh Deanery. Thank God for all being in Midland for the Third Sunday of Great Lent. Thank God the St. George Church in Midland for being the gracious host.


Father Rodney Torbic

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