[Archived News] Monday, March 5, 2012

Twenty-Fourth Annual Pittsburgh Deanery Meeting

Weirton, WV - With the Archpastoral Blessing of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN, the Twenty Fourth Annual Pittsburgh Deanery Christian Education Meeting was held on February 18, 2012. The Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church of Steubenville, Ohio was the host parish. The Serbian Cultural Center in Weirton, West Virginia was the site of the meeting.

Episcopal Deputy Very Reverend Stavrofor Dragoljub Malich, Dean Very Reverend Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov and host priest Very Reverend Stavrofor Rade Merick addressed the importance of the meeting.

Very Reverend Stavrofor Michael Simerick, priest of the St.Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania was the designated speaker.

Father Simerick has extensive experience as a parish priest. He served twenty years as a chaplain for the United States Navy and is seriously interested in Christian education.

Father Michael gave a strong, balanced and very well received presentation. He drew from the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Fathers of the Church to illustrate Christian education from an Orthodox perspective.

The speaker emphasized the importance of participation in the liturgical life of the Church. He stressed the importance of sacramental participation.

Father Simerick addressed the dangers and responsibilities of being a Christian educator. He stated directly: We cannot be true Orthodox Christians unless we are worshipping God in His Holy Church.”

Father Michael’s presentation resulted in an extended and healthy discussion.  Additional clergy participating in the seminar included Very Reverend Stavrofor Stevo Rocknage and Reverend Father Milan Pajic.

Written and oral reports of parish highlights were presented by each of the parishes. The written reports become part of a descriptive booklet shared among all parishes and with other Deaneries.

Father Pajic referenced the forthcoming summer camp season at Shadeland.  Father Rocknage spoke of the value of the forthcoming national gathering of Serbian Orthodox youths to take place in Boston.

Parish educators taking part in the meeting included Protinica Donna Merick, Juliann Taylor, Brian Hayden, David Silianoff, Carlos Garcia, Rosemarie Marinkovich, Cynthia Marangos, Melinda Rodgers, Lynn Busic, Margaret Zapor,  Paula Esapovich, and Millicent Hunchuck.

The Pittsburgh Deanery includes the Pennsylvania parishes located in Aliquippa, Carmichaels, Johnstown, McKeesport, Midland, Monroeville, Pittsburgh and Youngwood. The Steubenville, Ohio parish and the mission parish in Fairmont, West Virginia complete the Deanery.

Father Rodney Torbic