The parish family of St. Vladimir Orthodox Church celebrated 100 years during the weekend of July 10, 11 & 12, 2015!
Led in prayer by our spiritual father, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, the church was full for a weekend's worth of celebration. We were truly blessed to have our services sung majestically, prayerfully and beautifully by the Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery, conducted by Benedict Sheehan, throughout this weekend.
Likewise, the parish was blessed to have so many deacons and priests serving throughout the weekend to join in celebration! They were as follows: Archpriest Paul Shafran-Pastor Emeritus, Archpriest Joseph Lickwar-Chancellor, Archpriest Gary Breton-Dean, Archpriest Samuel Kedala, Archpriest Sergius Kuharsky, Archpriest James Parsells, Archpriest Peter Baktis, Priest Zinoviy Zharisky, Priest Jason Vansuch, Priest John Diamantis, Protodeacon Paul Sokol, Protodeacon Michael Sochka and Deacon John Holoduek.
The festivities began Friday, July 10th with Vespers, which commemmorated St. Olga, the grandmother of St. Vladimir (the parish's patron saint). Following his homily, Archbishop Michael intoned "Memory Eternal" for all of the departed clergy and faithful associated with this parish for the last 100 years. This service was followed by a reception in the parish's Daria Hall.
Saturday, July 11th marked the climax of the weekend. His Eminence served a full hierarchical Divine Liturgy, just before which long-time parishioner Sergius Stavisky was tonsured to be a reader and then a sub-deacon. In his homily, Archbishop Michael reminded all in attendance that we must "live our faith by putting what we believe into action." Following the Divine Liturgy and before a truly full church, His Eminence presented to Mr. Herman Meyer-Parish Council, a gramota for St. Vladimir Church in celebration of the 100 years of life and living our faith.
The celebration continued at nearby Mercer Oaks Country Club for a festive reception. Following this joyous occasion, everyone was invited to return to the church for Great Vespers. In his homily following this service, His Eminence remarked on the life of St. John Maximovitch and the miracles he worked, including the healings of cancer. He added that "we can also work miracles every day by doing the same works of mercy to which St. John was committed -- feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned."
On Sunday, July 12th, His Eminence was again gracious enough to serve and join us in fellowship. He humbly served "as a priest" to mark the first Divine Liturgy of the parish's second century. In closing remarks at the end of the Divine Liturgy, it was shared that "This parish began 100 years ago when the bishop gave his blessing to the priest Alexander Pantelejeff, making this the first Orthodox Christian Church in Trenton. There have now been 29 priests and several bishops to care for this community. It is so appropriate that Your Eminence would be here to usher us in to the beginning of our second century as we look to renew our life in Christ by carrying on in the same spirit that began this parish a century ago."
Many thanks are extended to everyone who played a part in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration to make it so memorable and majestic. Special thanks are given to the many altar servers for their assitance in making the services go smoothly and to someone we do not get to see in the pictures - Mr. Robert Gogats, the photographer. (Please explore St. Vladimir Centennial photos in a separate link!)
To learn more about how the parish of St. Vladimir is focusing on worship, fellowship, education, service, outreach, and evangelism to start our second century, continue to explore our church website and visit us for services!