Saint Andrew's Camp Receives Generous Donation
The Orthodox Charitable and Educational Foundation of Saint Andrew’s Camp (Jewell NY) is a recent recipient of a generous donation from the Mutual Fire Foundation, Inc. of Exton PA. Caroline B. Mazza, the Foundation president, says that the donation of $14,500 will sponsor the construction of a cabin for campers. Ms. Mazza stated, “We honor the commitment of your organization, and hope that this donation will help with your mission.” In response, Bishop Michael stated, “Your magnanimous act of charity for the benefit of young campers is, in a very real sense, a gift to Christ the High Priest.”
South River NJ: Council of Congregations Food Bank
The Council of Congregations, in co-operation with the Department of Health for the Borough of South River NJ, has been operating a food bank for over twenty years to assist those in need. Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church has been an active supporter of the food bank and parishioners serve as Chairman (Paul Zelanko) and members (Joan Pisuk & Joyce Major) of the Board of Health. The food bank had been located in the South River Senior Center ... until "Super Storm Sandy" brought destruction to it and the community of South River.
Binghamton NY: Singing Christmas Carols for Veterans
After the Divine Liturgy and a light lunch on 16 December 2012, choir members of Dormition of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Binghamton NY traveled an hour to the Oxford Veterans Home, in Oxford NY to share their annual concert of Christmas carols with the residents. Dr. Philip Dzwonczyk, Chief Medical Officer at the home and devoted choir member, again organized this event for the veterans and the choir directed by Matushka Julia Gotlinsky.
Christ is Born! Let us Glorify Him!
His Grace, Bishop Michael, offers an Archpastoral Letter to the faithful of the diocese on the celebration of our Lord's Nativity. In part, he writes: "Once again we come upon the 'most wonderful time of the year,' as the song goes. What exactly does this mean? For some, it is simply the winter holiday season -- Frosty and Rudolph. For most, it is probably all about Santa, and making a list, and getting great gifts. Certainly for many others, Christmas is about the birth of a beautiful baby in Bethlehem … who grew up to be a great teacher, a gentle healer, perhaps even a miracle worker. But for us who are Orthodox Christians, the Feast of the Nativity is much more than all that."
read the Archpastoral Letter >
Spanish version >
Russian version >
Watervliet NY: Extraordinary Event for St. Basil’s Orthodox Church
On Saturday, 15 December, Deacon Matthew Markewich was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. The Holy Spirit led both Father Matthew and his wife Rebecca to Orthodoxy while college students at SUNY Albany. Both converted to Orthodoxy while attending Saint Basil’s Church under the spiritual guidance and mentoring of Archpriest Peter Olsen, parish rector. Later, they were married in the church. Having completing his studies at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Matthew was ordained to the diaconate at Saint Basil’s Church and now has been ordained to the priesthood.
Clifton NJ: 2012 Diocesan Assembly
The 2012 Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey convened on 11 December in Clifton NJ. Over 90 clergy and laity delegates representing diocesan parishes gathered with Bishop Michael for this annual assembly during which the vitally important work of the Church was discussed, considered, and (by the grace of the Holy Spirit) empowered. The address to the Assembly by His Grace and a video presentation on “The Year in Review” are available! Simply go to “more information” to view the videos and additional resources about this significant event in the life of the diocese.
more information >>>
Archpastoral Letter: Tragedy in Newtown CT
His Grace, Bishop Michael, offers an Archpastoral Letter concerning the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on 14 December. In part, he writes: "The joyful anticipation of the Christmas celebration was shattered for many this past Friday, when the senseless murders of 27 schoolchildren and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, thrust that community into unimaginable horror and pain. This tragedy goes against the nature of morality – and against the very order of nature itself. There is nothing natural about parents burying their children. Many will ask, 'Where was God when this happened?'"
read the Archpastoral Letter >
December has arrived! “Count-down” for 2012 DDB Contributions!
As the world counts-down the shopping days until Christmas, we are counting-down the final days of 2012 in the hope that we will meet our Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors goal to fund three vital ministries in our diocese: (1) Support of Missions, (2) Support of Seminarians, and (3) Support for Struggling Parishes. We are now at 84% of our goal! But, we have 16% ... $17,658 ... to go. Perhaps you, or your parish, can help us to cross the finish line? Donations are tax-deductable and made easy by our secure on-line payment option, or by mail. This is your invitation to get involved ... by becoming a DDB today! Get started HERE!
Choir Workshop: “Making Music with Kids”
On Saturday, 1 December 2012, the Commission on Liturgical Music held its first Children’s Choir Workshop hosted by Saint Andrew Orthodox Church in Dix Hills NY. Led by noted diocesan conductor and musician David Lucs, the workshop was a fun-filled and inspiring day as eight enthusiastic young girls participated in learning several hymns, especially those related to the season of the Nativity, the feast of Saint Nicholas, and Theophany. The children returned home with booklets of liturgical music to share with their parishes along with their newly-acquired skills in liturgical music.
Watervliet NY: Christmas “Yolka”
Saint Basil's Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY held its annual “Yolka” activity on Sunday, 9 December immediately following the Divine Liturgy. A brunch luncheon was served in the Parish Center by the parents, teachers and students. After the luncheon, the Sunday School children entertained parishioners by singing Christmas Carols and performing a Christmas Play: "The Friendly Beast." A visit from Saint Nicholas with gifts for all children followed. “Everyone at Saint Basil's extends a very merry Christmas wish to all,’” said parishioner Bill Rentz, “Christ is Born! Glorify Him!”
Diocesan Assembly on December 11, 2012
The annual Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey will convene at Assumption of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church in Clifton NJ on December 11, 2012. Bishop Michael will greet clergy and laity delegates representing parishes from throughout New York and New Jersey for a day-long gathering of prayer, reflection, deliberation, and decision-making. A dedicated webpage provides all of the documents and reports for the Assembly; additional reports will be added as they are received. Visit the DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY WEBPAGE here!
New POLYCHRONION Released for Parish Use
The Commission on Liturgical Music [CoLM] features many helpful resources and information on their dedicated website. For example, a new POLYCHRONION ~ “Many Years!” ~ is now available for use in our parishes, and appropriately commemorates Metropolitan Tikhon along with our Bishop Michael. The website also presents a directory of diocesan choir directors, mentors, news & events, and an ever-growing compilation of liturgical music composed or arranged by diocesan musicians. In the Divine Liturgy section alone there are now 28 offerings of music (some with an audio “LISTEN” feature). Visit the CoLM website by using the icon link on this webpage, or click here! Get the new POLYCHRONION now ~ click here!
Archbishop Tikhon elected Metropolitan of All America and Canada
PARMA, OH [OCA] Archbishop Tikhon, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, was elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America during the 17th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America at Holy Trinity Church in Parma OH, on November 13, 2012. Six hundred and sixty-three hierarchs, clergy and lay delegates and observers representing OCA parishes across the US, Canada and Alaska participated in the Council.
read more, visit podcasts & photos >
Making Music with Kids: An Orthodox Experience
This workshop, sponsored by the Commission on Liturgical Music [CoLM], is designed to introduce children to basic music reading concepts, as well as teach them simple prayers set to music. No experience is necessary - only a desire to learn more about the services which we attend on a weekly basis. Parents are also encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided, along with sheet music to bring home and to your home parish afterwards! All instruction will be in English. It will take place on Saturday, 1 December 2012 at Saint Andrew Orthodox Church, Dix Hills NY from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Details and registration are available in the "Upcoming Events" section or on the CoLM website (click here).
Bayonne NJ: 90th Anniversary Celebration
Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church, Bayonne NJ, celebrated the 90th Anniversary of its founding. Three events marked this milestone: The first was on Wednesday, 10 October, when the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos came for a visit; the second was on Sunday, October 14, when the Divine Liturgy was followed by the official opening of the Church Library with a Molieben served in the parish hall; the third celebration was on the weekend of 27-28 October as Bishop Michael celebrated Great Vespers, a Panikheda for departed parishioners, and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday followed by a celebratory banquet.
Hurricane Sandy Diocesan Relief Fund
Bishop Michael has established a Diocesan Relief Fund to offer assistance to those affected by the devastation of Super-Storm Sandy. In a letter to the diocese, His Grace writes, in part: "We may dare to hope that many of those left hurting in Sandy’s wake will be drawn closer to Christ when they see Christians helping them. We may hope, too, that we Christians will be drawn even more deeply to Christ as well -- by helping: prayerfully … financially … physically. Just days ago, we heard the Sunday Gospel story of the Good Samaritan. Need we ask, 'Who is my neighbor?' Our neighbors are right here … and they are hurting. Let us emulate the healing presence of the kind-hearted foreigner in that profound parable; and in so doing, may we draw our neighbors and ourselves closer to the hope, the love, and the life that are found only in Jesus Christ."
read Bishop Michael's letter and appeal >
Whitestone NY: Update following Super-Storm Sandy
We have received a video update on conditions at Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in Whitestone NY produced by, and starring, Father Joseph Woodill.
Watervliet NY: Healing Service
Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY conducted a Healing Service on Tuesday evening, 13 November 2012. A Molieben (prayers of thanksgiving) to the Most-Holy Theotokos was celebrated by parish rector, Father Peter Olsen, with responses sung by the parish choir under the direction of Michael Mellin. Approximately 100 people participated, and many faithful brought their neighbors, friends, and acquaintances along with them. Everyone was welcomed!
Election Day: A Tale of Two Kingdoms
Tuesday, November 6th, was “election day.” The results will affect our nation, our states, our counties, our districts, our cities, our towns, and our villages. On Tuesday, November 13th, in Parma OH, there will be an election affecting our Orthodox Church in America, our dioceses, our deaneries, our parishes, and our faithful. In some ways, these elections are similar. But fundamentally, they could not be more different. In my opinion, to confuse them is perilous; to equate them, tragic.
Watervliet NY: Fall Harvest Festival
Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church in Watervliet (Maplewood) NY held its inaugural “Fall Harvest Fest” on Saturday, 20 October. The day’s activities were centered on the life of the church. Established 110 years ago, the parish welcomed guests and friends to tours of the church conducted by Father Peter Olsen (parish rector). “The Fall Fest accomplished its objective of bringing not only the faithful to the event but also afforded many local residents a casual manner of seeing and understanding Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church,” said parishioner Bill Rentz, “and to enjoy fellowship from all.”
Shirley NY: First Annual Icon Workshop
Saint John the Theologian Orthodox Church (Shirley NY) conducted a workshop from October 8-12, 2012 on iconography and iconology. Facilitating the workshop were: Father Mefodii, a monk from the Skete of Saint Maximos the Confessor (Palmyra VA/Bulgarian Patriarchate); and Adele McHugh, a student of the Prosopon School. Those interested in participating in next year’s workshop should contact: email here
Father Kilian Sprecher: US Navy Reserve Chaplain
Father (Hieromonk) Kilian Sprecher is assigned as Acting Rector of Saint Gregory Palamas Church in Glen Gardner NJ. He is also a seminarian in the Master of Theology program at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers (Crestwood) NY. On 12 October 2012, Father Kilian graduated from Officer Development School (ODS) at the Naval Station in Newport, Rhode Island. Bishop Michael was present at the graduation ceremony. Congratulations and "Many Years!" to Chaplain and Lieutenant Christopher Sprecher, CHC, USNR.
New Issue: "Jacob's Well" (Summer/Fall 2012)
"Jacob’s Well" is the official publication of the Diocese New York-New Jersey. It provides, as did the well in ancient communities, a place for the distribution of news and activities regarding the life of the Diocese and its parishes. But like the story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well (John 4), it also seeks to be a vehicle which provides not just news but opportunities for reflection on the living encounter with Jesus Christ. Read the new issue, and previous issues, here!
DDB: An Invitation to Join!
Now that we have entered the 4th quarter of the 2012 fiscal year, it’s a good time to consider your opportunity to support diocesan ministries by joining the ever-growing list of Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors (DDBs). There is a critical need for additional support to mission parishes! Funds are also designated for seminarian scholarships and support to struggling existing parishes. For complete details, visit the “Vision for Our Future” section of this website. Go HERE!
17th All-American Council: Support Urgently Needed
[OCA.org] For Alaskan residents, a ticket from the Anchorage hub to Cleveland can cost nearly $800.00 — if purchased today; in a few weeks, a ticket can cost over $1,000.00 [travel from Mexico is also costly]. Our goal is to raise $15,000 to defray travel expenses so all parishes can be represented at the 17th All-American Council. An anonymous donor has offered a matching grant. For a limited time your donation will be doubled. Please give today to keep delegate costs down as much as possible. DONATE NOW!
NEW VIDEO: "Marriage ~ 7 Questions & 7 Answers""
“Lessons in Our Faith” is a series of instructional videos produced by the Diocese of New York and New Jersey (Orthodox Church in America) featuring His Grace, Bishop Michael. In this installment, the topic is MARRIAGE. Using his popular “7 Questions and 7 Answers” format, Bishop Michael discusses this subject in a concise and direct manner. In twelve minutes, the video offers the fundamental teaching about this sacrament within the life of the Church. The entire "Lessons in Our Faith" series is available on this website ... here!
Junior FOCA: Upper NYS Convention Scheduled
Junior FOCA [Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America] members will sponsor their 2012 Convention on November 10, 2012 at Saint Nicholas Church in Auburn NY. The day will include a meeting to discuss activities and elect officers, followed by a bowling tournament and evening activities at a local game center. The bowling tournament and evening activities are open to all young people (ages 8 to 18) regardless of FOCA membership. Costs are kept to a minimum and include bowling and evening activities. Meals are provided free of charge for participants with a minimal charge for accompanying parents.
Rochester NY: Blessing of Pets
Dogs, cats, hens, hamsters, roosters, fish and others were brought to Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY for a blessing on Saturday, 29 September. “We invited our neighbors within a three-block radius of the church to join our parishioners for a cook-out followed by a molieben service and blessing of their pets,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector). Flyers announcing the event were delivered, door-to-door, by Sub-deacon Sean McNulty. “My little Sammy was very well-behaved,” said Heather McNulty of her adorable and energetic canine, “I think the blessing had an effect on him!”
view the photos >
Lansing NY: 2013 OCA Church Planting Grant Recipient
First-year grants have been awarded by the Orthodox Church in America to Holy Archangels Church, Annapolis MD, in the Archdiocese of Washington DC and Holy Apostles Church, Lansing NY, in the Diocese of New York & New Jersey served by Priest James Worthington. “Each of these missions receives a substantial grant of $24,000 for the first year and $20,000 for the second year, matched by the missions, in order to support the full-time ministry and missionary work of their priests,” said Priest John Parker (Chairperson of the Department of Evangelization).
read more here >>>
Jackson NJ: Archpastoral Visit on Feast-day
An “Old Calendar” commemoration of the feast-day of the Nativity of the Holy Theotokos took place at Saint Mary's Church in Jackson NJ on 20-21 September. His Grace, Bishop Michael, celebrated the Vigil on Thursday evening and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Friday. Following the Divine Liturgy, a procession was made around the temple and His Grace offered prayers at the grave of His Eminence, Archbishop Gregory (Afonsky). A festal banquet followed in Saint Mary's Church hall.
Ordination of Father John Diamantis: "AXIOS!"
On Saturday, 29 September, Father John Diamantis was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Michael at Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow NY. Father John is the Chairperson of the Diocesan Department of College Ministry and his wife, Matushka Andrea, is the Director of the Diocesan Department of Religious Education. May God grant them “Many Years!”
Choir Appreciation Day
The Diocese of New York and New Jersey marks Choir Appreciation Day today, 30 September 2012, the eve of the feast day of Saint Romanos the Melodist. Rectors and faithful of the diocese should take time on this day to thank and encourage their choir leaders and singers. The dedication and abilities of these Orthodox Christians contribute immeasurably to our worship. A Liturgy without sung responses is impossible! We need to nurture and encourage our singing leaders – and thank them on this day for their pious work!
Bishop Michael's letter >>>
Council of Presbyters Meet
The twelve-priest Diocesan Council of Presbyters [CP] gathered with Bishop Michael at the Diocesan Center on 24 September 2012. In appointing the members of the CP, His Grace said: “In consonance with our Church’s teaching on conciliarity, handed down to us from as long ago as Saint Ignatius of Antioch, it is my intention to establish a Council of Presbyters to advise the Bishop of New York and New Jersey on matters pertaining to the life, growth and development of our Diocese.”
60th Anniversary of Ordination: "Many Years!" Father Daniel Hubiak
On Monday, October 1st, Bishop Michael will celebrate a special Service of Thanksgiving (Molieben) marking the 60th Anniversary of the priestly ordination of Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak. Father Daniel and his wife Matushka Evelyn (known by all as Dunia) have served the Orthodox Church in America with unwavering dedication and faithfulness in a number of capacities and parishes, many of them in our diocese. The service will take place at 1:00 p.m. at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Jersey City NJ. A reception in the church hall will follow.
Diaconal Formation Program Begins Semester
Students participating in the Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program [DFP] began their studies on Saturday, 15 September, at the Endicott NY campus. New students joined with the returning class for the DFP intensive 2-year/4-semester program of study accredited by Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Courses include both academic study and liturgical practicum. For information about the DFP, contact Father Alexey Karlgut: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wantage NJ: 9/11 Memorial Service
A memorial service was held at Holy Spirit Church (Wantage NJ) for the victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on America. The event marked the parish’s eleventh year of offering memorial prayers for victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Alexandria VA~Washington DC, and the fallen aircraft in Shanksville PA. In attendance were firefighters from Unionville NY, Johnson NY, Franklin NJ and Sussex NJ. A fellowship reception followed the service.
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops: Third Annual Meeting
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America held its third annual meeting for all member hierarchs, that is, all active canonical bishops in its region. The meeting was held from September 10-12, 2012, at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. Forty-three bishops, including Bishop Michael, were in attendance. The message signed by the hierarchs says, in part: "We reaffirm our commitment ... to safeguard and deepen Orthodox unity, to promote common pastoral action, to offer common witness in our region, and to overcome canonical anomalies... As we assemble in Chicago, we also take this opportunity to encourage all of you, the People of God, in a world exploited and polarized by greed, godlessness, and immorality. We call upon all Orthodox Christians to be faithful to their calling to be the light of the world."
Press Release >>> Official Message >>> photos>>>
Rochester NY: Blessing of Deer Run Winery
On Sunday, 26 August 2012, Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY blessed the vineyards, vines, grapes, wine presses, barrels, and new wine at Deer Run Winery at nearby Geneseo NY. “Our gracious hosts and vintners were George, Joan and Scott Kuyon,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector). “In addition to a wide variety of fine New York State wines of the Finger Lakes Region, we are blessed to use wine grown, harvested, and lovingly fermented here for our Eucharistic celebrations.” This marked the eighth consecutive year of the annual blessing at Deer Run Winery which included a wine-tasting and fellowship meal for parishioners and friends.
view the photos >>>
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery Celebrates 35th Anniversary
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, Otego NY, celebrated the 35th anniversary of their founding as a stavropegial women’s monastery of the Orthodox Church in America on 25 & 26 August 2012. (A “stavropegial” monastery is one which falls directly under the omophorion of the primate of the church rather than under a local diocesan bishop). The weekend events also celebrated the 40th anniversary of monastic-life profession for Mother Raphaela, Abbess of the monastery; and the 50th anniversary of monastic-life profession of Mother Michaela, a nun with the Holy Myrrhbearers Sisterhood for nearly a decade. Mother Raphaela was presented with a jeweled cross by Archbishop Tikhon on behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the OCA. In addition, before the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Sister Deborah was tonsured to the riassa by the hand of Bishop Matthias. Hierarchs, clergy, friends and supporters from across the country and from many Orthodox jurisdictions joined the milestone celebrations! For a full press release detailing the celebration on the OCA website, please visit HERE.
Parma, Ohio: 17th All-American Council on 13 November
Registration forms, hotel information, and related materials for the 17th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America (Tuesday, November 13, 2012) are now available. “Per the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, parishes will need to elect new delegates,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. “Registration forms, as per normal procedures for an All-American Council, must be completed and received by the OCA Chancery by October 15.” Hotel reservations will open on Wednesday, September 5.
registration forms >>> NEW! Delegate Handbook >>>
Ordination: Deacon Simeon (Terry) Peet
On August 29th, the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program [DFP] graduate Simeon Terry Peet was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by Bishop Michael during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Endicott NY. Deacon Simeon was a member of the program’s inaugural class at the Endicott NY Campus. He and eight of his fellow classmates graduated and received a Certificate in Diaconal Formation during commencement ceremonies at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary on 26 May 2012.
Welcome to College Ministry!
The Department of College Ministry [DoCM] held its inaugural event “The Fields are White for Harvest: Welcome to College Ministry” on Saturday, 18 August at Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers NY. In establishing the DoCM, Bishop Michael appointed Deacon John Diamantis (Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, East Meadow NY) as chairperson. Deacon John serves concurrently in a similar capacity with the national Orthodox Christian Fellowship as District Chaplain. A website for the DoCM has been established and a direct icon-link is displayed on this homepage.
read Release # 2012.26.1 >
visit DoCM website >
Happy Birthday and "Many Years!"
August 29th is Bishop Michael's birthday. The clergy and faithful of the diocese offer thanks unto God for the archpastoral ministry of their spiritual shepherd and enthusiastcally join together in singing "Eis Polla Eti Despota!" You may read His Grace's official biography, view his videos, and read his archpastoral letters here.
2012 Clergy Conference in Wayne NJ
Holy Resurrection Church in Wayne NJ was the site of this year’s Clergy Conference held on 21-22 August. The conference theme was marriage counseling, with a focus on “FOCCUS” (a valuable resource for pastoral pre-marriage preparation). Through the inspiration and with the blessing of Bishop Michael, the conference welcomed 28 diocesan priests as participants.The conference facilitator/trainer was Maggie Hock. She is the North American Director of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America Department of Marriage & Parish Family Ministries. Khouriya Maggie is a fully licensed and credentialed Psychotherapist and Mediator (LMHP, CPC, LPC), specializing in crisis and trauma, individual, marital, parenting, group therapy and corporate dynamics.
Youth Day 2012: “The Future of Our Church”
The 2nd Annual Diocesan Youth Day was on 16 August as over 100 participants gathered at Saint Mary Orthodox Church, Jackson NJ. The weather was beautiful; the enthusiasm spectacular! Participants included 7 Clergy, 30 adult chaperones and 70+ youth participants representing 13 parishes in our diocese. A parish from Rahway NJ of the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese also participated. At registration each youth participant was given a green t-shirt to wear with “Orthodox Youth Day 2012” written on the front so they could easily be identified.
17th All-American Council: 13 November 2012
SYOSSET NY [OCA] ~ Holy Trinity Church, Parma OH, will be the site of the 17th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, a one-day gathering on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 -- the Feast of Saint John Chrysostom -- at which a new Primate of the Orthodox Church in America will be elected. The Council will open with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, followed by brunch. An electoral plenary session will follow, after which the newly elected Primate will be installed prior to the closing session. Space for observers will be limited. Additional information will be released in the coming weeks as final plans become available.
ADDED 24 AUG: Letter from Diocesan Chancellor>>>
read more at oca.org>>>
BRICK NJ: Icons Blessed & Father Breton Awarded Jeweled Cross
[The Asbury Park Press, Dan Radel]
A visit from a bishop can turn any ordinary Sunday service into something extraordinary. But at the Orthodox Christian Church of the Annunciation on Van Zile Road in Brick, not only did Bishop Michael from the Diocese of New York and New Jersey visit the church [18-19 August], but he also blessed its newly finished iconography and bestowed a jeweled cross to the Rev. Gary Breton. “It’s a very special day for us to have the bishop come and bless the icons. They have changed the atmosphere of the church,” said parish member Mathew Petrides of Wall.
Regional Church School Conferences
Three Church School Conferences, one in each Deanery (New Jersey, New York City, New York State), were conducted during the month of August. A “first” for our diocese, this targeted focus on parish religious education is inspired by Bishop Michael’s dedication to nurturing the spiritual growth and development of children ~ of all ages ~ by providing training and resources to program directors and teachers. Looking ahead, Church School Conferences will be an annual diocesan event thanks to the financial support provided by the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors program [DDB]. Visit the "Vision for Our Future" link on this webpage for details, and an invitation to join the DDB.
New York City: Ordination of Deacon David Chow
During a Sunday Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church (Manhattan) on 12 August, Bishop Michael ordained Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program graduate David Chow to the Holy Diaconate. Deacon David was a member of the program’s inaugural class at the Endicott NY Campus; on 26 May 2012, he and eight of his fellow classmates graduated and received a Certificate in Diaconal Formation. New students will join second-year classmates in the two-year/4 semester course of intense study later this month. Those interested in the program should contact their parish rector for details.
Music Submitted by Diocesan Musicians
The Commission on Liturgical Music [CoLM] reports that composed/arranged liturgical music by musicians in the diocese is now available on their website, with additional submissions to be added as received and approved. To date, sheet music (some with accompanying audio files) has been published in the categories of “Divine Liturgy,” “Great Lent & PASCHA,” “Nativity of Our Lord,” and “Supplemental.” Musicians interested in submitting original or arranged liturgical music should refer to the news release available HERE. A direct-link icon to the CoLM website is permanently displayed on this website, and offers many resources to parish choir directors and singers.
NY State Deanery: "Matushki Get Together"
On Saturday, 11 August, several Matushki (wives of priests/deacons) of the New York State Deanery enjoyed a 2-hour boat cruise upon the sparkling bluish-green waters of Skaneateles Lake. One of the extraordinary lakes of the world renowned Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, glacier formed Lake Skaneateles boasts spring fed crystal clear waters and breathtaking views.
East Meadow NY: Parish Family Gathering
As part of ongoing efforts at Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow NY, to strengthen the Orthodox Faith among its community, the Church School Association [CSA] organized a Parish Family Gathering on Sunday, 5 August -- the eve of the feast-day of Transfiguration. Members and friends of the parish, both young and old, gathered together for dinner and a Q&A session led by the parish rector, Father Martin Kraus, before attending the festal vigil together.
New Jersey Deanery: Church School Conference
Forty church school teachers gathered at Holy Resurrection Church in Wayne NJ on Saturday, 4 August, for an entire day devoted to church school teachers/directors training. Matushka Myra Kovalak (Elevation of the Holy Cross Church, Williamsport PA), accompanied by trainers Father George Alberts and Nike Bach facilitated and led discussions on a wide range of topics. See the “Upcoming Events” section of this website for details regarding the two Church School Conferences scheduled for the New York City and New York State Deaneries.
NEW VIDEO: "Lessons in Our Faith"
A new installment of the highly acclaimed video series Lessons in Our Faith is now available for viewing! Using his popular “7 Questions and 7 Answers” format ... but, this time in reverse ... Bishop Michael answers 7 thought-provoking questions presented to him by 7 campers during the camping season at Saint Andrew’s Camp in Jewell NY. The questions range from bioethical concerns to ecclesiology to the sensitive issue of marital divorce and more!
visit "Lessons in Our Faith" >
New York State Deanery: Choir Conference
On Saturday, 28 July, the Commission on Liturgical Music sponsored a conference & workshop exploring the spiritual and historical structure of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Held at Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego NY, the program featured opening comments by Bishop Michael and sessions lead by the guest facilitator, Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov (director of “The Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir” and music director of Saints Peter & Paul Church in Jersey City NJ). Professor Shipovalnikov presented insightful, essential pointers about leading the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy from a choir director's point of view. He also shared his expertise accumulated through a wealth of experiences leading liturgical singing in Russia and elsewhere.
Bishop Michael Honors John Kozak: “Many Years!”
On Thursday evening, 26 July, during Great Vespers at Saint Andrew's Camp (Jewell NY) a long-time friend and dedicated volunteer of the camp, John Kozak, was presented with a gramota by Bishop Michael. His Grace recognized John for his tireless and selfless commitment to serving the camp and its youth, and for always putting the children, their safety, their growth in the faith, and their camp experience first. Pointing to John as an example and role-model, His Grace was able to impart to the campers the importance of ministering as faithful laypeople in Christ’s church.
Conference: “Orthodox Christian Fellowship” Campus Ministry
The conference will take place (Saturday) 18 August from 10am-3pm at Holy Trinity Church, Yonkers NY. The goal is to orient us for ministry on college campuses within the territory of our diocese. “Very often I hear from parish council members, from parishioners, and especially from parents,” said Bishop Michael, “ how we have ‘lost’ many of our college students from active membership in our parishes. This Conference is an attempt to overturn that deadly, negative current! ... I urge our priests to attend ... and to send members of their parish council, parents and other parishioners from their communities.” This Conference is free of charge to our parishes. Please email email@example.com to RSVP your attendance. View the Conference flyer HERE!
Church School Conferences
Calling all parish Church School Coordinators and Teachers! The diocese will sponsor three regional Church School Conferences for coordinators and teachers. The dates/locations are: 4 August in Wayne NJ, 11 August in Whitestone NY, and 18 August in Endicott NY. Please see the information in the “Upcoming Events” section of this website. You will find a conference flyer and registration brochure included with the conference information for each location.
2012 YOUTH DAY: 16 AUGUST
This year's Diocesan Youth Day will take place on Thursday, 16 August at SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE THEME PARK. Complete information, details, and registration documents are available HERE.
Department of Youth Ministry website >>>
Archpastoral Visit: Yonkers NY
Bishop Michael visited Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers NY on Saturday and Sunday, 14-15 July 2012. His Grace presided at Great Vespers on Saturday and at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, during which he awarded the "Kamilavka" to Father David Cowan and also installed Father David as Rector of Holy Trinity Church. Bishop Michael stayed for a luncheon afterward in the parish Education Building, where he held an “Ask the Bishop” question-and-answer forum with the faithful.
TEENS & TOOLS: Diocesan Youth Mission to Appalachia
During one hot, muggy week in July, the 11-member Orthodox Youth Mission Team was not to be found basking in the sun, nor huddling by the air conditioner. Instead, these young missionaries -- including 4 from Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers NY -- were wielding power tools and infectious smiles, rebuilding homes for families in need near Johnson City, Tennessee. This was part of the Appalachia Service Project [ASP] youth mission initiative.
Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors
DDBs are people like you! They are lay people, monastics, priests and deacons. Some are parishes, like your parish! They share in sustaining the work of the Church in our Diocese. They make things happen! They provide necessary assistance to our mission parishes, they support our seminarians, and they revitalize our older parishes. You may already be a DDB ... or, you may become one! New DDBs are being added almost every day.
see the list of DDBs >
learn more! >
Jewell NY: A Slice of Life at Saint Andrew's Camp
Summer is in full-swing at Saint Andrew's Camp located on the shores of Oneida Lake in Jewell NY. Beginning last May, an army of volunteers has been heading up to this picturesque corner of Upstate New York to assist in getting the camp into shape: mowing lawns, getting supplies, painting walls, and a thorough cleaning of the chapel, kitchen, and bunks. Though now only halfway through its second week of this year's camping program, the place is alive with youthful energy to complement the natural beauty.
Happy Birthday & Many Years!
Archpriest Paul Shafran, Pastor Emeritus of Saint Vladimir Church in Trenton NJ, turned 90 on July 2, 2012. An in-home celebration was joined by many members of his extended family and a few close friends, who feted him with toasts and speeches, songs with customized lyrics, and walks down memory lane with photos and music from his younger days. We extend our warm congratulations to Father Paul and ask that God bless him with good health and all good things for many years!
Upstate NY: Picnic & Archpastoral Visit to Rochester
On Thursday, 5 July, the clergy families of the New York State Deanery were hosted by Bishop Michael for their annual picnic. The event took place thanks to the coordination of Father James Worthington and the faithful of Holy Apostles Mission Parish in Lansing NY. Then, from Friday through Sunday (6-8 July), His Grace made an archpastoral visit to Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY where he participated in a Friday evening social with parish council members and parish ministry coordinators, the “Saturday Family Vespers Day” and, following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, the parish’s annual Pasta Dinner.
Archpastoral Visits: Passaic NJ & Endicott NY
On 23-24 June, the occasion of their patronal feast-day, Saint John the Baptist Church in Passaic NJ was blessed to have a visit by Bishop Michael. On the feast-day of Saints Peter & Paul ~ Friday, 29 June ~ His Grace celebrated the hierarchical Liturgy in Endicott NY on the parish’s patronal feast-day. During the Liturgy, Mark Bohush was ordained to the holy Diaconate.
2012 Parish Council Conferences Concluded
The three regional (by deanery) Parish Council Conferences for 2012 were conducted at Cifton NJ, Endicott NY, and Whitestone NY. More than 150 parish council members from diocesan parishes attended. The guest facilitator, Maureen Jury of the Diocese of the South, offered a well-received and information packed discussion regarding "Financial Stewardship." The Endicott NY conference was recorded and videos of the event will be available on this website shortly. It is hoped that all parish council members, and interested faithful, who were unable to attend one of the conferences will take the opportunity to view the videos.
New Video: Baptism of Infants
NEW! Lesson outline available! The latest video installment of “Lessons in Our Faith” features Bishop Michael as he provides practical and concise teaching on the Baptism of Infants. His Grace discusses the theological and sacramental considerations of this subject with biblical references, patristic commentary, and reflections on the faith and life of the Church ... in less than 10 minutes! This is the 7th lesson available in the “Lessons in Our Faith” section of this website.
go to “Lessons in Our Faith” >
New York City: Ordination of Father David Poling
Father (Chandler) David Poling was ordained to the holy priesthood at the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection in NYC, on Fathers’ Day ~ Sunday, 17 June ~ by the Grace of God and the hand of Bishop Michael. His Grace also elevated Deacon Patrick Baumgarth to the honor and dignity of Protodeacon, and presented certificates of appreciation [“gramota”] to several recipients for their long-standing service to the Cathedral parish. Father Poling will be assigned as pastor of Saint Innocent Orthodox Mission in Oneonta NY.
Clifton NJ: Parish Council Conference
The first of three Parish Council Conferences in the diocese was held on Saturday, 16 June in Clifton NJ. Nearly 100 participants gathered with Bishop Michael and the conference facilitator, Maureen Jury (Metropolitan Council and Diocese of the South Diocesan Council member). The focus of the conferences is “Financial Stewardship.” The New York State Deanery will host the second conference on 23 June in Endicott NY, and the New York City Deanery on 24 June in Whitestone NY. All parish council members in the diocese are strongly encouraged to attend; a video of the Endicott conference will be made available on DVD for council members unable to participate.
OPERATION BUFFALO: “Marching Forward!”
Bishop Michael made his annual archpastoral visit to Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Buffalo NY on 9-10 June with the celebration of the feast of “All Saints.” The celebrations began with Vespers with Litiya on Saturday (9 June) followed by a dinner in the newly renovated parish hall. On Sunday (10 June) the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated. His Grace encouraged parishioners to “take seriously the call to holiness and to follow the example of saints.” At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Janet Hetzel was awarded a certificate of appreciation by Bishop Michael for her faithful service to the parish.
CONGRATULATIONS: Jeweled Cross, Archpriest, Ordination
On Saturday, 9 June, during the Hierarchical Liturgy at Holy Trinity Church in Elmira Heights NY, Bishop Michael: Awarded the jeweled cross to Archpriest Jason Kappanadze; Elevated Priest Ilya Gotlinsky to the rank of Archpriest; and Ordained sub-deacon Gregory White (a graduate of our Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program) to the Holy Diaconate. “Axios! Axios! Axios!”
Council of Presbyters: Meeting on 18 June
The Council of Presbyters will meet with His Grace, Bishop Michael, at the Diocesan Center in Bronxville NY on Monday, 18 June. On the following day (Tuesday), the Diocesan Council will meet in the same venue. These administrative bodies assemble semi-annually and monthly, respectively, to provide guidance and collaboration in the on-going life of the diocese. We pray that their gatherings will be inspired and moved by the indwelling grace of the Holy Spirit.
New Video: Lessons in Our Faith
A new video installment of "Lessons in Our Faith" is now available! The topic is the "Sacrament of Chrismation." Using his popular 7 Questions & 7 Answers format, Bishop Michael provides clear and concise teaching about our faith. This is the sixth lesson in the series. Each video is less than 10 minutes in length, but full of information and insights.
visit "Lessons in Our Faith" >>>
read the news Release >>>
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery: 35th Anniversary 25-26 August
On behalf of Mother Raphaela, the Board of Trustees, and the 35th Anniversary Planning Committee, it is our joy to invite you to a milestone celebration for Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego NY. In addition to celebrating 35 years since the Monastery was established, this year marks the 40th anniversary of monastic life profession for Mother Raphaela and 50th anniversary of monastic life profession for Mother Michaela. May God grant them many years!
info letter & reservation form >>>
Feast-day of Holy Pentecost
Bishop Michael has issued a letter to the faithful for the celebration of Pentecost on Sunday, 3 June. In part, Bishop Michael writes: "Having received the gift of the Holy Spirit, granted to the Apostles on that first Pentecost and given to us at our Chrismation, let us re-affirm our faith in the Triune God and express it ever more perfectly daily in His Holy Orthodox Church. Let us fulfill our destiny, growing ever closer to Christ, living more and more like the Saints, becoming more and more like God -- true sons and daughters of the Father, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. Truly, He is the promise of Christ fulfilled for us on this day." All of Bishop Michael's archpastoral letters are available HERE.
read the Archpastoral Letter >>>
read the Archpastoral Letter in Spanish >>>
Congratulations: Diaconal Formation Program!
Nine Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program students walked in solemn procession during the commencement ceremony on 26 May at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan PA). The students had successfully completed a two-year/4 semester course of study that challenged them intellectually, spiritually, and ... to be sure ... tested their diligence and perseverance in attending day-long sessions every Saturday of the academic year at the Endicott NY campus. Congratulations to the Class of 2012 receiving the Certificate in Diaconal Formation: Gregory Aidinov ~ Ilya Arnopolskiy ~ Mark Bohush ~ David Chow ~ Sean McNulty ~ Symeon Peet ~ Michael Pylypciw ~ Gregory White ~ Theodore Gregory (attended the Philadelphia PA campus).
60th Wedding Anniversary: Father John & Matushka Eugenia
On Sunday, 20 May, Archpriest John and Matushka Eugenia Nehrebecki celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary [22 May] at Christ the Saviour Church in Paramus NJ. His Grace, Bishop Michael, celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy assisted by Father John, Father David Vernak, Father Stephen Vernak, and Deacon Paul Sokol. The Choir was directed by Theodora Gramkow. His Grace preached and extolled the virtues of the couple’s marriage, especially their faithful life and labors in the Church.
Archpriest John Klingel Receives Jeweled Cross
On Sunday, 27 May, Bishop Michael graciously took time from his busy schedule surrounding the Saint Tikhon's Monastery Pilgrimage to visit Saint Andrew Parish (Dix Hills NY) and its faithful as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of Father John Klingel's ordination to the Holy Priesthood. At the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Bishop Michael formally awarded the jeweled cross -- a loving gift from several parishioners -- as well as the award of wearing the palitza to Father John. His Grace also tonsured faithful altar server and singer Chris Whitehorn to the rank of Reader.
Lansing NY: Visit of Myrrh-streaming Icon
On Sunday evening, 27 May, the faithful of Holy Apostles Orthodox Church (Lansing NY) and representatives from at least eight other parishes in the area were witness to a miraculous night. The myrrhstreaming (Hawaiian) Iveron Icon of the Mother of God came for a visit. The icon’s caretaker, Reader Nectarios, traveled to the little mission parish and was met at the doors by Father James Worthington and altar servers. The icon was led in procession into church and the Akathist of the Theotokos’ Icon was sung. Over 45 people prayed as the Icon adorned the middle of the church.
Commission on Liturgical Music: WEBSITE LAUNCHED!
The Diocesan Commission on Liturgical Music [CoLM] launched a new and impressive website on 24 May 2012. The website can be accessed and entered through a direct link on the diocesan website homepage. The result of a long and dedicated process, the website represents a "labor of love" on the part of CoLM co-chairs: Archpriest Daniel Skvir, Carol Wetmore, and Doreen Bartholomew. Check the website often for news, announcements, and updates.
read Release # 2012.13.1 >>>
visit the website >>>
Saint Andrew's Camp: Camping Program Opens July 8
Saint Andrew's Camp in Jewell NY is pleased to introduce and welcome Camp Director Paul McDonald, a returning counselor from the 2011 season and seminarian at Saint Tikhon's Seminary (South Canaan PA). The Saint Andrew's Camping season opens on July 8, 2012 with "Horse Week," and three subsequent weeks of Orthodox camping to follow. Join us and register your child (or yourself) today! For more information, please visit the Saint Andrew's Camp website registration page:
Invitation: Memorial Day at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery
The Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Hawaii will again visit Saint Tikhon’s Monastery on the Memorial Day weekend. Healings from cancer, demon possession and blindness have been attributed to the intercessions of the Mother of God through this Miraculous Myrrh-streaming Icon. NEW! schedule of visits by the Icon on the East Coast (May-June) >>>
A Truly Festive Anniversary
The Second Anniversary Celebration of the consecration of Bishop Michael was a most joyful and inspiring gathering at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Jersey City NJ on Saturday, May 12th. His Grace was joined by twenty-four clergy and many faithful of the diocese for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with magnificent responses by the Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir under the direction of Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov.
Bronxville NY: Diocesan Youth “Clean Up” the Chancery
On Saturday, 5 May, a dozen teens and adults from Holy Annunciation Church, Brick NJ; Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, NYC; and Holy Trinity Church, Yonkers NY gathered at the headquarters of His Grace, Bishop Michael, and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey for a day of much-needed yard and grounds work.
FOCA National Basketball, Bowling Tournament
His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey presided at the Sunday Divine Liturgy at Saints Peter and Paul Church in South River NJ on 6 May. He was assisted by seven priests (including the host pastor, Priest David Garretson), a protodeacon, subdeacons and 14 altar servers. Basil Kozak directed the parish choir, which was joined by tournament participants. His Grace spoke to the participants, saying in part: "Think about this for a moment: to sink a three-pointer on the court, you have to give up the basketball; to make a strike in bowling, you have to give up the ball. So too in life, to truly be a success – as a spouse or a parent or an Orthodox Christian – we have to give of ourselves, of our time and talent and treasure; we have to sacrifice our will, our wants, our ways for the other; we have to share sacrificial love for our family and our friends, for our Lord and His Church.” read the full article >
NEW VIDEO: Sacrament of Baptism
As part of the “Lessons in Our Faith” video series, a new installment has been produced and published on the diocesan website. In this lesson, Bishop Michael discusses the Sacrament of Baptism in a clear and concise presentation that will be both instructive and helpful for Orthodox faithful and also for non-Orthodox “seekers” who desire to know more about the faith and practices of the Church. Upcoming lessons on the Sacrament of Chrismation and Infant Baptism will be produced in the near future.
visit “Lessons in Our Faith” >
UPDATE: Diaconal Formation Program
The Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program will soon mark the successful completion of its second year (four academic semesters). Several students, enrolled from the inauguration of the program, have been or plan to be tonsured as readers or ordained as sub-deacons/deacons. The course of study encompasses two years (four semesters), meeting every Saturday of the academic year at the Endicott NY campus of the program accredited by Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. The third year of classes will begin in September with both returning (second year) students and new students from throughout the diocese. Those interested in the program should speak to their parish rector. NEW PHOTOS ADDED on May 1, 2012
Bronxville NY: Diocesan Council Meeting on April 25th
The Diocesan Council (members listed here) gathered for a regular/monthly meeting at the Diocesan Center on Wednesday, 25 April 2012. Various matters effecting the life and administration of the diocese were discussed and, when required, decisions were taken. Notable was an update on the 2012 Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors [DDB] initiative which, thanks to the good-will and generosity of many, has received an excellent response to date. There is an expectation, and prayerful hope, for continued financial support during the rest of this year. DDB funds are having a significant impact on the ability of the diocese to support missions, seminarians, and existing parishes. The faithful of the diocese are asked to prayerfully consider their ability to participate as DDBs. Complete information and an on-line “donate now” feature is found HERE.
PASCHA: Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!
"The Church wants us to become like the Beloved Disciple was after Pascha: to live richly in our spiritual life, communicating with the Lord every day in prayer, as John did in person; to grow in God’s Word, by reading what Saint John and the others wrote in the Scripture; to come intimately close to the Lord in the Eucharist, as we are directed in the discourse in John's Gospel; to live a lifestyle of moral purity and service to Christ, as did the only one of the Twelve to live to a ripe old age and die a natural death, the very last of the apostolic witnesses on earth; and, yes, to forever be reminded in our minds, be stirred in our hearts and be convinced in our souls of that good news of greatest joy -- 'Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!'"
Read the Archpastoral Letter >
Bishop Michael: Visit to Seminary on 7 April
In addition to the ordination of Father Seraphim Joa to the holy priesthood, Bishop Michael attended the Children's Concert on Lazarus Saturday at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood NY). "We were incredibly honored to have Bishop Michael in attendance at this concert for the second year in a row," said Danielle Miller, director of the choirs. Mrs. Miller is a veteran music teacher, choral conductor, and church musician.
see the article with photos >
Ordination to Priesthood: Father William Seraphim Joa
On Saturday, 7 April ~ "Lazarus Saturday" ~ Saint Vladimir's Seminary seminarian Deacon William Seraphim Joa was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace, Michael (Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey). Father Seraphim is in his third year of the Master of Divinity program at Saint Vladimir’s. more information >
Pearl River NY: Unction Service Celebrated on 3 April
Holy Transfiguration Church in Pearl River NY was the venue of the fifth annual service of the Holy Mystery of Unction, celebrated in full by seven priests, on Tuesday night, April 3rd, 2012.
6th Week of Great Lent leads to PALM SUNDAY on April 8, 2012
On the Sunday of Saint Mary of Egypt ~ 5th Sunday of Great Lent, 1 April 2012 ~ the Gospel reading focused our attention on what is to come: Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again." (Mark 10:32-34)
NY State Capital District: Youth Retreat Tradition Continues
Children and adults from several Orthodox communities in the New York State Capital District and Saratoga County gathered for their annual Lenten Youth Retreat on Saturday, 31 March at Saint Basil’s Greek Orthodox Church in Troy NY. For more than fifteen years, with encouragement from the clergy of the Saint Andrew’s Brotherhood, families have participated together each year in this day of worship and fellowship.
Brick NJ: Feast-day of the Annunciation
On Saturday and Sunday, 24-25 March, the faithful of Annunciation Church in Brick NJ welcomed His Grace, Bishop Michael, for the weekend celebration of their patronal feast-day. Many visitors from the New Jersey Deanery (OCA) and from other jurisdictions joined them for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning and the Mission Vespers service later that afternoon. "Many thanks," said Father Gary Breton (parish Rector), "to all who helped make this celebration bright and joyful!"
Lessons in Our Faith: New Installment!
“Lessons in Our Faith” is a series of instructional videos produced by the Diocese of New York and New Jersey (Orthodox Church in America) featuring His Grace, Bishop Michael. In this installment, the topic is the Sacrament of Confession. Using his popular “7 Questions and 7 Answers” format, Bishop Michael discusses this subject in a concise and direct manner. The entire "Lessons in Our Faith" series is available through a special link on this homepage (see the icon to the right)! Or, simply click HERE.
New Jersey Deanery: “Mission Vespers” at Mays Landing NJ
Priests from various parts of the New Jersey Deanery gathered together on Sunday, 18 March, for a “Mission Vespers Service” at the Mother of God Church in Mays Landing NJ. This parish is the southern-most Church in the Deanery; New Jersey is 180 miles in length, north to south. Priests from throughout the Deanery participated (some traveling 3.5 hours one way). Priest Boris Slootsky and his faithful parishioners hosted the event, followed by a Lenten meal.
2012 Diocesan Altar Servers Retreat
“Being Called to Serve” was the theme of the Second Annual Diocesan Altar Server Retreat held 24-26 February 2012 as nearly 60 participants gathered with Bishop Michael at Saint Basil’s Academy in Garrison NY. Although the event occurred over the “Forgiveness Sunday” weekend heralding the beginning of Great Lent, it was a great turnout! Participants included 5 clergy, 9 adult chaperones, and over 45 altar servers from 16 parishes within the diocese. Altar servers had the opportunity to “meet up” with old friends from the retreat in 2011 and to make new friends with those attending the retreat for the first time.
Sunday of Orthodoxy: Bishop Michael in Los Angeles CA
Each year, Orthodox Christians around Southern California break from their routine of worshiping in the Divine Liturgy at their regular churches to witness something special on the first Sunday of Great Lent. The canonical Orthodox Christian Bishops of the West Coast began the tradition of celebrating the Divine Liturgy together on this day in 2008 at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles, California. Joining them this year was a brother from the east: His Grace, Bishop MICHAEL (Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of New York and New Jersey), who served as the retreat master for our clergy and faithful on the eve of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.
read more here >
Sunday of Orthodoxy
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America has offered a letter to the faithful on the occasion of the "Sunday of Orthodoxy" (the 1st Sunday in Great Lent). In part, they write: "We exhort all the faithful to celebrate this Feast with special joy, and with a shared sense of our common Faith. The Assembly includes every canonical Orthodox presence in our region, and as such is a living icon of the varied traditions that have been carried to the New World by faithful Orthodox Christians from around the world. We encourage mutual celebrations and fellowship in the spirit of the Feast."
Read the Archpastoral Letter >
Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors Appreciation Dinners
Three Appreciation Dinners were hosted by Bishop Michael to express gratitude to the 2011 DDBs, to provide them with specific details of how their support has brought forth much good fruit throughout the diocese, and to encourage them to continue as DDBs this year in their support of the diocese. A video presentation was shown at each dinner highlighting accomplishments within the diocese during 2011 made possible, in part or in full, thanks to DDBs.
Fasting: 7 Questions and 7 Answers
With the season of Great Lent upon us, we are pleased to offer a new installment of “Lessons in Our Faith” in which Bishop Michael offers clear and concise teaching on the subject of fasting. There are currently three lessons on-line and each of these educational videos is also available in audio format, and a lesson outline may be printed. Use the “Lessons in Our Faith” icon on this homepage to enter the special section. Learn more about your faith, and share it with others!
download/read Release # 2012.3.1 >
visit "Lessons in Our Faith" >
New Jersey Deanery: Lenten Services
The New Jersey Deanery has released a schedule of deanery-wide Lenten Vespers services for the season of Great Lent 2012. View the schedule of services >
Archpastoral Letter: Great Lent 2012
His Grace, Bishop Michael, has issued an archpastoral letter to the faithful of the diocese for the beginning of Great Lent on 27 February 2012. In part, he writes: "God gives us the chance to live life over again – a new direction, a new life, if we sincerely repent of our sins and turn to Him and His ways. But repentance is more than just feeling sorry for what we have done. It must be more – a genuine return to God; a complete about-face to His way of living."
download/read the Archpastoral Letter >
Saint Andrew's Camp: Seeking Counselors & Volunteers
Saint Andrew’s Camp seeks talented Orthodox Christian adults/young adults, male and female, ages 18+ for staff positions & volunteer roles for the 2012 season. Volunteers come in many forms and in varying age groups. Parents may accompany their children during a week at camp and volunteer in the kitchen, with activities, and other projects. Retirees, young professionals, school teachers, clergy and seminarians also visit in volunteer capacities. The Counselor/Volunteer flyer is available HERE.
NY State Deanery: Family Conference & Youth Retreat
The New York State Deanery conducted a Family Conference and Youth Retreat from 13 January (Friday) through 15 January (Sunday) at Greek Peak Resort near Cortland NY. Bishop Michael was present for the retreat program which was attended by over 100 participants. In keeping with His Grace's vision of expanding ministries within the diocese, the theme of the three-day retreat was: “Depending on God.”
Alpha NJ: Archpastoral Visit
On the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee (5 February), Bishop Michael made an archpastoral visit to Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Alpha NJ. It was the second visit to the parish by His Grace as ruling Hierarch of the Diocese. Great Vespers was served on Saturday evening with the Litiya; after Vespers parishioners and their rector, Archpriest Bohdan Ostash, had a discussion with His Grace during a fellowship reception. On Sunday morning, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated followed by a home-cooked meal prepared by the parishioners as His Grace met with the faithful and answered their questions. Father Bohdan offered his gratitude to Bishop Michael, saying: “Thank-you, Vladyko, for your archpastoral guidance and inspiring words! May God grant you many years!"
Assembly of Bishops: Statement on HHS Ruling
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America recently (2 Feb 2012) issued a formal "Record of Protest Against the Infringement of Religious Liberty by the Department of Health and Human Services." In part, the Assembly writes: "The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care. We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment."
read the entire Record of Protest >
East Meadow NY: Youth Fellowship & Service
As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the Orthodox Faith among its youth, the Church School Association of Holy Trinity Church (East Meadow NY) organized a fellowship and service get-together on Wednesday, 1 February 2012. Youth and teens of the parish gathered to roll beeswax candles and mount icon prints, followed by dinner and a Vigil service for the feast-day of the Meeting of Our Lord. As a service project, the youth prepared mounted icon prints of the Resurrection which will be placed in Paschal baskets for homebound parishioners. The baskets will be assembled by the youth on Lazarus Saturday and delivered to parishioners who are unable to make their own traditional foods for Pascha.
“Axios! Axios! Axios!”
His Grace, Bishop Michael, celebrates the 39th anniversary of his ordination to the holy priesthood on Saturday, February 4th. We pray that our all-merciful Lord will grant peace, health, salvation, and furtherance in all good things to our Spiritual Shepherd and Archpastor. Eis polla eti despota! Many years!
World Day of Orthodox Youth: February 2012
With the blessing of Bishop Michael, we will celebrate the World Day of Orthodox Youth in our diocese throughout the month of February. The proposal for a World Day of Orthodox Youth was made by the XIV SYNDESMOS ("the World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth") General Assembly in June 1992, and has received the blessing of His All-Holiness (Ecumenical Patriarch) Bartholomew and the hierarchs of other local Orthodox Churches.
Department of Youth Ministry webpage >
Lessons in Our Faith: NEW VIDEO!
The Diocese of New York and New Jersey presents this video ~~ "OUR TIME, TALENTS, and TREASURE" ~~ as part of its Lessons in Our Faith series. In this installment, Bishop Michael discusses an approach to Christian stewardship and the support of the local parish community. Please visit the Lessons in Our Faith section of this website often for upcoming lessons.
visit "Lessons in Our Faith" >
"Jacob's Well" - Winter 2012 Issue Available On-Line!
"Jacob’s Well" is the official publication of the Diocese New York & New Jersey (Orthodox Church in America). It provides, as did the well in ancient communities, a place for the distribution of news and activities regarding the life of the Diocese and its parishes. It seeks to highlight functions sponsored in the areas of youth and liturgical music, and the efforts taking place throughout Diocesan missions. Of special interest is the presentation of iconographic examples from Diocesan parishes. But, like the story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well (John 4), it also seeks to be a vehicle which provides not just news but opportunities for reflection on the living encounter with Jesus Christ.
visit the "Jacob's Well" page >
East Meadow NY: New Senior Program
Nearly a dozen senior members of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (East Meadow NY) gathered for fellowship on Tuesday, 17 January 2012. They were served a home-cooked meal courtesy the parish’s Sisterhood organization, and spent a couple hours in fellowship playing games. The morning gathering was designed as a way to bring long-time members back together in a very familiar setting.
Perth Amboy NJ: Theophany Celebrations on 19 January
The parishioners of Saint Spiridon Russian Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy NJ celebrated the feast of Holy Theophany on Thursday, 19 January, according to the “Old” Julian calendar. His Grace, Bishop Michael, spent two days worshiping with the faithful, and his presence and inspired words brought peace, joy and consolation to those attending the Grand Compline service on Wednesday evening and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy ~ followed by the Great Blessing of Water ~ on Thursday morning.
Brooklyn NY: “Old Calendar” Russian Christmas
This year, the Julian Calendar Christmas ~ 7 January ~ was celebrated at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in Brooklyn NY. The parish rector (Very Reverend Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk) and faithful were blessed to welcome His Grace, Bishop Michael, who served the Nativity Vigil service on the eve of the feast-day and, following the service, joined church members for a traditional Russian “Holy Supper” in the church hall.
2012 Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors
The 2012 Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors [DDB] program, an initiative designed to make the “Vision for Our Future” a reality, is now officially launched! Following an incredibly successful inaugural year in 2011, the DDB program has become a vital element in the life of our diocese by funding essential ministries such as mission parishes, seminarian education, and support for older parishes that may be struggling. The details, and an invitation for your participation, are available in the “Vision for Future” section of this website.
Go to “Vision for Future!” >>>
Dix Hills NY: Theophany Celebrations
Saint Andrew Church in Dix Hills NY was blessed with a visit on January 5- 6 by Bishop Michael for the celebration of Holy Theophany. The visit began Thursday evening with festal Great Vespers and the Great Blessing of Water, and continued Friday with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and a festive meal.
Orthodox Books for Children by Elizabeth Johnson
We have an accomplished author of Orthodox books for children residing in our diocese. Elizabeth Crispina Johnson lives in Naples NY and is a faithful member of Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Rochester NY. In an interview available here (in 2 parts, audio), Elizabeth discusses her inspiration and motivations in authoring books that are intended to deepen the faith of Orthodox children through a growing experience with God and His Church.
Watervliet NY: Feast-Day Celebration with Bishop Michael
Saint Basil's Orthodox Church in Watervliet (Maplewood) NY celebrated its Patronal Feast-day of Saint Basil the Great on January 01, 2012. Starting with the Vigil on Saturday evening and continuing with the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy celebrated on Sunday by His Grace, Bishop Michael, the faithful of Saint Basil's parish celebrated the joyous occasion.
New Feature: "Lessons in Our Faith"
We are pleased to present a new feature on our website! "Lessons in Our Faith" is a series of video presentations offered by His Grace, Bishop Michael. In these videos, His Grace will explore matters of faith, belief, and practice within the Orthodox Church. They are intended to provide the faithful with much-needed information, guidance on their spiritual journey, and assistance in answering questions that may arise from non-Orthodox friends or acquaintances. The first of these lessons ~ "The Theotokos: 7 Questions and 7 Answers" ~ is now available, and more lessons are planned for the future. A special "icon" linking to this section will be permanently displayed on the homepage (see the logo to the right).
go to "Lessons in Our Faith" >
download/read Release # 2011.42.1 >
Archpastoral Letter: Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord
His Grace, Bishop Michael, offers a letter to the faithful of the diocese on the celebration of our Lord's Nativity. In part, he writes: "If we want to come close to Christ on the Feast of His Nativity, we must leave something behind. Most often it is simply sin. Many times it is the world and all its trappings and busy-ness. Sometimes it is even our self. But anything that is true and noble, just and pure, lovely and of good report (Phil. 4:8) is welcome at His manger, and His hand is raised to bless it."
download/read the Archpastoral Letter >
Bishop's call for "OPERATION ONEONTA" successful!
Following the overwhelming success of “OPERATION BUFFALO” (1-13 August 2011), the vision clearly articulated by His Grace, Bishop Michael, of expanding the ministries of the diocese -- assisting struggling existing parishes and missions -- has been enthusiastically supported by Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors. Thus, the goal of renovating and establishing a new worship space for Saint Innocent Mission Parish in the lower level of Saint James Episcopal Church ~ "OPERATION ONEONTA" ~ has been accomplished.
East Meadow NY: Church School Provides Gifts to Hospitalized Children
For the 54th consecutive year, the youth and teens of Holy Trinity Church (East Meadow NY) presented the parish’s annual Christmas program on Sunday, 11 December. Incorporating scripture readings, liturgical hymns, traditional carols, and a stage filled with costumed children, the program proclaims the message of Jesus Christ’s Nativity. As part of the program, parishioners in attendance were encouraged to bring wrapped gifts which were delivered by the parish’s teen group to the Pediatric Ward at Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) following the program.
DDB: Supporting Diocesan Ministries
When Bishop Michael launched the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors program on January 1st he appealed to the faithful saying, “Please consider becoming a Distinguished Diocesan Benefactor! By offering a sacrificial gift of whatever you are able this year, you will enable our Diocese to financially support a vitally important ministry of your choice.” Three vital ministries were identified for targeted funding through the DDB: (1) support for mission parishes, (2) support for seminarians, and (3) support for struggling existing parishes. With this year coming to an end, there’s encouraging news about the successes of the DDB!
Diaconal Formation Program nears completion of 3rd Semester
On Saturday, 3 December 2011, Bishop Michael made a scheduled visit to the Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program and students at the Endicott NY campus. It was a full day of divine services, tonsuring, ordination, lectures, and fellowship. The day began with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy during which students Ilya Arnopolskyy, David Chow, and Gregory White were tonsured Readers; and student Reader Michael Pylypsiw was ordained a Sub-deacon.
Music Concerts on December 18th: Jersey City NJ and Brooklyn NY
Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Jersey City NJ will present "Listening to Christmas Another Way" on Sunday, 18 December at 3:00 pm. The concert will feature The Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir, and the program seeks to welcome neighbors and friends to the church. On the same day, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Brooklyn NY will present a charitable benefit: "Trinity Classical Concert Series." The concert will begin at 2:00 pm.
View details: "Listening to Christmas Another Way" >
View details: "Trinity Classical Concert Series" >
Buffalo NY: Nativity Concert on December 11th
The Council of Orthodox Christian Churches on the Niagara Frontier will sponsor "Masterpieces of Orthodox Choral Music Christmas Carols" (a Nativity Concert) at Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Buffalo NY at 7:00 pm on Sunday, 11 December. Following the concert by the Pan-Orthodox Choir everyone is invited to the church hall for fellowship and delicious baked treats.
UPDATED: 14 December 2011
visit the parish website for details and a video! >
download/read the event flyer >
Buffalo NY: Archpastoral Visits to Saint George Church & Saints Peter & Paul Church
The faithful of Saint George Orthodox Church in Buffalo NY were blessed by an archpastoral visit of His Grace, Bishop Michael, on November 19th and 20th. Those present reflected on the parish’s many accomplishments, and gave thanks for the grace which God has so richly poured out upon the parish throughout its history beginning with its foundation nearly 50 years ago. While the cherished memories of those present at the celebration were happily shared, the true focus was on the church’s future. Bishop Michael reminded everyone of the importance in cultivating an authentic Orthodox identity through prayer, outreach, and commitment to the Church. He also raised a call for evangelism through hospitality and openness to others.
“A Miracle on Ideal Street”
It was a sad day for the faithful of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Buffalo NY when an intruder forcibly entered their holy house and escaped with a parish treasure: a silver encased Holy Gospel book dating back to 1933. The parish had recently experienced the revitalizing efforts of OPERATION BUFFALO (a diocesan-wide project to revive the 114 year-old parish), the assignment of Father Vlad Zablotskyy as rector, and -- in an expression of gratitude for blessings received -- offered a $250 contribution to support OPERATION ONEONTA. In the midst of such joy and thanksgiving, the theft was the cause of sadness and sorrow. That is, until something ... “a miracle on Ideal Street” ... changed everything.
“OPERATION ONEONTA”: Saint Innocent Mission Parish
Bishop Michael has announced that “OPERATION ONEONTA” will be launched to prepare a new worship space for Saint Innocent Mission Parish (Oneonta NY) in the lower level of Saint James Episcopal Church. Work days will be on 26 November, 3 December, and 10 December (all Saturdays). Volunteers from throughout the diocese are invited to join in “OPERATION ONEONTA.” Those skilled in painting, electrical work, and carpentry/woodworking are especially needed. To participate, please coordinate with Father Thomas Langdon (570-503-0512 email firstname.lastname@example.org) or John Koch (315-855-7505 email email@example.com)
UPDATED: 8 DEC 2011 (click on "more information" below)
Bronxville NY: Diocesan Council Meets and Greets Seminarians
Bishop Michael convened a meeting of the Diocesan Council on Tuesday, 22 November, welcoming the newly appointed laity diocesan representative to the Metropolitan Council, Janet VanDuyn (Rochester NY). Following the meeting, His Grace hosted a social reception and dinner for seminarians and their families; the seminarians are either from the diocese or have indicated an interest in serving in the diocese following graduation.
Clifton NJ: “Glory to God for All Things” Healing Service
On Sunday, November 13th, Bishop Michael celebrated the Akathist "Glory to God for All Things" at Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church (Clifton NJ) with petitions and prayers for those who are ill. Serving along with His Grace was the parish rector, Father Stephen Evanina. Following a homily delivered by Bishop Michael, over 150 faithful were anointed with the holy oil from the reliquary of Saint John Maximovitch. A fellowship hour followed with a Q&A session with His Grace.
Watervliet NY: Choir Workshop “Conducted”
Saint Basil Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY hosted a Diocesan Choir Workshop on Saturday, 12 November 2011. The guest speaker and facilitator was Mark Bailey, a recognized expert in the field of Orthodox liturgical music. His Grace, Bishop Michael, was in attendance for part of the program. The role and purpose of liturgical music was discussed with a main theme that liturgical music is a means to experience and know God through worship.
Buffalo NY: Gospel Book Stolen from Saints Peter & Paul Church
[BUFFALO NY, WKBW-TV] Leaders and parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Lovejoy were stunned to find out their parish was hit by thieves over the weekend. Stolen were copper inlays along the rear roof of the church, along with a number of items from inside, including a copy of The Gospel that dates back to the building of the church in the 1930's.
VIDEO: news story on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2, Buffalo NY) >
VIDEO: news story on WKBW-TV (Channel 7, Buffalo NY) >
Ithaca/Lansing NY: Community Welcomes New Rector
"I’m delighted with the opportunity to bring my family to Lansing, and to serve Holy Apostles Mission," said Father James Worthington in an article published in The Lansing Star. "Our parishioners come from all over the area and throughout Central New York, so I’m excited that we will have the chance to explore how we ... can grow, flourish and benefit this vast, diverse and wonderful community,"
see the Lansing Star article >
16th All-American Council
His Grace, Bishop Michael, along with diocesan parish clergy and laity delegates gather in holy assembly with the hierarchs, clergy, and laity representing the entire Orthodox Church in America for the 16th All-American Council from 31 October to 4 November in Seattle, Washington.
Information and Podcasts! >
Watervliet NY: St Basil’s Church 110th Anniversary
The parishioners of Saint Basil the Great Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY celebrated their 110th anniversary on Sunday, 23 October 2011. His Grace, Bishop Michael, celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy assisted by Archpriest Peter Olsen (parish rector), Archpriest Alvian Smirensky, Protodeacon Michael Soloviev, Deacon Matthew Markewich, and Deacon Michael Burdikoff. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Diane Rentz was presented an honorary grammata for her dedicated services to the parish.
Clifton NJ: Diocesan Clergy Conference
The 2nd Annual Diocesan Clergy Conference was convened by His Grace, Bishop Michael, on 17-18 October at Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Clifton NJ. In addition to providing clergy with an opportunity to consider and discuss specific topics of pastoral concern, the conference seeks to foster bonds of friendship and priestly brotherhood among the participants.
Igumen Father Joseph (Hoffman) Awarded Jeweled Cross
On October 15th, Bishop Michael made an archpastoral visit to Holy Transfiguration Church, Pearl River NY. During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, His Grace bestowed an award of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America -- the Jeweled Cross -- upon the rector of the parish, Very Reverend Igumen Joseph (Hoffman). Among his several remarks, Bishop Michael related the Holy Synod’s recognition of Igumen Joseph’s many years of dedicated service to the Holy Orthodox Church as a priest, his position as secretary to the former Archbishop of New York, and his active role in pan-Orthodox relations with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Choir Members Honored For Dedicated Service
Father Daniel Skvir, clergy co-chair of the Commission on Liturgical Music, remarked: “The first NY-NJ Diocesan Choir Recognition Day was a resounding success, with good feelings all around. Parish priests commented at a recent New Jersey Deanery meeting that the good will inspired by this event was uplifting, and that choir members and directors deserve great credit for adding so much to the spiritual life of the Church. We hope that this celebration on or near the Feast Day of Saint Romanus the Melodist will be an ongoing tradition, taking on various forms of recognition and education. We wish our faithful choir members 'Many Years!’”
NEW! Photos added on October 20, 2011
Buffalo NY: Parish Launches New Website
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Buffalo NY has launched a newly-redesigned website. The parish rector, Father Volodymyr Zablotskyy, personally designed and manages the website. He said: "Besides providing a source of information about the parish for those who search the Internet, we hope our website will become a source of information and communication for our parishioners as well."
Choir Appreciation Day
On October 2nd (first Sunday after the feast-day of Saint Romanus the Melodist) the diocese of New York and New Jersey marks its first “Choir Appreciation Day.” Faithful of the diocese are encouraged to recognize the importance of dedicated parish choir leaders and singers, and to celebrate the God-given talents of their choir members while expressing gratitude to them (and God) for their musical ministry. On this day, Bishop Michael especially recognizes singers and directors with twenty-five years of ministry as Orthodox musicians. The Diocesan Commission on Liturgical Music has provided certificates and icon pins (Saint Romanus) for parish rectors to distribute to these eminent choir members.
Endicott NY: Ordination of Father Thaddeus Franta
On Saturday, 17 September, Reverend Deacon Thaddeus Franta was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott NY by His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. In attendance were faithful from the Endicott parish, students from Saint Tikhon's Seminary, and 12 members of the New York-New Jersey Diocesan Diaconate Formation Program sponsored by Saint Tikhon's Seminary and located at the Saints Peter and Paul Church complex. Father Thaddeus is a 2011 Master of Divinity graduate of Saint Tikhon's Seminary.
Whitestone NY: 95th Anniversary of St. Nicholas Church
On Sunday, Sept 18th, Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in Whitestone NY celebrated 95 years as a parish. His Grace, Bishop Michael, was greeted by the children of the parish; the procession of icons, flowers, rose petals, tolling bells and songs evoked an expectation not unlike Pascha. At the doors of the church, George Nitis (parish council president) greeted “Vladika” warmly and welcomed him to the parish.
OPERATION BUFFALO: "Mission Accomplished!"
When OPERATION BUFFALO was launched on August 1st the marching orders and objectives were clear. Thus began this unprecedented diocesan-wide project to revitalize Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Buffalo NY. The first step ~ “the mission at hand” ~ was to prepare the parish rectory and Church for the assignment of a full-time priest. It was to be a labor of collaboration and love, bringing together the talents and efforts of the local parishioners and a literal platoon of 35+ volunteers from throughout the diocese. All three diocesan deaneries (New York State, New Jersey, New York City) were represented in the volunteer force. As for those who participated, the experience was called “inspiring,” “wonderful,” “an incredible expression of unity,” and “a joyful fellowship.”
Bronxville NY: Diocean Council Meets
The Diocesan Council convened for their regular monthly meeting with His Grace, Bishop Michael, on 20 September. In addition to addressing matters affecting the life of the diocese, the council received an encouraging report on the status of the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors [DDB] and the ministries funded through this initiative. They also reviewed the successful “mission accomplishment” of OPERATION BUFFALO (a comprehensive report will be released on this website on Friday, 23 Sept!). It is also announced that the Annual Clergy Conference – cancelled due to flooding as the result of the hurricane – has been rescheduled for 17-18 October in Clifton NJ. Clergy will receive information concerning the conference soon.
View the “honor roll” of DDBs >
Do you want to become a DDB? >
Two Parishes Share Picnic Fellowship
For another consecutive year the faithful of Saint Basil Russian Orthodox Church (Watervliet NY) and Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church (Cohoes NY) gathered together for a joint-parish picnic. The "sister parishes" of the Albany area in upstate New York enjoyed the afternoon of good food, fellowship, and the opportunity to come together as one in Christ. In commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, prayers were offered for the victims of the terrorist attacks.
Wantage NJ: Churches Remember Anniversary of 9/11
On the evening of September 11, 2011 parishioners of three churches (Holy Spirit Church, Wantage NJ ~ Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, Middletown NY ~ Saint Ignatius Orthodox Mission, Florida NY), gathered with local firefighters from Unionville NY & Franklin NJ and area residents to celebrate a 10th anniversary memorial service for the victims of the 9/11 attack on America.
Diaconal Formation Program: 2nd Academic Year begins Sept 17th
The Diaconal Formation Program of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey began its second full year (third semester) on Saturday, September 17, 2010 with a hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Grace, Bishop Michael at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Endicott NY. In addition to students continuing their two-year course of study, several new students from throughout the diocese are expected to enter the program this year.
read Release # 2011.32.1 >
Help Your Priest ... by Understanding this One Thing
An excellent reflection on how faithful parishioners can better help their priests has been offered by Very Reverend Igumen Tryphon, Abbot of the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery, Vashon Island WA. The monastery, established in 1986, is in the Diocese of San Francisco and the West of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Writing on his Internet blog recently, Abbot Tryphon discussed the unique challenges faced by priests and their families with an insight into how they can be supported. He writes, "I share all this with my readers because most of you are unaware just how difficult a job your priest has and how much is demanded of his time. Most of you love your priests but are just unaware that he rarely gets his own needs met."
Paramus NJ: Choir Workshop
On September 10th, Aleksei Shipovalnikov presented a day-long choir workshop: “Hierarchical Services - Sorting Out the Liturgical Puzzle.” More than 30 church musicians attended the event hosted by the Diocesan Commission on Liturgical Music and Christ the Saviour Church in Paramus NJ. The workshop included a step-by-step outline of the Hierarchical Liturgy.
Alexandria VA: Bishop Michael Attends 85th Annual FOCA Convention
The 85th annual national convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA] was held in Alexandria VA over the Labor Day weekend. Several hundred members and guests were in attendance. The liturgical celebrations were led by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, and His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey. Both hierarchs offered words of inspiration at the banquet that followed the Sunday Divine Liturgy.
details and photos at oca.org >
Archpastoral Letter: The 10th Anniversary of 9/11
His Grace, Bishop Michael, has issued an Archpastoral Letter to the diocese on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. In part he writes: "The immense suffering caused by this tragedy has raised questions within groaning minds and broken hearts, seeking to make some sense of the horrific event. These questions echo the cries of the Psalmist and of our crucified Savior who said, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?' (Psalm 21: 1, LXX; Matthew 27:46). No doubt this verse sums up what so many Americans felt, and still feel, in the face of such incredible barbarism: where was God when this happened?"
read the Archpastoral Letter >
Brick NJ: 2nd Annual Parish Campout
Nearly 40 children and adults gathered on Friday and Saturday, August 19-20, at the 2nd Annual Parish Campout at Annunciation Parish in Brick NJ. Campers began arriving at 5pm, setting up tents on the parish grounds as the storm clouds thickened. A dinner of spaghetti with clam and marinara sauces along with salad was enjoyed in the church school building as a few rain drops fell. After dinner, when Bishop Michael arrived through torrential rains from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, the storm clouds seemed to blow away.
First Annual Diocesan YOUTH DAY
“The Future of Our Church” was the theme for the First Annual Diocesan Youth Day held on Thursday, 18 August 2011. Over 100 participants gathered with their bishop (His Grace, Michael) at Saint Mary Russian Orthodox Church Hall in Jackson NJ. Despite the day beginning with inclement weather (rain, rain, and more rain) there was a great turnout! Participants included 7 Clergy, over 30 adult chaperones, and well-over 70 youth participants representing 16 parishes within the diocese.
Archpastoral Visit: Bayonne NJ
It was a joyous experience for the faithful of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Bayonne NJ when His Grace, Bishop Michael, spent the weekend of August 20th and 21st worshiping with the parishioners and friends of the parish. Bishop Michael’s presence and inspired words of wisdom brought peace and consolation to those who attended the Great Vespers on Saturday evening and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.
Happy Birthday and "Many Years!"
His Grace, Bishop Michael, celebrates his birthday on August 29th. The clergy and faithful of the diocese offer thanks unto God for the archpastoral ministry of their spiritual shepherd and enthusiastcally join together in singing "Eis Polla Eti Despota!" You may read His Grace's official biography here.
Memory Eternal: Archbishop Dmitri
His Eminence, the Most Reverend Dmitri, 87, retired Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South, fell asleep in the Lord at his home at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, August 28, 2011. May Archbishop Dmitri’s memory be eternal! Information is available on the Orthodox Church in America website.
Bronxville NY: Diocesan Council Meets
The Diocesan Council gathered with His Grace, Bishop Michael, for their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, 23 August, at the Diocesan Center. In addition to discussing various issues and making decisions affecting the life of the diocese and its parishes, there was “good news” about the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors Program. Since the Diocesan Assembly in July, a number of new contributors [DDBs] have stepped up to the challenge of financially supporting the Vision for Our Future [V-FOF]. While the list of benefactors continues to grow, there remains a great need toward supporting missions, supporting seminarians, and supporting struggling parishes. Complete information about the V-FOF and DDB Program … and a way for you to “join the effort” … are available by clicking here!
Archpastoral Visit: Paramus NJ
On the patronal feast of Christ the Savior Church in Paramus NJ, Bishop Michael celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, 16 August. Assisting His Grace in the altar were Archpriest John Nehrebecki (pastor emeritus) and Archpriest Joseph Frawley (chaplain at West Point Military Academy). Archpriest David Vernak (parish rector) only communed due to his rehabilitation following a double knee replacement.
Rutgers University: OCF Plans for Academic Year
Plans for this year’s Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) at Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ are coming together. Its mission is to support the opportunity for college students to experience and witness to the Orthodox Christian Church through community life, prayer, service to others and study of the Faith. In-coming students attending Rutgers should attend the Involvement Fair on Tuesday, August 30, between 1-5pm to meet Fathers Cassar and Shimchick and obtain more information.
read additional details >
OPERATION BUFFALO: Saints Peter & Paul Church
With new carpeting set for installation on Monday (22 August), there is painting to be completed in the parish rectory. Can you help? "Shuffle on up to Buffalo" to offer your assistance until Monday, 22 August. Supplies are on-site, but bring your favorite painting implements (if you'd like), a noble spirit, and positive attitude. As others can attest, you'll have a wonderful and joyus experience! For details and directions, visit the official website for OPERATION BUFFALO.
OPERATION BUFFALO website >
See what's been done so far! >
Ordination: Father Leonid (Derek) Schmidt
Reverend Father Leonid Schmidt was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, 13 August, at Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church in Philadelphia PA by His Grace, Bishop Michael. Having served faithfully as the personal assistant and driver for His Grace over the past year, Father Leonid is well-known and loved throughout the diocese. He was united to Laura in holy matrimony on 24 July, ordained to the diaconate two weeks later, and now joins the priestly brotherhood of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. Father Leonid and Matushka Laura are assigned to Saints Peter and Paul Church in Syracuse NY (New York State Deanery), where he will minister as assistant priest. “Axios!”
Counting Down To MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
OPERATION BUFFALO is marching toward “mission accomplishment” as an impressive army of volunteers from every deanery of the diocese (New York State, New Jersey, New York City) has been working shoulder-to-shoulder in an inspiriting display of unity and love. Some volunteers worked a single day, several have worked 3-5 days or more, and still others return for a second “tour of duty” having been so enthused by what they experienced. Willing volunteers are still arriving daily. Scheduled to conclude on August 13th, the scope of work has been breathtaking and the results spectacular. Working diligently with the laity and clergy volunteers has been the newly assigned parish rector, Father Vlad Zablotskyy. “This is unbelievable,” said Father Vlad, “no one has ever seen anything like this before.” The frequent and inspiring presence of Bishop Michael on-site has made it very evident that there is a commitment from the diocesan Archpastor to follow through on the goal of restoring and revitalizing the 117 year-old parish in Buffalo.
Dix Hills NY: Saint Andrew Church 45th Anniversary
The faithful of Saint Andrew Church in Dix Hills NY joined around their archpastor, Bishop Michael, on 30-31 July as he presided over the parish's 45th anniversary celebration. Marking the occasion was a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday celebrated by His Grace who was joined in the altar by Father John Klingel (parish rector), Protodeacon Michael Sochka (the son of the parish's first pastor), and Father Joseph Konkus (a long-time parish friend and retired priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese). Subdeacon Gregory Sulich, visiting from the OCA Chancery, ably supervised the altar servers providing invaluable assistance throughout the day.
Rochester NY: Ordination of Deacon Leonid Schmidt & Winery Blessing
Bishop Michael made an archpastoral visit to Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY on 6-7 August. During the hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, His Grace tonsured the parish council warden Sean McNulty to be set-apart as a Reader, and then ordained his former personal assistant and driver, Leonid (Derek) Schmidt, to the holy Diaconate. Later that day, Bishop Michael traveled 25 miles south to the beautiful Finger Lakes Region to bless the vines, wine-presses, and new wine at Deer Run Winery in Geneseo NY.
1-13 AUGUST 2011
OPERATION BUFFALO is "good to go ... ready to launch!" Able and willing volunteers will accomplish this historic and unprecidented endeavor. How about you? This is a project of parish revival blessed by Bishop Michael, approved by the Diocesan Council, and supported through the “Vision for Our Future” and funding by our Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors. This will be a collaborative effort between Saints Peter and Paul Church in Buffalo NY and the diocese. A dedicated webpage has been created and contains details, printable flyers, contact information, and a “visual tour” of the parish complex. Faithful parishioners from throughout the diocese and their priests may volunteer to actively participate, or they may consider becoming a Distinguished Diocesan Benefactor to offer financial assistance. OPERATION BUFFALO will take place August 1-13, 2011.
visit the OPERATION BUFFALO webpage >
The Vision for Our Future >
2011 Diocesan Assembly: Endicott NY
The annual Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey was held on Tuesday, 19 July at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Endicott NY. Clergy and laity delegates from diocesan parishes assembled under the archpastoral leadership of His Grace, Bishop Michael, who said in his address: "My theme is this statement of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, found in the Gospels according to Saint Matthew and Saint Mark: 'The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.'” A video of His Grace's address is available on-line, as well as an array of photos, and various reports/documents discussed at the Assembly.
View the Bishop's Address and more! >
Chancellor and Deans: A Response to Bishop Michael's Letter on the Sanctity of Marriage
The Chancellor and three Deans of the diocese have written a letter, addressed to the clergy and faithful, in response to Bishop Michael's recent archpastoral letter "Re-affirming the Sanctity of Marriage." In part, they write: While the majority of Orthodox Christians are familiar with the Church’s consistent and constant teaching about same-sex attraction and the nature of marriage, this is an opportune time to repeat the Church’s teaching so that no ambiguity exists in the minds of the faithful. Therefore, we, the Chancellor and Deans of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, wish to thank His Grace, Bishop Michael for his recent archpastoral letter and join him in reaffirming the teaching of the Orthodox Church in this regard.
read the letter from the Chancellor & Deans >
read Bishop Michael's Archpastoral Letter >
Clergy Family Picnics: New York State & New Jersey Deaneries
For the second consecutive year, diocesan clergy families gathered for summer picnics hosted by Bishop Michael. The picnics are a testimony to the emphasis His Grace places on encouraging and nurturing the priests, deacons, matushki, and “clergy kids” of the diocese. Through the casual and relaxed setting of summer fun and fellowship, clergy families attending the picnics shared valuable time together and with their spiritual father, Bishop Michael. The New Jersey Deanery picnic was held in Rahway NJ on Sunday, July 3rd and the New York State Deanery picnic was held the following day, July 4th, in Herkimer NY.
2011 Parish Council Conferences Conclude
The 6th of seven regional diocesan Parish Council Conferences was held on June 18, 2011 at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in East Meadow NY. This was followed by the final conference held at Saint Vladimir Orthodox Church (Trenton NJ) on June 25th. The conferences were developed and blessed by Bishop Michael to provide training, guidance, and resources to parish council members and leaders of parish ministries. It is part of His Grace's dedicated efforts toward empowering and supporting parish communities. It is anticipated that regional parish council conferences will be an annual occurrence ... thus, this year marks the beginning of a process. An excellent report on the June 18th conference has been written by Reader Nilus Klingel and appears in the Saint Andrew Orthodox Church (Dix Hills NY) parish newsletter, "The Cupola."
download/read the article in "The Cupola" >
Archpastoral Letter: Re-affirming the Sanctity of Marriage
On the feast-day of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (24 June), Bishop Michael issued a letter to the faithful of the diocese on the sanctity of marriage. This comes in light of social-cultural arguments and debates in which the very nature and structure of civil marriage lead to confusion and legislative assertions that are contrary to the Tradition and teaching of the Church. In his letter, His Grace writes: "Let us bear witness to the truth taught by Our Lord, and lived by His Saints, in our daily conversations with our families, our fellow Christians, our neighbors and co-workers. Let us teach the Orthodox Christian vision of marriage, as a path to salvation shared by husband and wife, to our children, godchildren, and all those who come under our care as parents, godparents, pastors, and Christian educators."
read the Archpastoral Letter >
Mays Landing NJ: Archpastoral Visit
On Saturday, June 18th, Bishop Michael celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Church of The Mother of God, in Mays Landing NJ. During the service, His Grace awarded the “Gold Cross” to the parish rector, Father Boris Slootsky and tonsured Charles Gallagher as a Reader. Father Dimitri Don and Deacon Vladimir Olaynyk of ROCOR also took part in this beautiful service.
Diocesan Youth Day scheduled for August 18th in Jackson NJ
With the blessing of Bishop Michael, the 2011 Diocesan Youth Day will be held on Thursday August 18, 2011. His Grace will be joining us for the day at which time the youth of our diocese will be able spend some time with His Grace in prayer and fellowship. The day will include a lengthy visit to Six Flags Great Adventure located in Jackson NJ. The main focus of this event is to bring the youth of our diocese together in prayer, Christian fellowship, and lots of fun! Registration documents and complete information are available on a special website created for the event.
visit the Diocesan Youth Day website >
Dix Hills NY: Lecture on Church Design scheduled for June 26th
On Sunday, 26 June 2011, at 12:15 p.m. Saint Andrew Orthodox Church (Dix Hills NY) will host a lecture entitled “The Design of the Orthodox Temple and Its Adornment With Holy Icons.” The presenter will be Yani Pavlides, RA, AIA. The lecture is free and open to the public. Members of neighboring parishes are particularly encouraged to join the faithful of Saint Andrew parish as they gather and listen to the lecture which promises to be very instructive in this generally under-explored area of our faith.
download/view the event flyer >
visit the parish website >
CD Recording of Liturgical Services
The Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection (New York City) is pleased to announce the release of a new CD of liturgical music sung at the divine services in the cathedral throughout the church year. “This is not a virtuosic performance of liturgical masterpieces, but rather a taste of what the divine services as heard and experienced at the cathedral are like,” said the Cathedral Dean, Father Christopher Calin.
Rochester NY: Archpastoral Visit
His Grace, Bishop Michael, visited Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY on June 15-16. On Wednesday evening he joined the parish rector, Father Ken James Stavrevsky, in celebrating the Akathist “Glory to God for All Things” as faithful of the parish gathered along with several neighbors from the area surrounding the Church. Invitations had been distributed to the parish neighbors welcoming them to the celebration and social reception following. The next day (Thursday), His Grace traveled to Saint Lucy’s Farm in Naples NY to bless the animals, fields, and homes of the Johnson and Heise families.
Wantage NJ: Archpastoral Visit on the Day of the Holy Spirit
On Monday, June 13th, Bishop Michael celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the parish feast-day of Holy Spirit Church in Wantage NJ. Many clergy from near and afar came to celebrate also. The wonderfully inspiring homily was delivered by Reader Derek Schmidt. The responses were prayerfully and beautifully sung by Holy Spirit's choir along with some guest singers who were led by the parish choir director, Joanne Patrick.
New York City Cathedral: Pentecost Sunday
On the Great Feast of Pentecost -- Sunday, June 12th -- Bishop Michael was present and celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection in Manhattan together with the Cathedral Dean, Igumen Christopher (Calin). Sub-deacon David Chandler Poling, a second year student at Saint Vladimir's Seminary from the cathedral parish, was ordained to the holy diaconate. Bishop Michael also elevated Igumen Christopher (Calin) to the rank and dignity of Archimandrite during the Liturgy.
Parish Council Conference held June 4, 2011: Paramus NJ
The fourth of seven regional Parish Council Conferences within the diocese was held at Christ the Saviour Church in Paramus NJ on June 4, 2011. In attendance were 70 clergy and laity. As with all of the regional conferences, the facilitator was Very Reverend Alexander Atty, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary. Father Atty actively and energetically engaged those gathered as he presented an Orthodox vision of the duties and responsibilities of parish council members.
Feast of Holy Pentecost: Archpastoral Letter from Bishop Michael
In the joy of the feast-day of Holy Pentecost, an Archpastoral letter to the clergy and faithful of the diocese has been received from His Grace, Bishop Michael. In part, he writes: "On this great feast of Pentecost, we Orthodox Christians celebrate both the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the Birth of our Holy Church. Today we are challenged to be as faithful to the Holy Spirit and to Christ’s Holy Church as the apostles and disciples were nearly 2,000 years ago."
download/read the Archpastoral letter >
Mission & Evangelism Training Program: "Boot Camp" on 1-3 August
For more complete information, see the details in the "Upcoming Events on the Diocesan Calendar" section of this webpage. Accommodations update! A block of 30 rooms has been reserved for the conference on 3 nights (Jul 31 - Aug 2) at the Laquinta Inn: 581 Harry L. Drive ~ Johnson City NY 13790 ~ phone 607-770-9333. The rooms are listed under "Dormition Church" and the special rate is $84 per night. Cut-off date is July 10th and after that unused rooms will be returned to general availability. Anyone calling after June 10th will be able to reserve a room at the special price, based on availability. Check-in is after 2:00pm and check-out is at noon.
visit the Commission on Mission & Evangelism website >
Diocesan Assembly: 19 July 2011 in Endicott NY
The annual Diocesan Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey will convene on Tuesday, 19 July, at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott NY. All registration materials, certification forms, reports, and other documents will be posted on this website in a special Diocesan Assembly webpage as they are received. Be sure to visit the webpage often as updates will be made regularly. Parishes will also receive official documents by US Mail.
UPDATED: 18 JULY 2011 at 8:30 a.m.
view the Diocesan Assembly webpage >
East Meadow NY: New Parish Website Launched
A new website for Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in East Meadow NY has been completed and launched on Wednesday, June 1st. The new site features a variety of resources to meet the needs of parishioners, friends, and those searching for more information about American Orthodox Christianity on Long Island. “Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to proclaim the message of the Good News, and utilizing the Internet is just one of the many ways to accomplish that mission,” said the rector of the growing community, Father Martin Kraus.
Workshops: Saint Vladimir's Seminary
His Grace, Bishop Michael, encourages all diocesan clergy ... and interested faithful ... to participate in the upcoming "Missiology & Evangelism Workshop" at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on June 7-8. Parish councils should consider paying the registration fee for their priest to attend this educational opportunity regarding vital and needed parish growth. Saint Vladimir’s will also offer a workshop on “Internet Pornography & Chastity” on June 9-11 as part of their summer programs.
visit the Seminary website for details >
read Release # 2011.19.2 >
Bronxville NY: Diocesan Council Meeting
The members of the Diocesan Council [DC] gathered for a meeting with His Grace, Bishop Michael, at the Diocesan Center in Bronxville NY on Monday, 16 May 2011. A service of intercession and thanksgiving (molieben) for the good-estate of the diocese and grace-filled assembly of the DC was celebrated by Bishop Michael prior to the meeting commencing at 11:42 a.m. The next meeting of the DC will be at the Diocesan Center on Tuesday, 14 June 2011.
Diocesan Leadership: Vision and Action
The Diocesan Council and Council of Presbyters gathered with Bishop Michael on May 16 and 17, respectively, to address matters of vital importance to the “good estate” of our diocese and, specifically, the life and vitality of diocesan parishes. In serious, candid, and faithful deliberations, matters of strategic significance are being thoughtfully and seriously discussed – with associated decisions and actions being taken – toward the building-up of the Body of Christ in the diocese. With this in mind, the Diocesan Assembly has been scheduled for July 19, 2011 in Endicott NY. Information, reports, and documents concerning the Diocesan Assembly will be distributed soon and published to the diocesan website.
Regional Parish Council Conferences Underway
With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Michael, in full support of our diocesan vision and commitment toward revitalizing and empowering parish life in the diocese, the first two regional Diocesan Parish Council Conferences have been conducted at Saint Basil's Orthodox Church, Watervliet NY (April 30th) and Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Rochester NY (May 7th). Very Reverend Alexander Atty, Dean of Saint Tikhon's Seminary, is the presenter/facilitator for these and subsequent conferences at the invitation of Bishop Michael. Regional conferences are scheduled for the New Jersey Deanery (June 4th and June 25th), the New York City Deanery (June 11th and June 18th), and a final conference for the New York State Deanery (May 14th).
Pilgrimage to Asia Minor
You are invited to join our diocesan priest Father Ilya Gotlinsky and parishioners of the Dormition Parish in Binghamton NY on a pilgrimage to Asia Minor on October 16-31. The pilgrimage to will cover very extensive territory. It will start in the South-Eastern region by visiting the remains of Ancient city of Antioch where followers of Christ were first called “Christians.” From there, via the Monastery of Saint Simeon "the younger stylite" it will proceed to the birth place of Saint Paul the Apostle in Tarsus and travel to the hauntingly beautiful region of Cappadocia. From there it will make its way south to the towns associated with Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, visiting along the way archeological parks of Aspendos and Perge that are ancient cities visted by the Apostles. After Myra in Lycia, it will visit ancient Hierapolis on route to Ephesus where the Virgin Mary lived in the house of the Apostle John. Then, the tour will visit the exile place of Saint John the Evangelist and the “Revelation Cave” on the island of Patmos. The pilgrimage will end in the Royal city of Constantinople, the capital of the mighty Byzantine Empire for over millennia. For details, please contact Father Ilya Gotlinsky at 1-607-797-1058 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The website is: orthodoxtours.com
His Grace, Bishop Michael: First Anniversary of Consecration
To our beloved hierarch we sing: “Many Years! Eis Polla eti Despota!” One year has passed since the consecration and installation of His Grace, Michael, as Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. It was a long awaited and keenly anticipated day on the 8th of May 2010 at Saints Peter & Paul Church in Jersey City NJ.
NEW! Photos of Anniversary Hierarchical Divine Liturgy
Wantage NJ: "Bright Tuesday"
Divine Liturgy was celebrated with Paschal joy and procession on "Bright Tuesday" (April 26th) at Holy Spirit Church, Wantage NJ. Hosting the celebration was the parish rector and Dean of the New Jersey Deanery, Archpriest Samuel Kedala. He was joined in celebration by: Igumen Joseph (Rector, Holy Transfiguration Church, Pearl River NY), Priest Christos Talleos (Rector, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, Middletown NY), Priest Stephen Evanina (Rector, Holy Assumption Church, Clifton NJ and Deanery Secretary), and Deacon Thaddeus Franta of Saint Tikhon's Seminary. Altar servers were Edward Engelsman and Mark Benda. Directing the choir was Matushka Velislava Franta of Saint Tikhon's Seminary. "Christ is Risen!" "Indeed, He is Risen!"
Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!
In the resplendent celebration and abundant joy of the Resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, an Archpastoral Letter to the clergy and faithful of the diocese has been issued by His Grace, Bishop Michael. In part it reads: "The day of Pascha is at the very center of the life of our Orthodox Church, since its very inception twenty centuries ago. The Resurrection of Jesus dominated the preaching and thinking of the early Christians. The message of the Resurrection is the heart of our Creed because it is the very heart of our Christian Faith."
download/read the Archpastoral Letter >
Our Journey: Holy Saturday
The great Moses mystically foreshadowed this day when he said: “God blessed the seventh day.” This is the blessed Sabbath; this is the day of rest, on which the only-begotten Son of God rested from all His works. By suffering death to fulfill the plan of salvation, He kept the Sabbath in the flesh; by returning again to what He was, He has granted us eternal life through His Resurrection, for He alone is good and the Lover of man.
Our Journey: Holy Friday
I gave my back to beatings, I did not turn my face away from the spitting. I stood before the judgment seat of Pilate, and I endured the cross, for the salvation of the world.
Our Journey through Holy Week
Of Your Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant. For I will not speak of Your Mystery to Your enemies, neither like Judas will I give You a kiss; but like the thief I will confess You: “Remember me, O Lord, in Your Kingdom!” Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Lazarus Saturday: Ordination at St. Vladimir's Seminary
His Grace, Bishop Michael, visited Saint Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood NY for the commemoration of "Lazarus Saturday" and celebrated the Divine Liturgy during which he ordained William Seraphim Joa to the diaconate.
NY State Deanery: Growing the Church & Ministering to All
From April 6 to April 9, Bishop Michael visited the New York State Deanery for a variety of events. Activities during this visit by His Grace included: (1) celebration of a Hierarchical Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in Endicott NY, (2) Chrismation of catechumens into Orthodox faith, (3) the Lenten meeting of the New York State Deanery clergy, (4) a visit to a prison, and (5) celebration of Divine Liturgy at the Good Shepherd Nursing Home of Endwell NY which was attended by over 60 residents, Diocesan Diaconate Formation Program students, and members of the Endicott “R” Club chapter who organized this initiative of outreach ministry.
NY State Deanery: Lenten Meeting
The New York State Deanery gathered on April 7th for its annual meeting during the fifth week of Great Lent at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Syracuse NY. His Grace, Bishop Michael, celebrated the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts as many faithful of the parish sang the responses and joined with the clergy of the deanery in Eucharistic celebration. A delectable Lenten fellowship lunch was hosted by the parish rector, Father John Chupeck, and several parishioners following the liturgy. The clergy then assembled with His Grace to discuss matters affecting the life of deanery parishes and the diocese.
Commission on Mission & Evangelism
Today the new home page of the Commission on Mission and Evangelism for the Diocese of New York and New Jersey is “on-line” through a logo/link on the diocesan webpage. Established in 2010 with the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Michael, the Commission is composed by representatives of each of the three deaneries (New York State, New Jersey, and New York City) and is headed by Archpriest Jonathan Ivanoff.
download/read Release # 2011.16.1 >
visit the home page >
Official Diocesan Publication: "Jacob's Well"
The SPRING 2011 issue of "Jacob's Well" is now available on-line! Copies of the highly-praised publication are being sent to all parishes of the diocese in bulk, according to the number requested, for distribution to the faithful by the parish rectors. It is anticipated that the mailings will be received in matter of days.
download/read the Spring 2011 edition of "Jacob's Well" >
Passaic NJ: "When brothers dwell in unity"
With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Michael, Father Sophrony Royer (rector of Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church) brought the three Orthodox churches in Passaic NJ together in true worship and prayer on March 30th. In the Third Antiphon of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts we hear, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Unity was present at this gathering of brothers and sisters in Christ -- an historic "first" -- as clergy and faithful from all three of Passaic’s Orthodox churches came together to worship. This followed a very special visit by His Grace, Alejo, Bishop of Mexico City to the parish on March 19-20.
see the full story at the parish website >
read the article: Bishop Alejo of Mexico City visits Passaic NJ >
"Called to Serve": Parish Council Conferences Scheduled
The diocese will experience another “first” this year as seven regional Parish Council Conferences will be conducted from April 30th to June 25th. With the inspiration and blessing of His Grace, Bishop Michael, the conferences will provide an opportunity for those serving on parish councils to consider the nature and content of their unique vocation in leadership and ministry within their local parish community. It is hoped that the gathering of persons from more than one parish will also build a spirit of common effort and mutual support as both the joys and struggles of parish life (spiritual and material) are shared among the participants.
NEW! Dates and locations UPDATED
download/read Release # 2011.15.2 >
New Jersey Deanery: Rite of Forgiveness
The New Jersey Deanery of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey is comprised of 27 parishes. The clergy of the deanery assembled on March 14th at Holy Assumption Church, Clifton NJ for a monthly meeting. After the meeting adjourned, Bishop Michael led the clergy in the Rite of Forgiveness. This annual gathering at the beginning of Great Lent calls the brother priests to ask forgiveness of one other as they enter the great fast.
Our Lenten Journey: One, Two, Three
The journey through Great Lent continues and the sojourn to our Lord’s PASCHA nears its destination. We focus on spiritual awakening and the fruits of repentance through what has been called the “spiritual triad” of prayer, fasting, and charity. Inspired by Bishop Michael’s letter at the beginning of Great Lent (available here), we come to “the middle of the fast” having been blessed and encouraged by the image of the Cross in our midst. Along the journey so far, His Grace celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy in Wantage NJ on March 13th and welcomed His Grace, Alejo, Bishop of Mexico City in South River NJ on the second Sunday of Great Lent.
DDB: "Do you know what it means?"
A “Vision for Our Future” as envisioned by His Grace, Bishop Michael and approved by the recent Diocesan Assembly, supports vitally important initiatives through the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors [DDB] program. A growing number of faithful, both laity and clergy, throughout the diocese and beyond are contributing much needed funding for all three initiatives: (1) support to missions parishes, (2) support to seminarians, and (3) support to existing parishes that are struggling. Contributions are received on a daily basis and the fruit of these sacrificial offerings is beginning to show forth as mission parishes are supported, seminarians are assisted through scholarships, and existing parishes are encouraged and hopefully revitalized. To date, $30,000 (donated by parishes, clergy, and faithful) has been offered by Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors!
download/read Release # 2011.14.2 >
New York City: Lenten Mini-Retreat
On March 6th, Archpriest John Behr (Dean of Saint Vladimir's Seminary) led the members of the “Second Street Cathedral” of the Holy Virgin Protection in a mini-retreat called: The Lenten Journey to the Cross. Father John concelebrated the Holy Liturgy with the Cathedral Dean, Igumen Christopher (Calin) and cathedral clergy. After coffee hour, a full house gathered in the newly renovated Metropolitan Theophilus Auditorium. As preparation for our entry into Great Lent, Father John gave a discourse on the meaning of Pascha and its central significance for our faith.
Tragedies in Japan: Our Response?
In a letter to the faithful of our diocese regarding the recent tragedies in Japan, Bishop Michael writes: "Our initial response as Orthodox Christians is, of course, prayer to the Lord who loves mankind for our brothers and sisters in Japan, many of whom are Orthodox Christians, and for all those afflicted; for the repose of the souls of those who have departed this life in the wake of this tragedy … and for the health and safety, care and healing of those who have lost their family members, their homes, and their hope. In this season of Great Lent we are especially reminded, however, that prayer is not enough."
download/read Bishop Michael's letter >
Special Petitions for the Litany of Supplication >
Bronxville NY: Diocesan Council Meets
The members of the Diocesan Council [DC] gathered for a meeting with His Grace, Bishop Michael, at the Diocesan Center in Bronxville NY on Monday, 28 February 2011. A service of intercession and thanksgiving (molieben) for the good-estate of the diocese and grace-filled assembly of the DC was celebrated by Bishop Michael prior to the meeting commencing at 11:44 a.m.
Watervliet NY: Ordination of Deacon Matthew Markewich
His Grace, Bishop Michael, ordained seminarian Matthew Markewich to the holy diaconate on Saturday, 12 March, during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Basil’s Church in Watervliet NY. Deacon Matthew was received into the Orthodox faith in 2006 at Saint Basil’s parish through the ministry of Father Peter Olsen and the faithful witness of parishioners.
Altar Servers Retreat Conducted at Saint Basil Academy
On February 25-27 the diocese convened its first diocesan-wide Altar Servers Retreat. The response was very encouraging as His Grace, Bishop +Michael, was joined by five priests, a deacon, and fifty altar servers of all ages at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison NY. The unofficial theme of the weekend was: “We serve at the Liturgy as an expression of our love for God.” Over and over again, Bishop +Michael and the other speakers reiterated this point to the men and boys present: “We serve out of love.”
Archpastoral Letter: Beginning of Great Lent
His Grace, Bishop +Michael, has issued an archpastoral letter on the occasion of the beginning of Great Lent: "In the very first sermon Our Lord ever preached and so many other times that He spoke, the theme was the same: 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!' Our Church recalls that message throughout the year, but most especially during the season of the Great Fast, when she calls her spiritual children to repentance."
download/read the Archpastoral Letter >
Youth Retreat Scheduled in Wayne NJ: April 1-2
The diocese will sponsor an Overnight Youth Retreat at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Wayne NJ for students 7th-12th Grades on April 1-2, 2011. The Lenten Youth Retreat is entitled “Baptized into Christ: Galatians 3:2 and Romans 6:3” Orthodox and non-Orthodox students are encouraged to attend. This is a great opportunity for Orthodox young people to invite a non-Orthodox friend.
New Directories Created by Assembly of Bishops
The Assembly of Bishops is a council of all the active Orthodox bishops of North America. Its purpose is to deepen the ties of brotherhood among the bishops, give them a common and united voice, and create a greater unity of action among all the Orthodox faithful of North America, thereby strengthening the Church's witness to her faith in Jesus Christ. A permanent link to the official webpage of the Assembly of Bishops has been posted on this website. It includes a comprehensive directory of Orthodox parishes in the United States. Enter a zip code and you can find local Orthodox Churches in any area or region!
Assembly of Bishops official website >
Directory of Parishes >
Diocesan Choir Conference/Forum "Conducted" February 12th
On Saturday, 12 February 2011, Bishop +Michael met with more than 70 diocesan church musicians to discuss the state of liturgical music in the diocese. Organized by the Diocesan Liturgical Music Committee and hosted by Holy Resurrection Church (Wayne NJ), the event participants celebrated a service of thanksgiving (Molieben) for the “Beginning Any Good Work” to start their gathering.
download/read Release # 2011.7.1 >
Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors: Bringing forth "Good Fruit!"
Since the launching of the "Vision for Our Future" and the "Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors" Program, many have offered their prayers and financial support to the vital ministries of our diocese! Thanks to the support of a growing list of Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors, we are accomplishing good things and meeting challenges. Do you want examples of what we're doing? Click here!
Official Photograph: Bishop +Michael
The official photograph of His Grace, Bishop +Michael, will soon be available for distribution. Information about obtaining a high-resolution copy of the photo will be released when available.
UPDATE: Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program
The Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program was inaugurated on September 11, 2010. As the program’s twelve enrolled students now progress diligently and rapidly through a second semester, it is apparent that God’s blessings are upon the endeavor.
download/read Release # 2011.6.1 >
West Point Military Academy: Archpastoral Visit
On Sunday, 23 January, Bishop +Michael made his first archpastoral visit to Saint Martin's Chapel at West Point Military Academy. His Grace spoke on the Gospel reading for the day (Luke 18:35-43). He pointed out that as the Savior was traveling along a road, a blind man cried out, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!" His Grace said, "The blind man, unable to see Christ with his physical eyes, was able to discern Him with his spiritual eyes."
Dix Hills NY: Pre-Lenten Retreat on 19 Feb
Mother Raphaela of Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery will conduct a retreat at Saint Andrew's Church (Dix Hills NY) entitled "Living and Growing with Christ" on Saturday, February 19th. Welcome and sign-in are scheduled for 9:00 am. The retreat will conclude at 5:00 p.m. with Vespers. Lunch will be provided. A donation of $15 is recommended. To register contact Virginia Jerosh 631-271-4209 or email: email@example.com
download/view Retreat flyer >
Saint Andrew's Camp Prepares for 2011 Camping Season
Saint Andrew's Camp is located on the shore of Lake Oneida in Jewell NY. The 4-week summer program is designed to provide children and teens with a camping experience in an Orthodox Christian community, temporarily away from the modern distractions that often make us forget the simple things. A camp fundraising dinner will take place on February 20th in South River NJ.
camp website > fundraiser flyer >
Paramus NJ: Kursk Root Icon visits Christ the Saviour Church
On Thursday, February 3rd, faithful of Christ the Saviour parish (Paramus NJ) and visiting pilgrims welcomed Archpriest Sergius Lukianov and his team as they presented the renowned wonder-working Kursk Root Icon: “Our Lady of The Sign.” Found in 1295 near the ruins of the city of Kursk at the root of a tree (and known ever since as the Kursk Root Icon), the holy icon is known for countless miracles, healings and assistance in misfortunes.
Bronxville NY: Council of Presbyters Meet
The Council of Presbyters assembled with His Grace, Bishop +Michael, for a meeting on January 31st at the Diocesan Center in Bronxville NY. The meeting began with a service of intercession and thanksgiving (Moleiban) for the grace-filled assembly of presbyters and the good-estate of the diocese. Prayerful petitions were offered for the healing of ailing and afflicted members of the diocese.
Lansing NY: Holy Apostles Mission Welcomes Bishop +Michael
Families of the New York State (upstate) Deanery, including families from the newly established Holy Apostles Mission in Lansing~Ithaca, got a chance to spend a weekend in fellowship gathered around their bishop and deanery clergy families on 28-30 January. The weekend started out with his Grace, Bishop +MICHAEL, spending two full-packed days at Hope Lake Lodge and Water Park at Greek Peak NY.
NY State Deanery: Family Conference & Retreat
The dates were (Friday-Saturday) 28-29 January 2011. The location was the newly constructed Hope Lake Lodge Resort at Greek Peak NY as 130-160 faithful from the New York State Deanery participated in all or part of a two-day “Family Conference and Retreat.”
"Jacob's Well" Submissions Due
The deadline for submissions to the upcoming issue of the diocesan publication, “Jacob’s Well,” has been extended to February 14, 2011. Pastors and parishes should submit articles/photos by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration Deadline 18 February! - Diocesan Altar Servers Retreat
With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop +Michael, a Diocesan Altar Servers Retreat will take place at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison NY. It will be a three-day retreat: 25-27 February 2011. There will be no charge to participate in the retreat. Altar servers of all ages are encouraged to attend and should reserve their participation through the rector of their parish! The deadline for registration is FEBRUARY 18, 2011.
NEW! download the Agenda & Schedule >
download/read Release # 2011.4.2 >
Rochester NY: Seminarian Scholarship
In response to the “Vision for Our Future” announced by His Grace, Bishop +Michael, and the launching of the related Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors program, the parish of Saint John the Baptist in Rochester NY has committed its support of an initiative to provide financial support to a seminarian from our diocese.
Bronxville NY: Diocesan Council Meets
The members of the Diocesan Council [DC] gathered with His Grace, Bishop +Michael, at the Diocesan Center in Bronxville NY for a meeting on Monday, 17 January 2011.
East Meadow NY: Blessing of Great South Bay
On the feast-day of Theophany (January 6) Orthodox Christians from across Long Island gathered at Alhambra Beach at Great South Bay to celebrate the blessing of the waters. This event is part of Theophany/Epiphany celebrations by Orthodox Christians around the world.
"Vision for Our Future" Launches today!
A “Vision for Our Future” [V-FOF] and the “Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors” [DDB] program are officially launched today on this website at 2:00 p.m. with the blessing of His Grace, Bishop +Michael. A direct link to a special "V-FOF" webpage will be permanently displayed on the homepage through a “Welcome to A Vision for Our Future” graphic.
Release # 2011.1.1 >
Visit the V-FOF webpage >
Watervliet NY: Parish Feast-Day
The parishioners of Saint Basil Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY celebrated their parish feast day on January 1st with the commemoration of Saint Basil the Great. This is the only OCA church in our diocese consecrated to the commemoration of Saint Basil. The sister parishes of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker (Cohoes NY) and Christ the Savior (Milton NY) joined the faithful of Saint Basil's for the celebration.
Altar Servers Retreat Scheduled
A diocesan altar servers retreat is scheduled for 25-26 February 2011 at Saint Basil's Academy, Garrison NY. Clergy of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey should report the number of altar servers that will attend the retreat to their respective deans (as soon as possible). Adult supervision will also be sought to accompany the servers.
Diocesan Council Meeting: Bronxville NY
The newly elected and appointed members of the Diocesan Council gathered for their first meeting with His Grace, Bishop +Michael, at the Diocesan Center in Bronxville NY on Tuesday, 14 December 2010.
more information >
Upper NY State Jr. District FOCA Convention & Bowling Tournament
The Junior Upper New York State District of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians (FOCA) held its annual convention and bowling tournament on November 13, 2010. The event was sponsored by the Junior "R" Club of Saint Nicholas Church (Auburn NY) and was attended by 23 juniors and over 10 adults from Auburn, Cohoes NY and Endicott NY.
Archpastoral Letter: Feast of the Nativity
His Grace, Bishop +Michael, extends his warmest greetings and love to the clergy, faithful, and friends of our diocese as we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, God, and Savior - Jesus Christ. He has sent out an Archpastoral Letter for the feast to all parishes.
download/read the Archpastoral Letter >
East Meadow NY: Christmas Program
Nearly 40 youth and teens of Holy Trinity Church (East Meadow NY) participated in the parish’s 53rd annual Christmas program on Sunday, December 12, 2010. The program, "A Living Icon of the Lord’s Nativity," included scripture readings, hymns, a large format "puzzle" icon, and kids acting out the Nativity story.
Read article at oca.org >
Syracuse NY: Christmas Retreat with Bishop +Michael
On Saturday, December 11th, Bishop +Michael lead a retreat - "Scripture in Tradition" - at Saints Peter & Paul Church (Syracuse NY). Several faithful from nearby parishes attended as well. His Grace celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the parish the following day.
Saint Andrew's Camp: 2011 Camping Program
Dates for the 2011 camping season at Saint Andrew's Camp have been announced via the camp website and blog. Tuition for campers is $300 per week and scholarships are available through an application process. Interested clergy, campers, counselors, and weekly volunteers are invited to join in the camp experience!
Camp blog >
Commission on Mission & Evangelism Appointed
The newly appointed Commission on Mission and Evangelism of the Diocese of New York & New Jersey held its first working meeting on December 7, 2010.
download Release >
Clifton NJ: The True Meaning of Christmas
His Grace, Bishop +Michael, will lead a discussion on "The True Meaning of Christmas" at Assumption of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church (Clifton NJ) on Wednesday, December 15th, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Syracuse NY: Christmas Retreat on December 11th
Saints Peter and Paul Church in Syracuse NY will host an annual Christmas Retreat from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday, December 11th. The retreat leader will be His Grace, Bishop +Michael. Faithful from surrounding parishes are invivited to attend the retreat.
download/view flyer >
Two Parishes celebrate Saint Nicholas
The parishioners of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker (Cohoes NY) and the sister parish of Saint Basil the Great (Watervliet NY) joined together for Vespers on Saturday, December 4th and again on Sunday, December 5th as His Grace, Bishop +Michael, joined them in celebrating the Divine Liturgy to commorate Saint Nicholas "the Wonderworker."
"JACOB'S WELL" Diocesan Magazine On-Line!
We are pleased to announce that the official diocesan magazine, "Jacob's Well," is back in publication! You may view/read the current issue on-line.
Download / View Issue >
Release # 2010.24.1 >
Rochester NY: Family Vespers Day
Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY hosted a Family Vespers Day on Saturday, November 27th. The day began at 3:00 pm with prosphora (Church bread) baking and included a very special reading of the newly published children's book And Then Nicholas Sang by the author, parishioner Elizabeth Johnson.
Hymns of the Season Concert coming to Randolph NJ
The “Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir” will present a seasonal concert of Orthodox Church music at Saint Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church (Randolph NJ) on Sunday, December 12th beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Archpastoral Message from His Grace, Bishop +Michael, on Thanksgiving Day
In his Thanksgiving Day message to the clergy and faithful of our diocese, Bishop +Michael says: "Please, take the time to give Glory to God for all things this Thanksgiving Day. And, may our loving Lord grant you and your loved ones all the countless blessings that come from His hands."
Father Matthias (Moriak) Elected Bishop of Chicago
Father Matthias Moriak, currently assigned to Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery (Otego NY), was canonically elected by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to the vacant See of Chicago and the Midwest on November 16, 2010.
Memory Eternal: Archbishop +Peter
In remembrance of His Eminence, Archbishop +PETER, retired diocesan hierarch of New York and New Jersey who fell asleep in the Lord three years ago on November 19, 2007. May his memory be eternal!
50th Parish Anniversary: Paramus NJ
The faithful of Christ the Saviour Church in Paramus NJ welcomed His Grace, Bishop +Michael, on 18-19 September for the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the parish.
Diocesan Assembly Concludes in New York City
On November 9, 2010, eighty-seven delegates (47 clergy / 40 laity) gathered at historic Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York City around His Grace, Bishop +Michael, for the annual Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey.
Diocesan Assembly Begins Today
The Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey begins today -- November 9, 2010 --at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York City. His Grace, Bishop +Michael, will preside as priests, deacons, and laity will gather from throughout the diocese as delegates to the annual assembly to prayerfully consider and plan for the “good estate” of the Church.
New York City: Visit of the Iveron Icon of the Theotokos
On Friday evening, November 5th, the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Iveron Icon of the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary visited Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York City. Over 200 faithful gathered around His Grace, Bishop +Michael, and several priests and deacons in a service of prayer followed by the veneration of the icon.
Jersey City NJ: Archpastoral Visit
The faithful of Saints Peter and Paul Church (Jersey City NJ) were filled with great joy as His Grace, Bishop +Michael, made his first archpastoral visit to the parish on Sunday, October31st.
Pearl River NY: Archpastoral Visit
His Grace, Bishop +Michael made his first archpastoral visit to Holy Transfiguration Church, Pearl River NY on October 23, 2010. The parish rector, Very Reverend Igumen Joseph (Hoffman), with several New Jersey Deanery clergy and parishioners greeted His Grace together in the temple for the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.
Manville NJ: Georgian Bishop Visits Saints Peter & Paul Church
Metropolitan Dimitri of Batumi and the Diocese of Lazeti (Church of Georgia) visited the Georgian faithful at Saints Peter & Paul Church, Manville NJ, on October 26th. The Metropolitan oversees the Georgian missions in the USA.
Council of Presbyters Meet & Seminarians are Welcomed
The Council of Presbyters assembled with His Grace, Bishop +Michael, for their second meeting on October 25th at the Diocesan Center in Bronxville NY. Later that evening, several seminarians and their families ~ attending either Saint Tikhon’s Seminary or Saint Vladimir’s Seminary ~ gathered for a a “welcome dinner” hosted by Bishop +Michael.
East Meadow NY: CROP Hunger Walk
On “World Hunger Day” ~ October 16, 2010 ~ Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in East Meadow NY spearheaded their first CROP Hunger Walk to raise funds for the work of Church World Service in combating hunger locally and around the world.
New York City: Akathist to the Mother of God, "Healer of Cancer"
On Friday, October 22nd, an Akathist before the Icon of the Mother of God, "Healer of Cancer," was served at the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, New York NY. Leading the service were Bishop +Michael of New York and Bishop +Jerome of Manhattan (Russian Church Abroad).
NY State Deanery Meeting and "Open Forum"
On Thursday afternoon, October 21, the clergy of the New York State Deanery assembled with His Grace, Bishop +Michael, for a deanery meeting at Saint Nicholas Church in Cohoes NY. Later that evening, a special "Open Forum" to discuss the Orthodox Church in America [OCA] Draft Strategic Plan welcomed laity from the deanery parishes to participate.
His Grace, Bishop Michael, Returns From Visit to the Republic of Georgia
On October 14, 2010 -- with the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah and at the invitation of the Georgian Orthodox Church -- Bishop Michael participated in the celebration of the 1000th Anniversary of the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Life-Giving Tree.
East Meadow NY: Orthodox Christians Remember Infant Deaths with Memorial Service
In an annual observation that provides grieving parents and family members an opportunity to pray, members of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (East Meadow NY) hosted a prayer service on Friday, October 15, for families on Long Island that have experienced a pregnancy loss or infant death.
Whitestone NY Parish: "In the News"
The New York Daily News featured an article on Sunday, October 17th about Saint Nicholas Church in Whitestone NY. Taking advantage of available opportunities for good public relations is often neglected but such is not the case for the recently appointed rector of the parish, Father Joseph Woodill.
Panikheda in Spring Valley NY: "Prof" Serge Verhovskoy & family
On Thursday, October 7, 2010 a Panikheda was served for the renowned late professor of Dogmatic Theology at Saint Vladimir's Seminary, Serge Verhovskoy, along with his wife, Olga, and sister, Vera.
NY City: Akathist Service to the Mother of God, “the Healer of Cancer”
On October 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm an Akathist Service to the Mother of God, “the Healer of Cancer” will take place at the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, New York City. The service is timed for the week after the famed Avon Breast Cancer Walk as a cancer research fundraiser, and to enhance cancer awareness and provide support ministry to the afflicted and their families.
Diocesan Assembly: Documents and Reports Available On-line
The official documents and reports for the upcoming Diocesan Assembly on November 9, 2010 are now available for viewing/downloading on this website! Visit the special "Diocesan Assembly" section by clicking on the link found on the homepage.
St. Andrew's Camp: Board of Trustees Meeting
The Board of Trustees of the Orthodox Charitable and Educational Foundation (the parent organization of Saint Andrew's Camp) gathered for their annual post-camping season meeting on Saturday, September 18, 2010. This annual meeting normally takes place on the camp premises at Jewell NY, but this year the meeting was held at Saints Peter and Paul Church, South River NJ.
His Grace, Bishop +Michael, to Visit the Republic of Georgia
Bishop +Michael will be representing His Beatitude, Metropolitan +JONAH and the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America at the 1,000th Anniversary of the Cathedral of the Life-giving Tree in Mtskheta, the cathedral of His Holiness, Catholicos-Patriarch +ILIA II, Primate of the Church of Georgia.
Ss. Cosmas & Damian Adult Home: Strategic Planning Begins
His Grace, Bishop +Michael convened the first Strategic Planning Meeting for Saints Cosmas and Damian Adult Home in Staten Island on September 25, 2010. The meeting was held off-site at Saints Peter and Paul Church, South River NJ.
New Jersey Deanery: Clergy Family Picnic
On September 6, 2010, clergy families of the New Jersey Deanery gathered together with His Grace, Bishop +Michael, for a picnic at Christ the Saviour Church in Paramus NJ.
Father Matthias Assigned Pastor of St. Innocent Mission, Oneonta NY
The faithful of Saint Innocent Mission parish in Oneonta NY have been attending services in the chapel of the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery (Otego NY) for the last two years. The mission parish began in February of 1997. His Grace, Bishop +Michael, has assigned an experienced missionary and pastor to build up the community.
Clifton NJ: 5th Annual Church School Picnic
The 2010 Church School Year at Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church in Clifton NJ began on Sunday, September 26th with a picnic on the parish rectory grounds. During the celebration of the Divine Liturgy special petitions and prayers were offered for the students and teachers of the Church School Program.
East Meadow NY: Prayers for Those Afflicted with Cancer
Members of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in East Meadow NY gathered on Tuesday, September 21 to sing an Akathist hymn to the Virgin Mary, asking for supplication for those afflicted by cancer. Among those in attendance were individuals currently suffering from the disease with their family members, as well as others who are in remission from cancer.
Myrrh-Streaming Iveron Icon from Hawaii
The first week in November, our Diocese will be blessed by the presence of the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Hawaii. In June of 2008, the Holy Myrrh-streaming "Hawaiian" Iveron Icon was officially recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia as miraculous and genuine, and given the blessing to travel to the various churches and monasteries of Holy Orthodoxy.
"Good Eats" in Whitestone NY
On Sunday, September 19, Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in Whitestone NY held its first "After Liturgy Parish Brunch." The meal was preceded by the Sunday Divine Liturgy attended by a full congregation, and celebrated by Father Joseph Woodill. On August 1st of this year, Father Joseph and Matushka Charlotte Woodill arrived at Saint Nicholas Parish having been reassigned from Washington DC.
"Open Forums" on OCA Strategic Plan in New Jersey Deanery
"Open Forums" for the clergy and laity of the New Jersey Deanery of the diocese were convened on Tuesday, September 14th, at Saints Peter and Paul Church in South River NJ. The purpose of the gatherings was to offer an open opportunity to share thoughts, reflections, and concerns regarding the “Working Draft of a Strategic Plan for the Orthodox Church in America" [OCA] -- prepared by the Strategic Planning Committee of the OCA's Metropolitan Council.
Diaconal Formation Program Begins
The Diaconal Formation Program of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey began on Saturday, September 11, 2010 with a hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Grace, Bishop +Michael at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Endicott NY.
2 Parishes Welcome Bishop +Michael to Picnic
His Grace, Bishop +Michael, made his first archpastoral visit to Saint Basil Russian Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY on Sunday, August 22, 2010. The sister parish of Saint Nicholas (Cohoes NY) joined the faithful of Saint Basil's for Divine Liturgy and a joint-parish picnic. About 150 parishioners and guests of both parishes enjoyed the afternoon of good food, fellowship and the opportunity to come together as one in Christ.
Diocesan Council Report
The Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, has released a "Summary Report" of the meeting of the Diocesan Council held on July 19, 2010. Following the review and approval of the official minutes at its recent (August 31) meeting, His Grace, Bishop +Michael, and other Diocesan Council members affirmed their desire to communicate as openly and transparently as possible their on-going work in the life of the diocese.
First Annual Clergy Conference in Clifton NJ
The first Annual Clergy Conference for diocesan priests was convened by His Grace, Bishop +Michael, on August 31st - September 1st at Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church in Clifton NJ.
Workshop: "Heaven on Earth! Music and Orthodox Worship"
This workshop, on November 6th in West Nyack NY, will explore the ministry of song and the worshipping community. Topics include: The choir and congregation in the development of the Eucharistic Liturgy, psalmody and the antiphonal structure, the Trisagion and the Cherubic Hymns, and the Rite of Communion.
Diaconal Formation Program Begins Sept 11th
With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop +Michael, a newly established Diaconal Formation program for the diocese will be inaugurated on September 11, 2010. The Diaconal Formation program will be conducted in collaboration with Saint Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary.
Bishop +Michael Establishes New Parish in Lansing NY
With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop +Michael, Holy Apostles Orthodox Church has been established to provide a living witness to the Gospel of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ in Lansing/Ithaca NY.
Archpastoral Visit: Clifton NJ
His Grace, Bishop +Michael made an archpastoral visit to Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church in Clifton NJ to celebrate the parish's patronal feast -- The Dormition ("Falling-Asleep") of the Mother of God.
Parish Sleep-over "JOY" and Archpastoral Visit: Shirley NY
Friday and Saturday, August 6-7, 2010, saw 17 kids and teens - a record number - attend Saint John the Theologian Orthodox Church's third annual JOY Summer Sleep-over. "JOY" (Jesus, Others, You) is Saint John's church school program headed by Elaine Del Gigante and has seen attendance at this summer event grow from 11 just two years ago.
Orthodox Pilgrimage: Ancient and Holy in the Holy Land
The faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey are invited to join in an Orthodox Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Israel, Jordan, and Sinai) led by Archbishop +Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada.
Saint Andrew's Camp Programs
The 2010 camping program is winding down at Saint Andrew's Camp and Religious Center, Jewell NY, having just finished the third and final week of camp for children ages 7-14. This year the three weeks were developed around themes: Camping & Ecology, Music-liturgical and fun, and Horse Week.
Vacation Church School: East Meadow NY
Using an ocean-themed adventure entitled "High Seas Expedition - Exploring the Mighty Word of God" nearly 50 children, teens, and adult leaders gathered at Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow NY, for the parish's 2010 vacation church school program. Participants used scripture and outreach projects to discover the presence of God's Word in their lives.
Clergy Conference and Deanery "Open Forms" Scheduled
A Clergy Conference for all diocesan priests, and three separate "Open Forums" in each deanery to discuss the OCA (draft) Strategic Plan, have been scheduled. These gatherings were blessed by His Grace, Bishop +Michael, in consultation with the Council of Presbyters. The clergy conference will take place in Clifton NJ from August 31 to September 1 of this year.
"The Bishop": A Talk by Bishop Michael
His Grace, Bishop Michael, presented a talk entitled "The Bishop" on July 22, 2010 at the 16th Biennial Clergy Symposium of the Antiochian Archdiocese The theme of the symposium was: The Priesthood: Diakonos, Presbyteros, Episcopos. You may listen to the audio of Bishop Michael's talk online at Ancient Faith Radio.
Proposed Diocesan Deaconate Program Under Review
His Grace, Bishop +Michael, is reviewing the potential and logistics to establish a diocesan Deaconate Program. During the recent meeting of the Council of Presbyters, His Grace shared his desire to enhance and support parish ministries in all ways, including the potential of educating, training and ordaining a permanent deacon in parishes where a suitable candidate responds to this vocational calling.
Special Presentation: Paramus NJ
Alexis Liberovsky (OCA Archivist) visited Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church for a presentation on the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America.
OCA Strategic Plan (Draft) Released
The Strategic Plan Working Draft (Orthodox Church in America) has been released and published on the official OCA website. His Grace, Bishop Michael, strongly encourages all clergy and faithful of the diocese to read and review the document in preparation for upcoming clergy/laity discussions in each deanery ("focus groups") leading up to the Diocesan Assembly at the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection in New York City on Tuesday, 9 November 2010.
Council of Presbyters Meet
The newly appointed Council of Presbyters [CP] of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey gathered with His Grace, Bishop Michael, at the diocesan center in Bronxville NY on July 8, 2010. In a meeting that lasted nearly five hours, the bishop and assembled priests discussed a host of issues affecting the life of diocese.
Picnic for the Clergy Families of the NY State Deanery
His Grace, Bishop Michael, hosted a picnic for the clergy families of the New York State Deanery at Saint Nicholas Church in Auburn NY on Monday, July 5, 2010. Young and old enjoyed a wonderful day of fellowship, fun, and food with a warm (temperatures were in the high 90's) and hospitable welcome by the parish rector, Father Stephen Mack.
Archpastoral Visit: Paramus, NJ
On the weekend of July 3/4, Bishop Michael made an archpastoral visit to Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Paramus, NJ. Fr. David Vernak, rector, concelebrating clergy, and the faithful of the parish welcomed His Grace for the celebration of the Divine Services and an agape meal.
Archpastoral Visit: Herkimer NY
On Tuesday, June 29th, His Grace, Bishop Michael, was surrounded by the faithful of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church to celebrate the patronal feast-day of the parish. Special guests included: the Sisterhood of Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, parishioners of Saint Innocent Mission, the priest of Saint John of Kronstadt Church in Utica NY, and parishioners residing at Valley Health Nursing Home.
Patronal Feast: Manville, NJ
The feast of Ss. Peter & Paul was celebrated here in Manville with great joy and thanksgiving to our heavenly patrons.
Archpastoral Visit: Rochester NY
The parish of Saint John the Baptist in Rochester NY welcomed His Grace, Bishop Michael for three days, 18-20 June, marking his first visit to the parish as diocesan bishop.
NJ Deanery Meets with Bp. Michael
His Grace, Bishop Michael, attended a meeting of the New Jersey Deanery clergy at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Bayonne NJ, on Tuesday June 8, 2010.
Special Website Offer to Diocese of NY / NJ
In honor of the consecration of His Grace, Bishop Michael, and in an effort to help the Diocese of New York and New Jersey fulfill the mandate to share the Gospel, Orthodox Web Solutions is offering all parishes and institutions of the diocese seeking to get online or upgrade their website: free website setup and hosting through September 1, 2010.
Interview with Bp. Michael about Episcopal Assembly
The following interview regarding the recent Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America, which convened in New York City on 25-28 May, was conducted with His Grace, +Michael (Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey) on Wednesday, 2 June 2010.
5K WALK-A-THON for “Kids-to-Camp”
Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY held a 5K WALK-A-THON on Pentecost Sunday, May 23rd, to raise funds for scholarships to send “Kids-to-Camp” (Saint Andrew’s Camp, Jewell NY). In all, 54 parishioners participated in the walk while 6 others provided support and encouragement by offering cold water and fresh fruit at the half-way point and refreshments at the end-point.
Archpastoral Visit: Wantage, NJ
His Grace, Bishop Michael, celebrated the Divine Liturgy with Archpriest Samuel Kedala, Rector of Holy Spirit, Archpriest George Hasenecz, founder of Holy Spirit and retired Archpriest Joseph Chupeck who is attached to Holy Spirit Church. The Divine Liturgy was followed by the Vespers of Pentecost and a Festive Banquet in the Church Hall.
New York State Deanery Meets with Bishop Michael
On Friday, May 21st, a meeting of the clergy of the New York State Deanery was held with Bishop Michael at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Endicott NY.
Archpastoral Visit: Passaic, NJ
On Sunday, May 16th, Bishop Michael made his first archpastoral visit to St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Passaic, NJ. His Grace led the community in the Divine Services and broke bread with them in a festive meal. On this day the parish celebrated its 85th Anniversary.
St. Tikhon Seminarians Give $1000 to Parish Relief Fund
The student community of Saint Tikhon Seminary announced on 13 May 2010 that they are donating $1,000 toward the newly established Diocese of New York and New Jersey Parish Relief Fund. Details are in the Official Communications Release #2010.3.1.
Archimandrite Michael consecrated as Bishop of New York and New Jersey
On Saturday, May 8, over 1000 faithful including nine bishops, a 125 clergy, and 100 seminarians and their families gathered at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Jersey City, New Jersey and celebrated the consecration of its new hierarch, His Grace, MICHAEL as the Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. [new photos added: 5/15/10.]
Bright Wednesday - Paramus, NJ
On Bright Wednesday, April 7th, Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Paramus, NJ, hosted Bishop-Elect Archimandrite Michael Dahulich, the NJ Deanery, and faithful from local parishes for the celebration of the Paschal Vespers which was followed by a festive meal.
Sunday of Orthodoxy - Paramus, NJ
On Sunday, February 21, 2010, clergy and faithful gathered at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Paramus, NJ, for the celebration of Orthodoxy Vespers. Hieromonk Calinic Berger from Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church in Hermitage PA, was the guest homilist.
East Meadow, NY: Orthodox Youth Send Aid to Haiti
The youth of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church spent part of their day off from school gathered here assembling over 80 humanitarian aid packets for residents of Haiti affected by last week’s earthquake. The project, organized by the parish’s PTA, provided the children with an opportunity to spend part of their vacation day helping those in need.
Jersey City, NJ: The Kursk Root Icon visited Sts. Peter & Paul Church
On Saturday, January 2, the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God visited Sts. Peter & Paul Church (OCA) in Jersey City, NJ. The parish was founded in 1907 by Priest-Martyr Alexander Hotovitzky, and for some time served as the cathedra of the ever-memorable Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko). The Liturgy was celebrated by the primate of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Jonah...
On the Diocesan Calendar
April 9, 2017
Entry of Our Lord
April 10-15, 2017
April 16, 2017
of Our Lord,
God & Savior
April 28, 2017
of the Holy Cross
May 18, 2017
June 4-17, 2017
to the Holy Land
October 6-8, 2017
The Brotherhood of
Saint Moses the Black
"Closer to Christ,
Closer to Each Other"
event flyer >
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