Holy Transfiguration Church in Pearl River NY celebrated its forty-fifth anniversary on Saturday, 19 October 2013, with a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy celebrated by Bishop Michael. In his homily, His Grace recounted the life of Saint John of Kronstadt emphasizing great patience and service, and challenging the Orthodox faithful to follow this example. He congratulated the parish on having served the community with the witness of Orthodox Christianity for the past forty-five years and encouraged them to continue their ministry, in a vision to the future, looking forward to their fiftieth golden anniversary. A Festive banquet followed in the parish hall.
Concelebrating with Bishop Michael were: V. Rev. Igumen Joseph (Parish Rector); V. Rev. Archpriest Joseph Lickwar (Diocesan Chancellor & Rector of Saints Peter & Paul Church, Jersey City NJ); V. Rev. Archpriest Samuel Kedala (Dean & Rector of Holy Spirit Church, Wantage NJ); V. Rev. Archpriest Joseph Frawley (Saint Martin Chapel, US Military Academy at West Point NY); V. Rev. Archpriest Kiril Riggs (Saint John the Baptist Church, Spring Valley NY); Rev. Priest Igor Ksynyuk (Saint John the Baptist Church, Passaic NJ); Rev. Protodeacon Paul Sokol (Saints Peter & Paul Church, Manville NJ); and Protodeacon Dimitri Timidis (Holy Protection Church, Nyack NY). Subdeacons were parishioners Andrei Komendantov and Joseph Kasny; Mark Federoff (Holy Annunciation Church, Brick NJ), and Alexander Vlachos (Christ the Saviour Church, Paramus NJ).
The founding of Holy Transfiguration began in July 1967 with six families (five of Greek, and one of Slovak descent) petitioning Metropolitan Ireney of the Russian Metropolia for a blessing to establish an English-speaking parish under his omophorion. The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the West Nyack Fire Hall in West Nyack NY on February 18, 1968 by Very Rev. Archpriest John Nehrebecki with the Rev. Deacon John Townsend. Many faithful of other local Orthodox parishes came to this joyous event and seminarians from Saint Vladimir's Seminary (Crestwood NY) sang the responses for the Liturgy.
Divine Services were conducted in the fire hall for approximately one year. Services for Holy Pascha that year were held at the Clarkstown Hall Courtroom. During this period, Great Vespers was usually held in the homes of parishioners on Saturday evenings.
The parish relocated to Orangetown NY, in the Rockland State Hospital Library wing of the Roman Catholic chapel where Orthodox patients were availed of the Sunday Divine Liturgy. On one Saturday a month, after Divine Liturgy, an agape meal was served to the patients who were escorted to and from the chapel by parishioners.
In the summer of 1970 the parish relocated in Pearl River NY, to a rented church building that dates back to 1856. In July 1976 the parish purchased the property and many improvements have been made to transform it into an Orthodox temple of worship. It continues to serve as the parish’s spiritual home and a beacon of Orthodox Christian witness to the people of Rockland County NY and its environs.
Very Reverend Igumen Joseph (Hoffman) has been the Rector of Holy Transfiguration Church since his assignment on July 1, 2000.