PARAMUS, NJ – On Tuesday, December 26, the Second Day of the Feast of the Nativity, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael celebrated Divine Liturgy for the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos at Christ the Saviour Church in Paramus, NJ. Serving with the Archbishop were Priest John Morris (Rector, Christ the Saviour), Archpriest David Vernak (Pastor Emeritus, Christ the Saviour), and Archpriest Martin Kraus (Rector, Holy Trinity in East Meadow, NY and Youth Department Chaplain). Responses were sung under the direction of Theodora Gramkow.

At the conclusion of liturgy, Archbishop Michael awarded a Diocesan Gramota to Danielle Geeza, former Chairman of the Diocesan Department of Youth Ministry, in recognition of her many years of service to the Department. Among those in attendance were youth and families whom she has served for over a decade, in addition to her co-laborers Fr. Martin and Matushka Dennise Kraus and Janet Neis-Drobish.

His Eminence reflected that “it is fitting today that we honor Danielle on this feast of the Mother of God… I am grateful for her taking on this role as a calling from God and saying yes in the footsteps of the Virgin who said yes to the greatest role in all of human history.” He emphasized that the youth and families in our diocese were not the only beneficiaries of her efforts, but that her labors extended beyond our diocese, having represented the Orthodox Church in America on a National level in cross-jurisdictional initiatives as part of the Assembly of Bishops leadership team for youth ministry, and also consulting with other OCA dioceses on their youth ministry efforts.

Following the veneration of the cross, the faithful in attendance shared a celebratory meal in the parish hall in Danielle’s honor. Danielle spoke briefly, expressing her sincere gratitude to those gathered at her home parish of Christ the Saviour, giving thanks to God for blessing her with the opportunity to serve the church in this capacity for many years with the support of His Eminence, her faithful team of volunteers, and her family.

Danielle relocated to Chicago last year to pursue a Master of Education degree in School Counseling, with the end goal of becoming a school counselor for high school students. May God continue to bless her efforts and grant her many years!

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March 28
Diocesan Council meeting
11:00 a.m. - Diocesan Chancery, Bronxville, NY

Meeting of Chancellors and Deans
2:30 p.m. - Diocesan Chancery, Bronxville, NY

April 25
Presbyters Council Meeting
11:00 a.m.

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