With the blessing of Archbishop MICHAEL, the Department of Youth Ministry would like to honor all high school and college graduates from our diocese by featuring their accomplishments in Jacob's Well, the official magazine of our diocese.
Prot. No. 01-003/2023
Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2023
Beloved Members of our Diocesan Family:
Christ is in our midst! – He is and ever shall be!
“I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.
I shall take the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a
heart of flesh. I shall put My Spirit within you and cause you to
walk in My commandments, and you will keep My judgments
and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
On Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, His Eminence Archbishop Michael presided over the services at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott, NY. The clergy and faithful gathered around their archpastor in joyful love and fellowship.
On Sunday, May 21, 2023, the Transfiguration Cathedral in Brooklyn celebrated 115 years of serving the people of the East Coast of the United States.
On this day, His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey joined His Grace Bishop Warsonofiusz of Siemiatycze; Archpriest Samuel Kedala; Archpriest Alexey Karlgut; Archpriest Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk, the Cathedral Rector; and the Altar Servers to celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on the 115th Jubilee of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral parish in Brooklyn, New York.
Every year, the Diocese holds Parish Council Conferences, offered to educate and inspire lay leaders and other interested members of our parishes on important topics in ministry and church growth – and then take those messages back home to inspire their own churches. This year, the Parish Council Conferences are on the topic of “Stewardship: Money and Salvation”. The Conference speaker is Janet Van Duyn, who is the Treasurer of the Diocese and also Parish Treasurer of St. John the Baptist Church in Rochester.
On Saturday, May 13, 2023, His Eminence Archbishop MICHAEL attended the enthronement of His Eminence, Metropolitan SABA of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America, at Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. Dozens of hierarchs and clergy from the various Orthodox jurisdictions of North America, several other guest bishops and clergy members, together with hundreds of faithful, joined in prayer and fellowship as Metropolitan Saba assumed leadership of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
More than 40 servers of all ages gathered for the annual Diocesan Altar Server Retreat on Saturday, May 13, at Holy Resurrection Church in Wayne, New Jersey. The young servers helped to celebrate the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy that opened the day. Concelebrating clergy were Fr. Stephen Evanina, Fr. Martin Kraus, Fr. Samuel Davis, and Deacon Stephan Karlgut.
On May 20th, 2023, 13 people came to the Plattsburgh Mission to celebrate its monthly Saturday Divine Liturgy. This month we welcomed a new family who just moved to the Plattsburgh area. To date, we have 19 people who have attended or expressed interest in being part of the mission.
[Rochester, NY] - On April 30, 2023, the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women, Archbishop Michael made a special visit to Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester. During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, His Eminence awarded the mitre to the retired former rector of the parish, Archpriest Ken James Stavrevsky, as a symbol of recognition for Father Ken’s exceptional service and unwavering dedication to the church over two decades.
May God grant His Eminence our beloved Archbishop Michael many years on the occasion of the anniversary of his consecration to the episcopacy!
Eis polla eti despota!!
[Potsdam/Norwood, NY] - On Wednesday, March 29, His Eminence Archbishop Michael served the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts at Saint Olympia Mission in Potsdam/Norwood, New York. Two dozen members of the Mission community were in attendance. The musical responses were led by Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, the parish choir director and council president.
The 2023 Charity Initiative for the Diocese of New York and New Jersey is devoted to the raising of financial support to enable the Diocese of Alaska to grow their newly-established Clergy Stipend Fund. The clergy and the churches of the Alaskan Diocese face a deeply troubling financial situation.
[Jewell, NY] - On Saturday, April 22, 2023, St. Andrew's Camp hosted a wonderful Paschal Bright Saturday Divine Liturgy and Annual Open House. His Eminence Archbishop Michael presided over the Divine Liturgy and impressed, upon those in attendance, the great importance of camp ministry. This was followed by a true feast in the beautiful new Dining Hall, some games, and fellowship.
[New York, NY] - On April 20, 2023, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine hosted the Jewish-Christian Dialogue Group of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA led by Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos and Colonel(retired) Chaplain Very Rev. Fr. Peter Baktis (OCA).
Beloved Members of Our Diocesan Family:
Christ is Risen! – Indeed He is Risen!
If we were to visit a grave in any cemetery in the world, we would find beneath the sod the remains of the deceased. And on the gravestone, we would find the name of the person and usually the date of the person’s birth and the date of his or her death.
– With one exception!
On Sunday, April 2, Saint Vladimir's Church in Trenton, New Jersey, was blessed by the visit of the Icon of Saint Anne, brought by Archimandrite Sergius of Saint Tikhon's Monastery. Over 180 people gathered for the event, filled with joy and happiness.
[Princeton, NJ] - On March 5 His Eminence Archbishop Michael celebrated the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy in the Chapel of the Transfiguration on the campus of Princeton University. Serving with His Eminence were Archpriest Daniel Skvir, University Chaplain, Priest Alexander Smida, Assistant Chaplain, Deacon Stephan Karlgut, along with students and visiting Sub-Deacons and Altar Servers. The Chapel Choir was prayerfully conducted by Carmen Mateiescu, a retired professor of composition at Westminster Choir College. The traditional procession of icons and recitation of the Synodicon concluded the service. Afterward, Chapel members and guests enjoyed a splendid repast of Georgian Lenten delicacies prepared by Marina Nozadze.
[Trenton, NJ] - On Sunday, April 2, 2023, following the Divine Liturgy, during the coffee hour, Archimandrite Sergius of Saint Tikhon Monastery will offer a lecture at Saint Vladimir's Church in Trenton, NJ. The Divine Liturgy begins at 10:00 am.
UPDATE: Abbott Sergius will bring with him the Miraculous Icon of St. Anna. We will greet the icon at 9:40 AM in the church.
[Cleveland, NY] - Saint Andrew's Camp and Retreat Center invites you to the "Paschal Open" house, which will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2023. His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, will celebrate Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am. Time of fellowship and Paschal Buffet will follow. We hope you can join us! Overnight accommodations are available. For more information, please call or text (315) 383-2686 or leave a voice message at (315) 675-8005.
As Orthodox Christian young adults raised in the faith or have converted, we are acutely aware of the differences between our mindset and the prevailing ethos of the world around us and the challenges we can face in maintaining an Orthodox lifestyle.
A wonderful time of prayer, reflection, and fellowship was had at the first annual Lenten Women's Retreat, at Saint Andrew's Camp. Molly Sabourin, known for her "Filled With Less" ministry, podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio, books she authored, and more, shared meaningful incites, with those in attendance, about intentional living. "Refreshing," "uplifting," and "restorative" are just some of the adjectives used by attendees to describe the weekend, and all said they hope to be able to attend, again, in the future.
On Sunday, March 13, St. Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church in Wappingers Falls, NY hosted the Deanery Lenten Vespers. His Eminence, Archbishop Michael presided at the vespers along with seven clergy of the Deanery including Mitred Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Chancellor of the Diocese, Archpriest Gary Breton, Dean of the New Jersey Deanery and Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, the Rector of the parish.
[Sounth River, NJ] - On March 5, 2023, the First Sunday of Great and Holy Lent, known as Orthodox Sunday, a Pan-Orthodox Vesper Service was celebrated honoring the Triumph of Orthodoxy (843 AD) at the Sts. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church in South River, New Jersey. As a parish of the Orthodox Church in America, under the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, His Eminence Archbishop Michael, ruling Hierarch, was the host for the evening celebration. Under the watchful eye of the Very Reverend Archpriest David Garretson, Parish Rector, the host parish truly offered the finest of Orthodox hospitality, both liturgically and in fellowship.
[Ewing, NJ] - On March 3rd, 2023, Matushka Mary Shafran turned 98 years. Matushka Mary celebrated her birthday with two cakes, surrounded by loving family and friends.
May Our Lord continues to keep Matushka Mary in good health, grant her success in every good effort, and protect and preserve her for many years! Mnogaja Leta!
This March, Orthodox Christians for Life is organizing the 3rd Annual National Orthodox Baby Shower, an initiative designed to support women at-risk for abortion by partnering with pregnancy resource centers (PRC’s).
Dozens of parishes around the country will be holding drives to collect diapers and other baby items needed by PRC's for the women they assist, helping them choose life for their children. In this way, the Orthodox community can help transform a difficult circumstance into a profound blessing for many women. The event will take place on the weekends surrounding the Feast of the Annunciation, one of the great pro-life feast days of our Church.
On Saturday, February 18th, we had our 3rd Women’s Fellowship and Service Day. We made borscht and then had dinner and Q&A with His Eminence, Archbishop Michael. Following our Women’s Fellowship Day, His Eminence served the “Service of Intercession for those struggling with an unplanned pregnancy, pregnancy loss, infertility, post-abortion recovery, and sexual trauma or abuse. “ This service is served monthly as part of the Blessed Matushka Olga Ministry of the Diocese.
[Clifton, NJ] - On the weekend of February 11 & 12th., His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, blessed our parish of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church in Clifton NJ with his annual Archpastoral Visit.
[South River, NJ] - On Sunday, March 5, 2023, the Vespers for the Sunday of Orthodoxy will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 76 Whitehead Avenue, South River, New Jersey, and will begin at 4:00 pm. Archbishop MICHAEL will be the celebrant; Bishop THOMAS of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America will deliver the homily.
The Department of Youth Ministry invites all middle school and high school students to the OCA Diocese of New York & New Jersey’s Lenten Teen Retreat being held at a new venue, Frost Valley YMCA Camp, in Claryville, NY from March 24-26th!
[Yonkers, NY] - You are invited to come and experience an unparalleled religious education program for children ages 3 to 6. Join us for a family night where adults can deepen their understanding of the unique environment created based on the Montessori approach.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
Saturday, March 11th, 2023 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Our Catechists are certified by the US Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Association.
Space is limited, please RSVP to Olga Ptach (914)-262-1061 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Archpriest Joseph Chupeck, celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of his Ordination to the Holy Priesthood, February 10, 1973.
Grant, O Lord, a prosperous and peaceful life, health, salvation, visitation and good hastening in all things, unto Thy servant, the Archpriest Joseph, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Holy Priesthood; and to Matushka Ellen and their family; and protect and preserve them, O Lord, for many blessed years! "Mnogaya Lyeta!"
On the weekend of January 21 to 22, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited St. Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church in Wappingers Falls, NY in anticipation of their patronal Feast Day. At the end of the Hierarchical Liturgy, His Eminence awarded Diocesan Grammotas to three founding members of the parish who turned 90 in December.
[Rahway, NJ] - Father Theodore Gregory, the rector of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church was made Police Chaplain of the city of Rahway, NJ. Congratulations, Fr. Theodore! Many Years!
[Rahway, NJ] - In December, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Rahway, NJ held a successful winter coat drive giveaway.
By God's grace, Archpriest Paul Shafran, Pastor Emeritus (retired), St. Vladimir Church, Trenton, NJ, reached his 75th anniversary of ordination to the Holy Priesthood on December 28, 2022. Likewise by God's grace, on November 27th, he and Matushka Mary marked their 75th wedding anniversary.
Youth Ministry? Family Programs? Senior Programs?
Open Meeting for those interested in the ministry at St. Andrew's Camp. If you would like to get more information, ask questions about the programs, work as a counselor, nurse, cook, etc during the camping program, or if you want to volunteer off-season to paint, clean, do landscaping, carpentry, or other maintenance and improvement projects, or want to get involved with fundraising and other financially supportive activities, please join us Saturday, February 25th at Holy Trinity Church Yonkers, NY for our annual Open Meeting at 12:00 pm. For information, call the Camp at 315 675-9771 or 315 383-2686.
The clergy and faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey
are invited to honor
THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF ORDINATION
AS PRIEST OF HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP MICHAEL (DAHULICH)
Divine Liturgy on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 10:00 am
at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church,
365 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey.
[Jackson, NJ] - Archpriest Sergius S. Kuharsky fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, January 5, 2023 at the age of 92. He served Holy Trinity Church in New Britain, CT (1956-1964), Saint Theodosius Cathedral in Cleveland, OH (1964-1976) and Saints Peter & Paul Church in South River, NJ (1976-98).
On January 1st, 2023, St. Basil’s Orthodox Church celebrated its Parish Feastday. His Eminence Archbishop Michael celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with His Eminence were
ZOE for Life!® Southern Tier took a big step recently toward fulfilling its mission: to help pregnant women in distress who need confidential emotional and spiritual support to encourage them to choose life for their unborn child, to assist Orthodox Christians seeking to adopt, and to provide life-affirming resources.
[Binghamton, NY] - On the weekend of December 4th, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited Dormition of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Binghamton New York for a pastoral visit and to award Pdn Andrew Boisvert the Kamilavka for his 20 years of service.
The Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir concert is being held on Friday, December 9th at 7:30 PM. We’ll share the stage with the Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians. Please join us, either in person or online.
Please use the following livestream link to join us on line: https://youtu.be/Hq- vtNFoEUM
On Saturday, November 19th 10 people came together to celebrate the second Divine Liturgy in Plattsburgh. We are now planning to have monthly Divine Liturgies at the United Methodist Church on Beekman St. The next Divine Liturgy will be Saturday, December 17th at 10 am. Please share this wonderful news with your family and friends who might be living in the area. Click here for the driving directions to United Methodist Church in Plattsburgh, NY.
Having gathered in this Church of St. John the Baptist, Spring Valley, NY, for over 107 years, Faithful of the Parish assembled in prayer for the Akathist of Glory to God for All Things on Thanksgiving Eve.
[East Meadow, NY] - Holy Trinity Orthodox Church will host its Annual Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 7:00 PM. The Choir of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church will perform choral music of the Orthodox Church and traditional carols from both East and West. This is the first concert to be held since 2019 because of the pandemic. The parish began offering this concert to the local South Shore community in 2008. It will be livestreamed on Facebook as well; see the parish page at https://www.facebook.com/htocem.
On Sunday, November 13, the faithful of St. Nicholas Church in Auburn, NY, surprised Fr. Michael and Matushka Julie Speck with gifts and a luncheon on the occasion of Fr. Michael's 35th anniversary of ordained ministry.
[Jersey City, NJ] - Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral of Jersey City celebrated the 115th anniversary of the founding of the parish on Sunday, October 30th with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Mitred Archpriest Joseph Lickwar (the Rector), Very Reverend John Kluchko, Very Reverend Samuel Kedala, Very Reverend Daniel Andrejuk (Representation Church of Saint Catherine the Martyr in Moscow), Deacon Stephan Karlgut, Deacon John Black (Saint Vladimir’s Seminary) and Deacon Solomon Longo (Saint Tikhon’s Seminary), Subdeacon Mark Federoff and Subdeacon Zachary Parisi.
[Jackson, NJ] - The weekend of November 5th and 6th, the Parish of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin, located in Jackson, NJ was blessed to have His Eminence Archbishop Michael join the faithful for our annual Archpastoral visitation.
This Fall, we had a very productive teaching season, with over 30 participants attending special workshops held at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Syracuse, NY; Holy Trinity Parish in Yonkers, NY; and Christ the Saviour Parish in Paramus, NJ. These three deanery offerings were generously sponsored by the DDB, and all participants took home two Vacation Church School (VCS) lesson plans to get their efforts started.
On the weekend of October 21-23, 2022, ten guys from across the diocese came together in the remote Adirondack wilderness at Cedar River Campsite to listen for God’s still, soft voice amidst the chaos of today’s world. The attendees ranged in age from 16 to 69, and included a catechumen, some newcomers to the Faith, a few old-comers, and a seminarian.
[South Canaan, PA] - The Saint Tikhon Choir is pleased to announce the world premiere concert series for Benedict Sheehan’s modern masterwork Vespers. Two-time GRAMMY®-nominated conductor and composer Benedict Sheehan will lead the professional choristers of The Saint Tikhon’ Choir in this unique and powerful musical exploration that has been called “luminous and uplifting” (Choir & Organ) and a work of “unique musical genius” (Fanfare Magazine).
This fall, Orthodox Christian worship services will be taking place in Plattsburgh Saturday, November 19 at 10:00 am at the United Methodist Church, 127 Beekman St. Plattsburgh, NY. We are seeking all persons, whether Orthodox Christians or those who are interested in learning more about the Orthodox faith. We hope to gather a small group of people in order to start a mission church. This past April we celebrated our first Orthodox Liturgy in Plattsburgh. If you are interested in attending the upcoming services, please call or text Fr. Terenti at 518-369-2430 or send an email to email@example.com.
Zoe for Life!® Southern Tier is planning a baby shower fundraising on Saturday, November 12th at 1:30 P.M. at Dormition Church, 54 Baxter St, Binghamton, NY 13905. Zoe for Life!® Southern Tier is an Orthodox Christian-based organization in New York State formed to provide confidential, non-discriminatory, and life-affirming material, emotional, and spiritual support at no cost to women and families needing help with pregnancy.
The Diocese of New York and New Jersey is presenting a unique and spiritually rich Retreat for Men, including young men of high-school age and over. The "Mountain Men's Respite: Acquiring Peace in the Midst of Chaos" Camping Trip will take place October 21-23 in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
The Department of Youth Ministry invites all middle school and high school students to the OCA Diocese of New York & New Jersey’s Fall Teen Retreat being held at a new venue, Camp Ramapo, in Rhinebeck, NY from November 18-20th!
[Randolph, NJ] - On Saturday, September 17, the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church Tea Committee invited fellow Randolph, NJ parishioners, family members, and friends to follow them and Alice down the rabbit hole! Nearly 100 guests enjoyed a lovely and fun afternoon tea with the Mad Hatter, aka William Cullinan.
The latest issue of KOINONIA is now available for download and distribution in the parishes. KONIONIA is the quarterly newsletter published by the Diocesan Commission on Missions and Evangelism, under the editorship of the Director of that Commission, Archpriest Eric Tosi, and with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael.
It's been nearly a year since the Assembly of Bishops approved the creation of a Pan-Orthodox Youth and Young Adult Ministry Agency, and until now, not a lot has been known about it! Join Christian for this look at where OYM came from and why it exists at all. In the upcoming weeks, we will release more information about how OYM plans to help you pass on a faith where every young person can Encounter Christ, Embody His Church, and Engage the world in His Name!
This exciting method teaches you how to easily plan a successful Vacation Church School (VCS) that can be used throughout the year, to draw our families closer to parish life. Participants will take home two VCS lesson plans to use in their parishes.
South Canaan, PA [OCA]
On September 6, 2022, His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko), retired Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, fell asleep in the Lord at the age of 90. He had served as Metropolitan of All America and Canada from 2002 until his retirement in 2008.
Thursday, September 1st is the beginning of the Liturgical Year for the Orthodox Church. His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew has asked all Churches to pray for God's creation on this day. The Roman Catholic Church and most Protestant confessions have in recent years decided to follow suit and do likewise.
Scientists and world leaders have been concerned for several years about the impact that such damaging effects as warming temperatures, pollution, deforestation, rising sea levels and other factors have had on this earth since the industrial revolution.
SADDLE BROOK, NJ - On Monday, August 29, 2022, His Eminence, the Most Reverend MICHAEL, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, ordained Deacon John Holoduek to the holy priesthood at Holy Apostles Orthodox Church. Co-serving with His Eminence were Archpriest Terence Baz, Archpriest Maryan Chaykivsky, Archpriest Stephen Evanina, and Presbyter Jacob Ramsey. Numerous faithful from across the Diocese attended the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Everyone in attendance gathered together for a meal following the service.
Many Years to the newly-ordained Priest John and his son, Subdeacon John! Mnogaya Lyeta!
Submitted by: Fr. Jacob Ramsey
Learn how to plan and hold a successful Vacation Church School (VCS) program, that can be effectively used for one-day or two-day parish youth events and retreats throughout the year, to draw in youth and families who are not regularly attending. Participants will take home two detailed VCS lesson plans to use in their parishes.
The Diocese of New York and New Jersey held its first annual Evangelism School from Monday, August 8 to Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at St. Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church in Wappingers Falls, NY. The School is an initiative of the Diocesan Commission on Missions and Evangelism, fully funded by the Diocesan Council, as a way to foster a renewed thinking and excitement on sharing the Orthodox Faith in the parishes across the Diocese.
The Department of Youth Ministry is excited to announce that Youth Day will be held this year at TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park in Vernon Township, NJ on Saturday, August 20th starting at 10:30 AM! Open to everyone age 4 and up, we encourage children, teens, recent graduates, and parents to join in on the fun.
[Vestal, NY] - Matushka Patricia (Hamarich) Bohush fell asleep in the Lord on August 2, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. Matushka Patricia was born in Endicott, NY to George and Pauline Hamarich.
[Ballston Lake, NY] - On July 30th and 31st, 2022, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, made his annual visitation to Christ The Savior Church in Ballston Lake, NY. During the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 31, His Eminence Archbishop Michael elevated Father Matthew Markewich to the rank of Archpriest. Concelebrating with His Eminence were Archpriest Matthew Markewich, Mitered Archpriest Michael Fritz (ROCOR), Deacon Stepan Karlgut, and Deacon Michael Burdikoff.
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, celebrated a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Olympia Mission in Potsdam, NY, on July 24. St. Olympia is the northernmost church in the diocese and has been in this "new" building for a little over a year and a half.
Submitted by Fr. Paul Fedoroff.
This Annual Saint Andrews Camp Bicycle Ride is ideal for the person who has never attempted a charity bike ride. You CAN do this ride! The Ride offers 3 distances from which to choose, each on flat to rolling terrain. Overnight accommodations are available at the camp. Make the Ride part of a Weekend getaway. Reunite with an alumnus. Nearby attractions are available for family members not riding. Reach out and ask a friend to bike with you and support the Camp at the same time.
Mish Mash Week is going marvelously! So far we've had electives like kayaking, archery, survival skills, and games. One day campers got to ride horses. The children have been taking part, regularly, in engaging and edifying religious education. We have had special evening activities, like the Mission Impossible game, a campfire, with fun songs, and a Camp Carnival. Additionally, we went on a fun, captivating and educational field trip to the MOST (Museum of Science and Technology).
Submitted by Kristy Zaitseva, co-director, Saint Andrews Camp.
Saint Andrew's Camp Horse Week 1 is "trotting" along nicely so far! We've enjoyed religious education, games, songs, campfire, a trip to a zoo, an archpastoral visit and Q and A with our beloved Archbishop + MICHAEL, and, of course, lots of experiences with riding and learning to care for horses.
Submitted by Kristy Zaitseva, co-director, Saint Andrews Camp.
[Trenton, NJ] - Archpriest Paul Shafran, Pastor Emeritus (retired), Saint Vladimir Orthodox Church in Trenton, NJ, reached his 100th birthday on July 2, 2022. That day was marked by a celebration hosted by his family, held at the church and parish social hall next door. His Eminence Archbishop Michael, of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, presided at the celebration of the hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the morning.
Camp is off to a great start, with our Family Week campers being the first to enjoy the use of our new Dining Hall and Activity Center. We are so grateful to all who have helped make this possible. Enjoy a glimpse of our week so far!
Submitted by: Kristy Zaitseva, Co-director, Saint Andrew's Orthodox Camp
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, shares the following announcement, issued by Paula Kappos, President of ZOE For Life.
ZOE For Life is seeking a dedicated Christian and a passionate defender of life to serve as the Executive Director of our Women’s Center. She should maintain a consistent life-affirming belief, have strong interpersonal communication skills and organizational skills, and be comfortable with public speaking and media relations. The Executive Director will be responsible for efficiently guiding the organization in the successful realization and management of the Women’s Center, under the guidance of the Board of Directors and the Medical Director, adhering to the Mission Statement and Statements of Faith and Principles. This is a full time position.
Resumes may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deaneries of New Jersey and New York City recently held DDB appreciation dinners; the last such dinners were held before the start of the covid pandemic. The DDB appreciation dinners are an opportunity for His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, to personally thank all the donors and inform them about how their generosity through the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors program is impacting the life of the diocese. The DDB Appreciation dinner of the New Jersey deanery was held at Holy Trinity Church in Randolph, NJ, on June 26, 2022. The dinner with New York City deanery benefactors took place at Saint Nicholas Church in Whitestone, NY, on July 3, 2022.
We, the members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, promote and uphold the sacred and inviolable essence of human life. The continued challenges of our time prompt us to publish a more comprehensive statement of the Orthodox Church’s regard for human life and, in particular, the termination of human life. Prepared by our Committee for Church and Society, and affirmed by the Assembly as a whole, this statement seeks to succinctly articulate Orthodox Christian teaching for the faithful and to continue the Church’s tradition as a beacon and witness to life as freely given by our good and loving Creator...
The latest issue of KOINONIA is now available for download and distribution in the parishes. KONIONIA is the quarterly newsletter published by the Diocesan Commission on Missions and Evangelism, under the editorship of the Director of that Commission, Archpriest Eric Tosi, and with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael.
[Buffalo, NY] - A joyous day of celebration was experienced at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Buffalo NY the weekend of May 21-22 with a visit by Archbishop Michael. Around 95 parishioners, family and friends were in attendance for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in which Father John P. Hutnyan was honored by His Eminence with the elevation to Archpriest, and awards of the Gold Cross and the Nabedrennik. The parish hosted a beautiful dinner following Liturgy.
Submitted by: Matushka Nancy Hutnyan
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael is instructing that every parish rector and one or two parish council members (or more) must attend this conference. It is important that each parish is represented and has the opportunity to participate in these meaningful discussions.
St Tikhon’s 2022 Continuing Education Conference for Clergy In Partnership with the Orthodox Christian Leadership Initiative
[Jewell, NY] - Saint Andrew's Camp's new building is moving forward fast!!! After many hurdles and struggles, and with the support of so many of the faithful of our diocese, this building now has walls, a roof, electricity, alarm systems, and windows. Fundraising for this project began three years ago, and with the generous response of so many churches and individuals, we were able to finalize plans last summer and break ground.
[Endicott, NY] - On Saturday, May 7, 2022, on the feast of Repose of Saint Alexis Toth, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in America, Archbishop Michael marked his 12th anniversary of Consecration to Episcopacy. Eis polla eti, Despota!
Monday, May 9th, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Mitred Archpriest John Skvir, active and well-known throughout the Metropolia and then the Orthodox Church in America.
Born in Ganister, PA, to John and Paraskeva Skvir, John was baptized in Assumption Orthodox Church in that community. After graduation from Williamsburg High School, he was a member of the Class of 1943 at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. He later took courses at the University of Pittsburgh.
Bringing the joy of Pascha to a little-served region of upstate New York, a Paschal Divine Liturgy was served in Plattsburgh, New York, on Bright Saturday, April 30, 2022. Archpriest Terenti Wasielewski, Rector of St. Nicholas Church in Cohoes, New York, celebrated the Liturgy, joined by 10 faithful laypersons. The singing was led by Mark Wolosen, choir director of the Cohoes parish. This initial Liturgy is the first of a series of services planned to determine the viability of a potential future Mission Station in Plattsburgh.
It's time to celebrate!
With the blessing of Archbishop MICHAEL, the Department of Youth Ministry would like to honor all high school and college graduates from our diocese by featuring their accomplishments in Jacob's Well, the official magazine of our diocese.
In order for this to happen, we need your help!
Please consider participating in the St. Andrew’s Camp Bicycle Ride. The bike ride is a charity event supporting OUR Camp and Its mission to support OUR children. The Ride is a fun way to donate to the Camp. More information to follow.
On Bright Saturday, April 30, 2022, Saint Andrew's Camp hosted the annual open house. His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the camp's Chapel with the visiting diocesan clergy and guests.
Brick, NJ - On Bright Wednesday, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael served Paschal Vespers at the Orthodox Christian Church of the Annunciation in Brick, NJ. Concelebrating with Archbishop Michael were the clergy of the New Jersey Deanery of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. After the Vespers, Very Rev. Gary Breton presented a check of $18,000.00 to Father Kenneth Ellis of Holy Ghost Orthodox Church on behalf of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. Holy Ghost Orthodox Church and it's rectory were damaged by Hurricane Ida the last September. Temporarily, the parish of Holy Ghost utilizes the upper hall of Saints Peter & Paul Church in Manville.
Sunday, May 1 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of the late Rt. Rev. Mitred Archpriest Andrew Skripnik Kuharsky.
Father Andrew served the then Russian Orthodox Metropolia and later the new autocephalous Orthodox Church in America
Christ is Risen!
Dear friends of the Assembly of Bishops Mental Health Task Force,
Earlier this year, the Assembly of Bishops unanimously approved a proposal for the Mental Health Task Force to develop a clergy and leadership training program titled Peace of Mind. Peace of Mind is a composite of a preexisting, clinically-based course (Mental Health First Aid) that is augmented by an original, theologically-based presentation (Orthodox Bridging). We believe that Peace of Mind is an essential component in our ongoing work of cultivating a culture of mental wellness within our community while also recognizing the fullness of health through the context of Christ and the Orthodox Church.
At their Spring Session of March 14-18, 2022, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, among many other matters, carefully considered the recent devastation taking place in Ukraine. In response to the immediate crisis, they have issued the following statement…
The latest issue of "First Fruits" is now available for download and distribution in the parishes. "First Fruits" is the quarterly newsletter on Stewardship, under the editorship Archpriest Jason Vansuch, and with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael.
The latest issue of KOINONIA is now available for download and distribution in the parishes. KONIONIA is the quarterly newsletter published by the Diocesan Commission on Missions and Evangelism, under the editorship of the Director of that Commission, Archpriest Eric Tosi, and with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael.
[Cleveland, OH] - On the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, March 13, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited the headquarters of ZOE For Life, known as ZOE House, in Cleveland, Ohio. ZOE For Life is an Orthodox Christian initiative which affirms the value of all life by providing nonjudgmental, confidential support and education during and after an unplanned pregnancy, offering numerous practical resources to encourage women in unplanned pregnancies to carry their babies to term. More details about the mission and the needs of ZOE For Life in Cleveland can be found at www.zoeforlife.org.
[Wane, NJ] - 24 priests, 2 deacons, 25 singers and over 175 faithful joined His Grace, The Right Reverend ALEXIS, Bishop of Bethesda for the celebration of Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers at Holy Resurrection Church in Wayne, NJ. The celebration began with a procession of the clergy from the parish center to the church.
[South Canaan, PA] - On Saturday, January 29, 2022, His Eminence Archbishop Michael ordained Deacon Paul Hammer to the Holy Priesthood and Solomon Longo to the Holy Diaconate at Saint Tikhon's Monastery.
[Clifton, NJ] - Assumption of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church was blessed to have His Eminence, Archbishop Michael make his annual visit to our parish this past weekend, March 5th. & 6th., 2022. The weekend was very uplifting to all the parish during these troubling times as we listened to his inspiring and encouraging words and it was also the first parish function we have had in two years because of the Coronavirus.
On Saturday, February 19, teens gathered for our Diocesan Teen Social at two parishes across the Diocese - Holy Trinity in East Meadow, NY, and Saints Peter and Paul in Herkimer, NY. This is the second event in the series of Quarterly Teen Socials being held throughout the Diocese in the hopes of reconnecting our youth to our churches and to each other.
Dearly beloved children in the Lord,
In light of the distressing developments in Ukraine affecting millions of innocent people in the region, I wholeheartedly urge you to pray for peace and the well-being of our brothers and sisters who are enduring this tragic moment.
Dear brothers and sisters! Faithful to our Ukrainian Orthodox Church!
As the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I appeal to you and to all citizens of Ukraine. A terrible thing happened. Unfortunately, Russia has launched military operations against Ukraine, and at this fateful time, I urge you not to panic, to be courageous, and to show love for your homeland and for each other.
Deacon Anthony Stokes, choir director, teacher, and chair of the Diocese of the South Liturgical Music Committee, will lead three webinars on the services of the All-Night Vigil (Vespers and Matins), focusing on the liturgical and musical aspects for choir directors, singers, and readers.
A Diocesan Teen Social will take place at Holy Trinity in East Meadow on February 19. This is the second event in the series of Quarterly Teen Socials being held across the Diocese in the hopes of reconnecting our Youth to our churches and to each other. There will be simultaneous get-togethers in Paramus as well as Herkimer on this date.
Over the weekend of January 29 and 30, 2022, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited St. Gregory the Theologian Church in Wappingers Falls, NY. The visit coincided with the Feast of the Three Hierarchs and part of the patronal festivities for the parish.
His Eminence celebrated the Festal Vespers on Saturday evening with the parish and reminded the parish of the stories of the Three Hierarchs and why it was deemed crucial to celebrate them together as a sign of unity in the Church.
Archpriest John D. Bohush fell asleep in the Lord on January 21, 2022.
The Deepest Sympathies of the clergy and faithful of the Diocese are expressed to the family of the newly-departed + Archpriest John Bohush. + Father John fell asleep in the Lord early this morning, Friday, January 21.
Born on August 10, 1934, in Endicott, NY, to the late John H. and Anna (Chura) Bohush, Father John was a graduate of Union Endicott High School in Endicott. He was a graduate of Wilkes College, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Class of 1957, where he was mentored by Saint Nikolai Velimirovic of South Canaan and Zicha.
On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, the Hispanic catechesis group held their second forum featuring a guest speaker. Father Saúl Díaz Sánchez of the OCA diocese of Mexico gave a presentation to the group on the feast of Theophany. Father Saúl’s informative presentation was followed by a Q and A session which was a great encouragement to those seeking the Orthodox faith in the Spanish language. The group is looking forward to their next guest speaker in mid-February. A link to the presentation can be found below.
On December 28, 2021, Archpriest Paul Shafran, Pastor Emeritus (retired) at St. Vladimir's Church, Trenton, NJ, celebrated the 74th anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. One month earlier, Father Paul and Matushka Mary celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary. They were married in Matushka's home town, Warren, Ohio, at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27, 1947), which was pre-Advent according to the Julian calendar being followed at that time. By the grace of God, Fr. Paul and Matushka Mary continue to attend church services, and Fr. Paul serves with joy in the altar with Fr. Volodymyr Chaikivskiy, Rector of St. Vladimir's Church. Congratulations to Father Paul and Matushka Mary on these wonderful milestones!!
Submitted by: Nina Shafran
January 11, 2022
At its inaugural meeting on December 3, the Board of Directors of the newly blessed Youth & Young Adult Ministry Agency met to begin this important work in the life of the Church. The members of the Board are as follows:
On January 1, 20222, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited St. Basil’s Russian Orthodox Church, Watervliet, NY, for their Parish Feastday. His Eminence was greeted by Starosta Marie Giokas with the traditional bread and salt, and flowers were presented to Vladika by Eleanor Gagnon (daughter of Deacon and Matushka Jason and Laura Gagnon) and the children of the parish.
Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, Saddle Brook, NJ — Hunger is 365 Days. The Holiday Food Drive at Holy Apostles Orthodox Church attempted to assist Eva’s Village in Paterson, NJ at providing meals for the Homeless and those in their Residence and Shelters with Food to prepare and distribute to those needing nutrition during this time of year.
On Sunday, December 19, 2021, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited St. Innocent of Alaska Orthodox Mission in Oneonta, NY. Prior to celebrating the divine liturgy, His Eminence tonsured Timothy Masterjohn to the rank of the Reader. The liturgy was served by his Eminence and joining him were Rev. John Morris, acting rector of St Innocent Mission, V. Rev. Alexey Karlgut, dean of the NYS deanery as well as Deacon Stephan Karlgut.
The parish is grateful that His Eminence was able to visit with us. We are all appreciative to those who came to serve and sing as well.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 202
CHICAGO – At its inaugural meeting on December 3, the Board of Directors of the newly established Youth & Young Adult Ministry Agency adopted "why" and mission statements. Established by the Assembly of Bishops as the capstone achievement of the "Year of the Youth," the new Agency will cast a vision to unite and deepen the ministry efforts of parishes and families across the Church.
On Sunday, November 28, the parish of Saint Andrew’s Church in Dix Hills was privileged to host the well-known liturgical scholar, author, and podcaster Sister Vassa (Larin) as she helped facilitate a “teaching Liturgy,” followed by a reception and lecture.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2021
CHICAGO – The Board of Directors of the newly established Youth & Young Adult Ministry Agency concluded its first meeting on Friday, December 3.
Established and blessed by the Assembly of Bishops at its October 2021 meeting as the capstone achievement of the "Year of the Youth," the new Agency will cast a vision to unite and deepen the ministry efforts of parishes and families across the Church to serve all Orthodox youth and young adults in the United States.
In honor of the Year of Youth, the Youth Serving Christ video series celebrates our youth's efforts to serve Christ by serving their neighbor. It is through this Christian service of love, that our youth not only grow in Christ but better understand what it means to be Christ in their life. This episode features one of our own parishes - Saint George Orthodox Church in Buffalo, NY.
On Saturday, November 20, nearly fifty altar servers, clergy, and faithful joined His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, for the 2021 Diocesan Altar Servers' Retreat, held at Holy Resurrection Church, in Wayne, NJ. This was a particularly joyous occasion, as it marked the return of the Annual Diocesan Altar Servers’ Retreat after the pandemic had caused its cancellation in 2020. The camaraderie among the re-united servers from numerous diocesan parishes was inspiring!
At its annual meeting in October 2020, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America declared 2021 the “Year of the Youth,” with the intent of augmenting ministry to children, teens, and young adults across the country. You can find more information on the Year of the Youth Hub website.
Join the Orthodox Youth Directors in North America at Antiochian Village Conference Center in Bolivar, Pa from Thursday, February 3rd - Saturday, February 5th for the Annual Youth and Camp Workers Conference!
On Thursday, November 18, the Hispanic catechumen group met virtually with Deacon Basil Vazquez (Antiochian Archdiocese) as their guest speaker. Father John Morris opened the meeting offering a prayer and introducing Deacon Basil. Deacon Basil then gave thanks to Archbishop Michael and Bishop Anthony (Antiochian Archdiocese) for their blessings to allow him to speak to the group. He gave a wonderful talk in Spanish during which he described his journey to Orthodoxy and the diaconate in the Orthodox Church. All in the group were edified by the conversation and look forward to their next guest speaker in mid-December.
The Hispanic catechumen group is run by Fr. John Morris and catechist Ioannis (Jose) Sanchez. The group offers catechism classes to inquirers and catechumens who speak primarily Spanish. For more information contact: Fr. John Morris at email@example.com or Ioannis Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, November 14, 2021, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited the church of Saint John Chrysostom in Woodside, NY. During the Divine Liturgy, the parish rector, Archpriest Daniel Degyansky, was awarded ."Palitza." At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Michael also presented Father Daniel with a Gramota from the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America issued in appreciation for his 30 years of service as a priest.
On Saturday, October 16, Archbishop Michael presided at the Consecration of the Altar Table and Church Building at the Orthodox Christian Church of the Annunciation in Brick, New Jersey. Nine priests served, including former Rectors, the Very Rev. Joseph Wargo (1974-76), and the Very Rev. David Vernak (1976-2003), and the current Rector, the Very Rev. Gary Joseph Breton (2003-present). The parish also celebrated its 50-year Anniversary that weekend. A celebratory banquet was held in the parish hall, the structure which now sits upon the site of the converted two-car garage that originally served as the church building.
[Buffalo, NY] - On Saturday, October 30, 2021, Vespers were served by his Eminence along with priests of the Council of Orthodox Churches of Western New York at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church — Fr. Vladislav Golic of St. Stephen Serbian Church (Lackawanna), Fr. Raphael Barberg of St. George Antiochian Church (Lewiston), Fr. Jason Vansuch, Fr. Peter Irfan and Fr. Andreja Damjanovski of St. George Church (Buffalo).
On the weekend of October 23rd and October 24th, the Parish of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin, located in Jackson, NJ was blessed to have His Eminence Archbishop Michael join the faithful for our annual Archpastoral visitation. The weekend began on Saturday evening with Vespers served by our Rector, Archpriest John Prokopiuk, and Deacon Stephan Karlgut. After Vespers, everyone enjoyed a beautiful dinner in the Parish Home prepared by the Sisterhood of the Parish.
On Sunday, October 24th, Mother of God, Joy of all Who Sorrow parish in Princeton NJ celebrated their Patronal Feast Day with the Divine Liturgy and a festive Picnic/ BBQ.
[Pearl River, NY]
Holy Transfiguration Church, Pearl River, NY was the site for a Divine Liturgy concelebrated by the Very Reverend Mitred Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, diocesan chancellor, rector of Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral, Jersey City, NJ; the Very Reverend Archpriest Samuel Kedala, retired, former dean of the New Jersey Deanery; and the Very Reverend Stephen Evanina, rector, Holy Resurrection Church, Wayne, NJ; Saturday, September 25, 2021
Beloved Members of our Diocesan Family:
Christ is in our midst! – He is and ever shall be!
Almost all of us, no doubt, watched in horror and prayed with zeal as Hurricane Ida made its way across the south and up the east coast of our country. In its path, Ida wreaked devastation upon property and, most unfortunately, claimed the lives of scores of victims.
Our Diocese of New York and New Jersey was, thanks be to GOD, spared loss of lives from among the faithful. However, we were not exempt from destruction of church property and the homes of parishioners.
On Saturday, September 18, 2021, His Eminence Archbishop MICHAEL ordained Paul Hunchak to the Holy Diaconate at Our Lady of Kazan Orthodox Church in Sea Cliff, New York.
May God grant Deacon Paul and Matushka Elena many blessed years!
Archbishop Michael visits the faithful at Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow in Princeton, NJ. Having to postpone his pastoral visit due to Covid last year the faithful were happy to have their Archpastor visit.
A Series of FREE Online Workshops
for Diocesan Church School Teachers and Clergy
Inspired by the Holy Gospel, the clergy and faithful of Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, Saddle Brook, NJ, have undertaken “Project Backpack”, an initiative to assist needy children at Eva’s Village Residences and Shelters, in Paterson, NJ.
DEEPEST SYMPATHY is expressed to: Matushka Genevieve Glagolev; her children Christia, Marina, and John; her grandchildren; and all their family; on the falling asleep in the Lord of her beloved husband and their father and grandfather, + Mitred Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, who fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, September 1, in Santa Cruz, CA.
Grant, O Lord, a prosperous and peaceful life, good health and salvation, visitation and good hastening in all things, to Thy servant, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, celebrating his birthday; and protect and preserve him for many blessed years! Mnogaya Lyeta!”
"Eis Polla Eti, Despota!"
On August 21 and 22, Archbishop Michael made his archpastoral visit to Christ the Savior Church in Ballston Lake, NY. After a beautiful Great Vespers service, a meal was provided by the women of the Church to honor His Eminence in the Church hall.
On Sunday Sunday, August 22, 2021, a Carnival Cookout was held for the parish community at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Buffalo, New York.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the parish held a Carnival Cookout for young and old to enjoy. Nadia Ryan organized the event with the help of all the faithful parishioners.
By Archpriest John Shimchick
On Wednesday I learned of the “falling asleep” of one of the OCA’s most remarkable priests, Fr. Michael Koblosh (also, one of my favorites). Growing up in Yonkers, he attended both St. Tikhon’s and St. Vladimir’s Seminaries and served established and mission parishes, including: Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA; Holy Trinity, East Meadow, NY; SS. Cyril and Methodius Church, Terryville, CT; Holy Ghost Church, Bridgeport, CT; Christ the Savior Mission, Southbury, CT; and St. Nicholas Church, Whitestone, NY; and finally All Saints of America Mission, Alexandria, VA (which he started). During his time in Connecticut, Fr. Michael was Dean of the Connecticut Deanery.
On Friday and Saturday, August 7-8, 2021, the members of the Bohush family gathered together in Cherry Hill, NJ, to celebrate the upcoming 87th birthday on August 10 of the patriarch of the family, Archpriest John D. Bohush.
The Very Rev. Stephen John Janos, Jr., of Centre Township, Pennsylvania, fell asleep in the Lord on Saturday, August 7, 2021, at his residence, at the age of 74. He was born in Lebanon, PA, to the late Anne (née Marko) and Stephen J. Janos, Sr. He graduated from Reading Central High School in 1965, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Humanities, followed by a Master’s degree in Philosophy, from Villanova University. He then graduated from St. Vladimir’s Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree.
On Friday, August 6, 2021, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, His Eminence Archbishop Michael led a Service of Prayer and the Breaking of Ground for a new Camp Kitchen, Dining and Activities Center, at St. Andrew’s Camp, on the shore of Lake Oneida, in Jewell, New York. Saint Andrew’s is the Diocesan Camp where our young people have gathered every summer for nearly seven decades for fellowship, fun, and spiritual formation.
Very Reverend, Reverend and Dear Fathers; Beloved in the Lord: Christ is in our midst!
During these days, we mourn the passing from this life of the + Mitred Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky. Yet, with hope in the Resurrection, we lovingly commend him into the hands of the Almighty God Whom he has served for so long, with such excellence and devotion.
Father Leonid advised Metropolitans of the Orthodox Church in America; and he imparted wise counsel to Patriarchs and Metropolitans, Chancellors and priests of ancient Churches, non-Orthodox confessions, and non-Christian communities throughout the world...
Very Reverend, Reverend and Dear Fathers;
Delegates to the 2021 Diocesan Assembly;
Parish Council Members and Faithful Parishioners of our Diocesan Family:
Christ is in our midst!
The Diocesan Council, at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, with His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL presiding, received reports and entertained discussion regarding the logistical requirements for accommodating the delegates to the 2021 Diocesan Assembly in compliance with ongoing public health concerns.
Given the continuing fluidity of the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, and out of concern for the delegates and the Diocese, the unanimous decision was taken by the Diocesan Council to hold the 2021 Diocesan Assembly via video conference, instead of in person at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Endicott, New York as was previously planned. This decision by the Diocesan Council was blessed and approved by Archbishop Michael.
The date and time of the Diocesan Assembly remains Wednesday, November 3, 2021, at 11:00 AM.
The Deepest Sympathies of the clergy and faithful of the Diocese are expressed to Matushka Alexandra Kishkovsky, to all the Kishkovsky family, and to the parish family of the Church of Our Lady of Kazan, Sea Cliff, NY, on the falling asleep in the Lord of the + Mitred Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky, shortly before midnight last night, Tuesday, August 3.
The schedule of services for Father Leonid’s funeral are as follows:
All services will take place at Our Lady of Kazan Church, 2 Willow Shore Ave, Sea Cliff, NY 11579
Wednesday, August 11
12:00 PM: Arrival of the Body and Panikhida
7:00 PM: Funeral Service for a Priest
Thursday, August 12
9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy
Immediately following the Divine Liturgy, Litya from the Panikhida and interment at Roslyn Cemetery.
All clergy who wish to concelebrate the Funeral or the Divine Liturgy should contact the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, email@example.com, or (516) 922-0550 x 130.
Grant rest eternal in blessed repose with the Saints, O Lord, to the soul of Thy newly-departed servant, the ever-to-be-remembered + Mitred Protopresbyter Leonid, who has fallen asleep in the Lord, and may his memory be eternal! "Vechnaya Pamyat!"
With love and prayers,
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, visited Saint Vladimir Orthodox Church in Trenton, NJ, on July 17 and 18, 2021, to celebrate the patronal feast day. Con-celebrating the hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Vladyka, were Fr. Volodymyr Chaikivskiy (Rector), Archpriest Paul Shafran (Pastor Emeritus, retired), Archpriest John Bohush (attached, retired), and visiting clergy, including Mitered Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, Archpriest Paul Kucynda, Archpriest Daniel Skvir, as well as deacons and subdeacons. Following the Liturgy, about 150 parishioners and friends gathered for a lavish meal in the parish social hall, and children presented His Eminence with gifts.
This year the bicycle ride will be on Saturday, August 28th, 2021. The ride is a fun way to support OUR Camp and to connect with other Orthodox Christians from different churches of our diocese. All levels of riding ability are welcome.
On July 1, 2021, Deacon Jacob Ramsey was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and Jersey at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott, NY. Co-serving with His Eminence were Mitred Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Chancellor of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Archpriest Alexey Karlgut, parish rector and Dean of New York State, Archpriest Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk, Dean of New York City, Archpriest Gary Breton, Dean of New Jersey, Archpriest David Cowan Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese and a multitude of clergy from the Diocese and various jurisdictions. A festive meal took place after the Liturgy.
Many Years to the newly-ordained Priest Jacob, Matushka Anastasia, and their children Stephen, Nicholas and John!
By the grace of God, Archpriest Paul Shafran (Pastor Emeritus, retired – Trenton, NJ) reached his 99th milestone birthday July 2, 2021. He was blessed to serve Divine Liturgy (shown in photo) on Sunday, July 4th, with Fr. Volodymyr Chaikivskiy (Rector of Saint Vladimir's Church, Trenton, NJ), after which Fr. Volodymyr thanked him for all he has done for the Church and intoned “Many Years!” Parishioners then gathered in the parish social hall for celebratory cake – a welcome change from last year’s covid-related lock-down. The prior day, Fr. Paul celebrated with family. We extend our warm congratulations, gratitude, and “Mnogaya L’yeta” to Fr. Paul!
A video summary of the 2020-21 church school year at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Cathedral in Jersey City, NJ.
As the country carefully begins to revive from its long covid pause, the value of parish life, traditions and just being together with other Orthodox Christians, takes on a new vitality. One such time-honored tradition took place at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Yonkers NY on Sunday, June 13, 2021 immediately following Divine Liturgy: A Flag-Raising ceremony.
Below, please find an Addendum to the May 26 Diocesan Guidelines on the Continuing Re-Opening of Our Churches, Missions, and Chapels. The intent of this Addendum is to address issues not articulated in the May 26 Guidelines.
We ask for the assistance of our
faithful and our parishes to meet the
goal of $300,000 by the end of July.
Glory to God! The Department of Christian Education congratulates the following Diocesan family members who have completed their Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Formation Training.
With the blessing of Archbishop MICHAEL, the Department of Youth Ministry would like to honor all high school and college graduates from our diocese by featuring their accomplishments in Jacob's Well, the official magazine of our diocese.
In order for this to happen, we need your help!
This weekend marks the eleventh anniversary of Archbishop Michael’s consecration to the Episcopacy, on Saturday, May 8, 2010, at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Jersey City, and His Eminence’s enthronement as the Bishop of New York and New Jersey, on Sunday, May 9, 2010, at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York City.
Dearest Vladyka: In expressing the love of your Diocesan family for you, the sentiments spoken long ago by a seminary student of yours, now a parish priest, ring true across the years – and they ring true not only for students of theology, but for all the parishes under your archpastoral care and for each of your spiritual sons and daughters within this God-protected Diocese. The seminarian said:
“Saint Paul says that ‘though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.’ (1 Cor 13:2) In considering the many obstacles facing those striving to give their lives to the service of the Lord, we must take great notice when God sends an instrument of love to aid us in our struggle. Whenever we struggled, Archbishop Michael was there. When we needed encouragement, Archbishop Michael was there. When we needed love, Archbishop Michael was there. Archbishop Michael made the words of Saint Paul come alive to us, and by his example, he has written those words on our hearts.”
Your Eminence: Last May, your tenth anniversary came at a difficult time in the life of the Diocese, of Churches everywhere, and of the whole world. We know that your heart was heavy not to be able to celebrate in full churches, gathered with great numbers of the faithful. Yet, still, as we your spiritual children have struggled in so many ways through this past year of the pandemic, you have been there: in person whenever you could be … on the phone if that was all that was possible … but with prayer and patience and kindness – always.
May your Eleventh Anniversary bring you all the joy that is fitting for this milestone; and may the Great High Priest bless you and reward you for your selfless service, as the “instrument of His love” in the lives of thousands of His children. Eis Polla Eti, Despota!
Archpriest Nilus Lerro fell asleep in the Lord on Holy Wednesday afternoon, April 28, 2021, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, NY.
Ordained a deacon in 1971 and a priest in 1972, Father Nilus converted to Holy Orthodoxy in 2006. He served for a number of years as the Director of Student Life and Instructor at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
After his retirement from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, Father Nilus was attached to the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, Manhattan, NY, where he was an assistant to Archimandrite Christopher (Calin) until his health limited his activities. He continued on, however, as a father confessor to the parishioners of the Cathedral parish and several Orthodox clergy and faithful in the greater New York City area, until his recent move to an extended care facility.
Funeral Services for Archpriest Nilus will be celebrated at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, 59 East 2nd Street, New York, NY 10003.
Bright Thursday, May 6
3pm - 8pm viewing
6 pm Service of Burial
Bright Friday, May 7
9:30 am Divine Liturgy
Burial will take place at St Mary’s Cemetery, Cockeysville, MD. By request of Archimandrite Christopher, Dean of the Cathedral: face coverings are mandatory in the Cathedral.
The altar is limited to 10 persons total, so a maximum of 5 serving visiting priests can be accommodated.
May Father Nilus’ memory be eternal!
Want to help your parish kids make a quantum leap in their Christian Formation? Then please consider bringing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to your parish.
We are thrilled to announce the formation courses of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Please consider sharing this news with everyone - our goal is to make as many catechists as possible! Please download, print, and share the following flyer in your parish.
It's time to beat the quarantine blues this summer at Camp! We are very excited to be reunited with our beloved campers for our 64th Camp Season of 5 glorious weeks in the beautiful outdoors on Lake Oneida, New York!
|FAMILY WEEK||HORSE WEEK 1||MISH MASH WEEK|
|July 5-10||July 11-17||July 18-24|
|HORSE WEEK 2||TEEN WEEK|
|July 25-31||August 1-7|
Click here to REGISTER your child for a summer of fun!
WAIT! WE WANT YOU TOO!
Are you ready to get out and interact with people?
Want to make a difference in the lives of youth, while growing your faith and enjoying nature? Then helping out at Saint Andrew's Camp is for you!
We have a need for counselors, cooks & kitchen assistants, nurses, and weekend work crews. Join us for a weekend, a week, or more!
Take your summer to the next level and join the fun and important ministry at Saint Andrew's Camp!
For more information about the camp program or helping out, contact the Camp Office at (315) 675-9771 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Assembly of Bishops has declared 2021 as the "Year of the Youth"! We are excited to announce that part of this is a monthly Zoom call for our youth with our Orthodox hierarchs! These Zoom calls have been organized by region, and we ask that you check out the information below. We're excited that our own hierarch, Archbishop Michael of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey will be on the first call which is for the Northeast region on Tuesday, April 13th at 7pm EST!
The latest issue of "First Fruits" is now available for download and distribution in the parishes. "First Fruits" is a quarterly newsletter on Christian Stewardship, under the editorship of Archpriest Jason Vansuch and with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael.
On Sunday evening, March 21, at 5:00 PM, His Eminence Archbishop Michael will celebrate Vespers for the Triumph of Orthodoxy, at Holy Trinity Church, Elmira Heights, New York. The service will be live-streamed on the parish's Facebook and YouTube pages. See below for the links.
Because we are not holding area-wide events for the Sunday of Orthodoxy this year, His Eminence hopes that all the faithful who are not able to attend an Orthodoxy Sunday celebration in their area will be encouraged by this live-streamed service, as we continue our Lenten journey together!
Watch the Services via Live-Stream at:
FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES... Journey to Pascha
Click here for Lessons on Each Week of Lent
from the OCA Department of Christian Education
FOR FAMILIES... Lenten Reflections for Families
Click here for Reflections on Each Week of Lent
from the OCA Department of Christian Education
Sunday, April 11, 2021 4pm - 7pm ET
WHAT: Virtual Youth Lenten Retreat
WHEN: Sunday, April 11, 2021 - 4PM - 7PM EST
WHERE: Online - Zoom Link provided after online registration
Calling all Orthodox Youth - grades K-12! Join Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki and Archpriest Benjamin Tucci via Zoom on Sunday, April 11 from 4-7pm EST as they remind us the pathway to the Feast of Feasts - OUR LORD’S RESURRECTION!
This Lenten Retreat “Rediscovering Pascha - After a Year of Pandemic” is aimed at bringing Orthodox Youth from all jurisdictions and locations together during Great Lent.
Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki - Holy Apostle Mission, Mechanicsburg, Pennyslvania
Archpriest Benjamin Tucci - St. Mary's Cathedral, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Department of Youth Ministry will be hosting its Annual Lenten Teen Retreat VIRTUALLY for Teens in Grades 7-12 on Saturday, April 17th. The day will begin at 12pm EST and be split into two sessions, 12-3pm EST and 7-8:30pm EST. There is NO FEE to participate.
Our guest speaker, Fr. Joshua Makoul of the Antiochian Archdiocese, will lead a discussion on Finding Balance Through Self-Care and the Church. His Eminence, Archbishop Michael will also be with us for a portion of the day.
All Teens in Grades 7-12 are invited and encouraged to attend, including those from other OCA dioceses and Orthodox jurisdictions. Based on feedback from our Virtual Winter Retreat, there will be more opportunities for fellowship throughout the day!
Register here before April 16th. Please note that a link to the live Zoom sessions will be sent out closer to April 17th.
We look forward to welcoming both old and new faces! If you have any questions, email our Youth Department Chairperson, Danielle Geeza.
This Week's Theme: The Publican and The Pharisee
For Children... check out Orthodox Pebbles.com
Lessons with Activities that you can work on at home with your families.
Click here for a lesson on The Publican and the Pharisee
For Teens... check out Y2AM.org
Click here for a great lesson on PRIDE & DELUSION
For Elementary through Adults...go deeper with Orthodox Journeys.com
Try a sample comprehensive lesson with handouts on Seeing Ourselves (click here)
The Deepest Sympathies of the clergy and faithful of the Diocese are expressed to Matushka Mary Tkachuk, daughter Vera, and grandchildren Alexandra and Peter; all the members of the Tkachuk family and their loved ones; and all the clergy and faithful parishioners of Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers; on the falling-asleep in the Lord this evening of beloved husband, father, and grandfather, + Archpriest John Tkachuk.
Following is the schedule of services for the newly-departed + Archpriest John Tkachuk:
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
3:00 PM - Vesting (clergy only) at the funeral home.
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Visiting Hours
(Holy Trinity Church, 46 Seymour St, Yonkers, NY)
7:00 PM - Priest Funeral Service
(Holy Trinity Church, 46 Seymour St, Yonkers, NY)
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
9:30 AM - Divine Liturgy followed by Memorial Litija
(Holy Trinity Church, 46 Seymour St, Yonkers, NY)
Burial at Saint Tikhon's Cemetery (South Canaan, PA)
Grant rest eternal in blessed repose with the Saints, O Lord, to the soul of Thy newly-departed servant, the ever-to-be-remembered + Archpriest John, who has fallen asleep in the Lord; and make his memory to be eternal! "Vechnaya Pamyat!"
Deepest sympathy is expressed to Matthew and Timothy Chupeck, and all the members of their family; and to all the parish family of SS. Peter and Paul Church, Syracuse NY; on the falling asleep in the Lord of their beloved father, and their pastor of many decades, + Archpriest John Chupeck, who fell asleep in the Lord today, February 10.
Following is the schedule of services for the newly-departed + Archpriest John Chupeck:
Tuesday, February 16
3:00 PM Vesting of the Body
5:00 - 7:00 PM Viewing at SS. Peter and Paul Church, 401 Hamilton St., Syracuse NY
7:00 PM Service for the Burial of a Priest
Wednesday, February 17
9:00 - 10:00 AM Viewing at SS. Peter and Paul Church, 401 Hamilton St., Syracuse NY
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy and Litya
Interment will take place at St. Tikhon's Monastery, time to be determined.
Grant rest eternal in blessed repose with the Saints, O Lord, to the soul of Thy newly-departed servant, the ever-to-be-remembered + Archpriest John, who has fallen asleep in the Lord; and make his memory to be eternal! "Vechnaya Pamyat!"
The deepest sympathies of the clergy and faithful of the Diocese are expressed to the family and loved ones of the newly-departed + Protodeacon John Eby -- particularly, to the parish family of Holy Trinity Church, Yonkers NY, and to the community of St. Vladimir's Seminary.
Protodeacon John served the Yonkers parish faithfully for four decades, first as a devoted layman and then, for the past 22 years, as their parish deacon, retiring recently from active diaconal service. His passing into eternity is a great loss to the many parishioners touched by his ministry, and also to the countless students, faculty, and customers whom he served as Assistant Manager of Saint Vladimir's Seminary Bookstore.
Viewing hours will be on Friday, February 5, from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 46 Seymour Street, Yonkers, NY, immediately followed by a Panikhida at 7:30 PM. Divine Liturgy will be held on Saturday, February 6, at 10:00 AM at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.
Grant rest eternal in blessed repose with the Saints, O Lord, to the soul of Thy newly-departed servant, the ever-to-be-remembered + Protodeacon John, who has fallen asleep in the Lord, and make his memory to be eternal! "Vechnaya Pamyat!"
Archbishop Michael offers this List of Family Activities for the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, on February 2 (also known as the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord). These activities were prepared by Holy Trinity Church in East Meadow NY. Download the PDF file and enjoy them at home, as you keep the Feast!
PITTSBURGH, PA [Orthodox Youth Directors in North America Communications]
Join The Orthodox Youth Directors in North America (OYDNA) virtually on Thursday, January 28th and Friday, January 29th for their Annual Youth and Camp Workers Conference!
Thursday, January 28th
6:30 pm EST: Welcome, Opening Prayer, and Introductions
7:00 - 9:00 pm EST: Session 1 – Youth Panel Presentation & Discussion
Friday, January 29th
11:00 am - 1 pm EST: Session 2 - The Beauty in Youth Formation
2:00 - 4:00 pm EST: Session 3 - Practical Youth Formation
4:15 pm EST: Akathist for Youth
The objective of the Youth and Camp Workers Conference (YCC) is to offer an enriching and uplifting experience that will connect youth and camp workers and provide them with inspirational and challenging ideas to help them refine and improve their work. YCC is hosted by OYDNA, a working committee of individuals who serve as the departmental heads of the youth, college, and young adult ministry departments of the different Orthodox churches represented in the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States.
The Orthodox Church in America is co-hosting the Conference and invites all Clergy, Youth Group Advisors, Church School Teachers, Youth Workers, Camp Directors, Camp Counselors, and anyone with an interest in serving our young people to attend!
Two of the main speakers are from the OCA, Dr. Peter Bouteneff and Fr. Sergius Halvorsen, and OCA youth will be featured during a panel presentation and discussion on the evening of January 28th. Information on other speakers can be found on the Conference website.
On Thursday, December 31, 2020, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has issued an encyclical entitled, “We Rejoice Even in Tribulation”: An Encyclical of Hope. The Holy Synod offers this work out of love and gratitude to its faithful at the end of this year. The Synod also intends for the encyclical to be seen as an encouragement for the year to come. In the encyclical, the Synod seeks to find meaning in the year that has past, which has been marked by a pandemic, political polarization, economic anxiety, and civil unrest, and calls the faithful to a renewed faith and hope in Jesus Christ, and service to one another.
Presently the encyclical is available as a PDF for download. In January 2021, printed copies will be mailed to all parishes, monasteries, and institutions of the Orthodox Church in America.
This article first appeared on www.oca.org on December 31, 2020.
Archpriest Paul Shafran, Pastor Emeritus (retired) at St. Vladimir's Church in Trenton, on December 28th celebrated the 73d anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. He was ordained by Bishop Nikon at Holy Protection Cathedral in NYC when the famous "Blizzard of 1947" dropped several feet of snow on the city. He and Matushka Mary also celebrated their 73d wedding anniversary in November. Congratulations and may God bless them for their continued love and ministry in the Church. M'nogaya L'yeta!
Our Diocesan Chancellor, Mitred Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, celebrating his birthday today, December 23.
Grant, O Lord, peace, prosperity, health, salvation, visitation, and good hastening in all things, to Thy servant, the Mitred Archpriest Joseph, celebrating his birthday today; and protect and preserve him for many blessed years! "Mnogaya Lyeta!"
Fr. Sergius, Archbishop Michael, and Fr. John all talk about discerning a vocation to the priesthood.
The Department of Youth Ministry is sponsoring a Virtual Winter Retreat for Teens in Grades 7-12 on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. There is no fee to participate. The day will begin at 11:30 AM EST and be split into two sessions (11:30am-2:30pm and 6:30-8:30pm).
An online gala showcasing the musical talents of the Saint Tikhon's community & other churches across North America.
Watch and sing along as the choirs and musicians of St. Tikhon's sing and play music celebrating St. Nicholas and the Christmas season.
With Performances By:
The St. Tikhon's Seminary Choir
The St. Tikhon's Monastery Mixed Choir
The Sheehan Family Singers
Soloists from the St. Tikhon's community
Choirs from parishes across North America
...and a special guest!
For more information call (570) 561-1818 or email email@example.com
On November 27, 2020, His Eminence, the Most Reverend David (Mahaffey), Archbishop of Sitka and Alaska, fell asleep in the Lord after a grave illness. He was the ruling hierarch of the Diocese of Alaska of the Orthodox Church in America from 2014 until his repose.
Courtesy of John Penkrat, Holy Resurrection Church, Wayne, NJ.
On the weekend of November 7th and November 8th, the Parish of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin, located in Jackson, NJ was blessed to have His Eminence Archbishop Michael join the faithful for his annual Archpastoral visitation.
SYOSSET, NY [OCA]
On Monday morning, October 19, 2020, His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor), former Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All-America and Canada, fell asleep in the Lord in Canonsburg, PA after an extended illness. He was the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America from 1977 until his retirement in 2002.
2020 DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY TO BE HELD BY ONLINE VIDEO CONFERENCE - 10/17/20
The Diocesan Council, with the blessing of Archbishop Michael, has changed the venue of the 2020 Diocesan Assembly. This year’s Diocesan Assembly will be held on the original date and time, Thursday, November 5, 2020, 11:00 AM, by video conference.
To read the full announcement from the Chancellor of the Diocese, visit the 2020 Diocesan Assembly Website, here.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops held its Tenth Anniversary Meeting online, on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 6-7, 2020. His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, serves as the Treasurer of the Assembly
of Bishops. Please read these news releases published at the Assembly's website, sharing the hierarchs' strides toward ever-stronger bonds of love and witness among the Orthodox faithful of our nation.
Learn much more about the the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the U.S.A., at their website, www.assemblyofbishops.org.
(thursday, November 5, 2020) - 10/06/20
(October 4, 2020 - Shirley, NY) - 10/05/20
Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, 102 Rt. 284, in Wantage, held its 19 th annual 9-11 Memorial Prayer Service on Friday, September 11th, 2020, in honor and remembrance of the firefighters, police, first responders, and all who lost their lives on September 11th at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA.
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael visited Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in East Herkimer, New York on Saturday, August 29th and Sunday, August 30th. His Eminence joined us for Great Vespers on Saturday and served the Divine Liturgy on Sunday.
As we go back to a school year that is vastly different from the last,
many of our Diocesan parishes are in need of a timely, streamlined
Christian Education Program
One that is…
Our world has changed drastically since 1950... with each decade there have been changes that never could have been imagined ... and yet the most important thing about our beloved Vladyka has not changed across those years:
In honor of His Eminence’s seven decades, we reflect on seven ways in which his FAITH has shaped his life … shaped the lives of countless clergy and faithful across the Church … and most especially, shaped the life of our Diocese!
FAITH in the Stories of the People of God …
… taught to pray and to read by his beloved mother, + Ann, who opened to him the Holy Scripture and the Lives of the Saints …
FAITH In the Worship of the Holy Trinity …
… brought to know the Services, to serve the Services, and to love the Services, by his first spiritual father, Father Stephen Dutko …
FAITH in the Ministry of Teaching …
… sent to graduate school as a young priest by his Bishop, the Right Reverend John of blessed memory, who saw a great teacher in his young charge and left as His Grace’s legacy a scholar and a professor in Scripture, Ethics, and Pastoral Theology …
FAITH in the Joy of Giving …
… determined to carry forward the spirit of sacrifice demonstrated by his bishop and benefactor, he imitated that generosity by supporting seminarians, clergy and their families, and parishes in need …
FAITH in the Vocation of Spiritual Fatherhood …
… desiring to guide the souls entrusted to His care toward the Kingdom of Heaven, mirroring the example of the Holy Apostle Paul: “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” …
FAITH in the Imitation of the Good Shepherd …
… zealously guarding, feeding, and keeping his flocks in the safety of the sheepfold of the Lord: “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. … The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
And FAITH in Growing His God Given Talents …
… refusing to squander the skills and strengths God has given him, but to grow them twofold, fivefold, tenfold and beyond: to teach, to preach, to evangelize … to console, to correct, to encourage … that he may be found worthy of those longed-for words from our Lord: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Vladyka: We are thankful for your faith … your dedication … your vision for this Diocese. We are grateful to God that he has chosen you as our shepherd, and us as your flock. May He grant you a most joy-filled birthday … the happiness of seeing your tireless efforts bear fruit … and many, many more blessed years!
Grant, O Lord, a prosperous and peaceful life, health, salvation, visitation and good hastening in all things, unto Thy servant, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, celebrating his 70th birthday, and protect and preserve him for many blessed years! "Mnogaya Lyeta!" “Eis Polla eti, Despota!”
Wantage, NJ - Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, 102 Rt. 284, in Wantage, invites the public to attend a very special outdoor 9-11 Memorial Prayer Service at 6pm, Friday, September 11th, 2020, in honor and remembrance of the firefighters, police, first responders, and all who lost their lives on September 11th at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA.
The Deepest Sympathies of the clergy and faithful of the Diocese are expressed to the Very Reverend Archpriest Alexey Karlgut, his children, children-in-law, grandchildren and loved ones, on the falling-asleep in the Lord of his wife and their beloved mother, grandmother, and mother in Christ, + Matushka Anastasia, early in the morning of Tuesday, August 25.
Her loved ones will forever remember + Matushka Anastasia as a woman of the deepest and strongest faith; a devoted helpmate to her husband; a tireless teacher and example of motherhood to their 12 children and 11 grandchildren; and an incredible Matushka, choir director, and mother and sister in the Faith in the parishes where she served alongside Father Alexey, especially over the past three decades at SS. Peter and Paul Church in Endicott.
+ Matushka Anastasia held degrees from Juilliard School of Music and St. Vladimir’s Seminary and as a Registered Nurse, a profession she practiced for many years while homeschooling their children and
nurturing their growing family. Father Alexey and Matushka Anastasia celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary this year.
The Funeral for + Matushka Anastasia will take place this Friday, August 28, at 11:00 AM, at Saints Peter and Paul Church, 210 Hill Avenue, Endicott, NY. A one-hour viewing at 10:00 AM will precede the Funeral.
Grant rest eternal in blessed repose with the Saints, O Lord, to the soul of Thy newly-departed handmaiden, the ever-to-be-remembered + Matushka Anastasia, who has fallen asleep in the Lord, and make her memory to be eternal! "Vechnaya Pamyat!"
Have you ever wondered what Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) does, or how you can get involved?
Join Danielle Geeza and His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, this Thursday, August 20th at 8pm EST, for a Zoom Information Session with two members of OCF's Student Leadership Board: Andrew Gluntz (Chairman) and George Powell (Northeast Regional Student Leader).
Andrew and George will discuss the organization, their personal experiences, and what's in store for the 2020-2021 Academic Year.
OPEN TO: Incoming College Freshman | Current College Students | Parents | Youth & Young Adult Coordinators | Clergy in the Orthodox Church in America
WHEN: Thursday, August 20th -- 8pm EST
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! Click here.
Please spread the word! All dioceses are welcome. If you have any questions, reach out to Danielle Geeza via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEPTEMBER 18-19, 2020, ONLINE - 08/15/20
The Fourth Orthodox Advanced Leadership Conference (usually held at St Vladimir's Seminary in late September) will now be totally online due to COVID-19. What would typically cost some $2,000 for registration fees, travel, and lodging is now available for a nominal registration fee of $200 -- with some extra benefits not normally offered. You will get to see and hear some great presenters plus get your material ahead of time plus participate in online discussions...and more!
Please see the Orthodox Christian Leadership Initiative website (click here or use the link below) for information and registration. The conference will be held Friday-Saturday, September 18-19, 2020. Registrants can attend any or all of it but you will receive all the presentations ahead of time and have access afterwards as well.
Next year we will hopefully be able to get back to the in-person conference - at which we normally have some 70-90 people in attendance. But for right now, here's your chance to get some of the same experience for one-tenth the cost and in the comfort of your own home.
To register or for more information, please visit the Orthodox Christian Leadership Initiative online at:
The Board of Trustees of Saint Herman Seminary, Kodiak, AK, has announced a search for a new Dean of the Seminary. After a long tenure as Dean of the Seminary, Archpriest John Dunlop has decided to step down and pursue other interests.
More information about St. Herman Seminary and the position of the Dean can be found on the OCA Website. Click here for details.
In recent news you have no doubt read of the massive explosion that devastated the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, on August 4 – killing at least 170 people and causing billions of dollars in damage.
The faithful of the Diocese are offered the opportunity to help, via a GoFundMe campaign called Glass for Lebanon...
At St. Basil’s Church, Watervliet, NY, Sunday, August 9, 2020, the feast of the Glorification of Venerable Herman of Alaska, Sub-deacon Jason Gagnon was ordained Deacon by His Eminence Archbishop Michael. Concelebrating with His Eminence were Archpriest Peter Olsen, Rector; Archpriest Alexey Karlgut, Dean; and Deacon Stephan Karlgut.
DEACON JOHN MORRIS - 08/10/20
On Saturday, August 8, 2020, His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL, ordained Sub-deacon John (Keith) Morris to the Diaconate at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in East Meadow, NY, on behalf of His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON. Deacon John is entering his senior year at Saint Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY and is a son of the East Meadow parish.
St. Andrew's Camp - 08/08/20
A DIOCESAN “DAY OF MOURNING” -- FRIDAY, JULY 24 - 07/20/20
The Diocese of New York and New Jersey of the Orthodox Church in America joins our fellow brothers and sisters in the Faith in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and 300 million Orthodox Christians throughout the world, in mourning the recent decision to convert the Great Church of Holy Wisdom, Hagia Sophia, for nearly a millennium the cathedral of the Patriarch of Constantinople, into a mosque for a second time.
It was this magnificent basilica that drew the envoys of Saint Vladimir to bring Kievan Rus, the ancestral home of so many of our forebears, to Holy Orthodoxy. This is their testimony: “We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for surely there is no such splendor or beauty anywhere upon earth. We cannot describe it to you: only this we know, that God dwells there among humans, and that their service surpasses that of all other places. For we cannot forget that beauty.”
In solidarity with the Orthodox Christians in Turkey and throughout the world, I urge our clergy and faithful to join in a “day of mourning” for this act of religious aggression – on Friday, July 24, when Islamic rites will be reinstituted in Hagia Sophia. I ask that every church toll its bells in lamentation at 12:00 noon on this day. I call on every flag that is raised on church property to be lowered to half-mast on this day. And I enjoin every church in our Diocese to chant the Akathist Hymn in the evening of this day, just as we chant it on the fifth Friday of the Great and Holy Fast.
In this time of grief and mourning, let us appeal to the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. She is the “only Hope of the Hopeless”; she is “the Repository of the Wisdom of God,” as the Akathist proclaims. Through her intercession, may this violation of religious toleration be overturned – lest we must ask, What houses of Christian worship will be next?
- Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey
BALLSTON LAKE, NY - On July 19, Archbishop Michael presided at Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Church in Ballston Lake, NY. On this day we had two ordinations: Deacon Paul Fedoroff, a longtime member of Christ the Savior, was ordained to the holy priesthood (married to Matushka Jessica and with their children, Catherine and Rachel); and Reader Paul Giokas, a lifelong member of Christ the Savior, was...
Not Too Late To register - 07/16/20
Friday, July 10, 2020
We, the Executive Committee of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, protest the decision of the civil courts in Turkey, as well as the clear direction of their government, to re-convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque
July 5, 2020 - 07/05/20
On July 2, 2020, Archpriest Paul Shafran, Pastor Emeritus (retired), Trenton, NJ, celebrated his 98th birthday at a small outdoor gathering with Matushka Mary and other family members, including his two great-grandchildren. Archpriest Daniel Skvir made a surprise guest appearance, along with Matushka Tamara, and intoned Mnogaya L'yeta. On Sunday, July 5th, Fr. Volodymyr Chaikivskyi, Rector, St. Vladimir's Church in Trenton, continued the celebration and intoned Many Years for Fr. Paul at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.
Tomorrow, June 30, 2020
From 8am to 9pm - 06/29/20
- 3 Encouraging Speeches by Archbishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary
- Testimonies of Students--so rich!
- Reflections of Alumni--amazing (wait till you see Fr Daniel Ressetar!)
- Words from the Board
- As we advance through the day--major interviews each hour--5 of them-->
- Meet Fr Teo Merras at the Dormition Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland, where St Alexander Hotovitsky served.
- Meet Fr Khader George Baramki, Rector of St James Cathedral, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem--who is the Principal of the
- Bethany School for Girls, near the tomb of Lazarus.
- Meet Actor and Musician Jonathan Jackson.
- Meet Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man.
- Meet Nikos Gouraros, head of Pemptousia, Vatopedi's digital-evangelism arm.
- And a most special guest in the 8pm hour (announced at noon).
- And a brief service of Thanksgiving in Abp. Michael's chapel, live, thanking the donors.
Please join us on the Feast of the Holy Apostles, Tuesday, June 30, for "Streaming For Living Waters": an online, live-streamed "friend-raising and fund-raising" event for St. Tikhon's Seminary. We will share the life and work of St. Tikhon's through talks, interviews, and even entertainment provided by various members of the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary community...
SYOSSET, NY [OCA]
On Wednesday, June 10, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon was informed of the hospitalization of Metropolitan Theodosius, Former Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada.
In a tweet this morning His Beatitude asked for prayers from the faithful for Metropolitan Theodosius.
Praying for the health of His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius who was recently admitted to the hospital. I ask for the prayers of all the faithful for His Beatitude. May God strengthen him.— Metropolitan Tikhon (@mettikhon) June 11, 2020
Metropolitan Tikhon spoke with Metropolitan Theodosius via FaceTime this morning and reports that he is doing well, but will remain in the hospital for the immediate future.
Cards of support can be sent to Metropolitan Theodosius at: 601 Boone Avenue, Canonsburg, PA 15317.
Please keep His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius in your prayers.
The latest issue of KOINONIA is now available for download and distribution in the parishes. KOINONIA is the quarterly newsletter published by the Diocesan Commission on Missions and Evangelism, under the editorship of the Director of that Commission, Archpriest Eric Tosi, and with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael.
By popular request, the Akathist Service to the African Martyrs, including the Prayer for Racial Reconciliation, is available for download. This service was celebrated by Archbishop Michael, together with the Clergy of St. Simon of Cyrene Mission and our Diocese, at the mission parish in New Brunswick, NJ, in 2017. Download the text of the service here.
Good News! Our Diocesan Camp of St. Andrew’s will be holding a Family Retreat at the end of July and beginning of August. Please download the flyer below, mark your calendar, and share the news with other families who are looking for a spiritually enriching summer! Download the flyer here.
Nadine Eskoff Brown, belovedly known as Matushka, reposed in the Lord in the early morning of June 4, 2020. Born to +Michael and +Natalie Eskoff on January 17, 1947 in Binghamton NY, she is survived by immediate family: sister Natalie (Father Ken James) Stavrevsky, niece Victoria Stavrevsky, and great-niece Layla Natalie Cole. Interment will be at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan PA, beside her deceased husband, Father Thomas Brown.
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, has asked me to share with you the following Call to Prayer concerning the present unrest in our country, released yesterday, from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the U.S.A. In conjunction with this statement, Archbishop Michael asks that each of us observe a moment of prayerful silence at 12 Noon tomorrow (Wednesday, June 3), entreating our Lord to bless and bring peace upon our country.
A New Reflection by Archpriest Peter BaktisRector, Church of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow, Princeton, NJ.
Father Peter's inspiring meditation was originally published by the National Council of Churches as part of its series of reflections for the Easter season of 2020. Read it here.
The clergy and faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey express prayerful congratulations to our beloved Archpastor, His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL, on the 10th Anniversary of his Consecration to the Episcopacy, which took place May 8, 2010 at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Jersey City, New Jersey, and his enthronement as the Ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, on May 9, 2010, in his Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, New York, New York.
Over the past decade, Archbishop Michael has brought incredible renewal, vision, and paternal guidance to the life of our Diocese. He ministers with tireless devotion to the clergy and their families, to every one of the parishes, missions, and chapels, and to all who seek his guidance or ask for his prayers. His archpastoral presence and wise words have inspired everyone who has heard him preach and teach, spent time with him at church events, Camp sessions and Retreats, or received the Holy Mysteries from his hands.
We are grateful to God for blessing us with such a caring and faithful Spiritual Father … and we are thankful to Vladyka for his continual outpouring of love, leadership, and dedication to the spiritual growth and salvation of his flock in this God-protected Diocese!
Your Eminence: We all wish that we could have gathered as a Diocese to honor you in person at the Anniversary Celebration that was to happen on Saturday, May 9. Still, we look forward to the next time we can be together in your presence — and we take this moment to say to you, dear Vladyka: We love you ... we thank God for you ... and we pray that our Lord will grant you continued strength, good health, and MANY, MANY BLESSED YEARS!
Eis polla eti Despota!
Join people from around the world at CeaselessPrayer.org in prayer for God's mercy, for our repentance, and the granting of wisdom, compassion, healing and strength in this time of trial.
We invite you to pray with the help of this simple app, just a few minutes a day. We include a variety of prayers and helpful materials. Let us light up the map of the world in ceaseless prayer to our merciful Lord.
We know – You are most likely “sheltering at home” for Holy Week and Pascha … but you’ll still be celebrating the Feast of Feasts at home with your family! Would you share your family celebration with the rest of the Diocese … in pictures and videos?
Let's make the best of this unusual Pascha season, and share with each other how we are celebrating this holiest time of the year. We would love to see photos of how you and your family are celebrating Pascha: egg dyeing, egg hunting, baking, sitting down to a family dinner, saying your prayers together, opening your Paschal baskets, singing hymns … your brothers and sisters across the Diocese would like to join their families with yours for the Feast!
We'll take your photos and make a slideshow for everyone to see.
We also want to hear you shout “Christ is Risen!” and sing the Paschal Troparion. Take a video and share it with us, and we'll edit together a video “montage” for all to hear.
We might be confined to our homes for Pascha … but the joy of our Lord’s Resurrection can NOT be contained!
You can send us your pictures and videos one or both of the following ways, by April 22, 2020:
Email them to Father Vlad Zablotskyy at email@example.com – OR,
Use the #PumpedForPascha Google Classroom link [link: www.classroom.google.com] to send them in. You will need to enter class code vlr6uve to enter. For more information about #PumpedForPascha, click here. [link https://nynjoca.org/news_200409_1 ]
Thank you for celebrating Holy Pascha with your Diocesan family!
These Guidelines are issued in accordance with and as an explication of the Synodal Directives for the Clergy and the Parish, Mission, and Monastic Communities of the Orthodox Church in America Concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19), issued Monday, March 30, 2020. These Guidelines are in effect through April 30, 2020.
The Department of Christian Education, in collaboration with the Department of Youth Ministry, is pleased to introduce two programs for our youth and families who are “sheltering in place” leading up to Pascha: #PumpedForPascha and Holy Week and Pascha at Home: A Guide for Families.
#PumpedForPascha is a Google Classroom filled with nine fun “virtual” activities for children, teens, and families. With the help of Allison Steffaro, President of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) and member of Saints Peter and Paul Church in South River, NJ, the program was created to help the members of our Diocesan family stay connected to the Church and to our friends throughout the Diocese and beyond!
#PumpedForPascha has something for everyone, adults included. Please visit classroom.google.com and enter our class code, vlr6uve, to access the activities. Note: you WILL need to create a Google account if you do not have one already. If you have difficulty accessing or navigating the site, please contact Allison Steffaro.
We know you are talented, so share your creativity with us! We look forward to seeing your submissions!
“Holy Week and Pascha at Home: A Guide for Families” is an interactive, daily journey through Holy Week and Pascha specifically tailored to the traditions commonly celebrated in our Diocesan churches for each day from Lazarus Saturday through Holy Pascha. It will be a companion as you participate in live-streamed services, and it will fill your Holy Week and Pascha with purposeful, prayerful action.
Access the Guide here.
We pray that these exciting, engaging offerings will be embraced in your homes and by your families, as we faithfully complete this season of Great Lent and spread the joy of Pascha no matter where we are!
Read this helpful guideline, provided by the Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion (OCAMPR), for helpful suggestions to structure your family life in these unprecedented conditions. You can download it here.
This Friday at 3:00 PM, Eastern Time, His Eminence Archbishop Michael urges the clergy and faithful of the Diocese to join in prayer with the entire Community of the Holy Mountain of Mount Athos, where every monastery will hold an All-Night Vigil dedicated to the Mother of God and to St. Haralampos – known as the healer of infectious diseases – asking for their holy intercessions against the worldwide pandemic. Please help to communicate this message to all Orthodox Christians, that all together we might join in prayer on Friday at 3 PM, beseeching God to have pity on us and deliver us from this evil.
The Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos is a fitting service to pray for her intercession in times of crisis. It can be prayed before your icon corner or in your parish via phone or video.
Below are links to live-stream videos of today's Annunciation Liturgy in some of our parishes, and also the service text. There may be small differences between the text and the particular practices across the various parishes. If possible, have your Liturgy and Vespers books in hand, to follow the fixed parts of the service.
9:00 AM, Holy Trinity Church, Elmira Heights NY, at
9:30 AM, Annunciation Church, Brick NJ, at
9:30 AM, Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow NY, at
10:00 AM Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Ellwood City PA, at
1:00 PM, St. Gregory Orthodox Church, Wappingers Falls, NY
Dear Fellow Youth Workers in Christ,
What the Archangel Gabriel said to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the time of the Annunciation he says to all of us, “Do not be afraid…” Whether that is during a time of uncertainty, of distress, of natural disaster, or in our current time, those words of our Lord spoken through His archangel were given to us as well. “Do not be afraid…”
Beloved Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese:
Christ is in our midst!
An updated Statement of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on the Corona Virus Outbreak has been issued today. Additional guidance is forthcoming that will be tailored to the particular situations unfolding within the territory of our Diocese.
The Statement may be viewed online, at:
or downloaded (as a PDF file, one page) at:
In addition: Parish rectors reporting on specific situations in their churches, or seeking instruction on how to implement the directives contained in the Statement of the Synod or subsequent guidance issued by the Diocesan administration, are to contact their Deans, the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, or the Office of the Archbishop.
Should you have any questions on the guidelines being implemented in the Diocese, contact your parish priest or click here to visit our "Contact" page.
Truly, this is the most trying Lenten season many of us have ever faced. Please, my beloved, be steadfast in your prayers; search for opportunities to serve those in need; and remember the words of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who encourages us: "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Assuring you of my prayers, my blessings, and my love,
+ Archbishop Michael
In light of our country's efforts to deal with the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease, which continues to cause many people to be quarantined and is affecting the accessibility of liturgical services in some parishes, we would like to point out the following churches that offer online live streaming of their Divine Services.
Holy Trinity Church in East Meadow NY:
The Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City PA
As we face this current crisis, we must remember always that we are the Body of Christ -- and as such, we strive to be united in love and prayers with one another, especially on occasions when we cannot be together in person.
Twenty-five priests, three deacons and over two hundred faithful joined His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL for the celebration of Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers at Holy Resurrection Church in Wayne, NJ. A sun-drenched, 60-degree day was the perfect setting for this celebration that began with a procession of the clergy from the parish center to the church. After the official greeting by the host rector, Archpriest Stephen Evanina, His Eminence expressed his profound joy at being able to share this celebration with not only our own OCA clergy, but with so many others from various Orthodox jurisdictions.
During Lent, the Church invites us to pray more, by adding extra services to the liturgical schedule. We are also prescribed a discipline of strict fasting based on what each person’s health allows.
It is a time of reflection and repentance, a time to draw nearer to God, a time to renew our relationship with God...
On February 29th and March 1st, 2020, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, made his annual pastoral visitation to Holy Assumption Church in Clifton, NJ. Archpriest Terence Baz, the parish rector, was presented with a Palitza and Diocesan Gramota by His Eminence, in celebration of his 25th Anniversary of Ordination to the Holy Priesthood.
Saint Andrew's Camp is excited to announce its 2020 schedule!
About Saint Andrews Camp: Saint Andrew’s Camp has been providing an Orthodox sleep-away camping program for over 50 years. It is located on 30 acres of woods, fields, and waterfront property on the beautiful shores of Lake Oneida in Jewell, New York. The camp is a valuable resource of the OCA‘s Diocese of New York and New Jersey, but has traditionally welcomed campers and staff from all geographies and jurisdictions for a pan-Orthodox camping experience. The camp is the place where Orthodox youth ages 7 and older meet, make friends, and live in a community of brothers and sisters in Christ. Camp also provides the opportunity for Orthodox adults of all ages to come together as staff, volunteers, clergy and parents.
On Saturday, February 22nd and Sunday, February 23rd, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited Saints Vladimir's Church in Trenton, New Jersey. During the Hierarchical Liturgy on Sunday, Father Volodymyr Chaikivskyi was awarded Kamilavka for his faithful service to the Church. Several parishioners received gramotas (certificates of appreciation) for their dedication and untiring service to Saint Vladimir's Church.
On Sunday, February 23, 2020, approximately 60 people from across New Jersey Deanery attended Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors appreciation dinner hosted by Holy Resurrection Church in Wayne, NJ. His Eminence Archbishop Michael thanked everyone for their generous contributions to last year's DDB Program making it the most successful year thus far!
The second issue of KOINONIA is now available for download and distribution in the parishes. KONIONIA is the quarterly newsletter published by the Diocesan Commission on Missions and Evangelism, under the editorship of the Director of that Commission, Archpriest Eric Tosi, and with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael.
You are cordially invited to join His Eminence Archbishop Michael on Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 8, 2020, at 5:00 PM for a celebration of Lenten Vespers at Holy Ressurection Church in Wayne, NJ. Clergy from different Orthodox jurisdictions will join His Eminence. The Spirit of Orthodoxy choir will sing the responses. A reception will take place following the Vespers.
Approximately 60 people attended the New York City Deanery’s 2020 DDB dinner last night at St. Andrew’s Church in Dix Hills, NY. It was a serene, picaresque day as the sun was setting and the attendees began to arrive. Host pastor, Fr. John Klingel, welcomed the guests, many of whom took the opportunity to visit the church temple to see its beautiful iconography and stunning, newly refurbished copper-clad cupola.
On February 15th and 16th, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited Holy Spirit Church in Wantage, NJ. Click the image above for more information and photo gallery.
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
The Great fast is quickly approaching which means our Annual Lenten Teen Retreat is, as well! Please mark your calendars- AND REGISTER- for the weekend event being held April 3-5, 2020 at a new venue, Greenkill YMCA Retreat Center in Huguenot, New York, conveniently located on the borders of New York State, New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania near Port Jervis!
All jurisdictions and dioceses are welcome to attend.
The registration deadline is Thursday, March 19th. After that date, we cannot guarantee your participation.
Below you will find additional information about the event, as well as links to register online. Our weekend discussions will be centered around Prayer and Saint Herman of Alaska, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of his consecration as North America's first saint.
Our new venue this year has excellent amenities and lots of fun activities! Please plan to join us, and reach out to me with any questions!
With love in Christ,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
The clergy and faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey are grateful beyond words for the incredible generosity of the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors of 2019. This past year proved the biggest year yet for the DDB program, raising over $200,000 to fund the ministries of the Diocese!
The new year is off to a promising start as well, with contributions totaling almost $20,000 for the year to date. (Click here to see the 2020 Honor Roll of Donors).
To be a part of this bold charitable initiative, click here to offer either a recurring donation or a one-time gift. You can designate your offering for either Diocesan Seminarian Scholarships, Aid to Existing Parishes, Support of Mission Parishes, or For Use As Needed By The Diocese. You will receive a letter of confirmation by email, and a personally signed letter in the mail from His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, thanking you for your support and documenting your donation for your tax records.
Each DDB donor will also receive a gramota certificate of appreciation at the end of the annual campaign.
May God bless you richly with all the good things that come from His hands!
On Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers, NY.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Christ the Saviour Church, 365 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey at 9:30 a.m.
On February 2, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael celebrated Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers, NY in thanksgiving for the 47th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
On Sunday, February 9th, Orthodox Christian scouts will be honored in their parish communities. The Department of Youth Ministry wanted to take the opportunity to recognize Eva Czukkermann who completed her Girl Scout Gold Award at St. Gregory The Theologian Orthodox Church in Wappingers Falls, NY.
If any other parishes want to submit “Scout Sunday” photos, they can submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On January 27, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited Saint Nino Georgian Orthodox Church to celebrate the patronal feast of the parish.
On Sunday, January 26, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael made archpastoral visit to Saints Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church in Wappingers Falls, NY.
On January 24-25, 2020 Hi Eminence Archbishop Michael joined the bishops of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America for consecration to the episcopacy of Archimandrite Alexis.
On Friday, January 24, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael, together with the clergy and the faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, joined other Orthodox Christians, and tens of thousands of people from across the country in Washington DC for the 47th March for Life.
By the grace of God, Archpriest Paul Shafran, Pastor Emeritus at St. Vladimir's Church, Trenton, NJ, celebrated his 72d anniversary of ordination to the Holy Priesthood on December 28, 2019.
During 2019, we were able to raise a record $204,000 through our Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors (DDB) program. Because of your great generosity, we are able to sponsor 6 seminarians, help numerous missions and established parishes, and fund our record-attended Youth Ministry programs.
In addition to DDB, we have been able to raise $119,000 in donations and pledges towards St. Andrew's Camp's $300,000 New Building Project.
Thank you for making such a huge difference! -- May God bless and keep all of you in His loving care always!
With deep gratitude, sincere love and humble prayers,
+ Archbishop Michael
and the Diocese of NY and NJ
On January 18th and 19th, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited Saint Spiridon Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy, NJ with annual parish visitation. The visit coincided with parish's celebration of the Feast of Theophany of Our Lord on Julian Calendar.
During his visit to Saint Andrew's Church in Dix Hills, NY, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, following the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy blessed the newly refurbished church dome.
On the eve of the Feast of Nativity of Our Lord (Julian Calendar), His Eminence, Archbishop Michael presided over all-night vigil and Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Brooklyn, NY.
On January 6th and 7th, 2020, Archbishop Michael visited Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Brooklyn NY to celebrate the feast of Nativity of Our Lord according to Julian Calendar.
On January 5th and 6th, 2020, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael visited Saint Andrew's Church in Dix Hills, NY.
On January 7, 2020, the Feast of Theophany of Our Lord, The faithfull of several Orthodox Christian communities of Long Island joined Archbishop Michael for the Great Blessing of Waters at Great South Bay.
On January 4th and 5th, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited Holy Trinity Church in Rahway, NJ.
On December 31, 2019, and January 1, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Michael visited Saint Basil Church in Watervliet, NY.
On December 28th and 29th, 2019, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, made Archpastoral visitation to Saints Peter and Paul Church in South River, NJ
This year, as throughout the past decade, DDBs continue to support the vital ministries of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. They have provided much-needed financial assistance to our seminarians, mission parishes, youth programs, and struggling parishes. As the year draws to an end, we express our sincere gratitude and thanks to GOD for these dedicated laborers in our diocesan family ... and we gladly welcome anyone who wishes to still donate an offering in this calendar year to help us meet our budget for 2019 to please do so. See the complete “Honor Roll” of DDBs here. To learn more or to join them now, visit here.
Today -- December 23 -- marks the 80th Birthday of our beloved Chancellor, the Very Reverend Mitred Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, the Rector of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Jersey City, New Jersey.
On December 21st and 22nd, 2019, His Eminence Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, visited Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Syracuse, New York.
[SVOTS Communications / YONKERS, NY] A special edition of the Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture at St. Vladimir’s Seminary will commemorate fifty years of autocephaly for the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey will headline events on January 30, 2020, the Feast of the Three Hierarchs. As part of the special celebration, three more distinguished speakers will be featured in workshops throughout the day along with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Mid-Year Commencement, the launch of a special 50th anniversary commemorative book (published by SVS Press and edited by Academic Dean Dr. Alexandru Tudorie), and a reception.
St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is hosting a Youth Retreat on Saturday, December 14, 2019, from 9:30 am to 5 pm.
The retreat is based on the popular YouTube catechetical video series "Be the Bee" hosted by Steven Christoforou, Director of the Youth and Young Adult Ministries (Y2AM) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese --thus the retreat's nickname "Be the Bee Retreat", or simply BeeTreat.
The quarterly newsletter published by the Diocesan Commission on Missions and Evangelism, under the editorship of the Director of that Commission, Archpriest Eric Tosi, and with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, is now available for download and print for use in the parishes.
Saint Vladimir Orthodox Church in Trenton, NJ, is in need of a Choir Director, starting December 1. The parish serves Vespers on Saturdays at 5:00 PM and Divine Liturgy on Sundays at 10:00 AM, as well as Vespers/Matins prior to Holy Days, and Divine Liturgy on Feast Day/Holy Day mornings. They have a small choir and need someone to give tones as well as sing and encourage the congregation to sing along. For more details please contact Father Volodymyr Chaikivskyi at 908-494-3620 (cell), 609-393-1234 (rectory), or email email@example.com.
On the weekend of November 16th and 17TH, the Parish of the Nativity of the Virgin, located in Jackson, NJ was blessed to have His Eminence Archbishop Michael join the faithful for our annual Pastoral visitation.
The registration for the upcoming 2019 Girls Retreat is now opened. Please register by November 8, 2019. We cannot guarantee spots past this deadline.
Save the date for the upcoming 2019 girls retreat.
Archbishop Michael is asking that a special collection be taken on College Student Sunday -- October 6, or another October Sunday at the rector's discretion -- in support of the good work of OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship). The Assembly of Bishops and OCF encourage the entire faithful family—clergy, parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, and friends of our treasured college students—to be generous in your offering of support to this ministry on their behalf. Your support enables OCF to open and maintain its Chapters and Chaplains on college campuses, to be an integral part of students’ spiritual formation by challenging them to explore the Faith and to inspire students to commit to living an Orthodox Christian way of life daily. Donations may be sent to the OCF National Office, 50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445 or made online at www.ocf.net/donate.
Read the announcement of OCF College Student Sunday 2019 << here >>
The 2019 Diocesan Assembly webpage is now available with related documents and the agenda. The various reports will be published as they are submitted to us.
UPDATED 10/25/2019: New report(s).
In conjunction with Archpastoral visit of His Eminence Archbishop Michael to St. Olympia Mission in Potsdam NY, Dr. Mary Ford, Ph. D. will present a public lecture at St. Lawrence University, on Saturday October 5th. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Archbishop Michael on Sunday, October 6th at 9:45 am. St. Olympia Mission is located at 123 Main St., Potsdam NY. Everyone is invited to join these events! Click here to download the poster of Dr. Ford's presentation.>>
The Diocese of New York and New Jersey will mark Church Musician Appreciation Day on Sunday, September 29, 2019 - the Sunday before the feast day of Saint Romanos the Melodist. Truly, we need to nurture and encourage our church musicians – and thank them on this day for their pious work! Read more here >
The Blessed Healing Icon of Saint Anna, the Mother of the Holy Virgin Mary (from Saint Tikhon’s Monastery) will visit Holy Assumption Orthodox Church, 35 Orange Avenue, Clifton NJ on Sunday, 6 October 2019. A Moleben Prayer Service with an Anointing will be held at 4:00 p.m.
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, attended an annual Memorial Service in Wantage NJ (Holy Spirit Orthodox Church) commemorating the sacrificial actions of first-responders during the attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001. First responders from the area attended and were especially honored for their service. In this photo (above; credit Cheryl Fleishman), Archbishop Michael blesses the Unionville NY Fire Department following the service.
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, made an Archpastoral visitation to the Orthodox Christian Church of the Holy Transfiguration, Pearl River NY on Saturday, 7 September 2019, the Fore-Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. After the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence presented Tatiana (Tanya) Jelenevsky Tjoa with a Diocesan Gramota (certificate of recognition) honoring her 31 years of service as the Choir Director at Holy Transfiguration Church. A festive banquet in honor of Archbishop Michael’s visitation and the recognition of Tatiana Jelenevsky Tjoa was held in the parish hall.
The Second Annual Diocesan BIBLE BOWL is coming up on Saturday, 16 November 2019, at Holy Resurrection Church in Wayne, New Jersey (10 am to 2 pm)! The first Bible Bowl was a great opportunity for children and adult contestants to deepen their knowledge of the Holy Scriptures while building friendships in fun-filled fellowship. Age groupings are Pre-teens (ages 9-12), Teens (ages 13-19), and Adults (ages 20+). Plan now to attend, to learn, to grow, and to better appreciate the Good News of our Lord found in the Bible.
ONLY 9 DAYS LEFT! HAVE YOU REGISTERED YET???
Do not wait, register today by emailing Matushka Tamara Cowan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAKE SURE TO PRACTICE IF YOU WANT YOUR TEAM TO WIN!
An insightful reflection on the beginning of a new Liturgical Year of grace is offered by Father Terence Baz. In part, he writes: "As we come to the beginning of the New Liturgical Year, the Orthodox Church calls us to lift up our hearts, minds and souls to Christ as we journey through the Church’s seasons in our worship. The beauty of our church buildings teaches us that Christ, through Whom the universe was created, is the foundation of the universe in all its beauty. Likewise, in the Church’s iconography, we see stories that reveal how God has intervened in human history."
“YOUTH DAY 2019” for the New York State Deanery was held on 22 August hosted by Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY. For the 47 participants the day began with breakfast and prayers in the church (with Archbishop Michael presiding); followed by an afternoon/evening of fun and fellowship at one of the top 10 mid-sized amusement and water parks in the nation: Sea Breeze. Those brave enough rode on the “Jack Rabbit” … the oldest continuously operated wooden roller-coaster in America. Using a large pavilion as home base, many friendships were formed and a beautifully fun day was enjoyed by all.
Nearly 40 teens, young adults, children, and their families sat in the summer heat of Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 6 to 5 on Saturday, August 17th. Ten parishes of our diocese participated in this year's “Youth Day” as well as a contingent from Saint Anthony's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Bergenfield NJ. Following the game youth gathered for Vespers and an ice cream social at Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers NY.
On August 29th our beloved Spiritual Shepherd and Father in Christ ... His Eminence, Archbishop Michael ... celebrates his birthday. May God grant him many, many blessed years as he serves, protects, inspires, teaches, and above all loves the flock of Christ abiding in New York and New Jersey. "Eis Polla, Eti Despota!"
Saint Andrew’s Camp and Religious Center is located on the shore of Lake Oneida in upstate New York, about 30 minutes north of Syracuse NY. Couples attending the retreat will receive lodging, meals, and all retreat materials as part of their registration. We are honored to feature Dr. Mary and Dr. David Ford of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary as retreat leaders. Following on-line registration, participants will receive further details and travel information. The retreat is limited to 12 couples! This will facilitate an opportunity for fellowship and friendships to be formed as the retreat unfolds, with everyone having ample opportunity for sharing and involvement.
[Binghamton NY] Rev. Deacon Simeon (Terry) C. Peet, 74, of Binghamton NY, born August 22, 1944 in Penn Yan NY, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, August 16, 2019, at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital after a 23-year battle with cancer. The family will receive friends at Dormition of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church, 54 Baxter Street, Binghamton, New York, on Tuesday, August 20, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. A Panikhida service will be celebrated at 6:30 PM. On Wednesday, August 21, the Divine Liturgy with Litya for the Departed, celebrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, will begin at 10:00 AM. Burial will follow in Floral Park Cemetery, Johnson City, New York. May Deacon Simeon’s memory be eternal!
Volunteers from throughout the Diocese descended upon the little Holy Transfiguration Church in Pearl River NY, 22-26 July 2019, transforming its shabby ceiling and walls, covered with years of candle and incense soot, into a bright and welcoming place of worship once again. Archbishop Michael was the first volunteer to show up, serve the Molieben for “The Beginning of Any Good Work,” and roll up his cassock sleeves to scrub down the walls in preparation for painting.
Saint Andrew’s Camp is raising funds for the building of a new Kitchen, Dining Hall and Activities Center. An architectural drawing of the proposed facility, which will cost an estimated $300,000, is shown below. At last year’s Diocesan Assembly, it was decided that every parish would take up a Collection for the benefit of this building project, and benefactors who have been blessed by God would be urged to contribute toward the cost of this new facility for our youth. Already $60,000 has been donated or pledged! An Anonymous Donor has offered a Matching Pledge: For every dollar donated for the new building in the month of July, the Anonymous Donor will match each contribution – up to $10,000! Our diocesan parishes, organizations and faithful are urged to help the Camp’s Building Project by donating this month, and having their contribution matched by this Anonymous Donor. All contributions should be made out to “Saint Andrew’s Camp” – earmarked for the “New Building Project” – and mailed to: Diocesan Chancery, 33 Hewitt Avenue, Bronxville NY 10708. "May God bless all those who contribute toward this new facility at our youth camp – with all the good things that come from His hands." ~ With love and prayers, + Archbishop Michael
You are invited to be a part of this one of a kind religious pilgrimage and educational tour. This 13-day pilgrimage will include visits to the Holy Sites of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho and the region of Galilee; monasteries in the Judean Desert, along with the tour to the majestic Rose-city of Petra, ruins of Jerash and so much more!
Join His Eminence, Archbishop Michael and fellow pilgrims from our Diocese on July 15-21, 2020 for a very special journey to the cradle of Orthodox Christianity in North America – Kodiak, Alaska! Participate in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Saint Herman of Alaska's canonization and the 50th Anniversary of the OCA's autocephaly in 2020. There will be weekly trips to Alaska over the summer of 2020 sponsored by each of the dioceses of the OCA. This will be a special trip for all Orthodox believers. Regular price $2,525/person.
After years of dedication in faithful, professional service as our Diocesan Treasurer, Matushka Mary Buletza Breton has handed these duties over to Jan VanDuyn of Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY. Our sincere gratitude and admiration are expressed to Matushka Mary for her labors of time and talent that cannot be adequately praised. For contact information, please see our Diocesan Administration webpage. Welcome … Jan VanDuyn, to our diocesan administration! “Many Years” to you and our beloved Matushka Mary!
Formation Courses are the method by which the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is offered to adults. Adults will have the opportunity to see and practice presentations and work with materials given to children in a specific age group. Courses are both educational and a retreat, forming the adult to serve the child. This program is of special interest to religious education coordinators and teachers throughout the the diocese.
The annual diocesan Church School Workshops will feature “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level II.” Participants will experience a sample of Level II of this Montessori-based Orthodox Christian Education for ages 7-9, and learn first-hand what distinguishes this great program! Parish religious education coordinators and teachers are encouraged to attend. Two regional workshops are scheduled.
It's that time of year again! Saint Andrew's Camp is preparing for an annual Bike Ride Fundraiser and 5 weeks of camping programs for kids ... featuring fun, fellowship, and worship at a premier Orthodox Christian Camp. Whether you're looking for a life-changing camping experience for your children, considering a summer as a camp counselor/staff member, or wanting to volunteer in the raising up of our youth in the Lord ... take a serious look at Saint Andrew's Camp! Go here >
The clergy and faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey express prayerful congratulations to our beloved Archpastor, His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL, on the 9th Anniversary of his Consecration to the Episcopacy (8 May 2010) and of his enthronement as the Ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey (9 May 2010). We are grateful to God and Vladyka for his continual outpouring of love, leadership, and dedication to the growth and salvation of his flock in this God-protected Diocese!
This is the day of resurrection! Let us be illumined by the feast! Let us embrace each other! Let us call “brothers” even those that hate us, and forgive all by the resurrection, and so let us cry: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!” (Paschal Canon)
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. (Vespers of Holy Saturday)
Today the Master of creation stands before Pilate. Today the Creator of all is condemned to die on the Cross. Of His own will He is led as a Lamb to the slaughter. He Who fed His people with manna in the desert is transfixed with nails. His side is pierced, and a sponge of vinegar touches His lips. The Redeemer of the world is slapped on the face. The Maker of all is mocked by His own servants. How great is the Master’s love for mankind! For those who crucified Him, He prayed to His Father, saying: “Forgive them this sin, for they know not what they do!” (Vespers of Holy Friday)
When Your glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper, then the impious Judas was darkened by the disease of avarice, and to the lawless judges he betrayed You, the Righteous Judge. Behold, O lover of money, this man Judas who because of avarice hanged himself. Flee from the insatiable desire which dared such things against the Master! O Lord who deals righteously with all, glory to You! (Troparion of Holy Thursday)
Parishioners of Holy Transfiguration Church in Pearl River NY were joined by many other area Orthodox Christians on 16 April 2019 for the 12th annual unabridged sacrament of the Holy Mystery of Unction, celebrated by seven priests. The service was hosted by the Right Reverend Archimandrite Joseph (Hoffman), rector of the parish. His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, was the main celebrant.
We have reached the saving Passion of Christ our God. Let us, the faithful, glorify His ineffable forbearance, that in His compassion He may raise us up who were dead in sin, for He is good and loves mankind!
(Bridegroom Matins of Holy Monday)
UPDATED: Many Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors have already joined in supporting mission parishes, seminarians, and parish ministries throughout the Diocese of New York and New Jersey through their financial contributions. An "honor roll" listing of current 2019 DDBs is available here >. To learn more about the DDB and join them, please go here >
You have entered the Holy City, O Lord, riding on the colt of an ass; hastening to Your Passion that the Law and the Prophets might be fulfilled. The Hebrew children greeted You with palms and branches heralding Your victorious Resurrection. Blessed are You, O Savior! Have mercy on us! (Vespers of Palm Sunday)
This year’s Annual Diocesan Parish Council Conferences will feature guest speaker/leader Bill Marianes. The topic will be: “Discipleship through Stewardship – Becoming Closer Followers of Christ through Use of Our Time, Talent, and Treasure.” Two regional conferences are scheduled. Saturday, June 8th at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Syracuse NY, and Saturday, June 1st, at Saints Peter and Paul Church in South River NJ. Attendance by clergy and parish council members should be of top priority; interested parishioners are welcome to participate as well. See the event flyer with complete details here >
Saint Andrew’s Camp has been providing an Orthodox sleep-away camping program for over 50 years. It is located on 30 acres wooded, field, and waterfront property on the beautiful shores of Lake Oneida in Jewell, New York. The camp is a valuable resource of the OCA‘s Diocese of New York and New Jersey, but has traditionally welcomed campers and staff from all geographies and jurisdictions for a pan-Orthodox camping experience. Camp is the place where Orthodox youth ages 7 and older meet, make friends, and live in a community of brothers and sisters in Christ. Camp also provides the opportunity for Orthodox adults of all ages to come together as of staff, volunteers, clergy and parents. See "more information" to view a camp video!
A very special pilgrimage to the Holy Land will be led by Archbishop Michael on 14-26 October 2019. Spaces are still available. Download the announcement flyer here >
In his annual letter to the faithful as we enter into the season of the Great Fast, Archbishop Michael writes, in part: "During the Great Fast, we are given the opportunity to increase the use of these tools provided for us for our continued healing . . . If we see Lent as a time for healing, it is like going to a wellness center or health spa for two months."
Students at Marywood University in Scranton PA who self identify as communicants of the Orthodox Church are eligible to apply for the Peter Kohudic Scholarship which is available exclusively to Orthodox students. Preference is given, but not limited to, students at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. For complete details please contact Barbara Schmitt, Director of Financial Aid, at email@example.com or 570-348-6225
A new issue of our diocesan newsletter, "First Fruits," is now available. In this edition, Father Gary Joseph Breton discusses "Stewardship of the Priest." In his article he writes, in part: "How should one care for one’s parish priest? I would like to offer five particular ways in which one can do so: 1) Pray for him, 2) Understand his role, 3) Support his work, 4) Offer to help him, 5) Compensate him."
On 2 February 2019, Archbishop Michael visited Saint Vladimir Church in Trenton NJ to celebrate the Feast-Day of the Meeting of the Lord. During the festal Divine Liturgy, His Eminence ordained Bohdan Chaikivskyi to the Holy Diaconate. “Many Years” to newly-ordained Deacon Bohdan!
Archbishop Michael made his annual visitation to the United States Military Academy at West Point on Sunday, 27 January 2019, celebrating the Divine Liturgy in Saint Martin's Chapel for the Orthodox cadets. Caring for the spiritual needs of these future military leaders of our armed forces in the US Army are Archpriest Joseph and Presbytera Irene Frawley.
As part of a "Vision for Our Future," Archbishop Michael launched the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactor [DDB] program in January 2011. Your generous support is what being a Distinguished Diocesan Benefactor is all about. Your love, your prayers, and your sharing of the riches with which you have been blessed make it all possible.
Archbishop Michael hosted the clergy families of the New York State Deanery for a holiday gathering at Basil Leaf Ristorante in Syracuse NY on Sunday evening, 27 January 2019. The evening brought together priests, deacons, and their families for a spirited fellowship with their Archpastor. “It is always a joy,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (Rochester NY), “when our deanery family of clergy, spouses, and children, gather in grateful celebration of their ministries and common labors of love in the church. We thank His Eminence for nurturing our pastoral brotherhood in Christ!”
Archpriest Paul Shafran, Pastor Emeritus at Saint Vladimir Church in Trenton NJ celebrated his 71st Anniversary of Ordination to the Holy Priesthood on 28 December 2018. Father Paul and Matushka Mary also recently marked their 71st wedding anniversary (November 27th). Following the liturgy on 30 December the congregation sang "Many Years" for both of them. Matushka had been in a rehab facility for a few months following surgery for a broken leg, but returned home just in time for Christmas. She and Father Paul are truly grateful for everyone's prayers. "Many Years" and warmest congratulations to them on the occasions of their remarkable anniversary milestones!
On December 31st and January 1st, Archbishop Michael joined the faithful of Saint Basil's Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY for their Parish Feast-Day. Dragan Vujicic, a seminarian from Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville NY, was tonsured a Reader during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Parishioner Anna MacPherson was awarded a Diocesan Gramota (certificate of appreciation) for her many years of dedicated service to the parish. “A wonderful festive meal was served afterwards in the Parish Center," said Father Peter Olsen (parish Rector).
On 29-30 December 2018, Archbishop Michael made an Archpastoral visit to Christ the Savior Church in Manhattan. His Eminence presented a Gramota (certificate of appreciation) on behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops (Orthodox Church in America) to the parish rector, Archpriest Michael Meerson, in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood.
On Saturday, 29 December 2018, Orthodox faithful from the New York Capital area gathered at the Regional Food Bank to spend two hours working, sorting, and packaging food that will be distributed to food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and battered women's shelters in the 23 counties of North Eastern New York. The Regional Food Bank serves people and families in distress from Rockland and Putnam Counties up to the Canadian border.
On the Sunday following the Feast of Saint Nicholas, 9 December 2018, the faithful of Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY celebrated their annual “Yolka” and luncheon. The children had spent weeks preparing for the day, practicing a Nativity play called, “The Gifts of Christmas.”
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM! As we celebrate the Nativity of Christ, our Archbishop Michael offers us his annual letter of joy and love. His Eminence writes, in part: "Beloved fathers and brothers and sisters: We are being called by Our Lord Himself to partake of His very life. To be united to Him. He is inviting us to enter into union with Him, asking us if we will allow Him to enter into us, to take His abode in us. God has taken on our material body, so that He might give us the greatest gift – His eternal, heavenly, immaterial life. In so doing, we are given the opportunity to become saints – if not canonized Saints, with a capital "S" … then at least everyday saints, with a small "s." Read the entire letter here >
During the Archpastoral visit of Archbishop Michael to Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott NY on the weekend of 10-11 November 2018, sixteen Catechumens (the Card family) were received into the church by Holy Baptism and Chrismation (anointing). The presence of the Holy Spirit was truly felt by all as His Eminence exclaimed: “The Seal of the Gift of The Holy Spirit!” 180 times with the choir and congregation singing “Amen!” as many times in response. During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Michael tonsured five young men to the rank of Reader.
In an essay entitled, "Three Miracles," Deacon David Donch begins by writing: "Nearly 2000 years ago, a man named Jairus had a little girl who had become seriously ill, and because the medicine of their day provided no cure for her illness, she was dying. With no hope left him but his hope in the power of God, Jairus set out to find an unusual preacher that he and so many others had been hearing so much about: a certain Jesus, Who people were saying wielded God’s miraculous power to heal all sorts of afflictions and diseases." To read his entire essay, please go here >
Today is the prelude of the good will of God, of the preaching of the salvation of mankind. The Virgin appears in the temple of God, in anticipation proclaiming Christ to all. Let us rejoice and sing to her: "Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation!" (Troparion Hymn)
Stacey Anastasia Gleeson writes: “What would it be like to be an Orthodox missionary? How would I know unless I experienced it? Over the years, I have expressed this desire with family and friends, but struggled to act. My professional career and local volunteer work at my church took priority. However, a life experience motivated me to finally put my desire of a missionary trip into action.”
On Saturday, 3 November 2018, nearly 50 youth and adults from across the diocese gathered at Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers NY together with Archbishop Michael for the first annual Diocesan “BIBLE BOWL.” The Bible Bowl combined competition, camaraderie, and the culmination of months of diligent study of the Scriptures. Eleven teams from six parishes competed in three divisions (Junior Youth, Senior Youth, Adult) and responded to challenging questions from the Gospel of Saint Mark.
On Saturday, 27 October 2018, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael made an Archpastoral visit to the Orthodox Christian Church of the Holy Transfiguration in Pearl River NY. The parish celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of its formation. During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Igumen Joseph (Hoffman), Parish Rector, was elevated by Archbishop Michael to the dignity of Archimandrite.
The latest issue of our diocesan newsletter, "Beyond the Plateau" is now available. Please go here >
The Fall 2018 edition of our diocesan publication, "Jacob's Well," is now available. Click on the image above to view and read this informative and interesting magazine-journal. To see past issues, please go here >
Father Terence Baz of Assumption of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church in Clifton NJ writes: "This past June, I was privileged to be invited to a four-day symposium on the environment, hosted in Greece by His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. I received this invitation as a member of the Fellowship of the Transfiguration, a body of Orthodox clergy and laity concerned about environmental matters and endorsed by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. At this event, called the Green Attica Symposium, I joined about 200 other international guests and world leaders to hear presentations outlining concerns about the environment."
On weekend of 15-16 September 2018, Archbishop Michael visited Saint John the Baptist Church in Alpha NJ and presented a Synodal Gramota to Archpriest Bohdan Ostash (Parish Rector) in recognition of his 30 years of priesthood. His Eminence also brought a new Antimension for the altar containing the relics of a saint. Following the Liturgy, in the newly renovated Church Hall, there was a festal dinner. His Eminence had a dialogue with parishioners during which he shared experiences about his recent pilgrimage visit to the Holy Land and Slovakia.
The theme of this year’s retreat is “Finding Your True North: Where Does Christ Fit into Your Life?” The retreat is open to Young Women in Grades 7-12 at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison NY from November 9-11, 2018.
The ever-growing list of Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors is rising as the leaves of Fall are falling. Thanks to our DDBs the vital ministries of the diocese are being funded as never before. The financial resources provided support our youth, our seminarians, mission parishes, clergy/parish growth, and more! See the DDB “Honor Roll” here > and learn more about the DDB here >
Archbishop Michael visited Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Buffalo NY on 1-2 September 2018. The visit began with a celebration of Great Vespers on Saturday. During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, His Eminence tonsured Caleb Henry to be a reader and blessed reader Steven Camp to wear a Sub-Deacon Orarion. Father Jason Vansuch along with the faithful of nearby Saint George Orthodox Church also joined in the celebration. The Dean of New York state, Father Alexey Karlgut, was present as his wife, Matushka Stacey Karlgut, directed the parish choir.
Over 100 faithful and clergy from the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, along with guests from other Orthodox churches, attended our Annual Diocesan Youth Day on 22 August 2018. The day began at Christ the Savior parish in Paramus NJ with a Molieben (service of thanksgiving) presided by Archbishop Michael. A breakfast was offered by parishioners and then His Eminence accompanied everyone to see “Aladdin on Broadway,” along with a talk-back with some of the crew and actors.
On Sunday, 5 August 2018, Archbishop Michael visited Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY. During the visit, His Eminence presented a Synodal Gramota (certificate of appreciation) and an honorary palitza (priest’s vestment) to the parish rector, Archpriest Ken James Stavrevsky, on the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Following the Liturgy, the newly renovated Church Hall was officially opened and blessed by Archbishop Michael.
Holy Trinity Church in Rahway NJ sponsored an event for the blessing of First Responder vehicles on Sunday 22 July 2018. In commemoration of Prophet Elijah (remembered on 20 July), the parish invited First Responders of the city of Rahway for a vehicle blessing. The day began with a short prayer service in front of the church, followed by the blessing of fire trucks, police cars, ambulance, and parish vehicles.
UPDATED: VIDEO On Sunday, 24 June 2018, the ten-member “Project Mexico Team” from Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY received a blessing for their humanitarian journey to northern Mexico to build a home for a family in desperate need. The team departed on June 27th and returned home on July 4th. Organized by team-leaders Deacon Sean McNulty and Jeremy Heise, the team raised funds and received supporting contributions from parishioners to make this long journey of love possible.
Saint Tikhon’s Seminary is opening enrollment into its Diaconal Formation and Parish Leadership Training Program held in Philadelphia PA. The program is designed for laypeople who are seeking to play an active role in the life of their parishes. The program offers two educational tracks: 1) is structured to satisfy the educational requirements of ordination into the Diaconate and provides classes and training sessions for men who are discerning their call of serving at the altar; 2) is intended for faithful men and women who would like to deepen their knowledge of Orthodox theology and spiritual life to be more effective in their ministry in the Church.
On 3 June 2018 clergy and faithful from around the northeastern half of the New York State Deanery gathered for a dinner at Saint Basil's Church (Watervliet NY) with Archbishop Michael, and the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation to the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors of the region.
Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Chancellor of the Diocese, was awarded the Mitre (honorary “crown”) and diocesan Gramota (certificate of appreciation) in honor of the 55th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Holy Priesthood (July 7, 1963), by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, in Saints Peter and Paul Church, Jersey City NJ, on Sunday, 10 June 2018. "Axios! Axios! Axios!"
[from Saint Tikhon's Seminary communications] Deacon Samuel Davis, who enrolled in a one-year program of studies at Saint Tikhon's Theological Seminary this fall and decided to complete the whole degree program, was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey om 21 April 2018. He was ordained in what has been a mission parish in the diocese, Saint Simon of Cyrene Mission in New Brunswick NJ. The mission anticipates reaching out to the African-American and Hispanic communities in the local area, and Father Samuel’s ordination will allow this mission to work toward a more complete liturgical life. Axios! May God grant Father Samuel, Matushka Julitssa, and their children Isaac, Morgan, Ava, and Alexander, "Many Years!" View photos here >
Clergy and faithful of the New York State Deanery gathered in celebration of Archbishop Michael's 8th Anniversary of Consecration to the Episopacy on 9 May 2018 at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott NY. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was a joyous expression of rejoicing in the Lord and the blessing we have been given in the episcopal ministry of our pastor and shepherd who's perserverance, guidance, leadership, and faith are only surpassed by his fervent love for his spiritual flock. "Many Years!"
The clergy and faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey express our prayerful congratulations to our beloved Archpastor, His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL, on the eighth Anniversary of his Consecration to the Episcopacy (May 8th) and of his enthronement as the Ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey (May 9th). We are grateful to God and Vladyka for his continual outpouring of love, leadership, and dedication to the growth and salvation of his flock in this God-protected Diocese!
Nothing is more beautiful than the sound of children singing -- at home, at school and at church. We invite parents, church school teachers, clergy, choir directors and others who may be interested in learning about how the child’s singing voice develops from pre-school through the early teens. Songs and age-appropriate activities will be presented that will both inspire children to sing and help to develop their vocal and aural skills. The workshop is on SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2018 at Holy Apostles Church in Saddle Brook NJ.
Saint Andrew's Camp (Jewell NY) is organizing a cleanup and work weekend for any and all volunteers that can assist. Projects this year include installing new flooring for the girls' and boys' dorms, general cleanup, and other projects depending on the number of people who can come. The dates are May 19-20, 2018. Come for as long as you are able! Accommodations are available at the camp. We are also working on obtaining a priest for Sunday morning on the camp grounds. If you are interested and able to help, please contact Tim Macko at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bible Bowl is a quiz competition for teams of young people and adults. This year, all questions will come from the Gospel of Saint Mark as found in the Orthodox Study Bible. Teams are already forming in Yonkers NY, Syracuse NY, Princeton NJ, East Meadow NY, Clifton NJ, Endicott NY, Manville NJ, Saddlebrook NJ, and Ballston Spa NY. The competition will be held in Yonkers NY on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2018.
The newly released issue of the diocesan publication ... "First Fruits" ... is now available. Go here >>>
Archpriest John Nehrebecki, 89, fell asleep in the Lord on Great and Holy Saturday morning, April 7, 2018. Father John was Pastor Emeritus of Christ the Savior Church, Paramus NJ, which he and his beloved wife, Matushka Eugenia, founded and faithfully served until his retirement in 2003.
As the Savior went to his passion, he said to his friends: “Everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. Be at peace with one another and with every one. Be of humble mind, and you will be exalted. Acknowledge me as Lord! Praise and extol me to all ages." (Matins of Holy Monday)
Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors have funded vital ministries throughout New York and New Jersey for several years. Parishes, youth, seminarians, and clergy have all benefitted through financial assistance, retreats, workshops, programs, and social/educational opportunities that help to nurture and grow the Body of Christ. Thanks to our DDBs, much has been accomplished as is being accomplished to this day. The fruits of their investment in the life of our diocese are obvious and the source of much joy. As we are in the midst of the Lenten journey to PASCHA, perhaps you will consider making a contribution to the 2018 DDB program, and join with many others in this blessed work. To learn more, please "click" on the image above ... and, thank-you!
Registration is now open for the 2018 Teen Retreat for those in Grades 7-12. The retreat will be held at Saint Basil's Academy in Garrison NY from Friday, March 16th - Sunday, March 18th. The retreat theme is "In the World, But Not of the World: Orthodox Christianity in a Complicated Religious Landscape." For addition information and easy on-line registration, please go HERE >>>
Barbara Anne Kucynda, age 71, of Wayne NJ passed peacefully at home on Friday, February 16, 2018. She was born to John and Anna Kuntzevich and raised at 5905 Glenwood Road in Brooklyn. She graduated from Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn and for one year attended Saint Johns University in Brooklyn. Her family moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut and Barbara finished her education at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. Barbara met a young man named Paul Kucynda who was doing seminary field work at her parish, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Brooklyn.
The season of the Great Fast (Lent) in preparation and anticipation of the joyous celebration of Our Lord's PASCHA begins on Monday, 19 February 2018. As we enter this holy season of increased prayer, ascetic fasting, and philanthropic charity, Archbishop Michael offers a letter to us with an invitation of encouragement to enter the Lenten journey with seriousness in faith, hope, and love. In part, he writes: "Truly, the way for us to see Lent is as a journey of repentance – a return home, like the Prodigal Son, to the house and embrace of the God Who loves us more than we love ourselves. As he rediscovered his place in the household of his Father, so we must rediscover and recover what we were made to be through our baptismal death and resurrection. Lent is our pilgrimage to Pascha, to share in the Passion and Death of our Savior and in the Victory of His Resurrection."
On Sunday, 4 February 4 2018, Archbishop Michael visited Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY. During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Artёm Timofeev was tonsured as a “Reader.” Artёm and his family first joined the parish ten years ago having emigrated from Russia. Artёm is a CPA having completed his higher education at SUNY Albany. He was an altar server at Saint Basil’s, attended summer camp as a camper and counselor at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, and participated Altar Servers Retreat of our diocese. Artёm also has assisted Archbishop Michael as his driver, traveling the lengths and breadths of the diocese.
On 21 January 2018, Archbishop Michael visited Saint Martin's Orthodox Chapel at West Point Military Academy and presented a Synodal Gramota to Archpriest Joseph Frawley in recognition of his 40 years of priesthood, 20 years as chaplain at West Point, his work at the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of History and Archives, and his work on the lives of the saints. His Eminence also brought a new antimension for the altar containing the relics of the Holy New Martyr Saint Hilarion Troitsky (+1929).
Every year, Archbishop Michael hosts a holiday season dinner party for clergy families; a festive gathering for each of the three Deaneries (New Jersey, New York State, New York City). The first event was on 14 January for the NY City Deanery at Angelina’s Ristorante in Tuckahoe NY. On 21 January the dinner was at The Brownstone in Paterson NJ for the New Jersey Deanery. The final dinner will be on 28 January for the NY State Deanery at Basil Leaf Ristorante in Syracuse NY.
Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY celebrated its Patronal Feast Day on 31 December and 1 January 2018 with the presence of Archbishop Michael for Great Vespers with the Blessing of Loaves and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great. Children of the parish joyfully greeted Archbishop Michael, presenting him with flowers and receiving his blessing. As is customary on the Feast of Saint Basil, the blessing and distribution of the Vasilopita (Saint Basil’s Bread) took place following the Divine Liturgy.
A series of insightful interviews (Gift and Grace: The Spiritual Legacy of Orthodox Christians in America) has been produced featuring esteemed clergy and laity of the Orthodox Church in America. Thanks to the efforts of Father John Shimchick, we gain an inspiring look into their lives and work to the glory of God in His Holy Church. Interviews include: Dr. Constantine and Arlene Kallaur, Dr. Albert Rossi, Father Paul and Mary Shafran, Father John and Eugenia Nehrebecki, Father Daniel Skvir, Father Daniel and Dunia Hubiak, Father Stephen Siniari, Father Sergius and Faith Kuharsky, Father Sergei Glagolev, and Father Thomas and Anne Hopko. See the interviews by clicking on the image above (which you will also find permanently displayed among the link icons on this homepage).
The servant of God, Christopher Mayhew, was baptized and Chrismated during the Divine Liturgy on Christmas Day at Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY. Using the large adult baptismal font, Christopher was fully immersed and robed with the white garment of holy illumination. "The beauty and significance of celebrating a Baptismal Liturgy was a true joy for all blessed to be in attendance," said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector).
Archpriest Paul Shafran celebrated his 70th anniversary of ordination to the Holy Priesthood (28 December), and he and Matushka Mary celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary (27 November). On 28 October at Saint Vladimir Church in Trenton NJ, where Father Paul had served as Rector for 55 years and is now a retired “Pastor Emeritus," a Jubilee Celebration was held in their honor including a joyous Divine Liturgy followed by a festive testimonial banquet.
Christ is born, glorify Him!
Christ comes from heaven,
go to meet Him!
Christ is on earth, be exalted!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth,
and praise Him in gladness,
for He has been glorified!
Ode 1 – Heirmos
Saint Innocent of Alaska Orthodox Mission in Oneonta NY celebrated the Chrismation (Holy Anointing) of Amy Johnson-Smith as she was received into the Orthodox Faith on Saturday, 9 December 2017 following the Vespers service. The following day, Sunday, after the celebration of the Divine Liturgy the entire parish family decorated the chapel for the Nativity. The parish held their Ethnic Food Sale for the Christmas season on 2 December. “Our parishioners worked very hard and God has blessed us for our labors,” said Father Vasil Dubee (parish rector).
The Diocese of New York and New Jersey is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the restoration of the Patriarchate of Moscow, and the election of Metropolitan Tikhon, the former Archbishop of New York who served in America from 1898-1907, to the office of Patriarch. There will be a series of liturgical celebrations in the Diocese to mark this centennial. At each event, there will be an Akathist offered to Saint Tikhon; an opportunity for each of the faithful to venerate the Saint’s holy relics; and a fellowship reception afterward. His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, is urging the faithful of each Deanery to make it part of their pre-Nativity Fast commitment to make the pilgrimage to pray before these relics. Please see "more information" below for the schedule of celebrations throughout the diocese.
UPDATED The deepest sympathies of all the clergy and the faithful of the Diocese are expressed to our beloved Archpastor, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael; his brother George and sister Barbara; and all their family, on the falling-asleep in the Lord of their mother, + Ann Dahulich, shortly after noon on Wednesday (6 December 2017) at Mercy House in Endicott NY. Please see "more information" below for the schedule of services. Grant rest eternal in blessed repose with the Saints, O Lord, to the soul of Your newly departed handmaiden, the ever-to-be-remembered + Ann, who has fallen asleep, and make her memory to be eternal!
The By-Laws of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey have been revised and approved to be consistent and in agreement with the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America. Approval was unanimously granted at the Diocesan Assembly of 1 November 2017 and received the blessing of Archbishop Michael. View the By-Laws here >>>
In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate -- the Election and Enthronement of Patriarch Tikhon to the throne of Moscow and All Russia -- Archbishop MICHAEL will celebrate the “Akathist to Saint Tikhon” in the presence of a reliquary with the relics of the saint. Clergy and faithful are invited to attend this wonderful and unique opportunity to come and pray together in Syracuse NY (Saints Peter & Paul Church) with our Archpastor on Saturday, 16 December 2017, at 9:30 a.m. and venerate the relics of the saint who was most foundational to the establishment and growth of the Orthodox Church in America. A retreat presentation by Archbishop Michael, “The Fullness of the Church” will follow the Akathist.
On Friday, 17 November 2017, a “Healing Service” was served at Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY. This was a parish effort of outreach and evangelism; the continuing duty of our church of missionary work to the local community, to family, and friends of parishioners. After a welcoming sermon, everyone was anointed with oil from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
The diocesan Commission on Liturgical Music (CoLM) has produced the first in a series of podcasts as resources to assist choir directors and singers. The first installment of the series, produced by Tanya Tjoa of the Church of the Holy Transfiguration in Pearl River NY, is now available on the CoLM website … here >>>
Sunday, November 19 is the 10th Anniversary of the Repose of His Eminence, Archbishop PETER (L’Huillier), who served as the Bishop of our Diocese for 26 years. Paul L’Huillier was born in Paris in 1926, and converted to Orthodoxy in 1945, while enrolled at St. Denys Institute. On August 30, 1954, he was tonsured as a monk and took the name of "Peter." On September 4 and 5, 1954, he was ordained hierodeacon and hieromonk by Archbishop Boris, Exarch of the Russian Patriarchate in Europe. Six years later, he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite.
Archbishop Michael visited the Parish of the Nativity of the Virgin in Jackson NJ on 29 October 2017 to celebrate the 40th Wedding Anniversary of Archpriest John & Matushka Ludmila Prokopiuk and the Anniversary of Diaconal Ordination of Proto-Deacon John Morvay. “Even though torrential rains were falling in Jackson on this day,” said Proto-Deacon John, “we were blessed to celebrate this anniversary with our beloved Archbishop Michael, visiting clergy, family, friends, and faithful of our parish.”
UPDATED The Annual Matushki (“clergy wives”) Retreat was held at Saint Andrew’s Camp on Friday-Saturday, 3-4 November 2017. The well-attended yet personal gathering provided time for spiritual reflection and bonding in the life and ministry that are part of the vocation of the wives of priests and deacons. Dr. Harry Boosalis (Professor of Dogmatic Theology, Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary) was the retreat facilitator with insights and reflections on "The Theotokos, Personal Panagia."
The Annual Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey convened in Endicott NY at Saints Peter & Paul Church on Wednesday, 1 November 2017. Clergy and laity delgates from diocesan parishes gathered with Archbishop Michael to discern the Lord's will in setting a course for the diocese and ensuring good order in all things, both spiritual and administrative. The passage of a revised Diocesan By-laws and a 2018 Budget were among the matters unanimously adopted. Next year's Assembly will gather in Brick NJ on 31 October 2018.
As leaves turn color and fall from the trees, the days of 2017 are rapidly passing. Thanks to the generosity of our diocesan DDBs, it has been a blessed year thus far as vital ministries are being financially supported throughout New York and New Jersey: Mission Parishes, Seminarians, and Struggling Parishes are recipients of much-needed assistance. We are thankful to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon these faithful servants who, in turn, offer their blessings to the work of the Church. See the updated “honor roll” of our 2017 DDBs HERE >>>
To join them, go HERE >>>
On Sunday morning, October 22, 2017, Archpriest Stephen Mack, long-time Rector of Saint Nicholas Church in Auburn NY, fell asleep in the Lord. See "more information" for the schedule of services. May the memory of Father Stephen be eternal, and may his familiy and parishioners be comforted by the hope of the Resurrection through our prayers!
On Sunday, 24 September 2017, Saints Peter & Paul Church in Jersey City NJ celebrated its 110th Parish Anniversary. The celebration mirrored what was done 110 years earlier by its immigrant faithful as Marius Anghel greeted Archbishop Michael, saying, “Seventeen years ago my family and I immigrated to America; now I am an adult. By the grace of God and prayers and lives of Saints Peter and Paul, I welcome you on behalf of our parish.”
Nearly 700 people gathered in the Clifton High School Auditorium on Saturday, 23 September 2017, to see the Tamburitzans perform their ethnic songs and dances. The group was hosted by Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Saddle Brook NJ. The crowd gave an enthusiastic standing ovation at the end; the request was repeatedly made for the parish to bring them back next year.
Archbishop Michael presided at the Diocesan Cathedral's patronal feast of the Protection of the Holy Virgin on the weekend of 30 Sept - 1 Oct 2017. In conjunction with the liturgical observance, a new external marquee was dedicated. The 150 year-old building, built in 1867, was purchased by the “Metropolia," which became the OCA, in 1943 and was its Pro-Cathedral until 1982. The new marquee was designed by Archimandrite Christopher (Calin) and crafted by Melinni Brothers in Florence, Italy.
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" was presented at the Church of the Holy Assumption in Clifton NJ on the weekend of 29-30 Sept 2017. This year the cast ranged from ages 6 thru 75 years. They came together from diocesan churches in Paramus NJ and Yonkers NY, from Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Clifton NJ, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Roseland NJ, along with Holy Assumption Church in Clifton NJ, and community members. The cast put in so much of their time to put on a truly inspiring, entertaining, beautiful show. They sang, danced and acted their hearts out and learned a beautiful Bible Story they will never forget.
Saint George Orthodox Church located in Buffalo NY has been blessed with the icon of the Annunciation of Most-Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary streaming fragrant oil. “It is a great and humble miracle, and blessing, for our parish and for those who come and pray here,” said Father Jason Vansuch (parish rector). His daughters, Alexandra and Anna, witnessed the streaming Holy Oil following Great Vespers on the Eve of Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of Our Lord (September 13). The Holy Oil began streaming from the Cross on top of the Veil of the Theotokos and then also began streaming from the back of Her Veil; it has continued to stream down her face.
Saint Andrews Camp, on the shore of Oneida Lake in Upstate New York (Jewell NY), celebrated 60 years of faith, friendship, and fun on Saturday, 23 September 2017. Current and former campers, counselors, and staff members joined Archbishop Michael for the memorable occasion. Founded in 1957 by Father Alexander Warnecke, the establishment of the camp was inspired by the words of Saint John Chrysostom: “Let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up to the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Our diocese will offer recognition and gratitude to our dedicated directors, singers, composers, arrangers and teachers of liturgical music on Sunday, 1 October, the feast-day of Saint Romanos “the Melodist.” A letter marking the occasion from Archbishop Michael, along with special intercessions of prayer, is available here >>>
Our newest mission parish community, Saint Simon of Cyrene in New Brunswick NJ, will host an Akathist service ("To the African Saints") with prayers for racial reconciliation on Sunday, 1 October 2017 at 6:00 p.m.. Following the service which will include pastors and members of faith communities in the area, Archbishop Michael will offer a brief address on the themes of racism, prejudice, and reconciliation. The faithful of the diocese are encouraged to attend!
Archbishop Michael visited Saint Innocent Orthodox Mission in Oneonta NY on 26-27 August 2017. He offered an inspirational sermon at the end of Great Vespers service celebrated on Saturday evening by Father Vasil Dubee (parish rector) and Deacon Stephan Karlgut. The parish enjoyed dinner together with His Eminence at Nina's Restaurant in Oneonta. On Sunday, His Eminence was greeted with flowers presented by Veronika Dubee. He was also greeted with traditional bread and salt on behalf of the parish council by council member (Reader) Matthew Masterjohn.
Reader Keanu Matthew Ortiz, a parishioner of Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow Church" in Princeton NJ, was nominated to represent the Diocese of New York and New Jersey at the annual IOCC Serv-X-Treme Conference in Minneapolis MN held July 29 – August 4, 2017. He sent the following report sharing his experience:
Deacon Paul Fedoroff completed the Diaconal Vocations Program at Saint Vladimir's Seminary and, with the blessing of Archbishop Michael, was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on Saturday, 19 August 2017 at Christ the Savior Church in Ballston Lake NY. Reader Paul Giokas was also blessed to serve as a Sub-Deacon. In honor of this event, the parish also celebrated their patronal feast of the Image of Christ “Made Without Hands.”
Sixty years ago there was a vision: to combine a traditional camping experience with education and fellowship in the Orthodox Faith. From this came Saint Andrew's Orthodox Camp, serving campers from around the Church for the past six decades. In celebration of our 60th year, the board and staff invite you to join us on September 23, 2017 as our honored guests. The day will begin with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am celebrated by Archbishop Michael. A festive meal, fellowship, and tour of the camp will follow.
Archbishop Michael writes: "All of us have seen on our televisions or computers images of the disaster and devastation that has occurred in the southern parts of our country as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The loss of life, the destruction of property, and the displacement of whole families are staggering. Of course, I am asking that prayers be offered in all our churches for the victims of this horrific tragedy. But our response to this national crisis must be more than that. It must be what the Lord has asked of us in the Gospel: “Whatever you do for the least of My brethren, you do it for Me” (Matthew 25:40). In the face of incredibly great need, I am requesting our immediate assistance with the relief efforts of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which is already responding to the aftermaths of both hurricanes."
The clergy and faithful of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey convey love, admiration and sincere gratitude to His Eminence, our beloved Archbishop Michael, as he celebrates his birthday on August 29th. His love, leadership, determination and wisdom have strengthened, inspired and encouraged dedicated service of the diocesan clergy and laity, and various institutions throughout the Church. We pray that the Lord will give him strength of soul and body, and many good and blessed years. Eis polla eti Despota!
UPDATED: Read "Beyond the Plateau" here >>> Saturday, 1 July 2017, was the occasion of an historic event in the life of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey: the ordination of Sub-Deacon Samuel Davis, of Somerset NJ, to the Holy Diaconate. While diaconal ordinations are not necessarily historic, Deacon Samuel is the first African-American to be ordained to this office in the history of the Diocese, and he is leading the planting and development of Saint Simon of Cyrene Orthodox Mission in New Brunswick NJ, an inner-city mission seeking to reach out to African-Americans and Hispanics with the light of Christ’s Gospel in Holy Orthodoxy.
The weekend of 5-6 August 2017 was inspirational and memorable for the Orthodox faithful of Saint John the Baptist Church in Alpha NJ, marked by the Archpastoral visit of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael. It was the great feast-day of the Transfiguration of our Lord and a time to gather in prayerful gratitude for the many blessings God bestows on the parish. Of special joy was the presence of Father Joseph Chupeck, former rector of the church. After the festal Liturgy on Sunday with the traditional blessing of fruit, His Eminence had a dialogue with parishioners during which he shared experiences about his recent pilgrimage visit to the Holy Land. A celebratory festal dinner followed in the rectory.
As the days of summer fly by, our Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors continue to provide vital financial support to ministries throughout the diocese. By offering assistance to our seminarians, mission parishes, and struggling older parishes, the strength and vitality of our local churches are being nurtured. To date during 2017, DDBs have contributed over $69,000 out of their dedication and love for the church. See the “honor roll” of DDBs here >
Saint Vladimir Orthodox Church in Trenton NJ celebrated its patronal Feast-Day and 102nd anniversary on Saturday, 15 July 2017. The festivities commenced with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Michael, presiding. Serving with His Eminence were: Father Volodymyr Chaikivskyi (Parish Rector), Father Paul Shafran (Pastor Emeritus, retired), Father Joseph Lickwar (Diocesan Chancellor), and numerous other diocesan clergy. At the conclusion of the liturgy the sizable crowd of clergy, parishioners, and friends made a procession around the outside of the church with the icon of Saint Vladimir, and then enjoyed a cocktail hour and luncheon at the parish social hall next door.
The staff and campers at Saint Andrew's Camp in Jewell NY enjoyed another summer fo fun, fellowship. and faith during the 2017 season. See the photos in "more information" below. But summer has not ended! The camp will again sponsor a great BIKE RIDE charity event on SATURDAY, AUGUST 26th. For details, see "upcoming events" on this website.
Twenty-six people from three area Orthodox parishes teamed up for a fun and productive volunteer time at the Regional Food Bank on Saturday, 8 July 2017. Participating were parishioners from Saint George Antiochian Church (Albany NY), Christ the Savior Church (Ballston Lake NY), and Saint Basil’s Church (Watervliet NY) along with parish rector Archpriest Peter Olsen.
The Annual Diocesan Youth Day will again take place at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson NJ on Thursday, 24 August 2017. The day is open to all Orthodox Youth and their friends, from elementary school age to college students. Information & REGISTER NOW >>>
Nearly 60 Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors from the Upstate New York region joined together with their host, Archbishop Michael, for an evening of thanks and fellowship in Ballston Spa NY. This was the final of four appreciaition dinners recognizing the financial contributions of 2016 DDBs from throughout the diocese and beyond who support and make possible vital ministries to parishes and seminarians. To learn about the DDB and join them, go here >>>
Very Reverend Paul Shafran celebrated his 95th birthday on Sunday, 2 July 2017, giving thanks to God for his many blessings which include the ability to continue serving at the altar. Following the Divine Liturgy that morning, the parish of Saint Vladimir in Trenton NJ (where Father Paul is Pastor Emeritus, retired) honored and blessed him with the singing of "Many Years!" A celebration followed in the fellowship hall and a birthday cake was enjoyed by all. The previous day his extended family gathered for an in-home celebration with toasts and photo-trips down memory lane.
Archbishop Michael visited the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Brick NJ on "Father's Day" weekend of 17-18 June. During his Archpastoral visit, His Eminence tonsured Veljko Pejovic as a Reader, recognized Archpriest Gary Breton on the occasion of his 25th anniversary of ordination to the Holy Priesthood, and blessed the nearly-completed parish hall and education center. He also received a donation from the parish Church School students representing their Lenten efforts of providing alms to those in need.
The days of summer bring sunshine and warmth throughout the diocese as flowers blossom and nature reflects new life. As we approach the middle of this year, upcoming Parish Council and Church School Conferences, the Diocesan Youth Day, preparations for another academic year at seminaries and our Diaconal Formation Program remind us of our common work in the Lord’s vineyard. Much of this is only possible thanks to our Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors. You are invited to join them! Learn about the DDB >>>
On Sunday, 21 May 2017, the Feast-day of Saints Constantine and Helen, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael visited Christ the Saviour Church in Paramus NJ to celebrate the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and honor Archpriest John and Matushka Eugenia Nehrebecki on their 65th Wedding Anniversary.
Our Diocesan Diaconal Formation Program offers an opportunity for men, with the blessing of their parish priest and Archbishop Michael, to experience a 2-year program facilitated by Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. The program involves both academic and practical application of a diaconal parish ministry. While no program of study guarantees ordination as a deacon, graduates will have fulfilled the necessary academic requirements. There are two campus locations: Endicott NY and Philadelphia PA (convenient for those in New Jersey and New York City). See the flyer here for general details of the program and specifics of the Philadelphia campus. For information on the Endicott program, contact Father Alexey Karlgut at email@example.com
Archbishop Michael has blessed Saint Basil’s Orthodox Church in Watervliet NY with holy relics of the following saints: Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, Innocent (Metropolitan of Moscow & Apostle to America), Grand Duchess Elizabeth the New-Martyr, Tikhon (Patriarch of Moscow & Enlightener of North America), Alexis of Wilkes-Barre (Confessor & Defender of Orthodoxy in America), Raphael (Bishop of Brooklyn), and Venerable Ambrose (Elder of Optina). Father Jason Vansuch prepared the relics by placing each in a special wax mixture called mastic. “Our reliquary was sent to us from Russia,” said Father Peter Olsen (parish rector). “Many thanks to God for this amazing blessing and to our loving hierarch, Archbishop Michael, and Father Jason for his kind help. Glory to Jesus Christ!”
What’s it like to feel or not feel safe? What do you do when you’ve been led to believe that you’re not capable or are worthless? What’s it like to be uncertain about your daily meals, where you’ll wash up, where you’ll sleep at night, and most other things in your life? These are among the questions raised during the Covenant House Sleep Out held Friday 28 April and Saturday 29 April at the Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross, Medford NJ.
Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY invites participation in their weekly Adult Discussion Group, facilitated by Deacon Sean McNulty, by offering a convenient "call-in" opportunity. Participants call using a special phone number and group number to connect audibly with the group where they can both listen and comment during the session. The parish has also begun posting the Scripture Readings and Sermon of the weekly Divine Liturgy "live" on Facebook; the videos also remain on-line for viewing later. "It's amazing how many views we get every week," said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector). "Often, there are over a dozen views before we complete the Liturgy and 40 or more in the following days!" The parish curently has 840 people who "follow" its Facebook page.
The New York State Deanery held its annual Appreciation Dinner for Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors on Sunday evening, 23 April 2017. Archbishop Michael expressed his gratitude to the DDBs and presented them with certificates of appreciation (Gramota) during the fellowship of an enjoyable meal in Syracuse NY.
The first-ever national study on evangelization and outreach in Orthodox parishes in the United States has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. The report "Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Parishes" explores the practices and strategies developed by some Orthodox parishes that can be viewed as "exemplary" in their missionary and outreach efforts.
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. (Vespers of Holy Saturday)
Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the tree of the cross. The King of the Angels is adorned with a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in a purple robe of mockery. He who is the new Adam, manifested at His baptism in the Jordan, is slapped on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the cross with nails. The Son of the Virgin is crucified and pierced by a spear. We worship Your passion, O Christ! We worship Your passion, O Christ! We worship Your passion, O Christ! Show us also Your glorious resurrection! (Antiphon Fifteen)
On Saturday, 1 April 2017, Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY sponsored a Lenten Retreat: “The Home as a ‘Little Church.'” The day featured presentations by Dr. Mary Ford and Dr. David Ford of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. “We were inspired and enlightened by the insights and perspectives presented,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector). “It was an incredible joy to have these two gifted professors, who exhibit genuine humility and living faith, in our midst.” Parishioners were delighted to have David and Mary also join them for the Divine Liturgy the following day.
Clergy and faithful of the diocese are invited to a Paschal Open House at Saint Andrew's Camp (Jewell NY) on Bright Saturday, 22 April 2017. Festivities will begin with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at 9:30 a.m. in the camp chapel. A celebratory luncheon will follow along with tours of the camp and other activities. The event flyer may be found here >
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael traveled to Kerala, India on 2 February 2017 to be the Keynote Speaker and the Guest of Honor at the Centennial of the Diocesan Convention of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in the Diocese of Thumpamon. Presiding over the five-day convention was His Holiness, Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East and the Supreme Head of the Indian Orthodox Church. He was assisted by numerous Metropolitans of the Holy Synod of the Indian Church. His Holiness is the successor to Saint Thomas the Apostle, who brought the Gospel to India in the mid-first century.
During the Lenten Sunday Divine Liturgies we hear as part of the prayer following the Anaphora, that God “knows the name and age of each, even from his (or her) mother’s womb.” We as Orthodox Christians are inherently pro-life, but we often do not know what to do or what kind of response to make or provide. During the reception following the Southern New Jersey Deanery Vespers on Sunday, 19 March 2017, at the Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross in Medford NJ, representatives of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants offered suggestions on how to support and build “a Culture of Life and Family.”
On the “Sunday of Orthodoxy,” 5 March 2017, a Ukrainian Easter Egg class was offered to the parish (Orthodox Church of the Mother of God) and greater community of Mays Landing NJ led by Mrs. Hala “Holly” Dawson. Twenty adults and children attended. Holly has made over 300 Pysanky eggs in the traditional Ukrainian wax-resistant method using melted beeswax and a wooden stylus. Mrs. Lore Stefy, another Pysanky writer in the parish, assisted Mrs. Dawson. Young and old alike attended the class.
On Sunday 5 March 2017, Saint George Orthodox Church in Buffalo NY celebrated a blessing of icons followed by the traditional procession of icons to celebrate “Sunday of Orthodoxy” (the first Sunday of Great Lent). The process of making the icons began three days earlier as Church School children, together with their teachers and families, gathered to make icons while learning about the importance of icons and how we are called to be “living icons” of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.
For the past six years, a committed team of Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors has provided essential financial support to fund vital ministries throughout the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. You are invited and encouraged to join the team! If the Lord has blessed you with the ability to offer support, you will participate in doing great things toward preparing our future priests & deacons, establishing new mission parishes, and giving a boost to struggling parishes. An easy and convenient way to join through secure on-line contributions is available! There is a growing list of DDBs this year; see the “honor roll” here >
The newly released issue of “First Fruits” asks the question, Rich toward God? How does one become rich toward God? … It seems that what we do with our own things in this life has a huge impact on the next. Read the current issue here and see previous issues here >
On 12 February 2017, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, Archbishop Michael visited Saint Martin's Chapel at the US Military Academy at West Point. Four cadets were present at the Liturgy, including a member of the graduating class whose parents were also visiting. Following the Liturgy there was a delicious brunch at the Thayer Hotel for Archbishop where Archbishop Michael spoke with the cadets, asking about their future plans and promising to pray for them.
The Annual Diocesan Lenten Teen Retreat is scheduled for 10-12 March 2017 at Saint Basil Academy located at 79 St. Basil's Rd, Garrison NY 10524. Teens in grades 7-12 are encouraged to attend! There is no charge to participate in this three day event. Participants may begin arriving for check-in on Friday, 10 March, beginning at 6:30 PM. The theme will be “The Challenge: Who Are We Called To Be?” Guest speaker Greg Fedorchak will have candid discussions addressing participants’ aspirations and suggest ways in which they can keep God and the Church in their lives while in pursuit of their goals. Additionally, as a Diocesan sponsored event, Archbishop Michael will be in attendance for part of the weekend. Saint Basil Academy sits on the Hudson River across from West Point Military Academy, approximately an hour north of New York City. During their free time participants will be able to take advantage of the center’s indoor gym/basketball court and quaint chapel. See "Upcoming Events" on this webpage for information, details, and registration.
The annual Conference of the Brotherhood of Saint Moses the Black will be convened on 6-8 October 2017 in Princeton NJ. The theme is: "Closer to Christ, Closer to Each Other." The Brotherhood is a pan-Orthodox organization committed to making the Orthodox faith available to the African American community in America.
As in years past, Orthodox Christian hierarchs, seminarians, clergy, and faithful from around the country participated in the annual "March For Life." While in the nation’s capital, Metropolitan Tikhon attended the Vigil at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Other hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in America participating in the march included our own Archbishop Michael, along with Archbishop Nathaniel and Archbishop Melchisedek. Other Orthodox hierarch in attendance were: Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Bishop John of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, and Bishop Dimitrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. “Gathering together in a peaceful way to give voice and raise awareness to the sorrowful effects of abortion and its legalization is very important,” said Priest Andrew Bartek (Rector, Saint Panteleimon Church, Summit IL).
The 2017 Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors initiative is up-and-running, with many already enrolled as members! Soon, the first listing of DDBs for this year (the “Honor Roll”) will be published on this website. The complete listing of last year’s DDBs may be found here >. To learn all about this year’s DDB and discover how easy it is to join others in offering vital financial support to diocesan ministries, please visit “Vision for Our Future” or go here >
"A letter was found by my wife Jeanne under the door of the church when she came to set up for the potluck dinner we were going to have after Vespers on Saturday, 14 January," said Father Peter Baktis (parish rector). "I read the letter after liturgy on Sunday. When we had our first flea market this fall at the church neighbors came and visited the church. They told me they called the site the "dead house" (for the past four years before we started to complete the site). We are far from dead now and are a witness to the life that is given to us in Jesus Christ!"
On 28 December 2016, Father Paul Shafran celebrated his 69th anniversary of ordination to the Holy Priesthood and, on 27 November, he and Matushka Mary celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary at Saint Vladimir Orthodox Church in Trenton NJ (where Father Paul is Pastor Emeritus). The parish sang “Many Years” for both of them Sunday, 1 January 2017, in honor of Father Paul’s ordination anniversary; unfortunately, Matushka Mary unable to attend. “Many Years! Father Paul & Matushka Mary!”
Reader Samuel Davis of the newly formed Saint Simon of Cyrene Orthodox Mission in New Brunswick NJ writes: “It is with great joy that I can greet you, on behalf of our Mission community. More than that, I would like to extend a welcome to you to join us in prayer whenever you are in the New Brunswick area for services. The Mission is a community dedicated to building up the Holy Orthodox Church in an area that has yet to be exposed to our faith. This is a monumental task! At present the laborers are few, having just started out, but with God’s grace and mercy we will grow and truly become a proper witness to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church on the ‘Western Shore.’”
UPDATED: new photos! Over 20 young women in grades 7-12 gathered at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison NY from November 11-13, 2016 for the Third Annual Girls Retreat. "Iconography: Windows into Heaven" was the theme, with iconographer Randi Sider-Rose of “Immanuel Icons” (website) leading the educational sessions.
Archbishop Michael visited Saint Basil Orthodox Church in Maplewood NY for evening Vespers on Saturday, 31 December 2016, and for a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the following Sunday (New Year’s Day). The parish Feast-Day celebration of Saint Basil included the blessing and cutting of the Vasilopita (Saint Basil's bread). A pot-luck dinner with a question-and-answer period between the children of the parish and His Eminence was held in the Church Center immediately following the Divine Liturgy.
The Annual Diocesan Altar Server Retreat will be held at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison NY from February 10-12, 2017. It is designed for altar servers of all ages! The main focus of this annual retreat is to bring the young men of our diocese together in prayer, Christian fellowship, education, and lots of fun! Under the guidance and direction of Archbishop Michael, the participants will learn the importance and role of the order of the Diaconate in the life of the Church – both in a liturgical function, and as a servant of God’s people, ministering to the outside world. More information is available in the "Upcoming Events" section of this website. For complete information and convenient on-line registration, please visit here >>>
Thanks to the sacrificial generosity of DDBs from throughout the diocese and beyond, over $831,000 was contributed during the first six years (2011-2016) of the program! Last year a record-breaking total of $181,265 was received. As a result, vital ministries have received much-needed support; the work of the Church is being funded as never before! There are visible “fruits” of our labors and efforts as mission parishes are being established and supported, seminarians are receiving scholarships, and struggling parishes are being revitalized. The 2017 DDB Initiative is now launched! Learn all about it here!
Father Vasil Dubee, parish rector of Saint Innocent of Alaska Mission Parish in Oneonta NY, reports: “We have had some wonderful happenings at our Mission. We purchased 5.1 acres of land for the future site of our church and rectory in the town of Oneonta back in October. The land was purchased with a donation from the Lindsay and Olive B. O'Connor Foundation for $18,500! Just two weeks after the closing, I received a call from the realtor who handled the land sale to us and he said the seller had 5.3 acres on the south border of the land and would like to offer it to us for purchase at the same price of $18,500. I told him I would love to, but most-likely cannot do it because I have no idea where the money would come from!”
We extend our prayerful best wishes to Archpriest Joseph and Matushka Charlotte Woodill on Father Joseph's retirement from active parish ministry at Saint Nicholas Church in Whitestone NY, and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, for health reasons, effective 1 January 2017 following his last Sunday service in the parish, at which he was honored by his loving community of faithful.
When You, O Lord, were baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the voice of the Father bore witness to You, calling You His Beloved Son; and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, You have revealed Yourself, and have enlightened the world, glory to You!
"O Master, Lord our God, the Fountain of Life and immortality, the Creator of all things visible and invisible, Who governs the seasons and the years and guides all things with Your wise providence. We thank You for all the blessings You have poured out upon us during the past years of our lives, and we cry out to You, O all-bountiful Lord, bless this coming year with Your goodness, direct our civil authorities in the path of goodness, bestow Your heavenly blessings upon all Your people: health, salvation, and growth in virtue. Deliver Your Holy Church from every assault of the evil one, and grant us peace and tranquility; and grant that we may always offer thanks to You: the Father who is from everlasting, together with Your only-begotten Son, and Your most-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit -- God glorified in three Persons, and that we may joyfully praise Your all Holy Name!"
This year, DDBs have contributed $157,055 in support of vital diocesan ministries. They have provided much-needed financial assistance to our seminarians, mission parishes, and struggling parishes. As the year draws to an end, we express our sincere gratitude and thanks to God for these dedicated laborers in our diocesan family. See the complete “honor roll” of DDBs here. To learn more or to join them now, visit here.
On Tuesday 29 November 2016, Saint George Church together with Compeer of Greater Buffalo lighted “The Tree of Hope” which will rest on the church property for the Holy Season and through the New Year. The tree symbolizes a partnership and commitment of working together to serve the community by bringing awareness to mental health issues. Compeer of Greater Buffalo uses the healing power of friendship to help change lives by recruiting, screening, and matching trained volunteers and mentors in one-to-one supportive friendship relationships with children, adults, military veterans and seniors striving for good mental health.
On Sunday, 11 December 2016, Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY celebrated the annual commemoration of Saint Nicholas (6 Dec) the Wonder-Working Bishop of Myra in Lycia. Following a children’s sermon highlighting the life of this beloved saint, the little ones placed their shoes under the parish Christmas tree awaiting gifts of “gold coins” in honor of the saint. A delicious Nativity Fast (Advent) breakfast was enjoyed by all as the children decorated the parish Christmas tree with ornaments.
Saint Andrew’s Camp, in Jewell NY on the shore of Lake Oneida, serves Christ and His Church by providing an Orthodox camping experience to youth in America and beyond. Through summer camping programs and year-round activities, the camp advances Orthodoxy in America and the world by bringing children closer to Christ, enabling them to develop friendships with other Orthodox children, and preparing them to lead an Orthodox Christian life in supplement of their growth at their home parishes. The camp program does this while also enabling adult laity and clergy to serve as volunteers and similarly mingle in fellowship. In addition, there's an Annual Bike Ride fundraiser in August!
The Department of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in Amercia, together with Archbishop Michael (Dahulich) and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey announce a first annual Pilgrimage -- this year to the Holy Land, beginning in Nazareth and ending in Jerusalem, with an optional additional trip to Petra in Jordan, June 4-17, 2017. The pilgrimage begins on the Monday of Pentecost, in Israel. The itinerary includes the following cities and major sites: Capernaum, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Mar Sabba, Jerusalem (Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Garden of Gethsemane, Mount Zion), and Petra (in Jordan).
On 15 October 2016 the parishioners of Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Herkimer NY celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the founding of their parish. A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Saturday morning with His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, presiding. At Vespers the evening prior, new liturgical items, including a Gospel, censer and chalice set, were blessed and then used for the first time during Divine Liturgy on Saturday. During the Divine Liturgy, Father Thaddeus Franta, newly assigned Acting Rector of the parish, was recognized for his five years of service as a priest with the conferral of a skufia, or clerical hat.
The annual Assembly of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey convened at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Yonkers NY on 1-2 November 2016. The first day consisted of the customary reports, decisions, and actions concerning the administration of the diocese. The Assembly opened with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Unmercenary Wonder-Workers, Saints Cosmas and Damian, celebrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, together with the clergy officers of the diocese. During the brunch that followed, the annual video presentation, “2016: The Year in Review,” was premiered in which many of the milestones and memories shared within our diocesan family over the past year were highlighted. As has become customary, on the second day of the Assembly educational workshops were held for both clergy members and laypersons. The annual Address to the Diocese by Archbishop Michael will be published on this website soon.
"There are valuables resources for pre-planning the eventuality of incapacitating illness and death", said Diana Pasca (Diocesan Member of the OCA Department of Christian Service and Humanitarian Aid). Two such resources offer a comprehensive approach to providing fa,mily members with heath care directives and desites for endo life issues and funeral arrangemnts. "A Gift for my Loved Ones": This package contains everything necessary to know should one become disabled or incapacitated and unable to make decisions on one’s own. It includes a Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Directive for Health Care—Living Will. "Another Gift for my Loved Ones": This package contains everything necessary to know to arrange a funeral and burial — an Advance Directive for Funeral Care.
Already this year, Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors (DDB) have contributed $121,505.00 to support our diocesan seminarians by way of tuition scholarships, our mission parishes with grants and assistance, and parishes in need of revitalization. Meeting our goal of desperately needed funding this year will be achieved only if the “roll call” of DDBs enlarges with those so blessed to be able to offer a sacrificial gift of loving support. “Thank-you!” to our DDBs. To join them, visit the “Vision for Our Future” webpage, where you can become a DDB easily with an on-line contribution, or print a donation form to mail in. It’s our Church and this is our Diocese … together we can accomplish so much to the glory of God and the good-estate of His Holy Church!
Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY inaugurated a special ministry of service in worship in which the girls and young women of the parish prepare for post-communion by cutting the antidoron (Ἀντίδωρον = unconsecrated church bread) and mixing wine with warm water for reception by the faithful. “These handmaidens of the Lord prepare the bread and wine in sight of the parishioners, standing beside the Cross and Epitaphios/tomb of the Lord, in likeness of the Myrrh-bearing Women,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector).
By the Grace of God, Archbishop Michael will consecrate the Temple of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Elmira Heights NY on Saturday, 29 October 2016. The parish has just finished phase-one of its iconography project. The Rite of Consecration followed by the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will begin at 9:00 a.m. that day and a festive reception will follow. The diocesan family is warmly invited to join in this magnificenty joyous celebration!
The Orthodox Church of the Mother of God - Joy of All the Sorrowful in Mays Landing NJ participated in a parish project in support of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). “Since the Dormition Fast seems to get lost in the fun of summer, we thought it would be a good idea to emphasize it by holding an alms-giving project,” said Trudy Ellmore (parish treasurer). “Our parish is very small, so the goal was set at a moderate 10 kits of essential personal items. Each kit contains: a hand towel, a wash cloth, a bar of soap, a toothbrush, a comb, six Band-Aids & a nail clipper/metal nail file. After two-weeks of collection, enough items were gathered to make 65 complete kits!”
With the blessing of Archbishop Michael, the Third Annual Diocesan Girls Retreat will be held at Saint Basil's Academy in Garrison NY from November 11-13, 2016 for those in grades 7-12. The main focus will be to bring the young women of our diocese together in prayer, Christian fellowship, education, and lots of fun! Participants will learn the importance and role of iconography in the life of the church by way of understanding icons as “windows into heaven.” See all of the details and registration documents in the "Upcoming Events" section of this website!
Eight parishioners from Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY joined the extraordinarily dedicated volunteers of Saint Peter’s Kitchen near the city’s center neighborhood in preparing and serving a full-menu lunch meal on 19 October 2016. “We served 122 people who comprise a loving and socially interactive community with varying degrees of need,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector). “The example of Christian love and philanthropy exhibited by those who labor at Saint Peter’s is amazing … serving a restaurant quality hot lunch meal Monday through Friday every week. It was an honor and great blessing to labor with them!”
It was a glorious weekend, 8-9 October 2016, at Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Alpha NJ as the parish celebrated their 100th Anniversary. The joy of the occasion was enriched by the presence of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon (Orthodox Church in America) and His Eminence, Archbishop Michael. The celebration began on Saturday with Vespers and Litya. On Sunday, Metropolitan Tikhon was welcomed and greeted for the liturgical celebrations and celebratory festivities by Father Bohdan Ostash (parish rector), visiting clergy, faithful, and friends of the parish.
On 24-25 September 2016, the Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY celebrated its 100th anniversary and the 108th anniversary of the parish. At Divine Liturgy commemorating the celebration, the parish welcomed His Beatitude Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of America and Canada, along with His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. The Hierarchs were joined by Archpriest Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk (parish rector), visiting clergy, deacons, sub-deacons, and many altar servers. The Cathedral has long stood as a regional landmark. It is the oldest Slavic-background Orthodox parish in Brooklyn and one of the oldest in New York City. The parish was established in 1908 by Slavic-heritage immigrants with Carpatho-Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and various other ethnic-cultural backgrounds.
Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY has raised $5,846 to help victims of the Syrian Civil War through the Syrian Relief Fund of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). Thanks to the generosity of parishioners, visitors, and community members, these funds will help IOCC to provide food, shelter, sanitation, and spiritual support to Syrian Christians victimized by war and terrorism. When taking into account the many matching grants IOCC receives, this gift may have a multiplier effect of well over $40,000 when fully utilized by IOCC! Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, millions have been forced from their homes into crowded refugee camps or have fled to neighboring countries to escape the fighting, while many thousands of others have been murdered, kidnapped, or enslaved by terror groups like ISIS who specifically target religious minority groups including Christians. Earlier this year, the United States formally declared ISIS’ persecution of Syrian and Iraqi Christians to be a genocide.
Archpriest John Prokopiuk (Rector) of Nativity of the Virgin Parish in Jackson NJ greeted Archbishop Michael on Tuesday evening 20 September and Wednesday 21 September 2016 to celebrate the parish patronal feast-day. On Tuesday evening the church was filled with the faithful of the parish and friends from the neighboring Saint Vladimir’s Memorial Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR). Following the evening Vigil service, everyone proceeded to the parish hall for a festive dinner and musical offerings by the church choir.
On the beautiful Friday evening of 23 September 2016, Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY welcomed over forty participants for a talk on “The Church in the Bible” presented by the popular author and speaker, Father Andrew Damick. Presented in two-parts, the special event included a delightful array of tasty treats and refreshments during half-time, and prolonged time for questions and fellowship afterward. “The presentation was enlightening, inspiring, and challenging, wrapped up in a thoughtful package of profound depth,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector).
The 100th Anniversary of Saint Nicholas Church in Whitestone NY was celebrated on 18 September 2016. Sunday morning found the congregation eagerly waiting to greet Archbishop “Vladika” Michael. Bread, salt and flowers were presented to greet His Eminence by Paul Tymus and his granddaughter, Heather. After worship, parishioners and guests gathered nearby for a festive banquet and dance. The 100th Anniversary of Saint Nicholas Church was a time of gratitude for God’s abundant blessings, memories shared, fine fellowship and joyful festivity.
The Parishioners and Clergy of Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Herkimer NY welcome you to join us as we celebrate our 100th Anniversary on (Friday and Saturday) October 14-15, 2016. Archbishop Michael will celebrate a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning at 9:30 AM with the entrance and vesting of His Eminence at 9:00 AM. A celebratory banquet will follow. For complete details and banquet reservations, please go HERE >
On 27-28 August 2016, Archbishop Michael visited Saint Innocent Orthodox Mission parish in Oneonta NY. During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Vasiliy Warner was tonsured a Reader and a fabulous celebratory festival of food and fellowship followed. “This was my first time as a priest hosting a bishop,” said Father Vasil Dubee (rector) ... “The singing was absolutely angelic thanks to the help from choir director Gleb Ivanov and the choir members from our “Mother Parish” of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott NY.”
With the Blessing of Archbishop Michael, Holy Assumption Orthodox Church of the Blessed Virgin will present “GODSPELL” on Friday, September 23rd and Saturday, September 24th at 7:00 PM. The Orthodox Church in America youth and friends from the Clifton Community will star in this musical at the Church Hall located at 35 Orange Avenue, Clifton NJ 07013. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under ten. To order tickets or for more information contact Barbara Baz, Director at 973-473-0076.
Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY will host a lively two-part lecture by a guest speaker, Reverend Father Andrew Stephen Damick on Friday, 23 September 2016 beginning at 6:30 PM. Father Andrew is pastor of Saint Paul Orthodox Church of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, author of “Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy” and “An Introduction to God," as well as the forthcoming "Bearing God" (2017). He is also host of the “Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy” and “Roads from Emmaus” podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio, and he is a frequent speaker at lectures and retreats both in parishes and elsewhere. The event, with refreshments served, is free of charge.
On 15-16 August 2016, Archbishop Michael made a pastoral visit to Christ the Saviour Parish in Paramus NJ. The parish celebrated the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Aug 15th) and, the following day, the patronal feast of the parish: “The Icon not made by hands” sent to heal Abgar of Edessa. A celebratory luncheon was prepared and served by the wonderful ladies of the parish. It was an extremely cordial event.
The parishioners of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Randolph NJ were honored on 6-7 August 2016 to have Archbishop Michael visit them. The purpose of his visit was to bless the church’s refurbished stained glass windows. Thanks to the generosity of many parishioners, the windows which were damaged due to time and weather had been removed, repaired, and reinstalled. Parishioners received an explanatory booklet about Holy Trinity’s windows, most of which depict a Christian symbol or cross. One frequently used symbol is the fleur de lis, a representation of the Holy Trinity.
The Diocese of New York and New Jersey has two monthly newsletters: "First Fruits" and "Beyond the Plateau." The goal is to increase communication and grow the communal spirit of diocesan fellowship in the building-up and strengthening of our parish communities. A new issue of “Beyond the Plateau” has been released and distributed to all clergy for dissemination within their parishes. You may download and read the new issue and all past editions of these newsletters anytime by using the "Official Documents and Publications" tab at the top of this website!
Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY hosted the regional 2016 Church School Conference for the parishes of the New York State Deanery on Saturday, 13 August 2016. Two additional regional conferences are scheduled for the New Jersey and New York City Deaneries (20 & 27 August, respectively). The facilitator, Jennifer Hock, presented “Church School Approaches for Small Classrooms, One-Room Classrooms, and Special Needs Children.” Each year these conferences, developed and sponsored by the diocesan Department of Christian Education, are offered at no-fee to church school coordinators and teachers.
“We would love to reach out to African-Americans in our community, but we don’t know how.” “I don’t know where to begin.” “I’m afraid we’ll be seen as too white and too exotic.” “How do we merge the Black church and culture with [fill in Orthodox ethnic group of choice]?” Sound familiar? Orthodox parishes across the country struggle with outreach to various ethnic groups -- wishing to expand the parish’s evangelistic efforts in bringing Holy Orthodoxy to Blacks, Latinos, and Asians -- but lacking the knowledge, insights, and tools to do so. With the biggest of hearts and greatest of desires, this area of evangelism … bringing and sharing Orthodoxy with ethnic minority groups … can nevertheless seem daunting enough to persuade many to never even begin the effort.
A new edition of the extremely popular and highly-acclaimed diocesan publication, “Jacob’s Well,” has been published and released to all parishes in New York and New Jersey (Orthodox Church in America) for distribution. Be sure to obtain a hardcopy of this beautiful magazine at your local parish! “Jacob’s Well” is informative and a good way to reach-out and share the faith with shut-ins, friends, and neighbors. View the on-line edition by clicking on the image above or visit the dedicated “Jacob’s Well” webpage … here!
The Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of New York & New Jersey is pleased to announce the launch of its new Department of Youth Ministry website. With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, this new platform offers easy access to information about upcoming events within the youth department, features a media gallery full of press releases and photos from past events, and will allow for on-line event registration in the near future.
The Commission on Liturgical Music (CoLM) and Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Syracuse NY hosted a workshop, “The Character of Choir Singing,” on 23 July 2016. The highly regarded and accomplished facilitator, Mark Bailey, presented key points in lecture and demonstrated them by rehearsing a choir comprised of the thirty participants. He stressed the need for Orthodox music to illuminate the text; the role of music in matching form and function; and the need for choral style to confirm prayer/worship through appropriate pulse and rhythm. The workshop concluded with an open and candid question and answer session.
It was a two day observance of gratitude and celebration as Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Syracuse NY commemorated their 100th Anniversary. Saturday, 25 June, found five priests at the Holy Altar celebrating the Divine Liturgy with prayers for the “Founding Fathers" and those who sustained the parish over the last hundred years. A fellowship brunch followed in the Church Parlors. The next day (Sunday, 26 June) began with the Church filled with faithful as they awaited Archbishop Michael’s entrance into the Temple for the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. His Eminence was presented with a bouquet of roses by Elena Kantor; traditional bread and salt by Alexander Scott Anderson (parish warden); and the Holy Cross by Archpriest John Chupeck (parish rector).
July 4th marked the 64th anniversary of ordination to the Priesthood of Father John Nehrebecki. Archbishop Michael celebrated the Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Church in Paramus NJ. Over sixty faithful attended the Monday morning Liturgy. Following the dismissal, Father John spoke of his parents’ example of piety and faithfulness. Besides attending services for every Sunday and Feast Day, they provided a separate room in their house for the poor and destitute. Sunday meals were an occasion to speak about the Gospel reading and homily. This churchly life formed a desire for the priesthood in young John, who would go on to found over ten parishes in New Jersey.
On the Sunday of All Saints, 26 June 2016, the 2015 Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors of Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY received certificates of appreciation (gramota) signed by Archbishop Michael. To those present (8 of the parish’s 16 DDBs), Father Ken James Stavrevsky said: “Your contributions provide seminarians with scholarships, mission parishes with essential support, and older parishes with revitalization.” The parish community also contributed an additional $1,000 last year in support of the DDB program. The 2016 DDB is now underway and, to date, $92,000 has been contributed by DDBs from throughout the diocese and beyond. For information on the DDB and an invitation to join them, please go HERE!
The diocese will sponsor a seminar-workshop on outreach to African-Americans led by Deacon Turbo Qualls and Father Alexei Altschul of the Brotherhood of Saint Moses the Black. The seminar includes lunch and concludes with Vespers. While designed primarily for clergy, lay ministry leaders and interested laymen are encouraged to attend. The conference is free of charge at Saints Peter and Paul Church, 605 Washington Avenue, Manville NJ on Saturday, 16 July 2016 ~ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Annual Diocesan Youth Day will take place on Thursday, 25 August, at Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park in Jackson NJ. Complete information and registration documents are available here.
The Department of Youth Ministry has several special events planned for the upcoming months: YOUTH DAY (August 25th), SAINT ANDREW’S CAMP BIKE RIDE (August 27th), GIRLS RETREAT (November 11th), ALTAR SERVERS RETREAT (February 10-12, 2017), and more! Additional information and registration will be available and listed in the "upcoming events" section of this website. See the 2016-2017 Upcoming Events flyer here.
The great feast-day of Holy Pentecost, 50 days after Pascha, was on Sunday, 19 June 2016. In his annual archpastoral letter commemorating this holy day, Archbishop Michael writes, in part: "The gift of the Holy Spirit that we have received is not a static one, but a transforming and sanctifying power leading human beings to accomplish the will of God. The Church’s leaders are exhorted: 'Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the Church of the Lord' (Acts 20:28). This 'gift' of the Holy Spirit is given to both the clergy and the laity who belong to the true Church – in the Sacrament of Chrismation, our personal Pentecost, following Baptism (our personal Pascha)."
UPDATED: Young people, high school freshman to college graduate 20-somethings, from the Orthodox Church in America and Greek Orthodox Archdiocese gathered at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York City on 14 May 2016 to hear the stories of men and women who followed a calling to serve Christ and His Church. The day started off with a prayer service (molieben) led by Father Christopher Calin (Cathedral Dean). Afterward the discussion format made for an intimate setting and allowed for lively dialogue. The day concluded with a trip to Saint Vladimir's Seminary for a tour and talk by Dr. Peter Bouteneff. Sharing his own calling to ministry as a lay theologian of the Church, Dr. Bouteneff discussed programs available at the seminary.
Nearly 70 Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors from the New York State Deanery were hosted by Archbishop Michael for an appreciation dinner in Syracuse NY on 5 June 2016. Those recognized had offered financial support during the previous year to the program which focuses on seminarian scholarships, assistance to mission parishes, and revitalization of older parishes. Complete information with an invitation (with the option of secure on-line contributions) to join the efforts of our 2016 DDBs is available here!
The visit of Archbishop Michael to Saints Peter & Paul Church in Jersey City NJ on the weekend of 21-22 May 2016 went beyond the regular annual visitation. Following Saturday Vespers, His Eminence greeted and spoke with the faithful and, at the conclusion of the Sunday Liturgy, on behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops (Orthodox Church in America) he awarded the “Order of Saint Romanos” to Aleksei Shipovalnikov. The Holy Synod conferred this honor for extraordinary contributions in the field of liturgical music.
During the season of Holy PASCHA we sing: “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Traditionally, catechumens are received into the Church by sacramental rite (baptism and/or anointing with Holy Chrism) especially during this period of the liturgical year. We welcome all the newly illumined members of the Body of Christ -- His Holy Church.
On Monday, 9 May 2016, several clergy members, altar servers, and Matushki gathered from across the Diocese at Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers NY to join with His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, in celebrating the Divine Liturgy with special thanksgiving to God for Archbishop Michael's sixth anniversary of consecration to the episcopacy (May 8) and enthronement in the Diocese of New York and New Jersey (May 9). May God grant His Eminence many, many more years of blessed and fruitful service as our Archpastor! "Eis polla eti, Despota!"
Archbishop Michael has issued an archpastoral letter to the faithful of the diocese for the feast-day of Our Lord's PASCHA: His glorious Resurrection from the dead. In part he writes, "Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! On this joyous day, my beloved, let us truly celebrate! But let us also remember: We do not really belong to ourselves. We belong to the One Who has redeemed us! Our will should always depend upon His! For this reason we say in the Lord’s Prayer: 'Thy will be done!' Yes, we belong to the Risen Savior ... the One Who has triumphed on Holy Pascha! We belong to the Resurrected Christ ... the One Who promises us: 'I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die' (John 11:25- 26). We belong to the Lord of Glory ... the God Who loves us more than we love ourselves!"
By raising Lazarus from the dead before Your Passion, O Christ God, You confirmed the universal resurrection. Like the children with the palms of victory, we cry out to You, O Vanquisher of Death: “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord!” (Troparion Hymn for Palm Sunday)
Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester NY rejoiced during a visit by Archbishop Michael on 16-18 April 2016. His Eminence arrived for Great Vespers on Saturday evening, celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the 5th Sunday of Great Lent, visited with several ministry leaders on Monday and then attended the regularly scheduled Parish Council meeting that evening. “Your Eminence, we are honored and blessed to have you here with us,” said Albert Joseph III (parish council warden) in welcoming the diocesan hierarch. The parish presented a check in the amount of $1,000 to Archbishop Michael as a contribution to the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors [DDB] program. Complete information about the DDB may be found HERE!
What do faith, science, church services, zip lining, rock wall climbing, and "Minute to Win It" have in common? To an average person the answer would be “nothing!” However, if you were to ask the participants of this year’s Annual Lenten Teen Retreat held at the Taconic Retreat Center in Milan NY, they would be able to tie each of these elements together; they were all components of the event held from Friday, 1 April to Sunday, 3 April 2016. Archbishop Michael, together with Father Jason Vansuch (Chairperson, Department of Youth Ministry), Danielle Geeza and Janine Alpaugh (Department of Youth Ministry Assistants) developed a wonderful weekend program centered on the sometimes controversial topics of “Faith and Science” and how they need not oppose each other.
The clergy of the New York State Deanery joined Archbishop Michael on 14 April 2016 for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts, lunch, and their annual meeting. The event was hosted by the parishioners of Saints Peter & Paul Church in Syracuse NY, where His Eminence will deliver a Lenten Retreat on Saturday (“Insights into the Great & Holy Council of the Orthodox Church in 2016”). He will then travel 88 miles west to Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY for a Saturday evening through Sunday morning Archpastoral visit. As he travels with great regularity throughout the diocese visiting nearly 60 parish communities, Archbishop Michael covers the territory of his diocese: an area 444 miles from north to south and 440 miles from east to west, an area of 63,285 square miles.
On the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross (3 April 2016), Archbishop Michael celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Chapel of the Transfiguration on the campus of Princeton University. Before the Liturgy began, His Eminence blessed a gift from the Orthodox Christian Fellowship [OCF] and chapel members -- a specially designed circular rug ("Orlets” or Eagle) on which a bishop stands during services as a sign of his pastoral leadership over a particular geographic location. This rug was designed specifically for Archbishop Michael as the presiding hierarch of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. Rather than the typical Byzantine eagle, the rug features an American bald eagle, the nation’s symbol, carrying an olive branch, above a grouping of various churches of the diocese and the Empire State Building and the new Freedom Tower in New York City, the Archbishop’s official See. The outer rings depict waves of the bodies of water, such as the Hudson River, and bridges connecting the two states and three deaneries. The requisite protecting walls of the Orlets depict the Wall of Honor at Ellis Island, the entry point to America for many of our Orthodox ancestors.