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 firstname.lastname@example.org – 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.