HIERARCHS MAKE CANONICAL VISITATION
TO ST. ELIAS PARISH, ALLENTOWN, PA
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On Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, 2004, Metropolitans Stephan and Michael made a canonical visitation to St. Elias Church in Allentown, PA.
On Saturday, the hierarchs had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the parish council over dinner. That evening, clergy from around the area arrived for the next day's celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
The Pontifical Divine Liturgy was celebrated at 12:30 p.m. on October 10. Concelebrating with Metropolitan Stephan and Metropolitan Michael was Bishop Alexy Bondarenko of Minneapolis, MN, bishop of the True Russian Orthodox Church for the United States, who was the special guest of the hierarchs.
Concelebrating clergy included the Rev. Andrew Dib, administrator of St. Elias Church; the Rt. Rev. Canon John Tokarick, Protosyncellus, pastor of Holy Trinity Church, Lancaster, PA and Dean of the Eastern Deanery of the Archeparchy; and the V. Rev. Yuriy Kasyanov, of Long Island, NY. In attendance in the nave, was the Rev. Michael Wytish, who served as assistant to Bishop Alexy.
During the Divine Liturgy, Christopher Texter of Holy Trinity Church and Samir Alejilat of Yonkers, NY were elevated to the minor orders of Lector and Subdeacon, by Metropolitan Michael and Bishop Alexy respectively, to serve in the UAOC Archeparchy of the United States.
The homily was delivered by Vladyka Michael and Vladyka Stephan offered remarks at the conclusion of the liturgy. Metropolitan Stephan encouraged the people to work for the growth of their church, in cooperation with both present and future clergy.
An honorary dinner was served in the parish hall after the Pontifical Liturgy, in observance of the visit of the three hierarchs and in memory of a relative of one of the parish families, who had passed away oversees just 40 days before. Before taking leave of the premises, the bishops had time to meet privately with the clergy present.
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