Archbishop Mark's Annual Parish Visit (Sunday of All Saints) - 06/03/18

His Eminence, Archbishop Mark visited St. Mark's Orthodox Church in Wrightstown on the Sunday of All Saints.  On Saturday evening, following Great Vespers His Eminence met with the Church School children and parents, enjoying pizza and answering questions as well as challenging the children to live good Christian lives.  It was a joyous and lively occasion.
       On Sunday morning His Eminence was greeted by Douglas Yates, Parish Council President and the Rector, Fr. Martin Browne for a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy during which he ordained seminarian Siouan Burns to the Holy Diaconate.  His Eminence was assisted by Protodeacon Gregory Moser of St. Mark's and Deacon Vjekoslav Jovicic whom he ordained to the diaconate at Holy Trinity Stroudsburg on Pentecost.  Also assisting was Subdeacon Daniel Valentine of St. Tikhon's Seminary who will be ordained a deacon at Holy Trinity Wilkes-Barre on the Sunday of All Saints of North America, during which Deacon Vjekoslav will be ordained to the Holy Priesthood.  The newly ordained Deacon Silouan was accompanied by his wife, Mat. Emilia and their children.  The parish choir, under the direction of Sergei Arhipov, sang the responses for the service.
       As has been the custom, His Eminence also recognized St. Mark's parishioners celebrating major wedding anniversaries this year with a special anniversary prayer of blessing.  Celebrating Forty-Five years of marriage are Myron and Linette Sedor and Dorothy and Ken Martiak.  Celebrating Twenty-Five years are Douglas Yates and Sharon Burkett.  And celebrating Ten Years are Christopher and Jennifer Sremenak.  
      Additionally, we recognized our graduates, having two high school graduates this year, James Browne and Elliot Hamerstone.  The archbishop presented each of them with an Orthodox Study Bible as a gift from the parish, reminding them it is "not a coffee table book for show, but something to be read and lived daily."  
      Finally, His Eminence blessed the site where another young parishioner, John Yates, will build a path and place for prayer in the woods on the church property.  This project is the first part of the site plan for new and expanded facilities at St. Mark's and is John's Eagle Scout project.
      This eventful morning was concluded with a pancake and sausage breakfast provided by the Church School, which was amplified by various other dishes provided by parishioners.  A time of great fellowship followed with parishioners expressing their delight in having an ordination at St. Mark's.  We wish the seminarians and their families many years of joyous and faithful service to the church in our diocese, and the grace of many more years of blessed marriage to our couples and success in all future endeavors to our graduates.