St Stephen's Parish 50th Anniversary
His Grace, Bishop Gregory made his first pastoral visit to St. Stephen's Parish in Latrobe, PA on August 25 to celebrate with the parishioners the 50th anniversary of the parish's canonical founding in 1963. St. Stephen's was founded largely through the efforts of the late Protopresbyter John Yurcisin and the late Metropolitan Nicholas R. Smisko.
The Bishop was greeted by Dr. Joseph Klosky, a parish board member, who held the traditional bread and salt. Very Rev.Tony Joseph, pastor, welcomed the Bishop with the altar hand cross. Also greeting the Bishop was the parish's first full-time pastor, the Very Rev. Theodore Mozes who served there from 1963 to 1969.
The small church was filled to capacity with parishioners in addition to a number of members of St. John's Church in Wilpen and others from throughout the area.
Congregational singing was beautifully sung by Deacon Robert Conjelko and Reader Michael Makuch, both from Saints Peter and Paul Church in Windber.
In his homily the Bishop challenged the congregation to be inspired by the faith of the Apostles, and not be afraid when life gets difficult. His sermon developed the Gospel message for the day, describing how St. Peter lost faith when the Lord called him from a boat to walk over the water to Him. St. Peter was walking fine towards Christ as long as he kept his eyes focused on Him. When he took his eyes off Jesus and directed his attention instead to the stormy waves and wind, he lost faith, so much so that he began to drown.
At the conclusion of Liturgy, the Bishop explained that the people are censed after the icons and the saints are censed so that they too might have the faith and inspiration to become saints themselves.
At 1 PM a festive banquet was served at Huber Hall in Latrobe. Following the invocation by His Grace, a presentation of beautiful roses was made to the Bishop by parish children.
Father Tony Joseph congratulated everyone for the fine manner in which they worked to make the Golden Jubilee a success, and then introduced the toastmaster, Protopresbyter Frank P. Miloro, who was the second pastor of the parish.
Father Mozes related stories associated with the founding of the parish, and the many hurdles that had to be overcome. Fr. Ted was the first pastor, and he served from 1963 to 1969.
Other clergy in attendance were the Very Rev. John Lazarak and Deacon Robert Conjelko.
A beautiful Golden Jubilee Journal was distributed for the occasion.
(Photos courtesy of Pat Baughman)
St Stephen's Orthodox Church of Latrobe, PA
St Stephen the Protomartyr Orthodox Church.
HIs Grace, Bishop Gregory is presented with the traditional gifts of bread and salt.
His Grace, Bishop Gregory is greeted by Fr. Tony Joseph, Pastor of St. Stephen's prior to Divine Liturgy.
Bishop Gregory, assisted by Fr. Tony Joseph, Pastor and founding Pastor, V. Rev. Theodore Mozes celebrated the Jubilee Liturgy.
"I believe in One God the Father Almighty....."
"Receive the Body of Christ."
His Grace, Bishop Gregory offers remarks at the conclusion of the Liturgy.
His Grace, Bishop Gregory with Fr. Theodore Moses and Fr. Tony Joseph.
The Interior of St. Stephen the Protomartyr Orthodox Church
Very Rev. Protopresbyter Frank P. Miloro, Diocesan Chancellor and former pastor of St. Stephen's Church served as toastmaster at the anniversary banquet.