New England Deanery Fall Service Project
Led by our Dean, Fr. Luke Mihaly, and Fr. David Cochran, Fr. Michael Macura and Fr. Peter Paproski, the youth of the New England Deanery gathered together at noon at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Stratford, CT for a special event. The day began with Fr. Luke serving a Panachida service for all of the departed. Responses were sung by the youth, led by Fr. David Cochran. During the singing of "Memory Eternal" everyone processed around the chapel while Fr. Luke blessed all the graves from the four sides of the chapel.
While sitting behind the Chapel among the departed loved ones of our diocese, Fr David led a discussion on the Orthodox teaching regarding death & dying and Heaven and Hell. Fr. Luke then gave us a short talk on His Eminence, Metropolitan Orestes of thrice blessed memory, whose resting place was just a few feet way. He spoke of the early life of the Metropolitan as a priest in the Bridgeport/Stratford, CT area and of his consecration in Constantinople to become the first Bishop of our Diocese.
Then to put all that youthful energy to good use, the boys were put to work cleaning up the inside of the cemetery chapel while the girls lovingly planted fall flowers at the gravesite of Metropolitan Orestes and Pani Yolanda.
To conclude the afternoon, the youth, lead by Fr. Michael Macura, then processed 1/2 mile from the cemetery to the parish of St. John the Baptist on Silver Lane where they were treated to a hotdog and hamburger BBQ. All in all, it was a blessed day of prayer, learning, work and fellowship for our youth that was enjoyed by all !
The New England Deanery Youth and Adults who participated in the Cemetery Service Project. Nineteen youth representing all four deanery parishes were in attendance.
Everyone enjoyed some delicious hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by Very Rev. Fr. Michael Macura at the barbeque that followed at St John's Church (Silver Lane)
Fr. Luke spoke to the youth about the life of Metropolitan Orestes.
Since the death of Metropolitan Orestes in 1977, The National Senior A.C.R.Y. has taken on the responsibility of caring for the grave of Metropolitan Orestes. The members of Stratford Chapter #23 have assisted the National ACRY by performing the seasonal planting and upkeep.
Very Rev. Fr. Luke Mihaly, the dean of the New England Deanery served a general Panachida for all those who buried in the cemetery.
The boys along with the deanery priest cleaned the cemetery chapel.
The participants gathered at the cemetery chapel.
They were hard at work cleaning and sweeping.
Fall Mums were planted at the Grave of Metropolitan Orestes.
Very Rev. Fr. David Cochran spoke to the youth about why the Church prays for the departed.