We are pleased to learn that the Avon Fundraiser brought in $500. We extend our thanks to Laurie Tallcouch for all of her coordination efforts and to the all those in the parish community who supported the event!
We wish to acknwoledge the following changes to the Parish Council for the 2008 calendar year:
Our heartfelt thanks to Elsie Gartsu, Bob Lazar, and Van Michael who served faithfully the past 3 years and are coming off of the Parish Council after their terms ended.
Congratulations and best wishes to Laura Denisevich, Sue Lazos, and Tim Tallcouch who were elected at the semi-annual Parish Council Meeting in September and are joining the Parish Council for 3 year terms. They are joining Russell Alston, Greg Buzi, Joe Chadwick, Pete Jordhamo, Bill Kovachi, and Sasha Lazor who are continuing their terms this year.
The new Parish Council was sworn in Sunday, January 6th after Divine Liturgy. May God grant them strength and wisdom in their stewardship!
Congratulations to Natalia and Jason Stone on the birth of their daughter Morgan Olivia on January 5, 2008. Our congratulations also to the proud grandparents Fr. Sergei and Lisa. We look forward to her christening, and pray that God will bless them all!.
We are pleased to learn that Nancy Lambert Theodos has been invited to sit on the Board of Directors for Sacred Heart University.
Congratulations and best wishes to Nancy on her new undertaking!
We are very proud to hear that our Louis Theodos is to leave with 2 dental colleagues, both from Ridgefield, CT., on Feb 28th. They fly to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, then travel to San Marcos, a section in the country in need of medical and dental care. The group returns on March 9th.
The organization is Cape Cares., out of South Yarmouth, MA. For more information, go to www.CapeCares.com . The team of doctors, dentists, nurses, ancillary helpers, hygienists, etc., will work and sleep in this small village and provide care for one week. Louis says: "We used to stay in the only Hotel with AC, but that was in San Jose. So its tents and bug repellent for awhile."
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The parish's Ladies Society named in honor of the Illyrian Queen Teuta, celebrated its Patronal Feast Day, the Meeting of the Lord - "Papandia".
Traditionally they offer bread, wheat, wine and oil for the celebration and a boiled wheat-honey-nut confection (called grure in Albanian, or koliva in Slavic cultures) for the health of the parish family.
This year, as in years past, the ladies present are called to stand vigil around their offering for the prayers.
The Teuta Ladies dedicate themselves to the promotion of the Faith through fellowship, and sponsor fundraising events throughout the year in support of the parish.
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The Teuta Ladies Society held their annual Holiday Luncheon on Sunday, January 13th at Mona Lisa's Restaurant in Newtown.
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God bless to Morgan Olivia and her parents Natalia and Jason Stone, and to her grandparents Fr. Sergei and Lisa Bouteneff, on her recent christening on February 9th. We welcome Morgan Olivia into the Holy Orthodox Church. Morgan was received under the name Marina (Margaret), and her name day is July 17th.
On Sunday February 10th, following her "churching" (presentation in the context of community) at the Sunday Liturgy, the Church School sponsored a reception in the Church hall.
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Our sincere thanks to Diana & Van Michael for taking initiative in preparing the "coffee an" for the Trumbull Interfaith Committee's meeting which was held at our church this past Wednesday, February 13th. Also many thanks to Bill Kovachi and Bob Lazar for assisting in the hosting duties with Father Sergei.
We were pleased to witness the marriage of Shawn Green and Alecia Nichio on Saturday, February 16th. We wish them all of God's Blessings in their future.
Spanning a tradition of decades and generations, the faithful core from the Greater Bridgeport Pan-Orthodox Choir, gathers to rehearse for the 2008 Great Lenten Sunday Vespers Services.
For the actual Services, the choir is comprised by as many as 25-30 members, with the membership drawn from Holy Ghost (OCA-New England), Holy Trinity (GOA), St. Dimitrie (OCA-Romanian), St. George (OCA-Albanian), three different St. John's parishes (Carptho-Russian), St.Mary (Ukrainian), and St. Nicholas (Antiochian) parishes.
The leadership of the choir rotates every two years among three dedicated directors: this term, the choir is under the stewardship of Laura Chadwick (St. George). Other directors are Gina Cook (St. Dimitirie) and Karen Masek (St. George).
Click Here to view 2008 Pan-Orthodox Lenten Service Schedule.
Click Here to go to Photo Archive and view additional photos.
An Albanian folk spring-time tradition - whose origin is clouded in time - there was the practice of children wearing string bracelets for a period of time, bracelets that they would cut off and throw on the bushes so that the birds would take them for their nesting material.
In our parish, this folk custom was integrated into the church as a Lenten effort/reminder during Great Lent.
At the Church School session on Forgiveness Sunday, the children and their teachers tie this bracelet on their right hand, and keep it on until Paschal Vespers, when they cut it off, and place it on the bushes for the birds.
Many adults of the parish wear this bracelet in solidarity with the children.
The bracelets are crocheted red and white strings - a reminder of the nature of Christ: both God and man.
The annual Valentine Dance was again a great success!
Our thanks to everyone who was involved with donating items, the DJ, and helping with the set-up and clean-up. The affair was a lot of fun. Thanks to all parishioners for supporting this event...all the profits ($756) made that night will be going to the church.
Finally, a heartfelt "Thank You" goes to Monica Demetri and Friends & Family for their efforts in organizing the event!
As we enter spring - our thanks to Dona-lyn Wales for the work she completed around the church grounds, and to Evelyn Wales for the spring decorations at the church entrance!
This stewardship of time and talent provides all of us with a better worship environment.
We learned that the Archpriest Eugene Vansuch unexpectedly fell asleep in the Lord at his home in
Many of us remember Father Eugene from when he was installed as our pastor in 1971.
A recent graduate of Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, he had a lot of talent and energy. In his pastorate of some five years he applied himself to reorganize the choir, the Sunday School and other church organizations – to this day our choir continues to sing from the books that Father Eugene established and re-organized, his spiritual children in the choir adding to the repertoire.
From Saint George in 1976, he went on to pastor other communities – first at
From June 1, 2005 to December 31, 2007, Fr. Eugene served as the Executive Director of the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards for the Orthodox Church in
From January 1, 2008, until his repose, he was the rector of St. Vladimir Orthodox Church in
He leaves behind his devoted wife, Fran, and three sons: Damian, Basil and Father Jason – together with their families.
A more complete obituary is posted on the official OCA website at:
The Saint George community will offer a Memorial Service on Sunday, March 30 following the Divine Liturgy, and commemorate him at every Service for the 40 days.
May Fr. Eugene’s Memory be Eternal!
Our heartfelt thanks go out to the following individuals for their Stewardship!
We thank Pandora Dionis for the floral arrangement decoration for the cross which was used on Sunday of the Cross.
We recognize Tom & Elsie Gartsu who took all the accumulated bags of non-perishable food items to the local soup kitchen for distribution. Also, we give thanks to God for those anonymous folks who donated the items!
Our thanks to Nancy Lambert-Theodos for coordinating the clothing drive for the Luiz Munioz School in Bridgeport, and to those who donated items for that drive.
We appreciate the labor of our young adults who spruced up our Church grounds in preparation for Pascha. Our Thanks also to their supervisors: Laura & Tim Coughlin, Penny Lazor, and Monica Demetri.
Click Here to go to Photo archive and view additional photos.
To Lisa Bouteneff, Elsie Gartsu, Jeff Jaworski, Bob Lazar, Jim Lazor, Mary Nikola, Helen Tallcouch, Steve and Stefan Valis – all of whom helped in getting the palms and pussy willows bunched up for distribution on “Palm Sunday,” and to our Church School children for the Palm Crosses.
Helen Tallcouch for the meshë for all of Holy Week & Pascha.
Van Michael for his Cantor Services for all of Lent and Holy Week – to the Choir and to all those who read/chanted at the Holy Week Services.
Addie Capolla, Evelyn Melnickoff and Vi Polena for their substantial donation towards the petafi flowers.
Pete Jordhamo for all the cleaning of the metal work of the church.
Pandora Dionis and her crew of Teuta Ladies who decorated the Tomb of the Lord.
Cheryl & Peter Themel for the white bows on the iconostas.
Jennifer Goetz for the floral decorations on the icons along the North & South Walls.
Ron Dougiello and the Commerce Hill Funeral Home for the beautiful flowers for our Paschal Services.
Priscilla & Tom Carameta for the Paschal Wine and Candles.
Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! is the Orthodox Christian Paschal greeting.
The St. George community and many guests recently completed the service cycle of Great Lent and Holy Week to Holy Pascha, with the celebration of the Midnight Paschal Liturgy on April 27th.
Click here to go to the Photo Archive and view photos from several services.
We were pleased to have the christening of Lauren Elizabeth Lewis on the morning of May 10th. Her parents are James and Michele (Leka). What made it all the more special was that the baptism was served by her uncle, the V. Rev. John Joseph Kreta, the Chancellor of the Diocesse of New England. The god-mother was Evelyn Thimika Leka Kreta, a former choir director of our community.
We were pleased to have the christening of Dimitri Sotir on the afternoon of May 10th. His parents are Filip and Linda.
We wish them both as they grow in the Orthodox Faith.
Click Here to go to Photo Archive and view photos of the christenings.
The celebration of Mother's Day does not pass unnoticed in our community, with special prayers offered three times during the service: at Proskomedia (Liturgy of Preparation), at the Great Entrance, and at the end of the service.
Parishioners are invited to submit names of their mothers, godmothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters, nieces, step-mothers, and all those who nurtured them. The monetary donations that accompany the submitted list is used for the beautification of the church grounds.
For the celebration, we give thanks to Don Jordan for preparing the meshe and Ron Dougiello for the floral arrangements and roses that we distributed to the ladies of the parish.
The Spring Craft Fair fundraiser held on May 3rd was a success! Our heartfelt thanks go out to Laura Chadwick and Donna Kerma for all of their time and effort in organizing this event. There were crafters, a Chinese Auction, baked goods, and ethinic foods from the kitchen. A special thanks to all of those who worked the event, baked items for the bake sale, or supported the fair by attending and purchasing food and crafts. The proceeds were presented to the church with a portion earmarked for the Friends and Family organization.
Our appreciation and thanks to Dave Denisevich who made repairs to the Cross-stand.
The parish marked the end of the
The coordinator of the program, Laura Coughlin, in her remarks to the community reminded us that the focus of this year was: The Parish as “Family.”
While we all celebrate unity within our own families, we also belong to a greater family – that of the parish. Here we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. In addition to the regular lessons that the children followed this theme was present throughout the year.
As part of their parting gifts, each child received a picture frame where a photograph of the 2007-2008 Church School group will be placed and a small, live tree to remind them of the “family tree” of which they are a part.
Following the exercises the Friends and Family of the
Click here to go to Photo Archive and view additional photos on the commencement events
We give thanks to Russ Alston for completing some plumbing repairs at the Rectory.
We welcome Evan George Arghirescu into Holy Orthodoxy, and offer congratulations to parents Florin and Mona, and sister Ella Grace.
Click Here to go to Photo Archive and view photos of the christening.
We give our Congratulations and Best Wishes for future success to our recent and upcoming graduates!
Chris Michael graduated from Amity High School.
Aida Calapo graduated from Sacred Heart University with a BA in Political Science and Criminal Justice.
Jessica Chadwick graduated with a BA in Psychology from Alberta Magnus College.
Steve Csernica graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering with a technical minor in Biotechnology from Lehigh University.
Mike Masek graduated from Fordham University with a BS in Computer Science.
We thank and appreciate the work of our "Altar Guild" Mary Nikola, Lisa Bouteneff, and Stefan Valis for getting church ready for the "wearing of the green" for Pentecost.
We also appreciate parishioner Ron Dougiello and the Commerce Hill Funeral Home for making all of our dads "Grand" on Father's Day.
Our congratulations go out to Christopher Adams who recently earned the Eagle Scout rank. An Eagle Scout is a Scout with the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. The title of Eagle Scout is held for life. Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages.
Sarah Csernica spent the week of June 28th volunteering with the Appalachian Service Project in
The Appalachian Service Project addresses housing repair needs to make homes “warmer, safer, and drier” for low income families in rural areas of Central Appalachia (
Sarah, with her team, made repairs to the home of an elderly widow, focusing on replacing rotting exterior trim facing, painting the new trim, replacing rotted floor joists and floor in the bathroom, and digging a drainage ditch and filling it with stone to redirect storm water. Sarah expresses that the experience was extremely rewarding for her, and that her team was moved by the sincere gratitude expressed by the home owner. There remains much more repair at the home which will be the focus of other following volunteer teams.
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We are grateful to our loyal parishioner “Ann Onimous” for getting the front doors to our church all spruced up and looking nice.
We offer our thanks to Ken Kerma who is in the process of giving the front stairwell to the basement a much needed face-lift.
Also, our thanks go to Amy Jaworski who is digitally scanning the photos that were hanging on the wall in this front stairwell. This will enable these photos to be included as an additional pictorial history of our parish on the web-site.
If you have a picture you can lend us, we will scan and return them. We are restricted in scanning anything up to the size of a full piece of paper - 8-1/2 inches x 11 inches - Thank you!
We appreciate the work of our “altar” guild – Mary Nikola and Lisa Bouteneff – for setting up our church for Dormition (blue)
We appreciate the “ad” copy work of Terry and Sue Wight that we used for the Archdiocesan Anniversary Book and for the FORCC Banquet.
Congratulations to the maternal grandparents, Russ and Jeanette Alston! We are pleased to hear that Erin (Alston) and Allen Meador had a baby boy, Evan Michael - born Friday, August 22nd.
The following is a status of some our our young adults currently enrolled in college. Best wishes for continued success!
Chris Adams - Sophomore at the University of Connecticut majoring in Mathematics. He is also active in the local OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship)
Anna Bouteneff - pursuing her Masters of Arts in Teaching at Sacred Heart University (Connecticut)
Chris Buzi - Junior at Western Connecuticut State University majoring in Criminal Justice. He is also a starting defenseman on the Lacrosse team.
Rebecca Chadwick - Sophomore at Qunnipiac University (Connecticut) majoring in Public Relations.
Steve Csernica - pursuing a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering at Lehigh University (Pennsylvania).
Christine Denisevich - Sophomore at Marist College (New York) majoring in Environmental Science.
Danielle Masek - third year of law school at Loyola Law School (Louisiana).
Chris Michael - Freshman at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State).
Chelsey O'Brien - Junior at Lasell College (Massachusetts), majoring in Fashion Merchandising.
Julia Snedegar - Freshman at the University of Connecticut majoring in Fine Arts
Congratulations to Lara-Beth Lazar who recently graduated from Quinnipiac University in the Physician's Assistant Master's Program. Best wishes to Lara-Beth on her new career!
We are pleased to witness the marriage of Edward Puninsky and Oli Vllahu on Saturday, September 6th. We wish them all of God's Blessings in their future.
Click Here to go to the Photo Archive and view photos from the wedding.
We appreciate the decorating skills of Pandora Dionis - the Cross for the Elevation was beautiful!
We also appreciate the work of our "altar guild" - Lisa Bouteneff, Mary Nikola, and Stefan Valis for changing the liturgical colors on all the appointments to gold.
October 1st marks the celebration of Saint Romanos, the Patron Saint of Choirs. This occasion is fitting to speak/sing praises to our Choir who give so much of themselves, not just at the Liturgy, but at the other services as well. We appreciate their stewardship of time and talent.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Elsie Gartsu and her family at the death of her brother Gregory Stevens. May his memory be eternal!
We rejoice with Georgika Boria, Zoë Michael and Bob Lazar (and their families!). These stewards of the parish received recognition by the Archdiocese. They were awarded the honor of Heralds of Saints Constantine and Helen. May God bless them as they continue to work for the good of our community.
Click Here to go to Photo Archive and view photos.
We are pleased to witness the marriage of Donald Smith and Carley Cagle on Sunday, October 19th. We wish them all of God's Blessings in their future.
What a wonderful Bazaar!
The Annual Bazaar that is held each October once again was a success. In the photo, Gloria Athanas, President of the Teuta Ladies Society, presents a check to Bill Kovachi, President of the St. George Parish Council on Sunday, November 16th after Divine Liturgy.
Below is a thank you from Gloria Athanas and the Teuta Ladies Society to all that supported the Bazaar:
"The dynamic combination of love, energy, and generosity blended into yet another successful "ALBANIAN" Bazaar! The gifts of time, talent, task, and treasure that you so generously and graciously gave, only underscores the faith and dedication that we have for the love of our church. Again, a heartfelt thank you to all."
Click Here to go to the Photo Archive to view photos from the Bazaar.
We were pleased to mark the 90th birthday of Nicholas Hotova. He joins a growing "Gay Nineties" group at Saint George, a number of whom were on hand to welcome him to "the club.
Click Here to go to the Photo Archive and view a few photos from the celebration.
We acknowledge the efforts of our “altar guild:” Pete Jordhamo, Mary Nikola, and Stefan Valis. They got the church properly appointed for the Advent Season. We appreciate their stewardship of time and talent.
We learned of the passing of Charles Chadwick - Joe's father. The family asks that any expressions of sympathy be directed to the Friends and Family of the Church School. May Charles' Memory be Eternal!
Following their first rehearsal of the Advent season, the members from the choir gathered in the church hall to make up care packages of home-made baked goods and candies for our collegians to tide them over their exam week.
This annual outreach is an important outreach to our students, who appreciate this expression of love.
Click Here to go to Photo Archive
Following the Saturday evening Vespers we enjoyed our annual St. Nicholas Day celebration.
Pizza, making Christmas cards for the shut-ins and seniors, cookie decorating, a dynamic reading of "'Twas the Night before Christmas," a sing-fest and a visit from Santa - rounded out the event.
The children also brought a new, unwrapped toy for those less fortunate - these are taken to a local charity for distribution.
Click Here to go to Photo Archive and view photos of the event.
We are pleased to report that our Iraqi vet has returned safe and sound – he visited with us on a snowy Sunday before trekking to see other members of his family.
He expressed his gratitude for our prayers and “care packages.”
As reported on in past weekly bulletins, we are also pleased to report that the Parish Council was able to act swiftly and responsively towards the four local Albanian-American families in need (3 families affected by a house fire, one involved in an auto accident with large medical expenses).
Drawing down on the remaining Project Assist monies, we were able to assure that whatever their loss, they might have a good holy day/holiday celebration.
We have received letters of gratitude from these folks for our expression of love.
We marked the Nativity of Christ with our traditional Christmas Eve Compline and Christmas Day Liturgy. Both of the Services were followed by a singing of carols and our Church School Children enacting the Nativity sequence in a series of "tableaux." What a joy to see and hear!
After the Christmas Liturgy, as is our custom we honor those whose stewardship of time and talent keeps our parish moving forward. These are listed by household – each was asked to take home a Christmas poinsettia plant:
Jeanette & Russ Alston, Anna & Lisa Bouteneff, Greg Buzi, Tom Buzi, Valerie Babich, Laura & Joe Chadwick, Kelly & Laura Coughlin, Allie, Emily & Dianne Cryan, Greg & Sarah Csernica, Monica Demetri, Laura Denisevich, Sue Galich, Jeff Jaworski, Pete Jordhamo, Lilijana Kerma, Bill Kovachi, Bob Lazar, Sasha Lazor, Sue Lazos, Karen Masek, Van Michael, Kim O’Brien, Charles Soter, Tim Tallcouch.
Additionally, we also want to recognize three sets of stewards:
The beautifiers during the holiday season: the Choir, Lisa Bouteneff, Ron Dougiello, Jennifer Goetz, Bob Lazar, Natalia Stone, Cheryl Themel, and Donalyn Wales;
Our meshë makers: Pauline Dionis, Helen Tallcouch and Nancy (Lambert) Theodos.
Our Tableaux coordinators: Anna Bouteneff, Laura Coughlin, Jennifer Goetz, Sue Wight