On Sunday, January 12th, the first Sunday after Theophany, the St. George parish conducted the Great Blessing of Water.
In recognition of this significant event, the children marched in the procession around the church following an Icon of the Theophany with candles and containers of water to be blessed.
Adding to the joyous event was the pouring of water that came from the River Jordan that Fr. Sergei brought back from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Click onto the more information link below to view photos of the procession, the blessing of water, and the blessing of the church.
Many thanks to the parishioners of St. George collected and sent $800 to Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) for the Albanian Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund. To learn more of the OCMC relief efforts, click onto the following link: https://www.ocmc.org/resources/view_article.aspx?ArticleId=2475
We were saddened to learn that Christian Tallcouch passed away today, Monday, January 20th. The St. George parish extends its condolences to the Tallcouch family. Memory Eternal!
We are saddened to learn on Tuesday, January 28th, of the death of Joseph Patria, husband to Millie (Polena) Patria and father to Michael and Guy Patria. The St. George parish extends its condolences to Millie, Michael, Guy and their families.
On Sunday, February 2nd, St. George celebrated the Feast of The Meeting of Our Lord in the Temple (referred to as “Papandia” in Albanian). For our Ladies Society, (the Teuta Ladies Society), this day is their Patronal Feast, with this year marking the 89th year of the Ladies Society’s founding.
At the end of the liturgy, the parish children along with the Altar Servers, and members of the Teuta Ladies Society marched in candle-procession, following the icon of the feast, as the feast’s hymns were sung. At the end of their procession, all stood in prayer vigil for the singing of the feast’s Magnification.
Adding to the joy of the occasion was the presence of Deacon Spyridon Green, from our Archdiocesan Cathedral in Boston, who joined our Father Sergei in serving the festal liturgy. Click onto the more information link below to view a slideshow of photos.
The Saint George parish welcomed and hosted the Archdiocesan Lay Vice-Chairman, Michael Gregory on February 2nd. At the last Archdiocesan Assembly, he was tasked to visit all the parishes of the Archdiocese. After Divine Liturgy in the Church Hall, Michael delivered a short talk, and conducted a question/answer period reviewing the status of several Archdiocesan priorities.
On Sunday, February 16th, St. George attended Divine Liturgy at Holy Ghost Church in Bridgeport where St George co-hosted with Holy Ghost a visit by missionaries Steve and Theophani Sarigianis. The purpose of the visit was to help raise support for their future missionary work and service in Albania. The couple addressed both parishes with a short presentation after Divine Liturgy. You can learn more about the Sarigianis and support their mission by making a contribution on their Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) page. Additionally, St. George extends a thank you to the Holy Ghost community for inviting us to participate in their Mini-Retreat: “Paul, Prayers, & Pierogies” which was held on Saturday, February 15th. Click onto the more information link below to view photos from the weekend.
Many thanks to the parishioners of St George, who along with many other groups and individuals throughout Fairfield County, contributed to LifeBridge Community Services during Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s 7th Annual Giving Day. Giving Day, which was held on February 27th, is a 24-hour on-line giving marathon that supports Fairfield County communities around their local non-profit missions and causes. St. George has supported LifeBridge Community Services in past years. LifeBridge earned the second place Grand Prize prize of $10,000 for most unique (individual) donors. Again, many thanks to all those who contributed! To learn more about LifeBridge Community Services, click onto the following link: http://www.lifebridgect.org
On Sunday, March 1st, at the Church School session on Forgiveness Sunday, the children and their teachers tied 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.
Veror is 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.
Some of the adults of the parish wear this bracelet in solidarity with the children.
The bracelets this year are crocheted with red and white yarn - a reminder of the nature of Christ: both God and man. Thanks go out to Llouiza Tollkuci who made the bracelets this year.
The entire St George Community wishes to express our deepest condolences on the passing of Victoria Brideau Vitale. Vicky was the daughter of Jeannie and Jim Brideau, wife of Joseph, mother to Jack and sister to Eric. Memory Eternal!
As we finished the first week of Great Lent, the parish of St. George celebrated Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, which is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The first Sunday of Great Lent is called the Sunday of Orthodoxy or the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. It is a historical feast commemorating the return of the icons to the churches in the year 843. During the Great Entrance at Divine Liturgy, the children and some parishioners carried their Konizmat icons, returning the Icons back to the church. Click onto the following link to learn about the Albanian tradition of Konizmat.
Finally, click onto the more information link below to view several photos from the procession and returning of Icons.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a late directive was issued from Metropolitan Tikhon.
This week, beginning today, Sunday March 15th, parishioners are urged to stay home and not attend any services. We will update everyone later with additional details as they become available.
For those who wish to view a live-stream service today, the following link is from the nuns at Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City, PA:
http://www.orthodoxmonasteryellwoodcity.org/chapel. On Sundays they normally serve the at hours 8:45 AM, and Divine Liturgy at 9:00 AM.
We thank everyone for their patience and compliance.
As many of you are familiar with, this week, our Public Health officials have officially declared that the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) a global pandemic. This has triggered many recommended guidelines for and from our federal government, states, cities, towns, communities, and citizens to follow.
Additionally, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the OCA just released a statement on the COVID-19 outbreak with suggested measures, as well as encouragement of self-quarantine and social distancing. A link to that letter can be found on our website, and at the follwoing link: https://www.oca.org/cdn/PDFs/synod/2020-0313-synod-statement-covid19.pdf
With St. George and Holy Ghost participating in many joint services during Great Lent and throughout the year, Fr. Sergei and Fr. John Jillions have discussed and instituted measures to deal with the containment and mitigation of this virus. Effective immediately, and in a spirit of pastoral care and love, the following changes are being made:
- Bowing in front of icons and the Holy Cross, instead of kissing them;
- Refraining from embracing each other or giving the Kiss of Peace;
- Receiving a blessing from the priest without reciprocating by kissing his hand;
- Receiving Holy Communion by having the priest drop the Holy Gifts directly into our mouths instead of touching the communion spoon with our lips; and
- Refraining from kissing the chalice or the communion cloth.
The process in creatively dealing with the pandemic and our faith requires us to make decisions on what is “essential,” and what is “not.” Based on this, please note the following:
- Sunday evening Pan-Orthodox Vespers services for the CT Deanery and the Orthodox Churches Association of Greater Bridgeport are suspended for the rest of March. The situation will be re-evaluated at the start of April.
- St. George will continue to hold liturgical services as scheduled (unless the situation changes), but after Sunday, March 15th, coffee hours, fellowship hours, and potluck dinners will be suspended.
- If any parishioner feels anxious about coming to church, especially those over the age of 60 and/or those with underlying conditions making them more susceptible to viruses, they should not hesitate to stay home. This is an absence “for honorable reasons,” as one of the prayers of the Church states.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a changing situation, please check back to see if any additional changes in practice are being made.
Please feel free to call Fr. Sergei if you have questions or concerns: (203) 331–2251 (Mobile) or (203) 713-6007 (Home).
Immediately following, please find a summary of new guidelines from Metropolitan TIKHON to be used while the US is dealing with the COVID-19 public health episode.
Metropolitan TIKHON states in his guidelines that for the next 2 weeks of March, parishioners should remain at home. This is temporary measure. While Metropolitan TIKHON is encouraging all our faithful to remain at home, he will not forbid parishioners from coming to Church.
The goal is not to eliminate the Divine Services, but to strictly limit the number of people serving them, and advocating that only the priest, deacon, choir leader and small choir, and 1-2 servers perform the services, as long as they are healthy and of low risk. Regarding assembly of people, our state and local governments are attempting to restrict large groupings of people to reduce the rate of transmission of this virus. Our Metropolitan has stated that “Out of love for our neighbor, we must do everything we can to protect the vulnerable by slowing the rate of infection - not only in our parishes, but in the greater community”.
The decision to stay at home or come to church is an individual and personal one. Of course, those at higher risk, especially older adults (those over the age of 60) and/or those with serious chronic conditions (diabetes, heart disease, lung disease), should not hesitate to stay home. This is an absence “for honorable reasons”. Those any who are actively sick or exhibiting signs of illness, or had close contact with someone who is sick, should absolutely absent themselves from the services.
The guidelines from Metropolitan TIKHON are for all services to be cancelled except for:
- Sunday Liturgies of St. Basil the Great
- The Vesperal Liturgy of the Great Feast of Annunciation (Wed, March 25th), and
- Pre-sanctified Liturgies during Great Lent.
Specifically, based on these guidelines, the schedule for the next 2 weeks:
St. George will go forward with Pre-Sanctified Liturgy with Holy Ghost this Wednesday, March 18th, 6PM at St. George Church.
Additionally later this week, Divine Liturgy will be held at St. George Church (next Sunday, March 22nd) at 10AM. Again, Holy Ghost will join St. George.
Church School is suspended for the rest of March per instructions of Metropolitan TIKHON.
Additionally all Fellowship hours, coffee hours, potluck suppers are cancelled during this outbreak.
The Saturday night Vespers scheduled for March 21st @ St George are cancelled.
On Wednesday, March 25th @ 6PM, the Vesperal Liturgy for Annunciation is scheduled to be held @ Holy Ghost.
Finally, Divine Liturgy will be at St. George on Sunday, March 29th.
Again, thank you for your patience and compliance. These guidelines are temporary, however the COVID-19 pandemic is a constant changing situation. We will continue to communicate any changes as promptly as possible.
Please feel free to call Fr. Sergei if you have questions or concerns: (203) 331–2251 (Mobile) or (203) 713-6007 (Home).
From Metropolitan TIKHON
These updated directives supercede the March 13, 2020 COVID-19 guidance:
Effective Immediately: All parishes and missions of the Archdiocese of Washington, the Albanian Archdiocese, and the Diocese of New England are closed through April 1, 2020.
Please click onto the attached letter from Metropolitan TIKHON: 17-Mar-2020: Letter to Missions Wash Albanian NE
Below please find a note and link to a video message of encouragement from Metropolitan TIKHON, Locum Tenens of the Albanian Archdiocese, and a letter from the Albanian Archdiocese:
Letter and link to a Video Message from Metropolitan TIKHON: Video Message from Met TIKHON
View a letter from the Chancellor, V. Rev. Arthur Liolin and Lay Vice-Chairman, Michael Gregory of the Albanian Archdiocese: March 30 2020 Archdiocese Communication
From the Holy Synod of Bishops: After extensive deliberation on this subject, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America reiterated its directive of March 17, 2020, and extended it to the end of April 2020:
St. George will remain closed through the month of April, 2020.
Please read the following statements that were released on March 30th:
Archpastoral Message from the Holy Synod extending the suspension of services: Mar 30 2020 Archpastoral Message from Holy Synod
Directives from Holy Synod to the OCA: Mar 30 2020 Directives of the Holy Synod
Joint Communique of the Holy Synod & Metropolitan Council: Mar 30 2020 Joint Comminique
Click onto the following link to view a video message from His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon https://www.oca.org/media/video/primatial-message-of-his-beatitude-metropolitan-tikhon
From Metropolitan Tikhon on updated directives to the clergy & faithful of Archdiocese of Washington, Albanian Archdiocese, Diocese of New England, Monastic communities and Seminaries:
“… I am offering these brief clarifications/expansions of my previous guidelines:…” : Apr 10, 2020 Clarifications to STAV WASH ALB NE Dioceses
".....On March 14, 2020, I issued my first set of directives which allowed for limited services. This was followed on March 17, 2020, with a second set of directives, effectively suspending all public liturgical services in the dioceses and institutions under my omophorion. The following updated directives are effective immediately....": Apr 4, 2020: FINAL Directives to STAV, WASH, ALB, NE Dioceses
We were saddened to learn that Peter Lazar passed away Tuesday, April 21st. St. George extends it's condolences to his wife Rita and their two sons and daughter. Additionally to his sister Mary Bindner and her husband James, and his cousins Bob & Bill Lazar and their families. Memory Eternal!
Please click onto the following links to view Paschal messages fron from His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon:
Archpastoral Message for Pascha: 2020 Pascha - Archpastoral Message from Met. TIKHON
Bright Week Greeting to the Albanian Archdiocese: 2020 April 25 - Bright Week Greeting to Albanian Ardiocese
St. George was saddened to learn that Katherine (“Kay”) Pando passed on Saturday, May 2nd. Katherine is survived by her sister-in-law Mary Ann Pando, niece Susan Pando Lazos and husband Thanasi, and nephew Michael. Memory Eternal!
We learned that Teuta (Tessie) Sotir passed away on Saturday, May 2nd. St. George extends its condolences to her family. Tessie, who was 102, was the wife of the late Charles Sotir, and survived by her son Robert of Bridgeport, daughter Beverly Mackno of Georgetown, TX, sister Margaret Athanas of MA, and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Donations in her memory may be made to St. George Church. Memory Eternal!
Below are links to communications from the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, a Pastoral Letter and Guidelines for preparing to eventually reopen our churches in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It is very detailed, but please understand that there remains no timeline to date for any reopening.
Any and all future reopenings will be phased in and based on local conditions and authorities. In the US, all reopenings will be guided by scientific and medical data and instructions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Please click onto the following letter from the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America. The Holy Synod, at its May 1st meeting, is authorizing "His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to assume additional authority proper to a Diocesan Bishop within the Diocese of New England and the Albanian Archdiocese." It will be revisted at the Autumn Meeting, November 2020. May 7, 2020: Letter from Holy Synod Met Tikhon Locum Tenens Albanian Archdiocese
Congratulations to our 2020 Graduates who recently completed their studies and graduated. We extend our best wishes to them for continued success!
Philip Caliendo – Graduating from West Haven High School
Erin Galich – Graduating from Trumbull High School
James Goetz – Graduating from Weston High School
Kristen Babich – Graduated with a B.A. in Elementary Education at Saint Joseph's University (Pennsylvania).
TJ Coughlin – Received a B.S. in Finance at the University of Maryland.
Jackie Goetz – Received her B.S. in Biology at the University of Connecticut.
Eve Wight – Graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Computer Science and minors in Mathematics and Art.
Note for Sundays - WIth the restricted re-opening of St. George for Sunday Divine Liturgies, Fr. Sergei will be video recording his sermons each Sunday in the church. They will be posted on St. George's YouTube Channel after Divine Liturgy. Because of time required to edit, format, and process the video for viewing, they will not be available to view until Sunday afternoons. The following link will take you to St. George's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvDnJSwwffvezBVH7P8u0bg
Sunday Reader Prayer Service: the following link contains recommended sets of prayers to be used at home for those unable to attend due to specific health risks:
For use at Home or at St. George without a Priest: Sunday Reader Prayer Service
Click on the following to view additional Resouces that are available for use during this period of suspended services: RESOURCES during COVID-19 pandemic.
The featured icon image is of Sts Hermione, Philonilla & Zenaida the Unmercenary Physicians. They are known as the Mothers of Modern Medicine, the first Unmercenary Physicians. Unmercenary Physicians were trained physicians who treated the poor and did not accept payment for their services. View more information at these following links: https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2020/09/04/102492-martyr-hermione-daughter-of-saint-philip-the-deacon and https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2019/10/11/102939-martyrs-zenaida-and-philonilla-of-tarsus-in-cilicia
During the last week of June, the Parish Council received approval from Metropolitan Tikhon, Locum Tenens of the Albanian Archdiocese, for St. George to begin a gradual re-opening based on pre-approved guidelines. The first service held was Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 5, 2020.
The number of parishioners allowed inside for Divine Liturgy is capped at 40. This is based on current civil (Connecticut) guidelines, which is for a maximum of 25% of capacity.
These guidelines, procedures, and plans are not negotiable and require all to collectively cooperate and respect them. They are in place to maintain everyone’s safety and well-being, and were written to follow the guidelines provided by the State of Connecticut, and the Phase 1, Stage 1 guidance outlined in the Holy Synodal Guidelines (May 1, 2020). Before deciding whether or not you will be able to participate in person, please take the time to read the following three attachments:
For members who do not have email, a copy of the "Guidelines for re-opening" was mailed to them on Friday, June 26th.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we navigate the COVID-19 challenges.
Congratulations to Victoria Nichio who received her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Bridgeport graduating Summa cum laude. She will student teach at Columbus Elementary School in Norwalk.
We congratulate the following young adults who are receiving scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year from the Thomas and Katherine LaBache Scholarship Fund:
Many Years! Për Shumë Vjet!
The following is a status of some of our young adults currently enrolled in college. We give our best wishes for their continued success!
John Babich – is a Sophomore attending the University of Maryland majoring in Biology, with a pre-med track.
Philip Caliendo - is a Freshman attending Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), majoring in Finance.
Erin Galich- is a Freshman studying Psychology at Central Connecticut State University (New Britain).
George Goetz - is a Senior at Penn State pursuing Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Jackie Goetz- is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Forensic Science at the University of New Haven.
James Goetz- is a freshman attending University of Maryland, studying Business/Journalism.
Carly Nicholas – is a Senior at Providence College (Rhode Island), finishing up a double-major in Business Management and Spanish.
John Veneri - is a Senior attending Coastal Carolina University (South Carolina) majoring in Business Management.
Owen Wight – is a Junior at the University of Connecticut.
Father Gregory was tonsured at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV on Aug 27th. This is the next important step towards Fr. Gregory becoming a monk.
The photo is immediately following Fr. Gregory’s tonsure. Flanking Fr. Gregory is the Monastery Abbot, Fr. Seraphim, on right side of the photo , and his confessor, Fr. Macarius on the left side of the photo.
A tonsure is the cutting of the hair on the head. All Orthodox Christians are tonsured at our baptism – a sign of our being dedicated to God. This monastic tonsure is a confirmation of that pledge.
Please click on the following link to view the original announcement which includes letters from Sharon and Greg Buzi to the St. George parish, and an email from Fr. Seraphim, Abbot of Holy Cross Monastery, to the Buzi’s: https://stgeorgetrumbull.org/news_200817_1
The parish of St. George continues to pray for Father Gregory and the whole Buzi family as he progresses on his journey.
Please click onto the attached link of the Sixth Hour service (12 Noon service) on August 27th. Br. Gregory can be heard reading the Sixth Hour prayers (begins at the 5 minute mark of the video) to prepare himself for his tonsure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9uEhKzMGbI
To view Fr. Gregory's tonsure, please click onto the following link. The tonsure is after the Vigil service, at approximately the 3hr, 42min, 15 sec mark. and lasts about 18 minutes. https://youtu.be/QOAppusvDWQ
After Divine Liturgy on Aug 30th, St. George held 1st-Year Anniversary Memorials for Archbishop NIKON and for 2 long-term parishioners, Donald Jordan and James Pando. Memory Eternal!
St. George was saddened to learn of the repose of one of its former pastors, the Very Reverend Daniel Montgomery, on August 12th. Fr. Daniel and his wife Prifteresha Maria (who predeceased Fr. Daniel in November 8, 2016) served the St. George parish for 11 years beginning in 1976. Memory Eternal!
Please go to our Parish History section; https://stgeorgetrumbull.org/parish_history - you can find, about 1/2 way down, a small description of the parish's history for Fr. Daniel's time at St. George.
In Memoriam: Rev. Daniel Binney Montgomery 1924-2020
When Father Daniel was informed that he was dying, he smiled and replied calmly, “Well, I’ve had a good run.” (96 years) “I’m curious to see what comes next!” His faith imbued him with an inspiring serenity as he faced his final month of life. And what a life it was.
Born in Bryn Mawr, PA to an old Quaker family, he enjoyed a private education at the Haverford School until 1942, when he enlisted in the Army Air Force. Her served during WWII in Europe as a radio operator in the Ninth Tactical Air Force and later in the First Franco-American Tactical Air Force, participating in seven campaigns--among them the Normandy campaign and the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war he went to Mexico, graduating from Mexico City College--now, Universidad de las Américas, with a degree in history. In 1947 he married María Luisa Tamborrel (1925-2016) and enjoyed a marriage that lasted sixty-nine years. The couple had three children: Dr. Sylvia Montgomery Shaw, Louise Montgomery Snyder (who died in 2018), and Robert A. Montgomery who served his country with distinction with several posts in Asia and in Afghanistan. Father Daniel was blessed with twelve grandchildren, and in the last two years of his life with four great grandsons.
He was a scholar, an educator, a writer, a lecturer, and a devoted priest. He had a facility for languages, a Master’s degree in Spanish literature, published articles on Eastern Christian mysticism, and two books on Buddhism. He was co-translator of The Lotus Sutra from Chinese to English. His best-known work, Fire in the Lotus, was published in England in 1991 and was later translated into Spanish. But perhaps his greatest legacy springs from his quest for God.
That search took him to Princeton University Seminary, Philadelphia Lutheran Seminary, and finally to private studies with the Orthodox bishop who ordained him. Starting in 1956 Father Daniel served parishes in Vicksburg, Mississippi; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Beaumont, Texas; Trumbull, Connecticut, and Kerrville, Texas. Even during his years as an educator, when he was department chair of foreign languages at Valley Forge Military Academy and was awarded Outstanding Secondary Educator of America (1975), he served as chaplain to Orthodox cadets.
One of his Connecticut parishioners wrote to him on Easter in 2019, summing up the great value of his life: “You were a wonderful teacher. Your sermons provoked thought and discussion in our home. You nurtured our love and understanding of the Orthodox faith without being showy or pedantic. You encouraged us to be the best of ourselves and to find His peace in our hearts. You taught us about faith, kindness, tolerance, and hope. You guided our approach to the chalice with free, open, and humble hearts. You led by example. YOU were a gift to all of us!”
Father Daniel slept peacefully for the last three days of his earthly life. The day before he died, he suddenly opened his eyes, his face radiant with surprise and delight. Then he closed them for the last time. On the evening of August 12, 2020, he slipped gently into the Lord’s arms.
On Sunday, September 20th, St. George held a 3rd-Year Anniversary Memorial for long-term parishioner George Barmashi and a 40th-day Memorial for a former pastor, the Very Reverend Daniel Montgomery. Memory Eternal!
St. George joined Holy Ghost Church for Divine Liturgy on Sunday, October 11th at their outdoor pavilion in Holy Ghost Park, Shelton. St. George extends at heartfelt "Thank you" to the Holy Ghost parish for being a welcoming host on a crisp autumn day.
St. George was saddened to learn that on Monday morning, October 19, 2020, His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor), former Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All-America and Canada, fell asleep in the Lord in Canonsburg, PA after an extended illness.
Metropolitan Theodosius was the past spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church in America from 1977 to 2002. He served many years as Locum Tenens of the Albanian Archdiocese, and was an advocate of Orthodox unity in North America.
Please click onto the following link to view an In Memoriam from the OCA: https://www.oca.org/in-memoriam/his-beatitude-metropolitan-theodosius-lazor
May his memory be eternal!
Metropolitan Theodosius with clergy and lay delegates from the Albanian Archdiocese following his election as Primate at the 5th All-American Council in Montreal, 1977
Front Row (Seated, Left to RIght): Fr. Eugene Vansuch (Former Parish Priest of St. George, and at the time of photo, was the parish priest of St. John Chrysostom, Philadelphia); Metropolitan Theodosius; Bishop Dmitri (at the time, Bishop of Hartford and New England, serving as Locum Tenens of the Albanian Archdiocese); Fr. Nicholas Liolin (Parish Priest at either St. Nicholas, Southbridge, MA, or St. Thomas, Farmington Hills, MI, later to become Archbishop Nikon).
Middle Row (Standing L-R): Fr. Alexander Federoff (Parish Priest for Church of the Annunciation, Natick, MA), Fr. Daniel Montgomery (Parish Priest of St. George, Trumbull); Unidentified Lay delegate #1; Unidentified Lay Delegate #2 , Fr Mark Forsberg (Parish Priest at St. George Cathedral, Boston, soon to become Bishop Mark, Bishop of the Albanian Archdiocese); Al Foundos (St. Nicholas, Jamaica Estates, NY delegate).
Top Row (Standing L-R): Unidentified Parish Priest; Unidentified Lay delegate #3; Fr. Spero Page (Parish Priest of St. Mary's, Worcester, MA), Nick Adam (St. George, Trumbull delegate)
On Sunday, October 25th, St. George held a Memorial Service for His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius who fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, October 19th. May his memory be eternal!
The OCA prepared an "In Memoriam" Photo Album on Met. Theodosius. One photo from the album shows Met. Theodosius with Albanian Archdiocese clergy and delegates at the 5th All-American Council in Montreal in 1977. Click onto the more information link below to view the photo and additional details.
On Sunday Nov 8th after Divine Liturgy, in honor of Veteran’s Day, our parish Veterans and current military personnel were acknowledged, and a special prayer was read for all Veterans and Military servicemen and women. Below is the prayer:
Almighty God, the cause of liberty is Yours.
It is likewise the cause of those who have defended it against tyranny and oppression.
Remembering the veterans who have served, and those who are now serving in America's Armed Forces, we give You thanks.
We are grateful that You inspired their sense of patriotism and strengthened them in unselfish service.
Their courage and vigilance insured the freedom and peace we enjoy today.
Grant, we pray, O Lord, to each of our Veterans a generous portion of Your grace and to America, our native land, Your blessing.
Click onto the following link to view and download a letter from Metropolitan Tikhon to the Clergy of the Albanian Archdiocese on upswings in COVID cases throughout the country. Letter from Met Tikhon to Alb Arch 2020 Nov 3
The letter encourages parishes to continue to evaluate the COVID environment in their region, to consider as necessary the lowering the stage of their opening plans, lowering the limit of attendees to Liturgy, lowering the number of services, etc., to comply with local civil health directives.
UPDATE from December 10th: The State of Connecticut remains in RED alert. Out of a total of 169 cities and towns in CT, 163 (96%) are in RED alert. Specifically in our locale, ALL towns in Fairfield County and New Haven County are in RED alert. Bridgeport continues to have the highest infection rate in the state. You can view the state map here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Data-Tracker
St. George remains in-compliance with all Civil and Synodal guidelines. Just to quickly re-state the current re-opening status of St. George:
1) St. George continues to operate under its original re-opening plan. Our plan was developed to meet the Phase 1, Stage 1 Holy Synodal Guidelines. The current plan in use was approved June 25th.
2) St. George is approved to only hold Sunday Divine Liturgies with a maximum of 40 attendees (maximum of 25% occupancy)
3) St. George never applied to increase the number of attendees, primarily because the physical layout of our pews prohibits additional attendees while maintaining a 6-foot physical distance between attendees.
4) Major procedural changes that remain in effect include: reservations for attendance; setting up seating plans; special cleaning of the church; maintaining attendance records for any tracing needs; controlling entrance and exit routes; requiring masks or face coverings; taking temperature readings of arriving attendees; no regular choir; eliminating kissing and contact with icons, crosses, and the chalice; and using individual sanitized spoons for distribution of Communion.
For additional specific details, please click onto the following website link to view our June 26th News Update on the re-opening guidelines for St. George. https://www.stgeorgetrumbull.org/news_200627_1
Any parishioners with COVID symptoms (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, etc.), or have had contact with someone having COVID, or showing COVID symptoms, should not attend services. Also, seniors with underlying health conditions are encouraged to stay home.
The Parish Council will continue to monitor the local health situation surrounding COVID, and make and communicate any appropriate changes as necessary for the health and safety of our community.
St. George extends our thanks to Dave Dougiello of Commerce Hill Funeral Home for donating the 2021 Wall Calendars. Please pick one up at the Church Desk.
Click onto the following link to view a letter from Metropolitan Tikhon to the parishes of the Albanian Archdiocese at a time of rising COVID infections nationally and within the Archdiocese. Met. Tikhon discusses that it is critical to maintain the Eucharist Life of the Church, maintain the Sacramental Life of the Church, while limiting in-person activities to those that are truely necessary, recognizing the COVID virus is transmitted most frequently by in-person contact Letter from Met. Tikhon on COVID Precautions 2020 Nov 21.
It has come to our attention that a member of our parish who regularly attends Liturgy, has recently tested positive for COVID. The parishioner last attended services on Nov 22nd. After reviewing the situation, in an abundance of caution, we have decided to cancel this Sunday’s Liturgy.
Liturgy will resume next Sunday, December 13th.
Due to privacy regulations, we are not permitted to disclose the member’s identity. With the protocols we have in place (wearing of masks, open windows, social distancing, individual communion spoons, etc) as well as the time elapsed since the parishioner was last in church, the risk to others is highly unlikely.
If any parishioners who attended services on November 22nd and require more detailed information and dates due to tracking or reporting requirements for work or their employement, please call Bill Kovachi at 203-449-4404.
Due to the COVID pandemic, St. George was not able to hold the annual St. Nicholas Day party for the parish children. As a small replacement to this event, a short video was prepared with some photos from past years. Many thanks to Jim Bowe for his reading of the Christmas poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” along with his two great-grandchildren, Caelyn and Christian for their supporting roles. To Erin Galich for her video work, and especially to Melissa Galich for all her editing work assembling the video. Also, a final thank you to parishioners who forwarded photos to be shared. Please click onto the following link to view the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyB8KP4lXnE
On Sunday, Dec 13th after Divine Liturgy, as a special outreach project, a group of "St. George Elves" delivered a bag of Christmas Cheer to some of our senior parishioners who are restricted at home or haven't been able to attend church services due to age or health during the COVID pandemic. The gifts were assembled and delivered to help remind these parishioners that they remain in our thoughts and prayers. The Christmas Cheer bag contained some tea, homemade cookies and treats, an icon, a plant, a handmade card from one of our church school children, and a 2021 Church calendar. Our sincere thanks go out to: Sharon Buzi, Laura Chadwick, Laura Coughlin, Diane Cryan, Luba Csernica, Laura Denisevich, Erin Galich, Sue Galich, Jennifer Goetz, Karen Masek, and Kim O'Brien. We also wish to thank our Church School children who participated. Click onto the more information link to view a few photos.
The St. George Parish Family wishes you a joyous Nativity - Click Here to view the Community Christmas Card.
Christ is born! Glorify Him! Krishti U-Lind! Lavdërojeni! are the traditional Orthodox Christian Christmas greetings in both English and Albanian. Due to COVID protocols, on the Eve of the Nativity of Christ, the St. George Community completed the service cycle of Advent with a Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil for the Nativity of the Lord.