St. George was saddened to learn that Richard Nichio, Sr. passed away on Friday, January 1, 2021. The St. George community expresses its condolences to Jeanette, Richard, Craig, Rebecca and Alecia, as well as the extended family! Memory Eternal!
Saint George Church acknowledges the following for their stewardship donation as we mark the "traditional" Konizmat practice during this COVID-19 Pandemic:
Greg & Sharon Buzi – St. Dorothy & St. Gregory
Laura & Tim Coughlin – St. Timothy the Apostle
Diane Cryan – Saints Constantine & Helen
Laura & Dave Denisevich- St. Olga & St. Romanus
Mary DiIulio – Twelve Apostles
Louise Gallagher – St. Dimitri
Bob & Linda Lazar – Resurrection of the Lord
Diana Michael- Annunciation to the Theotokos
Dolores Nauchy- St. John the Baptist & St. Helen
Richard Nichio, Jr.- St. Nicholas
Kim O’Brien- St. Catherine of Alexandria
Charles & Joanne Soter – St. Basil
To learn more about Konizmat, click onto the following link: Konizmat - Icon Auction
Metropolitan Tikhon, Locum Tenens of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese recently announced administrative changes for the Albanian Archdiocese. Protopresbyter Arthur Liolin was appointed Chancellor Emeritus of the Albanian Archdiocese, stepping away from his daily duties as Chancellor. Igumen Nikodhim (Preston) has been appointed as interim Chancellor for the Albanian Archdiocese in his place. Click onto the following link to view Metropolitan Tikhon's announcement: 2021 Feb 11th- Letter to Archdiocesan Council on Apptmt Igumen Nikodhim
Additionally, click on the following link to view a letter from Michael Gregory, Lay Vice-Chairman of the Albanian Archdiocese with his thoughts on the administrative changes 2021 Feb 18th - Letter from Michael Gregory
Please click on the following link to view a letter from Metropolitan TIKHON, Locum Tenens of the Albanian Archdiocese. The letter offers encouragement and guidance to parishes as we are entering Great Lent. He acknowledges the difficult past year, commends how local parishes have maintained patience and initiative over the past year in dealing with all the COVID protocols, and is urging parishes to maintain a level of care and caution for Great Lent even as we begin to see a decrease in infections and the availability of vaccines. Everyone is hoping the upcoming Lenten period will allow for a continued increase and return of liturgical services and life. March 6, 2021: Guidelines for Great Lent
Historically, on Forgiveness Sunday, the Church School children and their teachers tied a Veror bracelet on their right hand, and kept it on until Paschal Vespers, when they cut it off, and place it on the bushes for the birds. Some of the adults of the parish also wore the bracelet in solidarity with the children.
This year, with continued COVID safety protocols still in place, the Church School children, who are learning remotely, are continuing the practice.
Click onto the following link to learn more about the Veror Albanian Lenten bracelet tradition.
As we finished the third week of Great Lent, the parish of St. George celebrated Sunday Divine Liturgy the Veneration of the Cross, which is the third Sunday of Great Lent. The Cross is venerated as it stands in the middle of the Church at the middle of Great Lent, reminding us of how we must live to be saved. Click onto the more information link below to view a few photos
Attached please find Holy Week and Paschal Directives from Metropolitan Tikhon, Locum Tenens of the Albanian Archdiocese, to the clergy with general directives and safety guidelines to the parishes for Holy Week and Pascha services. Apr 14, 2021: Met Tikhon Paschal Directives
The St. George community offers its deepest sympathy to Mimosa Bala at the death of her husband, Vatutin. Condolences are also offered to daughter, Helena Dea (husband, Dr. Alexander Fortenko and son, Ronan Wolf) as well as sister-in-law Lilliana Kerma (Boro),
On April 25th, St. George celebrated Palm Sunday which marks the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem. After Divine Liturgy, Fr. Sergei blessed the palms which were distributed to parishioners as they left the church. Unfortunately, in a nod to safety during this COVID pandemic, the procession with palms with the parish children was cancelled for this year. Click onto the more information link to a few photos.
The Archpastoral Message of Metropolitan Tikhon can be read at the following link: 2021 Paschal Message. Note: an Albanian translation (a PDF document) of this message can be found at the bottom of the message's page.
St. George completed services on Holy Friday with the Friday evening Matins service for Great and Holy Saturday, with the Praises at the Tomb of Christ. Click onto the more information link below to view a few photos.
The St. George community recently completed the service cycle of Great Lent and Holy Week to Holy Pascha, with the celebration of the Midnight Paschal Liturgy on May 2nd. Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! Krishti U-Ngjall! Vërtet U-Ngjall! are the traditional Orthodox Christian Paschal greetings in both English and Albanian. Click Here to view the Paschal greeting in numerous languages. Click onto the more information link below to view a few photos.
St. George was joined by Holy Ghost parish to celebrate the Paschal Liturgy on Bright Monday. Click on the more information link below to view a few photos.
The St. George parish community was saddened to learn of the death of Debbie (Kerma) Rohr, daughter of Boro and the late Pandora Kerma. We extend our condolences to her husband Kurt, daughters Nicole and Sarah, her grandchildren, brothers Michael, Nick and Ken, and the rest of the Kerma family. Besides her mother Pandora, Debbie was predeceased by a brother David. Memory Eternal!
We extend our heartful thanks to the many people who helped to make Lent, Holy Week and Pascha beautiful and meaningful celebrations. Click onto the more information link below to view the details.
On Thomas Sunday, which was Mother’s Day in the US, we recognized with special prayers our mothers, godmothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters, nieces, step-mothers, and all those special women in our lives. Prayers for both our departed and living mothers were offered at two times during Divine Liturgy; once at the Great Entrance and a second time at the end of the service. The monetary donations will be used for the beautification of the church. Click onto the more information link below to view some photos.
On Sunday, May 30th (Memorial Day weekend), prayers were offered in memory of our parish community's departed Veterans - both during Divine Liturgy, and after during a Memorial service. On this weekend, the St. George community, along most Americans, take time to reflect, thank, and remember the sacrifice of our departed Veterans and all they did for this country. Memory Eternal! Click onto the more information link below to view a few photos from the Memorial service
Congratulations to our 2021 Graduates who recently completed, or will soon complete, their studies and graduate. We extend our best wishes to them for continued success!
Pandora Kerma – will graduate from Fairfield Warde High School (Fairfield).
George Goetz - graduated Penn State with a B.S. in Accounting.
Carly Nicholas – graduated with honors (Magna Cum Laude) with a B.S. in Business Management and a B.A. in Spanish from Providence College (Rhode Island).
Jennifer Soter- graduated with honors (Summa Cum Laude) with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Bridgeport
Metropolitan Tikhon, Locum Tenens of the Albanian Archdiocese issued an updated letter with guidance and general principles for clergy and parishes of the Albanian Archdiocese for gradual reopening from our COVID restrictions. Click on the following link to view the letter: June 1, 2021: Met Tikhon to Albanian Archdiocese with Directives & General Principles for gradual reopening
St. George celebrated the feast of The Ascension of our Lord with Divine Liturgy. The feast commemorates when, on the 40th day after His Resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven after asking his disciples to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit. Click onto the more information link below to view 2 photos.
St. George celebrated the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday, June 20th with Divine Liturgy immediately followed by the Kneeling Vespers. The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit when the Apostles were gathered together and a sound came from heaven like a rushing wind, then tongues of fire appeared upon each one of Apostles. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching of the Apostles and the baptism of the thousands on that day. The Feast is also seen as the culmination of the revelation of the Holy Trinity.
Coincedentally, Father's Day fell on the same day. Commemorations/Prayers were read for our departed and living fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, godfathers, brothers, stepbrothers, or nephews during the Great Entance and after the Pentecost Kneeling Vespers service. Click onto the more information link below to view some photos.
On Sunday, July 4th at Divine Liturgy, St. George celebrated and recognized both the secular holiday of Independence Day and the spiritual Feast Day commemorating All Saints of America. We remember all the Saints in America, both known and unknown, on this day. Specifically, we need to remember our great-grandparents, our grandparents, our parents, aunts and uncles - those who all left their homelands and emigrated to America, bringing with them their faith, the Orthodox Faith to America, building and supporting all of our churches, never forgetting the Church.
During his sermon, Fr. Sergei read a hymn from the Vespers service for this day, which also highlights and remembers our forebearers in America who brought the Orthodox Faith to America. The hymn follows below. You can view/listen to Fr. Sergei’s sermon from a video recording of Divine Liturgy from this day on St. George’s Facebook page - the sermon is located at approximately the 24 minute, 15 second mark: https://www.facebook.com/StGeorgeOrthodoxChurch/videos/3593777484057796/
Excerpted From the Vespers Service for All Saints in America:
Rejoice, O mountains of Pennsylvania;
leap for joy, O waters of the Great Lakes;
rise up, O fertile plains of Canada;
for the elect of Christ who dwelt in you are glorified,
men and women who left their homes for a new land!
With faith, hope, and patience as their armor,
they courageously fought the good fight.
Comforted by the beauty of the Orthodox Faith,
they labored in mines and mills, they tilled the land,
they braved the challenges of the great cities,
enduring many hardships and sufferings.
Never failing to worship God in spirit and truth
and unyielding in devotion to His most pure Mother,
they erected many temples to His glory.
Come, O assembly of the Orthodox,
and with love let us praise the holy men, women, and children,
those known to us and those known only to God,
and let us cry out to them://
“Rejoice, all Saints of North America and pray to God for us!”
Service texts for the Vespers and Liturgy for All Saints of America:
Service texts for 2021 0704
On Sunday, August 1st, St. George recognized the Feast of Procession of the Honorable Wood of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord. Given the current COVID pandemic, and the coincidence that August 1st fell on a Sunday this year, St. George recognized this feast after Divine Liturgy with a procession with the Cross around the perimeter of the church, and a short prayer service in the center of the church - asking the Lord to bless our community, and asking for our continued good health.
"The origin of this Feast is explained in the Greek Horologion of 1897: 'Because of the illnesses which occur during the month of August, it was customary at Constantinople to carry the Precious Wood of the Cross in procession throughout the city for its sanctification, and to deliver it from sickness.' "On the eve (July 31), the Cross was removed from the imperial treasury and placed it upon the Holy Table of the Great Church of Hagia Sophia (which is dedicated to Christ, the Wisdom of God). From August 1st until the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, there was a procession throughout the entire the city, and then the Cross was placed where all the people could venerate it."
Click on the more information link below to view some photos.
On Friday, August 6th, St. George celebrated the Feast of the Transfiguration, with the parish of Holy Ghost joining us for Divine Liturgy at St. George. After Divine Liturgy, Fr. Sergei Bouteneff and Fr. John Jillions blessed grapes, fruit, and vegetables that is traditional on this feast day. St. George wishes to thank Fr. John Jillions for delivering the sermon on this day. A postcard of the Transfiguration icon, and blessed grapes were handed out during the dismissal. Below are the prayers that were offered during the blessing of fruits and vegetables:
Prayer at the partaking of grapes on the sixth day of August:
Bless, O Lord, this new fruit of the vine, which, through temperate weather, through showers of rain and times of calm, has attained to ripeness at this hour, according to Thy good pleasure. May our partaking of this birth of the vine be for gladness, and for the offering of a gift unto Thee for the cleansing of sins, through the sacred and holy Body of Thy Christ, with whom thou art blessed, together with thy most holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer for those who offer first fruits:
O Master, Lord our God, who commandest everyone to offer to Thee thine own of thine own, according to their intention, granting them in return thine eternal good things, and who didst favourably accept the offering of the widow which was according to her ability: now also accept these things offered by Thy servants [here present], counting them worthy to lay up the same in thine eternal treasury. And grant them an abundant harvest of thine eternal good things, together with all things that are profitable unto them. For blessed is Thy Name, and glorified is Thy kingdom: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Click onto the more information link below to view some photos.
On Saturday, August 14th, Maggie Juliet Rakowitz was received in to the Orthodox Church through the Mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation. Her sponsors were Jessica Chadwick and Joe Galich. Maggie is the daughter of Rebecca & Daniel Rakowitz, the sister of Evan, the grandsdaughter of Laura & Joe Chadwick, and the great-granddaughter of Vi & Jim Bowe. Click onto the more information link below to view a few photos.
On Sunday, August 15th, St. George celebrated the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. This feast commemorates the repose (dormition) or "falling-asleep" of the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and also commemorates the assumption into heaven of the body of the Theotokos. After Divine Liturgy, there was the blessing of fragrant herbs and flowers, which is customary on this feast.
Fr. Sergei prepared a video discussing this feast and the icon of this feast - click here to view the video.
Finally, you may click onto the more information link below to view a few photos from the service .
We congratulate the following young adults who are receiving scholarships for the 2021-2022 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 Junior attending the University of Maryland majoring in Biology, with a pre-med track.
Philip Caliendo - is a Sophomore attending Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), majoring in Finance.
Erin Galich- is a Sophomore studying Psychology at Central Connecticut State University (New Britain).
George Goetz - is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Accounting at Penn State.
Jackie Goetz- is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Forensic Science at the University of New Haven.
James Goetz- is a Sophomore attending University of Maryland, studying Business.
Pandora Kerma– beginning her freshman year at Housatonic Community College
John Veneri - is a Senior attending Coastal Carolina University (South Carolina) majoring in Business Management.
On September 5th after Divine Liturgy, St. George held a memorial prayer service on the occasion of the 2nd year anniversary of Archbishop Nikon's death. His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon served as the Archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese.
A link to the OCA Memoriam follows: https://www.oca.org/in-memoriam/his-eminence-archbishop-nikon
The parishes of St. George and Holy Ghost celebrated the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos with a joint Divine Liturgy at St. George. Click onto the more information link below to view some photos from Divine Liturgy.
On Sunday, September 12th, marking the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, St. George held a memorial at the end of Divine Liturgy for all the victims at the New York City, Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA locations. Memory Eternal!
In true pan-Orthodox spirit, Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross was celebrated at St. Dimitrie Church on Sept 14th, with the parishes of St. George and Holy Ghost joining the parish of St. Dimitrie. Fr. George Coca and Fr. Sergei Bouteneff concelebrated the Liturgy. At the end of Divine Liturgy, the St. Dimitrie Ladies Auxillary hosted a Fellowship hour for all the attendees. St. George offers our heartfelt thanks to St. Dimitrie for hosting this feast.
St. George welcomed Fr. Nikodhim, the Interim Chancellor of the Albanian Archdiocese, who celebrated Divine Liturgy for us on Sunday, September 26th. Fr. Nikodhim substituted for Fr. Sergei, who was on vacation. Additionally, we are grateful to Fr. Nikodhim for taking time after Divine Liturgy to meet with parishioners, to discuss and listen our future hopes and concerns for the Parish.
Adding to the joy of Fr. Nikodhim's visit was that he brought with him our newest Archdiocesan Seminarian Eugene (Juxhin) Shkurti and his wife, Livia, who recently arrived from Korce, Albania. Eugene is enrolled at Saint Vladimir's Seminary and is starting the first of his projected three years of study there.
Finally, as a special blessing, Fr. Nikodhim shared with the parish the icon he commissioned of Sainted Bishop Raphael together with his holy relics. He hopes to present these to the Church in Albania in the near future. Fr. Nikodhim also passed out prayer cards with a photo of the icon of St. Raphael on the front, and the Troparion of St. Raphael in both Albanian and English on the rear of the card.
Of special interest is that the Sainted Bishop Raphael ordained Theofan S. Noli (founder to the Albanian Orthodox Church in America) to the Holy deaconate. St. Raphael also appears in one of our holy icons at our St. George parish - the one that depicts the Albanian and American Saints which is located on the north or left side wall, the 4th icon from the Altar or from the front of the church.
To learn more about the life of St. Raphael of Brooklyn, click onto the following link: https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2016/02/27/100610-repose-of-saint-raphael-bishop-of-brooklyn
Please click onto the more information link below to view additional photos of the icons and prayer card.
St. George was saddened to learn of the death of Richard (Dick) Watson on Thursday, October 14th. We extend condolences to his wife Vi and his children: TR and Denise and their families.
With the generous donations that we received, we are able to send 6 large flat rate boxes full of snacks, candies and other goodies to the two military personnel on our parish’s prayer list (Fr. James Parnell and Jason Gartsu).
We recently received confirmation that the packages made it for Veteran's Day, which was Thursday, November 11th.
Click onto the following link to view an article on Chaplain (Major) Priest James Parnell: https://www.svots.edu/alumni-news/healing-dragons-ministry-chaplain-major-priest-james-parnell
Thank you to all who participated in this effort.
On Sunday, November 14th (3 days after Veteran's Day), St. George recognized and thanked the parish's Veterans after Divine Liturgy. We extend our heart-felt gratitude to all those who serve and have served our country in the Armed Forces. Many Years! Për Shumë Vjet!
Click onto the more information link below to view a larger photo.
St. George wishes to acknowledge and thank the following people for their service and continued support to the parish:
Many thanks to Jim Bowe, who paints small decorative items, stools, Christmas ornaments every year to sell at the Fall Bazaar, donating the proceeds to the Teuta Ladies Society. Due to the COVID pandemic restrictions, the Fall Bazaar has been cancelled the past 2 years, but Jim continued to paint. He recently brought in his wares to sell at coffee hour. Jim has raised over $700 to date which he is donating to the church. Jim still has items to sell so please support him and his efforts.
Fr. Sergei pointed out to the parish his personal thanks to Louise Karoli Gallagher and Bob Lazar who changed the table vestments for the Nativity Fast period. Both Louise and Bob faithfully change the vestments to the appropriate color during the liturgical year. Fr. Sergei specifically noted that they continued to change the vestments in 2020 when services were cancelled during the height of the COVID pandemic, just to keep the church prepared and ready for the time we would reopen for services.
Finally, many of you saw the large hole next to the entrance into the church on Sunday. Sewer blockage outside of the church from root infiltration into our sewer line required major excavation, root cutting, and sewer line replacement to re-establish functioning restrooms and the church hall kitchen sinks. Many thanks to Joe Galich, Bill Kovachi, and Bob Lazar who spent hours at the church over a 10-day period so workers could have access to make the repairs.
St. George celebrated the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple on Sunday, November 21st. The Feast commemorates when Mary, as a young child, was taken – presented – by her parents Joachim and Anna into the Temple in Jerusalem. Mary was solemnly received into the temple by the High Priest Zacharias.
To listen/view Fr. Sergei’s sermon about this feast, click onto the following link to view the Divine Liturgy stream from this feast day on St. George’s Facebook page. The sermon begins at approximately the 23 min 30 second mark.
On Thursday, November 25th, which is also the Thanksgiving holiday - St. George wishes to congratulate Fr. Sergei Bouteneff on the 44th anniversary of his ordination into the Priesthood. Many Years! Për Shumë Vjet! to Fr. Sergei, Prifteresha Elisabeth, and his family
Following Divine Liturgy on Nov 28th, members from the Choir gathered and prepared their annual Care Packages to our undergraduate College students. This practice unfortunately was suspended in 2020 due to COVID restrictions. This year the packages contained home-made and store bought cookies, hot cocoa mix, microwavable lunch cups, and miscellaneous snacks and candies. This is an outreach to the young men and women of our parish as they face exam time - and just before they return from their semester break.
Click onto the more information link below to view a larger photo.
We learned that a former parishioner, Helen Leka Brown, passed away on Sunday, Nov 28th. St. George extends its condolences to her family. May her memory be eternal.
On Sunday, Dec 5th, St. George welcomed Fr. Vladimir Aleandro who served Divine Liturgy for us in Fr. Sergei's absence. Fr. Vladimir retired in 2019 after serving as the pastor for 24 years at Christ the Savior Church in Southbury. Many from the parish who grew up in Trumbull will remember Fr. Vladimir from his earlier working years as a Counselor at Trumbull High School. Many in the parish were able to greet Fr. Vladimir & Matushka Suzanne at coffee hour after Divine Liturgy. Click onto the more information link below to view a few additional photos.
St. George was saddened to learn that Archpriest John Loejos fell asleep in the Lord on December 10, 2021, after a battle with cancer. He served for many years at the OCA’s Albanian Saint E. Premte Church, Cleveland, OH but he was a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Condolences to Presbytera Paula and the rest of Father John’s family, as well as the faithful of the Saint E. Premte Church. May His Memory be Eternal!
On Sunday, Dec 12th after Divine Liturgy, 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 homemade cookies and treats, some candy, a small icon, a small jar of Holy Oil, a Poinsettia plant, a handmade card from one of our church school children, and a 2022 Church calendar. Our sincere thanks go out to: Sharon Buzi, Laura Coughlin, Diane Cryan, Luba Csernica, Laura Denisevich, Sue Galich, Jennifer Goetz, Patty Ivanov, Karen Masek, and Kim O'Brien. We also wish to thank our Church School children who created the holiday cards. Click onto the more information link below to view a few photos.
St George was saddened to learn that the Very Rev. Father Michael Macura reposed in the Lord on Saturday, December 18th at St. Vincent’s Hospital (Bridgeport). Fr. Michael served for 17 years at the Saint John the Baptist Church (Silver Lane, Stratford). St. George fondly remembers Fr. Michael from the Bridgeport region Pan-Orthodox Lenten services, and a few times when Fr. Michael helped out during our need by providing coverage for some emergency services. Memory Eternal!
Click onto the following link to view a memoriam: https://www.acrod.org/news/2020-press/em-fr-michael-macura
The St. George Parish Family wishes you a joyous celebration of the Nativity of our Lord. Our apologies to Mary Nikola, we missed printing her name on the card. Additionally, we wish to acknowledge a donation from Dolores Tait, however we received it after the print deadline. Click onto the more information link below to view the inside of 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. The St. George Community completed the service cycle of Advent with the Christmas Eve Compline Service and Divine Liturgy for the Nativity of the Lord. Click onto the more information link to view a few photos.
St. George was saddened to learn of the death of Bruce Lazar. He was the son of the late Peter Lazar. Bruce was the nephew of Mary Lazar-Bindner, and a cousin once removed of Bob and Bill Lazar. We offer our condolences to his mother, Rita, wife Diane and their four children, and to the extended Lazar family. Memory Eternal!