Feast of St. Innocent of Alaska marks 40th Anniversary Celebration in Olmsted Falls, OH

OLMSTED TOWNSHIP, OH [DOM] – Forty years removed from their first meetings as a mission, the faithful of Saint Innocent Church in Olmsted Township, OH, gathered to celebrate their Ruby Anniversary on Friday, October 6—their Patronal Feast, the Glorification of Saint Innocent of Alaska. Great Vespers and a Lity for the Departed honoring the four founders who have since fallen asleep was served the night prior, as the parish welcomed His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of Chicago and the Midwest.
Serving with His Eminence were Priest Peter Simko, Rector; Mitered Archpriest Basil Stoyka; former Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest John Zdinak; Archpriest Yves Babich; and Archpriest Ilia Marzev (ROCOR). Also serving were Protodeacons Joseph Carter and Michael Timko, as well as Deacon Peter Ries, a son of Saint Innocent now completing his degree at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. The choir was directed by Ellen D’Fantis.
Before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, Jared Alexander Clemence and Maxim Klinar were made readers, and Reader Maxim was ordained to the subdiaconate. During the Little Entrance, Protodeacons Joseph Carter and Michael Timko were awarded the kamilavka.
His Eminence delivered the a sermon about the astounding life of Saint Innocent, a man “of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38). After the completion of the service, a coffee hour was held for everyone in attendance, providing an opportunity for guests from local parishes and from out of town to fellowship with one another.
In the evening, a banquet and dance was held to celebrate forty years of faithful service to the Lord. Fr. John Zdinak spoke about the progress of the parish community since his time as rector, and a Slava was celebrated for the Saint. Angela Skinner and Maria Sarris were honored to spin the kolač with Fr. Peter, and a recorded performance of a children’s song which Angela Skinner wrote for Saint Innocent was presented to all in attendance. The two living founders unable to be in attendance, Joni Barnish and Edna Villios, were also honored over the course of the services and events.
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