Bishop Alexander visits Holy Apostles Church, Bloomington-Normal, IL
BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — His Grace, Bishop Alexander, made his first archpastoral visit to the faithful of Holy Apostles Church here on the last weekend of March 2014.
Priest Danial Doss, Acting Priest-in-Charge, welcomed Bishop Alexander as he arrived at the church, accompanied by Protodeacon Robert Northrup. Also present was Archpriest Daniel Degyansky, Rector of Saint John Chrysostom Church, Woodside, NY. Father Degyansky traveled to Illinois for the ordination of the church’s Subdeacon David Gresham to the Diaconate during the Divine Liturgy. Father Degyansky had brought Deacon David into the Church and served as his godfather.
The newly ordained Deacon David completed the Midwest Diocesan Catechist and Diaconal Vocations Program in 2013 and participated in the Orthodox Church in America’s Diaconal Practicum at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. He currently is Professor of Music at Illinois State University. His wife Momoko and son Sidney were present for his ordination.
Bishop Alexander also tonsured Mark Comadena, Joel Grigsby and Bratimir Ilic to the order of Reader.
His Grace, the late Bishop [later Archbishop] Job blessed the establishment of Holy Apostles Church in January 1998 as a missionary outreach of Saint Joseph Church, Wheaton, IL. Clergy from the Wheaton parish traveled weekly to Bloomington-Normal to celebrate services. In time, Priest John Brown, who had been received with his family into the Church at Saint Joseph’s, was assigned as the church’s first resident priest and the community took on an identity of its own. After meeting in rented facilities, the church acquired its own property that included a house and a separate a building that was transformed into a church.
Under Father Danial Doss, the community has experienced new growth, specifically with the initiation of outreach ministries to students at area colleges, which include Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan.
In reflecting on the visit of Bishop Alexander, parishioner Virginia Bartges remarked, “I feel as though Holy Apostles grew by leaps and bounds as a result of his visit!”
A photo gallery of the visit can be viewed here.
Keep up with the church’s growth on its web site at www.holyapostlesbn.org for more information.