December 28, 2016
Stratford, Connecticut: Bishop Nicholas celebrates Divine Liturgy
St. Nicholas Church
Sunday, December 18, the feast of Ven. Sabbas the Sanctified, His
Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, visited St. Nicholas Church in
Stratford, CT, on the eve of the parish’s patronal feast. The vicar
of the Eastern American Diocese was met by children with baskets of
flower petals and was greeted by parish warden Leo Dexter Peavy, who
welcomed His Grace to the parish and thanked him for coming. Bishop
Nicholas celebrated the Divine Liturgy, co-served by parish clerics:
rector Archpriest George Lardas and Protodeacon Paul Giatas, who
were joined by Protodeacon Vadim Gan (cleric of the Synodal
Cathedral of the Sign in New York City) and Deacon Michael Wengrin
(cleric of St. Basil’s Church in Simpson, PA).
At the Great Entrance, Bishop Nicholas offered prayers for the late
Archimandrite Joasaph (McLellan), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical
Mission in Jerusalem, on the seventh anniversary of his repose, for
the late Archpriest Theodore Shevzov, who was assigned to St.
Nicholas parish, and for the late Archpriest Andrei Semyanko,
longtime rector of the neighboring Church of the Presentation of
Christ in the Temple, both of whom reposed this past year.
After Divine Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas served a moleben to St.
Nicholas and presented parishioner Walter Nalisnyk with a diocesan
gramota for his faithful service to the Church as a singer and
reader, and for his work in repairing and restoring the church
Bishop Nicholas delivered a sermon about the importance of St.
Nicholas in the Orthodox Church – on the feast of St. Nicholas, even
parishes not named for him serve the Divine Liturgy – because of the
saint’s virtue and kindness, and urged all to pray to St. Nicholas
for help in being strong, kind, and faithful, in keeping the fasts
and in embracing spiritual struggle. Bishop Nicholas congratulated
Fr. George and the parish on their feast, and Fr. George thanked
Bishop Nicholas for his visit. The children of the parish received
After the service, parishioners assembled on the church steps with
the clergy, Bishop Nicholas, and the parish’s icon of St. Nicholas
for a group photograph. Then everyone enjoyed the parish’s annual
festive fish dinner. They were joined at the dinner by Archpriest
Constantine Semyanko, rector of the neighboring Church of the
Presentation of Christ.
After the bishop’s visit, Fr. George and Fr. Paul served the
All-Night Vigil for the feast of St. Nicholas and, on Monday
morning, they were joined by Deacon Alexey Pnev (cleric of Nativity
of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in
Mahopac, NY) for the Divine Liturgy for the feast.
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese