April 21, 2016
Endicott, NY: Priest Matthew Smith celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Priesthood

On Sunday, April 17, the clergy and parishioners of St. Nicholas Church in Endicott, NY, celebrated the fifth anniversary of rector Priest Matthew Smith to the priesthood. On Sunday morning, Fr. Matthew celebrated the Divine Liturgy, co-served by Deacon Michael Pavuk (cleric of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield, PA).

Five years ago, on the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, Deacon Matthew Smith was ordained to the priesthood in St. Mary of Egypt Church in Atlanta, GA, by Bishop George of Mayfield. Originally assigned to St. Nektarios Church in Lenoir City, TN and later to Holy Protection Mission in Chattanooga, last year Fr. Matthew was assigned as rector of St. Nicholas Church in Endicott, and is currently assisted by his father-in-law, the ill-afflicted Archpriest Stavros Rousos.

Fr. Matthew arrived in Endicott last summer to find only three men in attendance at the divine services. Serving without remuneration for several months while holding a full-time job, Father Matthew offered stability to the little church. News of rejuvenated life in the parish spread, and the congregation now numbers more than twenty-five.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Fr. Michael read a letter from His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, congratulating Fr. Matthew on his anniversary. Those in attendance then enjoyed a festal lenten luncheon prepared by the sisterhood, led by Ms. Marina Zalesski.

Matushka Kyra Smith with their children: Xenia, Aemilia, Micah, and Livia presented Father Matthew with a silver pectoral cross. The parish, knowing Father Matthew’s love of books, gave him a gift card from Barnes & Noble, while his in-laws – Father Stavros and Matushka Deborah – gifted him a blue velvet set of embroidered chalice covers.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese