Sunday, October 19, was a special day for Saint Nicholas parish, Barberton, in many wonderful ways. Foremost, it was our honor to have His Grace, Bishop John visiting with us. It was at this Hierarchal Divine Liturgy that one of our parishioners, Eugene Senderak, was ordained to the sub diaconate. Having received the order of lector during the Eparchial pilgrimage at Mariapoch for the feast of the Dormition, Gene was deemed ready by Bishop John to now proceed to this next level in his journey to the diaconate. Among the family there to witness this event, was Gene’s 88 year old aunt, Sister M Geraldine S.D.R., who had traveled from Pittsburgh to join the celebration.
As Gene stood in contemplation before the icon of Christ, Bishop John gave his homily in which he focused on that Sunday’s gospel recounting the parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed. Drawing from the focus of this parable, he explained that we must bond together from the depths of our heart, to become fertile ground for the seed to grow. Relating this to the newly ordained, he expounded on the desire that each person should have in striving for Theosis and union with God.
Before the final blessing of the liturgy was given, Bishop John blessed our icon of Saint Panteleimon, the most recent addition to the “Cloud of Witnesses”, a collection of 18 larger than life icons that encircle the interior of our church. St. Panteleimon, the Unmercenary Healer was martyred under the reign of Emperor Maximian (ca. 305 A.D.). He is the patron saint of physicians.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Bishop John bestowed his blessing upon Fr. Stefan Kerul’-Kmec and his wife Janka, on the occasion of their 20th wedding anniversary. Fr. Stefan joined our pastor, his brother Fr. Miron, at the altar for this joyful liturgy.
The Saint Anne’s Ministry prepared a fellowship breakfast for all to enjoy. This provided the parish family the chance to congratulate Gene on this important day in his life. Also, our guests from Slovakia had the opportunity to meet with us and enjoy our hospitality. Everyone was glad to have had this occasion to have our Bishop join us in worship and celebration.