Saints Theodore Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Buffalo, New York

Vol. IX, No. 7

July 2008

Regular Services and Classes

                               Saturday Night Vigil Service:

                               Sunday Morning Services

                                              Divine Liturgy:

                                              Bible Study after coffee hour

                               Wednesday Akathist:

                               Friday Small Compline:

Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

Friday, June 28/July 11 at : Vigil

Saturday, June 29/July 12 at : Divine Liturgy

Parish News

Ø      The Sunday Bible study resumes on June 29.

Ø      Congratulations to Cathy Fudala who has been elected Sisterhood president! Our heartfelt thanks to Tania Kawa for her service as president.

Ø      Congratulations to Justin Kawa on retiring from teaching at East Aurora high school! Many years!

Ø      Congratulations to Theodore Tkaczevski on graduating from high school! Theo will be attending SUNY Geneseo in the fall. Many years!

Ø      The Apostles’ Fast lasts until the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29/July 12. Fish is allowed on weekends and on June 24/July 7 (the Nativity of St. John the Baptist).

Ø      St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Lewiston is holding their Annual Mediterranean Festival on July 11-13. Please see the poster for more information.

Ø      Our parish picnic will be held this year on Sunday, July 13, after Divine Liturgy at Garrison Park in Williamsville. This is the same location as last year. If you take Los Robles north to

Main St.
, turn right on Main and the third traffic light is Garrison. Turn right on Garrison and the park is one block down. There are picnic tables under a gazebo, but it would not be a bad idea to bring blankets and folding chairs, too. Feel free to bring frisbees, footballs, etc. …oh, and food!

Ø      The annual Walk for Missions will take place on Sunday, July 20, at the Niagara Gorge, sponsored by St. George Antiochian Church. Please see the poster for details and pick up a pledge sheet. This year’s proceeds will go to the Orthodox Christian Missionary Center, which supports short-term and long-term missionaries around the world.

Ø      The Parish Council will meet on Sunday, July 27, at coffee hour.

Ø      During the summer months please help us keep the door closed at the top of the stairs because of the air conditioning.

Ø      Also, do not forget that we should dress for church just as modestly in the summer as the rest of the year. Gentlemen: collared shirts, no T-shirts. Ladies, no sleeveless garments, low-cut blouses or skirts above the knee. And please, no lipstick in church at any time. Thank you!

Name Days This Month

v     June 17/30: John (William) Enser, John (Ron) Cummings (St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

v     June 29/July 12: Priest Peter Jackson, Reader Peter Semanchuk, Paul Semanchuk (Holy Apostles Peter and Paul)


Многая Лета!                Many Years!

A Letter from our Sunday School Director

Summer 2008


Dear Parents,


            We’re glad to announce that Sts. Theodore Orthodox church will begin an exciting new Sunday school class beginning Sunday September 7! There will be two sessions each Sunday.

 Session one: During Fr. Peter’s sermon, children will gather in the library for a quiet story time with guided reading. Parents are invited to take advantage of this time to sit and enjoy Fr. Peter’s sermon.

 Session two: Immediately following Communion students will proceed to our newly finished basement. At this time our children will: sing along with Andrea Sullivan on guitar, act out stories in our own Bible Theater, and create artistic works based on the current lesson. All are invited to join us for a potluck dinner at the end of Session Two.

            We welcome guests and new members. Don’t miss out on Sundays at Sts. Theodore! Enroll your child today by calling Gabriella Damiano (716) 474-1127 for more information. We look forward to seeing you soon.


                                                                        Sincerely in Christ,


                                                                        Gabriella Damiano

                                                                        Sunday School Director


The Wisdom of Amma Theodora

Amma Theodora was asked about the conversations one hears: “If one is habitually listening to secular speech, how can one live for God alone, as you suggest?” She said, “Just as when you are sitting at table and there are many courses, you take some but without pleasure, so when secular conversations come your way, have your heart turned towards God, and thanks to this disposition, you will hear them without pleasure, and they will not do you any harm.”

Exciting Developments in our Synod of Bishops

            In May our Synod of Bishops gathered at the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in New York City. The first order of business was to elect a new first hierarch. Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand was elected on the first ballot. It was nearly unanimous, since the only dissenting vote was his own. Vladyka Hilarion was named Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York and enthroned as first hierarch on Sunday, May 18.

            Metropolitan Hilarion was born Igor Kapral in Alberta, Canada, in 1948. He graduated from Holy Trinity Seminary (Jordanville) in 1972 and was tonsured a rassaphore monk in 1974 with the name Hilarion (for St. Hilarion, Metropolitan of Kiev). In 1975 he was ordained a hierodeacon and began serving as Archbishop Averky’s cell attendant.  In 1976 he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Laurus and received a master’s degree from Syracuse University in Slavic Studies and Russian Literature. In 1984, at the age of 36, Fr. Hilarion was consecrated a bishop by Metropolitan Philaret of New York and nine other bishops and was appointed to the See of Manhattan, charged with overseeing the parishes in Pennsylvania and serving as deputy secretary for the Synod of Bishops. During this time he received a large number of converts, including clergy from non-canonical jurisdictions, regularizing their status. The number of English-speaking parishes and missions grew under his leadership. Vladyka Hilarion was put in charge of English-language parishes as far away as Texas and New Mexico. It was during this time that Vladyka Hilarion blessed Fr. Peter, whom he only knew by mail, to move to Jordanville and study for the priesthood. In 1995 Bishop Gabriel was consecrated and assigned to Manhattan, so Bishop Hilarion was transferred to Australia and elevated to archbishop.

            Our Church is blessed to have Metropolitan Hilarion as our first hierarch. He has a great heart for missionary work, for celebrating the divine services in local languages (he has even advocated introducing Russian into Slavonic services!), great pastoral love and concern for our youth and a desire for stronger ties and cooperation with other Orthodox jurisdictions while maintaining a strong traditional stance. It was he who recently received the Indonesian Orthodox Church into our Russian Church Abroad.

            As soon as Metropolitan Hilarion was elected first hierarch he had the Synod set about nominating new candidates for the episcopate, which our Church Abroad has been in dire need of. Bishop Gabriel was transferred to Canada, which had been without a bishop for many years. So currently we are directly under Metropolitan Hilarion, who serves not only as first hierarch, but as the ruling bishop of our Eastern America diocese. It had been rumored that Vladyka Hilarion would be spending most of his time back in Australia, but Fr. Peter spoke with him personally, and he assures us that he will indeed be mainly based in New York.

            So far four candidates have been selected: Archimandrite Theodosius, who currently serves in San Francisco and will be consecrated Bishop of Seattle and Vicar to Archbishop Kirill of San Francisco, Archimandrite George (Schaeffer) of Jordanville, Archpriest John Shaw of Milwaukee and Hieromonk John (Berzins), a member of the Jordanville brotherhood who has been serving at our mission in Houghton MI. Fr. John was just consecrated on Saturday, June 21, in Erie PA. He is now Bishop of Caracas and South America, another diocese which has sorely been in need of its own bishop. At his consecration, Bishop Peter of Cleveland presented Bishop John with a gift from the Jordanville brotherhood: the staff of the recently reposed Metropolitan Laurus.

            It has not been officially announced, but apparently Bishop-elect John Shaw will serve as the metropolitan’s vicar bishop in Manhattan. Bishop-elect George, apparently, will be assigned to the Southern US, for which a new diocese will be created, though he will still reside in Jordanville. It has not yet been announced when Fr. George and Fr. John will be consecrated. Fr. Theodosius will be consecrated in September.

            We rejoice at these new developments which augur bright days ahead for our Russian Church Abroad around the world! Please remember all of our bishops and bishops-elect in your prayers.

Number of Moscow Region Churches Increased Ten-fold in the Last 20 Yrs

Moscow, June 10, Interfax - Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna states that the number of churches in the Moscow Region has increased ten-fold in the last 20 years, Interfax-Religion has reported.

"Today there are 1271 churches in the diocese. Compare this number to the other - 132. That is how many we had in 1988," Metropolitan Yuvenaly said in his interview published by the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Tuesday.

According to him, the Moscow Region witnesses to "the grand scale of changes" the entire Russian Orthodox Church is experiencing today.

"I'd like to give only visible examples evident for everyone: 253 churches and 162 chapels have been built in the diocese in recent years, to say nothing of restoring ancient shrines," the metropolitan noted.

In compliance with the quoted information, over 16,000 people visit Sunday school № 761 in the Moscow Region. Over 61,000 pupils study religious disciplines in 1289 regional educational establishments.

The parishes and monasteries of the Moscow Diocese organize over 70 Orthodox summer camps for 2,500 children and teens.

The Orthodox Church today is becoming...

The Orthodox Church today is becoming the stronghold of traditional Christianity in the West - Metropolitan Kirill

Moscow, June 25, Interfax - The chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, believes that it is the Russian Church which today assumes the dominant role in expressing the values of traditional Christianity to the Western world.

"Due to its principal stand in its dialogue with the non-Orthodox, the Russian Orthodox Church is now becoming the major witness and voice of traditional Christian values which are increasingly marginalized by Western liberalization," said Metropolitan Kirill, addressing the Bishops' Council in Moscow.

According to Metropolitan Kirill, the service of the Russian Orthodox Church in a bid to maintain inter-religious dialogue is increasingly becoming "prophetic", as notwithstanding any resistance, with "due submission and firmness", it calls all Christians to "stay true to the rules of Holy Writ commanded by God."

The Metropolitan also mentioned the need to cooperate with those members of confessions and religions, who defend "traditional moral stance
s" close to those of the Russian Church. Among such associates in the West may be the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant communities.

"However, acknowledging that the Russian Church shares some views of the modern world with certain Churches and communities and seeking to make this shared vision more practical and active, we are realistic in our evaluations of existing differences and stick to the relevant rules and traditions," Metropolitan Kirill is quoted as saying by the official site of the Moscow Patriarchate.

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