Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church

Founded 1913

Diocese: Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania

Deanery: Philadelphia Deanery

Address

28th St & Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19145

Mailing address:

PO Box 20083
Point Breeze Station
Philadelphia, PA 19145

http://www.holyassumptionphilly.org

Church: 215-468-3535

Fax: 610-461-1031

Parish Contacts

Rev. Matthew (Brice) Cantrell
Rector
816 Cedar Ave
Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Directions

General Location
We are located at 28th Street and Snyder Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  We are approximately 3 miles from City Hall.

From Center City Philadelphia (City Hall)
Go South on Broad Street to Snyder Avenue. Turn Right on Snyder Avenue and proceed down to 28th Street and Snyder Avenue.

From the Greater Northeast
Take I-76 East towards Central Philadelphia. Take Exit 347B (Oregon Avenue) toward Passyunk Avenue. Keep Right at the fork in the ramp. Turn Sharp Left on West Pasyunk Avenue. Turn Left on South 25th Street. Turn Left onto Snyder Avenue.

From New Jersey - Walt Whitman Bridge
Cross over Walt Whitman Bridge into Philadelphia. Take I-76 West to Exit 346C (Vare Avenue) towards Mifflin Street. Turn Right on New Hope Street. Slight Right on Mifflin Street. Turn Right on South 29th Street. Turn Left on Snyder Avenue. Go up 1 Block to 28th Street.

From New Jersey - Ben Franklin Bridge
Take Exit towards I 676 West (US-30 West). Keep Left at fork. Follow signs for I 676 West (US-30 West) and merge onto I 676 West (US-30 West). Merge onto North 15th Street. Turn Left at South Penn Square. Turn Right onto South Broad Street (Avenue of the Arts) continue to follow Broad Street to Snyder Avenue. Turn Right on Snyder Avenue and proceed down to 28th Street and Snyder Avenue.

From New Jersey - Commodore Barry Bridge
Cross over Commodore Barry Bridge. Merge onto I-95 North towards Philadelphia. Take Exit 13 Penrose Avenue (PA-291 East) toward I-76 West. Turn Left on South 26th Street (South 26th Street becomes I-76 West). Take Exit 346C (Vare Avenue) towards Mifflin Street. Turn Right on New Hope Street. Slight Right on Mifflin Street. Turn Right on South 29th Street. Turn Left on Snyder Avenue. Go up 1 Block to 28th Street.

From Delaware and points south
Take I-95 North towards I-295 (Wilmington/I-495/Philadelphia). Take Exit 5D towards Port of Wilmington/Philadelphia. Merge onto I-95 North (Crossing into Pennsylvania). Take Exit 13 Penrose Avenue (PA-291 East) toward I-76 West. Turn Left on South 26th Street (South 26th Street becomes I-76 West). Take Exit 346C (Vare Avenue) towards Mifflin Street. Turn Right on New Hope Street. Slight Right on Mifflin Street. Turn Right on South 29th Street. Turn Left on Snyder Avenue. Go up 1 Block to 28th Street.

Schedule of Services

All services are in English.

6:00 PM Vespers and Confessions.
Saturday Evening

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy followed (usually) by fellowship hour.
Sunday Morning

6:00 PM Vespers and Confessions.
Eves of Great Feasts

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Mornings of Great Feasts

Call for other Lenten, Holy Week, and Paschal Services.
Great Lent

1.  Divine Liturgy is served on Saturdays (except the first Saturday) at 10 AM.  2.  On Sunday Evenings, Sunday Mission Vespers are celebrated in the Philadelphia area jointly sponsored by the Philadelphia Deanery of the OCA and the Philadelphia Brotherhood of Orthodox Clergy.  Call for schedule.
Great Lent

10 AM or 6 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (alternates between morning and evening, call for schedule).
Wednesday Evenings in Great Lent

6:00 PM Akathist.
Friday Evenings in Great Lent

Parish Background

The parish of The Assumption of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church is located at its original site, 28th and Snyder Avenues in South Philadelphia.  Our Founding ancestors were mostly Carpatho-Russians from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.  They immigrated to the Unites States during the period known as the Progressive Era.  This wave of immigration started roughly around 1880 and lasted until the beginning of World War I (1914).  These
“newer immigrants” brought a strong religious affiliation with them.

Through 1913, the majority of parishioners were members of the Ruthenian Uniat Church, while few belonged to the Orthodox Church of Philadelphia.  It was mutually recognized that discontent and frustration existed within the Churches.  Thus, it was on January of 1913, that thirty-nine laymen arranged a meeting with Reverand Father J. Krohmalny.  This gathering resulted in the formation of a new parish, The Assumption of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church, with Father J. Krohmalny serving as our first pastor.  It was decades later that our church, along with many others, came under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church of America, autocephalous from the Mother Church of Russia.

Early church records, being written in the language of our founders and thus difficult to translate, do not allow for a truly accurate history of the parish.  Many parishioners recall stories of their parents mortgaging their homes to help raise the money needed to purchase the parish property and to build the church.  It is known, however, the first officers elected to parish council were President William Kavalkovich, Vice President John Lapihuska, Secretary Michael Kavchok, Treasurer John Obrazik, Trustees John Brasko, John Homa and Andrew Harhay, Committee Members John Masiko, John Kavalkovich, John Mohanach, Andrew Brasko, Vasil Burch, Peter Lipchak, and Sexton George Pavlik.

It was in 1963, the year of the Assumptionís Golden Jubilee, that a new Iconostasis was donated by the parish’s Ladies Auxiliary in commemoration of this milestone.  Through dedicated hours of sponsoring bake sales, rummage sales, Christmas bazaars, panics, and other fund raising activities, the women succeeded in raising the $11,500; the total cost of a new Iconostasis, which still adorns our church today.

Soon after the Iconostasis was installed, our parish was very fortunate in commissioning the world renowned iconographer, Mr. Matthias Von Reutlinger.  Durning the next several years, Mr. Von Reutlinger adorned our church with seventy original icons.  As an added not of interest, each one of these icons was donated by either a family or a member or a member of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church, rather that by an organization within the parish or through contributions from businesses associated with the church.

Upon his death in 1985, our parish was privileged to receive one last Von Reutlinger icon.  This gift from beyond the grave, is a large unfinished icon of the Temptations of Christ.  According to the wishes of Mr. Von Reutlinger, it shall remain unfinished, and is displayed in the Pastor’s office.  Even in its primitive sketchy state, the icon revels in beauty and strength, promoting spiritual contemplation and thought.

During the period of time between the installation of the existing Iconostasis thru the completion of the seventy icons, nature slowly weathered the old copper cupolas atop our place of worship.  A final windstorm caused irreparable damage.  In 1973, the present “rib-type” cupola was erected upon the church rooftop.  It’s distinctive style, in addition to the sun casting a gleaming shine upon the brilliant gold and blue, attracts the eye of those traveling along the nearby expressway.  Very often visitors are drawn to our parish, if only to admire the unique structure.

As the years slipped by, many of the founders and older parishioners of the Church fell to eternal rest.  The younger generation was given the challenge of keeping unified through changing times.  Various organizations within the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church began to diminish in number.  In some instances, such as with the “R” Club and the Ladies Auxiliary, the groups went inactive.

However to drive to survive and to preserve what our parents and grandparents struggled so hard to build was never lost.  In 1981, a new Ladies Auxiliary, St. Sophia’s Sisterhood, was established.  Although small in number, through hard work and many hours, they have shown devotion in their efforts to help with the beautifying and restoration of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church.  They sisterhood is credited for several major projects, including the repainting of the distinctive cupolas and a new parish roof.  Additionally, the have donated banners and other church articles.

Within many urban parishes children grew up and relocated outside of South Philadelphia along the lines of the new super-highways.  Parishioners now live in numerous counties throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Also, the membership of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church has become more diversified, coming from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

We ask God to give us strength and wisdom to continue to build upon the strong foundation they laid.  We ask God to bless our church with a long and healthy future of praising His Holy Name, working for continued growth of His Kingdom, and doing His will in all good things.