Hamilton, ON, Canada: Canadian City Council receives icon of its own “resident saint”
The City Council of Hamilton, ON, Canada, was presented with an icon of its own resident saint on April 10, 2019.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger, head of Canada’s ninth largest city, accepted the icon of the recently glorified Saint Sebastian Dabovich, who served as priest in the city a century ago.
“Saint Sebastian was the priest of the first multi-cultural Orthodox parish right here in Hamilton’s east end, on Beach Road, over a century ago, where people from many cultures worshiped together in the English language, at a time when such a faith community was a rare and unusual thing,” said Archpriest Geoffrey Korz, Dean of Ontario and Rector of Hamilton’s parish of All Saints of North America, who presented the icon.
Last year, Hamilton City Council voted to grant an honorary street renaming in memory of the saint.
Father Geoffrey also entrusted the mayor with the responsibility to serve as keeper of the icon.
“This is a responsibility which he will pass down to future mayors,” Father Geoffrey continued, “to whom the Orthodox Christian communities will look each time they visit their City Hall, welcome visiting dignitaries from abroad, and remind all citizens of this local hero who led and held together a multicultural community was one in faith and spirit in a century of war and division.”
On hand for the presentation was Rajko Djudjevic, President of Saint Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, a parish whose founders and ancestors made up a majority of the faithful in the community served by Saint Sebastian.
“Generations to come in this city and across the country will look back, seeking the grace of God in the person of His first saint of this city, Saint Sebastian,” Father Geoffrey added. “What they will find is one of God’s holy ones who drew people together beyond their language and nation, to their Eternal Country.”
Sitka, AK: Great Feast of Annunciation celebrated at historic Bishop’s House
On Sunday, April 7, 2019—the Great Feast of Annunciation on the Julian Calendar—His Grace, Bishop David celebrated the festal Divine Liturgy at Holy Annunciation Chapel in Sitka’s historic Bishop’s House.
The Bishop’s House is one of the few surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America. Completed in 1842 in New Archangel, as Sitka was known at the time, the Bishop’s House includes the chapel dedicated to the Annunciation by Saint Innocent Veniaminov. In 1973, the National Park Service acquired the property and initiated a 16-year project to restore the structure, which as a major attraction in the city offers visitors a glimpse into life during Alaska’s Russian-American era.
“Even though the building is under the supervision of the National Park Service, the chapel continues to be ours to use whenever needed,” Bishop David added. “They always are very hospitable to our requests to open the chapel for our use.”
While in Sitka, Bishop David also met with Mary Miller, Park Superintendent, concerning the possible exhumation of the relics of Saint Jacob Netsvetov in time for 50th Anniversary of the Orthodox Church in America’s reception of Autocephaly, slated to be celebrated in 2020. See related story.
New York, NY: Jacob’s Well now available in digital format
“Clergy and lay people from the diocese volunteer to write, edit, design, and produce artwork for the publication,” said Father Matthew. “Each issue has a theme which is covered in a collection of ‘Featured Essays.’ In addition to those essays, other topics, such as liturgy, theology, parenting and family life, diocesan life, science, the arts, and reviews of books, film, and music are covered by separate articles.”
Two issues are published annually, in the Spring and the Fall. Printed copies are also available.
Chicago, IL: Historic Holy Trinity Cathedral hosts area college students at lenten retreat
Some three dozen Orthodox Christian college students from Chicago, Wisconsin and Indiana were welcomed at Chicago’s historic Holy Trinity Cathedral for an Orthodox Christian Fellowship lenten retreat led by cathedral Dean, Priest Alexander Koranda, on Saturday, April 6, 2019.
“The retreat focused on bringing college students together for a day of prayer, fellowship and study,” said Father Alexander. “After the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the students got acquainted with one another through icebreakers and a ‘lenten cake decorating contest.”
Father Alexander also led an enlightening discussion on prayer, based of the teachings of Saint Theophan the Recluse, and discussed a variety of other topics, including Church and Society.