In honor of their patronal feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs and in anticipation of the construction of their phase 1 building program in 2015, the clergy and faithful of Saint Basil Mission here blessed their recently acquired property as part of a two-day celebration January 29-30, 2015.
Joining Priest Peter Robichau, Priest-in-Charge, and the mission’s clergy and faithful were other clergy from throughout the region, including Archpriest Thomas Moore, Dean of the Carolinas Deanery; Archpriest Jon Emanuelson, Rector of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Wilmington, NC; Archpriest Regis Alexoudis, who is attached to Saint Nicholas Church; and Priest John Parker, who chairs the OCA Department of Evangelization.
On Thursday evening, many faithful gathered at the 7.5 acre lot for the celebration of a Service of Prayer with the Blessing of Land, after which a banquet was held at the University of North Carolina. With over 100 people in attendance, Father John spoke on the importance of the spiritual life in the work of missions and evangelization. He also commended the Wilmington community for its blossoming, organic pan-Orthodox ministries. The parishes of Saint Basil and Saint Nicholas, the only two Orthodox Christian communities in the region, co-sponsor many major outreach events and ministries, and many close bonds have developed between the laity and clergy as a result. The banquet concluded as Father Peter asked the attendees to fuel their great momentum through increased prayer, service and sacrificial giving.
The celebration continued on the morning of January 30 with a celebration of the Divine Liturgy, followed by a reception and fellowship.
Saint Basil Mission was planted in 2007 by several families who desired to begin an OCA mission in North Carolina’s only major coastal city. In 2010, Father Peter was assigned as the first resident priest, while Priest Timothy Yates joined Saint Basil’s as assistant priest in 2013.
“Our new ‘home’ is in a rapidly growing part and highly visible part of town,” said Father Peter. “Development is focused on erecting a 4000 square foot Phase 1 building that will enable us to move from our rented facilities while establishing a home base for continued growth and ministry. Our plans include establishing a cemetery for the region’s Orthodox Christians and devoting several acres to community outreach.”