Diocese: Diocese of the South
Deanery: Southcentral Deanery
St Dimitri of Rostov Orthodox Church is a mission of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)—the “autocephalous” or “self-governing” Church of North America—the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The Orthodox Church in America is the “daughter” of the Russian Orthodox Church, which brought the Orthodox Christian Faith to the North America continent in Alaska in 1794. The Church moved its headquarters to San Francisco shortly after the purchase of Alaska, and later to New York City. Autocephaly was granted from the Patriarchate of Moscow to the OCA in 1970.
Since 1996, the community of St Dimitri of Rostov, a mission of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), met in various rented and borrowed locations in the Santa Fe and Los Alamos area. In late 1998, at the suggestion of His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri, we searched for a location in Los Alamos. On February 1, 1999, and after much prayer, the community was able to move into its more “permanent” location, in the center of the town of Los Alamos. Though small in numbers, we were able to quickly furnish the chapel space with an iconostas and several beautiful hand-written icons. We celebrated our first Divine Liturgy on February 13, followed immediately by a wedding. This was truly a blessed day!
Fr George Sondergaard, of All Saints of North America in Albuquerque, NM, served as our priest, driving up each Saturday from Albuquerque, some 100 miles to the south, until Fr Antonio Perdomo arrived in September 2000. In January of 2002, Fr. Perdomo was assigned to Pharr, TX. In December 2003, the community relocated from its prior location in the commercial center to a larger property in a residential area which includes both a residence and a small chapel. In January 2004, Father Gavril Bulz was assigned to serve as priest for our community. Father Gavril was formerly priest at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Baia-Mare, Romania. Fr. Gavril also served the Mission of the Nativity of Our Lord in Alburquerque, NM.
Mid-year 2006, Fr. Gavril was transferred to Phoenix, AZ to serve in the Romanain Diocese under His Eminence NATHANIEL.
In November 2006, John Hennies was ordained to the Priesthood by His Eminence DMITRI at Saint Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas and was assigned as Priest-in-charge. With Fr. John’s presence and pastoral care, the community has been able to celebrate services each week and on all feast days. The mission has grown in members through chrismation and through efforts to make all in the local community aware that there is an Orthodox Church in Los Alamos. These efforts include inviting the community to share traditional ethnic dinner and Blini Breakfast, offering of a week-long icon painting workshop, and, recently, the completion of a bell tower with a prominent onion dome.
Our community, serving Los Alamos, Santa Fe, and northern New Mexico, is located in beautiful mountains, in the town of Los Alamos and is made up of firmly committed Orthodox, many of whom are converts, finding the true Church after varied journeys to the Church.
For more information on Los Alamos, see www.losalamos.org