Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff
4285 Ashland Ave, Cincinnati OH 45212 - (513) 351-0907

April 3, 2011
General website housecleaning demanded we move these 2010 news stories to a separate page. Please forgive any lack of elegant formatting for archive pages such as this!

Dec 26, 2010
Pastoral Letter for the Nativity from our Bishop-Elect, Archimandrite Matthias

Also on the Midwest Diocese page, news and articles covering Fr Matthias' confirmation and election by the Synod of the OCA, dates for his consecration and enthronement, and coverage and tributes on the first anniversary of Archbishop Job's repose.

Dec 21, 2010
On the basis of this year's very full "Lazarus basket," we have been able to assist many local residents very generously this Christmas season... Continue reading on our Ministries page...

Dec 20, 2010

Revisit our Tribute Page for Archbishop Job,
including Fr Steven's 2009 Eulogy, a Video Tribute, and links to the Midwest Diocese encomium.

Dec 15, 2010
See Slide Show on our new Photo Gallery page.
The Tonsure of Mother Paula
Dear Parish Faithful & Friends in Christ,
Our beloved former parishioner and friend in Christ, Sister Vicki Bellas, is now Mother Paula.  This was the new name, signifying a "second baptism," conferred on her, and revealed for the first time to the assembled body of the faithful, in the rite of monastic tonsure.  (Only Mother Christophora and Sister Vicki knew of this name before the tonsuring).  This blessed event occurred this last Monday on the Feast Day of St. Herman of Alaska, December 13, at the Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in Ellwood City, PA.  Despite the very real threat of severe winter weather, there were still ten persons - or pilgrims - from our parish who were there to participate.  Besides Presvytera Deborah and myself, we were joined by Dan and Cristiana Georgescu; Mickey, Alexis and Analisa Calender; Roberta Robedeau; Jeannie Markvan; and Elena Drach.  With the exception of some turbulence on the return trip along the more northerly route, the weather remained stable and the roads were clear.  As Presvytera Deborah said:  The Lord opened up the road for us!   Perhaps through the prayers of Blessed Herman of Alaska ...
This was a truly remarkable event in which the grace of God was palpably present.  The depth of commitment on the part of a monastic - a monk or nun - is not only deeply impressive; it is almost "frightening" in its implications.  For a worldly-minded person, it can only seem to be insane.  The monastic is an ascetic and a cross-bearer in the spirit of the Gospel.  She or he must fulfill the words of the Apostle Paul, that "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."  And the monastic will further say with the Apostle:  "the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."  (GAL. 5:24; 6:14)  This is no escape from the pressures and disappointments of "real life" in the world; but rather a conscious decision to move as deeply as humanly possible into the mystery of Christ crucified and risen within the "real life" of the Church.  The monastic recognizes his or her sinfulness and the depth of separation from God caused by sin.  Therefore, the heart of the monastic life is continual repentance and return to God in the spirit of humility...

Continue reading on our Meditations blog...

Dec 1, 2010
Stewardship Analysis and Pledge Forms Presented to Parish Nov 21
We had a brief post-Liturgy discussion this last Sunday (Nov 21) about parish stewardship in relation to our Stewardship/Pledge Appeal for 2011.  This discussion was, of course, far too short, and attended by a relatively small portion of our parish households.  An important part of our presentation is very well-summarized on the attachment that everyone is strongly encouraged to open and carefully study.  The Financial Stewardship Summary will give everyone a "good look" at the various levels of parish stewardship being practiced, and at your own part or place within our parish program...

Continue reading, and view the important Stewardship info and Pledge forms on our new Stewardship Page for 2011...

Scott Kenworthy introduces his landmark book on Russian Spiritual Revival

Nov 20, 2010
During a recent post-liturgy discussion, Scott Kenworthy provided an overview of his new book, The Heart of Russia: Trinity-Sergius, Monasticism, and Society after 1825.
Scott is an Orthodox Christian and a parishioner at Christ the Savior – Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.  This book is the first comprehensive analysis of the monastic revivals in Russia, presenting a fundamentally new picture of religion in modern Russia.  The case study here is Russia’s largest and most famous monastery, the Trinity-Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad, near Moscow.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church is again experiencing a revival and monasticism is playing a central role in this resurgence.  Scott’s book is based on extensive research and addresses the topic in a compelling way.  The book is available through Oxford University Press, and may be viewed and ordered through this link.

Click images to enlarge.
Click images to enlarge.
Click images to enlarge.
Author:  Scott Mark Kenworthy,
Assistant Professor of Comparative Religion, Miami University, Ohio
Oxford University Press
Hardback, 544 pages
Nov 2010,
In Stock
Price: $74.00

Sept 16, 2010
HOGAR NEWS - Mission Trip planned for 2011, Photos of Francesca's birthday party...
Full info, including dates, on the Hogar page...

Posted July 12, 2010
A Remarkable Weekend
Dear Parish Faithful,
By any and all accounts, we just concluded a remarkably full weekend in the life of our parish.  On Saturday morning, we received twelve persons into the Church through Baptism and Chrismation.  And on Sunday, we honored our eldest parish members with what we could term an Appreciation Day.  I would like to offer a brief summary and commentary on these events, especially for those who were not able to attend.
SATURDAY - Without aiming for dramatic or exaggerated effect, it is still possible to say that the reception of twelve new members into the Church on one day, remains "historic" for our parish - at least in the twenty-one years that I have served here as the parish priest.  Or, if not historic, than certainly unprecedented.  In addition, we can further describe this event as joyous and charismatic.   Continue reading on our Meditations Blog...

Prison Ministry Choir Concert
Posted April 21, 2010

Following the Liturgy on Sunday, a group from the parish visited the Warren Correctional Institute, and offered a program of Orthodox liturgical music to a gathering of about thirty-forty of the inmates.  This was organized by Terry Morgan who is a member of the Kairos Prison Ministry at the WCI, and Pat Pride, our parish choir director. I accompanied the group that consisted of:
Brian Farison, Joe and Joyce Kormos, Presbytera Deborah, Jeannie Markvan, Terry Morgan, Pat Pride (choir director), Steve Pride, and Johnothon Sauer
The program and our singing was very enthusiastically received by the gathered inmates.  Continue reading... 

Honoring Our Elders, Sunday, July 11

Dear Parish Faithful,
Yesterday, we honored all of those members of the parish who have not only been in our parish for many years, but who have been granted "many years" by God.  The life-span envisioned in the Bible is "three score and ten years," and for the strong another ten; but our "elder" parishioners have all gone well beyond that!  The six members thus honored were:  Catherine Bitsoff, Vasilka Bitsoff, Tatiana Kovalenko, Marie Sim, Sophie Tyirin, and Nick Tarpoff - though Marie Sim, regrettably, was not able to attend.  Although our parish "matriarchs" and "patriarch" were quite aware of the planned celebration, we were still able to surprise them in ways that they found quite moving...  Continue reading on our Meditations Blog...

See the Summer Slide Show for more photos of this special Sunday!
Our Nativity Charity 2010

Dec 21, 2010

Dear Parish Faithful,

On the basis of this year's very full "Lazarus basket," we have been able to assist many local residents very generously this Christmas season.  In addition to Kroger gift cards and our food pantry (which has had multiple visitors for many days now), we have also hired a very needy neighbor for keeping our sidewalks, steps and entrance ramp to the church clean.  We further assisted the three immigrant families that were provided to us by my daughter Sophia's work at the YWCA.  These are extremely poor families with children in great need.  All three families were supplied with many fine gifts, all nicely wrapped and presented.  The gifts were picked up this morning, and the woman in charge was very impressed by the extent, quality and appearance of the gifts.  She was very thankful to the parish.  I would like to further thank our parish "shoppers" who took the time and made the effort to see this project through so well.

in Christ,
Fr. Steven