Strong parish turnout and a shining church greeted His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest for his first visit to Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit. On Saturday, His Grace enjoyed supper with the Parish Council, before presiding at Saturday evening Great Vespers. After Vespers, Bishop Paul shared with us a little about himself and conducted a Q&A session with parishioners.
On Sunday, His Grace was greeted by Parish Council President Ellyn Gillette with the traditional gift of bread and salt, and Fausta and Fiona Fenner bearing flowers on behalf of the parish youth.
At the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, His Grace tonsured Paul Gansle, Johnothon Sauer, and Stephen Wendland as Readers, the first stage of ordination in the Orthodox Church. Paul, Johnothon and Stephen are enrolled in the OCA Diaconal Program.
After Liturgy, a wonderful lenten meal was enjoyed by all.
We thank His Grace for his archpastoral visit, and hope he returns soon and as frequently as his busy schedule allows!
Eis Polla Eti Despota!
Scroll down for more on Bishop Paul...
Bishop Paul to visit Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit, tonsure new Readers in Diaconal Program
Saturday, March 28 through Sunday, March 29
His Grace, Bishop Paul, will arrive in Cincinnati late Saturday morning. After a lunch and getting settled at a nearby hotel, he will come to the church for a meal with the parish council at 4:30 p.m.
We will then serve Great Vespers at 6:00 p.m. We have scheduled a Q & A session with His Grace for immediately after the service. If you have a good question for Bishop Paul, please prepare it for Saturday evening.
Everyone should make an effort to be in the church about five-ten minutes before 9:00 a.m. this coming Sunday in order to greet Bishop Paul when he enters the church in order to prepare for the Divine Liturgy.
Following the Liturgy, His Grace will again briefly address the parish with our Church School students present.
Tonsuring New Readers: Three of our parishioners will be tonsured readers at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. These will be our three diaconal candidates: Paul Gansle, Johnothon Sauer and Stephen Wendland.
Following the Divine Liturgy we will serve a lunch in honor of Bishop Paul's presence among us.
We hope you can join us, for the visit of our Bishop presents the very image (icon) of the New Testament Church. As St Ignatius the God-bearer said in his epistle to the Church at Smyrna:
"Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."
Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko
March 18, 2015
ELLWOOD CITY, PA [OCA]
Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, NY, and noted Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, preacher, and speaker, fell asleep in the Lord on the afternoon of March 18, 2015.
Father Thomas was the beloved husband of Matushka Anne [Schmemann] Hopko. They were married on June 9, 1963. Together, Father Thomas and Anne are the parents of five children, sixteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Thomas John Hopko was born in Endicott, NY, on March 28, 1939, the third child and only son of John J. Hopko and Anna [Zapotocky] Hopko. He was baptized and raised in Saint Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church and educated in Endicott public schools, graduating from Union-Endicott High School in 1956.
Father Thomas graduated from Fordham University in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in Russian studies. He graduated with a theological degree from Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1963, from Duquesne University with a master’s degree in philosophy in 1969, and earned his doctorate degree in theology from Fordham University in 1982.
Ordained to the Holy Priesthood in August 1963, Father Thomas served the following parishes as pastor: Saint John the Baptist Church, Warren, OH (1963–1968); Saint Gregory the Theologian Church, Wappingers Falls, NY (1968–1978); and Saint Nicholas Church, Jamaica Estates, NY (1978–1983). Father Thomas was honored with the clerical rank of Archpriest in 1970 and the rank of Protopresbyter in 1995.
Beginning in 1968, Father Thomas began his long service to Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Over the years, Father Thomas held the following positions: Lecturer in Doctrine and Pastoral Theology, 1968–1972; Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1972–1983; Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1983–1991; Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1991–1992; Dean, Rector of Three Hierarchs Chapel, and Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1992–2002.
During his years of priestly ministry, Father Thomas authored numerous books and articles. Most well known of these publications is The Orthodox Faith: An Elementary Handbook on the Orthodox Church. A prolific speaker and preacher, he spoke at conferences, retreats, public lectures, and Church gatherings of all kinds, many of which were recorded. Father Thomas performed countless duties on behalf of the Orthodox Church in America, including representing the Church at intra-Orthodox gatherings and ecumenical meetings.
Upon retirement, Father Thomas and Anne moved to Ellwood City, PA, where they lived near the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, and Father Thomas began a new ministry: internet-based Orthodox Christian radio talks. Since 2008, Father Thomas had produced well over 400 podcasts for Ancient Faith Radio.
Read the full memorial obituary on OCA.org.
The Hopko Family Blog: Updates on visitation, service schedules and funeral. You can also read back through prior entries to see how Fr. Thomas and his family approached his death. It is very edifying and instructional for Christian families to see how a pious churchman was surrounded by loved ones and clergy during his final weeks and days, how he strived to attend the divine services, how even standing to receive Holy Communion just a week before his repose was a great blessing to him, etc.
Holy Transfiguration Monastery page on Fr. Thomas Hopko: full schedule of services and visitation, area hotels, and info is now posted on live streaming and YouTube archiving of all funeral services, beginning Friday, March 20.
The Psalms are divided into 20 sections called a kathisma. These 20 sections are divided into a group of approximately 9 Psalms (1 kathisma = 9 Psalms). You would be assigned a kathisma number to begin reading the Psalter. For example, if I assigned you #10, you would read the Psalms listed 71-77 (King James Version) for day 1 of Lent. The next day you would move onto Kathisma 11 (Psalms 78-85), & so throughout Lent. I will have a printed handout to give to you with numbering of the Psalter if you don’t own a Psalter book. This would be done every day throughout the 40 day fast. By end of Lent, you would have read the entire Psalter twice.
The prayers are made in the privacy of your home in your icon corner sitting down (kathisma = seated). You may pray the Psalms at any time of day ~ whenever you’re able. Some people pray best at night. Others pray best in the morning. If you’re in between like me, mid-day is best.
You’d begin the prayers with the Trisagion Prayer, followed by your prayers for others in your kathisma group, ending with psalms assigned for the day. As you pray for others, be encouraged that others in the group are praying for you. Please don’t become discouraged if you miss some days, it takes time to build a habit and anything you read is more than you would have read if you hadn't signed up! Weekends are my weak spot.
If you're interested in this spiritually edifying experience, please contact Jennifer.