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  • Fr. John-Brian
    MEDIA RELEASE / ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA PO Box 675 Syosset, New York 11791-0675 Contact: The Very Rev. John Matusiak OCA Communications Director
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2005
      PO Box 675
      Syosset, New York 11791-0675

      Contact: The Very Rev. John Matusiak
      OCA Communications Director
      info@... or tocmed@...


      SOUTH CANAAN, PA [OCA Communications] -- While it is estimated by some
      observers of the American scene that many churches and religious
      institutions have a life-span of less than a century, North America's
      oldest Orthodox Christian monastery has not only survived for a century,
      but continues to expand its work and witness.

      His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, primate of the Orthodox Church in
      America [OCA], will preside at the centennial celebration of Saint Tikhon
      of Zadonsk Monastery, South Canaan, PA, at a pilgrimage to be held Memorial
      Day weekend.

      "Founded by the Priestmonk Arseny Chagovetz in 1905 with the blessing of
      then-Archbishop Tikhon Bellavin of North America, the monastery church was
      consecrated on May 30 of the following year," said the Very Rev. John
      Matusiak, OCA communications director. "Built with donations from
      hard-working central and eastern European immigrants who settled in
      Pennsylvania's coal and steel regions and throughout the northeast, the
      monastery has served as a center of Orthodox Christian spirituality and
      education for a century."

      The original monastery community consisted of several monks and an
      orphanage. In 1938, the adjacent Saint Tikhon's Seminary was established
      by the Church's Holy Synod of Bishops. Today, the seminary boasts an
      enrollment of nearly 70 students from across North America and abroad,
      double the number of seminarians studying just a few decades ago.

      Over the years, Orthodox Christian faithful have flocked to the monastery
      during its annual Memorial Day weekend pilgrimage for worship and
      fellowship and to pray at the gaves of their loved ones interred in the
      monastery's cemetery. Dozens of additional buildings and shrines have been
      erected on the monastery grounds over the years, including a new bookstore
      and museum
      honoring the OCA's former primate, Metropolitan Theodosius, who retired in
      2002 after suffering a series of mini-strokes.

      "The centennial pilgrimage is expected to attract thousands of faithful and
      visitors," Father Matusiak added. "The entire episcopacy of the OCA will
      be joined by guest hierarchs, hundreds of clergy, and a mass choir of
      hundreds of voices for the pilgrimage services, which will begin on Friday
      evening, May 27 on the monastery grounds."

      The pilgrimage will end on Monday, May 30, with the celebration of the
      Eucharistic Liturgy by Metropolitan Herman, members of the OCA episcopacy,
      and numerous other hierarchs, and a number of other liturgical services. A
      set of bells marking the centennial will also be blessed.

      The Orthodox Church in America traces its roots to the arrival of Orthodox
      missionaries in Alaska in 1794. Today, the OCA embraces over 700 parishes,
      missions, and institutions across the US, Canada, and Mexico. The Church
      also maintains some 20 other monastic communities.

      Additional information and a schedule of pilgrimage services and events are
      available on the OCA web site at www.oca.org, or may be obtained by
      contacting the OCA communications department at info@....

      -- END --
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