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Marblehead Orthodox church celebrates 100 years

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061007/NEWS10/61007069/-1/NEWS Toledo Blade, Ohio Article published Saturday, October 7, 2006 Marblehead
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2006
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      http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061007/NEWS10/61007069/-1/NEWS
      Toledo Blade, Ohio

      Article published Saturday, October 7, 2006

      Marblehead Orthodox church celebrates 100 years of history

      By DAVID YONKE
      BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

      Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Marblehead will celebrate the 100th
      anniversary of its consecration with special services today and tomorrow.

      The church itself was founded in 1898 and is the second-oldest Orthodox
      Church in Ohio, said the Rev. David Lis, pastor. The congregation
      originally met in the Marblehead Congregational Church and members dug the
      foundation of the new facility by hand.

      The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church instructed Bishop Tikhon —
      now Saint Tikhon — to bless the church cornerstone, consecrate the temple,
      and conduct the first services in the new building in 1906.

      “It is a small parish church built by parishioners from stone from the
      stone quarry right here,” Father David said.

      The church, like most traditional Orthodox churches, had no pews when it
      was built but they have been added, he said. The church usually has 30 to
      40 people at its Sunday services, and can seat 65 people easily.

      On Pascha, or Easter, 81 people attended the service in Holy Assumption,
      the pastor said. “It was packed. We couldn’t get any more people in here if
      we wanted.”

      Metropolitan Theodosius, now living in retirement in Pennsylvania, and
      Archbishop Job, of Chicago, will preside at the consecration of the altar
      this weekend by putting relics inside the wooden liturgical furniture,
      Father David said.

      The relics will be of St. Ignatius of Ubleczna, a Polish saint who was
      martyred by the Nazis, and one of St. Tikhon that will be brought to
      Marblehead by Metropolitan Theodosius.

      Father David, 56, is a native Toledoan and a graduate of Central Catholic
      High School and Orchard Lake Seminary in Michigan.

      He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the Toledo diocese, left the
      priesthood, and eventually was ordained in the Orthodox Church. He said it
      was “a 14-year journey” that led him to the Orthodox Church.

      When the late Rev. Raphael Biernacki invited him to attend a liturgy at St.
      George Orthodox Church on Oswald Street in Toledo, “the moment I walked
      into that church ... I knew I was home,” Father David said. “After the
      liturgy, I said, ‘Dear brother, where do I sign?’ ”

      The vespers service will be at 6 tonight and the divine liturgy at 9:30
      a.m. tomorrow at Holy Assumption Orthodox Church, 114 Main St., Marblehead.
      Information: 419-798-4591 or online at www.holyassumptionmarblehead.org.
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