2008 Diocesan Pilgrimage and Fall Gathering, October 24th-25th


On October 24th and 25th, 2008, faithful from throughout the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America will gather at St. George Church in Kearney, Nebraska for a diocesan pilgrimage to honor Fr. Nicola Yanney, the first priest of our diocese, on the 90th anniversary of his repose.

Please join us for this historic event!

For directions, logistical information and registration, please click here.


The Reverend Nicola Yanney, a native of Fi’eh, Lebanon,  emigrated to the United States, arriving in Nebraska on December 1st, 1892. During his lifetime, Fr. Nicola was a man of several notable firsts. On April 3rd, 1904, Fr. Nicola became the first priest to be ordained by Bishop Raphael of Brooklyn after the saint’s consecration to the holy episcopacy. Taking up the cross of his priesthood and returning to his parish of St. George in Kearney, Nebraska, Fr. Nicola became the first resident Orthodox priest in what is now the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America.

During his pastorate, Fr. Nicola continued the work of his father in Christ, St. Raphael, by traveling extensively throughout the region and ministering to the scattered Orthodox faithful. Fr. Nicola spent four months of each year traveling to many places, holding services, performing baptisms, weddings and funerals, teaching the faithful and gathering Christ’s flock into parish communities. The boundaries of Fr. Nicola’s “parish” stretched from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River and from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. While serving the faithful in Kearney, Father Nicola also founded a number of parishes throughout the region.

While selflessly ministering to his flock during the epidemic of 1918, Fr. Nicola fell victim to the Spanish influenza. Visiting the sick and suffering up until his very last day, he died on October 29th, 1918.


Schedule of Events

Friday, October 24th

  • 4:00 pm—Akathist to St. Raphael at St. George
  • 5:00 pm—Blessing of Fr. Nicola’s new gravestone at the Kearney Cemetery
  • 6:00 pm—Dinner and keynote address by Bishop BASIL at the Ramada Inn

Saturday, October 25th

  • 8:45 am—Orthros at St. George
  • 10:00 am—Hierarchical Divine Liturgy
  • Noon—Lunch and address at the Ramada Inn
  • 3:00 pm—Great Vespers at St. George and the conclusion of the pilgrimage

Sunday, October 26th

His Grace Bishop BASIL will be at St. George for services on Sunday morning. Everyone is Welcome to stay!

  • 8:45 am—Orthros
  • 10:00 am—Divine Liturgy