Metropolitan PHILIP and Bishop THOMAS led the Cathedral community of St. George in Pittsburgh to celebrate their centennial, the 30th ordination anniversary and elevation of their dean to the rank of Archimandrite, the tenth ordination anniversary of their Deacon Ned, and the celebration of their dedicated church singers who have already served the Church between 50 and 75 years. This community is thankful to God for all that He has done in this community this last century.
The weekend began with Metropolitan PHILIP’s five hour journey from Englewood. Travel these days is rarely without delays and difficulties. Nevertheless, the Metropolitan arrived and offered the Cathedral leadership inspiration and encouragement. The Cathedral leadership shared their dreams and hopes for a parish center to house the Church school and develop opportunities for learning and spiritual growth. Sayidna spoke of his life’s journey and God’s successes in our Archdiocese through prayer, faithfulness and fortitude. Sayidna recognized the faithfulness of our community and our rich history as a leading community in the Archdiocese. He remembered many of our faithful clergy and laity and highlighted their contributions. The community shared some of the exciting programs and activities that we have initiated.
Vespers were served and the Byzantine choir did a fine job. Deacon Hans remarked that it reminded him of his youth at Balamand. Vespers were followed by a variety show that was organized by Chris Trbovich. We offered a tribute to those chanters and choir members who have served faithfully for 50 – 75 years. Our Cathedral has been blessed with great church musicians and leaders including Fr. James Meena, Jimmy Meena, Al Hazeem, Laila Corey, Nancy Hanna Long and Hanna Baker.
Attending the weekend were many parishioners who traveled home from across America. The community was especially blessed to have former clergy wives Pat Romly, Laila Corey and Janet David. Ruth Meena had planned to come but health problems prevented her from coming at the last minute. She sent a beautiful message.
 The Sunday Hierarchical Liturgy was nothing less than heavenly. Following Orthros with our Byzantine choir, Metropolitan PHILIP and Bishop THOMAS, assisted by six priests, four deacons and two subdeacons, served the liturgy with our beautiful cathedral choir. The choir was spectacular. Bishop THOMAS preached about the gift of the Church as the way of our salvation. Following the liturgy Fr. John was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite and nine members were inducted or upgraded in the Order of St. Ignatius. Following the dismissal, a photograph was taken of the whole community with our Metropolitan and Bishop in front of the Cathedral.
On Sunday evening our Centennial Banquet took place at the Airport Marriot. The evening began with a reception displaying artifacts of our history. Program books with our history included and DVD’s showing our history and vision for the future were distributed. The head-table processed into the banquet room while our bell choir played ispol-eti-thespota with their hand bells. Council Chair Rachel Thomas welcomed the assembly and thanked our hard working committees. Richard Esper and Bill Salem shared insights about the history of our community. Bishop THOMAS spoke about our cathedral, our priest and our Metropolitan. Sayidna PHILIP reflected on his interactions with our community over the last half century and his dreams and hopes of administrative unity for the Orthodox in the future. The evening was finished with a tribute to the Centennial of a trumpet choir and the serving of baked Alaska.
The Cathedral community thanks God for all of the blessings we have enjoyed during our first century and pledges to be open to God’s direction as we serve Him and His people over the next century.