The weekend of June 4th through the 6th proved to be a joyful and historic event for the community of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. Starting with the arrival of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, His Grace Bishop THOMAS and Archdeacon Hans on Friday, June 4, a weekend of celebration was set in motion for the groundbreaking of the new St. George Church.
On Saturday, June 5, our beloved Hierarchs began the day by meeting with some of the parents, teachers and children of our parish. The morning consisted of a dialogue between Metropolitan PHILIP and our children, and a special arts and crafts project. The groundbreaking Ceremony was celebrated at 11:30 a.m. on the land where the new St. George Church will be constructed. Metropolitan PHILIP and Bishop THOMAS blessed and planted a wooden cross on the land where the church will be built. Parishioners, visitors and friends of St. George Church, along with local clergy, seminarians and dignitaries were in attendance.
Great Vespers was celebrated on Saturday evening followed by a dinner with the Hierarchs, Parish Council members and members of the Groundbreaking Committee. Our deepest gratitude goes to our Parish Council Chairman Matthew Deep and his wife Catherine for their leadership within our community. A special thanks also is given to Gabriel and Kim Antypas, co-chairs for the weekend's events, whose efforts made this weekend one of the most beautiful and meaningful events in the life of St. George Church.
Many faithful parishioners and clergy celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning at St. George Church. During the Hierarchical Liturgy, Metropolitan PHILIP ordained Sub-deacon Bogdan Bucur to the Holy Deaconate. Our congratulations to Deacon Bogdan and his family, AXIOS!
The weekend concluded with the Grand Banquet held at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott. The Master of Ceremonies of the banquet was Mr. Joseph Ferris, Vice-Chairman of St. George Parish Council. Over two hundred and fifty parishioners, clergy and friends of St. George, gathered for an evening of dining, fellowship and entertainment. During the dinner, a beautiful solo was sung by Carina and Natalie Antypas which truly inspired the attendees. Another highlight of the evening was a surprise celebration of Fr. Jason DelVitto's twenty-fifth anniversary as the pastor of St. George Church. Fr. Jason will celebrate his 32nd year in the Holy Priesthood this October 1. Fr. Jason was ordained by Metropolitan PHILIP at the dedication of the Antiochian Village on October 1, 1978. Sub-Deacon Paul Abernathy, a most faithful and dynamic parishioner of St. George Church and a recent graduate of St. Tikhon's Seminary, was also honored at the banquet. Paul delivered a beautiful testimony in honor of Fr. Jason. View a photo gallery created by Cheryl Ferris, here .
Photos by Lynn Stein and Cheryl Ferris