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St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA Celebrates 110 Years

The 110th anniversary of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA was celebrated over the weekend of October 10-12, 2014. 

For the weekend Bishop Thomas presided over all of the events. On Friday morning the parish had the funeral of the oldest parishioner, Lorraine George, who was 98. Bishop Thomas arrived before to be able to serve the funeral.

On Friday evening there was a potluck dinner to which the parishioners brought many different kinds of delicious fast-day foods.  

On Saturday, Bishop Thomas went to visit his family’s restaurant in Wilkes-Barre and enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers from Abe’s Restaurant on Main Street. He reminisced there about his family during the meal. (View the photo gallery of the festive weekend.)

On Saturday evening Great Vespers was presided over by Bishop Thomas, and several seminary students from St. Tikhon’s Seminary chanted. In addition, two of the former pastors of St. Mary’s, Fr. Mark Sahady and his family, and Fr. John Winfrey, arrived for the occasion and they also joined in the chanting. On Sunday, Fr. Thomas Zain, another former pastor and the current Vicar-General of the Antiochian Archdiocese, along with his family, joined the celebration at the Banquet. Vespers was followed by a dinner of Kibbee Iros and Arabic and American music. The parishioners enjoyed dancing during the Hafli.

On Sunday morning there was Orthros and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy which was served by Bishop Thomas, Fr. David Hester, pastor of St. Mary’s, and Fathers Mark Sahady and John Winfrey, as well as Dn. John Karam, and several subdeacons. Bishop Thomas spoke in his sermon about the Gospel passage of the day, reminding the parishioners of the importance of their service to Christ in his Holy Church.

That afternoon there was a grand banquet. During the banquet a parishioner and his acoustic trio played music which was much enjoyed by all. At the banquet Bishop Thomas spoke of many memories he had of visiting St. Mary’s in his youth when he came to visit his grandparents and his relatives in Wilkes-Barre. Father David spoke about the many contributions of the parishioners and the hard work that they do so constantly for the parish. Suanne Moses, the chair of the Parish Council, thanked the many people who put in countless hours to prepare for the weekend celebration.

It was a weekend that all appreciated and that will be remembered for years to come.