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Special Celebrations at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA










 By Fr. George Alberts

In the past few months, our parish of St. Mary in Wilkes-Barre, PA had cause to celebrate several special occasions in the life our parish. (View the photo album.)

On Sunday, May 20th, we celebrated the 100th Birthday of our pastor emeritus, the V. Rev. Fr. Herbert Nahas. Fr. Herb made a special point of personally greeting all of the parishioners and guests as they entered the church hall following the Divine Liturgy. Our Parish Council Chairman, John Moses, welcomed our parishioners and visitors from the community who have known and loved Fr. Herb over the many years of his service to our parish of St. Mary. A letter of congratulations from Metropolitan JOSEPH was read by our pastor, the V. Rev. Fr. George Alberts, and Fr. Herb was presented with a citation from the mayor of Wilkes-Barre, Tony George. He also later received citations from the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives. Fr. Herb gave a heart-felt thank you to everyone and blew out the candles on his birthday cake before taking his leave. We pray that Fr. Herb will be with us for many more years!

Less than one month later, on Sunday, June 10th we were honored to have our Bishop THOMAS with us for his pastoral visit. At the Divine Liturgy that Sunday, he ordained Joseph Clark to the Holy Diaconate. Deacon Joseph, who has been a member of our parish for the past 2 years, will be entering his 3rd year as a student at St. Tikhon's Seminary. May God grant Dn. Joseph and Rebecca many, many years!

Following the Divine Liturgy, Bishop THOMAS presented the Certificate of Meritorious Service of our Antiochian Archdiocese to our own Deacon John Karam. He commended him for his long-time service to our parish which spanned for more than 50 years. Deacon John continues to serve with us and we pray that God will grant him many, many more years!

Continuing with the celebration of that Sunday, we honored our High School Graduates, Sara Abdo, Issa Dahdal, Joshua Moses and Rachel Veniamin. They received the Orthodox Study Bible, the Pocket Prayer Book, and a small Icon of the Dormition to remember our parish wherever life may lead them. May God grant them many, many years!

Following the blessing of Bishop Thomas for our graduates, Khouriye Carol Alberts spoke about our Church School program and recognized our Church School Teachers and students. 

Later that month we were pleased to have a Teen Bible Bowl team, the first in many years, to participate at the PLC at the Antiochian Village. We had the sibling team of Rachel, Nicola and Kyrill Veniamin as our parish representatives.

For all of these things, and much more, we are thankful to God for His many blessings in celebrating these joyous occasions within the life of our parish family of St. Mary.