Hermitage, PA - A new tradition began in the Pan Orthodox community of the Shenango Valley in Northwest Pennsylvania on Sunday, January 22, 2012 as parishioners from the local Orthodox parishes gathered Sunday afternoon at the Shenango River for a Theophany celebration and the blessing of the Shenango River. The Shenango River is a principal tributary of the Beaver River in western Pennsylvania. It also briefly flows through small portions of northeastern Ohio.
Among the clergy was also the Serbian Orthodox priest, Fr. Milovan Katanic of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Hermitage who also serves as President of the local Clergy Association of the Shenango Valley. This new tradition in the life of this pan Orthodox community sparked much interest and all the clergy were very pleasantly surprised at the many faithful who came and took part in this celebration.
As Fr. Calinic Berger aptly stated to the news media that were present, "... through Christ's baptism all creation is blessed....He came not just to save man, to save fallen man, to save sinners, but to re sanctify the whole creation. To give it a new genesis--a new descent of the Holy Spirit."