Hermitage, Pa – The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Hermitage, Pa celebrated their Church Slava on Sunday May 4, 2008. His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, assisted by parish priest Protonamesnik Rev. Milovan Katanic and Diocesan Secretary Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.
In his words to the faithful Bishop Mitrophan told of how St. Seraphim of Sarov used to greet everyone with the words “Christ is risen, my joy”. Very often, the bishop pointed out, we only coldly greet each other with the Paschal greeting or the Nativity greeting, words we hear over and over in our churches. Yet, the beauty of our faith is in our greeting one another with our entire beings, in our joy of the feast. The bishop spoke in depth about the Apostle St. Thomas as this was Thomas Sunday. The doubt that the apostle Thomas had, the bishop mentioned, is not to be confused with anything atheistic. Rather, his doubt is his little faith which His Grace even compared to our doubts when we don't agree with a certain teaching our church holds, when we disagree with the words of the bishop, or the priest or even Holy Scripture.
Cross bearer, fans, banners, flags, the Slava kolach and icon led the bishop, priest and deacon out of the church for the Slava Litiya after the prayer before the ambon, while the cutting of the Slava kolach with this year's kum, Mr. Milos Miodrag, was officiated by His Grace in the church hall. Remarks were made at the slava banquet by the church board president, the kum, the parish priest and His Grace Bishop Mitrophan. Special guest speaker was D. Hunter Haynes of the Orthodox Christian Advocacy Institute who gave a moving presentation about the sufferings of Christians, particularly the Orthodox, throughout the world who are, as he pointed out, the most persecuted peoples in the world today.