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Bozeman, MT: Mission “graduates” to parish status

The faithful of St. Anthony Church celebrate “graduation” to parish status.

Priest David Morrison and the faithful of Saint Anthony the Great Church, Bozeman, MT recently celebrated their community’s “blessed graduation” to parish status.  Joining them were Deans Archpriest Matthew Tate and Archpriest Anthony Karbo and many friends from Montana and beyond.

“After beautiful services, we roasted a lamb and celebrated God’s faithfulness that has led a community that began with just a few meeting in a living room in the 1990s to now—a parish that owns over seven acres of land and a great building with a Sunday attendance of 100-plus,” said Father David.  “We are planning for continued growth and expansion in the glorious mountains of SW Montana.”

The children of St. Anthony Church enjoy a special visit from St. Nicholas!

Priests from the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the West began serving in the Bozeman area over five years before the community received formal mission status in 1999.  Earlier, the faithful either drove two hours to Billings or one hour to Butte for services.  From the summer of 2001 through the spring of 2012, Priest Peter Tobias served the community, followed by Priest Damian Kuolt.  In June 2013, Father David arrived in Bozeman with Matushka Photini and their three children to serve Saint Anthony’s.  As the mission grew, the parishioners purchased land west of Bozeman, paid for it over a few years, and built their first worship space in 2014.

Follow the growth of Saint Anthony the Great Church online.

West Point, NY:  Fr. Joseph Frawley honored at St. Martin Chapel

west point
Archbishop Michael with Fr. Joseph and Presvytera Irene Frawley and West Point cadets.

On Sunday, January 21, 2018, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael presented a Synodal Gramota to Archpriest Joseph Frawley, Chaplain at Saint Martin Chapel at West Point, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.  The presentation was made at the conclusion of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.

Outreach to Orthodox Christian cadets began in 1962.  Father Joseph has faithfully ministered at Saint Martin Chapel and to the cadets it serves since 1998.  For many years, he has worked with the OCA’s Department of History and Archives.  He also edits the “Lives of the Saints” section of the OCA website.

During his visit, Archbishop Michael presented a new antimension containing the relics of the Holy New Martyr Saint Hilarion [Troitsky], who fell asleep in the Lord in 1929.

Cincinnati, OH:  Third edition of Fr. Steven Kostoff’s Divine Liturgy book now available online


The third edition of The Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church: Meaning, Preparation and Practice, written by Archpriest Steven Kostoff, Rector of Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Church, Cincinnati, OH and a regular contributor to the Orthodox Church in America website, is now available for purchase online.

In this slim but richly insightful guide to the pinnacle of Orthodox Christian worship, Father Steven expresses the renewal of liturgical theology set forth by the late Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, who defined it as “the elucidation of the meaning of worship.”  Uniting Scripture, theology and doxology with a practical discussion of the many facets of our liturgical actions, Father Steven helps the reader understand and enter into the heart of worship as “the revelation and expression of our Orthodox Faith.”  Seekers, catechumens and Orthodox Christian faithful alike will be blessed by this trustworthy and inspiring guide to the Divine Liturgy and the Life in Christ.

This Third Edition also features a new Epilogue by the author, “Great Vespers and Christian Martyria,” and a new article titled “Eucharistic Beings.”

Norway:  St. Vladimir’s Seminary graduate becomes Norway’s first Orthodox military chaplain

With Royal Norwegian Navy Chaplains—from left, LCDR Hans Kenneth Sundsbø, Fr. Jerome Cwiklinski, Fr. Theodore Svane, and Commander Gudmund Waaler.

Norse contacts with Eastern Christendom, including the establishment of the Rurik dynasty of Russia, are historic.  While the Christianity of the north leaned to the West following the Great Schism and the Protestant Reformation, the Orthodox Church recently opened a new chapter in Norway’s history with the commissioning of the country’s first Orthodox Navy and Armed Forces Chaplain.

Priest Theodore [Thor] Svane, a 2015 graduate of Saint Vladimir Seminary, Yonkers, NY, returned to Norway in June 2017 after his five-year sojourn in America that included an internship with the Diocese of the West at Saint Seraphim of Sarov Church, Santa Rosa, CA and at Saint Katherine Mission, Carlsbad, CA.  During his time in California, he came into contact with former Orthodox Chaplains, including the late Mitred Archpriest Michael Margitich, a retired US Air Force Chaplain, and Archpriest Jerome Cwiklinski, who retired from active duty with the US Navy in 2014.

Father Theodore, a former Sailor and Chaplain Assistant in the Royal Norwegian Navy, was always intrigued by the ministry of the Lutheran Chaplains he supported, in what was then a State-Church enterprise.  Increased diversity within Norway’s military ranks caused the Lutheran Church to relinquish its exclusive institutional role, thereby granting access to other faiths.  Along with contracted Catholic priests, Father Theodore is now one of a very few non-Lutheran clergy serving among Norway’s 55 armed forces chaplains—and the only Orthodox Christian doing so.

Though Father Theodore also wears a uniform, his cassock is more and more a familiar sight on Bergen’s Naval Base—the Norwegian counterpart to Norfolk or San Diego—as home port to Norway’s fleet.  Like his Lutheran colleagues, he provides prayer, spiritual counsel, and a ministry of presence while teaching ethics—a prescribed role for Norwegian Chaplains—to his assigned units.  His unique liturgical and sacramental role will have a much broader application throughout the armed forces.

Unless at sea, Norwegian chaplains are not obliged to provide worship on their bases, but help foster support in the civilian community by assisting at neighboring parishes.  Father Theodore is thus able to assist at Holy Transfiguration Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, but hopes to establish an all-Norwegian language Orthodox mission.  The Orthodox Church in Norway includes approximately 35 parishes of seven jurisdictions.  Father Theodore belongs to the Russian Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Father Jerome and Matushka Wendy Cwiklinski recently were hosted in Bergen, Norway, by Father Theodore and his family.  During their stay, Father Jerome met Navy chaplains and their assistants, including the senior Navy Chaplain Commander Gudmund Waaler.  Father Theodore had worked as Gudmund’s assistant in their respective early Navy careers.  Even then, Chaplain Gudmund discerned Father Theodore’s vocation and is especially proud to see it come to fruition during their mutual active service.