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Ellwood City, PA:  Archimandrite Pitirim [Stehnach] honored on 90th birthday

Fr Pitirim

The Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA was the site of the celebration of the 90th birthday of Archimandrite Pitirim [Stehnach] on August 15, 2018, the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

“Father Pitirim has been a friend and supporter of the monastery for its entire 50 year history, having been present at its consecration and serving and assisting the monastery in many ways,” said Mother Christophora, Abbess.  “He has offered encouragement to the monastery’s abbesses and sisterhood consistently throughout the years.”

The celebration was hosted by the nuns, local friends, and family members, many of whom shared reminiscences and anecdotes highlighting Father Pitirim’s deep kindness, spiritual strength and practical wisdom.

A native of Johnstown, PA, Father Pitirim joined the US Navy and served as a medic for the Marines and Navy serving in the US, France, Germany and Russia.  Upon discharge, he enrolled at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, located at that time in New York City, where he served as “starosta.”  After his ordination to the priesthood, he served Saint Gregory Church, Poughkeepsie, NY and Saint Andrew Church, Lyndora, PA.  He subsequently was assigned personal aid to His Eminence, the late Archbishop Kirill of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania and Rector of Holy Resurrection Church, Forest Hills, PA.  He later assisted at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Jeanette, PA and Saint John the Baptist Church, Black Lick, PA until his retirement on his 85th birthday.  For the past five years, he has resided at Northview Estates, Ellwood City, PA, which allows him to worship frequently at Transfiguration Monastery and Saint Elias Parish, also in Ellwood City.

Birthday greetings may be sent to Father Pitirim at Northview Estates, 945 Border Ave., Ellwood City, PA 16117.

New Haven, CT: Fr. Michael Westerberg honored during archpastoral visit


The parishioners, friends and guests of Holy Transfiguration Church, New Haven, CT, welcomed His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon on Sunday, August 12, 2018 as their Rector, Archpriest Michael Westerberg, was accorded the high honor of wearing the priestly miter.

Father Michael and Matushka Lydia have served Holy Transfiguration Church for nearly 38 years.  Prior to his assignment to the parish, they served Holy Resurrection Church, Berlin, NH.  In 1966, while in college, he had been drafted and served in Germany and Vietnam.  Upon his return to the United States, he worked at a Wall Street brokerage firm until he completed his studies at West Virginia’s Salem College.  A 1975 graduate of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, he was ordained to the diaconate in 1974 and to the priesthood in January 1975.


In presenting the miter to Father Michael on behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Nikon commended Father Michael for his pastoral ministry and service to his parish and for his commitment to the Diocese of New England, which he has served as Dean and Chancellor, and to the Orthodox Church in America, for which he served as Chair of the Department of Pastoral Life, Group Leader of the Clergy Pension Plan, diocesan representative to the Metropolitan Council, and in other capacities.  He continues to mentor seminarian interns from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary at a VA Hospital and advises Yale University’s Orthodox Christian Fellowship chapter.

Among those who concelebrated at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy were Archpriests Steven Belonick and Steven Voytovich and Protodeacon Paul Nimchek.  A lenten brunch followed services, at which faithful and friends personally congratulated Father Michael for his many years of service and ministry.

Moscow, Russia:  STOTS grads ministering in Russia celebrate Feast of St. Herman at St. Catherine Representation Church


For the first time in history, graduates of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary [STOTS], South Canaan, PA who are serving in Russia gathered at the Orthodox Church in America’s Representation Church of Saint Catherine to celebrate the Feast of Saint Herman of Alaska on August 9, 2018.

“The OCA gave us our theological education, and I hope that this will be a beginning of a new annual tradition,” said Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, Dean of the parish and OCA Representative to the Moscow Patriarchate, who is a STOTS graduate.


Concelebrating the festal Liturgy with Father Daniel were Archpriest Aleksy Kurenkov, Rector of the Belgorod Theological Seminary; Hegumen Joseph [Kryukov], Acting Rector of the Moscow Representation of the Savior-Transfiguration Valaam MonaTsery; Archpriest Valery Bulannikov, Rector of Saint Nicholas Church, Novaya Sloboda, Moscow; and the parish clergy.

At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Father Daniel read greetings from His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, STOTS Rector, who sent “heartfelt congratulations, prayerful good wishes and an expression of sincere love” for the graduates and their ongoing ministries.

Los Angeles, CA:  Fourth Annual Pan-Orthodox Music Festival to feature LA area choirs


The choir of the Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA will be among the choirs slated to perform at the fourth annual Pan-Orthodox Music Festival of Greater Los Angeles at Saint Steven Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, Alhambra, CA on Saturday, August 25.  Sponsored by LA’s Pan-Orthodox Young Adult Choir, the concert will feature choirs from several regional parishes who will offer selections reflecting the concert theme, “Psalms and Hymns.”

The concert, followed by a reception, will begin at 3:00 p.m.  Vespers will be celebrated at 6:00 p.m.  The program is open to the public.  Admission is free.

Additional information may be obtained by calling 626-284-9100 or by sending a request to

Clearwater Beach, FL:  Orthodox Christian Attorneys Conference to be held October 12-13


The second annual conference of the Orthodox Christian Attorneys’ Network [OCAN] will be held at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Hotel October 12-13, 2018.  The event will afford Orthodox Christian attorneys the opportunity to learn how to serve our Lord together through their profession while building relationships across jurisdictions.

The conference theme—“Stewardship of Our Hearts and Minds in the Legal Profession”—will be developed by keynote speaker Stephanos Bibas, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  Participants also may attend sessions of the Christian Legal Society Conference, which will be held concurrently.

Additional information and registration details are available online.

In related news, OCAN’s work was recently the subject of a podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.