Dear Parish Clergy and Faithful:
As we near the end of a very challenging year, our OCA Holy Synod of Bishops has issued an Encyclical of Hope. You can access the text here. Please take a moment to read this text as we prepare for the new year.
With prayers and love in Chirst,
Dn. Timothy Skuby, attached to St. Alexis Church, has circulated a brief communication concerning how to support Fr. Steven Hosking and his family in their grief following the untimely death of their son, Luke. You can see that communication here. Please consider offering your financial support.
His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada, and Locum Tenens of the Diocese of New England, has offered a Nativity message to our Orthodox Church in America. You can find the letter here. May we be encouraged by his words to us as we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
We have received a blessing to reopen the church! Our parish council has oriented itself to assisting our faithful, no more than 25, to attend services at church. Each week we will celebrate a daily Vespers (likely either Tuesday or Thursday), and Saturday Divine Liturgy.
To reserve a place for you, and members of your family, here are three options:
1. You can complete a google form (either clicking here, or scroll down)
2. You can e-mail our church e-mail address letting us know who you are and how many you plan to have attend with you
3. You can phone in using the church number: 203. 387.3882, touching 0 to leave a message. Please indicate who you are, a phone number to reach you back, and how many family members you plan to bring with you.
We look forward to seeing you back at church!
While the difficulties of Covid19 may be a temptation to do away with Christmas cheer, Three Saints Church will still be sponsoring their annual St. Tikhon’s Seminary Concert. Obviously, this concert will use a live stream format. The singers will perform before our eyes with live interaction from our hosts.
This year’s concert will be performed online on Sunday, December 6th, at 7 PM. As you may recall, there has never been a set fee for the concert but we usually pass a basket for a freewill offering. Since this too will not be possible, we are reaching out asking for donations to support the needs of St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
You can simply make a donation, either directly to St. Tikhon's Seminary online here, or write out a check to St. Tikhon's Seminary and send to Three Saints Church, 26 Howard Avenue, Ansonia, CT 06401. They are also looking for sponsors with gifts being available for each level (as received from Three Saints) if donations are received by December 1st:
Level One: $150 donation -- Chocolate St. Nicholas, handmade and packaged by Fr. Patrick
Level Two: $300 donation -- Concert Wine -- Fr. Patrick will hand-deliver a bottle of wine for you to enjoy while your watching the concert.
Level Three: $500 donation -- CD Requiem -- Alexander Kastalsky World Premier, featuring St. Tikhon's Choir, directed by Leonard Slatkin.
Level Four: $1,000 -- 1 chocolate St. Nicholas, 1 bottle of wine, 1 CD, and an exclusive invitation to join an online preconcert happy hour with The Rev. Dr. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon's
Your donation will go far to help the future priests in our country and to care for their families who have made great sacrifices to follow Christ’s call to priestly formation. Thank you in advance for your support of theological education and for helping the world wide church in helping to train priests to continue the mission of Christ’s Holy Church. Please see the Flyer here for more information. You may also call Fr. Patrick Burns at 203-734-3988.
As many of our parishes are now again in a red-zone with respect to the coronavirus, His Beatitude, our Metropolitan Tikhon, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of New England, forwarded a letter to all our parishes, as of Nov. 21st. You can find the letter here. He urges caution while we continue to serve the needs of our parish faithful. Included in his letter is a request that we restrict our services at church to Liturgy, with all othe services and meetings continuing thorugh virtual means.
Dear Clergy and Faithful of Holy Transfiguration Church:
We recently received a letter from His Beatitude related to the recent coronavirus spike in New England. You can see the letter here. Today, October 29th, New Haven formally reverted to Phase II, also related to this spike. Our attendance levels remain in accordance with Phase II civil guidance, and so though no changes are currently being made, we continue to actively monitor the situation and will continue with the protocol we have been using for those attending church. Should the situation require greater restrictions, we will communicate with everyone exactly what that will mean.
Word was received yesterday, October 19th, that His Beatitude, our former Metropolitan Theodosius fell asleep in the Lord. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon shared a letter with our New England Diocese. You can view the letter here.
Please pray for the soul of the newly departed Metropolitan Theodosius, who served as the Primate of the OCA for 25 years.
Archpriest John Kreta, Chancellor of the Diocese of New England, sent the following note out last evening with a letter attached from His Beatitude, our Most Blessed Tikhon, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of New England. His letter opens the door for nominations for a new bishop for the Diocese of New England. You can find his letter here. The deadline for responding is August 31st.
[Dear Brothers in Christ,
Christ is in our Midst!
Please find attached a letter from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of New England, seeking nominations and explaining the procedures that we will follow for the election of a new bishop for our Diocese.
As stated in his letter, any member in good standing is invited to nominate a candidate for this high office, therefore, I ask you to ensure that this letter is communicated to all of your faithful parishioners in whatever way(s) you feel most appropriate and effective, i.e, emails, mailings, announcements in Church or church bulletins, etc.
May our Good Lord give us wisdom, guidance and discernment in seeking His Holy Will for a new bishop for the Diocese of New England.
Sincerely in the Lord,
Archpriest John Kreta
Chancellor, Diocese of New England
Archpriest Theodore Jurewicz visited us in late June to complete remaining iconography in our church. He began by restoring iconography that was damaged due to water leaks. Most recently he completed the iconography up in the choir loft that is featured in one of the photos. Additionally two icons of American saints were requested and paid for, that he completed while here: St. Herman of Alaska, and St. Raphael of Brooklyn. You can see photos of them as well.
May God grant many years to Archpriest Theodore Jurewicz for his work, and to the Mitred Archpriest Michael Westerberg for all his work in planning for the iconography as it has been arranged in our church.
Last year a video was recorded of Fr. Theodore and Fr. Michael talking about this decades-long project, together with Fr. Steven and Tome Eisenmann, Council President. We hope to make this available as soon as possible for a lasting tribute to this work!
Metropolitan Tikhon issued a letter in recognition of Indepence Day. You can view the letter here. Please take time to read his words shared in our time of civil unrest, still in the midst of the corona virus pandemic.
Our parish council set apart a task force that has now given an initial report to the council this past week. Please find a communication document to our parish communtiy, also shared through e-mail here. We will continue to keep you informed of efforts focused toward the question of eventual re-opening as progress is made.
In the Risen Lord,
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the OCA issued both a pastoral letter and synodal directives, focused on next steps relative to parish life during the threat of the Corona Virus. Our parish council is convening a special meeting in part to review these materials to consider our next steps in light of them.
Please continue to pray for our Metropolitan Tikhon, as Primate of our Church, and locm tenens of our diocese, as well as Fr. John Kreta, our chancellor, and Fr. John Hopko, our dean.
Christ is Risen!
This evening we received this message from His Beatitude, our Metropolitan Tikhon, as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of New England. You can view his message here. Eis polla eti Despota!
Let us continue to pray for our Metropolitan and the Synod of Bishops as they now take up the questions of next steps in the midst of the Corona Virus.
With prayers and love in Christ,
His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of all America and Canada, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of New England, has forwarded his Paschal Message to all of us. You can access it here.
As we enter into Holy Week this afternoon here are a number of resources available to you at home. First of all, as indicated in our Weekly Bulletin, here is our schedule of home services to be live-streamed:
4:00pm Home Bridegroom Matins (please look for recordings each day
Mon.- Wed 13-15 6:00pm Home Bridegroom Matins from our choir in previous years!)
Thu. Apr. 16 6:00pm Home Matins of Holy Friday with 12 Gospels
Fri. Apr. 17 9:00am Home Royal Hours
Sun. Apr. 19 Noon Home Paschal Vespers
For OCA resources at your home, please click here.
May you have a blessed and frutiful journey through Holy Week, following our Lord Jesus Christ to His voluntary death and Resurrection for and as our salvation!
With love in Christ,
Our Holy Synod of Bishops met on March 30th, and later with the Metropolitan Council. They forwarded several documents to the whole church. You can find a statement from our Holy Synod here, a document with further directives, here, and finally a Joint Communique from our Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council, here. Please take a moment to review them. In short, we will not likely return to church for Holy Week and Paschal services.
We are still awaiting a pastoral letter from Metropolitan Tikhon, as our Locum Tenens, with any guidance specific to our diocese. As soon as we hear from His Beatitude, further guidance will be posted.
One of the areas addressed concerns the hearing of confessions by phone. I am currently working on implementing a plan for confession over the phone, and will share this plan just as soon as it is finalized.
Please continue to stay safe, and let us all pray for one another and our greater community during these challenging days.
Three statement were put out today by our Holy Synod and the Primate of our Church. Before addressing the two "updates" however, the following announcement needs to be made for parishes in our Diocese of New England.
From His Beatitude, our Metropolitan Tikhon, as Locum tenens of the Diocese of New England, effective immediately, all parishes in the Diocese of New England are closed until April 1st. This means that no services will be celebrated at Holy Trasnfiguration Church until this closure is lifted. You can read the letter in full here.
Earlier today, two updates were issued, the first an updated statement from our Holy Synod, and the second an archpastoral letter from His Beatitude, as the Primate of our Church. Please take time to read them. I have copied the text of the prayer, below, that was offered by our Holy Synod to be taken during divine services, for our faithful to use with personal prayer.
Given these changes, efforts will be undertaken to make service broadcasts available, through our facebook page, as well as opportunities to talk about concerns related to the coronavirus. Also, please be reminded that Dn. Mark has made himself available to assist with shopping for those who have concerns about going outside their homes during these days.
Praying for all our parish faithful during this trying time,
With love in Christ,
To be taken during divine services immediately after the exclamation of the Litany of Fervent Supplication (For You are a merciful God...):
Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.
Choir: Lord, have mercy.
O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Your ineffable goodness, look down upon us, Your people gathered in Your Holy Name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. You know our weakness. You hear our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who loves mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Corona Virus. Send Your angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians and preserve those who are healthy. Enable us to continue to serve our suffering brothers and sisters in peace that together we may glorify Your most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
Statement related to Corona Virus (Covid-19)
We continue to be bombarded with information related to the outbreak of the Corona Virus.
As Orthodox Christians, we have been given statements from our OCA here, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese here for your reference. It appears that the Corona Virus is most dangerous to the elderly population, and/or those with compromised immune systems. Our Holy Synod also more recently offered this reference from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here. A new statement was put out by our Holy Synod today. You can access it here. The statement includes prayers that we will be using at church, and you can use at home as well.
Late Saturday evening (March 14th), a follow-up letter was received from our Chancellor, Archpriest John Kreta, indicating further direction from His Beatitude, our Metropolitan Tikhon, Locum tenens of our diocese. The directives in this letter were read from the ambon at the end of Liturgy on Sunday, March 15th. The letter in full can be accessed here. We have now been directed to celebrate only Divine LIturgy services. Please keep an eye here for follow-up indications related to online outreach.
Here are some common-sense thoughts for the near-term:
- If you are not feeling well, whether or not this virus is to blame, it is best to stay home.
- Practice good hygiene, especially in washing your hands regularly.
- If you are elderly and/or immune compromised, be selective about where you go outside your home. Our Dn. Mark has shared his willingness as of early in the coming week, with others to be recruited if necessary, to shop for those concerned about going to the grocery store, to deliver groceries to home. You can reach him by phone 312.961.6097, or by e-mail here. Dn. Mark has since initiated a google form for requesting assistance. You can reach that directly here.
- As related to church services:
- We have already indicated that those with concerns can reverently bow for the short term instead of venerating the cross or icons while at church.
- It is also important during such a time of need, however, precisely that we continue to pray for God’s mercy. We will continue to celebrate scheduled services and pray for those being impacted.
- Communion will continue to be distributed in the usual fashion.
- The Ladies’ Auxiliary is recommending the cancelation of coffee hour, to minimize social interaction. If you have a medical condition where you need to eat after Liturgy, please make arrangements to have something with you for the next few weeks.
- Without coffee hour, church school may also be less fully attended. I hope our teachers will adopt the practices publicized in recent days, giving homework assignments, and perhaps checking in periodically through social media means.
Please continue to pray for those impacted by this virus, and let us remain steadfast in our faith in God, particularly during times of struggle.
Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Rector
Tom Eisenmann, Council President
Greetings in the Lord.
Wtih gratitude to Yulia Eisenmann who is coordinating our lenten suppers this year, please click here to sign up to:
- Bring a dish
- help to set-up
- help to clean-up
Thank you for your assistance!
Seminarian Cornelius Schuster will present a Great Lenten lecture series, featuring brief presentations of three prominent early saints associated with the Lenten season.
We welcome today, February 23rd, Steve Sarigianis, son of James and Florence Sarigianis. James occasionally attends Vespers here. Steve grew up here in CT, attended St. Barbara Church in Orange, and graduated from Holy Cross Seminary with an M.Div. Degree in 2015. Steve’s grandparents are Fr. Steven and Presvytera Electra Sarigianis. Fr. Steven is attached to St. Barbara Church in retirement. Steve and his wife Theophani were married in 2017, and are preparing for a missionary trip to Albania. You can find a full write-up and contact information to support them here.
During coffee hour they will be offering a brief presentation with the hope of raising necessary funds for their missionary journey. Please consider supporting them. OCMC Mission Sunday is March 1st.
The OCA Diocese of New York & New Jersey welcomes all Middle & High School Teens to attend its Lenten Teen Retreat April 3-5 at the Greenkill YMCA Retreat Center in Huguenot, NY. The retreat is open to all OCA dioceses and Orthodox jurisdictions. You can download a flyer here, or go directly to the retreat link to register here.
Activities will include adventure course, archery, team building, hiking, gymnasium, campfire and more. The firm registration deadline is March 19th. To register contact Danielle Geeza at (914) 768-3735 or by email
Sunday, February 9th was designated as national Scouting Recognition Sunday by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. Archbishop David of Sitka and all Alaska is our OCA Episcopal Liaison to the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting. You can access his letter here. Since Fr. Steven was away Sunday the 9th, this Sunday our parish scouts are invited to come to the Liturgy this Sunday, February 16th, wearing their scouting uniforms, and be recognized for their participation in scouting along with adults assisting them.
The 2020 annual parish meeting will be today, Sunday, February 2nd following the Divine Liturgy and coffee hour. We will be receiving reports, approving a budget for the year, electing parish council officers and members, and discussing old and new business for the good of our parish. (Please see by-law amendments to be considered here.) As indicated in our parish by-laws, voting members of the parish are those who have participated in the holy sacraments of Confession and Communion in our parish at least once during 2019, and who have indicated as least a minimum of support for the parish by fulfilling the basic commitment for 2019. This third official notice is printed in today’s bulletin, posted here on our website and announced aloud in church. As required by our by-laws, it has been repeated a three times in the same places.
Dear Clergy and Faithful of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church:
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon has issued a letter for the Sanctity of Life Sunday. You can download the full letter here. Below is an excerpt of his letter:
"Yet we know that despite our efforts to do good, each of us falls at times and does evil. But with incredible compassion, our God who knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb still loves and respects us. He still loves each and every human being, despite our faults and mistakes, even those who have made terrible mistakes and have worked evil.
Thus, if we recognize that our purpose in this life is to become images of God, we must also forgive, help, pray for, and love all those who have committed wrong. In imitation of our loving God, whose mercy is immeasurable, we too must love those who have been involved in the evil of abortion, showing mercy and compassion to the poor, desperate, and confused parents who have committed abortions, and praying fervently for the repentance of abortion doctors and advocates everywhere. We must love them and forgive them their sins, knowing that God loves all of humanity and is willing to forgive all sins.
At the same time, we cannot allow any excuse for abortion. We firmly believe that a new person comes into being in the moment of conception, and because of this, we must ever strive to prevent abortions from happening, making sure our local communities know of the many Christian-supported pregnancy crisis services available to unprepared and confused young parents. In turn, our churches must ever be willing to love and help such parents and their unborn children."
Archpriest Steven Voytovich
Historically Holy Transfiguration Church has seldom canceled services due to weather. Should we need to cancel services during these winter months, however, here are several means of ascertaining whether services have been canceled at Holy Transfiguration:
1) The website calendar on the front page is always updated if changes are made to the service calendar, and would reflect cancelation as soon as that determination is made.
2) An e-mail will certainly be sent out sharing cancellation.
3) Watch your television (WTNH Channel 8), at the bottom of the screen, scrolling cancelations. Holy Transfiguration Church will appear there if/when services are canceled.
Please exercise caution when determining your course of action during inclement weather, if services are not canceled.
His Beatitude, The Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of North America and Canada, and Locum Tenens of the Diocese of New England, has issued his pastoral letter on the occasion of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. You can access his letter here.
Let us continue to pray for Metropolitan Tikhon during our period of transition in our diocese, and remember our beloved Archbishop Nikon, of blessed memory, during the feast.
With love in Christ,
Supporting our Veterans: Nancy and Jean will be collecting money for gifts for our veterans. Please make your donation before December 8th. Gifts will be purchased with the proceeds, to be wrapped on December 8th (December 15th snow date). Volunteers are also welcome to come and assist in wrapping these gifts. Thank you for your generosity!
November 13, 2019
To: Our Parishioners,
From: Matushka Lydia and Susan Papdemetris on behalf of the Parish Council
As you know every year we participate in the “Adopt-a-Family “ charity sponsored by the Family Services of Connecticut in New Haven.
This year we are adopting a family of three – a 56 year-old grandmother raising her 9 year old and 12 year old grandsons. Their family story is on the attachment, which follows this memo.
Their Christmas “wish list” is also attached. The “wish list” will be on the table under the icon in our parish hall. Please look through the items, choose one or two and write your name next to the item(s). If you usually do not come down to coffee hour, please let either Susan or Matushka Lydia know by email or text what you would like to purchase. You might choose to purchase an item jointly with another parishioner. Please put a check next to your name(s), after you have brought the gift to church.
NO MONEY IS BEING COLLECTED FOR THIS PROJECT. IF YOU CHOOSE TO PURCHASE A GIFT CARD, PLEASE PUT THE CARD IN A GOOD SIZE BOX SO THAT IT DOESN’T GET LOST.
Thank you. Enjoy your shopping spree! The last date for receiving gifts is Sunday, December 8th.
This is the same form that was e-mailed to all parishioners. It is reproduced here for ease of access. Thank you for taking the time to complete your pledge to parish life!
For pledge-related questions, please see either Fr. Steven or Thomas Eisenmann, Council President.
Our OCA New England Youth Department is teaming up with the Youth and Parish Ministries Department of the Antiochian Diocese of Worcester and New England! This was announced at our recent diocesan assembly. A "Camp At Home" overnight program is planned for November 15-16. You can download a flyer here, or click here to register!
Stewardship Month 2019: Week I
We’re Almost There!
At the February annual meeting, the Parish Council explained the need for increased giving in 2019. After our September meeting, we are
delighted to report that giving for the first 2/3 of the year has been strong! We offer both our gratitude and our encouragement to keep it up
for the rest of 2019!
The following is a communication from Fr. Steven Hosking, who is currently serving on our New England Diocesan Council. There is presently an effort underway to develop a strategic plan for our diocese, and this survey represents the collection of data toward that effort. As the communication indicates, results of this survey will be shared and discussed at our upcoming diocesan assembly later this month. Please note, this link will close on October 9th.
[Please share this with your parishioners and parishes throughout the Diocese.
As you are a part of a parish belonging to the Diocese of New England, with the blessing of our Chancellor and the Diocean Council, we would like you to participate in a survey about parish life. The results of this survey will be used and discussed at the upcoming Diocese Assembly. Thank you.
Fr Steven Hosking]
On Wednesday evening, October 9, the Eve of the 40th Day of Repose of His Eminence, our Archbishop NIKON, beginning at 7:00 PM, we will celebrate a solemn Memorial Service (“Panikhida”) at Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church, Terryville, CT. All Members of the CT Deanery, clergy and lay, are invited to attend and participate in this service. The service will be followed by fellowship time with light refreshments appropriate to a fasting day. Those who wish to bring some food to share are cordially invited to do so. Clergy who wish to concelebrate are asked to bring white or gold vestments. On this solemn occasion, priests will be vested in epitrachelion, phelonion, and cuffs, and deacons in full vestments. For further information, please contact Fr. John Hopko, Dean of the Connecticut Deanery and Pastor of the Terryville Parish.
Fr. John Hopko
The following is a communication from our Chancellor, Archpriest John Kreta. His Beatitude sent a letter to be read in church this past Sunday (you can view the letter read on Sunday, here), and this communication was shared at our Parish Council Meeting this past Tuesday evening. All of these materials will also be posted on our bulletin board.
Dear Brothers in Christ:
In the packet of materials forwarded to parishioners prior to our annual parish meeting is an Image Release Form. In case anyone needs extra copies, you can find the form here. Please plan to bring them, signed, to Sunday's meeting.
With gratitude in Christ,