West Coast Tour Proves to be Tremendous Success
West Coast Tour Proves to be Tremendous Success

Dean's Journal: Update from South Canaan

We returned home safely!  Thank you for your prayers aiding this happening.  Please take time to enjoy further photos that are still being posted from our trip.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who offered time, talent, and treasure to make this trip happen.  Please do not read the list as hierarchical in terms of significance:  that those near the top of the list gave more than those appearing further onward.

Thank you to:

  • Bishop Michael for his blessing as Rector for us to undertake this trip.

  • All our seminarians who took time from their winter break schedules to make this trip!  In particular:  JJ for doing most the 1500 miles of driving, Mikel for doing the lion’s share of choir directing, and Andrew for taking most of the photos that have been posted.  It should be noted that most of our Mission Choir seminarians have completed one semester of studies before making this trip!  It was wonderful to see our seminarians skills shine forth in various ways as we made this trip, visiting parishes in at least four different jurisdictions!

  • LOVES Van Program from our OCA Los Angeles Cathedral who offered their van to transport us to all our appointed rounds.

  • Fr. Michael Tassos for all of his efforts to coordinate our schedule in California, and for his Parish of St. Luke’s Antiochian Church, in Garden Grove, for hosting us for a significant portion of our trip as we arrived and between other stops.  You opened your church office for our use (thank you Anna for all your help!), offered several meals while we prepared for our visit, and for the kindness of your office staff and parishioners.  The closing barbeque was wonderful with Anna and her family!

  • Alll the parishes willing to host the Mission Choir.  Thank you to all who offered their homes for us to stay in who were so generous in terms of hospitality!  Thank you to Archpriest Alexander Federoff of St. Johh of Damascus Church, Poway, Archpriest Nicholas Boldireff of Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles, and Fr. Simeon Corona of St. Greogory of Nyssa in El Cajon for wonderful meals in the context of our visits!  It was great to meet the newly consecrated Bishop Apostolos at St. Gregory’s Church.

  • Fr. Yousuf Rassam for not only hosting the mission choir at St. Innocent in Tarzana, including a wonderful steak dinner on the Theophany Feast, but also for providing a place for our alumni gathering that occurred during our visit and reaching out to area alumni.

  • Fr. Sergius, the Monastery brotherhood, and everyone at the seminary for praying for us during our trip.

  • Christopher Patton for diligently posting our photos and updates from the road so that so many could follow us on our trip.  He also pulled together promotional materials we took with us.

  • Sophia Pierce for taking care of all our packaging needs including printing out address labels for our trips out and back.  Also, Sophia processed all the letters I sent her while on the road so that most of you should have received acknowledgements of your donations by the time this update is posted!  Thank you to her husband Michael for driving us to/from the Philadelphia Airport.

  • Benedict Sheehan for the skype session at the beginning of our trip.  Our seminarians had been on break, so with his assistance we got ourselves together as a singing group on the Saturday of our arrival. Benedict directed Theophany Services at St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church so that they would be celebrated well.

  • Archbishop Benjamin for his prayers along with Bishop Apostolos, and clergy gathered  as we celebrated the Great Blessing of Waters in La Jolla Cove, and later Vespers.

  • Archpriest Dennis Swencki for all of his efforts to contact the local clergy to arrange for this visit.  His efforts began early this fall, and included very regular communications with Fr. Michael Tassos during our visit.

  • Thank you to all who were so gracious in various ways as we visited a number of churches in the San Francisco area as we sought to visit St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

  • For our St. Tikhon’s Bookstore for furnishing the brochures that we distributed during our tour.  Hopefully you have received many orders as so many were looking for cd’s!

  • For anyone I have inadvertently forgotten to list here, please know of our heartfelt gratitude!  Thanks be to God for all things! 

    Thanks be to God for all things!


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Waymart, PA 18472

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