Holy Cross Celebrates 40th Anniversary - 11/12/2017
Holy Cross Church observed its 40th Anniversary on the weekend of November 11-12, 2017. It began with a Saturday morning Liturgy, specially remembering the departed founders, benefactors and builders of the church, together with departed Veterans. After Liturgy, a parish crew removed pews from the church in order to accommodate more worshipers for the coming services. Archbishop Mark arrived for 6:30pm Vespers that was followed by a meal and warm fellowship for family, visitors and guests. Archbishop Mark was welcomed Sunday morning with bread and salt by the parish warden Eric Affsprung and the holy cross by rector, Fr Dan Kovalak. After vesting, the Archbishop offered prayers enrolling Nicholas Occhino as a catechumen. Over 150 souls filled the church for the glorious Liturgy with eight priests and a deacon con-celebrating and responses sung beautifully by the enhanced congregation. Three chalices were used to distribute Holy Communion. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, the Archbishop presented a diocesan award to the Holy Cross Auxiliary in the person of president Christine Sinatra, citing the groups extraordinary efforts to support the life, mission, ministry and youth of the parish and beyond. After a brief Coffee Hour in the Orthodox Fellowship Center, the crowd found their way to the nearby Williamsport Country Club for the anniversary banquet. A greeting committee assisted the 173 guests with seating and distributed the 40th Anniversary Commemorative book produced for the occasion. A large screen showed historic photos of the parish while a band played and folks gazed at the beautiful anniversary cakes. After the Lord’s Prayer, invocation and national anthem, Eric Affsprung welcomed guests in behalf of the parish. Speakers included Fr David Shewczyk, assistant dean of the Wilkes-Barre Deanery, Fr Steven Voytovich, Dean of St Tikhon’s Seminary, Archbishop Mark, and Fr Eugene Pianovich. His Eminence presented Fr Dan and Matushka Myra Kovalak with a Synodal Gramota and the Order of St Innocent medals. Eric Affsprung presented an icon of St Herman to Fr Dan and Myra in honor of their 39-plus years of pastoral ministry. Fr Dan closed the program by recognizing the tremendous efforts of the parish council, anniversary committee, and many volunteers involved in the planning and execution of the inspiring weekend. Glory to God for All Things!