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Saint Stephen’s Cathedral Celebrates 45th Anniversary - 09/28/19

Over the weekend of September 28-29, St. Stephen’s Cathedral celebrated the 45th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone and the consecration of its new church edifice in Northeast Philadelphia. The celebration began on Saturday with a Vigil service with our Diocesan hierarch, His Eminence Archbishop Mark, blessing us with his presence.  Following the service and light refreshments, His Eminence spent several hours with Archpriest Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk and the members of Parish Council, giving Council Members the opportunity to ask questions covering a wide range of topics.
On Sunday morning, His Eminence was welcomed to his Cathedral by Parish Warden, Robert Gogats, and Fr. Victor.  Concelebrating with His Eminence and Fr. Victor were Fr. Nikolai Gulin from the Russian Mission, and Fr. David Vernak, who were assisted by Deacons George Zlatkowski and Nathan Clausson.  In recognition of their service to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Fr. Victor was awarded the Palitza and Deacon George received an appointment to the office of Protodeacon.  Axios!!
Because the service was a combined service with members of the English-speaking congregation and members of the Russian Mission, three choirs sang the responses.  Kathy Hargrave conducted the English-speaking choir and Reader Daniel Drobish conducted the Russian choir.  Cathy Jones conducted the responses sung by the children’s Sunday School choir of the parish.
Prior to the dismissal, His Eminence recognized Marge and Stephen Pron with a Gramota for their many years of service and stewardship to St. Stephen’s.  Many Years to Marge and Steve.  Memory Eternal was intoned for the departed parishioners of the parish and Many Years was sung for the living members of the parish.
Following liturgy, the faithful gathered at the Milillo Event Group on Southampton Road in Northeast Philadelphia for a festive anniversary buffet banquet.  Following the cocktail reception, the dignitaries seated at head table processed into the ballroom to the singing of, “O Lord, Save Thy People”.  Following the singing of the Lord’s Prayer, Danalisa Radu, who admirably chaired the banquet, welcomed everyone for coming and introduced those sitting at the head table. The tables were called and those attending enjoyed a delicious buffet meal while listening to casual music provided by a DJ.
At the first intermission, the first group of several dozen raffle prizes from local benefactors were awarded.  Danalisa and her mother, Vivian, worked tirelessly to accumulate the prizes and to package them attractively.  Following the drawing, Danalisa introduced Robert Gogats, Fr. Victor, and His Eminence for their reflections on the 45th anniversary of the parish. 
Following the remarks, dessert and another intermission, a second round of prize drawings was held.  The formal part of the banquet closed with a prayer offered by His Eminence.  Guests were invited to stay for music and dancing to tunes spun by the DJ.
May God continue to bless the faithful of St. Stephen’s Cathedral as it looks forward to its 50th anniversary in 2024.

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