Pan-Orthodox celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy in Pennsylvania
The Clergy Association of Mercer and Lawrence Counties is a combination of two clergy brotherhoods, from New Castle and the Shenango Valley in northwestern Pennsylvania. These two clergy associations come together each year for the Pan-Orthodox celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy on the first Sunday of Great Lent. The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Hermitage is a part of this pan Orthodox community and the parish priest, Fr. Milovan Katanic, currently serves as the President of the local Clergy Association.
This year's celebration was hosted by the Carpatho-Russian parish of St. John the Baptist in the city of Sharon. Special guest was His Grace Bishop Mitrophan, the Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Eastern America. This was a historical event for this relatively small pan Orthodox community as it was the first time a hierarch attended the Sunday of Orthodoxy festivities.
Following the service His Grace delivered a meaningful homily in which he spoke of the changelessness of the Orthodox Faith. "We Orthodox who came today" the bishop stated, "to prostrate ourselves to "His most pure image", let us say that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." (Heb. 13:8) The person of Christ does not endure changes. Christ's gospel does not endure changes. Christ's Church does not endure changes. We know who its head is. Or, as St. Gregory Palamas said, "Christ is the new Adam who no longer ages and from whom the world is constantly renewed." Therefore His image, (icon), doesn't change."
Lenten refreshments were served in the parish center following the service.