St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2023-07-23
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St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • 860-664-9434
  • Street Address:

  • PO Box 134, 108 E Main St

  • Clinton, CT 06413-0134

Contact Information

Services Schedule

Please see our online calendar for dates and times of Feast Day services.

Past Bulletins



Jesus Christ taught us to love and serve all people, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. To understand that, we need to look no further than to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Every time we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, it is offered "on behalf of all, and for all." As Orthodox Christians we stand against racism and bigotry. All human beings share one common identity as children of God. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatian 3:28)

Members of our Parish Council are:
Greg Jankura - Vice President
Susan Davis- Council Member at Large
Carolyn Neiss - President
Marlene Melesko - Council Member at Large
Susan Egan - Treasurer
Dn Timothy Skuby - Secretary


Pastoral Care - General Information

Emergency Sick Calls can be made at any time. Please call Fr Steven at (860) 866-5802, when a family member is admitted to the hospital.
Anointing in Sickness: The Sacrament of Unction is available in Church, the hospital, or your home, for anyone who is sick and suffering, however severe. 
Marriages and Baptisms require early planning, scheduling and selections of sponsors (crown bearers or godparents). See Father before booking dates and reception halls!
Funerals are celebrated for practicing Orthodox Christians. Please see Father for details. The Church opposes cremation; we cannot celebrate funerals for cremations.



We had applied for a grant to get an AED, however, the company underestimated the number of applicants and ran out of the available defibulators. They have put together a fund raising site for us, which is linked below. I will also place this on our Facebook and Parish web sites. Please share and/or consider making a donation. Thank you. 

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops has blessed July 30, 2023 to be “Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday,” the day for Orthodox parishes across the United States to learn more about the work of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the national prison ministry of the Orthodox Church and an agency of the Assembly of Bishops.

Dormition Fast

The Dormition Fast begins, August 1st. This is the fourth of the "fasting seasons", and I encourage you to give your ascetical efforts personal, as well as ecclesial relevance. Support worthy causes (such as the Prison Minsitry), visit those who are without resources, fast and pray with others in mind, as well as yourself.

Feast of the Transfiguration

Dierdre Garfield will be received into the Orthodox Church through the rite of Chrismation. Anne Hosking ( is coordinating the coffee hour in honor of Diedre. More information will be forth coming soon. While this is a Feast, it also occurs during the Fast, so please plan accordingly. There is a dispensation for fish on this Feast Day.

OUTREACH COMMITTEE: There will be an Outreach Committee meeting downstairs following Liturgy on Sunday, July 30th, to discuss a Fall project. Everyone is welcome to join us.

SUNDAY BRUNCH: A new sign-up sheet has been posted on the bulletin board downstairs. If you plan to stay for brunch, please kindly take a turn to bring something to break the fast. And, feel free to sign up with another parishioner.

A Word (or two) about Fasting

Seeing that bodily disposition is important in worship and spiritual life, in general, great emphasis is placed in the Orthodox Church on fasting; if one should add up all of the fasting seasons and days of the Church calendar, he would find that more than half of the year is devoted to this ascetic labor. The question might rightfully be asked, then, as to why this is so.

According to St. Basil the Great, Adam, the first-created man, loving God of his own free will, dwelt in the heavenly blessedness of communion with God, in the angelic state of prayer and fasting. The cause of this first man's fall was his free will; by an act of disobedience he violated the vow of abstinence and broke the living union of love with God. That is, he held in scorn the heavenly obligations of prayer and fasting by eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Lack of abstinence, then, was the cause of the Fall and, as a result, because of this original greed, the soul becomes dimmed, and is deprived of the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

Our Lord Jesus Christ calls all of us to salvation through self-denial (Luke 14:26) and this is addressed to the free will of fallen man: If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me (Matt. 16:24). Thus, the Savior calls man to the voluntary fulfillment of those heavenly obligations, which he freely forsook, of observing prayer and fasting.

Repentance without fasting is made ineffectual since fasting is the beginning of repentance. The aim of bodily fasting is the enslavement of the flesh, for fasting bridles the lust of the stomach and of that below the stomach, meaning the removal of the passions, the mortification of the body and the destruction of the sting of lust. Thus it is necessary to overcome the stomach for the healing of the passions.
The personal example of the Lord Himself bears witness to the absolute necessity of bodily fasting. Did not the Savior fast for forty days and nights after His baptism to prepare for His earthly ministry (Matt. 4:2)? So too, many of the Saints of the Church were especially noted for their ascetic labors, which saw fasting as being of especially great importance.

In fasting the flesh and the spirit struggle one against the other. Therefore bodily fasting leads to the triumph of the spirit over the body, and gives a man power over the stomach, subdues the flesh and permits it not to commit fornication and uncleanness. Abstinence is the mother of cleanliness, the giver of health and is good for rich and poor, sick and healthy, alike. It strengthens the seeker after godliness in spiritual battles and proves to be a formidable weapon against evil spirits. As the Lord Himself said, concerning the casting-out of certain demons: This kind never cornea out except by prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21).

This fasting, however, is not to be done out of pride or self-will; It must be observed in the praise of God and must be in accordance with the canons of the Church, since it consists in the complete renunciation of self-will and of the desires. At the same time, we must realize that for fallen man to attain perfection, even intensive fasting is insufficient, if in his soul he does not abstain from those things which further sin. Fasting is not only the abstinence from food, but also from evil thoughts and all passion, for, as the Savior says: Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and so passes on? But what conies out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man... (Matt. 15:17-20). Thus exterior fasting, without the corresponding interior fasting is in vain.


Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations


Many Years! to those who take Marie Christine deGiers and Christine Jankura on the occasion of the their Names' Days; to Marlene Melesko and Anne Hosking who take St Anne as their patron; and to Glenn PenkoffLedbeck on the occasion of his birthday.

Please continue to pray for our catecumen Dierdre.

Please pray for Evelyn Leake and Victor Hoehnebart who are in need of God's mercy and healing; and for Kelley Hosking-Billings.

  • Pray for: All those confined to hospitals, nursing homes, and their own homes due to illness; for all those who serve in the armed forces; widows, orphans, prisoners, victims of violence, and refugees;
  • All those suffering chronic illness, financial hardship, loneliness, addictions, abuse, abandonment and despair; those who are homeless, those who are institutionalize, those who have no one to pray for them;
  • All Orthodox seminarians & families; all Orthodox monks and nuns, and all those considering monastic life; all Orthodox missionaries and their families.
  • All those who have perished due to hatred, intolerance and pestilence; all those departed this life in the hope of the Resurrection.

Martyrs Trophimus, Theophilus, and 13 others in Lycia (4th c.). Hieromartyr Apollinaris, Bishop of Ravenna (ca. 75). Icon of the Mother of God, “THE JOY OF ALL WHO SORROW” (with coins) in St. Petersburg (1888).




Parish Calendar

  • Schedule of Services and Events

    July 23 to July 31, 2023

    Sunday, July 23

    7th Sunday of Matthew

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, July 24

    Christina the Great Martyr of Tyre

    Glenn PenkoffLidbeck

    Tuesday, July 25

    Dormition of St. Anna, mother of the Theotokos

    Repose of Sonja Geyer

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    Wednesday, July 26

    Paraskeve the Righteous Martyr of Rome

    Akathist to St Jacob Netsvetov

    Akathist to Venerable Moses of Carpathians

    Repose of St. Jacob Netsvetov

    Samuel Boyd

    4:30PM Open Doors

    Thursday, July 27

    Repose of Ann Kiernan

    Panteleimon the Great Martyr & Healer

    Akathist to St Panteleimon

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    Friday, July 28

    Prochoros, Nicanor, Timon, & Parmenas the Apostles of the 70

    Saturday, July 29

    The Holy Martyr Callinicus


    5:30PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, July 30

    8th Sunday of Matthew

    Prision Ministry Awareness Sunday

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, July 31

    Forefeast of the Precious Cross


Saints and Feasts

July 23

Phocas the Holy Martyr, Bishop of Sinope

This saint was known for the many miracles he worked and for his apostolic zeal in shepherding the flock of Sinope. He contested for the Faith during the reign of the Emperor Trajan, in the year 102, when he was burned to death in a bath-house. A homily in his honour was composed by Saint John Chrysostom. The translation of his holy relics is celebrated on July 23.

July 24

Christina the Great Martyr of Tyre

Saint Christina was from Tyre in Syria, the daughter of a pagan named Urban. Enlightened in her heart to believe in Christ, she broke her father's idols, made of gold and silver, and distributed the pieces to the poor. When her father learned this, he punished her ruthlessly, then cast her into prison. The rulers subjected her to imprisonments, hunger, torments, the cutting off of her breasts and tongue, and finally impalement, in the year 200, during the reign of the Emperor Septimius Severus.

July 25

Dormition of St. Anna, mother of the Theotokos

According to tradition, Anna, the ancestor of God, lived for sixty-nine years, and her spouse Joachim, for eighty; according to one account, Saint Joachim died two years before Saint Anna. The Theotokos had been orphaned of both her parents already when she was eleven years of age, when she was living in the Temple (see Sept. 8 and Nov. 21). Saint Anna is invoked for conceiving children, and for help in difficult childbirth.

July 26

Paraskevi the Righteous Martyr of Rome

Saint Paraskeve, who was from a certain village near Rome, was born to pious parents, Agatho and Politia. Since she was born on a Friday (in Greek, Paraskeve), she was given this name, which means "preparation" or "preparedness" (compare Matt. 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, and John 19:31, where 'Friday' is called "the day of the preparation"). From childhood she was instructed in the sacred letters and devoted herself to the study of the divine Scriptures, while leading a monastic life and guiding many to the Faith of Christ. During the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, she was apprehended because she was a Christian and was urged to worship the idols, but she answered with the words of Jeremias: "Let the gods that have not made heaven and the earth perish from off the earth" (Jer. 10:11). Because of this she endured exceedingly painful torments, and was beheaded in the year 140. The faithful pray to her for the healing of eye ailments.

July 26

Jacob Netsvetov the Enlightener of Alaska

Troparion — Tone 4

Righteous Father Jacob, / adornment of Atka and the Yukon delta, / offspring of Russian America, / flower of brotherly unity, / healer of sickness, / and terror of demons, / you offered yourself as a living sacrifice / to bring light to a searching people. / Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved!

Kontakion — Tone 3

Holy Father Jacob, / teacher of the knowledge of God, / you revealed your love for your people, / taking up your cross and following Christ, / enduring hardships like the apostle Paul. / Pray on our behalf to Christ our God / to grant us great mercy!

July 27

Panteleimon the Great Martyr & Healer

This Saint, who had Nicomedia as his homeland, was the son of Eustorgius and Eubula. His father was an idolater, but his mother was a Christian from her ancestors. It was through her that he was instructed in piety, and still later, he was catechized in the Faith of Christ by Saint Hermolaus (see July 26) and baptized by him. Being proficient in the physician's vocation, he practiced it in a philanthropic manner, healing every illness more by the grace of Christ than by medicines. Thus, although his parents had named him Pantoleon ("in all things a lion"), because of the compassion he showed for the souls and bodies of all, he was worthily renamed Panteleimon, meaning "all-merciful." On one occasion, when he restored the sight of a certain blind man by calling on the Divine Name, he enlightened also the eyes of this man's soul to the knowledge of the truth. This also became the cause for the martyrdom of him who had been blind, since when he was asked by whom and in what manner his eyes had been opened, in imitation of that blind man of the Gospel he confessed with boldness both who the physician was and the manner of his healing. For this he was put to death immediately. Panteleimon was arrested also, and having endured many wounds, he was finally beheaded in the year 305, during the reign of Maximian. Saint Panteleimon is one of the Holy Unmercenaries, and is held in special honor among them, even as Saint George is among the Martyrs.

July 28

Irene the Righteous of Chrysovalantou

Saint Irene, who was from Cappadocia, flourished in the ninth century. Because of her great beauty and virtue, she was brought to Constantinople as a prospective bride for the young Emperor Michael (842-867); however, as Saint Joannicius the Great foretold, it was God's will that she assume the monastic habit instead. She shone forth in great ascetical labours, and suffered many attacks from the demons; while yet a novice, she attained to the practice of Saint Arsenius the Great, of praying the whole night long with arms stretched out towards Heaven (see May 8). God showed forth great signs and wonders in her, and she became the Abbess of the Convent of Chrysovalantou. She was granted the gift of clairvoyance and knew the thoughts of all that came to her. She appeared in a vision to the king and rebuked him for unjustly imprisoning a nobleman who had been falsely accused. Through a sailor from Patmos to whom he had appeared, Saint John the Evangelist sent her fragrant and wondrous apples from Paradise. She reposed at the age of 103, still retaining the youthful beauty of her countenance. After her repose, marvelous healings beyond number have been wrought by her to the present day.

July 29

Kallinikos the Martyr of Asia Minor

Saint Callinicus was from Cilicia. Because he preached Christ and turned many pagans away from the idols, he was seized by Sacerdon the Governor, who subjected him to many tortures, then had him shod with shoes in which nails had been fixed upright, and compelled him to run to the city of Gangra, where he was burned alive in a furnace.


Hymns of the Day


Tone 6 Troparion (Resurrection)

The Angelic Powers were at Your tomb;
the guards became as dead men.
Mary stood by Your grave,
seeking Your most pure body.
You captured hell, not being tempted by it.
You came to the Virgin, granting life.
O Lord, Who rose from the dead,//
glory to You.

Tone 4 Troparion (Martyrs)

Your holy martyr Trophimus and his companions, O Lord,
through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.//
Through their intercession, save our souls!

Tone 6 Kontakion (Resurrection)

When Christ God, the Giver of Life,
raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand,
He bestowed resurrection on the human race.//
He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and the God of all.

Tone 2 Kontakion (General Kontakion for Martyrs)

You have appeared as bright lamps, O holy martyrs!
Illumine the whole creation with the brightness of your miracles.
Deliver it from infirmity and drive away the deep darkness,//
always interceding before Christ God for us all.

Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest! (Ps. 148:1)
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!


Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 6th Tone. Psalm 27.9,1.
O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance.
Verse: To you, O Lord, I have cried, O my God.

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 15:1-7.

Brethren, we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me." For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Gospel Reading

7th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 9:27-35

At that time, as Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, "Have mercy on us, Son of David." When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord." Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you." And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, "See that no one knows it." But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, "Never was anything like this seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "He casts out demons by the prince of demons."

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.


Wisdom of the Fathers

He delivered them first from their want of faith. The affliction of the dumb man was not natural ... wherefore also he needs others to bring him. ... For this cause neither does He require faith of him, but straightway heals the disease.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 32 on Matthew 9, 4th Century

And then at last He for His part lays His hand upon them, saying, "According to your faith be it unto you." And this He does to confirm their faith, and to show that they are participators in the good work ...
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 32 on Matthew 9, 4th Century


Beyond the Sermon


Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
"We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak"
Sunday, 14th August, 1983

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
In his Epistle to the Romans (15:1-7) St. Paul calls all Christians to be the strength and the support of those who are weak. St. Paul says to each of us and to all the Christian community: You who are strong support those who are weak.
This must make us ponder. Are we to be called strong as contrasted with anyone else? Don't we realise, each of us, how frail and how weak we are? Don't we feel that, whatever desire we have to be God's own people, we have no strength and no power to achieve our human and our Christian vocation? And at this point we must remember another saying of St. Paul; he too felt that he was weak, that he did not possess all the strength he needed to fulfil his apostolate, and he prayed the Lord to give him strength. The Lord answered him and said: My strength makes itself manifest in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). And St. Paul, having understood what that meant, exclaims: So I shall glory in nothing but my weakness, because then all will be an act of God.
But this weakness is not cowardice, timidity, sloth, laziness: everything that could be called inertia and that prevents us from doing those things which we believe to be right, which our heart longs for, which our mind understands to be the best, the holiest, and yet which our will is incapable of bringing into operation. It is a different weakness; rather the awareness that we cannot achieve the greatness to which we are called unless God helps us. Because we are all called to be the sons and the daughters of the Most High, to be God's own children; indeed, by adoption, but once adopted, to be as completely and perfectly God's children as the Only-begotten Son of God was the Son of God.
But what does it mean that we should support, help, uphold those who are weak? Perhaps we can find the beginning of an answer in today's Gospel (Matthew 9:27-35). Christ was confronted with the blind man. He gave him sight. We are surrounded by people who are blind — not physically, but in so many ways, people who need to acquire a vision and sight which would allow them to grow to the full measure of their stature and to be truly happy. Not in the superficial sense of enjoying the good things of life that leave us all hungry and full of longing, but with another happiness.
What are the things to which we can open the eyes of others? First of all, make people around us see how great they are, how important they are to God. Each of us was not only willed, but loved into existence by God. Each of us means so much to God that He gave His Only-begotten Son for our salvation: all His Life, His Passion and His Death. This is what each of us, all human beings in the world, mean to God. This is what so few realise” that they are infinitely precious, with the infinity of God. Also, that there is in them this hunger, and the hunger is too great for the things of this created world to satisfy. Only God can fill them; but in order to see God, have we not heard, Sunday after Sunday, read time and again, the words of Christ "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"? So we must call every person around us to venerate, to reverence his own purity and to fight for the purity of his mind, the purity of his heart, the purity of his life, so that becoming gradually less opaque, then translucent, then perfectly transparent, the mind and the heart of man can perceive God.
At this point, everyone can turn to us and say "Physician, heal thyself." And indeed we can help others only if we ourselves struggle and strive to be great with the purity that allows us to set God, with the greatness of God, of the Only-begotten Son become the Son of men. There are many other things which we may discover which are forms of blindness in us and in others. Whenever we discover them, we must help others to discern them, because even if we ourselves are not truly capable of being what we should be, at our words others may achieve what we are too slack or too weak, to do.
And so it is also with the man who was deprived of speech. How many, how many are speechless before the greatness of God and the beauty of their own selves? There is no way of discovering who and what God is unless we discover holiness and beauty in us. A Russian preacher said once "When God looks at us He does not see the virtues or the achievements which are not there; He sees the eternal beauty which He has implanted in each of us."
This is our message to every person, and this is the message of every person to us: reverence, love, fulfil this beauty, become great! And then we will have done what St. Paul calls us to do in today's Epistle: we will have supported those who are frail and weak, not with our strength, but with the strength of God, because all things are possible in the Spirit of God that upholds us. Amen.


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