Beginning with Our Diocese

Fr. John Shimchick / THEME ARTICLE / Reprinted from: Jacob's Well, Fall-Winter 1998-99

Usually the last thing to be worked on in finishing each issue of Jacob’s Well is this opening article. It’s after everything else is in place that what needs to be introduced becomes apparent and the theme, which often holds everything together (if not identified earlier), becomes evident. In the case of this issue, the obvious theme is the review and, often celebration, of life in our Diocese.

We begin with the celebration of Archbishop Peter’s 30th anniversary to the episcopacy: 30 years, as expressed in the banquet toast of Maureen Bezuhly-Galterio, of stewardship, scholarship, leadership, and good works. Mary Ann Bulko highlights the examination of Diocesan life which took place at our annual Assembly. Additional features include: Fr. Paul Kucynda’s thorough presentation of the work involved in establishing and strengthening our Diocesan Missions and the identification of our Diocesan seminarians. We are glad to welcome several new priests and their families to our Diocese, especially: Fr. David Garretson and his wife, Shari (South River, NJ), Fr. Gregory Dudash and his wife, Linda (Watervliet, NY), and though we do not have his picture, Fr. David Brum (Flemington, NJ). We recognize the 60 year ministry of Fr. Basil Prisacarou and acknowledge the death of Matushka Barbara Skvir. 

Several parishes celebrated their anniversaries this past Fall:

Highlights from events in other parishes are also presented.

This issue features several special articles:

  • Archbishop PETER’s discussion of the relationship between “Religion, Society, and State”
  • Fr. Alexander Garklavs’ recollection of Fr. Alexander Schmemann (the 15th anniversary of his death took place on December 13, 1998)
  • Professor David Drillock’s summary of how the balance between words and music has been realized historically in the development of Orthodox hymnography (which was the content of a workshop he presented in the NJ Deanery last Fall)
  • Robert Flanagan’s review of an Orthodox Theological Institute held on the theme of “The Psalms”
  • A study of the issues involved in helping to make our parishes and facilities suitable for the disabled and elderly
  • The beginning of Fr. Stephen Siniari’s new column which will consider the meaning of Christian servanthood

The notion of the end revealing the way to begin will also be a theme that we hope to develop more fully over the course of 1999: What can the events and lessons of not only this past century, but even the past millenium, contribute to our prepartion for life in the 21st century?

So, in this first issue of 1999, we begin by reviewing many of the activities which took place in our Diocese towards the end of last year, anticipating in certain ways hopefully the course of our life throughout this year and beyond.

Fr. John Shimchick is the pastor of Church of the Holy Cross, Medford, NJ
and editor of Jacob's Well, the Newspaper of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Orthodox Church in America.

Mentioned in this article are:

  • Archbishop Peter (L'Huillier) of the OCA Diocese of New York and New Jersey
  • Professor David Drillock of St Vladimir's Seminary

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