The weekend of September 24th; 25th & 26th of 2021 – His Grace Bishop Longin with his company visited our parish in Galveston (Texas), where he presided at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Concelebrants were Rev. Thomas Colyandro and Protodeacon Milovan Gogic. All of the responses to the Liturgy and Vespers were beautifully sung by the Church Choir. It was a blessing to see how many children and adults were spiritually prepared to take communion and actively participate as members of this beautiful community. Galveston is located on a small island and has a very nice soul.
We are eye – witnesses of the marble panel at the church front wall where is written: “Serbian and Russian Orthodox Church established in 1895.” This makes it the second oldest Serbian Orthodox Church in the US, having been personally supported by the last Czar of Imperial Russia, St. Czar Nicholas II, who declared: “Let there be an Orthodox Church in Galveston.” To this day, our parish houses the same beautiful old icons and gospel book donated by the Czar himself.
Our parish is also the resting place of the great Rev. Archimandrite Theoclitos (Triantafilides), the Czar’s childhood tutor who is buried beneath the altar, and considered by some to be a saint. This parish had been a diverse and multiethnic parish welcoming Orthodox faithful and interested visitors from all backgrounds. During the Liturgy we were able to see the Church of God full of the faithful as well as newcomers to Orthodoxy. One of our favorites was Baka Gospava – Goja who recently celebrated hers 99th birthday. The parish priest, Rev. Thomas Colyandro is doing an amazing job as a good shepherd of his flock. 125 years is a big part of our Church life in America.
We are grateful for such a good hospitality they showed us during this short visit, and pray to God that our Church in Galveston will celebrate many more anniversaries, at which we can celebrate the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom is Glory, honor and Worship, now and unto all ages. Amen.
Troparion: Tone 8 – Having seen the figure of the Cross in the heavens, / and like Paul not having received his call from men, O Lord, / Your apostle among rulers, the Emperor Constantine, / has been set by Your hand as ruler over the Imperial City / that he preserved in peace for many years, / through the prayers of the Theotokos, O only lover of mankind.
Through the prayers of Saints Constantine and Hellen, O Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us and save us. Amin.