Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church


American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese

903 Ann Street

Homestead, PA 15120

Rectory Office Phone: (412) 461-3264

Church Office & Auditorium: (412) 461-9437

Web Site:

E-mail Address:

E-mail Address:

Pastor – Very Rev. R. Michael Zak, cell phone:(412) 915-0251

Deacons – Fr. Deacons Artemius Stienstra &  Marc Wisnosky

Cantor/Choir Director – Reader Andrew Talarovich Jr.

Weekday Cantors – Donald Bodnar Jr. & Michele Tomko

Sub-Deacons: David Urban & Andrew Halapin Jr.

Parish Council President: Tom Pingor



Vol. 12; No. 14


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm or Willow Sunday (Triumphal Entry of Our Lord Into Jerusalem)

Matins: 8:00 A.M. with Blessing of Palms and Pussy Willows

Divine Liturgy: 9:00 A.M.

Epistle: Philippians 4:4-9                                                                            Gospel: John 12:1-18

Tropar & Kondak: Blue Book: 188-192 / Red Book: 210-214

Altar Candles’ Sponsor: Eleanor Konar, on her birthday, requested by Elmer, children and grandchildren.

Bulletin Sponsor: Dave Urban, on his birthday, offered by his Family.

Birthday prayers for the health of: Eleanor Konar (April 18), requested by husband, children and grandchildren.


Panachida Service conducted for the repose of the soul of God’s departed servant, +Michael Dzvonik, Sr., offered by Michelle & Michael Dzvonik.


Passion Week Begins:  No eating of meat or meat products this entire 7-day period; Strict Fast on Great & Holy Friday, Great & Holy Saturday, when, no meat or dairy products are eaten!



Wednesday, (April 16)… Great Wednesday.

7:00 P.M. Mystery of Holy Unction Service.

Thursday, (April 17)… Great Thursday.

9:00 A.M. Vespers & Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.

7:00 P.M. Passion Gospels’ Service.


Friday, (April 18)… Great & Holy Friday (Strict Fast – No meat or dairy products eaten)                 7:30 P.M. Vespers with indoor procession and the laying of the Holy Shroud in the Tomb of Christ.


Saturday, (April 19)… Great & Holy Saturday (Strict Fast –No meat or dairy products eaten)                        9:00 A.M. Vespers & Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.

8:00 P.M. Resurrection Matins, with outdoor Procession.

Blessing of Paschal Foods & Easter Baskets in the auditorium.



Sunday, April 20, 2014


Divine Liturgy: 9:00 A.M

Epistle: Acts 1:1-8                                                                                             Gospel: John 1:1-17

Tropar & Kondak: Blue Book: 193-196 / Red Book: 215-219

Agape Feast takes place in the church hall where all worshipers celebrate the Resurrection of Our Saviour.  (Bright Week Begins – No Fasting this entire 7-day period).




John 12:3-8 – The other disciples said the same thing Judas said (v. 5), but with a very different motive.  Judas spoke from greed, while the others spoke from the virtue of charity.  That Jesus put a thief in charge of the money shows that by every means He attempted to save Judas: He fulfilled Judas’ lust for money; He allowed Judas to exercise apostolic authority (6:11); He washed Judas’ feet with the other disciples (13:5); and He allowed him to partake at the table of the Mystical Supper (13:26).  Yet Judas could never overcome his greed.

Math. 21:1-11 – Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem is celebrated by the Church on Palm Sunday.  By Christ’s time, Jewish nationalism had led to the expectation of a political Messiah to deliver them from Roman control and to reestablish David’s kingdom.  In humility, Jesus shows that He has not come to establish an earthly kingdom.  He does not ride on a horse nor in a chariot, but on a donkey – a sign of humility and peace.  This entrance into the Holy City declares the establishment of the Kingdom of God.  It is also a promise of Christ’s final entrance into the heavenly Jerusalem with all believers and of His accepting the New Jerusalem as His pure Bride (Rev. 21:12).

21:2 – Matthew reports a colt as well as a donkey.  The fathers see the two animals as representing the faithful Jews and the Gentiles who are brought together in the Kingdom.  At Vespers of Palm Sunday, we sing, “Your riding on a foal prefigured how the untamed and uninstructed Gentiles would pass from unbelief to faith.”

21:8 – The people who spread their clothes before Jesus did so as paying reverence to a King.  It is spiritually interpreted as our need to lay down our flesh, and indeed our very lives for Christ.

21:9 – This cry comes from Ps 117:25, 26, which was associated with messianic expectation.  It as recited daily for six days during the Feast of Tabernacles, and seven times on the seventh day as branches were waived.  Hosanna means, “Save, we pray!’




RECTORY OFFICE HOURS are 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Monday thru Friday


EMERGENCY SICK CALLS can be made anytime.  Please notify your Pastor when someone is taken to the hospital; Sacred Scriptures remind us to call the presbyter for the anointing of the sick.


MARRIAGES are celebrated on Saturdays and Sundays.  Consult the Pastor at least 6 months in advance and before wedding reception plans have been made.  Marriages cannot be celebrated during Lent or Advent, or on Fridays.


BAPTISMS are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 A.M.  Two God-parents are required; at least one of whom must be an Orthodox Christian by Faith, and the other a practicing Christian.  An infant’s first or middle name must be a saint’s name.


CHURCH FUNERALS are provided for parishioners who are current in their spiritual and financial obligations to the Parish.  Otherwise, burial is from the funeral home.  The Church does not permit cremation.





As the Great Week approaches….

For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Co 15:16-19 NKJ).


Earlier this Spring, two Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door.  They were pleasant as always and as always had literature to offer.  A sweet lady extended a brochure to me with the words, “This year we are having a world-wide day in honor of Jesus’ death.”  I was taken back.  My mind immediately raced to the notion of a memorial service for our poor friend Jesus who died so long ago and so tragically.  The rest of the conversation will not be repeated here.  But the thought is germane.  Why do Orthodox Christians keep Holy Week?  Are we engaging in services to “honor” Christ’s death and resurrection?  Is Holy Week an annual memorial?  Or is there something deeper involved?


The answer can be found by thinking of the mystery of Holy Baptism, for in many respects, Holy Week and Pascha are the great feast of Christian Baptism.


Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.  (Rom 6:3-5 NKJ).

We are not Baptized into the “memory” of Christ’s death.  Baptism is not a mere “act of obedience,” an “ordinance,” as some call it.  Such a notion is the weakest possible reading of St. Paul, one of the worst examples of the psychologization of the Christian mystery.


For St. Paul, and the Christian faith, we are truly and mystically united with Christ’s death in our Baptism as are equally united with His resurrection: this nothing less than our salvation.  This mystical union is not magic – its effectual working in us requires our cooperation.  The choices we make, the prayers we offer, our engagement with sin and the powers of evil, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, works in us the increasing image of Christ, “from glory to glory.”


The liturgical work of Holy Week (and I emphasize work!) is an extended practice of the Baptismal union.  In Baptism we are crucified with Christ.  In Holy Week, the drama of that crucifixion and the events that lead up to it are engaged in the labor of worship, anamnesis – effective remembrance.  We see ourselves in the person of Christ as He enters Jerusalem and in the persons of the people who welcome Him.  We also see within ourselves those who judge Him, plot to kill Him and casually betray Him (for this is the inner war that rages within).  We not only see these things so that we can meditate on them – they become true within us, in the same manner as the truth of our Baptism.  With Christ we truly die and lie in the tomb.  In many congregations, people keep watch before the tomb of Christ, praying the Psalms, even as we do over the bodies of the faithful who died.  With growing joy and anticipation we mark Christ’s descent into Hades and His trampling down death by death.  And with shout of festal joy we greet His resurrection, for it is our resurrection as well.  The life to come becomes the life we live.


The words of the services are always expressed in this mystical realism.  We do not sing about the past.

Today Judas watches to betray the Lord, the Saviour of the world before the ages, who satisfied multitudes from five loaves.  Today the transgressor denies the Teacher; though a disciple he betrayed the Master; for silver he sold the One who satisfied humankind with manna. Today the Jews nailed to the Cross the Lord who parted the sea with a staff and led them through the desert.  Today with a lance they pierced the side of the One who scourged Egypt with plagues for their sake, and they gave vinegar as drink to the One who rained down the manna as nourishment.


And in perhaps one of the most exquisite hymns of the week:

Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon a Tree.  He who is King of the Angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns.  He who wraps the heaven in clouds is wrapped in mocking purple.  He who freed Adam in the Jordan receives a blow on the face.  The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails.  The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a lance.  We worship your Sufferings, O Christ.  Show us also your glorious Resurrection.      – From the antiphons of the Matins of Holy Friday

Everything is “today.”  We do not sing at Pascha, “Christ has risen from the dead.”  For Christ is risen from the dead.  That day, the day of days, is the last day, the eternal day, the day in which all time is ended (just as death is destroyed).  The Church enters that “Eighth Day,” and in it forgives all by the resurrection.  In the resurrection, debts and grievances become absurd.  Pascha swallows up all that is not good and holy.


Learning to live in the eternal day is the life of mystical union with Christ.  It is the meaning of St. Paul’s confession that he “is crucified with Christ.”  Holy Week is not an exercise in sentimentality, a memorial service for things that are past.  It is the joyful celebration and mystical participation in that which alone is real, and by its presence grants reality to everything that participates in it.

St. John offers this: If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have participation in one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 Jo 1:7 NKJ)

May God grant us to walk together in love in union with Christ as we mark our way to Golgotha, the Tomb and Paradise!  Glory to God for all things!



THE NEWLY-ORDAINED DEACON OF THE CHURCH WISHES TO CONVEY!  Father Deacon Marc Wisnosky would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to all of the parishioners of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church for their love, support, and generosity on his ordination to the Holy Diaconate.  He would especially like to thank Fr. Michael and Pani Deborah and Father Deacon Artemius for their guidance and support.  May God grant you all many years!  Thank you, Father Deacon Marc.



JR. ACRY EASTER BASKET RAFFLE!  Tickets for this fabulous “Resurrection Prize” cost $2.00 each; 3 for $5.00; Armslength for $10.00.  All the favorite Paschal foods and condiments are included: Butter, Sausage, Easter Bread, Salt, Ham, Eggs, Cheese, Bacon and decorated Candle.  The drawing will take place today, so hurry and secure plenty of ducats!



ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH OFFICERS WILL MEET ON THE LAST MONDAY OF THIS MONTH AT 7 P.M. IN THE AUDITORIUM!  Because of the joyous celebration of Christ rising from the tomb on the third day, the parish board of elected leaders will stage their regular monthly session on the last Monday (April 28) of this month in the church hall.  All officers are kindly asked to be in attendance for this important meeting.



CAN YOUR PROVIDE ROOM FOR A YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENT?  David Dudak, an officer at our Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown, PA, has informed us that a young college girl is looking for a place to stay in Pittsburgh from Mid-May to Mid-July to serve an inter-ship at the Pittsburgh Zoo.  The zoo does not provide a wage for the intern, and the inter-ship hours at the zoo are Monday-Friday, 7 A.M. to 4 P.M.  She is able to provide for her own transportation.  Alix Durico is a 21 year old young lady, attends college at the Penn State University in State College.  If any of our parishioners can offer assistance in the form of housing for this young woman, then, notify Father Michael and he will get in touch with the student.



SEE CATHY PAWLIK TO SECURE YOUR SHARE OF CAMP NAZARETH “FAMILY DAY” RAFFLE TICKETS!   Please purchase a raffle chance or two for $20 each, and permit our parish to, once again, solicit her allotment of ducats.  You also have the opportunity to win attractive cash prizes and reservations for a child of your choice to attend the Diocesan Camp Weeks.



COME SELL YOUR “VALUABLES” AT THE JR. ACRY “FLEA MARKET” ON SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014 FROM 9 A.M. TO 3 P.M.!  It’s spring-cleaning time to clean out your basement, attic and garage.  Display the “treasures” on a table for $25 in the spacious St. Nicholas Church Auditorium.  The Junior ACRY will be selling luncheon foods and baked goods for anxious customers.  Contact Michele at (724) 392-4075 if you are interested in having a table for your “buried goods.”



ST. JOHN THE COMPASSIONATE MISSION IN TORONTO, CANADA IS A WORTHY RECIPIENT OF OUR ALMS-GIVING THIS LENTEN SEASON!  St. Nicholas Junior ACRY Chapter and the church school students are conducting this project during the Great Fast to continue the sacred ministry the Diocesan Apostolate has maintained for the poor and needy in the inner city of one of Canada’s most populous metropolitan areas.  Please deposit your sacrificial monetary gifts in the container downstairs.



SEND OUR CHILDREN TO CAMP NAZARETH THIS SUMMER BY OFFERING A CAMPERSHIP FOR $285.00 OR ANY MONETARY GIFT!  Our beloved Bishop Gregory has the Diocesan children counting down the days until the start of the camping weeks in mid-July.  Don’t disappoint His Grace in not seeing all of the camper-age young people of our parish at camp this summer.  A donation of any amount towards a campership is appreciated by all.  Enable our young ones to live an Orthodox Christian life-style among their peers and make “friends, forever” within the confines of their Holy Orthodox Christian Church.




Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church