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)-804-8865

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. 2; No. 32


Sunday, August 17, 2014


Matins: 8:00 A.M.

Divine Liturgy: 9:00 A.M.

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 4:9-16               Resurrection Tone: 1             Gospel: Matthew 17:14-23

Tropar & Kondak: Blue Book: 81-83 / Red Book: 95-99

Bulletin Sponsor: Carole, Larry & Bill Dunn in memory of the departed +Lena Pristash.

Altar Candles’ Sponsor: Carole, Larry & Bill Dunn in memory of mother and grandmother, + Lena Pristash.

Prayers for the good health and recovery of the sick: Michael & Marion Lavra, offered by Marion.

Panachida service conducted for the repose of the soul of God’s departed servant: +Ann (Brugos) Dzuka on the 40th day Anniversary of her falling asleep in the Lord, offered by brother, Edward Brugos and friends, Thomas & Evelyn Tihey.

Panachida service conducted for the repose of the souls of God’s departed servants, +Irene & +John Foster, offered by Karen Foster.



Monday, (August 18)… 7:00 P.M. Vespers on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, with the blessing of bread, wheat, wine & oil.


Tuesday, (August 19)… 9:00 A.M. Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, with the blessing of grapes, apples and fruits.


Thursday, (August 21)… 9:00 A.M. Divine Liturgy for the repose of the soul of God’s departed servant, +John Rudosky, offered by sister, Rose Mary Roscoe.


Saturday, (August 23)… 11:00 A.M.-12 Noon: Hearing of Confessions during the Dormition Fast.



Sunday, August 24, 2014


Matins: 8:00 A.M.

Divine Liturgy: 9:00 A.M.

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 9:2-12                 Resurrection Tone: 2             Gospel: Matthew 18:23-35

Tropar & Kondak: Blue Book: 84-86 / Red Book: 99-102


Panachida service conducted for the repose of the soul of God’s departed servant, +Anna Latta Czesnocha on the month following her falling asleep in the Lord, offered by sister, Marjorie Pekular.



Matthew 17:14-23

17:14-16 – Sickness in Scripture is often connected to demonic activity.  By kneeling, this father shows humility, but he lacks faith.  While the disciples also lack faith (v. 20), Christ rebukes the man for placing the blame on the disciples when it was his greater lack of faith that prevented the boy’s healing.  In effect, Jesus defends His disciples in front of the multitudes but later rebukes them privately (vv. 19-21), teaching us that we ought first to correct people in private.

17:19-21 – St. John Chrysostom notes this rebuke is directed at the nine disciples who could not cast out the demon, whereas “the pillars” of faith – Peter, James, and John (Gal 2:9) – were not included in the rebuke, as they had been on the mountain with Christ (v. 1).

This kind (v. 21) refers to all powers of darkness, not simply those that cause a particular illness.  The banishment of demons requires faith (v. 20), prayer, and fasting (v. 21), for there is no healing and no victory in spiritual warfare without all three.  Beginning with the Didache, the Fathers have taught that both the person in need of healing and the person performing the healing must believe, pray, and fast.

17:22, 23 – Jesus predicts His death and Resurrection a second time to show that He is going to His Passion freely and not being taken against His will.



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.






The feast of the Holy Transfiguration falls near the end of the liturgical year.  Only the Dormition of the Theotokos follows, to complete and close the cycle.  Why now?  The time of the event comes six days following the confession of St. Peter (Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, or about eight days (Luke 9:28), although it doesn’t fix a date precisely.  Nothing is arbitrary.  It comes in the season of the fruit harvest.  The Orthodox Church greets the feast with the tradition of the blessing of fruit.  Here is a natural expression of sacrifice to the Lord of His blessings of rain and sunshine which make it possible to reap a bountiful harvest.  We who bring our fruit in plastic bags from the supermarket must use our imagination in order to be truly grateful for the harvest blessings.  We have not the same appreciation as if we brought our grapes and apples from our vines and trees.  It takes a farmer’s daily prayers to feel the reward of his petitions.

At another level, we all can comprehend spiritual fruit brought to fruition through the liturgical year now consummated at the completion.  The year begins with the birth of the Holy Mother of God, the young virgin herself the glorious fruit of the promise of Abraham and his children to erase Adam’s rebellion and restore the glory of the people of Israel.  Mary is the beginning “of our salvation” – the anticipation of a new covenant relationship and the anticipation of the Messiah, the Son of God who would be the fruit of her virgin womb.  The time is ripe to receive the divine light in Christ through the Holy Spirit for those in some ways capable of receiving it.  Consider the filtration process: From the 5,000 who heard Him offer them the credentials of the blessed from the Sermon on the Mount; to the seventy selected to visit the villages of the Jews and announce His ministry among them (Luke 10:1); further choosing twelve apostles; and from them but three blessed to experience His Transfiguration atop the mountain, that eternal moment beyond normal time when Moses and Elijah would be brought from the past to appear with the Son of God in a blinding illumination of the Kingdom of God, displaying eternity in a fraction of time.  It was a joy that the three disciples did not want to end.

Is it any wonder that so many of our monastic communities have chosen this feast for their own patronal namesake?  The revelation of a second Epiphany where all three Persons of the Holy Trinity are involved?  Here, the highlight of spiritual progress offers a super incentive for all serious Christians to realize and fulfill the precious words of St. Paul: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward a goal…” (Philippians 3:13).

When the three offer to make three booths and remain in that sublime exalted state, Christ responds that they must descend from the mountain top and return to what was left behind.  Such a rare treat was for them a mere “cocktail” of blessings, enough for them to experience once but never to be forgotten.  He warned them also not share the indescribable to their fellow apostles and the women during those forty days following Christ’s appearance in the Upper Room that first day of His resurrection and until the Ascension.  And what of us?  We conclude each Divine Liturgy with the proclamation: “We have seen the true light!”  Have we indeed!  Has that been an experience, a striking disclosure, or something we just don’t understand?



MOTHER(S) & CHILD(REN) ARE DOING WELL!  What great joy and happiness it is for our church family to learn of the recent births of beautiful baby girls, Kataryna Maria Bartko & Eva Michelle Bishop to our beloved St. Nicholas members: Danielle Bartko & Shelley Bishop.  Proud fathers: Robert & Sean are congratulated and the parish prays as one for the good health, peace and happiness for many blessed years to the newborns and their grateful family members.



YOUR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS FOR THE WELFARE OF OUR PARISH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR THE YOUTH ARE WARMLY WELCOMED AT THE CHURCH SCHOOL SESSION THIS WEDNESDAY AT 7 P.M.!  The Sunday School meeting will be conducted in the parish hall and is open to all parishioners to offer their opinions on the spiritual training of the Orthodox Christian Faith to the children of our sacred temple of worship.  It is the concern of all faithful members that our youngsters are being taught an Orthodox Christian way of life and that their education in the “True Faith” will sustain them and maintain their allegiance to the Church all the days of their lives.  If you are unable to attend this “meeting of the minds” this week and have a suggestion, contact Andrea Urban.



CLERGY BENEVOLENT FUND!  The Diocese has established a “Clergy Benevolent Fund” to aid our Priests and Panis in cases of catastrophe.  The John C. Kulis Charitable Foundation, through the efforts of our Diocesan Trustee, Attorney Steven M. Laduzinsky, who is Vice President of the Foundation, has gifted our benevolent fund with a donation of $25,000, together with the pledge of matching funds up to that amount that may be made by our clergy and organizations from May 13 to Dec. 1, 2014.  If you are able to make a contribution, please make checks payable to: ACROD Clergy Benevolent Fund and mail to the Chancery Office, 312 Garfield St., Johnstown, PA  15906.



AED/DEFIBRILLATOR TRAINING:  Saint John’s Church of East Pittsburgh is putting together a certification and training session on the use of an AED automatic defibrillation device.  While many AED’s are “self-directed,” and theoretically can be used by a completely non-trained person, it is recommended by the Red Cross and insurance companies that trained personnel should use the machine in the event of cardiac arrest.  A near date (an afternoon or evening with a trainer for this device from one of the local ambulance companies) is wished. 10-15 people are needed for the training session and a nominal fee will be charged to each person.  Please phone Fr. Tobias at (412) 824-0246 if you wish to participate.



RESERVE THE DATE OF: SUNDAY, SEPT. 7, 2014 FOR THE TIME OF OUR ANNUAL CHURCH PICNIC!  Slated to take place, once again, at the spacious Westinghouse Lodge, the fun-filled summer outing begins at 12 noon and concludes at approximately 6 P.M.  The attractive agenda includes: Catered Dinner, Chinese Auction (Cathy Trumpower is most happy to receive donations of gifts or cash to purchase attractive articles for this popular segment of the picnic), spirited Bingo Games, exciting contests on the big Ball Fields, pleasing social exchange and authentic Christian fellowship at its best.  Our faithful are kindly asked to bring desserts (cookies, cakes, pies, brownies, etc.) or salads (pasta, coleslaw, potato, garden, etc.) of their choice.  Tickets can be secured from Mary Ann Vasil and the price is $10 (Adult) and free for Youngsters under the age of 12.  Everyone is advised to purchase the ducats by the Sunday before the picnic (Sunday, Aug. 31st), since a catered meal is involved.



ENJOY THE “CALENDAR PARTY” AT ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH IN RANKIN, PA ON SUNDAY, SEPT. 21, 2014! Doors open to the downstairs parish hall at 12:30 P.M. and a luncheon meal will be served at 1 P.M.  Plan to attend and support this fund-raising project of our sister Pittsburgh Deanery parish.  Expect plenty of fun, games and fellowship for a donation of $15.  For tickets, please see Cheryl Tomko.



YOU, THE PEOPLE OF ST. NICHOLAS IN HOMESTEAD, PA ARE “DISTINGUISHED” BY YOUR PRAISEWORTHY GIVING TO THE DIOCESE!  The Distinguished Diocesan Donors Program (DDD), which was founded by His Grace, Bishop John of Thrice-Blessed-Memory, offers the faithful and friends of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese an opportunity to assist, in a meaningful way, our Diocesan apostolates and ministries.  Thanks to the generous financial support of our DDD Supporters, our Diocese has grown and prospered over the years, having met and overcome seemingly insurmountable financial challenges.  The Distinguished Diocesan Donor Program has become an instrumental source of funding for the expansion and maintenance of Camp Nazareth, Information Technology, Christ the Saviour Seminary and other Diocesan Apostolates and Ministries, having raised over $2.5 million dollars.  Without the support of the DDD Program, it would be impossible for our Diocesan ministries to properly fulfill their apostolic mission.  Now, more than ever, in the spiritually challenging times of the 21st century, we need your support to further grow our existing ministries and establish new ones to keep our faithful, and especially our youth, connected to Christ and His Holy Church.  We invite you to become a part of the momentum that drives the Distinguished Diocesan Donor Program.  Your contributions directly support our many apostolates and ministries.  “Honor the LORD with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10