St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Church
Publish Date: 2017-05-07
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St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Church

General Information

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

  • 108 E Main St

  • Clinton, CT 06413-0134
  • Mailing Address:

  • PO Box 134

  • Clinton, CT 06413-0134

Contact Information

Services Schedule

Weekly Services

Tuesdays at 8:30a - Daily Matins

Wednesdays at 6:00p - Daily Vespers

Thursday at 8:30a - Daily Matins

Saturday at 5:30p - Great Vespers

Sunday at 9:30a - Divine Liturgy

The Church is also open on Wednesdays for "Open Doors" - confession, meditation and reflection.

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

Past Bulletins



We welcome all visitors to our Divine Liturgy and services. While Holy Communion may only be received by prepared Orthodox Christians, our non-Orthodox guests are welcome to participate in our prayers and hymns and to join us in venerating the Cross and and receiving blessed bread at the conclusion of the Liturgy. Please sign our guest card and join us for refreshments and fellowship after the services.

Feel free to ask questions before or after the services. Any member of our Council or Congregation are glad to assist you. Literature about the Orthodox faith and this parish can be found in the narthex (back of the Church).

Members of our Parish Council are:

Susan Hayes - President: Ad Hoc ministires (25th Anniversary, Red House)

Deborah Bray - Vice President: Building & Grounds/ Maintenance Ministries

William Brubaker - Secretary: Communications Ministry

Susan Egan Treasurer

James Pepitone - Member at Large: Outreach & Evangelism Ministries

Demetra Tolis - Member at Large: Fellowship & Stewardship Ministries



By the time you read this, the parish should have received the Holy Fire from Jerusalem. Here is a web site that provides a bit more information about this event -

If anyone has pictures from the hierarchical liturgy and John Skrobat’s tonsuring, please send them to me. I would like to post them on our web page.

Kyle Hollis and Stephen Wexell will be received into the Orthodox Church on Sunday, May 28th. Prayers for the Exorcisms will begin at 9:15am and the Baptismal Liturgy will begin at 9:30am.

 Over the past few years, there have been several attempts to produce a parish directory, contact list and phone chain. These have returned varying amounts of success. The Parish Council is seeking (once again!) to update and republish the parish directory and phone chain. Please talk with Susan Hayes if you are will to help with the processes.

 The Council also seeking to produce and publish a “parish handbook” which would be available to all parishioners, seekers and visitors. The handbook’s purpose is to provide a guide to the parish specifically and to Orthodoxy in general. It will include guidelines for marriages, funerals and the sacraments (among other things). If you would like to be a proof-reader or if you have any suggestions, please take with Fr Steven.

 Lastly, the Council would like to take an inventory of everyone who has keys to the church, and all those who have access (and know how to get into the church). If you have keys, and/or know how to get into the building “after hours” please contact Deborah Brey.

 Ministry meetings are now scheduled on the calendar and some will meet on a ‘fixed’ rotating basis. All meetings are on Sunday during coffee hour (barring no other liturgical priority). Liturgical and Education will meet the first Sunday of every Month (beginning in July) Fellowship & Stewardship will meet May 14th - and subsequently the second Sunday of every month. Evangelism and Outreach will meet May 21st - and subsequent third Sunday’s of every month. Buildings and Grounds will meet May 28th - and subsequent fourth Sundays. The ad hoc ministries will meet as necessary.

Because of the 28th is in Memorial Day weekend, and the reception of Kyle and Stephen, you may choose to meet at another time during the month of May.

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.




Saints and Feasts

May 07

Sunday of the Paralytic

Close to the Sheep's Gate in Jerusalem, there was a pool, which was called the Sheep's Pool. It had round about it five porches, that is, five sets of pillars supporting a domed roof. Under this roof there lay very many sick people with various maladies, awaiting the moving of the water. The first to step in after the troubling of the water was healed immediately of whatever malady he had.

It was there that the paralytic of today's Gospel way lying, tormented by his infirmity of thirty-eight years. When Christ beheld him, He asked him, "Wilt thou be made whole?" And he answered with a quiet and meek voice, "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool." The Lord said unto him, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." And straightaway the man was made whole and took up his bed. Walking in the presence of all, he departed rejoicing to his own house. According to the expounders of the Gospels, the Lord Jesus healed this paralytic during the days of the Passover, when He had gone to Jerusalem for the Feast, and dwelt there teaching and working miracles. According to Saint John the Evangelist, this miracle took place on the Sabbath.


Parish Calendar

  • Parish Calendar

    May 7 to May 15, 2017

    Sunday, May 7

    Sunday of the Paralytic

    St. Alexis Toth

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, May 8

    Neil Luckianow

    John the Apostle, Evangelist, & Theologian

    Tuesday, May 9

    The Holy Prophet Esaias (Isaiah)

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    Wednesday, May 10

    Akathist to St Simon the Zealot

    Simon the Zealot & Apostle

    4:30PM Open Doors

    6:30PM Daily Vespers

    Thursday, May 11

    Methodius & Cyril, Equal-to-the Apostles Illuminators of the Slavs

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    6:00PM Council Meeting

    Friday, May 12

    Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus

    Luba Martins

    Elisha Liam Watson

    Saturday, May 13

    The Holy Martyr Glyceria

    5:30PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, May 14

    Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

    Katerina Hoehnebart

    Fellowship and Stewardship Ministry

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, May 15

    Pachomius the Great


Prayers, Intersessions and Commemorations


Robert, Olga, Daria, Daria, Dori, John, Evelyn, Alla, June, Nina, Joan, John, Alex, Alan, Aaron, Kathryn, Veronica, Nona, Darlyne, Irene, Nancy, Dionysian, Elena, Jevon, Ivan and Joscean.

and for…John, Jennifer, Nicholas, Isabel, Elizabeth, John, Jordan, Michael, Lee, Eva, Neil, Gina, Joey, Michael, Madelyn, Sofie, Katrina, Olena, and Valeriy.

and for our catechumens; Albert Kelly, Kyle Hollis and Stephen Wexell

All of our College Students: Aaron, Alex, Katy, Kaitlyn, Jack, Ellen, Luke and Connor; and those preparing to enter college: Nadia, Matthew and Isaac.

Memory Eternal Alla Hamisevich

We celebrate

Luba Martins on the occasion of her birthday.

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 and intolerance and all those departed this life in the hope of the Resurrection.

Today we commemorate:

Repose of St. Alexis Toth, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in America (1909). Paralytic. Martyr Acacius the Centurion at Byzantium (303). Repose of Ven. Nilus, Abbot of Sora (1508). St. John of Zaden in Georgia, and 12 disciples: Ss. Shio, David, Anthony, Thaddæus, Stephen, Isidore, Michael, Pyrrhus, Zeno, Jesse, Joseph, and Abibus (6th c.). Ven. Nilus the Myrrhgusher of Lavra (Mt. Athos—1651). Monk Martyr Pachomius (Mt. Athos—1730). 












Bulletin Inserts

    Food Fest

    Food Fest

    Sponsored by St Dimitri's Orthodox Church



    Waterbury Greek Festival


Hymns of the Day

Apolytikion of Great and Holy Pascha in the 5th Tone

Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life.

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the 3rd Tone

Let the Heavens rejoice; let earthly things be glad; for the Lord hath wrought might with His arm, He hath trampled upon death by death. The first-born of the dead hath He become. From the belly of Hades hath He delivered us, and hath granted great mercy to the world.

Seasonal Kontakion in the 8th Tone

Though You went down into the tomb, You destroyed Hades' power, and You rose the victor, Christ God, saying to the myrrh-bearing women, "Hail!" and granting peace to Your disciples, You who raise up the fallen.

Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 3rd Tone. Psalm 46.6,1.
Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
Verse: Clap your hands, all you nations.

The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 9:32-42.

IN THOSE DAYS, as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed." And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him entreating him, "Please come to us without delay." So Peter rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping, and showing tunics and other garments which Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, rise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

Gospel Reading

Sunday of the Paralytic
The Reading is from John 5:1-15

At that time, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda which has five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and troubled the water; whoever stepped in first after the troubling of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your pallet, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked.

Now that day was the sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, "It is the sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet." But he answered them, "The man who healed me said to me, 'Take up your pallet, and walk.' "They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your pallet, and walk'?" Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you." The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.


Wisdom of the Fathers

For where tears are-- or rather, where miracles are, there tears ought not to be; not where such a mystery is celebrating. Hear, I beseech you: although somewhat of the like kind does not take place now, yet in the case of our dead likewise, a great mystery is celebrating. Say, if as we sit together, the Emperor were to send and invite some one of us to the palace, would it be right, I ask, to weep and mourn? Angels are present, commissioned from heaven and come from thence, sent from the King Himself to call their fellow servant, and say, dost thou weep? Knowest thou not what a mystery it is that is taking place, how awful, how dread, and worthy indeed of hymns and lauds? Wouldest thou learn, that thou mayest know, that this is no time for tears? For it is a very great mystery of the Wisdom of God. As if leaving her dwelling, the soul goes forth, speeding on her way to her own Lord, and dost thou mourn? Why then, thou shouldst do this on the birth of a child: for this in fact is also a birth, and a better than that.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 21 on Acts 9, 4th Century

In that case [Matt 9:2] there was remission of sins, (for He said, "Thy sins be forgiven thee,") but in this, warning and threats to strengthen the man for the future; "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you."
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 37 on John 1, 4th Century


In House


St. Alexis Toth - Confessor of the Orthodox Faith in America


Submitting my soul to the mercy of God,and asking everybody's forgiveness and forgiving everybody,and remaining faithful to the Orthodox Catholic doctrines up to my last minute, believing and professing myself, and submitting myself to the prayers of all....

 With these words, our Holy Father Alexis Toth composed his last will and testament shortly before his death in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1909. In this year of the centennial of his falling-asleep in the Lord, we especially honor the memory of this Carpatho-Rusyn priest who was an inspiration, example and also a warning for the founding fathers of our Diocese.

St. Alexis was born in a Carpatho-Rusyn family of priests, both his father and brother were priests and his uncle was a bishop. Like most Carpatho-Rusyns of the time, the Toths were Eastern Rite - Uniate Catholics. After completing his seminary education, he married Rosalie Mihalich, the daughter of a priest in 1878, was ordained to the priesthood and assigned as the second priest in a Greek Catholic parish. While serving there, his wife and their only child died. Father Alexis was later appointed secretary to the Bishop of Presov and Chancellor of the Diocese and taught Church History and Canon Law in the Presov Seminary. 

The pivotal time of Father Toth's life began with his arrival in America in November, 1889 to become the first pastor of the new Greek Catholic church in Minneapolis. Five weeks after his arrival, Father Toth, following Canon Law, presented his credentials to the local Roman Catholic bishop, Archbishop John Ireland. Learning that Father Toth had been married, the Archbishop refused to recognize him as a legitimate Catholic priest and forbade him to function as a priest anywhere in the Diocese. Archbishop Ireland was a leader among a movement in the Catholic Church aimed at Americanizing the Catholic Church. Their views had no place for the use of the Eastern rite in Liturgy by foreign speaking immigrants with married priests.

Having served as a professor of Canon Law, Father Toth knew his rights and continued serving the needs of his flock. He set about raising funds for needed church items, purchased a house for use as a rectory and even opened a small grocery store for which he served as a baker. With his small income, he provided not only for himself but gave assistance for his poor parishioners and paid for a caretaker and cantor for the church. In 1890, all of the Uniate priests then serving in America gathered for a meeting in Wilkes-Barre to discuss the open hostility they were all receiving from the local Roman Catholic hierarchy. In response and as a punishment for this meeting, all the priests in attendance were recalled to Europe by their bishops. 

Return to Orthodoxy

Recognizing that the Greek Catholic clergy and faithful would always be treated as inferiors in the larger Roman Catholic Church and that the Union with Rome had been forced upon the peasant Carpatho-Rusyns, Father Alexis relates:

I made up my mind to do something which I carried in my heart for a long time, for which my soul longed: that is, to become Orthodox. But how was it to be done. I had to be very cautious. The unfortunate Union, the source of our decline and all our ills, had been part of our people too long. We had already borne that yoke on our shoulders for 250 years. I fervently prayed God to grant me the power to make all this clear to my unenlightened parishioners.

After contacting the Orthodox Bishop Vladimir who was residing in San Francisco, Father Toth traveled there and was received into the Orthodox Faith by the bishop. An eyewitness of this event, the parish choir director Paul Zaichenko wrote:

In the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of San Francisco, Bishop Vladimir is serving the Divine Liturgy. The choir, under my direction, is singing splendidly. In the center of the church stands a stranger. He is clean shaven, with a short military haircut. He wears a cassock, fastened with a row of buttons, and around his waist is tied a wide purple sash...All eyes are on him, but no one knows who the stranger is. Bishop Vladimir, in all his vestments, comes forward from the altar, holding the Bible and the cross. According to the Church ritual, the stranger is accepted into the Orthodox faith. In a loud voice, he renounces papism and enters the fold of the Holy Orthodox Church. At that moment his face lights up with an internal light. This new convert was Father Alexis Toth, young, handsome, and energetic...

Bishop Vladimir traveled to Minneapolis in March, 1891 and received 361 parishoners into the Orthodox Church. Uniate priests and people throughout America took note of Father Alexis' courageous action and he found ready listeners as he enlightened his Carpatho-Rusyn brethren of the false teachings and deceptions which had misled them for generations. Through his efforts, over 17 parishes returned to the Orthodox Faith and an estimated 25,000 people. 

Struggles and Hardships 

Father Toth's life was not without struggle and hardship.. From the time he was received into the Orthodox Faith in 1891, it took over a year for the Holy Synod of Russia to officially accept Father Toth and his flock into the American Missionary Diocese. During this time Father Toth was without any salary, his only income was the paltry trebe or gifts he received from baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Despite his poverty, Father Toth was accused of selling out the Christian Faith to the Muscovites for a huge sum of money, he was accused of stealing orphan's money in Hungary before fleeing to America, and in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, he narrowly escaped serious injury or death when a rock was thrown at his head through the rectory window. Returning from his missionary journey to Northeastern Pennsylvania, he found that his own flock had turned against him which caused him to move to the newly-converted Orthodox parish in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Recalling this tragic event, Father Alexis later wrote to his Bishop Nicholas:

...these same people, for whom I sacrificed everything and who, during the attacks of the Papists, stood as strong as a wall, and whom I had been protecting and saving, became so ungrateful...It was told to my face that "we do not want the ‘Hungarian' as a priest anymore - we need a Russian priest!" ... So I left Minneapolis and moved to Wilkes-Barre.

Father Alexis endured all of his sufferings with the help of his faith in the Lord. He wrote:

I lived through very difficult days. But regardless of the difficult situation and privations, I did not rescind from my temporary thorny road. The Lord gave me strength to overcome the difficulties of being scorned and disdained as a slave of my past connections. All this trouble with its many uncalled for offenses against me, I was able with the help of God to overcome. Glory to God for His great mercy.

Father Toth's health began to decline in 1908 and he fell asleep in the Lord in Wilkes-Barre on May 7, 1909 and was buried in a magnificent mausoleum behind the altar of St. Tikhon's Monastery Church in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He body was exhumed from his tomb in 1994 and placed in the special shrine in preparation for his official glorification as a saint with the title: Confessor of the Faith in America. 

Inspiration, Example, Warning

The example of St. Alexis, along with his tireless preaching and teaching of the Orthodox Faith in the mill and mining towns throughout the eastern United States was undoubtedly influential on Father Orestes Chornock and other Uniate clergy as they faced a new era of misunderstanding, mistreatment, and changes to their faith by the Roman Catholic hierarchy. After their repeated appeals to Rome fell on deaf ears, the founders of our Diocese followed the path first trod by St. Alexis in returning to the Orthodox Faith of their ancestors. However they observed what had happened in the 17 parishes received into Orthodoxy through the efforts of Father Toth. In time the unique Carpatho-Rusyn identity of these people was suppressed in favor of an invented Russian identity which continues in many places to this day. Their ancient congregational style of singing known as prostopinije was suppressed as some sort of Uniate invention in favor of Russian music sung by a choir with the congregation as passive listeners. These observations led the founders of this Diocese to coin the motto Ani do Rim, ani doMoskvi! (neither to Rome nor to Moscow!) as they sought refuge and protection under the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

The life of St. Alexis also challenges us in his relentless and courageous pursuit of the truth of the Gospel. One of the pamphlets he wrote and distributed in his missionary work was titled Where to Seek the Truth. The challenge for Orthodox Christians living in America today is  the dangerous yet common belief that there is no one truth but that each person follows  whatever is true for them. Truth is not objective but subjective: I decide what is right and 
wrong, what is true and false, truth is not revealed from God on high and disseminated to  mankind. While our respect for people of other beliefs has led to relative peace among the many religions of America, the price has been the embrace of a non-Biblical, non-Christian teaching that there are many paths to God, I have my path and you have yours and they are all equally valid. This new view now demands that we question and change the meaning of such 
previously basic institutions as family and marriage. In today's society, to declare that there is  objective right and wrong, sin and virtue, truth and falsehood is to be labeled bigoted, old-fashioned, narrow and exclusive. St. Alexis, by his struggle to return to the truth of the Gospel, inspires us to continue to seek the truth revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ to an unchanging Church that continues in the Faith of the Apostles.

Very Rev. Edward Pehanich