Archpastoral Visit of His Grace Bishop Michael - 07/20/14

               The weekend of July 19th and 20th was an inspirational and memorable one for the Orthodox faithful of Bayonne, NJ. Ss. Peter and Paul Parish hosted a visit by His Grace, MICHAEL, Bishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. The weekend was a time to gather in prayerful gratitude for the many blessings God bestows on the parish, and to celebrate two joyous events as well.

                His Grace attended both Great Vespers on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. Archpriest Sophrony Royer, Rector of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, graciously welcomed Bishop Michael, as well as the faithful from other local Orthodox parishes in the vicinity. Divine Liturgy was presided over by His Grace Bishop Michael, and was concelebrated by Fr. Sophrony with Archpriest John Fencik of neighboring St. Mary’s Parish, Bayonne (ACROD) and Archdeacon Michael (Suvak).  Subdeacon Mark Federoff assisted in the altar along with Reader Stephen Wasilewski (Parish Council President), and newly tonsured Reader Philip Benda, who was tonsured during Sunday’s Hierarchical Liturgy. Philip is a lifelong parishioner of Ss. Peter and Paul, and his tonsuring to the rank of Reader, and blessing to wear the subdiaconal orarion, was a joyous event that reflected his deep commitment to his Orthodox faith. This pastoral visit also coincided with another happy event, the 90th birthday celebration of Mr. Wilfred Royer, father of the parish’s rector. Everyone on hand was pleased to congratulate both Philip and Wilfred. May God grant them many years!

                A luncheon after Divine Liturgy was enjoyed by all attendees. Events such as these are vital to the spiritual life of our Orthodox community. Parishioners and guests alike were inspired by His Grace’s words and prayers, as well as enriched by the chance to reconnect with friends and relatives from near and far.