Our Patron Feast Day of Saint Steven, Simon the Monk
The 71st Slava observance of the “Cathedral of the Pacific” took place on Sunday, October 8, 2017, and in regards to the intercessory prayers of Saint Steven the First-crowned/Simon the Monastic on behalf of this parish community, it could be faithfully assumed that, in the spirit of the Epistle of the Holy Apostle James, “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (5: 16). Several generations have now enjoyed this annual celebration and this day was no exception. Very Reverend Stavrophor and Cathedral Dean, Nicholas Ceko, Reverend Norman Kosanovich, and Deacon VladanRadovanovic celebrated Resurrectional Matins and the Divine Liturgy before they and the entire congregation – led by the children singing “Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest” – made a procession around the church, pausing for Memorial prayers on behalf of all the clergy, members, and benefactors who have served this parish through the years.
Concluding the procession on the church steps, Fr. Nick blessed and turned the Kolach with this year's Kumovi: Lazar and Tatyana Skundric (who prepared the Kolach and Zito), Ian and Sasha Dempsey, and Andrew Kosanovich. As is done every year, the honorary Kumovi represent the adult, young adult, and youth generations, and are contributors to the life of the parish in diverse and substantial ways. As the Liturgy concluded, everyone made their way to the Social hall for the grand banquet and program, which began with Executive Board Vice-president VasoAdzich welcoming everyone, Fr. Nicholas offering the invocation, and the Cathedral Choir singing the National Anthems. A delicious lunch was prepared by the Women's Auxiliary and served by students of the Sunday school program. Following lunch, Executive Board President Steve Spilker offered kind and thoughtful words about each of the honored Kumovi and they were each presented an icon of our Lord Jesus Christ with His Mother the Theotokos& Ever-virgin Mary and Saint Steven.
Presentation of the Mrvichin Scholarship Awards allowed everyone an opportunity to see two of the best and brightest who have recently graduated high school, and the Sunday school program, and are continuing their education, be rewarded for their spiritual and academic growth and success: Avery Kral, daughter of Robert and Christy Kral ($1,700 scholarship), and Luke Stefan, son of Laurence and Pam Stefan ($3,000 scholarship) . The day and program concluded on a high note, to say the least. Elissa Bjeletich, author and host of the popular Ancient Faith Radio podcast, “Raising Saints: Educating Our Youth in the Orthodox Faith,” was the Keynote speaker and offered a personal and moving account of herlife before and since conversion into the Orthodox Faith. She shared, among many ways her family learned to adopt the “rhythm of the Church” to their familial rhythm, especially how the Church helped the family accept the death of their infant son. Elissa's words were all the more powerful because they were instructive on how any and all Orthodox families can and should be living a life in Christ every day of the week. It was a poignant ending to another festive celebration of our intercessor before Christ the Lord, Saint Steven/Simon the Monk.