Hierarchal Liturgy at St. Maximus the Confessor Church in Owego NY

On Meat-Fare Sunday, Jan. 22/Feb. 4, 2007 His Grace Bishop Christodoulos of Theoupolis concelebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church of St. Maximus the Confessor in Owego N.Y. together with Fr. Thomas Marretta, the pastor of the parsh and hieromonk Philotheos from the Holy Ascension Monastery in Bearsville N.Y.

While on a pilgrimage to the holy places of Greece several years ago, the devout couple Dr. Lazarus and Rachel Gehring conceived a desire to erect a private chapel on their property in Owego, New York. It was about this time that the Russian Church Abroad, of which they were members, began moving in the direction of union with the Moscow Patriarchate. This move elicited considerable resistance in the Gehring?s parish, and Lazarus and Rachel responded to the developing crisis by expanding their original plans for a tiny chapel to building an edifice large enough to accommodate all the local True Orthodox Christians. A gifted stonemason and builder, Mark Arrow, was engaged, and work began. Soon an amazing structure was rising in the countryside of upstate New York, a building unparalleled in the New World.
The Gehring?s chapel, dedicated to our venerable Father Maximus the Confessor, is based on the beautiful 9th and 10th century Orthodox churches of Asturias in north-western Spain and is in every detail faithful to the originals. This small but stunning monument is testimony in stone to the fact that Orthodox Christianity is that very faith spread by the holy Apostles throughout the known world and common to East and West alike in the first Christian millennium.

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